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What is a Manufactured Home?

There are some key things to look for when considering your purchase of a Manufactured Home.  The first one is in the name itself?  Is it a “Manufactured Home,” a “Mobile Home” or in some places they are still referred to as “Trailers” or “Trailer Homes.”  Other classifications of factory-built homes are “Modular Homes,” “Panelized Homes,” “Pre-Cut Homes,” “Tiny Homes” and “Park Models” or “Park Model Trailers.”

I’ll start with the last one first, “Trailer” or “Trailer Home” is not normally a term used in professional circles when referring to a person’s primary or seasonal residence.  Although the names are used interchangeably, even on websites such as Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_home) the term, in general, is only used in slang.

“Mobiles Homes” truly became “Manufactured Homes” on June 15, 1976.  That’s the date that Manufactured Homes fell under the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, 24 CFR Part 3280 (HUD Code).  When the HUD Code was implemented “Mobile Homes” officially became “Manufactured Homes.”  (https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/housing/rmra/mhs/faqs)

Although the official name is “Manufactured Home,” the other terms are still regularly used on homes built after June 15, 1976, and they appear in advertising and language regularly.  Homes manufactured before the HUD Code was implemented can be hard to repair since anything permitted is required to be brought up to the current HUD Code. This also makes them harder to insure and they are not normally able to get government-backed (FHA, USDA, VA) financing on.  These factors mean that they are usually of lower cost.

The term “Park Model” has become more common in recent years, especially with the “Tiny House” movement.  A “Park Model” by definition is a travel trailer designed for long term placement where RV’s are allowed.  There are some Mobile Home Parks that have designated themselves to be “Park Model” only parks. They do not require the same zoning as Manufactured Home Parks and can be easy conversions from older RV parks with smaller lots and utilities.

What about “Factory Built Homes” and “Factory Built Buildings?”  These terms are more commonly known as “Modular” or “UBC Units.”  These buildings are not always inhabitable as a residence and require different licensing for sale, transportation, and installation in most states.

If you have questions about selling or buying a manufactured home, please contact us.

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