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Manufactured vs Mobile Homes: What is Best for You?

Manufactured vs Mobile Homes: What is Best for You?

June 20, 2023

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For simplicity in this blog, we will be using the following definitions: 

  • Manufactured Homes: permanent, factory-built houses such as what Prestige sells
  • Mobile Homes: on-the-road, highly portable housing situations like campers or RVs

What Are the Differences between Manufactured and Mobile Homes?

Today, manufactured homes and mobile homes are thought to be the same. However, this is not the case in reality—manufactured and mobile homes are two different types of housing

Mobile homes, as the name suggests, have wheels to be easily moved from location to location. They acted as a sort of predecessor to manufactured homes pre-1976. After the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development placed more regulations on mobile homes, they became more permanent structures and were renamed manufactured homes. 

Today, manufactured homes are almost indistinguishable from site-built homes and often have permanent foundations. Meanwhile, the mobile homes of today more accurately refer to any living situation on wheels (campers, RVs, van-living, motorhomes); however, mobile can be and is used as a synonym for manufactured even if it’s not entirely accurate. 

What Is the Best Choice for You?

Snowbirds: Finding Your Perfect Winter Retreat

Florida is the perfect escape from the freezing cold winters of the north. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people come to Florida to enjoy the sun and beaches during the winter months. If you’re thinking of joining the migration, you may be wondering what housing choice is right for you. 

Mobile Homes for Snowbirds

If you want to spend your winters traveling the different Florida campgrounds or hopping from beach to beach, an RV or camper would be a great option for you. They allow you to choose wherever you want to live as long as there’s a camping site. 

You get to take your home with you while you travel and can enjoy a wider range of what Florida offers. However, this nomadic lifestyle comes with some drawbacks such as limited network connection, expensive maintenance costs, and community isolation. 

Manufactured Homes for Snowbirds

If you want to have a stable community and a place to call your own during the winter months, investing in a manufactured home is a great option for snowbirds. Cheaper than buying a site-built home, a manufactured home lets you experience all the benefits of owning a home in Florida for a fraction of the cost. There are even snowbird-manufactured home communities that allow you to build your own unique connections with fellow snowbirds. 

First-Time Homebuyers: Weighing the Pros and Cons of Manufactured or Mobile Homes

Buying your first home is a huge step. Owning a home provides you with a sense of autonomy and the opportunity to build equity over time. However, with the rising prices of homes, you may be looking at alternative housing options. Make sure you’re fully informed of all your options before deciding what works best for you.

Mobile Homes for First-Time Buyers

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you are likely ready to settle down and build a community. If this is the case, you probably won’t want to be living in a camper or RV. Mobile homes are great if you want to live and travel, but most depreciate in value—negating the main benefit of homeownership. In the end, it comes down to why you want to be a homeowner and what lifestyle you want to invest in.

Manufactured Homes for First-Time Buyers

Manufactured homes are a great alternative for first-time homebuyers. With their low costs, manufactured homes require a lower down payment and monthly payments. This way you can buy your new home quicker and easier than if you were purchasing a site-built home. 

Manufactured homes also give you the benefit of building equity. Contrary to popular belief, manufactured homes do appreciate at similar rates to site-built homes, so you begin investing in your future as soon as possible. 

Empty Nesters: Transitioning to a Smaller Space

The children have left the coop, and you’re ready to have a smaller home. Both manufactured homes and mobile homes are great options to reduce space and live a more minimalist lifestyle. You just have to decide which best suits your new needs. 

Downsizing with Mobile Homes

With the kids out of the house, you and your partner may want to spend your newfound freedom traveling. A great way to travel unrestricted is by purchasing a mobile home. A camper or an RV allows you to take life on the road. Being an empty-nester is a perfect time to figure out if this adventurous way of living is right for you. 

Keep in mind that mobile homes are often much smaller than site-built homes and even manufactured homes, so you will have to downsize considerably. You may want to rent a storage unit to hold any important items or furniture that won’t fit in your RV or camper. 

Downsizing with Manufactured Homes

If you just want a bit of a smaller home with still enough space to have your children visit, manufactured homes are a perfect choice. While manufactured homes can be just as big as site-built homes, the great thing about purchasing a manufactured home is you can customize it exactly to your vision

You can downsize your living space without having to give up having a guest room, a patio, a large kitchen, and whatever else you want to have. Prestige’s wide range of customizable homes can give you an idea of which floor plan would best meet your needs.

Eco-Conscious Living: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

With rising concerns surrounding climate change, you may be wondering what you can do to benefit the environment. One factor contributing to your carbon footprint is your living space. Site-built housing can contribute as much as 19% of the world’s carbon emissions. Seeking environmentally-friendly housing is a small step you can take to better the environment for your community and local ecosystem. 

Carbon Footprint of Mobile Homes

If you want to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, mobile homes aren’t going to be a good option for you. With most RVs consuming more gas than 18-wheelers, living in an RV puts considerable strain on your local environment and increases carbon emissions. While trailers and campers may reduce this effect some, you still have to take into account how much you’re driving from location to location. 

If you really enjoy the nomadic life and want to find a way to be sustainable, there are steps you can take such as installing solar panels or switching to biodiesel for fuel.

Carbon Footprint of Manufactured Homes

Most of the carbon emissions caused by housing are generated in the building phase. Since manufactured homes are built in a factory, their building process reduces waste, produces fewer carbon emissions, and minimizes the amount of dust and debris from construction. This makes manufactured homes one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to build a house. 

Even after your manufactured home is built, many are fitted with energy-efficient insulation and appliances—reducing energy consumption by nearly 50%. If you’re dedicated to living an eco-friendly lifestyle, opting for a manufactured home is the perfect way to protect the environment in your day-to-day life.

For Growing Families: Comparing Space and Flexibility

Growing your family is always an exciting time. It comes with new milestones and new adventures. But as it grows, you’ll find you need more space. It’s time to begin the search for a new home. Don’t assume that site-built homes are your only option—there are alternatives that can better suit your family’s needs.

Mobile Homes for Families

If you’re concerned with having more space, you probably won’t find a good option with mobile homes. The largest of RVs only average around 320 square feet and cap their size at around 400 square feet. This is not enough space for a growing family. 

Mobile Homes for Families

If you’re concerned with having more space, you probably won’t find a good option with mobile homes. The largest of RVs only average around 320 square feet and cap their size at around 400 square feet. This is not enough space for a growing family. 

While they do provide the freedom of travel, this can be difficult with little ones. It is probably better to reserve mobile homes for family getaways for now rather than a permanent living space.

Manufactured Homes for Families

Manufactured homes range from single-wide to multi-wide sizing categories. Single-wide only tends to be one or two bedrooms while multi-wide can have as many as 5 bedrooms. With this range of options, you’re sure to find a manufactured home that fits your growing family’s needs without paying the cost of a site-built home. Prestige knows every family has unique needs, so all the homes we offer are built-to-order based on your specifications.  

Affordable Luxury: High-End Living on a Budget

Upgrading your space can be a long, expensive undertaking. If you have a site-built home, perhaps you’re finding you have little budget to be able to add luxury upgrades to your home. Manufactured and mobile homes offer a solution to living in luxury without stretching your budget thin.

Luxury Mobile Homes

Perhaps, you believe the true luxury is to travel freely and explore the beauty of nature, but you don’t want to give up simple comforts while living on the road. Some companies do offer luxury RVs for this reason. You can travel to the national parks without giving up a large bed, kitchen, heating, and more. While some of these options do get expensive, there are models available that are cheaper than what a site-built home would be. 

Luxury Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes are 10–35% cheaper than site-built homes, but that does not mean the quality is any less. Some manufactured homes may even have more luxuries than site-built homes. There are two key reasons manufactured homes allow for affordable luxury: they are custom-built to the homeowner’s design and the saved money allows for the homeowner to spend more money on upgrades and remodels. 

At Prestige, we incorporate any luxury items you want into the design and building process. This way you don’t have to wait to see what needs remodeling—you get exactly the luxury you’re looking for as soon as you move in. 

Retirement Living: Homes for Your Golden Years

Retirement brings a lot of exciting changes such as more freedom with your time and a season of rest and relaxation. During these golden years, you may not want to deal with the concerns and maintenance of owning a site-built home. Making the right decision about your retirement home is crucial to ensuring that your dream retirement becomes a reality.

Retiring into a Mobile Homes

Many people plan to use their retirement for traveling to places they couldn’t before. If you’re among this group, a mobile home would be a great option for you. Living in a luxury RV or camper would allow you to check dream destinations off your list while still having the comforts of home. 

Retiring into a Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes appeal to a wide variety of retirement-aged people. Not only are they often smaller and easier to manage than site-built homes, but there are many manufactured home communities dedicated to retirees. You can find a community of people in the same life phase as you and enjoy fun activities to keep you connected. As you transition into your golden years, you can take comfort in knowing that you have a quality home and a close-knit community to rely on.

Investment Potential: Assessing the ROI

Real estate is a lucrative, fairly safe investment strategy. People will always need a home which makes real estate a good long-term investment. However, site-built homes are not the only form of real estate that has a good ROI. Whether you’re just starting out or want to diversify your portfolio, alternative housing investments are something to consider. 

Investing in a Mobile Home

Mobile homes are, for the most part, vehicles. Because of this, mobile homes will depreciate at a similar rate as vehicles, making it a poor investment in the traditional sense. However, purchasing an RV or camper and renting it out could lead to a good generation of cash flow. 

Investing in a Manufactured Home

With a smaller market than the apartment industry and cheaper prices than site-built homes, manufactured homes are a great way to break into real estate investments. Proper maintenance and upkeep will allow your manufactured home to appreciate in value over time. If you’re looking to start investing in real estate, a manufactured home is a perfect place to start. 

Accessibility Matters: Homes for Individuals with Disabilities

Having an accessible home is crucial when you or someone in your household is an individual with disabilities. If you’re searching for a home, you may be running into difficulties in finding a home that wouldn’t require expensive remodeling to make it accessible. If this is the case, alternative housing may offer a solution. 

Accessibility in Mobile Homes

If you dream of traveling every day all day but require a wheelchair, there are plenty of options for wheelchair-accessible RVs and campers that would suit your needs. Many of these options have wheelchair lifts installed to allow easy access in and out of your motorhome. While these are great options for individuals in wheelchairs, if you have more specialized needs that require bulkier equipment or are dependent on reliable energy, a mobile home may not be the best option for the long term. 

Accessibility in Manufactured Homes

One of the benefits of built-to-order manufactured homes is that you can choose your floor plan, appliances, and doorway openings to meet your needs. So if you have unique or specialized accessibility requirements, Prestige will work with you to ensure your home is safe and comfortable for everyone in your household. You can have all the benefits of a custom, site-built home for a significantly reduced cost. 

Find Your Perfect Manufactured Home with Prestige Home Centers 

Here at Prestige, we believe that everyone should have their dream home. We’re here to help your vision come to life. Whatever your stage of life or whatever your needs, Prestige will help you find the perfect home to fit your lifestyle. Get in touch with a local Prestige Home Center to see what manufactured home options we have near you and begin your journey to your dream home.

Notice: Across the country, the construction industry, and particularly the home building industry, is experiencing unprecedented supply and demand issues. Labor and materials are in short supply and being priced higher and higher. This is causing reduced production, unanticipated building delays, and unpredictable pricing of materials and homes. With the elevated material costs and delayed turnaround time on building homes, home prices are likely to change now to home completion. Our team is doing everything we can to inform our customers of this pricing and get them into their homes swiftly. We appreciate your continued patience.