In this article we will be exploring the differences between site-built, mobile/manufactured, and modular homes. These are the most common forms of housing in Jackson County and in writing this article we wish to help homeowners understand the differences between these various housing types so that they can make a more informed decision about the type of housing they wish to pursue.
A site-built home is the most common form of housing in Jackson County and is just that; a home that is constructed on the location where it will permanently stand when completed. Site-built homes have many benefits such as their increased value over time, a relative ease in obtaining financing for an existing home in good condition and higher safety ratings as compared to a mobile/manufactured or a Modular home. Additionally, site-built homes allow the homeowner to have full control over the type of home that they want; however, the cost to build a site-built home is typically much more expensive than other types of housing because all building materials must be transported to the home site and the home has to conform to state and local building codes while being constructed. Construction times for a site-built home vary from about three months to one year and, according to the U.S. Bureau, the average price per square foot is about $100.
Mobile Home/ Manufactured HomesThe terms “mobile home” and “manufactured home” are used interchangeably by most people however they are actually two distinct housing units. In 1974 the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act was passed that outlined the distinctions between the two. In addition to this in 1976 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) further outlined the standards for what qualifies as a mobile or manufactured home and later officially mandated that the term “manufactured” be used in place of “mobile” for any homes built after 1976. Up until this time mobile homes, commonly referred to as trailer homes, had very little specifications for how they were to be built and thus did not meet the standards required for a new home at the time.
Thus, we now utilize the term manufactured home to describe a home that is built entirely inside a home building factory, that is then transported to the home site for final installation (although difficult, it is possible to move the home if need be). Manufactured homes are typically constructed in three different sizes; single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide. They can be very quick to install, have customizable floor plans, and are often much cheaper than a site built home with the average price per square foot being about $47 according to the U.S. Census Bureau; however, manufactured homes do not hold their value over time like a site-built or modular home and depending on the construction and/or installation of the home they may be more susceptible to damage from severe weather.
Modular HomesModular homes are essentially a combination of the first two types of housing listed. Modular homes are built in sections inside of a home building facility and are then shipped to the home site for final set-up on a permanent foundation. Because modular homes are built in sections they are very customizable which can make them virtually indistinguishable from a site-built home or even resemble a manufactured home. A modular home has the potential, depending on the type of home being built, to be much less expensive than a site-built home (on average about 15%) as well as having a faster construction time. Additionally, modular homes tend to hold their value similar to site-built homes. However, modular homes are fairly new to the loan market which can make obtaining financing a more complicated process.