Last Updated: February 2, 2023
Many choose the compact solution of a mobile home as a lifestyle, mainly due to its low cost and transportability. This article addresses the types of mobile homes available today—their characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, and fundamental differences.
What Is a Mobile House?
Mobile houses are manufactured in factories and placed on transportable trailer chassis. They don’t have a solid foundation as property but are instead tied down to secure them. As a result, they are often confused with trailers, campers, or caravans.
Mobile homes are often used as temporary or permanent living spaces. But it’s becoming more common to set them on a property permanently.
There are different types of mobile homes. But if you’re considering purchasing one, you need land to place it on. You can own the land, rent, or have other arrangements. The land, however, must have utilities you can attach your mobile home to so it can be functional and safe.
You can also choose to live in a mobile home park that provides the necessary conditions and utilities for your home.
|NOTE: In 1976, the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) established the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS). These federal codes regulate the safety and durability of these manufactured homes.
Types of Mobile Homes
Mobile homes are classified as single, double wide, and even triple wide, depending on their size and the number of units (or blocks). All of these are manufactured in controlled conditions. But double- and triple-wide homes consist of two, three, or more units transported to and assembled at a customer’s destination for a unique design.
Single–Wide Mobile Home
This type is the smallest of mobile homes and, therefore, the most affordable and easiest to move. In addition, they’re compact—typically with designs of up to 18 ft. wide and 90 ft. long.
They come with one floor and a different number of rooms and provide a surprising number of options for customization—so layouts and design can vary significantly.
Single wides—often the choice of young families and those who plan on moving—are transported as a single unit to the site.
Double-Wide Mobile Home
A double-wide mobile home is more spacious and private when it comes to a double-wide vs single-wide determination. The typical double-wide size is up to 90 ft. in length and 20 ft. or more in width.
Due to each unit’s standards, this structure provides more privacy because of better sound isolation between the units than in a site-built home.
The double-wide consists of two units, prefabricated and placed together on the site. So if professionals join these units, there’s no room for concern about leakage or similar problems.
Triple-Wide and Multi-Section Manufactured Homes
Mobile home types also include the triple-wide and multi-section manufactured homes that consist of three or more separate units, most resembling site-built houses. The number of units depends on the needs of the customer. This type is the largest and most difficult one to move.
Nowadays, you can find luxurious mobile homes with walk-in closets, custom-made ceilings, jacuzzis, and more. You can also upgrade your home by adding extra units.
|NOTE: According to Statista, as of 2020, Texas has the most significant number of mobile homes in the US at 108,282, followed by Florida and Louisiana.
|Mobile homes are manufactured in factories, placed on transportable trailer chassis, and secured by tying them down.
|Mobile homes can be single or double-wide and multi-sectional, depending on the size and number of units.
|Living in a mobile house can be significantly cheaper but requires land with essential utilities.
|Mobile homes could be set up on a permanent foundation.
Advantages of Living in a Mobile Home
The affordable prices of mobile homes can grant you the opportunity of homeownership. It also affords cheaper maintenance. And with its manufactured standards, a mobile home is energy-efficient, compact, and transportable. As a result, you can enjoy more space and comfort for the money.
What types of mobile homes are there on the market? This question infers good alternatives if you’re not ready to commit to a site-built house or not sure about your living place. Of course, you can always rent the land to place your mobile home on and be prepared to move. (Besides, you’ll have your own living space wherever you go.)
Quicker Move-in Time
Once you choose a mobile home to your liking, chances are you won’t need to wait for months to move in. Because the construction process doesn’t depend on the weather or subcontractors, the usual obstacles causing delayed construction are excluded. So the option of moving into a mobile home is much faster, depending on the mobile home classification.
Remove the Chassis and Apply for a Loan
In some cases, you can be eligible for a mortgage with a mobile home that has been constructed or placed in a location permanently. Check with your lender about all the possibilities and requirements you should meet to qualify for this option. (You can also look for a mortgage lender suitable for bad credit if that’s your situation.)
Disadvantages of Living in a Mobile Home
Even though living in a mobile home presupposes less cost, its value quickly decreases. But still, it’s not much of an investment.
Additional Shelter if in a Storm-Prone Area
Although a mobile home is compact and has a firm structure, you might want to look for additional shelter if you’re located in an area with stormy weather.
|NOTE: What is a mobile home as property? Mobile homes are classified as personal property, not real property—making them more expensive to finance. Despite being cheaper than site-built houses, loan terms are less favorable for this type of financing.
Living in a mobile home can be budget-friendly and liberating in many ways, but it also comes with limitations that are not for everyone. This article has aimed to give you a good perspective on purchasing a mobile home and which type fits your needs—or nudge you to find another solution for your housing situation.
Yes, it typically is cheaper—one reason why some choose them over site-built homes. But note that they are considered personal property and not real property. As a result, loan terms are different and less favorable compared to those for site-built houses.
Small mobile homes are called single units—the smallest type consisting of only one prefabricated unit. They are typically long and narrow, with customizable floor plans to suit different needs.
Mobile homes are built from quality materials and can last for decades if properly maintained. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, they’re expected to last between 35 and 55 years. But keep in mind that the lifespan of some types of mobile homes depends on several factors.
Living in a mobile home has its advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider (above) before deciding whether you should buy a house or a mobile home.