In the authorís opinion, I think of
older mobile homes as trailers with a metal roof. The interior walls are
constructed from panel board that is usually coated with a hard surface
for wear and tear. Older homes usually have a few holes in the walls
that are covered by painted tape. Single pane windows with steel
storms that tend to frost up over winter was the standard. On the
older mobile homes, the exterior is usually metal siding and newer mobile
homes are wrapped in vinyl siding. Yes, these homes have an axle below
them and were driven to the home site that is usually within a mobile home
park. They range in price from a few thousand dollars to the price
of a good used car. These homes are a great alternative to apartment
living when comparing square footage and costs.
When the term mobile home was viewed unfavorable by the public, the
industry decided to change the name to manufactured home.
Manufactured homes are mobile homes with minor improvements. If it
looks and feels like a mobile home, it is a mobile home. A new
singlewide manufactured home in 2015 will cost approximately $45-60,000
with transportation (factory to site) and set-up. A drywall interior
and ceramic flooring including oak cabinetry will cost slightly more.
HUD manufactured homes were the next invention of the industry. Most of
these homes are constructed to almost the same standards of stick-built homes.
Simply put, a very nice home assembled on rails with an axle. My
thoughts, mobile homes and true HUD manufactured homes have only two
things in common; both are built on a factory floor and both have an axle.
A true quality modular home is unique. Yes, it is a factory built home
constructed to the same International Energy Conservation Code as a site built home without the
additional cost. These homes are constructed in sections and shipped on
flat bed semi-trucks to the home site. Then, a 100 ton crane stacks the
boxes together and the setup crew completes the process. When it comes to
modular homes, you have choices, ranch, cape cods and two story homes.
Depending on your area, the savings on a typical ranch modular home is
about 5 percent over a site built home. Plus, a true quality modular
home appreciates in value when located on land.
There are many dealers/ manufacturers who produce and sell cheap so called
modular homes with panel walls. If you are buying a modular home for
$65-75k, it is usually a manufactured home without the axle.
Panelized homes are the next
generation of factory built homes. There is a huge demand in 2015 for
these homes throughout the country including Michigan. It is a stick built
home created in panels that is assembled onsite. This concept offers the
same benefits of a modular home but is essentially a true stick built
As a home inspector for 17 years whose company has inspected over 5000
individual homes, I would feel comfortable recommending a true IECC quality
modular home or panelized home to my family and friends. If the basement was
completely finished and set-up completed properly, the only obvious clue
of modular construction is the split attic trusses.
My mother once told me, home is where you lay your head down at night and
sleep. In the end, we buy or rent what we can afford to rest and sleep.