Mobile Home Or Manufactured Home

Dated: 01/16/2018

Views: 538

I recently came across this question when I called city of Lago Vista in Texas and asked if my buyer/client is able to put a mobile home on a lot he is considering to purchase and the answer was No! However a manufactured home is approved. HUH? I was puzzled because I never really knew what the difference was other than the looks of it. So lets delve in and learn what the difference is plus removing some of the misconceptions.

The first thing to note is the term "Mobile or Trailer Homes" refers to homes built prior to 1976 when HUD code governing the standards for "factory-built homes" was instituted which by the way greatly improved the quality standards.

The Date Built

Mobile hoImage titlemes and manufactures homes share the same history. Back in 1920s the automobile became popular and people started creating trailers. The name trailer was used because vehicles "trailed" behind a truck or van. Trailers were cool and vacationers wanted to have a camp on the go. Then the depression hit around 1930s and many families lost their jobs and homes then eventually some started living in the trailers. They were were never intended for full-time dwellings so they slowly lost their zeal. However when our men came back home from WWII they were used as emergency housing on military bases. Families were able to take their homes with them when they were sent to different military bases or where the jobs were at.

In 1950s they were factory produced in massive quantities. As time passed they got bigger, longer, wider with lots of items that provide the comforts of a mini home. After-awhile the trailers became taboo again so the industry renamed them to Mobile Homes to gain traction. They still had wheels and were not permanently attached to any property. VIN numbers were assigned and you were able to get a loan for them very similar to a car loan.

Then 1976 came around and the industry came in once again and decided to make stricter standards for the mobile home with codes to follow.  Reason being to ensure the structure and quality for higher standards because people were using them as a permanent residence. 

From a pure standpoint in time as of July, 15, 1976 and beyond the correct term should be 'Manufactured Home'.

The HUD Code

In June of 1976, the United States Congress passed the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Act (42 U.S.C.), which assured that all homes were built to tough national standards.A manufactured home essentially is different from a mobile home. The HUD code established strict federal standards for the construction of manufactured homes. It involves the regulation, construction and quality of all aspects of building which must be followed when manufacturing these houses, including:

  • Design and construction

  • Strength and durability

  • Transport-ability

  • Fire resistanceImage title

  • Energy efficiency

  • Overall quality

  • Performance standards for all house systems, including electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning

Its important to understand that before it was federally regulated these homes were built without any standards. The HUD code was a very big step upward ensuring good quality in manufactured housing. Hence the term ‘Mobile Home’ refers to pre-1976 and unregulated construction and "Manufactured Home" refers to post-1976 regulated with specific code/rules for durability, safety and design.

The Perception 

How to overcome this perception: Understanding the difference, will provide the knowledge that Manufactured Homes are built to strict HUD code standards. We must give credit and  know the key items listed in the HUD Code section above and know these manufactured homes are built with great care and high standard. The "name changed" to identify the difference which helps to remove the stigma that comes with theImage title trail/mobile homes. Remember prior to 1976 and the HUD Code they were linked to  poverty, low quality, and old homes of which people took offense to. So in today's world we should speak in correct terms and not use the ‘mobile home’ but rather 'manufactured home' to help get rid of the negative perception. Image title

Today they are beautiful, functional and sometimes even indistinguishable from site-built homes allowing them to be placed among single family homes such as in Lago Vista. As long as you follow the town rule you should be good to go. Before purchasing a lot call the town and ask if allowed on that particular lot and what are the restrictions such as built on a foundation, certain heights restrictions and more. Also you will be informed to match the quality and price range of the surrounding homes which is important to maintain the standards within the community. It must fit in per-say. 

So if a manufactured home is what you are wanting then here are lots to pick from that are available in Lago Vista, but call before you purchase. 

Lago Vista Lots


Blog author image

Awilda Caberto

I am based in the greater Northwest Austin, TX area and I am determined to be the real estate consultant of choice and have some fun while we are looking for your next home or Lot. Just to share a b....

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