Understanding the difference between a modular home and manufactured home will empower you to make informed buying decisions, especially since these types of homes have different guidelines compared to standard properties.

Modular homes and manufactured homes are gaining popularity due to their affordability compared to site-built homes. But what sets them apart? Well, both modular and manufactured homes are types of prefabricated (prefab) homes, meaning their construction takes place in a factory, not on the final location. The key difference is that modular homes are assembled on-site, while manufactured homes arrive fully built.

Let’s dive deeper into the differences:

Construction and Land Ownership

Modular homes are transported in pieces (modules) to the home site, where they’re assembled on a foundation. These homes must be built on owned land and are permanent, just like conventional homes. On the other hand, manufactured homes are built on a chassis in the factory. They can be placed on a foundation or not and can be moved later, meaning the site isn’t permanent. The land can be either owned or rented.

Regulations for a Modular Home and Manufactured Home

Modular homes must comply with all applicable local codes and regulations, such as those set by the state, county, and city. They’re subject to the same rules as stick-built homes. Manufactured homes, however, must follow codes and regulations set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specifically for manufactured homes. These rules ensure the homes are safe and stable. They must carry a HUD sticker attesting to their compliance.


Modular homes are taxed just like conventional homes in the area. Manufactured home owners may pay property tax in some areas if the home is classified as real property and they own the land. However, many manufactured homes are classified as personal property, not real property.


Both types of homes are highly customizable. Manufactured homes can have basements, porches, and other features, and can look very similar to stick-built homes. They come in standard sizes: single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide. Modular homes are also endlessly customizable, with more flexibility in structure and size than manufactured homes.

Cost for a Modular Home and Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes are one of the most affordable housing options in the U.S. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to either buy land or rent a site to place the home, which adds to the cost. Modular homes cost more than manufactured homes but are less expensive than stick-built homes.


Modular homes appreciate in line with stick-built homes in the area. Manufactured homes can also appreciate, but this depends on the area.


Both types of homes are rising in popularity due to their affordability compared to site-built homes.

Mortgages for a Modular Home and Manufactured Home

It may be somewhat easier to get a mortgage for a modular home. Most lenders treat modular homes like site-built homes. However, getting a mortgage for a manufactured home can be more complicated for several reasons.


All types of loans can be used for both types of houses. You can get a Conventional loan for both modular and manufactured homes. You may also be eligible for government-backed mortgage programs.

In conclusion, both modular and manufactured homes offer advantages. The advantage to a modular home is their flexibility and customizability, while the chief advantage to a manufactured home is their affordability. However, when comparing a modular home and manufactured home, they are very different in many ways, so it’s crucial to understand these differences before making a decision.