Modular and Manufactured Homes: What's the Difference? - Quicken Loans Zing Blog

Not all homes are built from the ground up. If you were ever a fan of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a child, you’ll know that some houses are, indeed, built from the roof up instead. All kidding aside, there’s truly more than one way to build a house. Have you ever seen a house going down the freeway on a flatbed truck? Ever wondered what that was about? Today, let’s chat about two types of homes that you might see zooming down the freeway – modular and manufactured – and the differences between them.

What’s a Modular Home?

A modular home is a home that’s built in a factory and shipped to the homeowner’s lot, where it is pieced together, put on a foundation and completed. Like traditional homes, modular homes are placed on a permanent foundation and often have full basements. While the building process differs quite a bit from that of traditional homes, you’d be hard-pressed to identify a modular home just by looking at it. They can come in all sorts of layouts and designs, from a sprawling ranch or cape cod to a two-story colonial.

So why would you buy a modular home? There are many benefits to having your home constructed off-site. First, choosing a modular home over a site-built home can help you move into your new home faster. According to Tidewater Custom Modular Homes, conventional, site-built homes can take anywhere from six months to a year for completion, whereas modular homes allow homeowners to move in anywhere from two to three months after signing the contract – a pretty speedy process, if you ask me!

Second, quality is another benefit to consider when thinking about a modular home. When homes are built on-site, building materials are often subjected to the elements, and builders are forced to work in sometimes uncomfortable conditions. Wood can warp in the rain and the heat, and builders can get tired and lazy. And as states, “quality control is a more efficient function when inspectors are ‘on the job’ at all times.” In other words, your home will be extremely well-built since it’s produced under factory-controlled conditions and inspected at every turn. And since modular homes must conform to all local, state and regional building codes (just like traditional homes), you can rest assured that you’ll be moving your family into a safe, quality, well-built home that will stand the test of time.

Modular homes and financing

Most banks and mortgage companies, including Quicken Loans, finance modular homes. When you buy a modular home, your home’s value will usually increase over time – making modular homes just as smart a financial option as traditional, site-built homes.

What’s a Manufactured Home?

Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes and trailers, are completely constructed in the factory and built on a permanent, fixed, steel chassis. Newer manufactured homes, however, don’t always look like the double-wide trailer you might be picturing; they can be built with a variety of architectural styles, layouts and add-ons, like decks and porches.

Manufactured homes are usually built with wheels, which are detached after towing. Unlike modular homes, manufactured homes don’t have basements. While this theoretically allows manufactured homes to be moved from place to place, you can’t just put a manufactured home anywhere you please. The lot must be zoned for your particular type of manufactured home, and your home may have to meet certain local construction and set-up requirements. Manufactured homes are also subject to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code, which requires that manufactured homes be built on a permanent chassis.

So why would you purchase a manufactured home? Well, if you’re looking to own your own home, but don’t have the income or funds to purchase a traditional home, then a manufactured home may be right for you. While the cost can vary greatly depending on the size, materials and features you choose, you can get a manufactured home for as little as $20,000 or as much as $120,000, according to

Manufactured homes and financing

Quicken Loans does not currently offer financing for manufactured homes. However, if you’re interested in a manufactured home, there are a few other ways to finance one. According to, the most common method for financing a manufactured home is with a retail installment contract, which you can get through your retailer.

If you’re looking for a brand-new home to live in, you can usually save a little bit of money (and time!) by choosing to have your home constructed off-site. If you have any questions about modular or manufactured homes, shout ‘em out in the comments below!


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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. My boyfriend and I are looking into purchasing a home. He was already pre-approved with another mortgage company for over 200k, however we decided to give quicken loans a shot because we’ve heard many good things. Very disappointed. They said they will absolutely not help us with getting an fha loan on a manufactured home that is ON AN FHA APPROVED FOUNDATION. I am so confused. Can someone please help me to understand? I live in a very small town and a local bank said they would do the loan for us, but this big loan company wont? Why?

    1. Hi Keila:

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a poor experience with us. Unfortunately, there are different requirements for loans based on the type of property you have. We don’t currently offer loans on manufactured homes. I’ll pass on your feedback, though.

      Kevin Graham

      1. I’m a Realtor. This is totally ridiculous and probably costs quicken money. Most lenders will loan on manufactureds through secondary market loans to include FHA (if meets 8 requirements). Are you sure it’s not other way around? What’s the logic? The one I have in mind is on permanent foundation and converted to real property and tied down with metal bands along with meeting other FHA requirements). Who do you normally send to since these are very common loans?

        1. Hi Joe:

          I can get you to someone who might be able to give you more information. I can only tell you we don’t loan on manufactured homes at this time. I’ll make sure that your feedback gets passed on. Thanks for reaching out.

          Kevin Graham

  2. Wondering if any one can help me out here, we own our mobile home which is a double wide, we would like to put our home over a two car garage. Who is the best place to contact in Pennsylvania.?

    1. Sorry, Tammy. Quicken Loans does not currently finance mobile homes. That being said, it seems like you’re looking for a personal loan, rather than a mortgage. You should probably start by looking for personal loans. Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions.

  3. We are looking to buy a home. We were told it might be a manufactured home. It was built in 1999. It was built on a foundation with the basement. Since it was built they have added a porch a two car garage and a sunroom. It does not look like a manufactured home. How can I as a buyer know if it is a manufactured home? Thank you for any help!

    1. Hey there, Joe! A mobile or manufactured home should have a HUD tag (like a license plate for a home) near the breaker box (fuse box). That being said, there will only be a HUD tag if the home was built after 1978.

      You can also check with your county office. Their tax records usually show the property type as well.

      Let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. We are trying to sell our manufactured home but when we purchased it was bank owned….they gave us no title and didn’t surrender it to the court. Now we are trying to figure out how to get a duplicate title so financing is avalable for the new buyer…..any suggestions?

    1. That’s a difficult situation, Jessica. I would recommend that you speak with the bank that previously owned the manufactured home, as well as the title company. Speaking with a real estate agent (which shouldn’t cost you anything) or a lawyer (which might cost you something) would also be good options.

  5. Jake Chamberlain,

    I had the same question and from what i’ve found out, when it comes to manufactured homes in the sections of the home it will have a vin # in the color red, modulaur homes will have the color blue.
    Hope this helps!

  6. I want to take the chasis out from underneath my modular home. The floor is only 2×6 joist. If I install a beam the length of the basement would this be possible. I made a walkout in the basement but the installers said I need 24 jack posts. So now it is not much of a walkout.

  7. I was hoping you would also address how to tell the difference between a modular and manufactured that are already in place. I’m looking to buy a used home. How can i verify that what I’m looking at is a modular vs manufactured?


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