These days, modular homes have become totally modern. Gone are the days of ho-hum designs, which often made it difficult to tell the difference between a modular home and a mobile home. Some of today’s modular homes have taken on an ultra-modern theme in look as well as function.

What’s the Difference?

First off, let’s recall the difference between modular and mobile. A modular home is manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. They can even be placed on top of a basement foundation. Mobile homes are built on a steel frame and come with wheels, which are removed when the home is placed on-site. Another great thing about modular homes is that they can qualify for a conventional mortgage from lenders like Quicken Loans. Mobile homes do not qualify for mortgages. Check out this post for more info on the differences between modular and manufactured homes.

Efficiency Rules

According to Popular Mechanics magazine, these modular prefab homes are way more efficient. “By using less space and materials, prefab homes preserve natural resources, while leaving the smallest of footprints. They are usually manufactured in a way that leaves a smaller ecological footprint than conventional on-site construction.”

My Favorite Modular Home Designs

Here are a few of my very favorite designs. I won’t get into the pricing of each of my faves, but I’ve included a link to each manufacturer. I’m just diggin’ what I’m seein’!

First Living Home

Awesome Modern Modular Home Designs










This beauty is called the First Living Home. It was designed by Architect Ray Kappe and was recently certified LEED Platinum (the highest certification) by the United States Green Building Council. It was built off-site and installed in just eight hours! Check out this one and others at


Awesome Modern Modular Home Designs - Quicken Loans Zing Blog









Method Homes designed and built this thoroughly-modern modular. Dubbed the M2, it has two bedrooms and one and a half baths. Note that the ceilings are rough-sawn plywood while the exterior siding is made from corrugated metal. The living/dining and bedroom modules are connected by a suspended, glass-filled bridge.


Awesome Modern Modular Home Designs - Quicken Loans Zing Blog










Chase away the blues with this natural wood-themed modular home by Blu Homes. The Breezehouse features a glass-enclosed living area situated under a distinctive “butterfly” roof. Sliding glass doors open to connect the Breezespace to the outdoors, creating an “open-air living room that marries the home’s interior with the natural world surrounding it.”

Tumbleweed Connection

Awesome Modern Modular Home Designs - Quicken Loans Zing Blog










Now, this could be my favorite. It’s made from a steel shipping container. The modules are designed to fit snugly in an 8-foot-by-40-foot shipping container, and can be transported anywhere internationally for $5,000. The homes ship almost entirely complete – with plenty of green features like bamboo flooring, LED lighting, all-steel framing and FCC-certified woods. And the inexpensive shipping and more efficient, centralized production means all these features don’t carry a premium price. Find out more at

Do you have a cool modular house? Or have you seen one that really blows you away? Tell us about it and send us a snapshot. We’d love to see it! (Maybe you want to invite us over for dinner?)


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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hello Mike, I appreciate your post about modular homes. As an experienced modular home dealer and builder, my opinion is that this industry is poised to overtake the site-built housing market for homes in the 100-250k market within the next 10 years. Your article, and others like it, can only help the industry by communicating the affordability and flexibility of our product. I would like to make some suggestions for this post if you would be interested to talk with me. The homes that are shown in this post, while attractive and modern looking, will nonetheless be priced far and above the true target market for this product. If you would be willing, I would love to share some further thoughts on this. Thanks!

      1. Hi Joel:

        We appreciate your thoughts. While it is true that the homes mentioned in this post would no doubt be on the high end of the price range, sometimes it’s just really nice to be able to look at incredibly cool houses. That was definitely the goal here.

        While we have no immediate plans to do a follow-up article, we do keep a list of subject matter experts and I’m going to put you on that list for modular home considerations.

        Kevin Graham

  2. We just built a modern home on a wooded hillside in Carrboro NC (university town, next to UNC-Chapel Hill) similar to a style by many found in Dwell magazine. Its wonderful! We are looking to switch from our current ARM from our credit union to a fixed rate loan but was told by a local bank that it is simply not done these days – modern homes can’t get fixed rate loans.

    Is this the case, do you know, or can you suggest what next step to take?

    Thank you for any advice you have.

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