What is the Difference between a Manufactured Home and a Mobile Home?

March 31, 2021

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Juliet muses to herself in Shakespeare’s classic love story. Whether you call it a manufactured home or mobile home it’s still safe, affordable, attractive housing.


·         The preferred name for our product is manufactured home[i]

·         Definition: dwellings made for human habitation engineered according to strict federal Housing and Urban Development standards. 

·         Constructed in a controlled indoor setting.  Little building materials waste.  Inputs are ordered and matched to each manufactured home built.  

·         After installation, they’re rarely moved to another location.  


·         Before June 14, 1976 manufactured homes were called “mobile homes”. 

·         Like manufactured homes, they were built in plants, but without the stricter HUD building rules that currently exist. 

·         There haven’t been any mobile homes built since 1976.  You’ll only find “mobile homes” available in the resale market.


·         Trailers are meant to be transportable, and can be relocated. 

·         Includes fifth wheels, recreational vehicles and campers. 

·         Trailers have license plates; manufactured homes never do.


·         Factory-built homes constructed to local (rather than federal) building codes. 

·         Often placed on cement foundations or basements and become part of the real estate for taxation purposes.


·         Also called “stick built homes”

·         Built on open lots where wind and weather can affect the quality, cost and time to build them.

View Hames’ extensive selection of beautiful manufactured homes for sale online, or visit our Grand View open house at 5410 Wabash St. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, open 7 days a week.  Contact us or call us at (319) 377-4863.


[i]       Legal definition of a manufactured home according to Iowa Code 661-16.620(4):  A structure transportable in one or more sections when erected on site measure 8 body feet or more in width and 40 body feet or more in length or when erected on a site that is 320 or more square feet in area, which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling unit with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems contained therein.

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