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

Take a fresh look at a manufactured homes

What is the Difference Between a Manufactured Home and a Mobile Home?
(Submitted photo)

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

Manufactured Homes

  • The preferred name is “manufactured home.”
  • Definition: dwellings made for human habitation engineered according to strict federal Housing and Urban Development standards.
  • Constructed in a controlled indoor setting with little building materials waste.
  • After installation, manufactured homes are rarely moved to another location.

Mobile Homes

  • Before June 14, 1976, manufactured homes were called “mobile homes.”
  • Like manufactured homes, they were built in plants, but without the stricter Housing and Urban Development (HUD) code currently in place.
  • 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 includes fifth wheels, recreational vehicles, and campers.
  • Trailers have license plates; manufactured homes never do.

Modular Homes

  • Modular homes are factory-built dwellings constructed to local (rather than federal) building standards.
  • They’re often placed on cement foundations or basements and become real estate for taxation purposes.

Site-built Homes

  • Also called “stick-built homes.”
  • Built on open lots where wind and weather can affect quality, cost, and time.

“One hundred percent of the time buyers are surprised by the space, quality, and livability of manufactured homes, many of which have full garages,” says Barbara Hames-Bryant, President of Hames Homes in Cedar Rapids. “We encourage people to come to our sales office at the corner of Wilson Avenue and West Post Road Southwest, or view our extensive home inventory online at”

Hames Homes

5410 Wabash St. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404