Manufactured Home Longevity: How Long Do They Last?

Manufactured Home Longevity

When making a hefty investment such as purchasing new land or a home, it is always best to weigh out the pros and cons. One of the main factors to consider when making your decision is if your purchase is durable enough for you to get a positive ROI (return on investment).

This not only includes how functional, convenient, and reasonably easy to maintain the investment could be. It also includes the average lifespan of each purchase, and how much you should expect to spend in order to keep it at its tip top shape.

In this article, we discuss the average lifespan of most manufactured and mobile homes, and the many factors that can affect this. We also tackle many strategic ways you can add years to your investment and enjoy it for a longer time.

Back To Basics: Mobile Home vs Manufactured Home

This article will discuss the differences between how long a mobile home can last versus the lifespan of an average manufactured home, and the factors that contribute to the results. Because of this, it is important to start with the basics.

What is the difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home?

There is only one major difference between the two. Mobile homes are factory-built structures that have been constructed before June 15, 1976. This date is significant to mobile and manufactured homes as this was when the national HUD code was implemented.

Manufactured homes, on the other hand, are factory-built structures constructed after the national HUD code was put into place. This makes manufactured homes much safer, more durable, and compliant with modern regulations.

Cut To The Chase: How Long Do Mobile Homes Last?

Mobile homes constructed before the national HUD code implementation are expected to last an average of 15 to 20 years. This depends on the mobile home’s location, maintenance, usage, climate of the area, and much more. With proper care and calm weather, a mobile home of this age can easily last a couple of decades.

Cut To The Chase: How Long Do Manufactured Homes Last?

Since manufactured homes are those constructed in compliance with the national HUD code, they are expected to last much longer than older mobile homes. If built in accordance with the regulations set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is properly maintained throughout its use, a manufactured home can last an average of 30 to 55 years.

How Long Do Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes Last And The 5 Factors That Affect This

Manufactured Home

We have already established that the implementation of the national HUD code plays a big role in how long your mobile home or manufactured home can last. Below, we delve into the specifics of the HUD tag, as well as the other factors that can shorten or lengthen your home’s life expectancy.

On average, you can enjoy your investment anywhere between 15 to 55 years, with the actual lifespan depending on the following factors:

The HUD Tag

All manufactured homes need to have the HUD tag attached to it for physical proof that the structure complies with the national code and is fit to be lived in.

This tag, which can only be issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is a 2” by 4” sized plate made of metal. It is to be attached to an exterior wall located in each section of the mobile home. It should be fairly easy to spot since it is made with silver writing on a red background.

Single wide homes shall have one tag, while a double wide home should have two tags. More often than not, you can find this attached to the rear end of the home, situated about a foot from the side and a foot from the bottom.

Homes that have this tag are manufactured after June of 1976.

HUD Mobile Home Specifications

Hud Homes

There are a few things that fall under HUD Laws Regarding Mobile Homes. By ensuring that your home complies with each of these, you can rest assured knowing your investment is safe, durable, and a sound place to spend most of your hours in.

Some of the mobile home specifications under the HUD code include:

SIZE. The manufactured home must be at least 400 square feet in size.

CEILINGS. The ceilings within the home must be at least 7 feet high. This applies to bathrooms and other habitable spaces. However, storage rooms and hallways only need to be at least 6 feet and 6 inches high.

OUTSIDE SPACES. Mobile homes must now be structured with at last two exterior spaces. For single wide homes, these spaces need to be at least 12 feet, while double wide homes must have spaces that are at least 20 feet.

FLOOR SPACE PER OCCUPANT. For bedrooms specifically designed to fit one person, the floor space must be at least 50 square feet. However, bedrooms designed for two people must have at least 70 square feet. Moreover, each of the bedrooms must have a window connected to the outside.

VENTILATION. Both the bathroom and kitchen must have a mechanical ventilation system.

VIN NUMBER. A Mobile home vin number is a code specific to your mobile home that holds many details regarding your manufactured home. It can typically be found on the HUD tag. Homes with more than one section would usually have different VIN for each of the sections.

The kind of details contained within your VIN include:

Your home’s manufacturer. The first 3 digits of your home’s VIN is the code of the factory it was built in.

The state wherein it was constructed. After the initial 3 digits, the next 2 letters are what showcase which state the home was constructed in.

Identification number. Next up are the 6 digits that showcase the home’s unique serial number.

Section code. Lastly, the section code. This is to inform you whether or not the manufactured home has more than one section. If your manufactured home is a single wide unit with one, sole section, then it need not have a section code.

However, sections specified as A or B are for either double wide units or triple wide units.

Permanent Steel Chassis

Permanent Steel Chassis - Manufactured Homes

Manufactured homes made of quality building materials are mostly built with only wood and metal. Because of this, they are much lighter when compared to site built homes. A traditional site built home may be structured with bricks, mortars, and cement, which make them much heavier overall.

To ensure durability and strength, modern manufactured homes are now built on permanent steel chassis. These are designed to last decades and are also supported by a foundation that goes from the chassis itself, down to the ground.

Fire Resistant

Even after the initial HUD code was set, the regulations listed under it was continually improved to ensure the best kind of manufactured homes are distributed throughout the market. One of the latter improvements is to ensure that all manufactured homes must have some form of fire resistance.

This is due to the fact that Mobile Home Fires can be quite common when the home’s mechanical system has not been properly checked or maintained throughout its lifespan.

Local Building Codes

Local building codes are in place to ensure that each manufactured home adheres to the specific regulations of the area. These are minimum design and construction requirements that help ensure resilient homes by reducing risk of casualties, damage, and cost to fix damages.

To learn more about the building codes in your area, check our article on: Mobile Home Foundation Requirements Listed By General Area

How to give your manufactured home a longer life span

Manufactured Home

While the above factors play an important role in the lifespan of your home, you may also further add years to your investment through the following:

Keeping up with maintenance

Being on top of maintenance for both large scale areas and smaller things is important. Some tasks to have ticked off on the regular include

  • Re-leveling your home once doors and windows do not close properly
  • Caulking of all exterior seams in areas that moisture is present.
  • Ensuring that all windows are in their tracks and latching
  • Fixing any plumbing leaks
  • Identify if there are soft spots in the floors and having them fixed
  • Fixing any wiring issues
  • Patching up cracks in the walls
  • Checking the roof seal, shingles, and other roof maintenance tasks
  • Checking for rust, especially if you have a metal roof
  • Keeping the skirting in good shape

Being vigilant about water damage

Water damage is by far one of the worst kinds of damage your manufactured home can experience. Any plumbing issues that cause a leak can quickly affect nearby materials, and hasten the deterioration of your home. If water damage is not fixed right away, it can only grow worse.

If the area your home is located is prone to heavy downpour, one major maintenance check to have regularly is on your roof. Keeping the exterior properly painted and sealed off can lessen the risk of water damage.

Choosing the right location

Any type of property can gain value so long as it is in the right location. When determining which area is best for your manufactured home, it is important to consider if the land provides ample support and serves as a good foundation. Moreover, being aware of the weather conditions within the area can help you better prepare your home.

Reasons to Be Optimistic About the Longevity of Mobile Homes

Mobile Homes

While there are pros and cons in any situation, there are many advantages to investing in mobile homes and reasons to be optimistic that you will get a positive ROI.

You can learn more about how to determine the worth of your manufactured home in this article: How Much Is My Manufactured Home Worth?

You may also find a detailed guide on how to sell your mobile home for the best price in this article: Mobile home values.

Mobile homes are designed for safety and efficiency

Manufactured homes are built inside a factory, which means that they are engineered with much precision and built to be very robust. It is to withstand many types of weather and transportation from one location to another.

There are federal manufactured home construction standards in place during the factory production process and construction process of manufactured housing, which ensures utmost strength and durability.

Stable Labor Force

The mobile home industry has been around since the early 1900’s and it has only gotten stronger. The modernization of safety and construction standards keeps the latest production of mobile homes ensuring that supply and demand will continue on for years to come. With such a stable labor force, owners of manufactured homes can also better enjoy proper maintenance check from professionals.

HUD inspects manufactured homes

Manufactured homes today must comply with the national HUD code, otherwise, the unit will not be deemed fit to transport and live in. Because each unit goes through a thorough inspection, every home delivered is expected to be durable, stable, and functional.

Factors That Negatively Impact a Manufactured Home’s Lifespan

Manufactured Home’s Lifespan

Similar to how there are many factors that could add to a mobile home’s lifespan, there are also others that have a negative impact on the unit. These include the following:

Improper Installation

The initial installation of the manufactured home is a crucial step because if this is not done right, many problems can arise later on. The installation process is highly technical and should only be done by trained professionals. Once it is through, have a seasoned inspector check before deciding to move into the home.

Foundation Problems

The foundation on which the home will be structured on is what supports the chassis. It is important to have quality foundation in order to reduce the risk of damage. By settling for poor foundation, chances are the home will eventually start to twist and flex, which causes walls and ceilings to crack, plumbing issues, and squeaky floors – among other issues.


There are bound to be minor problems as time passes, this is completely normal if the mobile home is continually lived in. However, ignoring these problems are what causes bigger ones to ensue.


1. Are manufactured homes ever a good idea?

Yes, manufactured homes make for a great investment, most especially if you are looking for either a starter home or a retirement home. They are highly affordable and offer all the great amenities you may find in a traditionally built house.

2. Do manufactured homes fall apart?

Trained professionals build manufactured homes with much precision. Moreover, each unit must comply with strict national HUD codes. These factors make these homes less susceptible to falling apart.

3. What are the life expectancy of a single wide and a double wide manufactured home?

Manufactured homes are expected to last between 30 to 55 years.

4. Can a manufactured home last 100 years?

While manufactured homes that comply with the strict national HUD codes are expected to last an average life expectancy of 30 to 55 years, they can last even longer with proper maintenance. Other factors that can lengthen its lifespan even more include the manufacturer, materials used, and climate it is exposed to.

5. Do manufactured homes keep value?

Yes, manufactured homes keep value. They do not depreciate over time because of the fact that demand continues to increase. Moreover, there are multiple manufactured home communities to offer support and guidance.

You’re All Set!

That’s all there is to know about the average lifespan of mobile homes and manufactured homes – and how you can further add years to your investment! If you are already an owner of a manufactured home and are looking to sell, we buy mobile homes! Contact us and get the best price on your property today!

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