How Mobile Homes Work | An Overview Of Manufactured Homes

Nov 19, 2018Blog, Buying a mobile home, FAQ

Buying a mobile home could be your first entrance into the real estate market. Or perhaps moving into a mobile home is a second (or even third) home purchase for you. Thus, while you’re not new to home buying, you are new to mobile homes. Whether it’s your first time or simply your fresh start, you’re thinking some information on how mobile homes work is in order.

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What a mobile home is

To begin with, you may be wondering just what a mobile home is. What are some characteristics of this kind of housing option? We’ll turn to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for some enlightenment here: “A manufactured home (formerly known as a mobile home) is built to the manufactured home construction and safety standards (HUD code) and displays a red certification label on the exterior of each transportable section. Manufactured homes are built in the controlled environment of a manufacturing plant and are transported in one or more sections on a permanent chassis.”

How mobile homes work: the chassis

You probably noticed the reference to the chassis above. The manufacturers build the mobile home on a frame or chassis. In fact, you may have seen the chassis of a mobile home passing by you on the road. Sometimes the portion of the chassis that tows the home is still visible when a home is set up.

What you can do with a mobile home

Now, you might be thinking a mobile home is like an RV – something you can easily and constantly move around from place to place. Not quite. Despite the word mobile in their very name, mobile homes are actually relatively sedentary these days. So, if you’re looking for a home to fuel your wanderlust, a mobile home isn’t exactly the best choice for your nomadic lifestyle.

A mobile home with wooden plank exteriors and glass sliding doors

Photo credit: Dwell

However, the word mobile isn’t a complete misnomer. A mobile home does move – at the very least from the factory where it was manufactured to the spot where someone will live in it. Additionally, it may be moved after that. Perhaps your particular home is going into a mobile home park because you like the idea of living in a community. Or maybe you’ve found your dream property and that’s where your home is headed.

Conveniently, this leads us directly to our next point of discussion: where to put a mobile home.

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Where you can put a mobile home

Several factors might affect mobile home placement. Of course, there are your own personal preferences. Since some of us enjoy living in a community, a mobile home park may be the option-of-choice for some people.

However, there are also those among us who crave remote locations and relative solitude. In which case, buying a beautiful, remote plot of land might be the way some people opt to go. Additionally, some people may wish to rent a home that someone else has already installed, whether in a picturesque country locale or in a busy suburban area.

Another factor that can affect where one places a mobile home is the law. Before you settle on a place to put your mobile home, be sure to check out any applicable laws. One way to do this is to get in contact with your locality’s code enforcer. On top of that, a mobile home retailer in your area may be able to give you an idea of what codes would apply to your home.

How you can get a mobile home

And mobile home retailers are actually good for a lot more than helping you get up to speed on housing codes in your area. In fact, as you may already know, they’re one way to actually procure your mobile home.

A mobile home on wheels

Photo credit: Mobile Homes Club

If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to purchase a used mobile home, the answer is yes. Obviously, though, you’re going to want to check if the home is in satisfactory condition.

A little more about mobile homes

As you learn about how mobile homes work, one thing that may be unfamiliar if you’ve only lived in stick-built homes before is tie-down requirements. These are methods for anchoring your home. To keep your home safe and to be in compliance with the codes in your area, learn what kind of anchoring is required where you’ll be living. Places to look for this information include mobile home information provided by your manufacturer and housing codes in your area.

We hope you’re feeling more knowledgeable about how mobile homes work. Plus, you may even have gleaned some personal insights into whether this housing option will be a good fit for you and your family. Check out our blog for more insights on all things mobile home.

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