Kit Homes vs Mobile Homes: Comparisons In Appearance & Cost

Aug 29, 2018Blog, Buying a mobile home

Recently, you heard the term “kit home” thrown around when friends were talking about housing options. You know what mobile homes are, but you’re kind of curious what kit homes are. Plus, you’re thinking if it’s a viable option you’ll keep it “on the table” when you need to find a new place to live.

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Let’s define some terms, here

We’re going to start out here by defining a couple terms for you. Maybe the idea of defining terms seems more like a principle you’d use in debating or lecturing, but it can be useful even for friendly blog posts.

What is a kit home?

For our description of a kit home, we’re going to turn, appropriately, to Kitome, designers of kit homes. They offer the following: “In a nutshell, a kit home is a house where most of the components of the home are prefabricated and are brought to your property where it is assembled. It’s like putting a huge ‘kit’ together.”

Now, if you’re itching to know even more, check out some history here.

And what is a mobile home?

Next, let’s address mobile homes. Of course, you probably have a working understanding of what a mobile home is – especially if you live in one. Additionally, if you live in one you know more than just what it is, you also know a bit about how it feels to make one your dwelling place.

But here’s a description, anyway.

For this next description, we turn to a USLegal. They provide this: “A mobile home may be defined as a movable or portable dwelling built on a chassis, connected to utilities, designed without a permanent foundation, and intended for year-round living.”

Now that we’ve got some fundamental terms set down, let’s go ahead and address a couple other things before we move into our comparisons.

Let’s talk about money

Of course, some people may prefer to keep money issues private. But, when it comes to buying structures for living in, money is kind of important. Plus, in this case, we feel it’s important to remind you that how much you’ll pay for a mobile home or a kit home will vary.

Furthermore, be advised that while we may repeat possible prices below as we compare some homes, this is not a guarantee of any kind. Thus, don’t take these numbers as representative of how much you’ll pay for a mobile home or a kit home. Even if you see numbers associated with the homes we’re looking at, remember that homes may cost different amounts depending on where you live and where you buy.

Other things to keep in mind

Additionally, when you’re thinking about money, knowledge is power. Take it upon yourself to know what is and isn’t included in what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re purchasing a kit home, research what’s included. You may think a price quoted to you includes sheetrock for all the walls, but did you check?

Similarly, with a mobile home, you may have forgotten to account for all your costs. Did you remember to determine the amount you’ll have to pay to have the home moved to your location?

When comparison shopping, you’ve got to remember to take everything into account. Don’t look at numbers thrown out and assume that’s all you’ll be paying. Search for “hidden costs.” And ask good questions.

Case in point

For example, here’s what we’re talking about. If you were purchasing a kit home from Shelter-kit, you’d definitely want to check out what is and isn’t included. After listing some of the things their kit does include, they continue, “We do not include any interior materials, except sub-floors, stairs, and structural partitions. We also do not include porch railing systems or decorative trim.”

In short, educate yourself before you make decisions.

Drum Roll, Please…

Next, it’s time to head into our comparisons.

Comparison 1: Sequoia vs. The Maywood

First up, let’s look at the Sequoia manufactured home and The Maywood kit. Take a look at them yourself. We’re sticking these two together based on the similar square footage. They are 533 and 600 square feet, respectively, according to the websites linked above.

A cottage-like kit home

Photo credit: Shelter-Kit, Inc.

Naturally, these are not expansive homes. With a single bedroom, they are best suited to individuals or couples rather than large families. Below are the dollar figures mentioned on the websites, but keep in mind that you should search for and carefully read all the fine print in each home’s listings.

Comparison 2: Riverbend vs. The T N R

Next, let’s take a quick peek at another two. This time it’s the Riverbend kit and The T N R manufactured. You can view the Riverbend, a homey-looking place with a deck, chimney, and garage, here. If you compare the appearance of The T N R to it, you’ll notice they don’t look too similar. However, the rendition of The T N R includes a 2-car garage, so the appearance of garages links their looks a bit.

The primary similarity here is their square footage. The Riverbend comes in at 1,618 and The T N R at 1600.

Comparison 3: The Karina vs. Voyager

Third, we’re headed to look at The Karina kit and Voyager. Check out the majestic height of The Karina. Looks tall, doesn’t it? Of course, the Voyager won’t likely be stretching up quite that high.

Prices linked to the two of these:

Have a favorite?

Hope you enjoyed our thoughts on kit homes and mobile homes. Maybe you just loved one of the homes we talked about here. If you’ve decided it’s time to make a move out of the mobile home you’re in, here’s a helpful checklist for getting ready to sell.

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