Mobile Home vs House | Key Differences To Consider When Choosing Between Them

by | Mar 5, 2018 | Blog, Buying a mobile home, Renting a mobile home

You’ve seen what it is to compare a tiny house and trailer against a mobile home. Now it’s time that we arrive at the final installment of our three-part series about mobile homes and their competitors. And what better way to end this series than to compare a mobile home vs house?

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Yes, we’re taking on the most popular and most coveted housing option in the nation. A stick built home. What are the noteworthy differences between the two housing options and what are the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other?

As with the two previous articles, our aim is to help you come to an informed conclusion on what type of housing is best for you and your family.

Mobile home vs house

Before any discussion continues, it’s important we establish definitions so as to be sure we’re all on the same page.

Mobile home

As we’ve discussed mobile homes in the last two installments, we’ll be brief and to the point in the definition. A mobile home is simply a home that is built indoors, within a factory. These mobile homes come on a steel chassis. The manufacturer or new owner will move them to a lot within a mobile home community or onto privately owned land.


Single unit homes are among the most popular forms of housing for families in the U.S. These homes are built on location, taking anywhere between three to twelve months.

Every aspect of the home is assembled on site and there it will remain forever right where it is built. Contractors order the materials to be delivered to the site where they are used in the construction process.

The interior of the home is exposed to the elements until the installation of the exterior walls, roofing, and windows.

Traditional, tried and true, site-built homes have stood the test of time throughout U.S. and world history.

Traditional house

The key differences: mobile home vs house

Although both forms of housing provide shelter and may even look similar nowadays, they each carry their own key differences. Below, we’ll take a look at the most prominent and key differences between a mobile home vs house.

Turn around time

A site-built home can take three to twelve years, depending on how speedy the contractors work. Other factors such as weather and finances may play a part in delaying the home’s completion.

On the other hand, a mobile home can be built from the bottom up within days to two weeks. The mobile home’s short period of construction keeps the cost of the home within a range of greater affordability.

Construction process

Contractors build a house on-site, leaving it exposed to whatever whim the weather takes. A house is also subject to a variety of contractors and workers that will come to work on the various aspects of the house. You have no guarantee that theft won’t arise from this arrangement.

House under construction

Most of the mobile home materials are pre-measured and ready to be put into place. The manufacturing facility has crews dedicated to each phase of the construction process.

First, works build the steel frame put the walls in place. Next comes flooring. Then onward moves the home to other construction departments until the exterior is in place. One final inspection and the home is ready to be moved to a lot in a mobile home community, or to privately owned land.


Generally speaking, there are not many restrictions on site-built homes. Some states may have more or fewer regulations for each phase of the construction process. Usually, the law requires contractors to be licensed. Regular inspections throughout the process are another possible requirement.

However, mobile homes fall under greater restriction. They must meet the standards set forth by the HUD code. Different locales may have restrictions on whether a mobile home may replace a house. And if they are legal, your zone may make specific demands on the material used for your exterior and roofing. Specifics on installation are also something to look up when researching your area’s demands.

HUD laws are what have brought mobile homes out of their stigma and into a more positive light. The bar has certainly be raised and made them a worthy competitor against site-built homes.

With so many housing options to consider …

What will you choose? Here we’ve arrived at the end of our analysis of mobile home vs house. It’s the last of our three-part series on mobile homes and their alternatives (trailertiny house, site-built home). We hope you found it to be an informative tour. While the mobile home is currently growing in popularity, all these homes carry their own special charm.


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