Although used interchangeably, “manufactured” and “mobile” home do not mean the same thing. The main commonality is that both mobile and manufactured homes are built in a factory. Because of this, they have both become popular alternatives to a traditional house (especially in San Diego). In 1976 the standards were updated to ensure a higher quality home was built and at that time they changed the name to “manufactured” home. If built before June 15, 1976, the home is considered a “mobile home” and if built after, the home is considered a “manufactured home”. However, there are also some important distinctions.

Mobile vs. Manufactured Houses

In the past, mobile homes were trailers that were pulled behind a truck on their own sets of wheels. The homes are manufactured in a factory and are delivered in their completed form. Once the mobile home gets to its final destination (San Diego, hopefully), it is hooked up to local utilities and possibly attached to a cement or concrete foundation.

Modern mobile homes range from small camping trailers to large double-wide or triple-wide luxury models. Very often, larger mobile homes are attached to foundations, so they aren’t mobile once that happens. That is why manufactured and mobile homes get confused with each other.
Because the parts are precisely machined in a factory and assembled to high standards, it’s fair to say that the manufactured home is as durable as any home that has been totally built onsite. Once the home has been completed, it’s virtually indistinguishable from a traditional house that has been built on a lot from scratch.

Are Mobile and Manufactured Homes Good Alternatives to Traditional Homes?

Yes! Both mobile and manufactured homes are likely to cost less than a stickbuilt house. Since the cost of new homes has been on the rise, people consider mobile and manufactured homes as alternative options to become homeowners. Additionally, San Diego luxury mobile homes are in high demand from people who are looking for a more affordable way to live while keeping all the swag of a modern home.

In contrast, others are looking for a way to downsize from a large home to a more minimal lifestyle. Even Elon Musk has downsized to a prefab manufactured home in Texas.

A mobile home may provide an affordable solution for housing, but a manufactured home has a better potential to serve as an investment as they can appreciate as time goes on.

Can you tell the difference between the mobile and manufactured home at the top of this post?

The reason it is hard to tell the difference is that mobile and manufactured homes have different building codes but do not necessarily look different visually.

Here is an example of a mobile home and manufactured homes. Can you tell which is which?

The blue home is a mobile home and the tan home is a manufactured home.