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

NLC Loans offers manufactured home financing when many other lenders do not. One of the most common questions we receive as a manufactured home lender is “what is the difference between a manufactured home and a mobile home?” There are some very distinct differences between the two that will make it very simple for you to tell. 

Permanent Foundation

The most important distinguishing characteristic between a manufactured home and a mobile home is the status of its foundation. Mobile homes use a mechanism called “tie downs” to anchor them to the ground. Tie downs keep the mobile home in place and are very reliable, but they are designed so that the home can be moved from place to place. 

Manufactured homes that are eligible for financing through NLC Loans have permanent foundations, such as a poured basement or a concrete slab. A home may also be considered to be eligible if it is scheduled to be placed on a permanent foundation before the loan application is processed. 

Sufficient Size and Square Footage

Mobile homes come in a variety of sizes, as do manufactured homes. Some mobile homes are considered to be “single wide”– meaning that they are usually 8-12 feet in width. They may have as little as 400 square feet of living space inside. Eligible manufactured homes will be considered “double wide” will be no less than 20 feet in width and have no less than 600 square feet of living space inside. 

Some people think of a “double wide” and think it must be at least 16 feet wide, but the industry marker is actually just 12 feet. As long as a manufactured home is 12 feet wide at minimum and meet the minimum square footage requirement of 600, it can be considered eligible for financing or refinancing at NLC Loans. 

Land Owned by the Homeowner

In order for a manufactured home to be eligible for financing at NLC Loans, it must be located on land that is owned by the person who owns the manufactured home. Whether this is a small city lot or a huge country parcel of an acre or more, the lot of land in which the home is located must be owned by the homeowner. 

Many mobile homes are located on land that is leased from an owner or agency. Some mobile home developments have “lot rent” or monthly “lot fees” associated with living in the development. A home that is located on leased land of any kind will not be considered to be an eligible home. 

Manufacture Date

Eligible manufactured homes will have manufacture dates on or after June 15, 1976. Manufactured homes built before this date are automatically considered to be mobile homes, even if they meet the other requirements. The Department of Housing and Urban Development designated this based on manufacturing guidelines and eligibility for federally-funded mortgage products. 

Ready to Buy or Refinance? 

If you are ready to buy or refinance a manufactured home, or if you have more questions about manufactured homes, call one of NLC Loans’ Personal Mortgage Advisors toll-free at 877-480-8050 for a free, no-strings attached mortgage evaluation and to get pre-approved if you plan to purchase.