New Manufactured Homes, Modular homes and Mobile Homes

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Modular Home?

A modular home consists of sections or “modules” constructed in a factory, then delivered and set-up on-site. Modular homes come in pre-designed plans or can be customized to any shape or size. Modular homes follow the same building codes as site-built homes, but are stronger and more energy-efficient. Plus, it looks the same as a regular house.

Types of Modular Homes

Modular homes can either be on-frame or off-frame with differences in price, classification, and long-term value.

  • Off-frame – The most-common, highest-quality modular homes are lifted off of their transport frame and placed onto a permanent foundation, which makes them more expensive and difficult to relocate. These homes can appreciate in value like site-built homes since they have lasting foundations, and the buyers also own the land.
  • On-frame – These modular homes remain on a steel-frame chassis after delivery. Since the transport frame stays in place and they aren’t permanently attached to a foundation, many lenders and appraisers classify them as mobile homes. They’re more affordable because they don’t need a permanent foundation, and relocating them is easier.

How Are Modular Homes Built?

Modular home manufacturers build 80 to 90 percent of the home’s sections or modules in a factory. Factories construct the walls, install drywall, appliances, and roof framing, paint, and inspect for quality-control. The factory work happens simultaneously with on-site work to prepare the foundation.

Once the modules are delivered to the construction site, a crane lifts them into place over a permanent foundation. Contractors assemble the sections, connect the utility lines, and attach each piece to the foundation. Sometimes, the home is kept on the steel frame it was delivered on as part of the foundation.

Contractors complete the home finishings and conduct minimal inspections. Now the home is ready to move into.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Modular Home?

Building a modular home is 30% faster than a site-built house and takes 2 to 6 months for the construction, delivery, and assembly. The time depends on the size, customizations, and number of modules, and workers. The set-up time on-site takes only 4 to 6 weeks with a dozen workers.

Can You Put A Modular Home on a Slab?

Modular homes are typically built on a basement or pier-and-beam foundation with a crawl space. A concrete slab lacks the strength to support a modular home. The modular home’s weight causes cracking and settling on slabs, which leads to significant long-term damage.

Modular homes typically need space under the house for the HVAC, electrical, and plumbing connections during installation. If you buy an on-frame modular home, a permanent foundation is optional, which makes it cheaper. However, lenders may classify it as a mobile home, which may restrict your financing options.

Can Modular Homes Have Basements?

Modular homes can be built on a basement foundation or a pier and beam system with a crawl space. Adding a basement to a modular home costs $20,000 to $29,000 on average, depending on the size. Costs include design, permits, excavation, construction, and finishing costs.

How Long Do Modular Homes Last?

Modular homes last for as many years or longer than regular stick-built homes. Modular homes use higher-quality materials and construction, which means lower maintenance costs. Plus, their safer, undergo inspections to ensure quality control, and look the same as traditionally constructed homes.

Are Modular Homes Safe?

Modular homes are safe, permanent structures that meet building code standards and regulations like site-built homes. Modular homes use 15 to 20 percent more wood and undergo strict inspection and testing before delivery. That makes them stronger and safer than traditionally built homes.

Modular buildings are fixed to a solid basement foundation and are safer when dealing with flooding and hurricanes. Modular homes can withstand hurricane winds of 175-mph with less damage than traditional site-built houses and are recommended by FEMA.

Are Modular Homes A Good Investment?

Modular homes are a good investment because they increase in value over time, like any other property. Plus, they’re more energy-efficient and last as long as site-built homes. The highest appreciation rates are for modular homes with a permanent foundation that includes the land and building ownership.

Are Modular Homes Cheaper?

Modular homes are typically 10 to 20 percent cheaper than site-built homes and use the same quality materials. Modular-building saves on construction costs and all inspections are done in the factory. Plus, modular homes are more energy-efficient, which saves substantially on monthly expenses.

Can You Get A Loan For A Modular Home?

To get a modular home loan, the top financing options are USDA construction loans, FHA loans, and VA loans that can later be converted to a mortgage. Check with your local bank for available options. Also, reputable modular home builders will refer you to a recommended lender.

Still have questions? Ask a modular home pro. View Pros

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Average Modular Home Cost

The average modular home costs $50 to $100 per square foot or between $60,000 and $200,000 for a base model with delivery only. Modular home prices depend on the floor plan, number of bedrooms, and customizations. Setting up and installing a modular house adds $30 to $60 per square foot.

Start by getting free quotes from modular home bui

Start by getting free quotes from modular home builders near you or view the different plans and prices list below.

Modular Home Prices
Square Footage Base Model Cost Total Finished Cost
1 $50 – $100 $80 – $160
800 $40,000 – $80,000 $64,000 – $128,000
1,000 $50,000 – $100,000 $80,000 – $160,000
1,200 $60,000 – $120,000 $96,000 – $192,000
1,500 $75,000 – $150,000 $120,000 – $240,000
2,000 $100,000 – $180,000 $160,000 – $300,000
2,500 $125,000 – $215,000 $200,000 – $365,000
3,000 $150,000 – $260,000 $240,000 – $430,000
  • Base – Typically includes delivery and setting the modules in place by a crane and a small crew.
  • Finished – Typically includes land preparation, foundation, install and buttoning up, utility construction, permits, and optional additions.

Modular homes come in a variety of styles, including Ranch, Cape Cod, two-story, duplex, modern, and French country. Each builder may quote different services for their base and turn-key finished homes. Always check with the builder to make sure what exactly they include in the price.

Manufacturers build 90 percent of modular homes in a factory within 1 to 2 months, then deliver it in pieces to the site. Contractors prepare the land, connect the sections onto a foundation, and hook-up the utilities to complete construction.

 Average Modular Home Cost    National  Average Co

Average Modular Home Cost
National Average Cost $180,000
Minimum Cost $40,000
Maximum Cost $500,000
Average Range $120,000 to $270,000
  • Modular home building costs 10 to 20 percent less than stick-built homes, are built 30-60% faster, and last just as long.
  • They’re more energy-efficient and have lower monthly expenses than stick-built homes.
  • They appreciate in value like site-built homes and have greater construction and material quality.
  • They are generally safer and able to withstand flooding and hurricanes better than stick-built homes.
  • Select from pre-designed plans or customize your own new home.

Additional Costs to Consider

Utility Hookups

Electrical and telephone hookups should be discussed with the appropriate utility authorities that handle these hookups. If the manufactured home is located on an isolated property, then a substantial cost could be incurred for the hookup. Each utility can provide an estimate of the costs.

Delivery

Most manufacturers include delivery from the factory to the site if the site is within a fixed radius of miles, which in most instances is 100 miles (our internet pricing does not include delivery, setup, or sales tax). The purchaser is responsible for the expense of the additional miles beyond the radius of 100 miles as well as additional expenses necessary to deliver the home. These expenses include additional equipment and manpower required to access the installation site and place the home on the site. 

Consider looking through the costs of mobile home delivery if you don’t fall into the fixed radius that the factory covers.

Taxes

States and municipal governments within states establish a tax formula and a tax rate. Some states tax a manufactured home at the same rate as would be applied to a site-built home, or a stick-built home as some refer to the home constructed on-site. Some states like Florida have a tax that is similar to the license tax for a car. Local governments may add a tax, but even this tax is very low. Other states have significantly higher tax rates on manufactured homes.

The taxes are not set indeed and they can vary much depending on the type of mobile home you choose to get: brand new mobile home, small, single wide and so on. As the tax system is different you should consider checking the terms.

How much does a new manufactured home cost?

The cost of a new manufactured home depends on the size, model, and area you buy it in. The national average cost of a new manufactured homes shipped in October 2021 was $81,700 for a single-wide and $138,200 for a double-wide, according to the US Census Bureau. That has likely increased with inflation in early 2022.

On average, new manufactured homes cost the least in the Midwest and the most in the West.

RegionAverage sales price of new single-wideAverage sales price of new double-wide
Midwest$81,000$132,600
Northeast$74,000$138,700
South$81,900$136,000
West$85,000$150,400
Average sales price of new manufactured homes shipped in October 2021. Data from US Census Bureau.
Ready to buy a manufactured home? Connect with an experienced lender today.

See the potential

Manufactured homes can be a great alternative to purchasing a traditional home, especially in a competitive or high-priced market.

When you understand the full spectrum of costs associated with these options, you can decide whether a manufactured home fits within your budget and whether it’s a good choice for your homeownership goals.

And if it does, this can be a path to a brand-new, customized home that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

Check your eligibility to buy a manufactured home here.

*Pre-approval is based on a preliminary review of credit information provided to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which has not been reviewed by underwriting. If you have submitted verifying documentation, you have done so voluntarily. Final loan approval is subject to a full underwriting review of support documentation including, but not limited to, applicants’ creditworthiness, assets, income information, and a satisfactory appraisal.

**Debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is monthly debt/expenses divided by gross monthly income.

Some references sourced within this article have not been prepared by Fairway and are distributed for educational purposes only. The information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may not entirely represent the opinions of Fairway.

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