Manufactured Homes vs. ADUs

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Manufactured Homes vs. ADUs

Posted by Home Quest on July 13, 2023
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Homebuyers often ask us about different homes we sell at HomeQuest, and while the public hears a lot about mobile homes and Granny Flats, many don’t understand the difference between a mobile home, a manufactured home, and an ADU.

Mobile homes haven’t been built in California since 1976. At that time, the state and HUD changed the laws regulating how RV-style homes were manufactured and gave these factory-built homes a more standard and upgraded building code.

This change resulted in higher quality construction with manufactured homes now built with drywall, better insulation, dual-paned windows, energy-efficient sidewall options, and better electrical and plumbing. Known as manufactured homes since then, these homes are also built in a more environmentally friendly way than site-built homes.

In addition to improved construction, today’s manufactured homes can also have beautiful and modern features such as porches, granite or quartz kitchen countertops, farmhouse sinks, upgraded appliances, various cabinetry and flooring options, fireplaces, elegant lighting fixtures, and even stand-alone bathtubs. Some plans even come with an enclosed garage, making them look the same as site-built homes.

Manufactured homes can be one to three bedrooms and are ideal for a primary residence or even a weekend getaway. These homes are gaining popularity with first-time homebuyers for their affordability, and retirees or others looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

ADUs, on the other hand, are smaller quarters perfect for aging parents or college graduates returning home, as well as a home office, gym, or to be used as a rental unit generating passive income. In California, where land is limited and costly, backyard ADUs provide invaluable flexibility for homeowners.

Not only are ADUs and manufactured housing an affordable housing option, but it is also against the law in California for a city or homeowner’s association (HOA) to prohibit a homeowner from putting an ADU on their property.

Because ADUs add square footage to a home, they can also increase property values, without the time and expense of a complete addition or remodel. The myriad of uses for an ADU also outweighs a traditional remodel, benefiting homeowners from the beginning.

For homeowners looking for environmentally friendly options for their new space, ADUs are also considered eco-friendly since the units don’t require additional land; they use fewer resources to build and maintain than a site-built structure; they often make use of existing infrastructure; and they use less energy for heating and cooling. Other energy-saving features may be added, depending on the manufacturer.

Let us know how we can help you select the perfect manufactured home or ADU for your needs

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