What's the Difference Between a Mobile Home and a Manufactured Home?

Q: We've recently retired and sold our large house. We're planning to purchase a unit in an over-55 adult mobile home park. Is there a difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home? And does it matter when we start shopping for own unit?

A: Although many people use the terms interchangeably, technically there is a difference. According to H.U.D. (the U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development), if the unit you are considering buying was manufactured before June 15, 1976, it's properly called a “mobile home.” Anything built after that date is a “manufactured home.”

Despite this "official" difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home is that most people still call them all "mobile homes." And when you look for homeowners insurance specifically designed for your new circumstances, you'll usually find it by looking for mobile home insurance. Less often, you'll see manufactured home insurance. It's very similar to general homeowners insurance, covering your home and adjacent structures, personal liability protection and, if you choose it, personal property protection. Shop around and compare prices from several companies to get the best rates on mobile home insurance.

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