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Single-wide vs. double-wide mobile homes: What the expanding evolution of manufactured housing brings in terms of pros and cons.

Front view of a double-wide mobile home with a beautiful exterior design and landscaping.

In the late 1960’s, designers of mobile homes were looking for ways to increase the living space in popular models. Instead of making them longer, the idea of marrying together two mobile homes was introduced, and the double-wide mobile home was born. The manufactured home industry has never been the same, as add-ons blossomed to triple-wides and beyond. Porches, garages, decks, and more have turned these factory-made, affordable homes into rivals for traditionally built homes in terms of versatility and affordability.

In 2021, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute, the average price of a single-wide home was $73,000, and the average for a double-wide home was $132,000.

But let’s get down to basics. Exactly what is the difference between a single-wide and a double-wide mobile home, and what are the pros and cons of each? We’ll explain the differences.

Single-wide homes: The straight and narrow footprint.

The original mobile home was created to be truly portable. Therefore, it was constructed to be relatively easy to transport. To this day, the single-wide manufactured home is manufactured in one complete section in a factory and then moved to its chosen site and placed on a foundation or risers.

The dimensions of a standard single-wide mobile home are between 14 and 18 feet wide and 52 to 80 feet long. The long and narrow interior layout is characterized by rooms that are directly connected to one another with no hallway. Extra-wide single-wide mobile homes are available up to 20 feet wide and offer more versatility in the floor plan.

The benefits of a single-wide mobile home.

For those working with a smaller budget, the pros of owning a single-wide home are affordability and flexibility. These homes make sense economically. They are generally less than half the price of a similarly sized stick-built home. Because they’re built in an enclosed, climate-controlled factory and under a building code that was developed to ensure manufacturers meet or surpass strict standards for construction, energy efficiency, design, safety, and transportation, you can be sure the single-wide you purchase is strong, insulated, and constructed with care.

If your lifestyle requires the necessity to change locations often, a single-wide home is a good choice as it will not need to be disassembled into separate parts, transported using more than one tractor trailer, and then reassembled at your new location. Overall, a single-wide home is a good option for single people or couples who don’t require large living spaces, extra bathrooms, or additional storage.

The exterior of a single-wide mobile home before it has been placed on its foundation.

Double-wide homes: Twice as nice with floorplans that rival site-built homes.

Step inside a double-wide mobile home, and you may think you’re in a traditional home that was custom built on site. A double-wide manufactured home is factory built with all the HUD qualifications as a single-wide, but as two separate sections, which creates the width to offer more flexible floorplans. In terms of sizes, double-wides are generally shorter in length than single-wides and double the width. This allows for more interesting layouts that include hallways and larger open living areas combined with kitchens featuring islands for extra seating and prep space.

Overall, the width of a double wide is 20 to 36 feet; the length can range from 32 to 80 feet. The higher square footage requires a larger piece of land or lot size, a longer setup with increased costs compared to single-wides, and a more difficult and expensive moving process.

The benefits of owning a double-wide mobile home.

One of the obvious pros of selecting a double-wide home is its size. Even when a double-wide has the same square footage as a single-wide, it just feels bigger and more like a traditionally built home. After a double-wide is transported and the two sections are assembled, it feels like one seamless unit.

Double-wides are ideal for families and offer flexibility in features such as vaulted or trey ceilings, more flexibility with floor plans, and availability of options to the home, such as extra bedrooms or provision for adding covered porches or garages.

Although the initial expense of a double-wide home, its transportation, and setup is quite a bit greater than that of a single-wide home, a double-wide is easier to sell when it comes time to move on. You can expect a double-wide to have 20 to 50% more resale value than a single-wide home.

The spacious interior of a double-wide mobile home with an open floorplan.

Single- or double-wide, select a manufactured home lender you can trust.

When you decide to purchase a manufactured home, no matter the size, 21st Mortgage is here to help. As the nation’s number one mobile and manufactured home lender, you’ll find the steps to homeownership are easier with an expert partner you can trust. Now may be the perfect time to put your rent money to good use and build equity with a mobile home you’ll enjoy for years to come. Let’s get started.

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