Mobile Homes Over the Years, Then and Now

Mobile homes have long been the face of adaptable housing. From their beginnings as vacation homes and transitional housing to their modern counterpart of a lifelong home for a family. Mobile homes have covered quite an impressive bit of ground over the years. We celebrate that journey. From then to now, let’s explore the evolution of mobile homes.

Mobile homes were originally designed for use as vacation homes and were more similar to recreational vehicles than homes.  Shortly after, the Great Depression set in and leisure activities took a backseat for most of America. 1

Once a rich man’s escape, mobile homes became an affordable housing standard. After WWII, popularity of these homes increased. A housing shortage contributed to the growth of these homes in America.  They were practical for people getting back in the work force and an economy that was on a post-war rise.2

In the 50s and 60s the communal aspect of mobile homes grew into mobile home parks. People began to live close to each other, not just by necessity but now also by choice. Affordability was still a driving force behind the popularity of these homes.1

By the mid-70s mobile homes no longer only belonged to those with a desire to live in a more communal way and those who were cost conscience. The manufactured housing HUD Code was enacted and states began to adopt their own housing standards for mobile and manufactured homes.2 With established building codes in existence, the appearance and stigma of mobile homes was partially lifted. The homes were built better and stronger, and people took notice. The terms “mobile home” and “manufactured home” also made a debut during this time.2

As building code standards were set and mobile homes became more of a long-term investment rather than transitional housing, the target market for mobile and manufactured homes grew. Modern mobile homes are bigger, built with a variety of materials, and are often placed on permanent foundations.

Manufactured homes have gained even more popularity over the past ten years as minimalism culture has increased and Millennials have become homeowners. These buyers are looking for long-lasting, high quality homes. They often can find that in a manufactured home for less expense than a site-built home, without sacrificing customization.

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The most exciting part of the history of manufactured homes is you. How do you live mobile? Where do you fit? Chances are there is a mobile home that fits you and your family. Here’s to the variety of these efficient homes!

  1. Yes! Communities. 27 July 2017. The History of Manufactured Housing Communities.
  2. Venolia, Carol. July/ August 2005. Mobile Homes: A History.