Comparing Mobile Homes vs. Tiny Homes

If the time has come to downsize, you may be deciding between a mobile home and a tiny home. Small trailer homes have always been a traditional choice for those who need less space, but mini mobile homes have gained popularity in recent years. So which one is better? 

The tiny house vs. mobile home debate is quite a personal matter, as factors such as lifestyle, budget, and family needs will ultimately drive your decision-making.  This article will take a look at both to help orient your decision.  

Tiny Home vs. Mobile Home: The Main Differences

Mobile homes and tiny homes are excellent options for downsizing. They can both be customized to suit practically any need or style preference, and they’re also significantly cheaper than an average home. Another plus is that both home types are usually exempt from property taxes; however, the similarities stop there. 


The most critical difference between the two is their size. Tiny homes usually only comprise anywhere from 100 and 400 square feet meant to allow for a self-sufficient lifestyle. On the other hand, mobile homes have anywhere from 600 to 1300 square feet, allowing for a much more ample living space. 


Additionally, due to their larger size, mobile homes are subject to government and state regulations, where tiny houses are small enough to fly under the radar. This difference means that you can essentially do with tiny homes what you want.


Finally, despite a name that implies otherwise, mobility is not a key feature, even in small mobile homes. If you want to move your lodging, a tiny house is a better option: you can tow it wherever you want as long as you have a good trailer hitch and vehicle. 

Tiny House Pros and Cons

Now that you know the primary differences between the two let’s take a closer look at some of the pros and cons of tiny mobile homes. 


  • Mobility. If you’re dreaming of living the nomadic lifestyle, a tiny house is the best way to make this dream a reality. They are often built to be easy to move from location to location. 
  • Self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is typically a defining feature of tiny homes, with many using renewable energies (i.e., rainwater) to achieve this. Homeowners have everything they need right at hand so that you can live anywhere–even off-the-grid locations. 
  • Sustainability. Their small size means tiny homes are quite sustainable. They require fewer building resources, and many constructors use recycled or repurposed materials in their manufacture. Tiny homes also need fewer resources like electricity, heat, and water to run them, and they often use eco-friendly features like solar panels.
  • Design options. Because they are custom-built, the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing the tiny home of your dreams–modern, rustic, minimalist, or otherwise.   


  • Less space. For big families, tiny home living may be impractical or impossible. The minuscule footprint of the home may be too small even for families of four.
  • High cost. At around $75,000, the average cost of a tiny home tends to be higher than that of mobile homes (though you can save on utilities over time). 
  • Less storage. Having less storage space is perhaps the principal disadvantage for most people considering tiny homes. Space is at a premium in these dwellings, forcing you to carefully consider what to take and what to leave behind. Most homeowners must make concessions with their belongings. 

Mobile Home Pros and Cons

Now let’s take a look at the pros and cons of small mobile homes. 


  • Affordable. Prices range considerably, but you can purchase a lovely mobile home for around $25,000. Even the most luxurious mobile homes only cost around $60,000-$75,000. 
  • Larger. If downsizing is the goal, you can do so while still having plenty of room–a lot more room than tiny homes have. 
  • Better for families. This option is much better suited to families, who will find the added space in a mobile home much more comfortable for everyday life. 
  • More location freedom. When you find the house of your dreams, there is no way to negotiate its location. But because mobile homes are built in a factory, you decide where you want to place yours. 


  • Less mobility. Logistically, it’s challenging to move a mobile home if you ever need to. Once you set it up, it typically remains in that place for life.  
  • Not self-sufficient. Mobile homes are dependent on things like a dump station and various hook-ups to function. 
  • Permits/fees. Depending on the state you live in, you will likely have to pay government fees and permits, especially if you want to remodel or add to the structure. 
  • Depreciation. The value of mobile homes can depreciate quickly. 

Mobile Home vs. Tiny Home: Which Is Right for Me?

At the end of the day, whether you choose to downsize to a mobile tiny house or a traditional mobile home, there are plenty of benefits, like easing financial burdens and living more simply. However, there are many things to consider when deciding between the two.

A tiny house is an excellent option for anyone who wants to make a genuine commitment to sustainable, minimalist living, especially if that goal includes living off the grid. It may also be the right choice for location-independent individuals who want to get in touch with nature and move every few months. 

On the other hand, mobile homes have more space for families and pets than tiny homes, and they are better if you seek privacy or need a place for guests to stay. They’re also a more cost-friendly option, despite how quickly their value depreciates. 

Remember, this article has only just begun to scratch the surface of the tiny house vs. mobile home debate. Considering the importance of this decision, it’s vital to do plenty of research, take inventory of your preferences, and be honest about what you hope to achieve from downsizing.

Contact Preferred Homes today to get more questions answered around this topic and help with finding the right mobile home for you and your family.  

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