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Manufactured to what code?

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Tony in Ohio

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Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
I guess it’s not my week. I was doing an inspection of a home I was told was a modular, and found out it is double wide mobile (HUD tag). The quality of the home surprised me, fireplace, skylights, oak cabinets and high end (for price range) built in appliances, even ¾ inch copper water lines and decent name furnace and A/C units. Add to this the fact that it’s on a 11 course basement, and has a stick built attached garage and the line blurs even more. In fact the only reason I can tell its “manufactured” is the split bedroom floor plan and the tag itself.

I do very few HUD tag manufactured homes and want to find out what code it was built to. I don’t want to ask the lender or owner any more questions as I don’t think the owner understands the difference, and the lender just wishes I would just call it a modular ( I won’t, but I will write an addendum on the quality). Which brings me to my point.

Is there an online (or other) database to track down what code the subject was built to? If there is, will I need any info other than the # series from the tag? P.S. I scanned the other posts but did not find this info.

Thanks.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
If you found the HUD labels affixed to the left rear of each section or the left front and right rear if the ending was installed after the home was delivered to the lot--it is a manufactured home!!! That is what the HUD label indicates, that the home was constructed to HUD building code. HUD building code is the basic minimum, just as UBC/CABO/BOAC is the minimum for on site built homes or off site built modular homes. That building code has nothing to do with the bells and whistles, upgrades, amenities, etc. There also should have been a Data Plate, AKA as the Certificate of Compliance located somewhere inside the home. That is a letter sized piece of paper with a map of the USA. It will have the date of manufacture, the manufacturers name, plant location, serial number for ownership identification and the same HUD number that was was on the lable to indicate compliance with HUD building code. So that is your documentation that it is a manufactured home. Did you take a photo of the HUD label, make a note of the numbers, a photo of the Data Plate, make a note of the serial number?

Check out my article at http://www.naifa.com
Click on January 2002 Appraisal E Gram, scroll down to October 2001 Appraisal E Gram, then scroll down to bottom of page and there will be my article. At the end of my article will be websites to find a list of inspection agencies, both private and government. The first three alpha characters on the HUD label indentify which agency inspected the home in the factory while it was under construction. Also you can access the HUD Code (very, very, very lengthly and detailed) from the Manufactured Housing Institute's website--which is also listed. With the name of the inspection agency, you can even call them to verify for your own satisfaction that the home is constructed to HUD building code and is a manufactured home (regardless of local terms) for financing purposes.

Since you found a HUD label, you are appraising a manufactured home--that is a fact that can't be changed or ignored. Now the big part of your job is to determine what the market reaction would be to a very nice manufactured home that probably is superior in this situation to your surrounding site built frame homes in construction quality, finish, amenities, etc. But you still need to identify the "trailer mind set factor" that some people have. Would a prospective buyer refuse to even look at it because it is a "trailer"? Or after hearing and seeing what it looks like, maybe weigh it against a site built? This will be a report that I wouldn't be surprised you have at least 6 comparables--and you might even reach my 5 page addendums!

A lot of manufactured homes and or modular homes cannot be identifed after installation based on appearance only without the attached documentation from the factory. The differences are the framing inside the walls, vents, floor underlayment installation, all items that are covered over with drywall, exterior siding, flooring, trim, etc before they leave the factory.

In the mean time I am keeping my fingers crossed I don't get an order to appraise a manufactured home in my area with over 3,700 square feet of livable area, solid surface counter tops, very expensive imported ceramic tile, solid wood custom cabinets, that had a base cost from the manufacturer of over $200,000 before it left the factory and any delivery, installation, foundation costs. The owner is part of a very rich family--so I keep hoping he never applies for a loan!
 

Tony in Ohio

Thread Starter
Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Ohio
Jo Ann,

Thanks for the detailed information, I have not checked your link yet but it sounds like what I needed. Modular construction is more common in this area, and generally has little to no market resistance (in the more rural areas). This one will have some (if only because its more difficult to get financing), but I can see a day where even that will go away if they keep improving the appeal of these things.
 

Robert Muir

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Utah
The home is a manufactured home and you should see if you can find some other manufactured homes, with or without basements. Jo Ann is right that you will have a large amount of comparables. A mixture of manufactured & modular should do it, thats if you don’t have enough manufactured comparables for the first three.
We have very little modular, but a large amount of manufactured homes in this area. At this point, I do more new manufactured homes than new stick built homes.
Always put the HUD numbers in the appraisal, state that the tongue & axles have been removed (if they were), and if it can determined, how it was attached to the foundation. These items will go a long way to stopping a lot of questions from the underwriter, besides meeting the fannie mae guidelines. Just don’t sign that stupid letter stating that the foundation meets an engineer’s requirements for the soil conditions. (See other posts on this item)
I have completed a triple wide manufactured homes 2700 sq ft with a garage, large covered deck, stucco on exterior, 30’ x 40’ attached garage, custom cabinets, custom kitchen, custom wood floors, etc. All installed after the home was brought in & put on the foundation. Lots of fun, since I had no triple wides to use as comparables. I used six comps with a mixture of manufactured and stick built. I believe that there must be some negative adjustments when comparing a manufactured home to a stick built home. I have also found that the underwriters also expect this adjustment too.
As to built to code, it was built to HUD’s codes, that’s what the plates signify. It sounds like you have a good quality manufactured home, don’t get side tracked by tracking down the code specs’. It’s your job to determine marketability of the property as it stands. Will the typical buyer get on line and track down the HUD codes and make a determination to buy or not buy from that. I think that the typical buyer will not dig that deep when it comes to a manufactured home; they typically are looking at the cosmetic quality and the overall appearance. Which is what we should be evaluating also.

Bob
 
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