Quickly, a manufactured home is your typical manufactured home with the HUD tags on a metal frame that you see on the lots. A modular home is generally constructed off-site and assembled on site. It may not have a HUD tag but has to conform with state and federal regs. Bottom line, if it had a tongue and wheels on a metal chassis (still attached), its a manufactured home.
See my article posted at http://www.naifa.com
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Scroll down to "what is that and now what do I do"
At the end are all sorts of links to Fannie Mae, HUD, VA, etc. Also check out the new Fannie Mae Guidelines that was issued last week.
A manufactured home is constructed to HUD building code and hopefully will have the tags attached to the exterior and a data plate inside somewhere. Occasionally all those get removed. So then you have to do research with owner for any documents the might have or with the local building department or assessment office to see if they have anything. Once you run down some information and still don't have the HUD label number (which every one wants to know about to verify it is a manufactured home), the serial number from ownership or assessment records can be cross referenced with the manufacturer or with HUD in WA. For FHA financing that is the lender's responsibility, (should be for conventional too) once they can verify that the home was constructed to HUD code it is still eligible for FHA financing.
A modular home is constructed completely or almost completely in a factory to a site built code like UBC, BOAC, CABO, etc. Then the sections are assemblec on site. Depending on the laws of the subject's location, it may or may not have a readily observable identification tag or label of any kind.
A panelized home or kit home or pre cut home would have all the materials to construct the home pre-cut, itemized etc with some assemblage in the factory and the majority if not all assemblage on the site. Those are not modular homes.
Both the modular and the "kit" style homes are considered comparable to site built by FHA, VA, Fannie Mae and would only require the verification to a site built code that you would typically use for a true stick by stick, cut, glued, pasted, nailed, home assembled on site.
Also the State Appraisal Boards for Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas have some excellent articles.
The Manufactured Housing Institute (link is at the end of my article) has lot of very usefull information. Wander around that web site.
But many, many, many times you CANNOT identify what type of building code was followed at original construction as manufactured homes, modular homes, kit type homes, site built homes all look alike some times and are constructed of the same materials with the same amenities, finish, etc. So research is essential!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yes, tongue, wheels, axles still attached or detached are not a definitive identification! It all depends on whether the home (regardless of original building code) was towed to the site or hauled to the site. If towed to the site, all financing programs require them to be removed.
I hope you have this response saved somewhere and you just cut and paste it every time we get this question. I don't even bother to respond, because I know you will be more concise and detailed. Plus, I get cynical to the point of saying "if you don't know, then by USPAP, are you competent enough to do this appraisal?" You are so much nicer and a lot better at 'splaining things. You get my nomination for appraiser's forum guru.
Everyone has given you good advice on manufactured and modular homes.
I don't do manufactured homes, I leave those trailer thingees all to JoAnn :lol: :lol: but I will give you some clues on how to identify/determine a modular.
First, as you cruise through the home notice the following items: the thickness of the center partitions between rooms. Modulars are typically much thicker in the center as they are bolted together. Stick framed homes are typically 4"-5". Next, go into the basement or crawl space and look at the main girder. On a modular, the floor joists are usually set into joist hangers. They will be at an equal level with the main girder-AKA-the wood that is sitting on the lally columns or masonry piers. On stick built homes, the floor joists will be above/sitting on top of the main girder.
Thank you everyone for all your kind comments. I do hope I don't offer confusing and or conflicting information since I do write off the cuff. So if something is the opposite or different than what I said before--let me know! When I speak out loud I form sentences backwards and use the opposite word (as well as mispronounce most of them) from the one I intended, so I try very hard not to let that happen when I am writing. So if I ever met one of you face to fact on a bright sunshiny morning, my out loud greeting is likely to be "Isn't it dark tonight-Good Evening". And never, never use the words mobile unless it was built prior to June 15, 1976 or trailer, or I have a heart attack. I do appreciate your comments though!!!