Manufactured homes come from the factory either whole or in 2 parts. They’re built on a permanent chassis and have wheels for transport, which are detached when the home reaches its location. Like a car, they are assigned a VIN, Vehicle Identification Number. These homes must be built after June 15, 1976, in order to be eligible for traditional financing with FHA or FNMA/FHLMC.
Because of the nature of these manufactured homes, it’s possible to move the home elsewhere. However, they can be made real property by pinning them to a permanent foundation, slab or excavated basement. The vehicle title must be purged at the County office.
Manufactured housing is completely fabricated in factory conditions and inspected at each step in the process. They’re manufactured based on codes set up by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). One of the primary ways to identify a manufactured home is by its HUD tag. This HUD tag is red metal and is attached to the end cap of one or both of the home pieces. There is also information within the home, under a sink or near a water heater. These tags should not be removed or covered up.
A lender will require a Professional Engineer’s report on the foundation and the mounting of the home to the permanent location. A lender will also require that an appraiser use like-kind homes, namely manufactured homes, for comparison and market valuation.
Several items worthy of note – the home cannot be moved from its location and still obtain conventional or FHA financing. It cannot have any penetration of the factory constructed walls; any additions like a garage or additional room must be added through a factory created opening/doorway. If the red tag on the exterior or data inside the home is removed, it is possible that financing will not be offered unless the builder information can be obtained.
Modular homes consist of 2 or multiple parts that are prefabricated offsite. Once they’re transported to the home’s lot, they’re placed on a permanent foundation or slab or basement and assembled by a general contractor. Once on the permanent foundation, they look and function the same as a traditionally built home. They must have a Data Plate which is an 8-1/2” x 11” size and is usually found in a kitchen cabinet, an electrical panel box, or a bedroom closet. It will have maps of the US to inform the owner of the Wind Zone, Snow Load, and Roof Load of the home.
The key distinguishing features that separate a modular home from a manufactured home are the modular home’s always permanent foundation and lack of HUD tag certifying it as a manufactured home. They will not have a VIN assigned. Modular homes are made and assembled according to local standards in the area where the home will be placed.
Modular homes, once constructed, will be treated as a stick-built home and an appraiser is free to use traditional homes for comparison and market valuation.