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Home > Add/Edit > Know the Difference between Manufactured and Modular Homes
Know the Difference between Manufactured and Modular Homes
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The following information is from the NCREC 2008-2009 Update Course:

• Manufactured homes are frequently referred to as mobile homes. They typically are sold as personal property from the manufacturer and ownership is evidenced by a title issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. They are built to federal standards only. If the mobile home is permanently affixed to real property and the hitch and wheels removed and an affidavit filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles certifying the foregoing, then the manufactured home is transmuted from personal property to real property.

• Manufactured buildings on the other hand are frequently referred to as “modular homes.” While they too are constructed off-site and must comply with certain federal standards, once transported to the lot, they must be assembled/built by a licensed general contractor in accordance with State and local building code standards, or by someone who has posted a $5000 bond to assure Code compliance and who has obtained a building permit. Once properly installed on the property, a modular home becomes part of the real property.

• Licensees are expected to know the difference between manufactured homes, manufactured buildings, and stick-built structures and to make the appropriate disclosures to the world at large. This includes not only prospective buyers, but lenders and appraisers, as well. All manufactured homes and buildings will have a serial number and label permanently affixed verifying compliance with the applicable federal or state codes. Licensees should look for this compliance label and serial number. The HUD tags may be found on the outside bottom left corner of each section of a mobile home, as well as stamped into the metal underneath the kitchen sink cabinet or inside the frame of the master closet. On modular homes, the serial number may be found on or in the utility box.

On-Frame Modular versus Off-Frame Modular Look in crawl space to determine on-frame versus off-frame modular. An off-frame modular home has no steel frame underneath. Off-frame modular construction is not considered manufactured housing and must conform to all local building codes in the jurisdiction in which they are permanently located. On on-frame modular home has a steel frame underneath. On-frame modular construction is defined as having a permanent chassis, but no evidence of compliance with the June 15, 1976, Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards.

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