What is a manufactured home and how does it differ from a modular home?

A manufactured home (also known in the past as a mobile home) is a single or multi-sectional home built on a permanent frame, like a steel undercarriage/chassis, with a removable transportation system (hitch and wheels). The unit is permanently attached to a site-built foundation and is subject to the 1976 federal standards established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Some newer FHA guidelines require the home to be attached to an "engineered foundation", which is an added cost.

A modular home is constructed in a factory using conventional home floor joists and delivered to a site on a trailer or flat bed truck. The delivered home may be in the form of panels that are assembled at the site, may be pre-cut and assembled on site, or may be pre-built and delivered in one piece. The home, panels or pre-cut panels are lifted from the trailer and attached to a foundation. A modular home may be single or multi-storied. Modular homes are not subject to HUD standards, but must be built to state and local Uniform Building Codes.

Keep in mind that when an Appraiser is performing an appraisal of a manufactured home or a modular home, industry expectations are that they will only compare apples to apples, not mfg. to modular, for instance. And as most of the Multiple Listing Services, at least locally, don't have a search parameter for modular homes, it becomes difficult to find suitable sales comparables.