It Came to My Attention That Agents Don't Know Modular vs Manufactured!!

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Brevard

I was at a listing appointment today and the seller was very unhappy.  He has talked to numerous agents about selling his unique home that is specially constructed for the physically-challenged.  The home is an 'off frame modular'.  He claims that I am only one of two agents he has talked to who knows the difference between manufactured, off frame, or on frame modulars.  This was a shock to me!  I thought we are in the business to understand these things......

So, in the public interest, as well as for all of you out there who don't know the difference - here is my take on manufactured vs modular.....

Manufactured: In the United States, the term "manufactured housing" specifically refers to a house built entirely in a protected environment under a federal code set by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The term "mobile home" describes factory-built homes produced prior to the 1976 HUD Code enactment.  Manufactured homes are towed to the building site and have wheels and axles on them just like trucks or vehicles. The structure is towed to the home by a truck and placed at the building site.  The home can be placed on a foundation of some kind if desired.  However, financing for manufactured homes is limited owing to their 'temporary' nature and their depreciation factors.

Modulars: Although modular homes are also 'factory built' they are constructed in compliance with the standards of the regional, state, or local building code used by the governing body where the dwelling is located, similar to or better than a stick-built home.  Some companies pride themselves on building for any and all compliance issues in the US. 

Off-frame Modulars:  Off-frame modular dwellings differ from mobile homes or manufactured homes largely in their absence of axles or a frame, meaning that they are typically transported to their site by means of flat-bed trucks and set on a foundation or basement. Many modular homes are of multi-level design, and are often set in place using a crane.  On-frame Modulars: However, some modular dwellings are built on a steel frame (on-frame modular), which can be used for transportation to the homesite.  "On-frame modulars are presently classified by Fannie Mae as a "manufactured" home. Note: since "on-frame" modulars are not built to the HUD code, they do not meet Fannie Mae's property eligibility requirements and, at present, mortgages secured by on-frame modulars are not eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae. On the other hand, Freddie Mac treats "on-frame" the same as "off-frame" (conventional) modular homes." (source: http://www.propex.com/C_f_O_stickvsmanu.htm)

So don't let the word 'modular home' get you confused with 'manufactured' or 'mobile'.  They are not one and the same.  I hope this helps clarify the issue for all of you out there who don't know the difference. 

P.S. I got the listing!

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