I can not begin to tell you how many classes I have attended regarding the differences between a manufactured home vs a modular home. With today's tight lending practices, we need to know as buyers' agents and listing agents, what the difference is between these two homes.
My client is USDA approved, therefore a manufactured home is not going to work for USDA financing. A manufactured home according to USDA is a mobile home that at one point, had its wheels and axles removed and affixed to a permanent foundation.
A manufactured home will have metal HUD tags / labels posted on the outside of the home, as well as a compliance / performance certificate posted on the inside of the home (usually located in the hot water tank closet). HUD tags and compliance certificate will clearly indicate that the home is a manufactured home. These types of homes are often referred to as a “single-wide” or “double-wide.”
A modular home is a structure that was partially built in a factory, shipped to the site, and constructed on site. These types of homes are very similar to a traditional “stick built” home and most people will not be able to tell the difference between the two. A modular home will have an "Industrial Building Unit" sticker.
The county/city tax records can assist with identifying whether it is manufacture or modular, as well as the locality's building permit department.
Not knowing the difference between these types of housing can be costly to your buyer or seller. Doing your research in advance is necessary to have a smooth successful transaction.