Even among Realtors this one tends to get confusing.  Terms get tossed around like single-wide, double-wide, and permanent foundation.  Financing becomes the top of the debate.  Well, there really isn’t anything to debate and hopefully this blog will clear up any misconceptions.

Even the untrained eye can easily spot a manufactured or mobile home.  (We’re back to the single/double-wide conversation.)  I’m talking about a single-story, specific width home, 14x70 or 16x80 for example.  These homes are built in a factory, the finished product is then hooked up to a truck (because the home has wheels) and finally delivered it to its destination.  If the home is a “double-wide” it’s towed in two pieces, halved along the center peak of the roof, then the two halves are attached upon reaching their destination. This is a manufactured home and its building codes are regulated by the Federal Housing Administration standards.  A mobile home is the same type of structure that was built before 1976, before federal standards were applied.

Back to financing: it can be done.  FHA, USDA, and VA all have programs for purchasing manufactured homes with very specific and often changing standards on the home to be approved, such as year built minimum, width,and foundations type.  Also, some local banks will still give conventional loans that often don’t have as many specific standards.  These loans usually require 20% down.

Now, the next issue: zoning.  Counties and states often have different zoning laws in regards to manufactured homes.  Often cities will have zoning regulations as well, which people usually find out when they apply for the permit to place the home.

Final issue: personal property vs. real property.  Manufactured homes have a title.  They are born as personal property on a tax and ownership level, and they are treated like a vehicle.  They have wheels, that’s how that happened.  If the home is placed in a park community where the park owns the land, the home remains personal property.  When it is placed on it's own land, depending on the locality’s zoning, it can be placed on a concrete slab foundation, basement, or on blocks which are then covered with vinyl skirting to hide the blocks and protect the underside of the home from nature’s elements.  At this point it could become real property.  It might retain both real and personal aspects making it very important to keep that original title in a safe place just in case it’s necessary to transfer ownership should the owner decide to sell the home someday.

Now onto a modular home.  Totally different structure, in-fact hardly related when it comes to ownership, financing and zoning.  These are homes either built in large pieces such as rooms that are brought in and put together to form a house.  Or, they can be large sections of pre-built walls attached to your standard stick-built home.  They are built with standards set by the state in which they will be sold.  They can be any size or any style and are impossible to differentiate between a framed traditionally built home.

If you ever have any questions, even just an “I wonder why” or “I wonder how,” please feel free to send me your thoughts.  I’ll do my best to give a fun educated response in a future blog.

Audrey L. Elder

Keller Williams

Even among Realtors this one tends to get confusing.  Terms get tossed around like single-wide, double-wide, and permanent foundation.  Financing becomes the top of the debate.  Well, there really isn’t anything to debate and hopefully this blog will clear up any misconceptions. Even the untrained eye can easily spot a manufactured or mobile home.  (We’re back to the single/double-wide conversation.)  I’m talking about a single-story, specific width home, 14x70 or 16x80 for example.  These homes are built in a factory, the finished product is then hooked up to a truck (because the home has wheels) and finally delivered it to its destination.  If the home is a “double-wide” it’s towed in two pieces, halved along the center peak of the roof, then the two halves are attached upon reaching their destination. This is a manufactured home and its building codes are regulated by the Federal Housing Administration standards.  A mobile home is the same type of structure that was built before 1976, before federal standards were applied. Back to financing: it can be done.  FHA, USDA, and VA all have programs for purchasing manufactured homes with very specific and often changing standards on the home to be approved, such as year built minimum, width,and foundations type.  Also, some local banks will still give conventional loans that often don’t have as many specific standards.  These loans usually require 20% down. Now, the next issue: zoning.  Counties and states often have different zoning laws in regards to manufactured homes.  Often cities will have zoning regulations as well, which people usually find out when they apply for the permit to place the home. Final issue: personal property vs. real property.  Manufactured homes have a title.  They are born as personal property on a tax and ownership level, and they are treated like a vehicle.  They have wheels, that’s how that happened.  If the home is placed in a park community where the park owns the land, the home remains personal property.  When it is placed on it's own land, depending on the locality’s zoning, it can be placed on a concrete slab foundation, basement, or on blocks which are then covered with vinyl skirting to hide the blocks and protect the underside of the home from nature’s elements.  At this point it could become real property.  It might retain both real and personal aspects making it very important to keep that original title in a safe place just in case it’s necessary to transfer ownership should the owner decide to sell the home someday. Now onto a modular home.  Totally different structure, in-fact hardly related when it comes to ownership, financing and zoning.  These are homes either built in large pieces such as rooms that are brought in and put together to form a house.  Or, they can be large sections of pre-built walls attached to your standard stick-built home.  They are built with standards set by the state in which they will be sold.  They can be any size or any style and are impossible to differentiate between a framed traditionally built home. If you ever have any questions, even just an “I wonder why” or “I wonder how,” please feel free to send me your thoughts.  I’ll do my best to give a fun educated response in a future blog. Audrey L. Elder Keller Williams