Manufactured Homes
© Lynn Afton, REALTOR®
January, 2006

What does “Manufactured Home” mean to a buyer? 

A buyer should always check with their lender to see if the type of home they intend to buy can be financed by that lender.  Sometimes a lender will only qualify a buyer for a loan on a “stick-built” home, constructed entirely on the property site.  Some lenders can lend on any type of manufactured home, while other lenders offer high-interest-rate loans on single-wide or double-wide manufactured units, sometimes requiring substantial down-payments.  Some lenders treat “BOCA” modulars the same as a stick-built home for lending purposes.  Your real estate agent can help you find a lender to finance the type of home you would like to purchase.

All manufactured homes constructed after 1976 must comply with “HUD” standards.   The Department of Housing and Urban Development regulates design, construction standards, fire resistance, energy efficient features, durability, strength, transportability and quality control.  The electrical, heating, plumbing and other systems must meet HUD performance standards as well.

Manufactured homes are usually one of the following:

1. Single-Wides (sometimes still referred to as “Mobile Homes”) are built entirely in a factory and have their own axles and wheels for transportation to a home site.  They vary in size up to 16' wide and 80' long and are rarely placed on a permanent foundation.  Building restrictions sometimes prohibit mobiles under a specified minimum size, or do not allow them at all.  Lenders may require that the wheels and axles be removed in order to finance.  Single-wide and double-wide manufactured homes have a “Certificate of Manufactured Home Ownership” similar to an automobile title issued by the state of Michigan.  Some manufactured homes have a state issued document called an “Affidavit of Affixture” that officially affixes the manufactured home to the real estate that it sets on. 

2. Double-wides are mostly completed in the factory, and arrive on their own wheels which are removed when the unit is placed on the home site.  They usually arrive in two halves, which are joined together on site, with some elements of finishing completed on site such as drywall and siding where the unit is joined together.  Double-wides have a steel frame chassis underneath, and usually are not placed on a permanent foundation.

3. Modulars do not have a steel frame under them or their own wheels.  They are transported on trucks and put in place with a crane onto a concrete slab or a basement.  You may see references to “BOCA” (Building Officials and Code Administrators International) modulars, which means it was constructed according to standardized state and local building codes. Rarely, there are some pre-1976 (when HUD codes went into effect) modulars that do have a steel frame.  Modulars may be more than one story, and arrive in two or more manufactured sections.  Some areas restrict the minimum width or square footage of modulars or may prohibit them.

4. Prefabs, or panelized  homes are constructed of wall sections which are pre-fabricated at the factory and then assembled on site - usually on a permanent foundation.  Prefabs might be treated differently for financing by some lenders.

Contact your realtor if you have questions about manufactured homes, or if you would like to know of lenders who may finance manufactured homes.

Lynn Afton, REALTOR®
   ©January, 2006