What is a manufactured home?

I’ve been appraising a lot of manufactured homes lately, so I thought a post on this topic might be helpful. What exactly is a manufactured home? There are plenty of wrong ideas floating around out there when it comes to manufactured homes, so let’s start with what doesn’t matter.

If your home came in on wheels or a flatbed truck, it’s likely a manufactured home. It doesn’t matter that now the wheels or axles have been removed, nor does it matter that the home now sits on a permanent concrete block foundation.

If the home has a high roof pitch or an attic scuttle hole, these don’t make it any less a manufactured home. If the home is a manufactured home with a site-built addition, it is still a manufactured home.

According to www.hud.gov, “A manufactured home (formerly known as a mobile home) is built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code) and displays a … certification label on the exterior of each transportable section. Manufactured homes are built in the controlled environment of a manufacturing plant and are transported in one or more sections on a permanent chassis.”

So after that wonderful piece of government gobbledygook, how can I tell if my home is a Manufactured Home?

  1. It is built on steel beams as opposed to wooden floor trusses. Below is a photo taken from the crawl space of a manufactured home. Most also have tie-downs which help secure the home to the site (you can see the gray tie-down just in front of the closest set of concrete blocks.
    Underside of a Mobile Home
  2. It has a HUD Certification Label (HUD Tag) attached to the exterior of each section, just like this one:
  3. It has a HUD Data Plate/Compliance Certificate, usually found attached to the inside of a kitchen cabinet or the master bedroom closet wall (though it could be found anywhere). Here’s an example of one:

It is common – especially in older manufactured homes – for either the Certification Labels and/or the Data Plate to be missing. Regardless, it’s still a manufactured home.

In a future post, we’ll discuss the difference between manufactured homes and modular homes, and how we as appraisers find comparable sales for each.

Until then, are you wondering if your home is a manufactured home or are you thinking about purchasing a manufactured home and have questions? I’d love to hear from you!

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