Manufactured or Modular …Is There a Difference? – PART I

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Mobile Homes Blog 8.20.14

Vicky Thompson, President and CEO of Valuation Management Group, grew up in North Carolina and the first home she purchased was a manufactured home. At the time, they were referred to as “trailers” or “mobile homes.” Manufactured home is the most recent label for what were once called “mobile homes” or “trailers.” They are relatively inexpensive, small, and are held to less stringent standards than modular and site-built homes. The obvious advantages are their mobility and affordability, factors that allow buyers to make home purchases without a serious monetary or geographical commitment. They are available in three sizes that escalate in size as follows: “single-wide,” “double-wide” and “triple-wide.”

Miss South Carolina, Brooke Moseteller made the following comment in September 2013: “I’m from the state where 20 percent of our homes are mobile because that’s how we roll…” causing some media attention for the Miss America hopeful. A few days after her comments, the US Census figures confirmed that her state did indeed have the highest proportion of mobile homes – also known as trailers or manufactured housing – with the figure being 18 – 20%. The ten states with the most manufactured homes, South Carolina, New Mexico, West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Wyoming, and Kentucky. Manufactured housing makes up 6.4% of the US housing sector.

Modular homes are residences constructed entirely in factories and transported to their sites on flatbed trucks. They are built under controlled conditions, and must meet strict quality-control requirements before they are delivered. They arrive as block segments and are neatly assembled, using cranes, into homes that are almost indistinguishable from comparable ones built on-site. Wind and rain do not cause construction delays or warp building materials during construction. Proponents of modular homes claim that their indoor, environmentally controlled construction affords them greater strength and resilience than homes built on-site. They also tend to be constructed using more precise building techniques and with more building material than comparable site-built residences. One reason for this is that they must be able to withstand the stress of highway transport. Despite their manufacturing process, modular homes are essentially the same as homes that are built on-site. They are treated the same under the law, and their basic structural features are almost indistinguishable from site-built homes, once assembled.

The Valuation Management quality assurance team is educated and qualified to do the appraisal review of manufactured or modular homes.

We will discuss appraisal differences in our next article.

Valuation Management Group is a national, full service appraisal management company that manages the appraisal process for community banks, mortgage bankers and credit unions. We take the process from ordinary to extraordinary.

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