The definition used in state law to refer to manufactured housing is:
A structure, manufactured in one or more sections, which is built on a permanent metal chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to utilities and includes plumbing, heating and electrical systems, manufactured in accordance with federal standards under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 5401-5426).
Manufactured housing distinguished:
Manufactured homes are built to what is referred to as the “HUD Code” a less restricted, federally promulgated, code established under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 5401-5426), designed for the manufacture of an affordable housing product.
Manufactured homes may be installed temporarily or permanently, the installation usually consisting of piers which are placed under the frame with a skirt or non-load bearing wall around the perimeter of the home to hide the piers and frame, which may or may not be relocated.
Manufactured housing is built on a permanent steel frame or chassis which is not only used to transport the home to the job site, but is also an integral part of the structure of the home, required by the HUD Code to be part of the manufactured home. When the home is transported to the job site, the axles and wheels are removed from the frame and the frame remains as part of the home.
Depending of how the home is installed, whether permanently or temporarily, on a lot owned by the homeowner or a lot leased by the homeowner, it may or may not become real property
Generally manufactured homes are not financed by conventional mortgage lenders, but are instead financed by finance companies who lend purchase money at higher interest rates. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the manufactured home depreciates in value and as a result, is in jeopardy of loosing value at a faster rate than the purchase financing can be paid down. In the past, conventional mortgage companies who financed manufactured homes found themselves repossessing homes where the purchaser had defaulted and not being able to recoup the amount of money still owed on the mortgage.
The manufactured home depreciates in value after it is sold. The Fannie Mae Appraisal Guidelines for Modular Housing establishes that only other manufactured homes may be used as comparables when appraising a manufactured home.
Manufactured homes are generally restricted to zones specifically set aside for manufactured homes. Most zoning and deed restrictions prohibit manufactured housing in residential single-family zones.
With limited exceptions, manufactured homes generally come in only one story designs and may be one two or more sections in width.