What is a manufactured home?
Like many people, you may be asking, “what is the difference between a modular home, a mobile home, and a manufactured home?”
Manufactured homes are sometimes confused with modular homes since they are both built in a factory. Modular homes are built somewhat like a stick built home, but they are constructed in sections at a factory rather than on site.
After the sections are completed, they are transported to the final destination and assembled on a permanent foundation. Modular homes cannot be relocated after installation. Modular homes must meet state and local building codes.
Mobile homes were built on a permanent chassis, had wheels, and could be transported as a whole or in sections. They are often referred to in the industry as a single wide or double wide trailer, and sometimes, a triple wide.
Prior to 1976, the quality of these structures varied from builder to builder due to a lack of industry standards. HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) guidelines for building standards, energy efficiency, and safety, did not exist yet for mobile homes.
In June 1976, HUD began requiring all newly built mobile homes to conform to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. Soon after, in 1980, the government mandated the term “mobile home” be changed to “manufactured home” in all federal documents in order to differentiate homes built using the new standards.
Confusingly, many in the industry still use “mobile home” and “manufactured home” as interchangeable terms. Technically, the difference is when it was built.
Today, manufactured homes are designed better and built with higher quality materials than in decades past.
To indicate compliance with the HUD standards, manufactured homes are required to display a HUD certification label located at the rear end of each section of the house. Mobile homes built prior to June 15, 1976 do not have these HUD certification labels, nor do modular homes.
In summary, a manufactured home is a mobile home built after June 15, 1976 that conforms to HUD standards and displays a HUD certification label.
What is a Manufactured Home Engineering Certification?
HUD created installation guidelines for manufactured homes and they oversee the process to ensure adherence to the guidelines.
When you finance the purchase of a manufactured home, your lender must have the home inspected for adherence to HUD guidelines for all FHA/VA insured loans. Many lenders require the certificate for conventional loans as well.
Under the direction of a qualified engineer, our licensed inspector gathers the required data, including multiple photographs of the home from specified angles.
Our inspector uploads the information so it can be reviewed by the engineer to determine if the home meets HUD standards. If it does, the engineer issues the necessary type of “Manufactured Home Engineering Certification”.
All of our certifications are issued by Patrick Conroy, P.E. of MFD Home Certifications, US LLC. Patrick has been a practicing engineer for 29 years and is licensed in 17 states. He also performs underwater bridge inspections worldwide. In addition, Patrick is a certified instructor teaching bridge inspection courses throughout the United States of America.
What types of Manufactured Home Engineering Certifications do you offer?
We perform the following types of certification inspections:
- Permanent Foundation Certifications
- Additions to Manufactured Home Certifications (decks, porches, rooms, etc.)
- 1st Permanent Location Certifications
Should I order a foundation certificate, an additions certificate, or both?
This is VERY important: ask your lender specifically what you need! Not all lenders require both certificates, so you don’t want to pay for both if you don’t need them.
If the lender does not require the additions certificate, do not order it. If you order an additions certificate and the inspection fails, it could unnecessarily hold up closing your loan until repairs are made.
If your lender requires both certificates, order them at the same time. If you order a permanent foundation certificate and then order the additions certificate after the documentation has been submitted to the engineer, there will be a charge of $250.00 to reopen, review, and reissue the certifications.
FHA / VA Loans
FHA and VA loans require all three certifications: permanent foundation, additions, and 1st permanent location. Be sure to tell customer service you have an FHA or VA loan.
How quickly can you do the inspection and what is the turnaround time for the certification?
In most cases we can get you on the schedule in just two to three days. Usually, the engineer will review the file on the same day as the inspection and issue the certificate within a few hours.
We do not recommend waiting until the last minute for your Manufactured Home Engineering Certificate. You cannot close your loan without it, and you don’t want to be unnecessarily delayed.
In urgent cases, we can provide turnaround in as little as 24 hours. An extra fee is required for this expedited service.
How much does a Manufactured Home Engineering Certification cost?
In Knoxville, the cost of a Manufactured Home Engineering Certification varies depending on the services required. The basic fees are:
- Permanent Foundation Certification – $450.00
- Permanent Foundation with Additions Certification – $550.00
- 1st permanent Location Certification – ONLY provided in conjunction with one of the above services. No additional charge.
- Additions Certification (added to order) – If you need to add an Additions Certification to an order after the Foundation Certification documentation has been submitted to the engineer, a fee of $250.00 will be charged.
For properties outside of the immediate Knoxville area a travel fee may be added. Please ask us for a quote.