Local News

Chatham County Rules Modular and Mobile Homes Not the Same

Posted October 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— If the first three rules of real estate are location, location, and location the fourth might be "neighbors". But it's notwhothey are that counts, apparently. It's what their houses look like.

Many neighborhoods ban mobile homes. Now, Chatham County says there is a difference between mobile and modular homes, and that ruling could change the face of some neighborhoods.

A Chatham County couple had a modular home erected there, but neighbors said the home violated rules they had against mobile homes in the area. Last week the Chatham County Court of Appeals said modular homes are different from trailers.

Modular home salesman Jeff Parker says the differences are obvious once you know what they are.

"Lots of people call them trailers or mobile homes. When you come in even on your manufactured homes today when you push on your walls they're solid your modular homes are more solid," Parker said.

There's a lot of confusion when it comes to manufactured homes. They call mobile homes manufactured homes, Modular homes are manufactured homes too, but they meet state and local building codes.

It's also easier to tell where a double wide manufactured home can be separated. Modular homes are fitted together to look like they were built on site and salesman Jeff Parker says that's part of what makes modular homes sturdier.

"Modular homes are put on a permanent foundation during a storm it would sustain winds more," Parker said.

Both kinds of homes are transported on wheels, but dealers say the difference is in how they're built.

"When you go into a modular they're built to state code the same code as a regular on-site built home," said Parker.

If there's any question, the best way to tell a modular home from a manufactured home is to look for the label on theoutside that says it's a manufactured home. The inspection stickers on modular homes are postedinside.

The stickers are different because these homes are inspected differently. Inspectors look at the blocks, electrical wiring and plumbing on a manufactured home. A modular home is inspected from the bottom up just like an on-site built home.

Photographer:Mike Joyner