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Chatham County Rules Modular and Mobile Homes Not the Same

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LILLINGTON — If the first three rules of real estate arelocation, location, and location the fourth might be "neighbors". Butit's notwhothey are that counts, apparently. It's what theirhouses look like.

Many neighborhoods ban mobile homes. Now, Chatham County says there isa difference between mobile and modular homes, and that ruling couldchange the face of some neighborhoods.

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

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

"Lots of people call them trailers or mobile homes. When you come ineven 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. Theycall mobile homes manufactured homes, Modular homes are manufacturedhomes too, but they meet state and local building codes.

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

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

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

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

If there's any question, the best way to tell a modular home froma manufactured home is to look for the label on theoutside thatsays it's a manufactured home. The inspection stickers on modular homesare postedinside.

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

Photographer:Mike Joyner

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