MOBILE HOME ? A fabricated home that is not built completely at the location where it will reside. They have steel I-beams which run along the underside of the homes and may rest atop concrete blocks, wooden pillars, metal stands or a permanent concrete foundation.
MANUFACTURED HOME ? Basically a mobile home built to new and higher HUD safety standards.
HUD changed the name from Mobile to Manufacture around August 1982. These Manufactured homes are constructed according to a code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD code). The HUD Code requires manufactured homes to be constructed on a permanent chassis. Once these manufactured homes are attached to power and utilities a local code inspector must ONLY review and inspect these utility connections NOT the building structure itself.
The Manufacture homes built after 1976 most likely have a HUD tag on the rear of the unit. HUD tags indicate that this is indeed a Manufactured Home.
MODULAR HOME ? These are built to the same standards as site built homes, but without the time or physical energy needed to build a complete home from scratch on-site. Modular homes are shipped from the factory on flatbed trucks and joined. There can be multi-floors to the modular home; local code inspectors must meet and approve of all utility connections and building codes inside and outside of the home. Modular homes must conform to all local building codes for their proposed use.
The Modular home built after 1971 should have a "Factory Built Unit Certification" and are supposed to be found under the kitchen sink.
The major difference between a Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes is Manufactured homes are brought to the property utilizing these metal beams to support the axles/wheels and hitch; basically they support the units, permanently. Modular homes may be brought to the site in sections, and are not dependent on these I-beams.