It is so important to be thorough when looking at a property, AND to know what you are looking for. (This could devolve into a discussion on Property Data Collectors, but that is another post.)
This article from Valuation Magazine discusses a lawsuit against two appraisers who incorrectly labeled a home as modular vs. manufactured.
While the suit was thrown out, it is important to (a) know what you are looking at, (b) ask questions if you aren’t sure, and (c) include extraordinary assumptions if you STILL aren’t sure. CYA!
When I first started out I did a lot of manufactured housing for one lender. I got educated on them, took CE classes, talked to several MH builders, and even toured a manufacturing facility. I thought I knew as much as anyone about them. Then I found out that some modular homes were being built on a metal frame, which is one of the things that typically indicated manufactured. One MH builder was putting out the exact same home, one on a metal frame and one on a wood frame, and just charging more for the wood frame since it could be considered “modular”.
At the end of the day, manufactured homes are built to the HUD code, and that is about all you can count on. Always disclose what you did, how you did it, and why you did it. Disclose, disclose, disclose.