I appreciate your response--you give me a measure of comfort.
Of course, I had a home inspection prior to buying. The inspector, though, didn't know there might be an issue concerning the frame and "foundation".
It's not my buyer's agent who is telling me the bad news about this house--she was as clueless as I on this purchase. You're right, of course, that it was the state of NC that validated this as a modular. But there are other plates and stickers referring to it as "Manufactured." I don't understand how they can do that.
It's definitely not a real house made of wood. Everything in it seems to be plastic or aluminum. I hired an electrician to do some repairs and improvements right after I moved in. I bought rheostats at Home Depot, but when he opened up the switch boxes, he said he couldn't install them--I'd have to go back to the mobile home supplier for parts. Ditto changing all the door knobs and deadbolts. I've also learned that I can't drywall or tile over the plastic sheetrock--I can only put up paintable wallpaper to hide the seams that plastic strips now cover.
Nobody seems to agree on what is a "permanent foundation", the nature of an "on-frame modular" vs a doublewide, etc. From my research, it seems to me that a "manufactured" home is nothing more than a trailer without wheels.
What I need to know is whether we've been deceived, whether it is worth investing in more improvements such as window replacement, whether I'd be wasting more money by putting an addition on this, whether I'm throwing away money to upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms (which currently have only the cheapest of fixtures and cabinets).
I haven't talked to my mortgager yet about this--I wanted to get the facts first. My bank excludes mobile homes, and I don't know what the ramifications are if this really is one. If it's not really a modular, it's worth nowhere near what I paid for it.
Thanks for your time and help.