Manufactured home loans are available with competitive mortgage rates for borrowers looking to purchase or refinance a manufactured or modular home. Potential home buyers who want to get a manufactured home often wonder how easy it will be to get financing for these properties. While home loans for manufactured houses are not as plentiful as regular homes, there are still some worthy options available, including government backed home loan programs such as FHA. Most consumers are not aware that manufactured home loan rates are very competitive with traditional mortgage rates. If you want to get approved for manufactured home financing, below is information that you need to know.
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To initiate the manufactured home mortgage process, obtaining a pre-qualification or mortgage pre-approval letter is crucial. This document, issued by a lender, confirms your pre-approval status for a manufactured loan and may include the specified loan amount. However, it’s important to note that pre-approval does not guarantee the manufactured home loans since the applicant’s pre-approval status hinges on certain assumptions that still need verification during the application process.
- Compare Lenders Offering Affordable Loans for Manufactured Homes
- See New Programs with Low Down-Payments for First Time Buyers Seeking Manufactured Home Financing
It’s crucial to note that federal law provides a distinct definition for manufactured homes, significantly influencing the available financing options. According to federal law, a manufactured home is a dwelling constructed in a factory after June 15, 1976. All such homes fall under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, adhering to safety standards established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These regulations, commonly known as the HUD Code, were most recently revised in 2023.
Manufactured Home Loan Finance Perspective
There are several ways to get financing for a manufactured home. It will always pay off to shop among several lenders. Look carefully at manufactured home mortgage rates, closing costs and fees of every loan so you do not get surprised:
- Retailers: The companies that sell manufactured homes often have financing available to make it easy for their customers to buy homes. In some situations, the builder will have relationships with financing companies and these can be used to finance the home. But it is a good idea to shop around and compare quotes you get from financing companies not affiliated with your lender.
- Specialized Manufactured Home Lenders: There are specialized mortgage lenders that do loans for manufactured homes and mobile homes. Any home lender may take an application for manufactured house loan, but these specialized lenders are more familiar with the specifics of manufactured home purchases. They may be easier to work with for some applicants. You usually should work with a specialized lender if you are buying a manufactured home where you do not own the property; you are not attaching the home permanently to the land; or you are buying a manufactured home that is not new or has had updates done. There are still a few lenders that offer 2nd mortgages and home equity loans for manufactured homes. Ask about zero down home loans for people with good credit.
- Standard lender: If you are buying a manufactured home and the property it is sitting on, and the home is permanently fixed there, you will have more loan options available. There are many banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers that can handle manufactured loans and mortgages for modular homes as well..
What is a Chattel Loan?
These loans are common for manufactured homes and mobile homes where the home is being situated in a park or manufactured home community. A chattel loan is for the home only and not the land. These loans are actually personal property loans. But chattel loans are also available where you own the land and are borrowing for the home on a separate basis.
When comparing manufactured home lenders, it’s crucial to differentiate between home loans and chattel loans. Chattel loans typically come with a higher interest rate, often exceeding the standard rate by 1.5% or more. However, they are suitable for borrowers seeking smaller loan amounts and fewer fees.
Chattel loans offer several advantages. First, they don’t require you to own the land where the manufactured home is located, reducing costs. Additionally, the closing process is expedited, and associated fees are more economical. On the downside, interest rates are elevated, and the repayment terms are relatively shorter, typically ranging from 15 to 20 years. It’s worth noting that a significant portion of individuals with manufactured homes opt for chattel loans, with approximately 80% of new manufactured homes in 2023 being categorized as personal property.
Over the years, manufactured homes, once referred to as “mobile homes,” have seen substantial advancements and enhancements. These homes are constructed in a factory before being transported to the intended location. The construction and safety standards for these homes are overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It’s important to be aware that mobile home loans are different than mortgages for a manufactured home.
Government Mortgage Options for Manufactured Home Loans
There are several government-backed home loan programs that can be used to finance manufactured homes. The most popular is the FHA loan program. These loans are popular because they are easy to qualify for and have low manufactured home loan rates and flexible down payment requirements.
Certain manufactured homes meet the criteria for conventional mortgages, the typical financing choice for conventionally constructed residences. FHA loans, as well as loans supported by the USDA and VA, can also be used to finance a manufactured home.
However, there are some FHA home loan requirements with these loans for manufactured homes.
To be eligible for a manufactured home financing must meet specific criteria. In addition to adhering to HUD’s safety regulations the home must:
- The home has to have been built after June 15, 1976.
- The home must fully comply with the HUD code and meet any other local requirements.
- Each section of the house must have the red Certification Label attached.
- Be classified as “real property” rather than “personal property.”
- Boast a minimum of 400 square feet of living space.
- Be permanently affixed to a foundation and situated on land that you own.
You have the option to obtain an FHA Title II loan, which permits a modest 3.5% down payment and accommodates borrowers with average credit. It’s essential to note that these loans pertain to real estate, mandating the purchase of both the home and the property.
Alternatively, there’s the FHA Title I loan, which is occasionally utilized for personal property loans when the land is not owned by the borrower. However, specific conditions must be met: the dwelling should serve as your primary residence, the installation site must be equipped with sewer and water service, and new manufactured homes must come with a one-year warranty.
A Title I manufactured home loan serves various purposes, such as financing a new or pre-owned manufactured house, refinancing a prior manufactured home mortgage, acquiring the developed lot for siting the home, and even combining the purchase of both the lot and the home itself. These funds can also be utilized for modifications, repairs, or enhancements to a manufactured house.
Title I mobile home loans are possible with the right lending company even if the borrower doesn’t own or doesn’t intend to acquire the land where the manufactured home will be placed. Typically, these homes are situated in manufactured home communities or mobile home parks. In cases where the borrower doesn’t own the land or isn’t in the process of purchasing it, they must provide a signed lease agreement for a mobile home plot, which should have an initial term of at least 3 years. Many mobile home buyers choose a personal loan to raise the capital. However, there are still some lenders that specialize in mobile home loan programs, so don’t assume because your local bank doesn’t offer mobile home financing that it’s not available anymore.
Fannie Mae Offers Attractive Manufactured Home Loan Programs
Some unique lending companies provide Fannie Mae mortgages through the MH Advantage program for individuals seeking financing for a manufactured home. Meeting specific eligibility criteria is crucial, which includes installing the home with a driveway and a connecting sidewalk to the driveway, carport, or detached garage.
To qualify for this program, the manufactured home must adhere to specific construction, architectural design, and energy efficiency standards comparable to those for site-built homes.
This home loan programs offer 30-year financing, and it’s possible to secure them with a down payment as low as 3%. Additionally, MH Advantage mortgages often feature lower mortgage rates compared to many traditional loans for manufactured homes.
Fannie Mae Standard MH: This loan option caters to homes that do not meet the eligibility criteria of the MH Advantage program, encompassing traditional single- and double-wide manufactured homes. However, unless it’s within a co-op or condo project, the borrower must own the land where the home is situated. The manufactured house needs to be constructed on a permanent chassis, installed on a lasting foundation on land owned by the borrower, and titled as real estate. These loans can have fixed- or adjustable-rate structures, with terms extending up to 30 years (360 months).
Consider a Freddie Mac Manufactured Home Mortgage
These mortgages for manufactured homes are accessible in most states, offering both fixed- and adjustable-rate options. The homes must be on a permanent foundation and can be placed on private property owned by the borrower, in a planned development or project, or, with written permission, on leased land.
Comparing Manufactured, Mobile and Modular Home Loans
The modular home is often linked with manufactured homes, but it’s essential to distinguish between the two. While both modular and manufactured homes are factory-built and then transported for final assembly at the destination, they are not identical. Modular home loans adhere to state, local, or regional building codes, similar to conventionally constructed homes, rather than federal standards.
Unlike manufactured houses, modular homes are typically not retailed through dealers. Instead, similar to conventionally constructed homes, a general contractor or builder typically completes the construction before offering the house for sale.
Modular home loans may be available if you have a prefabricated homes, share the factory-based construction approach with manufactured and mobile homes. Mobile home loans are offered as well, but you need to find a mobile home loan lender. Nevertheless, there exist distinctions in their construction methods, regulatory oversight, and overall design. The RefiGuide can help you meet mortgage lenders today to see if you are eligible for a modular home loan.