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Manufactured Home Loan Tips

2022 Loan Options for Manufactured Homes

Why is it so hard to finance manufactured homes?

Manufactured home loans are available however the process is slightly different from financing a traditional site-built home. Not all lenders offer loans for manufactured homes and many who do are not proficient with the process. This lack of expertise often results in a less than stellar experience for a manufactured home buyer.

These articles should help you distinguish the facts from all the noise with the end result a more satisfying home purchase experience.

Tip #1 - Is it a manufactured, modular or mobile home --and what's the difference?

A manufactured home is better known by names like mobile home, double-wide or trailer. It is built in a factory and trucked to a homesite, just like a modular home, but that’s where the similarity between the two ends.

A manufactured home is most often built in 1 to 3 sections (think double-wide or 2 units as the typical manufactured home) on a steel I-beam frame, with axles and tires attached underneath, a welded steel tongue towing-assembly at the front, and is towed to the homesite on it’s own wheels by truck. The tongue and wheels are typically removed when the home is installed in place. On older manufactured homes, you will sometimes see the undercarriage and axles still in place, with only the tires removed. Manufactured homes are built to a national building code established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1976 and regularly upgraded. The home will have a HUD Data Plate affixed somewhere inside, usually on the wall of the master bedroom closet or inside of the cabinet door under the kitchen sink. It lists all the construction performance specs of the home. There will be a HUD Tag (often called the “red tag”) riveted to the long side of each section of the home.

A modular home is built using essentially the same building materials and construction methods as a site-built home, except that is it constructed in transportable sections that are loaded on trucks for delivery to the homesite to be connected together. Some modular homes are built over a steel I-beam frame similar to manufactured homes, and called “on-frame” modulars. Off-frame modular homes are more common. There is a stemwall, or piers and elevated beams, constructed at the site before arrival of an off-frame home, while some on-frame homes are installed on piers the same as manufactured/mobile homes. Modular homes with rare exceptions are treated just like site built homes by lenders so the special rules that apply to manufactured homes don't apply to modular.

Mobile homes are factory built home constructed prior to 1976 and were not required to be built to HUD codes and thus are ineligible for traditional home lending.

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