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FHA Guidelines for Single-Wide Mobile Homes

FHA Guidelines for Single-Wide Mobile Homes

I heard that it is next to impossible to get a mortgage on a single-wide mobile home, so I sought advice around the office.

One “seasoned” real estate agent told me she doesn’t list them because “they aren’t real estate.”  I understood the undertone better than the words.  This is not the right attitude to take in Oklahoma.

We have some very immense tracts of land here selling for millions of dollars that only have mobile homes on them.  People live in them until they build their “real” houses.  Or they use them to clean their deer or whatever else it is they happen to shoot on their hunting leases.  I kept looking for my answer.

Todd Sparks, our office representative with Coldwell Banker Mortgage, said they can loan on a single-wide mobile home, but they have to meet certain FHA guidelines as follows [with my commentary in brackets]:

Manufactured Homes / Mobile Homes (Revised:  March 9, 2007)

They can consider providing mortgages secured by manufactured housing units that are legally classified as real property[They must be real property, and not have a VIN number such as vehicles like boats or cars or trucks]

The following checklist may be used to determine if the property qualifies for FHA financing.  Mobile homes that are not on a permanent pier and perimeter foundation, and that do not meet the below guidelines, are not eligible for FHA financing.

The below guidelines do not refer to modular homes. Modular homes are treated as Site built.  The difference between modular and manufactured/mobile homes is that modular does not have an under carriage supporting the unit such as a manufactured/mobile home.  Modular is brought to the site on a flat bed.  Manufactured/mobile is brought in on axle and wheels. [N.B., Our multilist lumps modular and manufactured/mobile homes into one category called “factory built”]

Manufactured Home Checklist

  1. The customer pays real estate taxes.
  2. Wheels, axles and trailer hitches have been removed from unit.
  3. The unit does not have a Motor Vehicle Registration Number [VIN Number].
  4. The unit (single-wide or double-wide) was built after June 15, 1976.
  5. Verification that the HUD RED TAG is attached to property (1 for single-wide and 2 for double-wide units).  If property does not have the identifying HUD TAG(s), the home is not eligible for FHA financing.  ***SEE BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS***
  6. Meets all building codes and regional FHA foundation requirements.  (Registerd engineer’s certification is required.)  ***SEE BELOW FOR FURTHER DETAILS***
  7. First-time put down; not moved from another site (unit must not have been installed or occupied previously at any other site or location).
  8. The land is owned “fee simple” (or has acceptable leasehold approved by Appraisal Underwriting Department).  [This is huge — in Oklahoma the mineral rights have often been severed from the surface rights.  See my other blogs:  Real Estate is Like a Cake and Putting a Cake under Your Icing.]
  9. The footings / piers must be located below the frost line (per state code — registered engineeer must certify).
  10. The unit must have a permanent perimeter foundation of poured concrete, masonry blocks, or pressure treated wood (impervious to rot and infestation).
  11. If there are any additions or structural modifications to the original structure, provide an inspection by the State Administrative Agency which inspects manufactured homes for compliance.  (If no agency is willing or able to inspect the existing home for compliance to manufactured home construction and safety standards, the home is unacceptable, not eligible for FHA financing, and will be rejected.)  ***May also be done by a registered engineer.***  [i.e., a registered Professional Engineer or P.E.]
  12. Must be a minimum of 400 square feet.  If less than 400 square feet, property will not be eligible for FHA financing — no exceptions.
  13. Is the home in, or to be in a flood zone A or V?  The finished grade elevation beneath the manufactured home, or if a basement is used, the lowest finished exterior grade adjacent to the perimeter enclosure, must be at or above the 100-year return frequency flood elevation.  One must provide a flood elevation certificate / survey to verify before the property can be approved.

[I would add to the above guidelines that if there is a septic system on the property, then the elevation of the septic system cannot be in the 100-year flood plain.  Again an elevation survey may have to be provided to show that the septic system is above the level of the flood plain.] 

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