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Need Help with Buying a Mobile Home?

Need Help with Buying a Mobile Home?

Are you looking for affordable housing options?  Do you have land, but no house?  If you need help with buying a mobile home, we’ve got resources for you!

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What’s the difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home?

The main difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home is the date of construction.  In June 1976 the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued construction standards to ensure that all homes would be built to safety codes. 

Manufactured homes are placed on foundations, while mobile homes may have wheels and be able to be relocated.  These differences help determine whether the home is considered “real property” or “personal property”.  There are different financing options for each.

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Real vs. Personal Property

Real property includes land and features that cannot be easily removed.  These can include a home on a foundation, a paved driveway, a barn, an in-ground pool, and more.

Personal property are items that can be easily moved, like a vehicle or a mobile home on wheels.

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The tax records for the property will usually indicate whether a home is considered real or personal property.

Got land?

Your first step is finding a location to place your mobile or manufactured home!  If you’re leasing land, the home will not be considered real property.  This may limit your financing options as no conventional mortgages are offered for a mobile home on leased land.  For help with buying a mobile home, your best bet may be a private lender or a personal loan.

If you own or are purchasing your land, you may be eligible for financing from a manufactured home dealer, private lender, government programs, and more.

Manufactured home financing

While private lenders and personal loans may be an option to help with buying a mobile home, we’ll also cover five government programs that may be able to help you finance a manufactured home. 

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Affairs (VA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all have programs to help with manufactured home purchases.

help with buying a mobile home new home family

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae offers multiple programs to help with securing a loan for a manufactured home.  The home is required to have at least 600 square feet of living space.  Your down payment can be as low as 3% and you may be able to trade-in your previous mobile or manufactured home for equity.  Mortgage insurance is required if your down payment or equity is less than 20%.  You can see if your home may qualify for Fannie Mae’s programs.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac also offers a number of conventional loans for manufactured homes.  Their programs are geared toward helping low-income families obtain housing.  If you own the land, it may be considered as equity toward your new home!  The minimum living space for Freddie Mac programs is 400 square feet.  You can find more information about the various Freddie Mac manufactured homes programs online.

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FHA manufactured homes programs

The Federal Housing Authority has two programs for manufactured home financing: Title I and Title II.  These programs offer insurance to lenders to encourage loans to qualified borrowers. Both programs require a 3.5% down payment with a credit score of 580 or greater.  With lower credit scores, the down payment requirement is increased to 10%.  Your debt-to-income ratio must be 50% or less to qualify.  The FHA programs may allow you to purchase a residence in a manufactured home park.

FHA Title I manufactured home loan

These loans may be issued for up to 20 years if purchasing a home and a lot together.  You may qualify for a loan up to 15 years for a lot only. This may also help cover costs to repair manufactured homes.

FHA Title II manufactured home loan

These loans are for single-family residences and are usually limited to 115% of the median home price in your county.  These are government backed loans that may be for up to 40 years! More information about the FHA manufactured home programs is available online!

Are you a veteran?

You may qualify for zero percent down manufactured home financing through the US Department of Veterans Affairs!  The VA insures qualified loans for service-members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses.

VA loans require that the manufactured home must be a permanent structure and be considered real property.  The VA does not require private mortgage insurance!  For more details, the VA Home Loans site has some great information!

USDA manufactured home financing

Manufactured homes may qualify for financing through the USDA’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program.  This is for new homes built in 2006 or later that are being installed on a foundation.  The home must be at least 400 square feet.

There are location and income requirements to be eligible for the USDA loans in this program.  They are geared to help provide zero money down loans to low-income residents.

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Need more help?

We’ve covered several ways to get help with buying a mobile home or a manufactured home and have loads more resources for you in buying or repairing your home!

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After 27 years in law enforcement and state Veterans Affairs agencies, I found myself working from home and looking for dollar-stretching resources. Government programs can be notoriously difficult to navigate and I'm happy to lend my experiences to make this easier for others!