FHA Discussion

Read the latest on FHA mortgage information

FHA Manufactured and Mobile Home Guidelines

FHA Manufactured and Mobile Home Loans

FHA manufactured homes

FHA loans help those with a low down payment and less than optimal credit scores to qualify for a mortgage. The FHA guidelines for both mobile homes and manufactured homes have loan limits plus foundation and appraisal rules that must be followed.

FHA Definition for Manufactured and Mobile Homes

The FHA defines manufactured housing as structured that are transportable in one or more sections. They are to be used a single-family residence, must be connected to utilities and include electrical, a water supply, waste systems, heating and possibly cooling. The home must meet the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS) and have a HUD Certification Label.

The FHA guidelines treat manufactured homes and mobile homes virtually the same with just a few differences. In fact, if you have been reading about these mortgages online, it may not be clear whether the article is referring to a manufactured home or a mobile home.

In this article, we will cover both the FHA manufactured home guidelines, FHA mobile home guidelines and the foundation and appraisal requirements.

Standard FHA Requirements

The following FHA requirements are in place for all homes regardless as to whether you are purchasing a fha manufactured and mobile home guidelines standard home, a mobile home or a manufactured home.

  • Minimum FICO score requirement of 500 – down payment will vary
  • Minimum down payment requirement of 3.5%
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) is required for every FHA loan
  • Maximum debt to income ratio of 43%
  • The home must be the primary residence
  • The borrower must have a 2-year work history with steady income
  • The debt to income ratio cannot exceed 43%

Read our full article on FHA loan requirements for an in-depth view of what to expect when applying for an FHA loan.

In addition to these standard requirements, there are specific requirements for both manufactured homes and mobile homes outlined below.

FHA Manufactured Home Guidelines

A typical manufactured home is built in a factory and then transported to the job site where it is placed on the foundation. Since the home is not built on site, it is considered a manufactured home (or modular home) and will be treated differently.

FHA Eligible Manufactured Homes Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • The home must have been built after June 15th, 1976
  • There must be a red HUD certification label attached to each section of the modular or manufactured home and must be visible even after siding and/or painting is completed
  • The home must adhere to the Manufactured Home Installation Standards
  • The home must be a single-family dwelling
  • The floor space cannot be less than 400 square feet
  • The home must be on a permanent foundation and considered a permanent dwelling
  • If new, the home must have a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • The home must have both a water supply and sewer system that are FHA approved

The FHA loan term cannot exceed 30 years. You may want to consider a 15-year FHA loan or even an adjustable rate program depending upon your long term needs.

FHA Manufactured Home Loan Limits

The maximum loan amount for a manufactured home will differ depending upon whether you are buying the land, just the home, or both the land and the home together.

  • Loan limit for the land only is a maximum of $23,226
  • Loan limit for the home only is a maximum of 69,678
  • Loan limit for both the land and the home is a maximum of $92,904

FHA Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements

If you plan on using FHA insured financing for your manufactured home, you will need to secure a foundation inspection from an engineer before the FHA loan can be approved. The inspector will issue a PFGMH Certification.

The lender must obtain the PFGMH certification prior to funding but may use an existing certification if the home was previously financed with an FHA insured mortgage.

The foundation must be able to support the structure and must also be permanently connected to the housing structure.

Additional information can be found in the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing.

FHA Mobile Home Guidelines

A typical mobile home is built in a factory and may come as a single wide, double wide or triple wide version. All three are eligible for FHA insured financing. You also have the option to finance the home that is placed on leased land with an initial lease of at least 3 years.

FHA Eligible Mobile Homes Must Meet the Following Criteria:

  • The home must have been built after June 15th, 1976
  • There must be a HUD tag or certification label attached to each section of the mobile home. The tag may be on the inside possibly in the electrical panel or somewhere in the kitchen. It is important to verify whether the home has these tags before you purchase it.
  • The floor space cannot be less than 400 square feet
  • The home must be on a permanent foundation and considered a permanent dwelling
  • If new, the home must have a one-year warranty from the manufacturer
  • The home must have both a water supply and sewer system that are FHA approved
  • The FHA loan term cannot exceed 20 years although an extension can be granted to 25 years for purchases that include both the lot and the home.

If you already own the land, the equity that you have in that land can be used towards the down payment. The land can also be gifted to you by a relative. Read our article on FHA gift funds for more info about how to use gifts for your down payment.

FHA Mobile Home Loan Limits

The maximum loan amount for a mobile home is the same as a manufactured or modular home. It will differ depending upon whether you are buying the land, just the home, or both the land and the home together.

  • Loan limit for the land only is a maximum of $23,226
  • Loan limit for the home only is a maximum of 69,678
  • Loan limit for both the land and the home is a maximum of $92,904

FHA Mobile Home Foundation Requirements

If you plan on using FHA insured financing for your mobile home, the lender will secure a foundation inspection from an engineer before the FHA loan can be approved. This inspection can cost as much as $500 and is an essential part of getting approved for an FHA loan on a mobile home.

Similar to a manufactured home, the lender must obtain the PFGMH certification prior to funding a mobile home.

Foundation Skirting Requirements

With mobile homes, there may be spaces between the foundation and the home above with a crawl space in between. Foundation skirting will be used to enclose those gaps and also may provide some decorative appeal. FHA guidelines indicate that skirting must be permanently attached to the foundation.

Mobile Home Running Gear

When a mobile home is transported, it may have running gear which is used to help tow the home from the dealer to the site. This running gear and the tow hitch must be removed before being placed on the foundation.

Manufactured and Mobile Homes in a Flood Zone

If the appraiser identifies the home as being in a flood zone, then he or she must inform the lender immediately. The home must pass through the standard FHA guidelines for a home in a flood zone.

Depending upon the findings of the flood elevation certificate, the appraiser may or may not have to mention whether the home is located in a flood zone.

FHA Manufactured and Mobile Home Appraisals

Appraisals for manufactured and mobile homes will follow the standard FHA appraisal guidelines. However, they will be looking at additional features as referenced above. They will need to verify the home’s qualification status for a manufactured or mobile home, plus the foundation requirements detailed earlier.

FHA Rates for Manufactured and Mobile Homes

FHA rates are extremely low when compared to that of a conventional or subprime mortgage. However, as with other types of mortgages, FHA loans also have rate adjustments for various factors such as credit score, loan amounts, number of units, high DTI and also for manufactured housing.

You can expect a slight difference in the rate from any FHA lender when financing a manufactured or mobile home. That difference will be minimal.

Summary

Almost 8% of all homes in the United States are manufactured or mobile homes. Meanwhile, most lenders do not provide financing for these homes.

Although FHA guidelines approve the financing of FHA insured loans, the lenders have a choice as to whether they want to finance them. Our network of lenders will help finance your manufactured or mobile home even with a credit score as low as 500.

Click to Get Connected to an FHA Lender

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