VA Loans For Manufactured Homes–Still Available?
Many borrowers are interested in VA loans for manufactured homes as opposed to the traditional suburban house. Unfortunately at the time of this writing, some lenders are not offering VA loans for mobile homes or manufactured homes.
This is due to a variety of factors, but those in the market for a VA home loan for a mobile home may have to do more research to find a lender willing to offer a loan in this area.
Some borrowers may choose to wait out the market and pursue a VA loan for a manufactured home when their lender of choice decides to offer them once again. Others may explore other options close to the price range of a mobile home such as a VA or HUD REO home–one that’s been foreclosed upon and placed on the market at a much lower price than if the property was listed as new or as a new purchase home.
For those that do find a lender willing to underwrite VA loan for mobile homes, these loans can be quite different in some areas from the rules for purchasing a suburban property. VA and lender standards are similar in many ways, but VA loans address the manufactured home differently where needed because of the construction, transport, and location of a manufactured home or mobile home.
When buying a suburban house, there are VA standards for the foundation, but there’s no question that such a property has one or how they are to be constructed. But VA loans for a manufactured home are different —there are specific rules which require the home must be anchored to a foundation and how that foundation must conform to VA standards. A manufactured home not anchored to a foundation can’t be approved for a VA mortgage.
The VA also has rules about the location of a mobile home. Did you know a VA borrower is not required to own the land where the mobile home is located? The VA loan applicant may rent property the home is to be situated upon as long as that property meets VA standards.
Those standards include a requirement that the mobile home rental site conform to all local zoning laws and must be served by “water and sanitary facilities approved by the local public authority…” according to the VA official site. The rental location must be serviced by an “all-weather” road and may not “to be subject to conditions that may be hazardous to the health or safety of the manufactured home occupants or that may endanger the manufactured home…”
What about those who own a plot of land? A VA loan applicant who doesn’t need to purchase property because they already own a site to put their mobile home also has some rules to abide by. “No manufactured home purchased with a guaranteed loan may be placed on a lot owned by an eligible veteran or on a lot to be purchased or improved with the proceeds of a guaranteed manufactured home loan unless the lot owned or to be so purchased or improved is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be an acceptable manufactured home site.”
Acceptable sites for a mobile home must conform to VA health and safety rules. They must also conform to VA regulations concerning the environment and “scenic conditions”. The VA won’t approve a loan application for a manufactured home to be located in an “eyesore area” or one intended to be located in an area where human habitation might be damaging to the environment.
Those requirements are subject to interpretation and it’s best to get advice about what areas may qualify. Contact your nearest regional VA loan center for more information.
About Joe Wallace
Joe Wallace has been specializing in military and personal finance topics since 1995. His work has appeared on Air Force Television News, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and a variety of print and online publications. He is a 13-year Air Force veteran and a member of the Air Force Public Affairs Alumni Association.