VA Loan Reader Questions: Mobile Homes
A reader asks, “What is the age cut off on buying a mobile home?”
Assuming the age of the mobile home is the issue in question (some readers do wonder whether there’s an age cutoff or restriction on VA home loans–there is no “maximum age” for VA loan applicants”), we must reference Chapter 12 of the VA Lender’s Handbook for the answer. But first, what is the VA definition of a mobile home or manufactured home? From VA.gov:
“A manufactured home is built on a permanent frame and is made to be moved in one or more sections. It must be built to be lived in year round by a single family and there must be permanent eating, cooking, sleeping and sanitary facilities. A single-wide manufactured (mobile) home must be at least 10 feet wide, with a minimum floor area of 400 square feet; double-wide units must be at least 20 feet wide, with at least 700 square feet of floor space.”
“A modular home is not the same as a manufactured home for VA purposes. Although the parts or sections of a modular home are built in the factory and then moved to the building site, the home must still be put together and completed at the building site. You may, however, obtain a loan to purchase a modular home under VA’s regular home loan program. ”
A reading of Chapter 12 doesn’t turn up any specific date ranges for acceptable manufactured or mobile homes. Instead, the VA requires all manufactured homes to be classified as real property, which means they must be anchored to a permanent foundation. All mobile homes for consideration under the VA home loan program must meet VA minimum property requirements for safety, construction and other issues.
Local building codes also apply. If local codes don’t permit the sale of a mobile home past a certain age range, for example, the VA would not be able to approve a VA mortgage loan for such a property.
When writing about VA loans on manufactured homes, it’s important to point out that in the current housing market some lenders are not willing to issue VA mortgage loans for mobile homes and similar properties. This is at the discretion of the lender; borrowers who have difficulty finding a bank to issue a VA guaranteed mortgage on a manufactured home should shop around for a lender who can.
Do you have a question about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.
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.