VA Loans and the Rules on Manufactured Homes
There are a lot of questions out there when it comes to VA loans for manufactured homes, also known as mobile homes. In some circles, the mobile home rules are not as well understood as the rules governing transactions for “typical” VA home loans; often, the standards are similar but with rules specific to the nature of the manufactured home.
For example, there’s no question about foundation issues when it comes to VA loans for new construction homes. A VA loan for a manufactured home is different—the home must be anchored to a foundation and the foundation must conform to VA standards. A manufactured home not anchored to a foundation can’t be approved for a VA mortgage.
But those are probably the most well-known standards for mobile homes. 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, but the rental property must live up to VA regulations.
Additionally, the mobile home site must conform to all local zoning laws and must be served by “water and sanitary facilities approved by the local public authority.”
The rental location must also be accessible by an all-weather road and must not “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.”
For those who own the property where they want to place a mobile home purchased with a VA-guaranteed loan, the VA states, “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.”
VA rules for acceptable lots include requirements for health and safety, but they also have stipulations regarding the environment and “scenic conditions.”
The VA won’t approve a loan application for a manufactured home deemed to be part of an eyesore area or one intended to be located in an area where human habitation might be damaging to the environment. Those requirements might seem a bit nebulous to buyers and loan officers alike; in these cases, it’s best to get advice from the nearest regional VA loan center about what qualifies and what does not.
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.