real estate VA guidelines VA loans

VA Loans on Manufactured Homes

January 3, 2011


VA Loans on Manufactured Homes

The Department of Veterans Affairs allows VA loans to be used on mobile homes, manufactured homes and modular homes. In many cases those three terms can be interchangeable; one thing that is not interchangeable is how the property is classified. If a mobile home, for example, is classified as “personal property”, the terms of the VA loan may be substantially different than if the mobile home is legally able to be classified as “real property”.

A real property classification changes many things–how the mobile home is taxed, for example. Under state laws property taxes on real property may be much greater than any applicable tax on personal property.

Consider the state tax paid on an automobile purchase; depending on state law the tax on a mobile home classified as personal property may be comparable. An automobile could never be classified as “real property”–it’s mobile, has no fixed foundation, etc.

A manufactured home classified as real property would have to conform to state laws. The State Code of Mississippi issued in 1972 provides an example of the kind of state guidance required to have a mobile home classified as real property:

“If the mobile home is to be classified as real property, then the wheels and axles must be removed and it must be anchored and blocked in accordance with the rules and procedures promulgated by the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Mississippi. After the wheels and axles have been removed and the mobile home has been anchored and blocked in accordance with such rules and procedures, the mobile home shall be considered to have been affixed to a permanent foundation.”

“The county tax assessor shall then enter the mobile home on the land rolls and tax it as real property on the land on which it is located from the date of registration. At such time, the county tax assessor shall issue a certificate certifying that the mobile home has been classified as real property.”

A mobile home classified as real property by a certified state official may be eligible for a 30-year VA mortgage if it meets VA minimum property requirements and other typical rules that cover all VA home loans.

It’s best to consult with the regional VA loan center with jurisdiction in the area about a specific property or proposed VA loan application on a mobile home if a 30-year mortgage is needed–the regional VA loan center can help determine the best course of action.

  1. Alicia

    We are trying to purchase a home in an area that the roads are not paved yet with a VA approved Mort. The main road into the housing area is blacktoped but the side roads are not paved yet will the VA inspector pass this for the mort.

    • Joe Wallace

      Unfortunately there's no rule that applies to all counties across the board on issues like these--much depends on what your local codes require. The VA minimum property standards do require most properties to be typically accessible, but generally speaking, since your main road is paved that would **seem** to meet the requirement. The VA defers to local code in cases like these so if there are any applicable local requirements, those would have to be met.

  2. Bryon Freeman

    What is the age cut off on buying a Mobile home?

    • Joe Wallace

      You'll find complete information on the requirements for mobile homes in Chapter 12 of the VA Lender's Guide--the mobile home section is the last one in this PDF document: Hope this helps!

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