Manufactured Home Foundation Inspection Requirements & Tips

Rising home prices make it tougher for buyers to find affordable housing. Although, manufactured homes provide a lower price option for today’s buyer. Fortunately, there are several manufactured home loans available for buyers and homeowners. But to obtain financing, a manufactured home foundation inspection must be performed. Why? Because lending agencies want to ensure the manufactured home is properly secured to the land. Usually, this is determined through a structural engineer foundation inspection. In this article we will show you the requirements for VA, FHA, and Fannie Mae foundation requirements and solutions!

manufactured home foundation
Photo by Mirko Blicke on Unsplash

FHA Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements

FHA loan guidelines are pretty detailed, but there are a few main points to know. Foremost, FHA requires a manufactured home foundation certification by a structural engineer or architect. Either must be licensed / registered in the state where the home is located. Assuming there are no alterations or damage to the foundation, a previous foundation certification for an FHA insured mortgage may be used instead of a new certification. As long as it met FHA guidelines at the time of the certification, it may be used.

Manufactured Home Foundation Skirting Requirements

For existing homes, FHA says “the entire perimeter of the skirting must be permanently attached to backing made of concrete, masonry, treated wood or a product with similar strength and durability”. So, the skirting may be brick, concrete, vinyl, or other acceptable material. In the end, it is up to the inspector to decide if it meets HUD / FHA manufactured home foundation requirements.

For new construction, it is a little different. FHA guidelines state, “The space beneath the house must be enclosed by a continuous foundation type construction designed to resist all forces to which it is subject without transmitting forces to the building superstructure. The enclosure must be adequately secured to the perimeter of the house and be constructed of materials that conform according, to HUD minimum property standards (such as concrete, masonry, or treated wood) and the PFGMH for foundations.”. PFGMH stands for the Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured Homes.

FHA Manufactured Home Loan Benefits

  • Purchase as low as 3.5% down payment
  • Gift funds allowed for down payment
  • Seller may pay up to 6% of the price in closing costs for the buyer
  • Refinance available for lowering interest rate and payment of current loan
  • Cash out refinance available to 80% of appraised value
  • Only for primary residences

VA Loan Manufactured Home Foundation Requirements

VA loan foundation requirements are very similar to FHA foundation rules. Highlights of the VA loan manufactured home foundation requirements state the following:

  • Site and on-site improvements (not including the manufactured unit) must completed and meet minimum property requirements
  • Manufactured home must be property attached to the a permanent foundation that meets requirements verified by the VA appraiser
  • If the VA appraiser is not able to verify compliance with foundation guidelines, he/she may require a structural engineer inspection

Fannie Mae Foundation Requirements

Fannie Mae foundation requirements are also similar to FHA. A popular question involving Fannie Mae loans includes “Is vinyl skirting acceptable?”. Vinyl skirting is acceptable provided it encloses the entire perimeter of the unit and has no holes since this is not part of the foundation. Although, the foundation must still be inspected by a licensed structural engineer. The foundation must meet the local building code. If there are no local building requirements, the foundation must meet HUD / FHA code mentioned above.

Fannie Mae loans may be used for financing a primary residence with as little as 3% down payment. Plus, Fannie Mae loans will finance up to 90% of the sales price of a second home purchase.

Using a Previous Foundation Certification

If someone purchases a manufactured home and obtains a foundation certification, keep it forever. Along with the certification, keep all records of the foundation construction and the home itself. Definitely, keeping records makes it easier to sell the home. On many manufactured home purchases, we have seen buyers and Realtors give up on a home because of the frustration of finding home and foundation details. So, a good tip for manufactured home sellers is to make it easy on the buyers, Realtors, and lenders.

Manufactured Home Seller Tips

  • Provide copies of all home, foundation, and land paperwork
  • Show all warranty paperwork
  • Get a foundation inspection & fix all everything required

Manufactured Home Answers

There are some very popular manufactured home questions we hear often, so here are the answers early.

  • Down payment assistance not allowed on used manufactured homes
  • Must be taxed as real property
  • Land and home must be together – Buyer / owner must own both land and home

Are you looking to purchase or refinance a manufactured home? We are very experienced in manufactured home loans.

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Written By: Russell Smith