Have you ever wondered if you can finance a Manufactured Home?

manufactured home
Here’s a great article showing how and the differences between manufactured, mobile and modular homes.

Source:  The Bednar Team, Crosscountry Mortgage

When you’re buying a traditional home, you can choose from a wide range of mortgages. But what about other types of homes? If you want to understand how to finance a manufactured home, you’re in the right place.

What is a Manufactured Home?

Manufactured home. Modular home. Mobile home. They’re all different, but they’re all home. There’s a good chance if you want to buy one, you’ll need financing. That’s where we come in. They’re alternatives to traditional homes, and not all lenders have loans for them. We do. Let’s learn more about mobile home loans.

Manufactured, modular, mobile. What’s the difference?

We’re so glad you asked. Knowing the differences will help you understand your home financing options.

Manufactured Home

This is a factory-built home, on a permanent metal frame (called a chassis), moved in one or more sections to a home site. To qualify as a manufactured home, it has to have been built on or after June 15, 1976, to meet the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code). To get a conventional or government loan on a manufactured home, it must be attached to a permanent foundation and hooked up to utilities and a sewage system.

Modular Home

Outside of manufactured home with a car sitting in carport.

This is the closest thing to a site-built home, and qualifies for traditional financing. Like a 3D puzzle, the pieces of the home are manufactured, taken to the building site, and completed by a builder or contractor. You can either buy it from the builder once it’s complete or nearly complete, or contract to have one built for you. It has to meet the same building codes as a site-built home.

Mobile Home

Unlike a manufactured home, a mobile home can be moved. It’s not eligible for a home loan because it’s considered personal property, not real property like a site-built home. It may be on wheels and not attached to a permanent foundation, and it may be smaller than the minimum square footage required for some manufactured home loans. The good news is that we have mobile home loans, also called chattel loans. We’ll explain more later.

Manufactured home property requirements

To be eligible for a traditional mortgage, a manufactured home has to qualify as real property, equivalent to a site-built home. We’ve already mentioned some requirements, for example being attached to a permanent foundation. Anything that makes it mobile has to be removed, such as wheels, a towing hitch, and axles. Other considerations include making sure your title is properly recorded, and it’s no longer registered with your state motor vehicle department.

Let’s review the possibilities, from conventional and government mortgages to chattel and personal loans.

Manufactured home financing options

Conventional loans

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the two biggest purchasers of conventional loans finance manufactured home mortgages that meet their guidelines. The basics apply: the home must meet the HUD Code and be attached to a permanent foundation. Beyond that, there are slight differences.

Fannie Mae manufactured home financing

Fannie Mae financing is available for manufactured homes at least 12 feet wide with a minimum of 400 square feet of gross living area. The home must be a one-unit dwelling, and cannot include an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). You must own the land as fee simple, unless the home is in a co-op, condo project, or planned unit development (PUD). Leased land is not eligible.

Freddie Mac manufactured home financing

Freddie Mac will finance a manufactured home that is at least 12 feet wide with a minimum of 600 square feet of living space. There’s an exception if you’re going to use it as an ADU, in which case the home may be 400 square feet. You must own the land, unless the home is in a condo project, PUD. Leased land may be eligible with permission from Freddie Mac.

VA loans

If you qualify for a VA loan , you can use it to purchase or refinance a manufactured home. All the benefits and requirements of a VA loan apply, including 0% down payment and the ability to re-use your benefit. The home must be attached to a permanent foundation on land you own, or you can purchase the home and land with one loan. The manufactured home must have a floor area of no less than 400 square feet for a single-wide or 700 square feet for a double-wide.

FHA loans

FHA loans are available for manufactured home purchases and refinances. The manufactured home must have a floor area of no less than 400 square feet. They are often the choice of first-time homebuyers because of their low down payment requirement (3.5%) and more forgiving credit requirements. Couple that with an affordable manufactured home, and it’s an attractive option. There are several loans within the program. You can finance a manufactured home, or a home and land to place it on. In addition, FHA offers a shorter-term loan if you want to place your home on a leased lot in a manufactured home community or mobile home park.

Chattel loans

Chattel means personal property. Chattel is generally defined as something moveable, unlike real estate, so this is a loan you can use for a mobile home purchase. (It can also be used for a manufactured home, but a traditional mortgage may be a better choice. We can explain the options.) You can finance the home only, and place it in a mobile home community or on leased land, or you can place the home on land you own free and clear and use the land as a down payment for the new financing. Because it’s secured by the home, or the home and land, a chattel loan has a more attractive interest rate than an unsecured loan. You can also use a chattel loan if you’re planning on making the mobile home a vacation or second home, too.

Personal loans

If qualifying for a traditional mortgage or chattel loan is an issue, you may want to consider a personal loan. Be aware that the interest rate is likely to be much higher, and the loan term will be significantly shorter. Banks and credit unions are typical sources of personal loans.

Are manufactured homes a good investment?

As a mortgage company, we’re not in the business of giving investment advice. That said, we believe strongly in the importance of homeownership. Owning a home is a gamechanger: strengthening communities, creating stability, and building family wealth over time. That’s our kind of investment.

CrossCountry Mortgage loan officers

Manufactured home, modular home, mobile home. We’ve got you covered. Our experienced team will help you decide on the right option to fit your goals and your budget. Contact us today to get started.

Chris Bednar

Office Phone:507.334.9465


FEMA Rules Aim to Cut Red Tape

Hurricane Ian Damage

Source:  Federal Emergency Management Agency

Under previous rules, homeowners who had received payments from their insurance company for home repairs but not enough to cover all of the damage were essentially out of luck when it came to getting help from FEMA. Now those homeowners can apply to FEMA for help. Example:  A homeowner who has $80,000 in damage but receives only $45,000 from the insurance company. Previously, FEMA couldn’t help them because their insurance payout already exceeded the agency’s assistance cap of $42,500 per disaster. Now, that homeowner can get money from the agency to make up the difference.   Changes go into effect this March.GETTING RID OF THE LOAN RULEUnder previous rules, disaster survivors first had to apply for a loan with the Small Business Administration and get rejected before they could apply for FEMA assistance.  Owners found the SBA application requirement confusing and challenging, so the agency is eliminating that requirement.FEMA is creating a new category of aid called displacement assistance, designed to help those who can’t return to their home. It gives them money for housing while they’re looking for a long-term rental and has flexibility so that they can, for example, use the money to pay a friend’s utilities while they are staying. 

FEMA Reports Value of Newer Roofs Post-Hurricane Ian

new roof

FEMA has released a fourth Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) report on Hurricane Ian, assessing storm and flood damage to Florida homes from the September 2022 Cat 5 hurricane.  

Unsurprisingly, the report shows the value of new roofing, which damage assessments showed fared better than older roofs; specifically those with roofs built or replaced under the 2015 update to the Florida Building Code which focused on waterproofing homes and ensuring roofs stay attached to their structures. 

Many of the older homes in the impacted Southwest Florida area which were not up to code showed extensive damage from the storm, while newly built roofs sustained little to no damage.

Many of the specific code updates,  such as requiring sealed roof decks and stronger attachments to keep the roof on the structure, stop excessive storm damage like water from seeping into your home when the shingles are ripped off. 

This compounding damage from the storm did not affect the neighbors of these older homes who had updated their roofs in compliance with the new code 


VA Loan For A Manufactured Home

If you’re a Veteran dreaming of homeownership, you might be wondering how to use a VA loan to purchase manufactured housing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of using a VA loan to buy manufactured homes, also known as manufactured home loans.

Understanding VA Loans for Manufactured Homes.

VA loans are an excellent option for Veterans seeking to buy a home. They offer a host of benefits, including low or no down payment requirements, competitive interest rates, and no need for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

What Qualifies as a Manufactured Home?

Your manufactured home must meet specific criteria to qualify for a VA loan, including:

  • A single-family home with a minimum living space of 400 square feet for a single-wide and 700 square feet for a double wide
  • Built in a factory
  • Classified as real property
  • Be placed on a permanent foundation and classified as real estate.
  • Built after June 15, 1976f and adhere to HUD Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards

VA Loan Benefits for Manufactured Homes

Now that we’ve established the eligibility criteria, let’s delve into the benefits of using a VA loan for your manufactured home purchase.

Competitive Interest Rates

VA loans typically offer some of the most competitive interest rates in the market. This means you’ll save money over the life of your loan, allowing you to invest in other aspects of your life while still enjoying the pride of homeownership.

No Down Payment or PMI

One of the most significant advantages of VA loans is the ability to purchase a home without a down payment when you have full entitlement available to use. This is especially helpful when buying a manufactured home, as it can be challenging to come up with a substantial down payment. Additionally, you won’t need to worry about private mortgage insurance, saving you even more money.

This is especially helpful when buying a manufactured home, as it can be challenging to come up with a substantial down payment. Additionally, you won’t need to worry about private mortgage insurance, saving you even more money.

Easier Credit Score Requirements

While good credit is always beneficial, VA loans tend to be more forgiving when it comes to credit scores. If your credit score is less than perfect, you still have a good chance of qualifying for a VA mortgage.

The VA Loan Process for Manufactured Homes

Now that you’re familiar with the perks of using a VA loan for a manufactured home, let’s walk through the process step by step.

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Generally, you need to have served in the Military for at least 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime, however, there are instances where a greater length of service is required. Certain National Guard and Reserve members may also qualify, as well as Surviving Spouses.

OR:

To qualify, you must have served on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard after September 15, 1940, and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.  The length of service depends on whether it was Wartime or Peacetime and when your service began.

Most Veterans are eligible with 90 days or more, any part of which occurred during wartime, or 181 continuous days or more during peacetime. 

Howevera greater length of service is required for Veterans who enlisted (and service began) after September 7, 1980, or entered service as an officer after October 16, 1981.

If your service dates fall within the date range above, you must have completed 24 continuous months of active duty, or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty, but not less than 90 days (any part during wartime) or 181 continuous days in peacetime.

Members of the Reserves or National Guard who are not otherwise eligible with the above-stated service history, are eligible upon completion of 6 years of service for an active or drilling status and received an honorable character of discharge. 

A general or under honorable conditions discharge does not qualify for a VA loan.

2. Obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

To apply for a VA loan, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This document proves your eligibility for the loan. You can usually obtain it online through the VA’s eBenefits portal or you can ask your lender for assistance.

3. Find a Lender

Choose a mortgage lender that specializes in VA loans for manufactured homes. They can guide you through the process, explain your options, and help you get pre-approved for a loan.

4. Shop for Manufactured Homes

Once you’re pre-approved, it’s time to start shopping for your manufactured home. Ensure it meets all the HUD requirements for a VA loan, including being attached to a permanent foundation and classified as real estate.

5. Apply for the Loan

With your chosen home in mind, submit your loan application to your lender. They will review your financial situation, credit score, and the property itself to determine if you qualify for a VA loan.

6. VA Appraisal and Underwriting

VA loans require a VA appraisal to ensure the property’s value matches the loan amount. After appraisal, the loan goes through underwriting, where the lender reviews your financial documents, ensures the loan meets all VA requirements, and makes a final decision on your loan approval.  In a few circumstances, the lender may need to send your loan documentation directly to the VA for approval.

7. Closing on Your Loan

Once your loan is approved, you’ll schedule a closing date. At closing, you’ll sign all the necessary paperwork, and the funds will be disbursed to complete the purchase of your manufactured home.

8. Move into Your New Home

Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a manufactured home by obtaining a VA-guaranteed loan! Move in, personalize it, and enjoy the benefits of homeownership.

Conclusion

In conclusion, VA loans for manufactured homes are a valuable resource for Veterans looking to become homeowners. These loans offer competitive interest rates, no down payment, and more lenient credit score requirements. To make the most of this opportunity, ensure that the manufactured home you choose adheres to HUD’s guidelines.

Don’t let misconceptions hold you back from your homeownership dreams. With a VA loan, you can turn that dream into a reality, whether you’re interested in a single-wide, double-wide, or modular home. Take the first step toward homeownership and explore your VA loan options today!

Featured by: Cross Country Mortgage

https://crosscountrymortgage.com/resource-center/va-loan-manufactured-home/

10 Horrifying Home Design Trends: 2023 Edition

Designers say these styles need to be ghosted.

October 16, 2023 Design & ArchitectureDesign Trends By: Melissa Dittmann Tracey

You needn’t be scared of the bold and colorful styles spicing up more interiors lately. (Yes, that even includes Barbiecore—for now.) Instead, the aesthetics that have grown tiresome in the eyes of many designers tend to fail at successfully balancing that fine line between too little and too much, along with embracing some unusual shapes (hello, blobs and spray foam!) and scratchy fabrics (we see you, bouclé). 

Each year, new scares and frights emerge to haunt the interiors of our homes. Remember 2022’s most horrifying trends, which included the “cloffice” and wallpaper murals? (Eek!)

Get ready to gasp and scream with the Styled, Staged & Sold blog’s annual countdown of the overdone trends we’re ready to say goodbye to in the new year. This list is compiled from designer input and consumer surveys.

10. All-white bathrooms

All-white bathroom
Photo credit: ArchiViz / Getty Images

In an interior design world that now howls for more color, all-white bathrooms are starting to feel cold and dead. More than a quarter of interior designers surveyed by Fixr.com, a home remodeling site, called out all-white bathrooms as the top home trend they hope will slither away into the ethos. Instead, designers want to see more color: Nearly 60% of designers called colorful bathroom interiors, especially through shower tiles, a hot trend to embrace this year.

9. Outdoor maximalism

Outdoor maximalism
Photo credit: Mtreasure / Getty Images

Since the pandemic, homeowners have been trying to use every square inch of their yards. They’re filling their outdoor spaces with abundant potted plants intermingled with firepits, yard games, party lights, outdoor kitchens, statues and accessories, gardens—all accented by brightly colored furnishings, pillows and patterned rugs. Sure, color is in—but this can grow into an overly designed nightmare. Designers say it’s time to scale back some of that overdone outdoor style. Stick to one neutral color palette and let the greenery and nature surrounding you serve as your main outdoor focal point.

8. Black stainless steel appliances

Black stainless steel appliances
Photo credit: in4mal / Getty Images

We’ve heard the screams of horror from some homeowners who say this alternative stainless steel finish is not living up to its hype. They’ve complained it’s prone to peeling, chipping and flaking. Their complaints have even sparked a class-action lawsuit(link is external), accusing one major manufacturer for perceived defects from its black coating. Traditional silver metallic stainless and black stainless are actually made from the same material, but black stainless has a coat of black paint. If it scratches, the shiny steel could potentially pop through underneath and make for some highly visible scratches.

7. Bouclé fabrics

Bouclé fabrics
Photo credit: Hemul75 / Getty Images

Bouclé has become a popular choice for sectional sofas and chairs. But they’re not just being used as accents; they’re getting scattered all over the home. Designers warn that the look isn’t aging well. Bouclé fabrics are made from a tightly woven, looped yarn material, often crafted from wool, cotton or linen. It appears lumpy, textured and foam-like. It’s often used in curved furnishings to offer warmth and cozy vibes. But here’s some bad news for bouclé: The fabric can be prone to pilling, is not pet-friendly and sometimes appears dirty, particularly when used in off-white or creamy fabrics.

6. Zellige tiles

Zellige tiles
Photo credit: Pxel66 / Getty Images

These Moroccan clay tiles, which are often shaped like small squares, are known for their imperfections. No two Zellige tiles look alike. But those imperfections can look sloppy, particularly on a kitchen backsplash or as shower tile with a shiny glaze that spotlights its unevenness. Particularly concerning, Zellige tiles installed on the floor could pose a trip hazard due to their unevenness and irregular shapes.

5. Super shiny surfaces

Super-shiny surfaces
Photo credit: Alabn / Getty Images

Grab your sunglasses. From cabinet fronts to countertops, stainless steel appliances to range hoods, and backsplashes to floors, the trend toward shiny, glossy surfaces is reflecting poorly. These overly polished fixtures are now getting swapped out for more organic, natural materials and textures. Countertops, for example, were once favored in polished, super-shined quartz or granite. Designers are now showing preference for honed or matted finishes offering a softer sheen that’s less reflective and has a more organic, slightly textured finish.

4. Low backsplashes

Low backsplash
Photo credit: Dpproductions / Getty Images

Another fading trend is the mini backsplash, which has a small edging that creeps up ever-so slightly around bathroom and kitchen countertops. Under today’s design lens, these now appear unfinished and underwhelming. Plus, the lower backsplashes aren’t providing much protection for the walls—which is the original purpose of a backsplash, after all. Fixr.com called out low backsplashes as one of designers’ least favorite kitchen trends for 2023. Instead, take backsplashes to new heights—even all the way to the ceiling—for grander statements.

3. Mirrored furniture

Mirrored furniture
Photo credit: John Keeble / Getty Images

Designers love mirrors, but the trend went into overdrive. Mirrored furnishings, like nightstands and dressers, were meant to exude luxury and Hollywood glam. But you may want to reserve that flashy bling for the lighting fixtures, not the furnishings. Mirrored furnishings were last popular in the 1980s, and their quick re-emergence lately is already feeling outdated. Plus, designers say that mirrored furnishings are prone to fingerprints, smudges and bad reflections. (We see what’s hiding under that bed!)

2. Dining benches

Dining table with benches
Photo credit: Astronaut Images / Getty Images

Backless bench seating used for kitchen dining tables were to help hide bulky chairs. These low-profile benches could easily slide underneath the table. They came in style with the farmhouse décor fad. But these benches are uncomfortable, cumbersome to slide onto, and can create an awkward moment of entrapment for whomever finds themselves stuck in the middle. Let’s bring back the chairs!  

1. Blobs

Blob furniture trend
Photo credit: Alvarez / Getty Images

The “blobby” home trend—also dubbed the “blobject”—has ushered in amoeba-like shapes in décor and furnishings, including curvy tables, wavy mirrors, plump furnishings and mushroom-like lamps. Similarly, a TikTok trend earlier this year unleashed a popular and potentially dangerous DIY project: using spray-foam insulation(link is external) (the toxic industrial foam used by builders) to coat tables, mirrors and home accessories. This globby, gooey gak coated many home accessories, making for foamy, wavy edges. Interior design influencer Phoenix Grey, known as the “Design Daddy,” called this one of the worst home design trends of 2023 and said the result “looks like it’s pulled from the intestines of a horror movie.” We agree! The blobs and spray foam are in stark contrast to the straight edges and clean lines that once dominated interior design. We welcome change, but sometimes a blob is just a blob. And, well, that’s not always pretty. 

Great Tips form the BBB!

How scammers use social media platforms

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The introduction of social media has transformed how millions of people communicate with friends, family, strangers, and businesses. Unfortunately, it has also provided an outlet for fraud, scams, and unethical business practices to reach a broad audience. The best defense against falling victim to fraud and scams originating from social media interactions is to understand how bad actors use the most popular platforms. #scammers #socialmedia # hackers #scams #computervirus #fraud
https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/29154-bbb-tip-how-scammers-use-social-media-platforms

How to Buy a House and Get A Mortgage Loan Out of State

Buying a house is one of the most exciting times in your life, but when you’re buying a house in another state, it adds a layer of complication (and stress) to the entire process. However, buying a house out of state is hardly unusual. This guide will show you what to consider when moving and how to get a mortgage loan out-of-state, so you can navigate the process with confidence.

American Eagle Mortgage : SEPTEMBER 2023

Why Consider Buying a House Out of State?

Relocation for Work or Family

Many homebuyers find themselves searching for a home in another state because they’re moving for a new job. Others may find that as their family grows, they want to relocate to their home state to receive the support of extended family. Likewise, retirees may move to a different state to be closer to their children or grandchildren.

If you’re relocating for work, be sure to discuss possible relocation services that may be available from your company. These packages can include financing house-hunting trips, covering your cost of moving and temporary housing you may need.

Improved Cost of Living

Some homebuyers discover that the cost of living is much lower in another state. That typically includes the housing market, which means that you can often purchase a larger home in a favorable location without having to increase your purchase budget.

Second Property Investment

Of course, you may not be moving at all but purchasing a home in another state to serve as a rental property. For example, you might purchase beachfront property in another state in the hopes of generating income from vacation rentals.

How to Research the Housing Market in Another State

It’s time to start house hunting – but how do you research the area if you live in a different state? Here are a few tips that can aid you in your search for an out-of-state home:

Using Online Real Estate Websites

You’re probably already familiar with most of the popular online real estate websites. You can conduct a home search in the state (or even city) where you’re moving to learn more about the real estate market. The best sites also provide photos or even virtual tours of available homes, which can give you a better feel for your options.

Working with Local Real Estate Agents

It’s important to try and work with a local real estate agent. They may be able to show you how to buy a house out of state since they’ve helped countless other homebuyers achieve the same goal. They can provide unique insights into local ordinances or laws pertaining to property lines and more.

And if you’re moving to a neighboring state, your real estate agent may be able to connect you to other real estate professionals in your new state who can guide you through the steps of buying a house in a different state.

Visiting the Area in Person

Depending on geography, traveling to the area can be the most challenging step. But if you’re planning to uproot your life to purchase a home in a new state, it may be worthwhile. A trip to your new city may also help you narrow down your desired neighborhood.

Compare Costs of Living

You can also use the internet to compare the costs of living between states and cities. The website bestplaces.net offers a cost-of-living calculator as well as online reviews and data on crime, home prices, and other details.

How to Get a Mortgage Loan Out-of-State

Financing is one of the most important steps of the homebuying process. The following tips can connect you to a mortgage lender that can provide guidance on how to get a mortgage loan out-of-state:

Finding a Lender in Another State

First, you’ll need to narrow your search for mortgage lenders licensed in the state to which you’re moving. Don’t worry if you can’t visit the mortgage loan officer in person; many of the core documents and processes can be completed electronically.

If you’re moving for a new job, make sure to provide the lender with a copy of your job offer and your future salary.

Remote Inspection and Closing

Before you buy a home, you can conduct a remote home inspection and an appraisal to validate the condition and value of the home. Once you make a purchase, you’ll work with your lender and a title company to pay any closing costs to complete the sale.

Tomorrow’s Journey Starts Today!