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FHA Home Loan Questions: Mobile Home/Manufactured Home Foundations

August 2, 2016

052We have not one, but two questions in our comments section recently about mobile homes/manufactured homes. Here’s the first:

“We had our modular home purged when we ref in 1997. It was required to have tie downs installed when it was refinanced. We are now selling our property and now the lender is requiring that different tie downs need to be done. Is there a clause grandfathered in any tie downs prior to 2001 excludes this update to the old tie downs?”

The problem with answering this question is that lender standards, plus state/local building code would definitely apply. It’s not clear what the reader is asking when discussing the “grandfather clause”. Is that in reference to HUD 4000.1 rules governing FHA loans for manufactured homes? Or is that in reference to the sales contract for the home? Does it refer to state/local building code?

There are many additional questions that need to be asked in order to give a proper answer to this question; in any case, FHA mortgage loans require all manufactured housing to be permanently affixed to an approved foundation. The FHA/HUD official site does have this to say about tie-downs:

…any home built after October 20, 2008 requires tie-downs/anchors. After blocking and leveling, the manufactured home must be secured against the wind by use of anchor assembly type installations as described in “Subpart E – Anchorage Against Wind” of the Installation Standards or by the connecting the home to an alternate foundation system as described in Section 3285.301 of the Standards.”

Homes dated pre-2008 may be required to meet the new tie-down standards for safety reasons, and legal/lender standards would apply in such cases. If the lender is requiring tie-downs to be updated as a condition of loan approval or if the appraisal requires it, that’s basically the last word on the subject.

We’ll examine some specifics of the FHA loan rules for the foundation of a mobile home or manufactured home in reference to our second question:

“I am trying to sell my mobile home and the person buying has been told that to get an FHA loan the home has to be on concrete. When we purchased our 2009 home it qualified as a HUD loan and was set up according to their guidelines, which is on a dirt pad with heavy plastic over that. It is on an acre of land that is not located in a flood zone.”

HUD 4000.1 has the following instructions to the lender regarding the foundation for a manufactured home or mobile home. Such homes must:

“-be built and remain on a permanent chassis;
-be designed to be used as a dwelling with a permanent foundation built in accordance with the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing (PFGMH); and
-have been directly transported from the manufacturer or the dealership to the site.”

That information is supplemented by the following also in HUD 4000.1:

“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, accordingly, to HUD MPS (such as concrete, masonry or treated wood) and the PFGMH for foundations.”

“MPS” refers to Minimum Property Standards, PFGMH stands for Permanent Foundations Guide For Manufactured Housing. You can learn more about the FHA’s requirements for permanent foundations in that guide.

Joe Wallace - Staff Writer

By 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. He was Managing editor for www.valoans.com for (8) years and is currently the Associate Editor for FHANewsblog.com.

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