Manufactured home sales in our rural area seem to continually
be a significant portion of the real estate market. The
advantage of quicker installation along with the fact that they
are less expensive than site built homes makes this option for
housing seem very attractive. If you are considering this as
an alternative to building, or if you are considering purchasing
an existing MH, there are a few things to consider that might
enhance future resale possibilities.
Any of these homes built after 1976 that are delivered
with axles attached to the frame, are considered
Manufactured Homes (previous to that date were considered
Mobile Homes), not to be confused with modular homes.
Each section of these MH’s should have a serial number
stamped to the foremost cross member of the frame along
with an aluminum red HUD label with sequential numbers
attached to the end of the home. Homeowners should take
care to not remove or paint over such labels since they must
be present to qualify for financing.
All MH’s that meet the nationwide HUD standards have a
data plate or Compliance Certificate attached to the structure
which is a piece of paper that contains important information
such as; date of manufacture, HUD numbers, serial number,
snow load etc., which should never be removed. This document
can usually be found under the kitchen sink or in a bedroom
closet or even inside the electrical panel. Snow load
information is important for siting new homes since requirements
differ in various jurisdictions. Since micro-climates in
our area vary greatly in terms of snow fall totals, that should be
a critical consideration!
Even though MH’s are licensed as a motor vehicle with
a title, they can be and are usually converted to real property
by eliminating the title when a conventional lender is
involved. This assures the lien holder that the collateral
cannot be easily removed from the property since it cannot
be legally moved without a title.
Lenders (conventional or FHA and VA) require a permanent
foundation complete with tie downs and concrete runners.
Most contractors simply follow county installation
guidelines, rather than going the extra mile to meet FHA and
VA standards which require longitudinal tie downs as well
lateral. Pit set homes work well since the bottom of the footing
must be below the frost line (24”). Certification by a
structural engineer is a requirement for FHA loans. Even
though most of these homes are bottom wrapped with their
own vapor barrier, lenders require an additional barrier on the
surface of the ground. Thinking ahead to the time when you
may want to sell this property may make it easier than retro
fitting at point of sale.