Refinancing a mobile home is a little different than refinancing a regular home, but it can be done. First you need to determine what type of mobile home you have. Mobile homes, manufactured homes and modular homes are all commonly referred to as mobile homes, although, as you’ll see, this is no longer a very proper term.
Manufactured homes are actually the new name for mobile homes, although the term “mobile home” is used much more often than the more accurate and modern “manufactured home”. Under the US Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, mobile homes made after 1976 are called manufactured homes. Manufactured homes are made entirely in a factory and built with a steel frame or chassis. They are then transported to the home site. Manufactured homes can be relocated by following appropriate State regulations regarding the transportation of manufactured homes by experienced trucking companies. Manufactured homes often decrease in value over time.
Modular homes are also built in a factory, but are made of the same building materials as a regular home rather than the steel framing of a manufactured home. Modular homes are usually only partially constructed before being transported to the home site, where the remainder of the building process is carried out. Modular homes need to follow the building codes of the location where it’s built. Depending on the design of the modular home you own, it can be very similar in appearance to a mobile or manufactured home, or it can be more elaborate and virtually impossible to distinguish from a traditional site-built home. If your modular home is built well, it should follow the local housing market’s ups and down along with similar traditional site-built homes in your neighborhood.
If you aren’t sure if your home is a manufactured home or a modular home, look for a HUD Certification Label. It is a red metal label that must be attached to the exterior of each section of your home. It has a serial number and has verbiage that describes it specifically as a manufactured home. A single-wide manufactured home would have one label, a double-wide would have two labels and a triple-wide has three labels.
What you need to do to refinance depends on the type of loan you already have on your home. Most mobile or manufactured homes are purchased with a personal property loan rather than a mortgage, although in some cases these homes can be purchased with a mortgage. Modular homes are purchased with a traditional mortgage.
If you have a modular home that you want to refinance, talk to several mortgage companies in your area. Although a modular home falls under the same financing and refinancing rules and regulations as a traditional site-built home, some mortgage companies are less familiar with them and can be thrown off a bit by the terminology. It’s best to find a mortgage company that is familiar with modular homes when looking to refinance.
If you have a mobile or manufactured home, you should be aware that most traditional mortgage companies will be leery of refinancing your loan. In the case of a mobile or manufactured home, there are companies that work exclusively with owners of mobile and manufactured to provide refinancing services. Simply do a web search on mobile home or manufactured home refinancing and speak to the companies about the services they can offer you.