Very few lenders and/or loan officers are aware of the information I am about to share with you concerning obtaining an FHA, VA, or HUD Guaranteed Loan for a Manufactured Home. In fact, I have mortgage brokers, lenders, loan officers, real estate agents, and even the home owners, calling my office for advice on how to expedite these types of loans for their manufactured home. I’m surprised that many of these professionals don’t know one of the most important components to getting their loan approved. I am not a loan officer, or a mortgage broker, or a real estate agent – I am an engineer.
So why would these professionals be asking an engineer about a critical aspect in getting their FHA/HUD, or VA loan approved for their manufactured home loan? Because for every FHA/HUD, VA, and other HUD guaranteed loans for manufactured homes, an Engineer Foundation Certification is required for each and every manufactured home receiving a federally guaranteed loan. Most lenders are surprised at such a requirement and I end up explaining the process to them during the course of our professional relationship. It’s quite amusing some times.
So what is an Engineer’s Foundation Certification? It is a document from a professional licensed engineer where the home resides, that certifies that the manufactured home rests on a permanent foundation. Not just any permanent foundation, but a permanent foundation complying with the HUD Permanent Foundation Guide for Manufactured Homes (PFGMH – HUD 7584).
Most lenders are not aware of this document, and sad to say, most engineers also. Most engineers are not familiar with the HUD guidelines for a permanent foundation on a manufactured home – so when seeking out an engineer, make sure you get one with plenty of experience. Otherwise, the loan that you’re trying to expedite will get tremendously delayed. And we all know that time is money!
The engineer certifying the home needs to be extremely confident and familiar with the HUD PFGMH code/manual as mentioned above. It is the Manufactured Home Foundation Bible, so to speak. This manual is not an easy read, even for many engineers. The manual is vague and requires a sound understanding of how manufactured homes work, and a fine understanding of building analysis in general. Manufactured homes do not follow the same building codes as in-place stick built homes – this is why most engineers are not familiar with the codes (they simply don’t have the time or want to expend the effort in learning yet another code book.)
If you’re a mortgage lender, loan officer, manufactured home builder, real estate agent, or the like, you need to team up with an engineer that has a reputation of providing clear judgment concerning manufactured home foundations. If you don’t, the delay could be very costly. If you do hire the right engineer who has experience in manufactured home foundations that are HUD compliant, and the keyword here is HUD compliant, then the loan process will be very smooth and expeditious.