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FHA/VA Foundation

For VA or FHA-Insured Loan on a Manufactured home(which includes Reverse Mortgages or Home Equity Conversion loans), the opinion of a professional engineer certifying that the foundation meets a national quality standard is required. The Engineer Certification signifies that the home's structural foundation complies with the standards set forth in the HUD PERMANENT FOUNDATION GUIDE FOR MANUFACTURED HOMES, dated September 1996.

The reason for this requirement is to establish a national standard of consistency amidst inconsistent state installation standards. Until January 1, 2009 there were no uniform installation standards nationwides. While manufactured homes have standardized preemptive structural, plumbing, and electrical standards that need to be met before leaving the factory, installation standards for homes installed prior to January 1, 2009 varied from county to county, state to state. Additionally, manufactured homes are unique in that they can either be titled either as personal property (chattel) or real property. In some states the distinction between personal and real property is determined by the type of foundation and underpinnings that support the home. In other states, the classification of "personal" or "real" property is determined by how the property is taxed. Since the individual jurisdictional requirements vary signficantly, the Engineer Certification Letter or Affidavit also helps determine a standard of excellence and security for the lender.

If an existing home is already on a foundation, an engineer can provide a certification attesting to the fact that the home meets the guidelines. If it does not meet the HUD guidelines, there are a variety of proprietary or approved engineered foundation systems that can be retrofitted in combination with the existing structural components. OnTheLevel can provide both the necessary retrofits or can assist in the engineering certification process.

However, in addition to the Engineer's Certification Letter or Affidavit identifying that the home is on a permanent foundation other conditions must be met. These are: These are:

  • The manufactured must be a HUD home, which means it must be manufactured after June 15, 1976. If there are metal plates at the rear of the home that begin with a three Alpha letters like CAL, ARZ, ORE, that's usually a good sign. If the HUD label is missing, usually a label verification letter from the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) www.ibts.org  giving the provenance of the home will suffice.
  • The foundation system must meet the guidelines published in the Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing, dated September 1996. A certification attesting to compliance must be obtained from a licensed professional engineer.
  • The manufactured home must be classified and taxed as real estate. A long-term lease may also be acceptable in certain instances. States vary on how the real estate classification is accomplished so this is another important aspect to understand.
  • The axles and tongues must be removed from the chassis.
  • The manufactured home must have an adequate perimeter enclosure with appropriate ventilation.
  • The manufactured home must not have been installed or occupied previously at any other site or location.
  • Must have a floor area of not less than 400 square feet.
  • Built and remains on a permanent chassis.
  • The finished grade elevation beneath the manufactured home shall be at or above the 100-year return frequency flood elevation.

Changes to California Veteran's Policies...

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