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 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 and that any additions do not impact the structural integrity of the manufactured home.
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 federal installation standards nationwide. 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 significantly, the Engineer Certification Letter 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 identifying that the home is on a permanent foundation other conditions must be met. These are: These are: