As a manufactured home contractor and realtor specializing in manufactured homes on resident-owned land, I have found that the most frustrating aspect in the marketplace is the loan industry. Loans and sales go hand in hand with the vibrancy of the real estate industry. No loans, no sales—it’s that simple. The main problem is the inability of lenders to understand the manufactured home product in general. Most lenders roll their eyes at the thought of dealing with a Manufactured Home loan: the loan officers don’t think they’ll make a big enough commission for the amount of work they have to do, the processors act like they are being asked to conduct business in a foreign language and everyone complains there are no investors. Borrowers get the run-around like you wouldn’t believe and hear promises after promises. Then at the last minute a new condition arises and the loan unravels. No one gets straight answers.
I’ve had borrowers break down in tears, crying their eyes out in frustration. As contractors, On The Level General Contractors is intimately impacted and involved with the lending process because in order to qualify for a land-home loan in California, the home must be on a permanent foundation. So if the home is not on a permanent foundation, we are frequently asked to upgrade the foundation by securing a permit with the building department and subsequently securing a recorded 433A documentation, proving that the foundation meets the California guidelines. In most cases, we are paid out of the close of escrow, therefore if the lender falls short of his goal to provide the borrower with a loan, we are left hanging as well.
Unfortunately one would think that the more recognizable the name of the lender, the better. Not with manufactured homes. I have seen the big names recklessly order retrofits, engineer’s certifications, repairs etc. before the simplest of loan conditions were met. We work with hundreds of lenders and have learned to navigate through the shark-infested waters, but if we have a chance to recommend to one of our clients, we suggest: www.themanufacturedhomelendingsource.com or www.mh-lending.com. From loan officers, to processors, to in-house underwriter, to professional engineers, they are a network of manufactured home loan specialists. It has been my experience that my clients have received straight answers the first time out of the box. If they can do the loan, they tell you quickly, if they can’t, they disclose that as well. Their breadth of knowledge about every aspect of the manufactured home loan, its intricacies and its idiosyncrasies can take an offer to a sale in record time—and no 11th hour emergencies.