Yes, it is possible to use a VA loan to purchase a mobile home. Veterans and active-duty military members may be eligible for VA loans, which are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. These loans often have more favorable terms and lower interest rates than conventional loans, making them an attractive option for many homebuyers. However, there are specific requirements that must be met in order to use a VA loan for a mobile home purchase.
1. Eligibility Requirements
In order to use a VA loan to buy a mobile home, you must meet the basic eligibility requirements set by the VA. These requirements include:
- Serving a certain minimum length of time in the military (typically 90 consecutive days during wartime or 181 days during peacetime for active-duty members, or at least six years for National Guard or Reserve members)
- Having an honorable discharge
- Meeting credit and income requirements
2. Permanent Foundation
One significant requirement for using a VA loan on a mobile home is that the home must be permanently affixed to a foundation. This means that the mobile home cannot be on wheels or axles, and it must have a crawlspace or basement. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the home is considered real property rather than personal property. If the mobile home is on leased land, there may be additional requirements.
3. Manufactured Home Requirements
In addition to being permanently affixed to a foundation, the mobile home must also meet certain requirements to be eligible for a VA loan. These requirements include:
- The home must be built after June 15, 1976, as construction standards changed after this date
- The home must have a minimum size of 400 square feet
- The home must be classified as real property and not personal property
- The home must meet state and local building codes
4. Inspection and Appraisal
Just like with any VA loan, the mobile home will need to undergo an inspection and appraisal process. This is to ensure that the home is in good condition and that its value aligns with the loan amount. The inspection will typically cover elements such as the home’s structure, electrical systems, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems. Any necessary repairs may need to be completed before the loan can be approved.
5. Funding Fee
When using a VA loan on a mobile home, you will be required to pay a funding fee. This fee helps offset the cost to the VA of guaranteeing the loan. The amount of the funding fee varies based on factors such as the type of service, down payment amount, and whether it’s the first time the loan is being used. The fee can typically be paid upfront or rolled into the loan amount.
In conclusion, it is possible to use a VA loan to purchase a mobile home. However, there are specific eligibility requirements, foundation and manufactured home requirements, inspection and appraisal processes, and a funding fee that must be considered. If you are a veteran or active-duty military member interested in using a VA loan for a mobile home, it is recommended to consult with a knowledgeable real estate agent or lender who specializes in VA loans to guide you through the process.