How Do I Get a Mortgage on a Trailer?

How Do I Get a Mortgage on a Trailer?

I qualify for a FHA First Time Home Buyers loan. I found a trailer I can afford. What repairs need be made so that it will pass the appraisal? It is a single-wide trailer with an addition permanently set up on land that comes with it.

HUD Certification Label or Data Plate

The first step is to find the HUD Certification Label. It is a paper label with a lot of information on it. Look for it inside the breaker box, the kitchen cabinet, or the bedroom closet. It will have the Vehicle Identification (Serial) Number you will need to buy the trailer.

If you cannot find the data plate, you could possibly get a replacement. You will need the VIN number.

Mobile Home Tag (not the Data Plate)

The HUD tag is a small metal tag. It should be attached to the siding, perhaps under replaced siding near a corner. Look on the other end of the trailer from where the hitch was. If it’s not there, try the lower right of the original front door, just outside the door trim.

The VIN should be on the data plate, the mobile home tag and stamped on the frame underneath the trailer. It should be stamped into the steel cross bar near where the hitch was attached.  Look for 17 letters and numbers that are about 3/8″ or so high.

You may be able to find the VIN on the tax record or a sales contract.

Expensive Issues

Some of these are very expensive to remedy, so make sure they are right first. Has there ever been a loan on the property before? That would help!

  • Foundation
    Does the foundation already have a PFGMH Certification?
    If not you will need a foundation inspection from an engineer to confirm that the foundation supports the structure and the structure is permanently connected to the foundation.
    A local company charges $450 for this inspection.
    The trailer running gear and tow hitch must have been removed and skirting must be permanently attached to the foundation.
  • Shared Well
    “A shared well must have a shared well agreement and shall be binding upon signatory parties and their successors in title.” If there is no legal agreement for the well, you have to get all of the people on the well to agree and have a lawyer write one up.
    The water has to be tested and OKed. HUD Handbook 4150.1 Rev-1, section 12-17.

Less Expensive Issues

These may still be expensive, but they are probably not deal breakers.

  • Roof
    The roof has to keep water out and has to be good enough to last a couple more years. It has to be structurally sound.
    If there are more than three layers of roofing, you have to remove the roof and start over.
  • Structural soundness
    The walls, windows, doors and steps have to be in good shape. If there is “defective construction, excessive dampness, leakage, decay, termite damage, and continuing settlement” it needs to be corrected.
  • Septic System
    If connection to public sewer isn’t available, the septic system must be acceptable to the local health authorities. Certification isn’t required as long as it is far enough from the well.
  • Electrical
    The electrical box should not have any frayed or exposed wires.
    GFCI outlets where required
  • Heating
    All habitable rooms must have a functioning heat source
  • Water heater
    The water heater must have a temperature and pressure relief valve
  • Bathroom
    At least one toilet, sink, and shower has to be working.
  • Adequate Egress from bedrooms to outside the house
  • Fire Hazards
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Lead paint or asbestos

Anything that is a real hazard, that is a threat to health and safety has to be repaired.
Anything that  threatens the “soundness and structural or integrity of the home” has to be repaired.
Any “necessary mechanical systems (heating, plumbing, etc.) that are unsafe or do not have adequate capacity to support the home” must be repaired.

Little Things

  • Smoke Detectors

HUD does not require the repair of “cosmetic or minor defects, deferred maintenance, and normal wear if they do not affect the safety, security, or soundness of the home.”

It doesn’t require a termite inspection, but it might be a good idea.

Uniform Residential Appraisal Report

To get a loan you will need a Uniform Residential Appraisal Report. An appraiser describes the property and it’s condition. “The appraiser is required to assess any adverse conditions that affect the livability, soundness, or structural integrity of the property.” You have to pay for the appraisal. Lenders use it to decide whether they want to loan you money to buy the property.  You can download a copy of the report to see some of the things they will look at: Uniform Residential Appraisal Report.

Once something has been documented on the home inspection report, it has to be repaired by a licensed professional. “Proof of the inspection and proof of repairs will be required.”