Obtaining a Reverse Mortgage on a Manufactured Home

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When you call a lender to inquire about a reverse mortgage on a manufactured home, you might hear that they don’t accept manufactured homes.  Some lenders don’t do reverse mortgage loans on manufactured homes at all.  The good news is that there are plenty of lenders that do allow manufactured homes, and the property type is definitely acceptable to HUD—with some exceptions.

Mobile vs. Manufactured Homes

A manufactured homeMany customers use the term “mobile home” interchangeably with “manufactured home.” Wikipedia explains the difference well:

Technically, a mobile home and manufactured home are different entities. A mobile home is always constructed prior to June 1976. Homes constructed post June 1976, are almost categorically known as manufactured homes, meeting FHA certification requirements, and come with attached metal certification tags. Mobile homes permanently installed on owned land are rarely mortgageable, whereas FHA code manufactured homes are mortgageable through VA, FHA, and FNMA.

Once the tongue and axle are removed, the home is placed on a permanent foundation, and utilities are installed, it is no longer a “mobile home.”

Manufactured Home Requirements

Let’s review some of the other reverse mortgage financing requirements for manufactured homes. To be eligible, all manufactured homes must:

  • Have a floor area of at least 400 square feet.
  • Be built and remain on a permanent chassis.
  • Display all the HUD tags on the outside of the home.
  • Meet county and HUD requirements for any additions.
  • Stay on the original site.  The home cannot be installed or occupied at a new location.

Additionally, manufactured homes cannot be:

  • Taxed by the county as a motor vehicle instead of real property.
  • In a condo association.
  • In a leasehold (manufactured home park where you lease instead of own the land).
  • Manufactured homes located in a flood zone, partially or otherwise.
  • On a property containing multiple manufactured homes (can be resolved, but case by case).

If your property meets all of the requirements above, you can continue pursuing a reverse mortgage.

A Note About Upfront Costs

We would be remiss not to point out that the upfront cost of obtaining a reverse mortgage loan can be more expensive for manufactured homes than other property types, because of the foundation inspection.

All manufactured homes are required to have a foundation inspection conducted by a licensed professional engineer.  The inspection, conducted prior to the appraisal, is usually in the $300 to $400 range. Due to the rural nature of many manufactured homes, the appraiser often charges a higher fee, so the total cost for the appraisal can be $500 to $550.  That’s a total out-of-pocket cost of $800 to $1,000 to obtain a reverse mortgage.

Manufactured Homes Are Not Off-Limits

If you hear that you can’t get a reverse mortgage loan on a manufactured home, don’t despair: it’s a common misconception. Some lenders don’t do them because of the very specific nature of eligibility on manufactured homes, but if you know that the home meets HUD requirements and you’re prepared to pay a little more for an inspection, there is no reason you can’t apply for a reverse mortgage loan for a manufactured home.

60 thoughts on “Obtaining a Reverse Mortgage on a Manufactured Home

  1. Please clarify the above statement : ” On a property containing multiple manufactured homes”

    Our manufactured home is in a privately owned RV Park where each lot is owned by an individual, i.e., each owner pays his/her own state property taxe the same as a regular property owner would and his/her name is shown on the deed. Is this different from a “property containing multiple manufactured homes”?

    1. Good question Deborah. In this article, I’m referring to one tax parcel containing multiple manufactured homes. The case by case emphasis is there because an appraiser would need to compare this type of property to others of a similar nature. Finding comparable sales can be challenging, given the time and distance limits.

      Since you own the land that your manufactured home is on, it appears that you should be eligible for a reverse mortgage, assuming you meet the other requirements.

  2. I purchased a used mobile home 15 years ago and placed it on my land. Can I apply for a reverse mortgage or because it is a used mobile home it is not possible. I purchased it from a dealer and it was placed and remains on the site it was tied down to.

    1. Thanks for the question Pat. Unfortunately, your home would not be eligible for a reverse mortgage. Manufactured homes cannot be installed OR previously occupied at another site. Since you bought the home used, it was previously occupied at another site.

  3. I want to obtain a reverse mortgage on my 1,200 sq. ft. very nice mfr’d. home/3 bdrm/2 bath; it was placed new on a solid cement block foundation in 1995 and is on 1.10 acre fenced acre.

  4. I HAVE A 2014 3 BEDROOM 2 BATHROO,CAVCO MANUFACTURED MODULAR HOME IN A MOBILE HOME PARK WHERE I PAY SPACE RENT IS THERE ANYBODY THAT WOULD GIVE ME A REVERSE MORTGAGE?

    1. Thanks for the question June. Unfortunately, all of the lenders I work with require you to own the land your manufactured home is on. Sorry!

  5. We have lived in our manufactured home 24×32 garage and 10×16 newer shed on 2 acres classified as real estate for about 15 years and have made the payments on it. However it is in my Moms name . Can it be signed over to us . I am 63 and my wife is 64.

    1. Hello Ralf. Yes, you can take out a reverse mortgage against the manufactured home you have been living in, assuming it meets HUD’s standards. Your mother would need to quit claim her interest in the property to you and your wife. Due to the nature of that decision, we have to recommend that she seek legal advice as to the ramifications of doing so. The actual quit claim deed can be prepared and signed as part of the loan process. You and your wife would have to be able to prove occupancy with utility bills.

  6. We own a mortgaged 20 year old manufactured home in rural Georgia on partially fenced 1.1 acres. There are lots of improvements on the property which sits on the edge of a huge pine forest. The house is in great shape. Our mortgage is FHA and the house is grounded and the metal decals are attached. We have been here for 7 years. We are both 70 years old, so the mortgage holder would not have to wait long. How do we locate a lender to handle a reverse mortgage for us? Thanks.

    1. Thanks for the question Captain Huggy. You’ve found a lender that can walk you through the process. I’ll be in touch with you by email, so we can review the next steps.

  7. My mother has a mobile home on a brick permanent foundation built in the 80s. She wants to renovate it. Can she use a reverse mortgage for this? It needs a new roof, flooring and she would like to build a larger front porch.

    1. Hey Malissa. You can take out a reverse mortgage to repair a home, assuming it’ll provide the cash needed to do the renovation. Depending on the current condition of the property, there could be some items that have to be addressed before closing. The appraiser will cite the repair issues and anything that is a health or safety concern would need to be addressed prior to closing. That can be a financial burden for some, so it is something to dive deeper into. I’ll be happy to speak with you further about the current condition of the property.

  8. My sister-in-law who is 87 and owns her manufactured home (1600 sq ft) in a senior park (55+). She pays rent on the land and pays a county tax. She does not own the land. Is she qualified for a Reverse Mortgage?

    Chuck McConnell

    1. Thanks for the question Chuck. Unfortunately, all of the lenders I work with require you to own the land your manufactured home is on. Sorry!

    1. Hey Kathy. As part of the loan process, an appraisal of the land and home are done. The appraisal will include at least three comparable sales in the past year and a couple of active listings. That sets a precedent for what someone was willing to pay “recently” for a similar offering. That market value is what we base our loan amount off of.

  9. My husband and I own our double wide mobile home on 1.25 acres. We do live in a mobile home sub-division. It is paid for. We’ve added a deck and garage metal building to the property. He is 72 and I am 58. We live on his Air Force retirements and Social Security. Would we be eligible for the reverse mortgage? THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

    1. Hello Donna. Yes, your husband can apply for a reverse mortgage as long as you guys own the land. You would be an eligible non-borrowing spouse on the application. You would want to discuss what that means with a loan officer or reverse mortgage counselor.

  10. My husband and I own a manufactured home on a 80 by 100 lot. We own the land but have a first and second mortage on the house. Would we still be eligable for a reverse mortage?

    1. Hey Sharon. There is a sliding scale of equity needed, and it is dependent on the youngest spouse’s age. For a 62 year old, we can loan 52.4% of the home’s value and that rises all the way up to 75% for a 90 year old. If you can send me details via email, I’ll be happy to dig into this deeper for you.

  11. my parents have a mobile home – single wide, I believe, that is on an acre of land that they own. Are they eligible for a reverse mortgage?

  12. I paid 59,900 for my doublewide and I owe 50,000 yet but when I replaced the siding I lost the tag on the outside. Can we qualify for a reverse mortgage? My wife is 62and I am 67. Thanks.

    1. Hello Don. It appears that you have minimal equity in your property unless you purchased the home some time ago and it has appreciated significantly since. Reverse mortgages are not high “loan to value” loans, so you would need significant equity (50%+) to qualify for the loan. Keep in mind there are also credit and income requirements to obtain a reverse mortgage.

      Moving on to the tag issue, it used to be a requirement, but there is an alternate method of verifying the property meets HUD standards now. See this Q&A from HUD – http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/ramh/mhs/mhslabels

      The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) has also published some information on their site – http://www.ibts.org/services/services-in-the-public-good/cert-label-verification.html

  13. I need some help with refinancing my manufactured home. It’s in Connecticut in a park/community where the land is leased on a monthly basis. We have a mortgage and we pay property taxes/home owners insurance from our escrow on it as well. Does that define it as personal property or real estate, it was built in 1987 as were most of the homes in our park/community. We are looking to refinance with cash back to do home upgrades. I have scoured the internet and called lots of lenders, but none want to help.

    1. Hello Sarah. Thanks for the question. I only offer reverse mortgages, so I can’t speak to any other type of loan. I’m not aware of any lender that can offer a reverse mortgage against a manufactured home on leased land. I’m sorry for the bad news.

  14. Hello Matt, we own a mobile home with own land, it’s a 1979 model, it’s not on permanent foundation.
    Now my question is: we like to replaced this old mobile home with a brand new one and put it on permanent foundation.
    Is it any way that we can take a reverse mortgage to change the old mobile home?
    My husband is 70 years old and I am 67 years old.

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Isabel. Thank you for your question. You have two options when it comes to utilizing a reverse mortgage on this property.

      1) Take out a reverse mortgage on the existing home and have the foundation “repaired” as part of the process to make it FHA-eligible. We work with a company that will pay the contractor upfront and receive repayment when the reverse mortgage closes, assuming you have enough equity to be able to pay for the repair work. I would need to know more about your home value and debt against it to see if this is an option.

      2) Buy a new mobile home with cash or a non-reverse mortgage loan and place it on a permanent foundation according to your local code. If you pay cash, you can take out a reverse mortgage right after the home is placed on site. If you take out a mobile home purchase loan, you have to wait one year to close. You would only be eligible if you have enough equity in the home..

      I hope that information helps!

  15. May 16,2016 at 4:45 pm
    I live in a double wide manufacture home. It is on a permanent foundation with 3.63 acres of land. I am 66 years of age. The manufacture home was purchased in 1985, it has an addition added on. It is in great condition. No money is owned on the property. Do I qualify for a reverse mortgage?

    1. Hello Geraldine. Based on everything you have provided so far, yes, you are eligible for a reverse mortgage. The addition will need to be permitted and built to local code. There will need to be sales of similar manufactured homes in your area in the past year.

  16. looks like there are 2 verification’s available “Label Verification Letter and Data Plate / Performance Verification Certificate”. are both necessary or can I just get the Label Verification Letter. The labels on the outside have been covered over by new siding.

  17. In order to get a reverse mortgage on my manufactured home, on a permanent foundation, and built in 1985, a double wide, on land I own and pay taxes and homeowners insurance, I understand I need to have an inspection and appraisal, which could amount to approximately $1,000. Does this have to be paid out of pocket up front or can this be deducted from the actual reverse mortgage funding?

    1. Hello Elizabeth. Typically the appraisal fee and foundation inspection are paid out of pocket by the customer. The charges can be put on a credit card or paid by eCheck (bank draft). The reason these fees are paid upfront is that there is no guarantee that your property will be eligible for a reverse mortgage, so that is a lot of risk for a lender to take on. That being said, we can often share in some of the risk, like requiring you to pay a $250 appraisal deposit and for the full foundation inspection. We discuss the payment structure with each client, and can make exceptions on a case by case basis.

  18. We live in a 6 yr old manufactured home on a foundation. Taxed as real property on 320 acres. We have a small loan of $12000. Problem is bank has a lein on the home for collateral. Is it possible to do a reverse mortgage. We do not have the resources to pay off this loan.

    1. Hello Pam. From what you’ve mentioned, it is possible to get a reverse mortgage against your manufactured home. You don’t have to own the home free and clear, so the small mortgage balance is not a deterrent.

      Keep in mind that we won’t be able to include 320 acres of land as part of the valuation for the loan. The appraiser will be looking for three similar manufactured home sales in the past year and will use the acreage that is typical for those three sales. That could be one acre up to about 20 acres, depending on where you live. If you don’t want all 320 acres encumbered by the loan, we suggest splitting the tax parcel into two pieces, assuming the county allows that. You would include a small portion of the acreage with the home and the rest in the second parcel.

  19. I have a manufactured home one a lot we own and pay taxes as a single family dwelling, the home is a triple wide and the lot is 1/4 acre . The home is a 1981 and thats when it placed on the land. The appraised value is 155,000 for the home and land. I’m 62 and my wife is 63. Do we qualify for a reverse motgage?
    Thanks
    Chris and Terri

    1. Hello Chris. Based on the information you have given, there is nothing that will stop you from obtaining a reverse mortgage. Obviously, there are a lot of other factors, like mortgage balance vs. home value, income & credit history, and whether your area will have similar manufactured home sales in the past year.

  20. I am considering taking a reverse mortgage loan against my home as I just found out mobile homes are applicable for reverse mortgages. My question is, I only owe 2 yrs on my home, an estimated loan balance of $18,000, would I benefit from doing this. I could really use the money I pay each month for my payment which is $550. I need advice on what would be the best thing for me to do. I am paying an 8% interest and would be saving some in interest, God knows I’ve paid way to much in interest charges. I had bad credit for a long time, 10 yrs and couldn’t refinance at a lower rate. I would appreciate your comments on my situation,
    Thanks,
    Pat

    1. Hello Pat. Thank you for your comment. Without knowing more about your situation it would be hard for me to comment on whether a reverse mortgage is a good fit for you. With poor credit, it is a good idea to get prequalified, so you can get an accurate estimate of the loan terms. From there, you can weigh the pros and cons of taking out the loan at this time.

  21. my husband & I have a 1989 manufactured home in a huge 55+ community. As I understand from reading your responses being on leased land is unacceptable for reverse mtg. I contacted a mtg. person who did not tell me this even though I told him about the land. My husband & I are both handicapped & disabled and live on SS checks. I am 67 and he is 69. Most of the communities in our area are on leased land and I can’t believe that none of these homes qualify due to that one rule. Need help in this. thanks in advance. Sparky2005

    1. Hello Sandy. Manufactured homes in communities where you pay rent monthly for the land are not allowed. Manufactured homes in a condominium community may be eligible if the community gets FHA approval. I cannot speak to why another loan officer would have a different answer, but consider that not all loan products have the same rules. This post is solely about reverse mortgages. I can only speculate as to why HUD doesn’t allow us to lend against MFHs on leased land. I would think it’s due to risk of the home being moved due to the lease expiring and/or the land being sold to a new owner.

  22. Hello, I and my wife own a 1984 DW on 2.43 acres with about 300 trees, and 2 permanent out buildings. The home is paid for but we still owe app $16,000 on the property. The home is not on a poured concrete foundation, but is on the standard concrete block and pad foundation with no axles or tongues. It has a built on front porch tied into the house roof, so it is permanent . My wife is 69 and on SS and I will soon be 64. Do we qualify for a reverse mortgage on the property?

    1. Thanks for the comment Kelly. Nothing you mentioned about the property is going to keep you from moving forward with a reverse mortgage. There’s more to qualification than just having an eligible property, so keep that in mind.

  23. I have half mobile home and half house that somebody built around the mobile home with a foundation It has its electricity heat and city water could this be classified as could be qualify for a reverse mortgage

    1. Hello Helen. It is not unusual for a manufactured home to have a “stick built” addition to it. As long as the construction was permitted and done to city/county code, it should be acceptable. More often than not, the underwriter will want at least one comparable sale (manufactured home with stick built addition) that sold in the past year. The lender will want to see that there is a market for that type of property.

  24. Hi. My dad has. a single wide with a full finished basement. Permanent foundation. Are there any single wide reverse mortgages out there?

  25. My wife & I own a double-wide modular home on 75 by 150 foot lot. Both the home and lot belongs to use free of any payments. I am 72 and my wife is 71. Our home has a one car garage and a 10 by 13 foot dining room. There are 3 bedrooms, a large livingroom, and a walk-in kitchen. A 10 by 12 porch and a privacy fence around the lot. What are our chances of a reverse mortgages?

    1. Hello Don. As long as your manufactured home was built after 1976, is on a permanent foundation, and has only been located at this particular property since it was purchased, you should be good to go. There’s a lot more to the loan than that, but those are the basics.

  26. My partner and I live in my house in Lake Havasu City, AZ. I currently have a reverse mortgage that I owe $203,000 on and the home is valued at $325,000 with no other encumbrances. My partner is 79 and I am 80. We want to sell the house, pay off the current reverse mortgage, and downsize to a local “own-your-own-land” mobile home park nearby using the remainder funds and a HECM Reverse Mortgage. There are three homes for sale in this park, but there is only one built after 1976. There is a small HOA (about $100 every quarter) to maintain the pool, spa and clubhouse.Does this small HOA fee prevent us from using a HECM Reverse Mortgage for the purchase of the manufactured home? If so, do you know of any other reverse morgtage lender that would not have this restriction?

    1. Hello Jeanne. Your main issue isn’t going to be the HOA fee, it’s going to be the fact that those manufactured homes aren’t FHA-eligible if built before June 1976. There’s no way around that issue.

      There are three types of manufactured home ownership, so it’ll be important for you to make sure you know how the property is held. They are –

      1) Lease – renting space in a manufactured home park – ineligible for a reverse mortgage
      2) Fee simple – property is owned by individual(s) – eligible for a reverse mortgage
      3) Condo – property is collectively owned by the association – only eligible for a reverse mortgage if the condo complex is FHA-approved.

      A manufactured home park that charges an association fee can fall under any of the choices above, but you did mention that you will own the land. You will just want to confirm that it is fee simple and that the property you buy is built after June 1976 and has the HUD tags.

  27. My wife and I own a 1995 double wide manufactured home that we owe approximately $60k on and the new price was $86K. However it is located on 2 acres and has had multiple up grades in the last two years:
    1) 10X28 additional room add on
    2) outside structure has been totally logged with 8″ pine logs
    3) added on a drive through log garage in 8″ pine ( 28X24 )
    4) wrap around porch on 80% of home
    5) new metal roof
    6) all new laminate flooring
    7) all interior walls were covered with high grade paneling
    8) all new exterior doors
    9) new toilets in all 3 bathrooms
    10) all new appliances
    11) new on demand hot water system with new reserve 40 gallon hot water tank

    Our insurance company has completed an appraisal estimated at $235K. I’m recently retired 66 yrs old and my wife is 63 and still employed. We’re considering refinance or reverse mortgage. Do you think we would be eligible for a reverse mortgage and if so what would be the amount we could receive based on the current appraisal?

    1. Hello George. The key factor in determining whether a property is eligible for reverse mortgage financing is about marketability. The lender needs to feel comfortable that there’s a market for the home if they have to foreclose at any point and become the owner of the property. When you live in a manufactured home in a rural area, it can be hard to find three comparable manufactured home sales in the past year. There have to be three, and they must be no older than twelve months.

      When you significantly alter a manufactured home with additions, the underwriter will want to see comparable sales that have also been modified. There can be many situations where you create a property that doesn’t have “peers” and it will make it hard to mortgage your property. That being said, the only real way to find out is to apply for the loan, complete the counseling session, and let the lender order the appraisal. It’ll cost you $500-$550 for the appraisal to find out whether your property is eligible. Always ask your lender to get the appraisal reviewed by an underwriter before paying for the foundation inspection if there is any concern about the appraisal being accepted by the lender.

  28. I live in New Mexico and i have a 1988 manufactured home which at this point i owe 192,000 FHA loan. In 2005 i had an apraissal done which came in at $280.000.00.I also had an engineer inspect the home and issued me a certificate of enginnering which of course means the home is on permanent foundation, tied down and all that is required to be considered real property. The home is on 1.1 acres. I have since done additions to the home which at this time is 2370 sq ft. I upgraded all the windows, stuccoed the home and the roof has been replaced with metal roofing. The flooring in the home has been replaced with pergo flooring and walls all textured. There is a 20’X40″ unattached garage with a 28’X30′ carport and 2 large porches attached to the home. I pay taxes and insurance through escrow. Would i qualify for a reverse mortgage. I am 63 and my wife is 60 years old.

    1. Hey Joe. Your description of the property sounds fine to me. I don’t see any issues there, as long as there are at least three comparable sales in the area in the past year. I wouldn’t base your property value on an appraisal from 12 years ago though. With a mortgage balance of $192K, your home will need to appraise for about $390K to move forward with a reverse mortgage with no cash out of pocket.

  29. Matt:
    I live in a deed restricted 55 plus park. I have a 1985 home that is paid for. I need some extra cash to keep repairs up to date. I am a widow75 years of age. Would I be able to get a reverse mortgage. I pay all my own taxes on the property.

    1. Hey Mary. I would just need to know the name of the manufactured home community and zip code, so I can look it up and see if it is eligible for a reverse mortgage. To be eligible, the park needs to be fee simple (you own the land) or a condominium park that is on the FHA-approved list. Parks where you lease (rent) the land are not eligible for a reverse mortgage.

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