With the rising cost of homes, and increased payments due to high interest rates, manufactured and modular homes are a great alternative for veterans who look to use their well-deserved VA benefits to finance their new home. Retailers often shy away from accommodating veterans primarily due to stricter guidelines imposed by such programs. The difficulty in helping veterans buy a home is often exasperated by information provided on various websites that is often nebulous and misleading at best, and sometimes downright incorrect, at worst. Retailers should do quite the opposite. Our veterans have served their country and anything we can do to thank them for their service is both appropriate and appreciated.
It is important to know that the Veterans Association (VA) does not lend money, but rather they simply guarantee the loan for the lender. Many VA approved lenders are still hesitant to handle VA loans for a plethora of reasons, so you may have to hunt a little.
The best thing a retailer can do is to do some research and become aware of what lenders offer VA loans and what their guidelines are. You need 2-3 different lenders for your buyers.
It seems that the most common requirement for financing a manufactured home using VA benefits are as follows:
1. Be set on a permanent foundation – Not to be confused with “affixture”. See following
2. Be “affixed” to the property – meaning it must be one legal entity including the land and must be considered real property. This appears to be a more fundamental requirement more so than whether it is a HUD home or Modular construction.
3. Must conform with VA MPRs (Minimum Property Requirements) – zoning and building code requirements.
I would suggest doing a Google search on using VA benefits to purchase a manufactured home. You will quickly see the challenges facing the potential home buyer. To leverage their frustration and confusion, which they will certainly encounter, you will need to be seen as the “expert” in the eyes of your buyer, which shouldn’t be difficult. When sees that you can guide them through the VA process, they will gladly let you take the lead.
But, it is critical that you do your homework and find out which lenders offer VA loans. I wouldn’t just inquire with your current lenders but be open to going outside of your current lending ecosphere.
Here are a few VA lenders that handle manufactured homes which you might not have considered.
- Triad Financial Services – www.triadfs.com 1-877-426-8362
- 1st Security Bank (OR/WA) www.fsbwa.com 1-800-683-0973
- Manufactured Nationwide www.manufacturednationwide.com 1-844-999-0639
- New American Funding – www.newamericanfunding.com 1-888-978-0491
- Veterans First Mortgage – www.veteransfirst.com 1-800-217-1596
- Quicken Loans – www.quickenloans.com 1-800-251-9080
- Veterans United – www.veteransunited.com 1-800-884-5560
The key here is to get prepared by doing the research. The more you know about helping our veterans buy a manufactured home, the easier it will be for them to place their confidence in you. Once you have funded a few loans through any lender, you will become more and more familiar with their guidelines and the process.
Contact lenders that serve your state and give them the opportunity to present their program. Keep in mind, you sell homes, they sell the money to buy the home and these lenders want your business.I would encourage you to never walk away from any potential buyers, even if you will need to meet more stringent guidelines. Besides that, they are our Veterans, and I think we all agree – they more than deserve any help we can give them.