Houston, Texas, is an excellent place to live. Whether you're a lifelong resident or looking to make a move to Houston, a manufactured home can be an affordable option for retirees, new families, or anyone who prefers a smaller mortgage. Banks, credit unions, and lending institutions often have financing available for manufactured homes, including government-backed options such as a VA loan.
What Is a Manufactured Home?
A manufactured home is prefabricated or built off-site in a factory-type setting and then later moved to the location where you'll reside in it. Once the manufactured home is placed at its destination, final installation will take place, such as wiring the house with electricity and connecting it to water and sewer. In 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) created stricter guidelines for safety and construction for manufactured homes to make them safer. In order to qualify for financing, the home must have been built after this date and be labeled as such.
Prefabricated homes also include modular homes, which are also built off-site and then moved to a location in pieces to be assembled and affixed to a permanent foundation. These types of prefabricated homes can qualify for conventional financing because they are considered permanent real estate. Mobile home is another word often used to describe manufactured housing, although technically the term mobile home describes prefabricated homes manufactured prior to June 1976.
Manufactured homes can be single-wide, double-wide, or multi-wide. They're at least eight feet wide and 40 feet long when traveling. You'll find wall-to-wall carpeting and appliances such as a washer, dryer, stove, and refrigerator as part of the manufactured home package. Today's manufactured homes are built with modern styling and attractive fixtures and appliances, making them difficult to distinguish from traditional on-site stick-built homes. Their updated look and affordability make them appealing to homeowners.
What Types of Financing Are Available for Manufactured Homes in Houston, Texas?
Not all private lenders, such as banks or credit unions, offer financing for manufactured homes, so if that's the direction you're headed, you'll want to check for a lender offering financing for manufactured homes. Cascade Financial Services specializes in financing manufactured homes in Houston, Texas, and offers several types of loans, including chattel, VA, and FHA loans.
What Is a VA Loan?
The Veteran's Administration (VA) authorizes certain private lenders and lending institutions to provide loans to honor those who have served in the U.S. military and their families. A VA loan offers veterans an affordable option for homeownership. To qualify for a VA loan, the veteran must have fulfilled the following terms:
- Served 90 days during active wartime.
- Served 181 continuous days of peacetime service.
- Served six years in the National Guard.
Furthermore, if a U.S. military veteran was killed in the line of duty, their surviving spouse can also qualify for a VA loan through an authorized lender. Any veteran or spouse wishing to apply for a VA loan must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. You can apply for this certificate and learn more about VA loans and benefits on the VA website.
VA loans typically offer lower interest rates, require lower down payments, and don't require monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI), making them affordable options for financing a manufactured home in Houston, Texas. A funding fee is added to the VA loan to help cover some of the costs associated with the program, which is typically between 1.4% to 3.6% of the total purchase price. This fee can be waived for a disabled veteran.
Most VA loans require a 5% down payment compared to the 20% down payment required by conventional funding. You will have to make the financed manufactured home your primary residence to qualify for a VA loan.
What Are the Steps To Get a VA Loan in Houston, Texas?
The first thing you must do is obtain your Certificate of Eligibility. Once you have that in hand, you can take the certificate to any authorized lender to apply for a VA loan, such as Cascade Financial Services, to start the application process. Applying for a VA loan is similar to applying for a conventional mortgage. Steps include:
- Credit review. Take a look at your credit history and credit score. You can request a free copy of your report annually from the major credit reporting bureaus. Lenders will also look at your credit, so you should know what they're seeing.
- Income review. Take a close look at your budget, including income and expenses, to determine whether you're financially able to afford homeownership.
- Research the loan. Learn everything you can about your VA loan, including interest rate, term, funding fees, closing costs, and minimum credit score requirement.
- Find a lender. Locate a lender authorized to offer VA loans and review potential lender fees, such as origination fees typically associated with mortgages.
- Find a home. Work with a real estate agent or salesperson to find the manufactured home of your dreams in Houston.
Online loan calculators are an excellent resource to determine your estimated monthly payment for a manufactured home. Don't forget to factor in expenses such as homeowner's insurance and property taxes when budgeting for your new home.
When you're ready to dive into homeownership with a manufactured home in Houston, Texas, reach out to the knowledgeable team at Cascade Financial Services. We specialize in loans for manufactured homes and can go over your options to determine the best financial solution for your needs. You can reach us at 855-413-1940 for any questions you may have or for more information on the services we provide. You can also start the prequalification process online today!