Mobile and manufactured homes give people on a low income, like single mothers, a chance to have their own home without the massive price tag or lifelong mortgage that comes with a house or apartment.
Unlike a regular standalone house on land, you usually don’t have to pay for the land with a mobile home but you do lease the lot where the home is placed. Usually this is in a mobile home park among other mobile home residents.
Usually, this mobile home lot rent cost is lower than the rent on other types of properties. But for many single parents, this cost can still break the bank or be completely unaffordable. Not to mention the cost of the home structure itself.
Mobile homes can be as large and spacious as a normal single level house, but come with lower maintenance and a lower upfront cost.
With the rising cost of home ownership and renting in the US, mobile home living has become the choice for millions of Americans.
But despite their more affordable price, buying a manufactured or mobile home is still often out of reach for the average single parent or low income earner, as well as those who are currently studying.
Single parents and low income earners (with or without children) can find programs that have financial assistance available to help with the cost of establishing or maintaining a mobile home.
This can include help with:
- A new purchase of a mobile home
- Repairs and maintenance grants
- Loan and refinancing help for mobile homes
HUD Financing Manufactured (Mobile) Homes
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) can act as security for the lender if you qualify for a mobile or manufactured home loan. They have a requirement that the interest rate of the loan is fixed for the entire loan period, so you do not have to deal with rate rises.
The most common loan length is 20 years, but 15 and 25 year loans are also available.
Find out more
Mobile Home Loans for Veterans and Military Spouses
The US Department of Veterans Affairs can offer manufactured or mobile home loans for eligible residents.
These VA loans for manufactured homes provide a literal foot in the door for those who often need it the most and who have been priced out of their local real estate market.
Veterans or their surviving spouses who may not be able to service or qualify for a regular bank loan can take advantage of the Veterans Affairs loan guarantee, where the VA provides the loan security to the lender on your behalf.
One of the best things about a VA backed loan is that you do not need a down payment. This removes one of the biggest hurdles we face in buying a place to live. Of course, many single parents won’t be eligible for VA loans for a mobile home, but there are other options to look into.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a program available called the Financing Manufactured (Mobile) Homes.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has an approved set of lenders who are insured to provide loans to people who are on a low income and who wish to purchase a mobile home and/or a lot for a manufactured home.
Do you still need a good credit history to get these loans?
Yes, your credit history will be looked at as part of the approval process, as will your financial circumstances.
Just like any loan, the lender will want to know that you will be able to make the repayments on your mobile home.
Usually a loan like this will run for 20 years with a fixed interest rate, so you can plan ahead.
There are limits to how much you can borrow under this special program. For a single manufactured house, the maximum loan amount is currently $69,678, while if you are wanting to buy a home and lot, the upper limit is $92,904.
HUD.gov provides more information about the manufactured home loan process.
If you already have a home, but it is in desperate need of upgrade or repair, there are grants and loans available specifically for that purpose for low income households.
Known as the Section 504 Home Repair program, this is available as a grant to people aged 62 years and older who can not afford a repair loan or to fix potential safety hazards that are in need or urgent repair.
USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Programs
You do not need to be a single parent to qualify for the USDA’s Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Program, and this is one of the best opportunties if you live in a rural part of the US.
This program offers:
- Loan guarantees
The program helps you to buy, build or repair a single family home of any type, including mobile and manufactured homes. Find out more here.