Getting a home equity loan on any property will depend on a few factors, such as how much equity is available and what other debts the borrower has on top of the mortgage. Mobile home owners often face even more challenges getting home equity loans because of the negative ideas and attitudes associated with dwellings that could be moved from one place to another. If you are persistent and willing to do the work required to meet refinancing qualifications, however, it is possible to get a home equity loan on a double-wide.
Banks usually will not even consider an application for a home equity loan from the owner of a double-wide mobile home unless it rests on a permanent foundation. That means the towing hitch, the wheels and the axle must be taken off. Some banks may require that a full masonry perimeter wall be erected around the foundation of the home.
For most lending institutions to consider providing the owner of a double-wide a home equity loan, the home must meet the classification of "real property" -- not "personal property." Even if a mobile home is set on a permanent foundation in a mobile home park, it is still considered personal property because you pay rent to the park owner and do not own the land. Double-wide owners receive a real property title if the mobile home is permanently set on a piece of property owned by the owner of the double-wide.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has its own set of standards for permanent foundations. In order for a double-wide to qualify for a loan insured by the Federal Housing Authority, a state-certified licensed engineer must inspect the installation of the mobile home and certify that it complies with guidelines set by HUD. The inspection will cost between $300 and $600. If the double-wide installation does not comply with HUD standards, the inspector will make recommendations on how to meet the requirements and schedule a re-inspection at a later date -- for another fee of course.
The age of a double-wide can be an important factor when banks are considering an application for a home equity loan. Usually, the double-wide must have been manufactured in 1976 or later, but a few states' requirements are even more stringent. In Alabama, for example, mobile homes must have been manufactured in 1990 or later. Banks in Mississippi will not provide home equity loans on mobile homes built prior to 1999, and in New York double-wides must have been produced in 1995 or later.
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