Can you buy a new manufactured home with a USDA home loan?

Gina Pogol
The Mortgage Reports contributor

In this article:

Can you buy a new manufactured home with a USDA mortgage?

  • Manufactured homes must be real property (with permanent foundations and taxed as real estate)
  • The site must be in an area designated “rural” by the USDA
  • The loan may cover the purchase and transportation of a manufactured home, plus the purchase of a lot

You can also use a USDA loan to buy a manufactured home and set it up if you already own the lot.

Verify your new rate (Mar 24th, 2019)

Manufactured homes and USDA guidelines

Manufactured homes come in two guises. They are either real estate — on a permanent foundation, at least a double wide, and you pay real estate taxes on them. Or they are personal property, moveable and can be single wide.

Your financing depends on which of these homes you choose to buy. Assuming that the home you choose qualifies as real estate, you can buy a manufactured home with a USDA mortgage.

According to the USDA, “Sec. 3555.208 Special requirements for manufactured homes. Loans may be guaranteed for manufactured homes if all the requirements in this section are met.”

And here are those requirements:
Rural Development may guarantee a loan used for the following purposes related to manufactured homes when a real estate mortgage covers both the unit and the site:

(1) Purchase of a new manufactured home, transportation, permanent foundation, and installation costs of the manufactured home, and purchase of an eligible site if not already owned by the applicant; and

(2) Site development work properly completed to HUD, state and local government standards, as well as the manufacturer’s requirements for installation on a permanent foundation.

Where does the home go?

The USDA does not pick the site – YOU do. It either goes on land that the developer sells you or on land that you purchase, or on land that you already own. But the agency does not tell you where to put the house.

However, your manufactured home cannot be in a highly-populated area, or it won’t meet the requirement that it be in a rural area. The map below, using US Census data from 2012, shows how much of the country meets that requirement. You can be located just outside a larger city and be considered rural, or in a small town.

Verify your new rate (Mar 24th, 2019)