Finding and Choosing a Manufactured Home Lender

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How do you find a lender when you’re purchasing a manufactured home? Learn more with our guide on everything from helping you figure out what loan types may fit your needs to steps for choosing a lender.

The home buying process can be intimidating for anyone, especially first-time home buyers. Part of having a good home buying experience is choosing the right lender for you. Are you considering purchasing a manufactured home but don't know how to find a lender? Check out our tips to help make your search a little less stressful, from what to know before reaching out to a potential lender to what questions to ask lenders when narrowing down your choice.

Am I ready to apply for a home loan?

Before choosing a lender, you’ll want to prepare by knowing what type of loans you’re looking for. To help feel ready to apply for a loan consider these steps:

Decide on Your Budget

Being aware of your finances first will help you know what homes are in your price range. Go over your income and expenses with yourself, and your partner or family to see what type of monthly mortgage payment you can reasonably afford.

Also take into account other loan and home-related costs. These can vary depending on your situation and needs, but remember to include the additional costs in your budget. Costs can include things like a down payment, closing costs, homeowners insurance, property taxes and lot rent (if you are placing your home in a community or on someone else’s land). If you are a first-time home buyer, you should also research if you are eligible for down payment assistance programs.

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Know Your Credit Score

Along with income and debt, credit scores are part of what lenders consider with a home loan application. Knowing your credit score will help you narrow down what loans to apply for when you look at their credit requirements. If your score is lower than you want, you can also take some time to improve your credit score before you apply for a loan.

Have Your Documents Ready

It’s a good idea to go ahead and collect information and documents that may be needed. Having commonly-asked-for documentation readily available is also one way to make the underwriting process smoother and faster, instead of sending in documentation piece by piece. Information you may want to have on hand can include:

  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Social security number
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Tax returns and W2s/1099s
  • Address for residential history for the past 2 years
  • Recent bank statements

Having this information available not only makes it easier for the loan process but also for you to initially fill out an application.

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What type of home loan option is best for me?

Research Loan Types

Before looking for a home lender, we suggest you learn about the different types of home loans available, like conventional, FHA, VA and USDA home loans. As you explore loan choices, you can find out the benefits and general requirements for each one so you have an idea of what loans you may qualify for and want to consider.

You may also want to look at the pros and cons of different loan terms (how long you pay the mortgage), such as a 30-year loan vs. a 15-year loan and everything in between.

Find Manufactured Home Lenders

Now that you are familiar with types of loans, you will need to know which lenders offer financing for manufactured housing. If you have a local bank in mind, you can inquire with them, but another great way to learn about lenders is at the home center where you’re buying your home. Many lenders advertise available loan programs at the home centers, but of course the choice of lender is always up to you!

You can also research ranked lists of lenders. Once you look at several options, you can make a list of lenders you want to talk to in your area.

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How do I choose a manufactured home lender?

Start by contacting multiple lenders to find out the types of loans they offer and get a sense for which loan officers you feel comfortable talking to about your home financing options. It’s also a good idea to talk to family and friends about their experiences with selecting a lender because they may have some valuable recommendations and advice.

Here are some of the things that might be discussed when you’re speaking with potential home lenders:

  • Basic facts about your situation and the loan types you’re considering
  • The requirements, rates, estimated fees, down payment minimums and payment options for those loan types
  • How long the process typically takes and how you would be updated on the process
  • And checking to see if they have any other recommendations for you

Now you can begin to narrow down your list of lenders. Compare what they offer, their rates and customer service. Then you can see if they are the right fit for you.

Make sure to do your research and talk to loan officers so that you can choose the best home lender for your situation and be prepared to buy the home of your dreams. And for more information, you can check out the Home Investment section of our Studio blog to help answer your questions on financing, escrow, property taxes and more.

Are you ready to find your dream home?
Start shopping now or find a home center in your area to learn more about Clayton Built® home options.

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Get prepared with budgeting tips, information on mortgage types and more.