FHA, HUD and VA loans routinely ask for a letter from a structural engineer with an opinion on whether or not the foundation for the modular home meets the requirements for a permanent foundation. Our structural engineers are experienced in assessing foundations for modular homes to answer these common questions.
Our engineering services include:
· FHA Foundation certification
· FHA Foundation Inspection, investigation, and report
· FHA Foundation Retrofit
· FHA New Foundation Design and Inspection
· Manufactured Home Foundation Design
· Manufactured Home Structural Inspection
FHA Foundation Certification
Using the Terminology “FHA Foundation” is a misnomer. Foundations for Manufactured Homes can be structurally designed to any code. However, if you want to get a loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or by the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), then the foundation needs to meet the US Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD). So, whenever you’re getting a FHA Loan, what you need is a HUD Foundation Certification because there’s no such thing as a FHA Foundation certification. In fact, most engineers do not call it a certification, and the words certification and FHA are usually not shown in the report letter for the inspection of the foundation.
The number one issue with getting a loan for a Home is that the bank or whoever is giving the loan wants to make sure that this home will stay there without having the fear of “someone” stealing the home.
Therefore, the whole premise behind getting an FHA Loan is that the Manufactured Home needs to be resting and positively anchored to a foundation in such a way that the manufactured home cannot be taken away from its current location. Such a foundation is known as a permanent foundation.
Inspection of an Existing Manufactured Home Foundation
Usually the Certification letter from the Structural Engineer is the last thing needed in the puzzle to get a FH Loan approval. The Structural Engineer visits the site where the manufactured home is located and, with approval of the current owner, inspect the existing foundation.
The inspection is visual, where the Structural Engineer inspects the foundation by looking through the access panel in the crawl space below the manufactured home and sees the type of foundation system used. An experienced Engineer can look at a manufactured Home Foundation and determine right there on the spot whether the foundation meets FHA.
Foundation Meeting HUD FHA
In order to meet the requirements set forth by HUD, a manufactured home needs to be considered as a permanent foundation in order to receive an FHA loan. HUD, under the office of Policy Development and Research, publishes the “Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing”, which is a guide explaining the different methods or construction types allowed for a Manufactured Home Foundation.
Regardless of whether you have a foundation designed by the structural engineer meeting the HUD guide or a foundation that meets the prescriptive method of the guide, either way, in order for the FHA Loan to be approved the foundation needs to be approved and inspected by a licensed professional engineer in the state where the manufactured home foundation is located.