Conventional Financing for Manufactured Homes Coming

What a great way to start the new year – new options in financing!


Freddie Mac has announced that it will start financing manufactured housing, which it hopes will help make homes more affordable to buyers. The mortgage financing giant says it will conduct a two-year pilot called CHOICEHome to grant conventional financing for manufactured homes with certain features, such as permanent and pitched roofs. Many of the manufactured homes also have energy-saving features, such as Energy Star Qualified Low-E windows, programmable thermostats, and minimum insulation values.

Factory-built homes that meet Freddie Mac’s specifications will be eligible for a CHOICEHome certification and CHOICEHome financing. Freddie Mac’s HomeOne and Home Possible loan programs will also be available for manufactured housing. Freddie Mac also says appraisers will now be able to use site-built housing as a comparable valuation. “Today’s manufactured homes can deliver outstanding quality at prices that are up to 50 percent less per square foot than conventional site-built homes,” Freddie Mac notes. “These savings can enable more Americans to own their own home, even in the face of an ever-widening housing affordability gap.”

Currently, more than 22 million families live in factory-built housing. That number is expected to grow, says Mike Dawson, vice president of single-family affordable lending strategy and policy at Freddie Mac. “There’s an opportunity for factory-built homes to address the housing supply shortage and quality housing overall,” Dawson says. “This new generation of manufactured housing might just be the best option for first-time home buyers, millennials, and empty-nesters looking to downsize.”

Source: Freddie Mac  

I read this article at: Realtor Magazine

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What does Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approved mean in Real Estate?

As a full time, professional Realtor it is important that I guide my clients as best I can.  Even if it means not showing one single home until a buyer is fully, pre-approved.  I know this sounds very regimented, however in the San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate market – a buyer needs to present their very best if they want to compete.

There’s been a bit of confusion on what it means to be “pre-qualified” versus “pre-approved” by a mortgage lender. To the average Joe – isn’t a phone conversation just as good as a letter?   In one word –  NO!  It’s important to know the difference because it can have a major impact on your real estate transaction.  Here in our market – it is the difference between having your offer presented in its best light – or having your offer outright rejected by the seller.

Here’s what you need to know:

Pre-qualified means the buyer hasn’t yet been vetted by a third-party credit institution.  The underwriter, or he who makes the decision, hasn’t even seen the file.  Because their credit and documents haven’t actually been verified, a letter of pre qualification is the result of a conversation with a lender. Nothing more. That isn’t to say a talk with your mortgage broker about options is a bad thing.  It’s actually a buyers very first step.  It’s just that when it comes to your transaction, it carries little weight.  An offer with a pre-qualified letter will not gain any light in todays competitive market.  No seller needs to grant a buyer time to get their loan pre-approved.  Not when a buyer is one of several offers and the seller will pick the very best, buttoned down one.

That said, a pre-approval letter is truly valuable! In fact in our San Francisco Bay Area Market – a letter of commitment is becoming the new pre-approval letter.  Both the buyer’s credit (and documents) have been verified by a reputable third party and accepted by the lender. Meaning, the underwriter has seen the buyers credit report, reviewed all their supporting documents, called the employer to verify employment and is ready to order an appraisal once the buyer is in contract.  Ideal buyers are pre-approved – and in a hot market like ours, it makes a difference. Sellers want pre-approved buyers. Period.  In fact, The Caton Team will not show property to anyone until they have been pre-approved with a lender.  Our market moves fast, very fast.  Homes are sold within two weeks or less.  And often times, when a buyer finds a home they like, the offer date is usually just days away.  So having the buyer, fully pre-approved puts them in a position of best competition.  They buyers knows the loan they are getting, the payment to expect and are comfortable moving forward at a quick pace.

If you have any questions – we are here to help.  Email or call The Caton Team at any time.  We can answer your questions or refer you to our wonderful team of trusted lenders.  650.568.5522 /

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