What Is Considered A Permanent Foundation For A Mobile Home?
If you’re looking for your mobile home to count as real property, you may be required to have a permanent foundation. Having a permanent foundation will broaden your financing options and make selling your home a whole lot easier.
There are several different options you have that are considered a permanent foundation for a mobile home. The most common ones are:
- Crawl spaces
- Concrete pits
- Pier and beam (Depending on your location)
Additionally, there are some other criteria, such as vertical and lateral stability, and removal of the wheels.
This article will explain your foundation options and define each criterion. The information we will share will help you understand more about the process.
Reasons for a Permanent Foundation on a Mobile Home
Often, mobile homeowners eventually find themselves in a position where they want to sell their homes. Since a mobile home is not considered real property, a bank is not open to financing the potential buyers.
However, in many circumstances, installing a permanent foundation cause your mobile home to meet the criteria to be considered a real estate property. At this point, you can get help with financing.
Aside from a higher resale value and financing, there are several other benefits to a permanent foundation:
- Better protection against the environment
- Better support
- Higher chance of financing
- Slower depreciation of value
Although you cannot secure your home to one if you don’t know your options.
Permanent Foundation Options for Mobile Homes
A permanent foundation is defined as a foundation that is built on site and of durable materials. Since mobile homes do not fall under the category of a “site-built” home, it is crucial that the foundation does.
The United States’ Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) state that a mobile home must have attachment points to level and anchor the home, allowing the loads to be transported to inherent rock or soil. Additionally, these permanent foundations must be inspected and verified structurally by a certified professional engineer.
The first thing you will have to do to begin this process is to decide what you want your mobile home placed on. The four foundation systems are universal permanent solutions. However, some states allow you to use a simple concrete slab. You will need to check with your local building codes for additional information.
Don’t Want To Read About Your Options, Watch This Video Instead.
When choosing a basement, you need to understand that this foundation has to be perfect. The reason being is the home has to fit perfectly onto the walls for support. If the basement is off just by an inch, it can cost thousands of dollars to correct.
Also, the basement walls and footings will need to meet building codes specific to your area. These codes will depend on certain things, such as the local rainfall and soil conditions.
At $5,000 to $60,000+, basements are the most expensive option when it comes to a foundation. Of course, this price varies greatly depending on your circumstance.Pros
There are several advantages to choosing a basement for your foundation:
- Additional living space
- Adds to your property value
- A great choice if insulation is a top priority
Additionally, the basement could act as a storage room, which is excellent if you need an ample amount of extra space.Cons
For the disadvantages, there are several pertaining to basements, such as:
- Higher chance of flooding if precautions are not in place
- Mistakes while building could be extremely costly to fix
- It’s the most expensive choice
In comparison, the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. Although, that mostly depends on your personal preferences.
A crawl space is a raised foundation that your home sits upon. This is quite similar to a pier and beam foundation, as it’s secured similarly. This option is one of the most common when choosing a permanent foundation for a mobile home.Pros
The crawlspace is great for several things:
- Easy access to piping
- Great stability in earthquake-prone areas
- Cheaper option than a basement ($3,500 – $14,000+)
Most individuals find themselves between the $6,000 and $10,000 range when they pay for a crawl space foundation.Cons
There are several issues when it comes to crawlspaces. They’re notorious for:
- Harboring rodents
- Trapping moisture easily, thus resulting in molded floor joists
- Not a lot of storage space
However, the rodent and moisture issues can be easily taken care of with several additional provisions.
Pit foundations are a great medium between a basement and a crawl space. Essentially, this is a concrete pit that is about as tall as a crawl space but made from concrete.Pros
There are advantages to choosing the concrete pit style foundation, such as:
- It has the appearance of a stick-built home
- Allows for extra storage
- Extra space to hook up utilities
For $5,000 to $20,000, the concrete pit is still relatively pricier than a crawl space, but cheaper than a full basement.Cons
There aren’t many disadvantages to a concrete pit, which is why many individuals choose this option as well:
- Does not provide additional living space
- Prone to flood issues
Flood risks can be eradicated with the proper safety measures in place.
Pier and Beam
A pier and beam option are sturdier than a crawlspace, but they are similar. The pier and beam setup have piers fixed into concrete and then beams that connect to each pier.Pros
The advantages of a pier and beam foundation are:
- They’re relatively easy to execute
- They’re also cheaper, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000
- Easy access to piping
Not to mention, the pier and beam foundation is the most common one among options for permanent foundations.Cons
The disadvantages are the same as that of a crawl space:
- Harbors rodents
- Poor insulation
- Prone to moisture issues
- Pier and beam may not be accepted as a permanent foundation in your local area.
Keep in mind that these prices reflect estimates for mobile homes that range from 500 sq ft, to 2,000 sq ft.
Besides the foundation itself, there are a couple of other requirements you need to meet to qualify as a permanent foundation. The mobile parts to your mobile home will need to be removed. Also, you will need to ensure your home has both vertical and lateral stability.
Removal of Parts
After your foundation is ready, you will need to remove all the wheels, the axles, and the hitch. The home will then be permanently affixed to the foundation of your choice.
If you do not remove the mobile parts of your home, it may still be considered personal property. Although this depends on the state in which you live.
When the mobile home is placed on the foundation, it should be stabilized. If a high wind comes through, your home cannot sway or topple over. If you do not have the proper stability, this will keep your foundation from being considered permanent.
What Are the Guidelines for Mobile Home Foundation Certifications?
In most cases, the foundation of your mobile home can have the structural design that corresponds to any code. However, if you’re looking to secure a loan that is insured by either the Veteran Affairs Department (VA), the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), or a conventional loan, your permanent foundation must meet the following criteria:
- Foundation certification must be carried out by a professionally licensed engineer. They must verify that the foundation system meets HUD/FHA/VA standards
- All mobile home foundation systems need to conform to the requirements put in place in the HUD Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing (PFGMH).
- VA and FHA loans require that the mobile home be situated on a permanent foundation that complies with the rules presented in the PFGMH.
If your mobile home’s permanent foundation meets the standards of the FHA/HUD and VA, you will be given an Engineer’s Foundation Certification, guaranteeing that you meet the guidelines established to be eligible for a loan.
Depending on where you live, certain areas will consider a simple concrete slab as an option. However, there will be specifications that you need to meet for this qualification.
Each state differs from the perimeters surrounding this circumstance. Therefore, you will need to do research and check with your local building authority.
Do You Need to Fix a Mobile Home to a Permanent Foundation Permanently?
You don’t have to fix a mobile home to a permanent foundation permanently. Although, if you seek to have it recognized as real property, you might. It all depends on what your state requires.
What is the Best Foundation for a Mobile Home?
The best foundation for a mobile home is usually a pier and beam, or crawlspace foundation. Both of these options are cheaper than a basement or concrete pit. Although, they’re not always as durable.
At a Glance
There are many options when it comes to choosing a permanent foundation for your mobile home. The best choice for you depends on your preferences, and also your local weather.
For instance, in a place with a lot of precipitation, it may be better to choose a foundation that will raise you off the ground. Regardless of what you want, you will have a foundation to place your home permanently.
Heather is a passionate writer who loves anything DIY. Growing up, she learned everything from home repairs to design, and wants to share her tips with you. When she's not writing, she's usually hiking or searching for her next DIY project.
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