Manufactured homes (also known as prefabricated housing) are residences that are built entirely at a factory and then transported to the site where they will be inhabited. Though these homes are almost completely stationary, they are still sometimes referred to as "mobile homes." Because of this and other negative stereotypes, it is often impossible to obtain a mainstream mortgage to finance a purchase of a manufactured or prefab house. Lenders have a variety of reasons why they choose to not finance these residences, but there is also some good news for owners of manufactured homes as new legislations has been passed and more opportunities are opening up.
Lenders sometimes accept the same untrue stereotypes as the general public, which can lead to problems for those looking to purchase manufacturing housing. For one, these types of residences are often portrayed as unsafe when facing natural disasters. In the media, when portraying the aftermath of a flood, hurricane, or tornado, it is often manufactured or mobile homes that are shown, since these homes are usually the most devastated, due to a lack of being properly affixed to the foundation. This lack of safety is exacerbated when lenders consider manufactured housing to have more defects and faults that housing built on-site. These defects can occur in the factory, where attention is paid to low-cost production, or in the move from the factory to the site. Additionally, one of the biggest problems for these types of houses is that they are installed on rented land. If the owner of the land decides that he has a better use for it, then the house owner must either move the house or leave it. All of these factors add up to make manufactured houses look like very weak collateral. As such, many mainstream mortgage companies won't finance them, and you'll have to look for other options, such as a personal loan (these usually have much higher interest rates).
Despite all this, manufactured houses are extremely cheap when compared to houses built on-site, and this is a necessity for underprivileged communities. Laws have been recently passed which give owners of these houses more rights, and the government has also upped the building code to make sure that the quality of the houses themselves are improved. To fix the rented land problem, some manufactured housing owners have started local co-ops to buy large portions of land exclusively for that purpose.