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Can I refinance my manufactured home?

Q: My manufactured rental property is underwater. Is there any hope for a modification or refinance?

A: It is not surprising that you are having trouble getting mortgage relief on your manufactured rental.

First, most refinance and modification efforts are available only for owner-occupied properties; yours is not. Also, modification programs are usually aimed at homeowners in some form of financial hardship; you don't mention that this is the case.

As well, the only "official" refinance program for most underwater borrowers is the Home Affordable Refinance Program, but that is only available if your loan is owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac; presumably, your loan is not.

If your loan is an FHA-backed loan, you might be eligible for a streamline refinance, which appears to also apply to rental properties. Presumably, if the FHA backed the loan initially, they would generally re-back it.

However, lenders are skittish about putting "risky" loans into the FHA pool these days, so you'll probably need to shop around long and hard to find a mortgage lender who will help. Also, all indications are that even though the process is streamlined, you cannot finance the closing costs into the loan, so you'll need to pay them out-of-pocket.

More help from HSH.com

  • When refinancing at a higher rate makes sense

    Trade your old mortgage for a new, higher-rate version? There are times when it actually makes sense.
  • Should I pay off a mortgage early?

    By making extra principal payments or refinancing your mortgage, you could pay a lot less interest and free yourself from your mortgage ahead of schedule. Here are the pros and cons of retiring your mortgage early.
  • Are ten-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) available anywhere?

    Sure! Virtually all lenders who sell product to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be able to offer you mortgage with a 10-year term. However, interest rates are usually the same as the lender's 15-year offerings.

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