Definition of Permanent Foundation on Mobile Home

Can anyone tell me what is considered a permanent foundation on a mobile home? What criteria must be met for a mobile home to be on a permanent foundation. This is a question a realtor asked me as it pertains to obtaining bank loans. Although I have not peformed any inspections on a mobile home in over a year, it may help to know for future inspections. Maybe the answer is in Gerry B’s course?

As a rule it is a perminant installation if it has shoring and the axles are removed and it is tied down.

It is not permanent if the axles are still attached it is scirted and not tied down. I hope the photo’s will show up.
Axle removed.JPG Axel removed

straps.JPG Tie Down

straps2.JPG Tie down strap
axle.JPG Axel atached, no tie downs, Skirted





Hi Hank,

yes the answer is inmy course, do you want to wait for November 10th for the answer?? :wink:

OK, I thought not. :mrgreen:

The issue in Georgia (like other areas) is really about how the property is titled, most financial institutions will not lend on manufactured homes that have a personal property title rather than a real property title. A real property title is what you can get for a manufactured home when it is perminantly sited on a piece of deeded land.

Here are the Georgia regulations:

BTW, many jurisdictions also concider a manufactured home to be perminently sited if it has a full masonary perimeter wall system, and has the axels and tow gear completely removed from the frame."georgia%20manufactured%20home%20permanent%20foundation"

Hope this helps



Gerry the title thing is right, but in my area they want to know if the axle is on and if it is tied down as a deffinition of being permanent. so I reffur back to my last post.

Hi Michael, yes I was delayed in posting and hit the subitt button after you had posted.

Different states and different financial institutions apply different rules here, but yes the minimum would be some type of perminent foundation and the complete removal of axles and towing equipment.



Michael & Gerry,

Truly excellent replies with much helpful links and photos. Glad I did not have to wait for the release of your course Gerry. Maybe this will help someone else down the road when they do a search on the topic. Thanks again!!

Hi Hank,

Am I going to be seeing you Here on Nov 10th & 12th?



I would agree with those as a good general guideline. Local mileage based on specific regulation provisions may vary … :wink:

JMO & 2-nickels … :slight_smile:

That’s the case in my area as well. Strapped or bolted to a PIP or masonry perimeter foundation, with no tow gear left in the crawl.

Hi Hank and guys…

I believe I can shed some light on this question as we just completed over a year of home-searching, including a number of manufactured homes now converted to real property.

The question indicates to me that the prospective buyer is probably applying for an FHA loan.

As such, HUD requires that the property comply with it’s published “Permanent Foundations Guide for Manufactured Housing”.
That guide can be found here:

Anyone can download the guide and the associated software (free on the same page) and use it, however, you may recognize that it’s directed at engineers.

The reason is that HUD requires a state-certified and licensed (Structural) Engineer / Professional Engineer (PE) to inspect the installation and certify that it complies with the guide.

This applies mainly to manufactured housing that has been de-titled and converted to real property, on its own land, as opposed to mobile homes in parks, or still registered as a vehicle or personal property.

Unless that certification is obtained, often for $300-$600 or so, the property would not qualify for an FHA loan. Typically, once an engineer goes out, if the property doesn’t comply, they will simply tell you so and leave.

Any corrections would have to be made and a re-inspection with another fee can be expected. That would repeat until the property meets requirements. At least according to one engineer I called on it.

Sellers, LENDERS THEMSELVES and realtors will often claim a manufactured home has a permanent foundation because it has tie-downs, out of sheer ignorance. That isn’t necessarily true. Often times the home may have “masonry skirting”, but on closer inspection, you’d see it doesn’t even rest on the masonry, but is really held up with conventional mobile home jacks and may have an anchor or two.

That is NOT a permanent foundation as far as HUD is concerned and someone will be very unhappy - usually the buyer - when that fact is uncovered.

This would not stop the buyer from obtaining a non-FHA conforming loan from a bank, private lender or investor. They just won’t be able to obtain an FHA-insured loan without it.

I hope that helps. It’s a pretty interesting read, but unless you’re a certified and licensed engineer AND you’ve read and fully understood this Guide, don’t let a realtor get you in trouble by convincing you to “certify” a foundation complies with the HUD definition.

It may have anchors, but that doesn’t mean it complies.
Been there, done that (as a potential buyer)

Hope that helps.
Frank Nihei

Does anyone have the specific guidelines for CA please?

Does anyone have the specific guidelines for CA please? Help Us

New Year

Criterium-Sollie Engineers provides design and certification services by Professional Engineers in East Alabama and West Georgia, including Auburn-Opelika, Lake Martin, Montgomery, Eufaula, Columbus, LaGrange, Harris County, and Chattahoochee County. Service is also available for many sites outside this local coverage area.

A Manufactured Home is defined as a structure built on a permanent chassis, transportable in one or more sections that are no more than 8 feet wide and 40 feet long, or 320 square feet when erected on the site. It is designed to be used as a dwelling and contain plumbing, heating, air-conditioning and electrical systems. The category does not include recreational vehicles (RVs), structures designed for temporary living, or modular homes.

Mortgages are available for the purchase of new or existing manufactured homes. Most mortgages written by a lender are almost certain to be insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a division of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

As a condition of providing insurance, the FHA requires that the foundation for new homes be designed by, and the design sealed by a licensed Professional Engineer. The design must comply with FHA guidelines. For existing homes, a Professional Engineer is required to certify that the foundation meets the FHA requirements.

A permanent foundation is one that is “constructed of durable materials (concrete, mortared masonry, treated wood) and be site built. It shall have attachment points to anchor and stabilize the manufactured home to transfer all loads to underlying soil or rock. The permanent foundations shall be structurally developed in accordance with this document or be structurally designed by a licensed professional engineer.” Although the design must comply with the manufacturer’s instructions, doing so does not guaranty that it complies with the HUD Guide.

The design must provide vertical stability.

Anchorage capacity to prevent uplift and overturning due to winds or seismic forces, whichever controls. Screw-in soil anchors are not considered permanent anchorage.
Footing size to prevent overloading the soil-bearing capacity and avoids soil settlement. Footings shall be reinforced concrete to be considered permanent.
Base of footing below maximum frost-penetration depth.
Enclose a basement or crawl space with a continuous wall (whether bearing or non-bearing) that separates the basement of the crawlspace from the backfill, and keeps out vermin and water.
The design must provide lateral stability with anchorage capacity to prevent sliding due to wind or seismic forces, whichever controls, in the transverse or longitudinal direction.

There are two methods to prepare acceptable design solutions. The first is to offer an engineered solution using the Guide criteria. The second is to use the appendices in the guide and the worksheets offered to select and document a design of an approved type.

Happy New Year

Per HUD, a permanent foundation is where the home is properly supported, properly anchored and the lay of the land is such that the crawlspace or basement cannot flood enough so as to lift the home off the foundation. The issues of presence/absence of skirting and whether it has a hard backer behind it (if it is vinyl for example) and tongues and/or wheels still attached to the frame are not issues for a permanent foundation engineering certification but can (and often are) loan specific issues. We do thousand of certifications in 43 states through home inspectors where you earn around $250 to $450 for every certification job you do the field work for. I can tell you from the number of reports submitted to us for certification (August 2023 was a record month) and from what loan officers are telling me, that the manufactured home market is booming right now. You are missing out not a lot of business if you are not doing home inspections on manufactured homes and/or the conducting the field work for the engineering certifications.

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The support pier structure underneath is the foundation for the home, not masonry skirting (perimeter wall). With rare acceptation, the only time the masonry perimeter wall is used as the foundation is when transverse beams are present. These run perpendicular with the chassis beams and transfer the load of the home from the chassis beams over to the perimeter wall. There are millions of manufactured homes out there with a HUD compliant permanent foundation which have vinyl skirting. Feel free to call if questions. Harold, President - Manufactured Home Certifications, PLLC 616-822-9070

Harold, just a tip before you get too far into this thread. Frank Nihei posted that 17 years ago.

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Well aware of that. Thanks. Will be posting in more places to help get the word out that the manufactured home market is booming. Inspectors are missing out on a great source of revenue if they don’t do home inspections of manufactured homes and/or the add-on service of the field work for engineering certifications. Hearing from many inspectors crying for work but won’t or haven’t pursued the manufactured home market.