Living in and paying for my mobile home today in 2012 compared to 2002 is as different as night and day. In my article Refinancing a Manufactured Home I explain in much greater detail all the problems associated with refinancing mobile homes and the process is only getting harder. Mobile home owners are discriminated against in a legal way I like to call the “white trash effect”. They assume all trailers are run down with broken down cars in front of them. Having said that, if you make enough noise and do the work required you can get your mobile home refinanced too.
I have refinanced twice and though I spent a fortune, had choice words with a few companies and shunned the appraisal industry as a scam ripping off homeowners, I am very thankful for successfully refinancing. When first moving into this home, my mortgage company had me making bi-weekly payments at 8.5% APR with an additional payment twice a year. This is not a loan you want and when buying the house I was preyed on as younger buyers are with no comparison and no one to ask. It cost me a fortune and in 5 years I barely paid off $5000.
My first refinance was with a company I really liked, but unfortunately they went out of business shortly after I refinanced. During that refinance, my main goal was to lower the interest rate which we did successfully, but I had to put the house in mine and my brother’s name which complicated things at the mortgage company. This is better than my ex-girlfriend’s name as it was for five years. We were comfortable in a 30yr loan with a 5.5% APR fixed rate.
In 2011 interest rates were dropping, so again I looked into refinancing. My goal this time was to get the house in mine and my wife’s name, lower interest and the term. I tried the large, national bank that acquired my loan, but they were of no use. I had a hard time using their services even when paying the mortgage.
Then a direct lender called me on the phone one day and I’m glad they did. They offered programs for all the challenges mobile home owners have and were knowledgeable of the process. Not always the case with mortgage companies telling you what loan they want you in verses what you need. I still had some hang-ups with FHA and an appraiser, but they got me into a 15 year 4.5% APR fixed rate and consolidated it with my truck loan. My payment is now about $150 higher but I lost a $450 truck payment and shortened the loan by 15 years. For anyone that pays attention to interest and principle on mortgage payments, this is a huge difference. I love knowing that over half of my mortgage payment is going to principle and when my wife’s van broke down this freed up money so we could afford to get her a new car. We pay $50 over the mortgage payment every month and I’m still not paying what I paid on the original loan and twice as much is principle payments.
Currently I’m talking with the mortgage company again about a FHA 203K home improvement loan to refinance again to install new carpets and possibly a photovoltaic solar 5.76 KW system to offset the rise of utilities bound to happen. Good luck with your refinance goals.