Realtor, Lender Guide to Hud Manufactured Home Inspections

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
Minimizing the number of phone calls a real estate professional needs to make is always popular with the real estate professional. I think all of us, who work in real estate and related fields, have to make and return what seems to be more than our share of important telephone calls.

Many realtors and lenders become especially frustrated -- I know because I have talked to many of them -- when they need to schedule a manufactured home inspection that is subject to the very specific HUD financing requirements.

HUD demands an extensive, and very specific, permanent foundation inspection or certification and a professional engineer must sign off on it. (The foundation below would not pass that HUD foundation inspection by the way, for a multitude of reasons.)

king of the house home inspection

Normally, HUD requirements also call for an inspection for wood destroying insects. (Photo below is carpenter ant frass thrown down onto a bath cabinet by carpenter ants in the attic of a manufactured home)

King of the House home inspection carpenter ant


This need for two professionals is where scheduling delays come into play. Almost no home inspectors are licensed professional engineers and almost no licensed professional engineers are licensed pest inspectors or home inspectors. Therefore, to schedule the two inspections, the realtor or lender has to make two phone calls and coordinate scheduling, timing and all of the details with the two professionals


The next dilemma is this: What if the PE is first on the scene and says that the foundation has failed the inspection? If that happens, then there is no need for the pest inspection. On the other hand, the same thing could happen in reverse. To some degree, this is unavoidable but, if the two professionals are communicating and working together directly, then the problem of the client having to pay for two inspections, when the first one failed the place, can be minimized.


In my market, to try to streamline this process for buyers and their agents or lenders, I have entered into a cooperative agreement with Pinner and Associates, a professional engineering firm. For more than 20 years they have provided engineering services here in Whatcom County. Pinner understands the HUD requirements. As a result of this cooperative agreement, any realtor, lender or buyer can place a call to my firm and I will take care of the rest of the scheduling. There will be two separate contracts -- one for the inspector and one for the engineering firm -- but the scheduling is simplified.


Since my firm and Pinner and Associates have an excellent working relationship, if the professional engineer goes on-site first and finds that the structure will not meet HUD requirements, then he will immediately contact me so the second inspection will be delayed or cancelled. And, if I go on-site first and find a problem, I will contact the engineering firm and tell them to hold-off until the problem is resolved. Obviously, it is possible that the first inspection will be satisfactory and it is the second inspection that will unearth a problem. In that case, the client would still owe for the two inspections but the world is imperfect and we are doing the best we can for the client.

Entering into this professional relationship with the engineering firm is my way to try to streamline a cumbersome process.

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

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Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

UUUggg, That sounds like a real pain in the butt for the home buyer, but I guess if you want to buy a manufactured home....that is the price you pay.

Sean Allen

May 17, 2008 01:45 AM #1
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


It is a pain in some part of the anatomy. Fact is not that many of them go HUD but a few do. I think the main thing with all the foundation inspection is that they want to know it ain't going anywhere, no longer mobile.

May 17, 2008 02:21 AM #2
Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR

As selling agents, we are not supposed to recommend any particular home inspector...else be accused of we give a list.  There's nothing that says we can't tell what we know about certain inspectors but to actually do the selecting is sort of a no-no.  Looks as if you might run the danger of the same accusation.  Otherwise it sounds like a great plan.

May 17, 2008 02:57 AM #3
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector


That varies by state, far as I can tell. Here I would say that about 40% to 50% of inspections are booked by the realtor directly for the client. The original draft of the new state home inspection law that passed was going to prohibit realtors from making a recommendation. In the final draft that language was eliminated so they will still be able to refer, no list requirements unless they want to.

Some give out a list, others do not. Even those that do often suggest one person on the list as being a good choice. As far as this business concept, the realtor could give the client this information and they could call directly saving lots of hassle. I have had numerous calls from out of state banks where the loan officer was "fried" just trying to put together the engineer and inspector for a HUD inspection. Many PE's will not do these inspections, too much trouble for too little income, so a person booking the two inspections has to know who to call. Due to the complexity of the HUD inspection, I am almost always contacted by the lender or the realtor, because clients do not have a clue how to wade through it.

May 17, 2008 03:08 AM #4
John DL Arendsen
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Developer - Leucadia, CA
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments Coastal Living

Steven, great answer. Good to know there's a home inspector who understand MH's. We actually train them in California and won't recommend any that haven't been trained by us. We've just had too many screw ups by HI's that didn't know their stuff.

We offer engineered certification, affidavits of affixture and foundation retrofitting and installation Nationwide. We've done a lot of work in the PNW and are very familiar with HUD, VA and FHA guidelines and requirements. If you ever need our services please feel free to contact us.

We'd love you to join our Active Rain Group. Your knowledge of our industry would be a great contribution to the group. Feel free to post to our group anytime.



Feb 02, 2014 10:18 AM #5
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Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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