USDA Mortgage: What You Need to Know When Buying a Modular Home

Thinking about buying a Modular Home in Pennsylvania?

You can buy a Modular Home with No Down Payment using the USDA Rural Development Loan Program.  The Mortgage Approval process for Modular Home will depend on whether the modular home is “On-Frame” or “Off-Frame.”


What is the difference between and On-Frame Modular Home and an Off-Frame Modular Home?

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between On-Frame and Off-Frame unless you are able to see the foundation by taking a look at the crawl space. 

On-frame Modular Homes are basically what their name describes: they rest on a permanent steel frame chassis; similar to what you would see with any manufactured homes.

Off-frame Modular Homes are not on a frame or chassis.  They are constructed onto a permanent foundation; similar to what you would see with a stick built home. 

Buying an Off-frame Modular Home is considered the same as buying a stick built home, and as a result the USDA Approval process will be less restrictive. 

You can buy an On-frame Modular Home using the USDA Mortgage Program.  In terms of a Mortgage Approval, the USDA will view an On-frame Modular Home the same as a Manufactured Home.  Manufactured Homes are eligible for USDA Financing as long as they meet certain property requirements.  Read more about buying a Manufactured Home in Pennsylvania with a USDA Loan.

USDA Mortgage Rules for Modular Homes in Pennsylvania

  • Off-frame Modular Homes are viewed the same as stick built homes

  • On-frame Modular Homes are viewed the same as manufactured homes

  • Just like all properties, the Modular Home must be located in a USDA Eligible Area