Buying and Financing a Clayton Home: What You Need to Know?

Clayton Homes is one of the most popular manufactured and modular home builders in the United States. With a variety of floor plans and models to choose from, Clayton offers affordable home ownership options. However, financing a Clayton home does come with some important considerations. This guide will cover key information on Clayton Homes financing, including available loan programs, down payments, credit score requirements, and more.

Overview of Clayton Homes

For background, Clayton Homes is a Tennessee-based company that builds manufactured, modular, and mobile homes. Founded in 1934, Clayton has grown to be an industry leader, now operating 38 manufacturing plants across the country. Some key facts about Clayton Homes:

  • Largest builder of manufactured and modular homes in the US
  • Subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Builds over 29,000 homes per year
  • Offers diverse selection of models from single wides to large multi-section homes
  • Known for affordability and flexible financing programs

Clayton manufactures quality, energy-efficient homes with modern designs and features. And with both in-house and third-party lender relationships, they provide financing options to make home ownership achievable for more buyers. Additionally, for those seeking additional flexibility in their financing journey, Clayton also offers options such as Motorcycle License to Finance, ensuring a tailored approach to meet diverse needs.

Clayton Home Financing Options

When shopping for a Clayton Home, financing with land or without land will impact your loan program eligibility. Here are some of the most common financing options available:

Chattel Loans

Chattel loans, also sometimes called personal property loans, provide financing directly for the purchase of the Clayton unit itself without any land or property involved. This is the easiest type of loan to qualify for, but comes with higher interest rates.

Land-Home Financing

Land-home financing handles both the cost of the Clayton unit and the land it will sit on. This is the preferred type of mortgage loan for Clayton homes and features lower interest rates and better terms. Buyers will need to purchase and own or have a long term lease on the land the home will occupy.

How Much Do You Need for a Down Payment?

The amount required for a down payment on a Clayton home depends on a few factors:

  • Chattel loans typically require 10-15% down
  • Land-home financing usually requires 3-5% down, similar to a conventional mortgage
  • Buyer’s credit score impact down payment amount
  • VA and USDA loans available with 0% down for qualifying buyers

So for a $100,000 Clayton Home, a buyer with good credit may only need $3,000-$5,000 for their down payment if they take out land-home financing.

Clayton Home Delivery and Setup Costs

Once purchased, Clayton Homes will handle factory-certified delivery and setup of a manufactured home on site. So how much does Clayton Homes charge for delivery and set up?

  • Delivery fees average $2-3 per mile from factory to site
  • Basic setup of a single or double wide home runs $5,000-$10,000 on average
  • Complex multi-section homes or specialty sites cost more
  • Electric, sewer, and HVAC hookups extra
  • Permits, skirting, land prep also additional costs

So for example, delivery and standard setup for a home 50 miles from the factory would likely cost $150-$250 (delivery) plus $7,500-$10,000 for setup.

Credit Score Needed for Clayton Home Financing

The minimum credit score requirement from lenders on Clayton Home loans is around 600 currently. However for the best Clayton financing rates and terms, a credit score of 640 or higher is recommended for chattel loans, and 680+ for land-home mortgages.

The higher your credit rating, the better loan programs will be available in terms of lower interest rates, smaller down payments required, and overall better pricing. Maintaining good credit is key.

Special Financing Programs

Clayton Homes does also offer some special financing programs that provide more flexible qualifying guidelines for buyers including:

  • Fresh Start Program – Designed for applicants with past credit issues to help them qualify for a loan program including chattel financing and land/home mortgages. Features low down payments.
  • Divisional Financing – In-house financing available in many cases for buyers with more credit challenges. Can still offer competitive rates and terms compared to other subprime lending sources.

So even buyers with bad credit or low scores do have options to finance their Clayton Home, especially through their Fresh Start and Divisional financing programs.

Interest Rates on Clayton Home Loans

Interest Rates on Clayton Home Loans

So what type of Clayton Homes financing rates can buyers expect? Here are the current rate ranges approximately:

Loan TypeRate Range
Chattel / Personal Property8% – 16%
Land/Home Mortgage4% – 7%
VA Loans2% – 4%
USDA Loans2.5% – 4.5%

Actual loan pricing a buyer qualifies for will vary based on credit score, down payment, loan term, and other factors. In general land-home mortgages will offer the most competitive interest rates, especially for buyers with good credit scores above 680.

VA and USDA loans potentially offer the lowest rates, but do come with strict requirements and limits on the size and cost of the property.

Term Lengths

Most Clayton Home loans come with longer-term financing timelines compared to site built homes. This is mainly due to their classification as personal property rather than real estate in some cases.

  • Land/Home loans terms range from 15 to 30 years
  • Chattel loans typically max out at 20 year terms
  • Lower credit buyers may only qualify for shorter 5-10 year loans

The longer the term, the lower the monthly payment will be. So extending your repayment timeline does help with affordability.

Finding Clayton Homes for Sale Near You

Ready to move forward with purchasing a Clayton unit? Use their website search tool to find available models and prices in your state.

Their site allows you to filter listings by:

  • Floor plan
  • Number of bedrooms/bathrooms
  • Price range
  • Special promotions

You can browse models and prices to get an idea of what Clayton Homes in your target area cost. Prices can vary quite a bit by region.

And you also have the option to visit a local Clayton Homes sales center. Sales associates can answer questions and let you tour model homes in person.

Request a Quote

Once you have an idea of the type of home you want, submit a pricing quote request online or with your nearest Clayton Homes sales office. The quote will provide you:

  • Estimated base price for the model based on your specs
  • Delivery fees estimate
  • Set up and installation estimate
  • Total estimated cost to have unit built and on site

This will tell you how much you need to finance and plan for in purchasing your Clayton Home.

From there, you can move forward with choosing financing, applying for loans, and completing the sales process. Their team can guide you through next steps once you select a home model and customize features.

Getting Pre-Approved for Clayton Financing

Once you have an estimated price in mind, the next key step is getting pre-approved for financing. Clayton Homes has an online loan pre-approval process that is quick and easy.

You will need to have some financial details handy including:

  • Income verification (pay stubs, W-2’s, tax returns)
  • Employment history
  • Bank account balances
  • Credit history and scores
  • Debt-to-income ratios
  • Proposed down payment amount

Enter your financial information through their secure form to submit for pre-approval consideration. You should find out very quickly if you pre-qualify or not.

Pre-approval will show you estimated loan amounts, rates, and terms you are likely to actually qualify for. This helps ensure you shop for Clayton models that fit within what you can realistically afford.

Getting pre-approved also makes for an easier and faster final loan application and closing process later on.

Choosing the Best Clayton Loan Program

If pre-approved, you will likely get offers for a few different loan programs from Clayton lenders. This includes options like:

  • Chattel loans
  • Conventional land-home mortgages
  • VA and USDA loans if eligible
  • Special financing for buyers with credit or income challenges

Go over the details of each program offer carefully. Compare factors like:

  • Interest rates
  • Fees
  • Required down payment
  • Monthly payments
  • Loan term lengths

Determine which option provides you the most affordable monthly payment that best fits your budget. Also consider which loan term works for your plans – longer terms have lower payments but higher interest paid over time.

Consult with a Clayton Homes financing expert to decide on the best type of loan for your needs and financial situation.

Next Steps After Choosing Clayton Financing

Once your Clayton loan program is selected, the financing process moves quickly! Next steps include:

  • Finalizing loan application with all income/tax documents
  • Providing any other documentation lenders need to verify
  • Loan finalization and underwriting
  • Obtaining homeowners insurance quotes
  • Scheduling factory construction and transportation
  • Preparing site work and foundations
  • Setting up delivery and installation schedule

Within 30-60 days from loan approval, you should take ownership and get the keys to your new Clayton Home!

The Clayton Homes sales teams help coordinate the whole process seamlessly. They keep you updated on timelines, next steps, and any other requirements throughout.

Before you know it, you and your family will move into your beautiful new manufactured home!

What to Know About Closing Costs with Clayton

When budgeting for your Clayton Home, an important consideration is closing costs. This covers lender origination fees, appraisal fees, legal fees, and other costs tied to finalizing your mortgage.

So what are average closing costs on a Clayton Home?

  • Chattel Loans – Around 3-5% of total loan amount
  • Land/Home Mortgages – Usually between 3-7% of total loan amount
  • VA and USDA Loans – Typically 1-2% of total loan amount

For a $100,000 loan, you may pay between $3,000 to $7,000 on closing costs depending on loan type.

Does Clayton offer help with closing costs?

Clayton Homes does offer a Limited Time Closeout Cash Offer that pays for a portion of buyer closing costs on select units. For example, they may offer $5,000 toward closing fees.

This helps offset costs at closing. Buyers can inquire to see if any closeout cash deals are available when deciding on their home model.

Pro tip: Ask your Clayton loan officer what closing cost assistance programs may be applicable on top of other incentives or promotions!

Thinking Beyond Just Monthly Payments

When determining loan affordability, the natural instinct is to focus on the monthly payment amount. But also consider:

  • Total interest paid over full loan term
  • How long you plan to stay in the home
  • If rate is fixed or adjustable

A very low monthly payment may come with higher long term interest charges or variable rates. Make sure to analyze the overall costs over the duration of financing.

And if only planning to stay in the home for 5-10 years, consider how much equity you will build up should you want to eventually sell or move.

Thinking longer term is important when selecting the best Clayton loan program for your personal financial situation and home owner goals.

Is Clayton Financing the Right Option?

Is Clayton Financing the Right Option?

While Clayton Homes provides plenty of financing programs, they may not always offer the very best rates or terms. It’s smart to compare your Clayton financing offer to other manufactured home lenders as well.

Run your details through LendingTree or other multi-lender platforms to see loan offers you qualify for across an array of financing sources. This only takes a few minutes to complete.

Look at factors like:

  • Interest rates
  • Fees
  • Cash to close
  • Loan term options

See if other lenders can beat the loan estimates from Clayton’s in-house financing. This will confirm if Clayton Homes offers you the most competitive pricing.

If another lender gives you a better deal on financing your Clayton unit purchase, you can always take that option while still working with Clayton for the home construction, delivery, and setup.

Getting multiple loan estimates ensures you find the most affordable financing terms on your Clayton Home.

Refinancing a Clayton Home Loan

Once you purchase and are settled into your Clayton home, you may consider refinancing your loan in the future. Reasons to refinance include:

  • Lowering your interest rate to save money
  • Consolidating other high-rate debts into mortgage
  • Changing loan term length
  • Tapping home equity for renovations

Key things to know if you plan to potentially refinance a Clayton home:

Seasoning Requirements – Most lenders require you to stay in the initial loan for at least 12 months before allowing you to refinance.

Appraisal Concerns – Traditional lenders may decline to refinance since Clayton homes can depreciate in value over time rather than appreciate like site built homes. Need to find lenders familiar with manufactured home loans.

Title Issues – If initially financed as chattel, converting to real property loan may require extra title work and legal filings if no previous land ownership.

Preparation Tips – Before attempting to refinance, be sure to maintain excellent payment history and focus on credit score improvement. This ensures you qualify for the very best refinance rates.

With proper planning and research into lenders, Clayton homeowners typically can reduce rates by refinancing just like a site built mortgage. But do account for unique considerations with these types of properties.

Selling a Clayton Home

When the time comes to sell your Clayton home, there are special factors at play compared to selling a site built house. Key considerations for selling your Clayton home include:

  • Most buyers will need financing, limiting potential buyer pool
  • May be less equity built up if originally chattel loan
  • Transportation costs for buyers looking to relocate the home
  • General consumer bias against manufactured houses may slow sales

Tips to maximize your resale price:

  • Hire a manufactured home dealer to list property and market to qualified buyers
  • Offer owner financing to expand buyer pool if possible
  • Price appropriately based on age and condition, not over-inflating value
  • Consider selling furnishings and accessories separately to add value

Following these guidelines can help your Clayton home sell faster and get you the highest sales price possible.

Common Questions on Clayton Financing

Can I get a mortgage for a used Clayton Home?

Yes, financing is available for purchasing previously owned Clayton Homes. Most lenders will offer chattel loan financing on used units. You may also qualify for land-home mortgages depending on the property details. Interest rates are typically higher for used manufactured homes vs new.

What fees does Clayton charge buyers?

Standard fees include a $499 documentation fee and $249 home site survey fee during the order process. Buyers may incur additional fees for complex transportation permitting needs or specialty site preparation work. Any applicable fees are detailed upfront in the purchase agreements.

How long is the Clayton Home loan process?

The typical timeframe from loan application to closing is 30-45 days on conventional loans with Clayton Homes. VA and USDA loans often take longer with more required approvals, usually 45-60+ days until closing. Their financing experts guide buyers through every step.

Should I buy the land before purchasing my Clayton Home?

It’s actually ideal to purchase land after choosing financing and settling on the right Clayton model for your site. This ensures the home and land size/costs complement each other based on what you qualify for with your selected loan program’s approval amounts and terms. Coordinating both pieces together is recommended.

Let me know if you need any other questions covered on financing and purchasing Clayton Homes! There are many important considerations buyers should account for in this process. I can provide additional details on other common concerns.

Clayton Home Loan Qualification Requirements

Clayton Home Loan Qualification Requirements

What are some of the key requirements buyers need to meet to qualify for the best Clayton Home loan programs?

Income – Most programs require gross monthly income of at least $2,500 to qualify. Some special financing options relax this down to ~$1,500/month in provable income depending on other factors.

Employment – Steady 2 year employment history is preferred. Can use other income sources like retirement/disability benefits as well. Self-employed borrowers generally need 3+ years of consistent 1099/tax return income docs.

Debt-to-Income Ratio – Optimal DTI to receive the lowest Clayton rates/fees is below 36%. Can stretch to ~45% DTI under certain loans if credit merits. Lower ratios qualify for better pricing.

Credit History – At least 3-5 years of established good credit with a mix of installment loan and revolving accounts. Limited history may require higher down payments or rates.

Credit Score – Minimum of 600 FICO score for basic Clayton financing. But 680+ scores access special mortgage loan options with the best terms. No FICO score needs alternative qualifying methods.

Down Payment – Minimum of 3-5% down required on land/home loans. Chattel loans expect around 10-15% down. Higher down payments can offset other qualification challenges.

Meeting these parameters ensures quick approval for the optimal Clayton Homes financing programs and pricing. Developing your qualifications in these areas aids the loan process. Their experts also guide you in boosting areas as needed to access better loan terms if you fall slightly short in any one area.

Advice for First-Time Clayton Home Buyers

Purchasing a Clayton manufactured home may be the easiest and most affordable route to first-time homeownership. Here is some key advice for new buyers on the process:

Start With Firm Budget – Evaluate income, expenses, savings and determine exact price range you can realistically afford for monthly payments on a Clayton property.

Check All Three Credit Reports – Review reports from Equifax, Experian, Transunion. Ensure no errors lowering your scores. Time to improve scores beforehand if needed.

Get Multiple Loan Estimates – Shop both Clayton “in-house” financing and external bank/lenders for the best rates/terms.

Understand The Loan Types – Learn differences between chattel loans, land-home mortgages, VA/USDA programs before applying.

Prep Documents Early – Gather 2 months bank statements, 2 years W2s, recent paystubs, tax returns. Speeds up final verification.

Inspect Potential Sites – Research local manufactured home parks and land options compatible with zoning requirements before choosing property.

Ask About Incentives – See if Clayton offers closing costs assistance, rate discounts, or other buyer perks when deciding on home model.

Following this loan prep checklist sets first-time buyers up for smooth journey purchasing their starter Clayton Home! Let me know any other first-timer advice needed on shopping Clayton models, choosing land, or getting approved.


Financing and purchasing a Clayton Home can be a feasible option for many buyers seeking affordable homeownership. With various loan programs available, including chattel loans and land-home financing, buyers have flexibility in choosing the right option for their needs. Additionally, special financing programs cater to individuals with credit challenges, making homeownership achievable for a wider range of people. By understanding the qualification requirements, exploring financing options, and considering factors like down payments and closing costs, buyers can make informed decisions and navigate the process smoothly. Overall, Clayton Homes provides opportunities for individuals and families to own quality homes while offering support throughout the financing and purchasing journey.


Does Clayton Homes finance land and home?

Yes, Clayton Homes offers financing options for both land and home purchases. They provide land-home financing, which covers the cost of the Clayton unit and the land it will sit on. This type of mortgage loan typically features lower interest rates and better terms compared to chattel loans.

Does Clayton Homes offer financing with bad credit?

Yes, Clayton Homes does offer financing options for individuals with bad credit through special programs like their Fresh Start Program and Divisional Financing. These programs are designed to help applicants with past credit issues qualify for loan programs, including chattel financing and land-home mortgages. While interest rates may be higher for those with lower credit scores, these programs provide opportunities for homeownership even with credit challenges.

Who does Clayton Homes finance through?

Clayton Homes offers financing through both in-house financing and third-party lenders. They have relationships with various lending institutions to provide financing options tailored to the needs of their customers.

How long does Clayton Homes finance?

The financing terms offered by Clayton Homes vary depending on the type of loan and the buyer’s qualifications. Land-home mortgages typically have terms ranging from 15 to 30 years, while chattel loans typically max out at 20-year terms. Buyers with lower credit scores may qualify for shorter loan terms, such as 5 to 10 years.

Does Clayton Homes finance mobile homes?

Yes, Clayton Homes offers financing options for mobile homes, including manufactured and modular homes. They provide various loan programs to assist buyers in purchasing mobile homes, whether for placement on land or in mobile home parks.

Does Clayton Homes handle financing directly?

Clayton Homes does provide financing options directly through their in-house financing department. However, they also work with third-party lenders to offer additional financing options to their customers.

Who does Clayton Homes use for financing?

Clayton Homes works with a network of lending institutions to provide financing options to their customers. This network includes both in-house financing options and partnerships with external lenders to ensure buyers have access to a variety of loan programs.

Does Clayton Homes do their own financing?

Yes, Clayton Homes does offer their own financing options through their in-house financing department. They provide loan programs tailored to the needs of their customers, including options for land-home financing and chattel loans.

How does Clayton Homes financing work?

Clayton Homes financing works by offering various loan programs to assist buyers in purchasing manufactured and modular homes. Buyers can choose between chattel loans, which finance only the unit itself, or land-home financing, which covers both the cost of the home and the land it will sit on. Financing terms, interest rates, and down payment requirements vary depending on factors such as credit score, loan program, and the buyer’s financial situation. Buyers can apply for financing through Clayton Homes’ online pre-approval process or by visiting their sales centers, where financing experts can assist them in choosing the best loan program for their needs.

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