A traditional dwelling house built onto a foundation or basement is part of the real estate and will transfer over by deed. However, a manufactured, mobile, or modular home built somewhere else and moved on-site may not automatically be transferred.
So, what are the differences between Manufactured/Mobile Homes and Modular Homes?
A manufactured, or what used to be called a mobile home, has the following specifications:
1. A structure which is built to the HUD code
2. Transportable in sections
3. Dimensions of 8’W x 40’L and 320+ sq. ft. or greater
4. Built on permanent chassis
5. Designed to be a dwelling
6. Can be attached to a permanent foundation
7. Certified by its manufacturer, evidenced by labels on the home
8. Has a title and owner pays personal property taxes
A modular home has somewhat different features:
1. Built in sections in a factory
2. Pieced together at building site
3. Cannot be moved from its foundation
4. Becomes real estate once attached to the foundation
Why Should We Care?
If you are getting financing, the bank will need to know whether or not the home is attached, since it affects what type of mortgage they can offer you. If the home is part of the real estate, a mortgage will secure it. However, if the home is personal property, such as a trailer, the mortgage is on the real estate. There would be a perfected security interest on the trailer, in the same manner as on a vehicle.
How do you convert a Manufactured or Mobile Home to Real Property?
You complete an Affidavit to confirm that the home has been permanently attached. This form is also the formal application to eliminate the title. Send the filled-out form to our office along with the original title. All liens and taxes on the home must be paid in full. We will then send the documents to the appropriate offices for approval. The title is considered eliminated when the affidavit form has been recorded in the Register of Deed’s office in the county in which the manufactured or mobile home is affixed.
What if the title can’t be found?
If the owner does not have a title for the manufactured or mobile home, he or she will need to obtain the title before selling the home. An owner of a manufactured or mobile home with a model year of 1979 or older may execute certain documents to establish ownership. If the manufactured or mobile home is a model year 1980 or newer, a quiet title suit will be needed in order to obtain title.
Though the process might sound a bit complicated, it doesn’t have to stress you out. Tallgrass Title has experience with the issues surrounding these prefabricated homes. Give us a call today to get the assistance you need!