Do Mobile Homes Have Titles? & Why You Need To Know

by Nov 11, 2019Blog, Buying a mobile home, Selling a mobile home




There are plenty of differences between mobile homes and site-built homes on a physical and legal level. A critical factor to consider with regards to any kind of property is the proof of ownership.

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In this article, we will deal with the question, do mobile homes have titles? We will also look at what the significance is of this.




What is a property title?

To many people, the language of real estate is entirely foreign. There are terms that you need to learn when you are interested in buying or selling a property. One of these is the title.

In short, it refers to a bundle of rights in a property. Just one owner or party can own the rights. Or, it can also be split between a few parties.

In terms of conventional real estate purposes, it refers to ownership of the property. It means that you have the right to use it, have access to the land, and can potentially modify it as you see fit. On top of this, it allows you can transfer that interest or portion that you own to others. 

Many people confuse the title and the deed. But these two terms actually refer to different concepts. The deed is the actual legal document that transfers the title from one person to another. You will need the help of a lawyer or legal advisor to compile this.

Do mobile homes have titles?

Yes, in most states, mobile homes have titles.

But there are some differences between mobile homes and those of site-built homes that influence the legal approaches. 

One of these is that you permanently affix conventional houses to the lot. On the other hand, you could potentially move mobile homes. So the rights to the land are typically separate from that of the land. 

Another is that there will be a distinct title document for each section of the mobile home. For example, you will only need one for a single-wide. But you will need two for a double-wide house.

In general, manufactured houses are legally treated similar to motor vehicles.

Vehicles parked in a row

A mobile home title needs to be issued by the motor vehicle department in the state in which it resides. These documents will cover critical information about your mobile home like the following:

  • Serial numbers
  • Home’s vehicle identification number
  • The make 
  • Model
  • Year built
  • Name of the existing owner as well as the previous owner
  • Description of the property
  • All conditions that restrict the use or the sale of the property
  • Lien holder’s info and much more



Why does this matter?

Now you know the answer to the question, do mobile homes have titles? 

So let’s move on to why this is significant. The title is a way of transferring ownership of the mobile home. Therefore, it is vital for anyone that is trying to buy or sell a piece of property. The sales process would be quite different if they didn’t have titles.

These documents are also necessary whenever you need to show proof of ownership or need to provide these details to anyone.

Because they are so important, you should keep the title deed safe. Most people store theirs in a secure safe. And in some cases, they will leave a certified copy with their lawyer. 

But despite these precautionary measures, you might still lose this document. If you do, you should get a replacement as soon as possible. Luckily, the process is quick and easy. But only if you are already registered as the legal owner of the property.

In this case, call your local mobile home titling agency to inquire about the specific steps moving forward. Generally, the owner of the record only needs to provide proof that he or she is the owner and pay a small fee.

The title process

The initial process for transferring the title can be relatively pain-free or can be quite challenging, depending on the current status of the property.

Man and woman sitting down and looking at documents

Typically, the steps for a mobile home will proceed as follows:

  • The potential buyer needs to verify that the seller has the title and that he/she is indeed the owner.
  • You also need to check whether there are hidden liens or back taxes.
  • Once the parties have reached a sales agreement, the parties need to notarize the title.
  • To pay any property taxes, the seller and buyer should take the signed and notarized title to the local county treasurer’s office. After they have made the payment, the treasurer will stamp the document as proof.
  • When parties have closed the sale, the buyer needs to pay the transfer fees at a local auditor’s office. They will need to affix a stamp again.
  • Next, one of the parties needs to take the notarized document with both stamps to any of the local title offices to obtain a new one.
  • A few weeks after closing, the new owner will receive the title indicating that they now own the property and that the other party doesn’t have any claim to it. The documents that the latter holds are no longer valid.
  • When the owner receives the title in the mail, you must let the auditor’s office know.

Buying and selling mobile homes

Before you get into the market of mobile home ownership, you need to ask plenty of questions like, “do mobile homes have titles?” As with traditional real estate, you want to make sure that you know what you are doing, whether you are buying or selling. Because there’s so much to think about, it can help to contact industry professionals to guide you.



 

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