Cheat Sheet to Classifying Your Manufactured Home as Real Estate in Every State

The methods to classify a manufactured home as real estate varies for each state. These differing rules often leave mobile homeowners wondering what exactly their next steps should be. There are several things that must be done to a manufactured home before it can be considered real estate, including:

  • The home must be permanently affixed to a land parcel, one that you own or are purchasing.
  • The wheels and chassis must be removed from the home and attached to a foundation.
  • Most lenders require a solid brick foundation; piers with skirting are not considered permanent.
  • The home also has to connect to electric utilities–and of the grid solar counts, too. Since you’re building a foundation and connecting to utilities and/or water and sewer, the county may require a building permit.

Once this is done, the county will bill you annually for your property taxes, but you’ll have to pay a pro-rated amount once the title conversion is complete. It can be a bit of a hassle to get the title in place, but it’s definitely worth it to classify your manufactured home as real estate. Now let’s look at each state to see what the process is.

all information regarding the process of seeing a manufactured home as real estate is provided by FannieMae.

Alabama

The owner, retail purchaser, or lienholder for the original purchaser of a manufactured home, not more than twenty years old may apply to cancel the certificate of title or certificate of origin if the home is affixed to real property that the homeowner owns. The ownership of both the home and land must be identical. The owner must submit an application to the state department of revenue, including the certificate of origin or title or a bond in lieu, a release of any liens noted on the title or a bond in lieu, and an affidavit executed by all with an ownership interest in the home and realty.

  1. If the manufactured home is later detached from the land, the owner must reapply for a new certificate of title. Manufactured homes more than twenty model years old shall not be required to obtain a certificate of title.
  2. This statute is part of the state home certificate of title act and does not state whether the home is treated as real property for foreclosure or other purposes after the title is canceled. Alabama also has a statute dealing with the treatment of manufactured homes as real property for the purpose of ad valorem taxation.
  3. But at least one court has held that does not convert the home to real property for other purposes.

Alaska

Alaska’s procedure to consider a manufactured home as real estate is as follows:

  1. Permanently affix the manufactured home to land;
  2. Ensure that the ownership interests in the manufactured home and in the real property to which
    the home is permanently affixed are identical unless an exception applies;
  3. Record an Affixation Affidavit (attached to Form 870 referenced below) with the recorder’s office of
    the district in which the manufactured home is located and pay the appropriate recording fees; and
  4. Upon receipt of a certified copy of the recorded Affixation Affidavit, submit the Manufacturer’s
    Certificate of Origin to the ADMV for cancellation, along with (i) an application requesting that
    the ADMV cancels the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (i.e., the Application for Manufactured
    Home (Form 870)), (ii) a copy of the certified Affixation Affidavit, and (iii) the appropriate fees.
    After the cancellation request has been processed, the ADMV will issue to the owner of the
    manufactured home a written acknowledgment that the ADMV has canceled the Certificate
    of Origin and the manufactured home will be characterized as real property.

Arizona

A manufactured home that is permanently installed on property that the homeowner owns, and for which an affidavit of affixture has been recorded, shall be assessed as real property for tax purposes. A manufactured home that is located in a manufactured home park will, along with the leasehold interest, be treated as real property if the owner files an affidavit of affixture with the county recorder and: (1) the home has been installed on the real property with all wheels and axles removed in compliance with local and state installation standards; (2) the owner of the home has entered into a lease of at least twenty years for the lot and the lease specifically permits the recording of an affidavit of affixture; and (3) a memorandum of lease, signed by both landlord and tenant, is recorded that lists specified information.

Arkansas

If a mobile or manufactured home is to be considered real estate, the title should be surrendered to the state department of finance and administration for cancellation. After cancellation, a security interest, lien, or encumbrance may be obtained in the same manner as for real property.

California

A manufactured home is subject to local property taxation if sold new on or after July 1, 1980, or if the
owner of the manufactured home requests conversion from the vehicle license fee to local property
taxation.

Once a manufactured home has been permanently affixed to an approved foundation and has met all of the necessary criteria in accordance with Health and Safety Code, it is excluded from the definition of a manufactured home and it is reclassified as real property, subject to the same valuation
as a conventional home.

Colorado

The owner of a manufactured home, once it is permanently affixed to the ground so that it can no longer be moved over public highways, shall file a certificate of permanent location that contains a statement of relinquishment by all secured lenders to release any interest in the home. Homeowners who do not own the land where it is sited must also release any interest in the home unless the property is subject to a lease of at least ten years. Since a homeowner would generally not wish to give up ownership of the home, it is unlikely that homeowners without long-term leases would wish to convert their home to real property. The homeowner then surrenders the certificate of title and applies for purging of the title. The home then becomes real property, and subject to all laws that would apply to real estate.

The purchaser of a new manufactured home may use the same procedure to convert the home to real property without a title ever being issued for the home, and instead relying upon the manufacturer’s statement of origin. Although the statute permits the conversion of homes placed on land pursuant to long-term leases, this may be problematic as it appears that after conversion the home is taxed as part of the land upon which it sits and so would hold the landowner responsible for taxes for a home he does not own. Upon the filing of a certificate of removal, the statute permits issuance of a new title if the home is removed.

Connecticut

Title conveyances to manufactured homes are recorded on the land records with the town clerk’s office of municipality. While the document conveying title to homes on leased land must recite information about the land or park where the home is located, it appears to allow conveyance of homes located upon land owned by the homeowner by deed, and such homes would become part of the real property.

Delaware

A Certificate of Title may be retired once the manufactured home is permanently affixed to real
property, however, the process to retire the Certificate of Title will depend on the county in which
the manufactured home is located. A person may obtain a Retirement/Class C Letter from the
county in which the home is located and submit this letter to the DDMV to convert the manufactured
home into real property.

Florida

The owner of a manufactured home permanently affixed to land owned by the homeowner or in which the homeowner has a recorded leasehold interest of at least thirty years, may retire title to the home. Before title is retired the following documents must be recorded in the official records of the clerk of court in the county where the home is located:

(1) the original title to the home, including a statement by any recorded lienholder that the security interest has been released or will be upon retirement of title.

(2) legal description of the real property, and if the homeowner’s interest in the property is a leasehold, a copy of the lease.

(3) a sworn statement of the owner that he or she owns the home and the real property or leasehold interest. After the title is retired, the home is only conveyed by deed or real estate contract along with the property to which it is affixed. A new title may be obtained if the home is to be removed from the land.

Another Florida statute provides that if the manufactured home was classified as personal property by a seller or lender at the time a security interest in the home was granted, it shall continue to be so classified for all purposes relating to the loan and security agreement.

Georgia

A manufactured or mobile home is personal property unless: (1) the home is or is to be permanently affixed to real property and one or more persons with an ownership interest in the home also has an ownership interest in the real property; and (2) the owner and all holders of security interests sign and file a certificate of permanent location with the clerk of the local superior court and the state revenue commissioner. Once such a certificate has been properly filed, the home is a part of the real property for all legal purposes, including foreclosure.

Idaho

A manufactured home is real property if the home is permanently affixed to a foundation and the running gear is removed. The home must be sited on land that the homeowner owns, is purchasing, or, if the home is being financed in accordance with a federal housing agency’s guidelines, is leasing. The homeowner must record with the county recorder a statement of intent to declare the home as real property, and must turn over the certificate of title. Upon exercise of this option, lending institutions may treat the home as real property. Physical removal of the home from the land is then prohibited unless the owner applies to have a new certificate of title issued.

illinois

Requires the following conditions be met to convey or voluntarily encumber a manufactured home as real property:

  1. The manufactured home must be affixed to a permanent foundation on real property;
  2. The ownership interest in the manufactured home and the real property to which the
    manufactured home is affixed must be identical, or, if the manufactured home is not located
    in a mobile home park as defined in Section 2.5 of the Mobile Home Park Act48 (“MHPA”), and
    if the owner of the manufactured home, if not the owner of the real property, is in possession
    of the real property pursuant to the terms of a lease49 in recordable form that has a term that
    continues for at least twenty (20) years after the date of execution, then the consent of the lessor
    of the real property must be given;
  3. All persons having ownership interest in such manufactured home must execute and record
    with the recording officer of the county in which the real property is located an Affidavit
    of Affixation as provided in Section 5-15 of the CEMHRPSA and satisfy the other applicable
    requirements of the CEMHRPSA; and
  4. Upon receipt of a certified copy of the recorded Affidavit of Affixation, any person designated
    therein for filing with the Secretary of State must file the certified copy of the Affidavit of
    Affixation with the Secretary of State.

Indiana

If a manufactured home has been attached to real estate by a permanent foundation, the owner may submit the certificate of title and an affidavit to the bureau of motor vehicles. The county recorder is then to record the affidavit in the county real estate records, and the home is thereafter deemed to be an improvement to the real estate.

Iowa

Iowa has two provisions; one addressing homes in land lease communities and one for homes on owned land. If the home is located in a manufactured home community and installed on a permanent foundation, the owner may surrender the certificate of title to the county treasurer for the purpose of assuring eligibility for federal mortgage lending programs. The title cannot be surrendered if there are unreleased security interests. A foreclosure action on a manufactured home whose title has been surrendered must be conducted as a real estate foreclosure. The owner may reapply for a certificate of title at a later date.

If the home is not in a manufactured home community, it must be placed on a permanent foundation, but for limited exceptions. If a security interest is noted on the title, the homeowner must tender a mortgage on the real estate to the creditor, or the secured party must consent to the conversion, in which case the secured party retains a security interest in the home that is separate from any interest in the land. This statute is a tax law that does not state whether foreclosure law applies after the home is converted to real property.

Kansas

Manufactured homes are not subject to the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to vehicles, including titling and registration requirements and dealer licensing. Rather, after obtaining a manufactured home the new owner is required to get a manufactured home certificate of title. Whenever a manufactured or mobile home is permanently affixed to real property by placement upon a permanent foundation that cannot be removed from the land, the owner may apply to have the certificate of title eliminated. The application must include an affidavit signed by the owner and all parties having a security interest in the home. If the application is approved, it is filed in the county registry of deeds. Once the certificate of title is eliminated, ownership of the home is an incident of ownership of the land under governing real property law, and the home is subject to a lien only as part of the real property.

Kentucky

When a manufactured home is or is to be permanently affixed to real estate, the owner may file an affidavit of conversion with and surrender the certificate of title to the county clerk, who then is to record the affidavit. The home is then considered an improvement of the real estate.

Louisiana

A manufactured home is considered immovable when a document describing the home and the land is recorded in the local parish records. The document must include a declaration by the owner of the home and any holder of a security interest in the home that the home is to remain permanently attached to the land. Once this document is recorded, the home is subject to all laws concerning immovable property.

The owner or the owner’s agent must then file a certified copy with the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections who creates an Internet-accessible searchable database providing a public record with: the name of the owner of the manufactured home; the date of recording of the act of immobilization; the parish where the act is recorded; the year of manufacture; the name of the manufacturer; the dimensions and the vehicle identification number or numbers of the manufactured home; and the date of the secretary’s filing of a copy of the act of immobilization.

However, the rights of the holder of a validly recorded chattel mortgage or a security interest perfected under Article 9 of the UCC are unaffected. The owner may reverse the process so that the home is once again treated as movable property by filing another statement of intent and applying for a new certificate of title.

Maine

Once the manufactured home is permanently affixed to land, the Certificate of Title of the
manufactured home may be canceled by the MSS if the owner of the real property records the
following documents in the registry of deeds for the county in which the real property is located:

  1. The original Certificate of Title to the manufactured home;
  2. A description of the manufactured home, including the model year, make, width, length, and
    identification number, and a statement by any recorded lienholder on the Certificate of Title
    that the security interest has been released or that such security interest will be released upon
    cancellation of the Certificate of Title
  3. The legal description of the real property
  4. A sworn statement by the owner of the real property, as shown on the real property deed,
    that the owner of the real property is the owner of the manufactured home and that the
    manufactured home is permanently affixed to the real property in accordance with state law.
    An owner of a manufactured home must file a written request with the MSS for cancellation of the
    Certificate of Title to the manufactured home after filing the above-stated documents and after those documents are recorded by the register of deeds and by returning the recorded Certificate of Title.

Maryland

In May 2012, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed a conversion statute that created a new title 8B under the Maryland Real Property Code. The statute permits the conversion of a manufactured home on a permanent foundation if the ownership interests in the manufactured property and the real property to which the manufactured home is or will be affixed are identical. The conversion requires an affidavit including a description of the home, a copy of the manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO) and certificate of title, if available, the street address and a legal description of the real property where the home is or will be located; and a statement from the owner that the manufactured home is free and clear of any lien, security interest or encumbrance. The bill also creates requirements for severing the home from the land where it is located.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts law is unclear as to whether a manufactured home may be converted from personal
property to real property, but the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has stated that if a mobile
home acquired the characteristics of a conventional home, the mobile home ceases to be tangible
personal property and becomes real estate. Additionally, if the parties intend the manufactured
home that is affixed to real property to be considered realty, then the parties’ intention will be given
weight by the Massachusetts courts and the Department of Revenue.

Michigan

The owner of a manufactured home that is affixed to real property in which the owner has an ownership interest may apply for cancellation of the certificate of title. To be considered affixed to the real property, the wheels, towing hitches, and running gear must be removed and the home must be attached to a foundation or other support system. The application must include the written consent of each holder of a security interest to termination of the security interest and cancellation of the title. Once the title is canceled, the manufactured home is considered part of the realty and a lienholder may perfect a new security interest or lien on the manufactured home only in the manner prescribed by the real estate laws. The owner may reapply for a certificate of title at a later date.

In 2003, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that security interests in manufactured homes in Michigan could be perfected only by recording them on the title, not by recording a traditional mortgage. The legislature responded by amending its titling laws to recognize both methods. It amended the statute again two years later to make this rule retroactive.

Minnesota

When a manufactured home is attached to real property and financed by a mortgage on the real property, the owner of the home must surrender the certificate of title to the registrar of motor vehicles for cancellation. The department then is to issue a notice of surrender, which may be recorded in the county recorder’s office or the registrar of titles. The statute provides that the manufactured home is then deemed to be an improvement to real property. The department may not cancel the certificate of title, however, if an unsatisfied security interest is noted on it.

Mississippi

A manufactured homeowner or mobile homeowner who also owns the land on which the home is located has the option of declaring whether the home is to be classified as personal or real property. To be classified as real property, the wheels and axles must be removed and the home must be anchored and blocked in accordance with rules adopted by the commissioner of insurance. A certificate that the home has been classified as real property is then recorded in the county land records, and the home’s certificate of title may be sent to the state tax commission for cancellation. The home is then treated as real property for purposes of taxes, and a security interest in the home and land may be obtained through the use of a mortgage or deed of trust.

Missouri

The owner of a manufactured home may convert it to real property if it has been permanently affixed by means of a permanent foundation, or if the owner intends to permanently affix the home by means of a permanent foundation, to real property that the owner of the home owns or which the owner of the home leases under a recorded lease for a term of at least twenty years after the date of execution, and connected to residential utilities. The owner must file an application along with the certificate of origin or certificate of title with the director of revenue with information including an affidavit of affixation.

Montana

A manufactured home is considered an improvement to real property if the wheels and axles are removed, the home is attached to a permanent foundation on land that is owned or being purchased by the owner of the home (or that is placed on the land with the permission of the landowner), and a statement of intent declaring the manufactured home as an improvement to real property is recorded with the county. The statement of intent must include, a description of any security interests in the home and approval from all lienholders to eliminate the certificate of title. After these steps are completed, the manufactured home may not be removed from the land unless the owner files a statement of reversal of this declaration. A manufactured home that has been declared an improvement to real property must be treated by lending institutions in the same manner as any other improvement to real property.

Nebraska

The title for a mobile or manufactured home may be canceled if it is affixed to real property in which the owner of the home has any ownership interest. The statute defines ownership interest as fee simple interest or an interest as a lessee that continues for at least twenty years after the required affidavit. The title is surrendered for the cancellation to the county clerk or designated official of the county. Along with the title to be surrendered an affidavit of affixture on a form provided by the department must be submitted.

The form requires among other things, the names and addresses of all owners of the home, a description of the home, the legal description of the real property, a statement that the home is affixed, and the written consent of each lien holder to release its lien and cancel the title. After the title is canceled and the affidavit recorded, the home is treated as part of the real property. The statute also provides a method for returning the home to the status of personal property. For homes affixed to real estate for which a certificate of title was not issued before it was affixed, the homeowner may apply for a certificate of title for surrender and cancellation.

Nevada

A mobile or manufactured home is eligible to become real property if it becomes permanently affixed to land. The owner of the home must either own the land or, if the home is being financed in accordance with the guidelines of a federal housing program, lease it. The owner must record an affidavit of conversion in the county recorder’s office, deliver a copy of the affidavit and all documents relating to the home to the manufactured housing division of the state department of business and industry, and pay the current year’s personal property tax. (But homes that are sited on lots outside manufactured home parks in accordance with local zoning laws are automatically recorded as real property without the need for an affidavit.) Once the home is converted to real property, it is deemed to be a fixture and an improvement to the real property.

New Hampshire

A manufactured home placed on a site not owned by the homeowner and connected to utilities shall be deemed real estate for the purposes of transfer and shall be subject to attachment, liens, foreclosure, and execution in the same manner as real estate. However, security interests in manufactured housing may also be created and perfected under the UCC as adopted by New Hampshire. The statute does not address homes placed on land owned by the homeowner. Owners of manufactured homes in this situation must rely upon common law to determine if the home becomes real property.

New Hampshire also has a statute that allows any lending institution to treat a manufactured home as real estate for the purposes of securing loans to finance the home. When a lending institution exercises this option, no certificate of title is required, and all of the provisions of real estate law, including conveyances, deeds, and foreclosure, apply to the home. The home must be placed on a foundation or slab and hooked up to all conventional and necessary utility systems and must be intended to be used as a permanent dwelling unit.

New Jersey

A manufactured home is taxed as real property when it is affixed to the land by a permanent foundation, or if it is affixed by a nonpermanent foundation and connected to utility systems so as to render it habitable on a permanent basis. However, a manufactured home installed in a park is not taxed as real property.

When a mobile or manufactured home is relocated from a park to land to which the owner of the home has an interest or title to, the owner must file a notice with the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles at least ten days before the move. If the director accepts the notice as complete, the certificate of ownership is canceled on the date of relocation.

New Mexico

A manufactured home becomes real property when the tongue (hitch) and axles have been removed
and the manufactured home is affixed to a permanent foundation. Once affixed, the county tax
assessor must be notified, and the title to the manufactured home must be deactivated. The assessor
will then assess the home, together with the land on which it sits, as real property.
To deactivate the title to a manufactured home, the owner must:

  1. Submit a copy f the Certificate of Title and request in writing that the NMTRD deactivate the title;
  2. Submit all applicable lien releases; and
  3. Submit a completed Request to Change Valuation Status, obtained from the county tax assessor
    where the manufactured home is located

New York

According to our research, New York is the only state that doesn’t have any guidelines as to converting a manufactured home from personal property to real estate.

North Carolina

A manufactured home qualifies as real property if it is a residential structure; the moving hitch, wheels, and axle have been removed; and the owner either owns the land on which it is located or has a lease of at least twenty years that expressly provides for the disposition of the manufactured home upon the termination of the lease. The owner of such a home may have the certificate of title canceled by submitting it, along with an affidavit, to the division of motor vehicles. If the certificate of title shows a security interest that has not been released, the division may not cancel the title without the written consent of all secured parties.

The affidavit is then to be filed in the county registry of deeds. Once the certificate of title is canceled and the affidavit is recorded, the manufactured home becomes an improvement to real property and any lien on the home shall be perfected and given priority in the manner provided for real property liens. An owner who wishes to separate the home from the land after the title has been canceled can apply for a new certificate of title.

North Dakota

A manufactured home may be converted to real property if the home is affixed to real property by a permanent foundation and connected to residential utilities, and the ownership interests in the home and land are identical or the home is placed there under a recordable lease for at least twenty years and the consent of the land owner. The homeowner must execute and record an affidavit of affixation with the county recorder which contains the manufacturer, the make, model name, model year, the dimensions, serial number of the home, whether the manufactured home is new or used, and state that the affiant is the owner of the land or is in possession under a lease meeting the requirements above. The affidavit must also include information about the certificate of title or MCO and its surrender, any security interests or liens, and other information. Once the requirements are met, the home is deemed to be real property and is governed by the laws applicable to real property.

Ohio

To be taxed as real property, a manufactured or mobile home must be affixed to a permanent foundation and located on land that the owner of the home owns. The owner of a home that will be taxed as real property must surrender the certificate of title to the county auditor. The owner must either satisfy any liens on the home, or, with the lienholder’s consent, give the lienholder a mortgage on the home and land.

Once surrendered, the title is to be deactivated, but it can be reactivated upon application by the owner. These statutes do not state what effect the deactivation of the title has outside the context of taxation, but a bankruptcy case holds that if a home was converted to real property through this procedure for taxation purposes it is also real property for purposes of bankruptcy law.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, it appears that the owner of a new manufactured home may make an application to
cancel the Certificate of Title before it is issued using the Oklahoma Application for Title Cancellation.
Generally, the application for cancellation must contain or be accompanied by:

  1. The manufactured home’s Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin;
  2. Proof of ownership;
  3. The legal description or the appropriate tract or parcel number of the real estate;
  4. Any applicable lien releases;
  5. Any applicable application fees; and
  6. Any other information as may be required on a form provided by the OTC.

Please note that before the title cancellation documents may be submitted to the Oklahoma Tax
Commission (“OTC”), the applicant must take the form to the applicable county assessor’s office
for their certification of the land description and owner of record. Importantly, note that the OTC
will not cancel a Certificate of Title if a lien has been registered or recorded or if the owner of the
manufactured home is not the owner of the land the manufactured home is affixed to. Moreover,
cancellation of the title must take place within sixty (60) days of the county assessor’s certification.

Oregon

The owner of a manufactured structure, or the dealer selling it, may apply to the county assessor to have the structure recorded in the county deed records. The owner must either own the land on which the structure is located, or hold a recorded lease of twenty years or more that specifically permits the structure to be recorded in the county deed records. The owner must turn over any ownership document for cancellation. The deed records must list any unreleased security interest in the manufactured structure. Once recorded in the deed records, the manufactured structure is subject to the same provisions of law applicable to any other building, housing, or structure on the land, and may be sold separately from the land or leasehold estate only if the owner applies to have it removed from the deed records.

Pennsylvania

Upon application, the department of transportation may cancel a certificate of title for a manufactured home that is affixed to real property. The home must be permanently mounted on a foundation. The owner must complete a form and return it, along with the title, to the department of transportation. If a lien appears on the certificate of title, the title will not be canceled until the homeowner submits satisfactory evidence that the lien has been recorded against the land. After cancellation, the ownership interest in the manufactured home, together with all liens and encumbrances on it, is transferred to and encumbers the real property.

Rhode island

Rhode Island has no formal statutes for converting manufactured homes from personal property to real estate. However, a Rhode Island Superior Court has held that if a manufactured home is on a permanent foundation to land owned by the owner of the manufactured home, the manufactured home will be classified as real property for tax purposes.

South Carolina

The owner of a manufactured home may affix the home to real property by installing it in accordance with the state installation standards, removing the wheels, axles, and towing hitch, and filing an affidavit for retirement of title. The owner of the home must either own the land on which it is located or have a leasehold estate of thirty-five years or more in the land. The local register of deeds or clerk of court must then record the affidavit as if it were a deed to real property. Upon completion of this process, the home is to be treated as real property for all purposes except condemnation.

The title certificate may be cancelled by presenting it to the division, along with a clocked and stamped copy of the affidavit. Any party listed on the title certificate as having a security interest in the home must either lease the lien or consent to the cancellation of the title. Once a manufactured home has been converted to real property in this manner, a manufactured home severance affidavit must be filed before it can be severed from the land.

South Dakota

If a mobile or manufactured home is fixed to real property, and the owner of the home also owns the land, the owner may request that the title to the home be surrendered. If the owner wants to remove the home from the real property at a later time, the owner may apply to have a title reissued. These statutes are part of the state motor vehicle titling laws and do not state the effect of surrendering the title.

Tennessee

If a manufactured home is affixed to real property, and the ownership of the home is identical to the ownership of the land, the owner may surrender the title to the state department of safety. The owner must submit an affidavit of affixation that, inter alia, certifies that all permits required by applicable governmental authorities have been obtained, the foundation system complies with the law and with the manufacturer’s specifications, and the wheels and axles have been removed. All lienholders must have released their liens on the home. If the affidavit complies with all the statutory requirements, the county register of deeds is to record it. The home is then subject to taxation as an improvement to the land, but the statute does not specify the effect on foreclosure.

Texas

A manufactured home can be treated as real property, if it is attached to land that the owner of the home owns, or which the owner is leasing under a long-term lease as defined by the state department of housing and community affairs. To be attached to land it must be installed in compliance with state rules and connected to a utility. The owner must file an application for a statement of ownership and location with the department. In addition, each lienholder must either release the lien or give written consent to the conversion of the home to real property. Within sixty days after the department issues a statement of ownership, the owner must file a certified copy in the real property records of the county in which the home is located and notify the department and the tax assessor-collector that the certified copy has been filed. The home is then considered real property for all purposes.

Another Texas statute provides that, if a consumer buys real property and a manufactured home at the same time, and certain other conditions are met, the creditor may elect to treat the home as if it were residential real property for all purposes in connection with the credit transaction. If the creditor so elects, and discloses this election conspicuously to the consumer, then the transaction is considered to be a residential real property transaction for all purposes. Bankruptcy courts seeking to determine if a home is real or personal property have looked only to the statutory conversion process to the exclusion of any general fixture analysis.

Utah

A manufactured or mobile home is considered an improvement to real property if the owner also owns the land to which it is permanently affixed, or leases the land and is financing the home in accordance with federal housing agency guidelines. The owner must surrender the title and complete an affidavit that, inter alia, identifies any security interests in the home. The affidavit and the receipt for the surrender of the title are then recorded by the county recorder. The owner may acquire a new title upon removing the manufactured home from the land. Since this statute is part of the state mortgage lending and servicing act, it is likely that it will govern whether foreclosure is the appropriate way for the lender to proceed in the event of default.

Vermont

If a manufactured home is financed while the home is permanently sited in a manner intended for continuous residential occupancy by the owner on land owned by the owner of the home, it shall be financed as a residence. Otherwise a manufactured home may be financed under Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, § 41a(b)(4) or Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9, pt. 3, ch. 59, both of which regulate chattel loans.

Virginia

Once the wheels and other equipment that made the home mobile are removed and the home has been attached to realty, the home may be transferred only as real estate is transferred. Any security interest perfected on the title continues despite the cancellation of the title. A bankruptcy court has held that the determination of whether a manufactured home is real or personal property must be made on a case-by-case basis and an owner’s failure to comply with the statute, while it might be indicative of the owner’s intent that home remain personal property, is not conclusive.

Washington

The owner of a manufactured home that is affixed to land (i.e., installed in accordance with state installation standards) may apply to have the title eliminated. The owner of the home must also own the land on which it is sited, have a lease of thirty-five years or more for the land, or be purchasing the land under a real estate contract. The owner must submit the title and an application, which must identify any security interests, to the department of licensing for approval. After approval, the title is to be cancelled and the approved application is to be recorded in the county real property records. The statute provides that the manufactured home is then to be treated as real property as if it were a site-built structure, except for purposes of taxation.

West Virginia

The commissioner of motor vehicles may cancel a certificate of title for a mobile or manufactured home that is affixed to real property that the homeowner owns. The owner must submit an application and the certificate of title. The cancellation certificate is then to be recorded in the county deed records. Upon recordation, the statute provides that the home is to be treated for all purposes as an appurtenance to the real estate to which it is affixed.

Wisconsin

The owner of a manufactured home must obtain a certificate of title, unless the owner is not a resident of Wisconsin or the owner intends to make the home a fixture to land in which the homeowner has an ownership or leasehold interest. The leasehold interest must be subject to Wisconsin’s real property statutes which exclude leases for a term-limited to one year or less.

Wyoming

If a manufactured home is installed on a permanent foundation and is taxable as real property, and all liens have been paid, the certificate of title is to be surrendered to and cancelled by the county clerk.

If you want your manufactured home as real estate, the process is pretty straightforward all across the country. Once the process is complete, your home will be considered the same as a site-built home.

If you are interested in learning about buying a manufactured home in your particular state, be sure to visit our State Guide section for more information.

As always, thank you for reading Mobile Home Living®.