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Owning a manufactured home offers a unique and often affordable path to homeownership. However, manufactured homes have a different titling process, unlike traditional site-built houses. Understanding manufactured home titles is crucial for ensuring legal ownership of your home and navigating future financing or sales. This comprehensive guide delves into everything you need about manufactured home titles.

manufactured home titles

What is a Manufactured Home Title?

A manufactured home title, also known as a Certificate of Title (COT) in some states, is a legal document that proves ownership of your manufactured home. It functions similarly to a deed for a traditional house, establishing you as the rightful owner and outlining any liens on the property. A manufactured home title is crucial for several reasons:

  • Proof of Ownership: The title is the official ownership documentation for your manufactured home. It’s essential for presenting during any legal proceedings or transactions involving your home.
  • Financing: If you plan to finance your manufactured home, lenders typically require a manufactured home title as proof of ownership before issuing a loan. They might also place a lien on the title, indicating their claim on the property until the loan is paid in full.
  • Selling Your Home: A clear title is essential for a smooth sale of your manufactured home. The buyer will need to see the title to verify ownership and ensure there are no outstanding liens before finalizing the purchase.

How Does Manufactured Home Titling Differ from Traditional Homes?

The key difference between manufactured home titles and traditional home deeds is how the property is classified. Conventional houses are considered real property, permanently affixed to the land. Manufactured homes, however, can be categorized in two ways:

  • Real Property: If your manufactured home is permanently installed on a foundation and meets specific local regulations, it might be considered real property. In such cases, the titling process becomes similar to a traditional home, often involving a deed instead of a Certificate of Title.
  • Personal Property: If your manufactured home sits on wheels or isn’t permanently affixed to a foundation, it’s typically considered personal property. This is the most common scenario; a manufactured home title (Certificate of Title) is required to establish ownership.

Obtaining a Manufactured Home Title

The process for obtaining a manufactured home title varies depending on your location and whether the home is considered real or personal. Here’s a general breakdown:

For New Manufactured Homes:

  • Upon purchase, the manufacturer typically issues a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), the initial proof of ownership.
  • You must register the MCO with the appropriate state agency, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or a dedicated housing department.
  • Depending on your state and whether the home will be placed on a permanent foundation, you might need to obtain a Certificate of Title or convert the title to real property.

For Existing Manufactured Homes:

  • If you’re purchasing a used manufactured home, the seller should provide you with a valid manufactured home title.
  • You’ll need to transfer the title to your name by filing the necessary paperwork with the appropriate state agency, usually accompanied by a transfer fee.

Important Considerations Regarding Manufactured Home Titles

Here are some key points to remember about manufactured home titles:

  • Title Search: Before purchasing a used manufactured home, it’s wise to conduct a title search to ensure no outstanding liens or ownership claims.
  • Lien Information: The manufactured home title will detail any liens on the property, such as a loan from the seller or financing from a lender. Understanding these is crucial for budgeting and future transactions.
  • Title Loss or Damage: If you lose your manufactured home title, you can request a duplicate copy from the state agency that issued it. This process might be fee-associated.

Final Thoughts

Understanding manufactured home titles is essential for any homeowner. A clear title establishes ownership, facilitates financing, and ensures a smooth sale in the future. Familiarizing yourself with your state’s titling process and the considerations involved can help you make informed decisions regarding your manufactured home.

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