Everything you need to know if you plan to sell or refinance a manufactured home.
Not only have I done the transaction side of selling a manufactured home, I’ve lived the fiasco personally while refinancing my own home. I almost feel like I’ve become an expert in this real estate niche. Let my pain be your gain! It may be more difficult to sell a manufactured home over a stick built home, but I’ve got you covered on what needs to be done to make the process less of a stress.
1. You will need an Engineer Certificate – Cost $1,000-2,000 (work and supplies are included in the cost).
Even if your home is built on a solid foundation, there is more work that will most likely need to be done if your home was built before 2000. One of the requirements of obtaining financing for a manufactured home is that an engineer certify that the manufactured homes foundation complies with the manufactured home guide for permanent foundations. This was made a requirement in 1996 and the seller must provide a site-specific letter, stamped with the seal of a structural engineer or architect. Most homes dated pre 2000’ do not have the certificate so there are hoops to jump through in order to sell your home. Unless you have a cash buyer of course, or the seller is carrying the contract on the property. This not only means that you have to have a solid foundation, but you will need hurricane straps of some sort (there are a few options available for this) to hold your home down. Like we are going to need such a thing in Montana… those hurricane winds we get! In my opinion, this should only be required in high-risk states, but HUD made it national.
If you don’t have an engineer report, you will have to pay a structural engineer to come out to your house and do an assessment of your foundation. They will go under your house and after the assessment they will do up plans of what will need to be done in order to issue the certificate. Steer clear of the engineers who send a structural designer to your house. It’s costly, and in most cases the work they want done is over the top ridiculous and not actually needed. If an engineer refuses to come to your house and do the plans himself, I would advise you to move on to someone else. I know this from experience. I ended up hiring another engineer for a second opinion, because the first one sent out a structural designer. It was a wise decision, because the outcome was less costly and far less work. An engineer should not be signing off on someone else’s work.
However, if you are in possession of an engineer certificate for your home, but you’ve added on to the house in any way, an addition or even a deck, you will need another certificate.
2. HUD Plates & Internal Tag
You will also need to make sure you have the HUD tags attached to the end of your home. They will be required. There’s also a tag somewhere inside your house, most likely in a cupboard or closet. In my case, my house had been remodeled and the tag had been removed when new cabinets had been installed in the kitchen. FHA decided to make an exception since the house had the HUD tags and they were able to get all the manufacturers information
3. De-titlement – Cost approx. $150.00
For four years, the property taxes on my house were just one bill. Usually, when your paying on a mobile home separate from the property, you will receive two separate tax bills, one for the mobile home and one for the real property. Even though my house was originally put on a permanent, cement foundation, the house was never actually de-titled. I had no idea when I bought the house, because I only had one bill which was for the land and the house. When going through the refinance process, it came to our attention that the house was going to need to be de-titled in order to qualify for the loan, which by the time it’s all said and done can take up to three months! So this is something to look into in the beginning, if you decide to sell your home. Getting the process done early will save you a lot of time if you have a buyer for your home.
If you are interested in selling your manufactured home, call me 406-240-5860. I know the ins and outs of everything that needs to be done and I can hook you up with the right people to get it accomplished. My mistakes are your gain! I learned the hard way, but it made me more knowledgeable in helping my clients. Avoid the nightmare. I’d love to have the opportunity to make your real estate transaction run smooth!