At Lancaster Law Firm, we are here to help you with your mobile home closings. It is first important to understand what a mobile home is and how it is defined by North Carolina law. Secondly, if there is a mobile home on the property being sold, this article will discuss the complications that brings to the closing process and the extra steps that need to be taken by your real estate attorney. If there is a mobile home on the property you are selling, the most important thing you can do is notify your real estate attorney right away.
What is a Mobile Home?
Mobile homes go by many names. For example, they can be referred to as manufactured homes, trailers, double wides, RV’s, and motor-homes, amongst others. No matter what you refer to it as, a mobile home is personal property in North Carolina. It is helpful to think about a mobile home just as a would a vehicle. It has a VIN number, can be moved from one location to another, and is required issuance of a Certificate of Title by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
So, if you own a piece of property and own a mobile home located on that property, you have 2 separate property interests: 1) the real property (the land), and 2) the personal property (the mobile home). A mobile home can be transferred from personal property to real property. In circumstances where an owner would like to sell both the land and the mobile home together as a real estate transaction, this must be done. If it is not done, the mobile home is still personal property. It does not matter at all what has been done physically to the mobile home. The owner can remove the tires, add on rooms, even build a foundation- the mobile home will remain personal property.
A modular home is not a mobile home. A modular home does not have a VIN number and cannot be moved from one location to another. They are built similar to the way traditional site-built homes are constructed and must comply with the national HUD code. This distinction is an important one to make since a modular home does not affect the normal closing process.
If you have a Mobile Home, there are extra steps!
If the mobile home is to remain personal property and stay on the land as part of the real estate transaction, the seller must transfer the title of the mobile home to the buyer. This is done by both parties signing the title, and then the buyer delivering the title, and Title Application (MVR-1) to the DMV. Then, the DMV will issue a new title for the new owner. If the mobile home is to be affixed to real property, the DMV has a step-by-step process that needs to be followed if the mobile home is to be converted to real property. First, the owner must submit MVR- 46G to the DMV. This is an affidavit that verifies that the mobile home meets the definition of real property. The DMV will then cancel the certificate of title and officially declare the mobile home as real property. After this, you must record the affidavit with the Register of Deeds of the county where the property is located. As of this moment, the mobile home has become a part of the property in the same manner as a house constructed on the land.
While this article is designed to help you understand the world of mobile homes, it only scratches the surface on the detailed and complicated process that is currently in place for mobile homes being transferred in North Carolina. All this being said, if there is a lender involved in the transaction, that brings a whole slew of other issues that must be addressed. If you have any questions about mobile homes, or would like assistance on a mobile home closing, please call 828-505-8514 or email
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