Mobile homes are made with wheels and can move from location to location, which gives reason to why the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles classifies mobile homes as vehicles rather than real estate. That is why mobile homes cannot always be transferred by deed the same way that buildings on land can. The typical means of transferring ownership of a mobile home is by signing over the rights to the mobile home title to the new owner.
For example, Seller is selling his property to Buyer. Seller’s property has a mobile home on it that has been deemed affixed to the real property, but he is still paying taxes on the mobile home and it has not formally been cancelled to real property. At the closing, Seller signs the back of the title as the seller, and Buyer signs the back of the title as the buyer. The closing attorney sends the deed of the real property in to the county real estate records to be recorded. Meanwhile, Seller and Buyer submit the title, a completed MV-1 form showing Buyer is the new owner and a check for fees to a DMV in the county where the property is located.
Steps can be taken, however, to change the classification of a mobile home so that it becomes part of the real estate. This process is called “cancelling the mobile home to real property.” Once complete, title is no longer needed to transfer ownership; ownership of the mobile home is deeded as part of the real estate transfer.
To cancel the mobile home to real property, the mobile home must first become deemed “permanently affixed” to the land. Ways to permanently affix the mobile home to the land include removing the wheels, axles and moving hitch, being placed in a permanent foundation, and placing the mobile home on land that is owned and not rented.
Next, the owner of the mobile home must file a document known as a T-234, or a Certificate of Permanent Location, in the real estate records of the county where the mobile home is located.
To explain based on the narrative above— eventually, Seller will receive the new mobile home title in Buyer’s name, and the parties will receive confirmation that the deed was recorded in a certain deed book and page in the county’s real estate records. At that point, Seller and Buyer can complete the T-234, also known as the Certificate of Permanent Location. This form gets sent to the county real estate records and, once recorded, a certified copy gets sent back to the parties. At that point, Buyer packages the T-234, the new mobile home title, and a check for fees (generally $18) to the county tag office with instructions to send back confirmation that the title has been surrendered.
Last, Buyer will submit a surrender of title affidavit to the county real estate records for recording, attaching the verification from the county tag office as an exhibit and referencing the deed book and page of the original recording of the T-234.
Once that process is completed, the mobile home legally becomes classified as part of the real property and improvements. For more information on the transfer of mobile homes on your property, contact the attorneys at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C.