In Georgia mobile homes are not treated the same as houses. They’re not “improvements” to land. They’re simply personal property with a separate title, just like a car, boat, etc… This is a problem for mortgage lenders because if a lender gives a loan against a piece of property, the mortgage for that loan only attaches to the land, not to the cars, boats, or mobile homes which may be sitting there at the time. Basically, the mortgagor could simply move the mobile home away, and the lender wouldn’t be able to say anything about it.
Wait, this is supposed to be an article for sellers/agents, not lenders, right? Bear with me, I’m getting there.
Most lenders, because of the above reasons, do not like to make loans in Georgia against real estate when the residence on the property is a mobile home. This means if you’re a seller (or their real estate agent), you’re likely limiting your pool of purchasers to cash buyers only.
So, what can the seller do? The seller can retire the title, and “permanently affix” the mobile home to the real estate. You fill out a T-234, submit it to the tax commissioner where the property is located, along with the title to the mobile home. The title gets retired with the State of Georgia, and now the mobile home is no longer separately titled or taxed, and is simply part of the real property, just like house would be.
While that sounds easy, it is something that should be dealt with as soon as possible, rather than waiting until you’re under contract, because the process can take a while. Additionally, depending on the age of the mobile home, any repairs and renovations that have been done, and how the seller obtained it in the first place, there can be other complications. For instance, if the seller has a loan against the mobile home, that lender is probably holding the title, and won’t release it until they’ve been paid off (after closing, unless the seller can simply stroke a check to them). Occasionally the title has been lost, and must either be replaced, or a “bonded” title issued, but those topics are too involved to address here. We’ll try to get to them in future posts.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions, or if you need assistance retiring a mobile home title in Georgia.