What should I know about selling a mobile home? | Let’s Get Real Estate | November

Dear Jan:

I want to sell my manufactured home on a few acres. Is there anything I need to know ahead of time to be ready?


Dear MS:

Good question. There are a few “surprises” that come up when selling a manufactured home that is on “owned land” verses being on “leased land”. The first is the age of the home. While homes built before 1976 can be sold, they are harder to get financing on so are harder to sell.

The next is whether or not the “title has been eliminated.” Because manufactured homes come on wheels they are licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles and have a title like a car.

That title has to be eliminated so that the home and the land are considered one. Your real estate broker can recommend an Escrow or Title Company qualified to get that job done.

Then comes the question all brokers hope to hear a “yes” to when asked, “Are there ribbons and tie downs under the home?”

Say what? Ribbons are used in a couple of different fashions. Ribbons can be strips of poured concrete that support the pier blocks that manufactured homes sit on. Ribbons can be poured either lengthwise or widthwise for the tie downs to be adhered to under the home.

So what is a “tie down”? Tie downs are metal straps that hold the home to the foundation/ground. These are primarily for wind, tornado, hurricane and major flood protection.

In order to finance a home either Federal Housing Administration or Veterans Affairs, and more and more often now in conventional loans, the lenders require that a home have ribbons and tie downs. Unless they exist, you flat out can’t get a loan.

When selling you are going to want to attract more than just cash buyers. With two military bases and many first time home buyers in our area you will want to have the home qualify for Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs and conventional loans.

Therefore, you add ribbons and tie downs. To retrofit I have been given quotes of about $3,500. But just recently I have learned about a new system that the inspectors will approve. They are called xi2 systems and the cost is about $2,000. Nice savings! I know of two companies installing them so have your real estate broker call me if you need names.

So while manufactured homes have their challenges, you should be able to market your home just fine and there are buyers out there ready to buy with these low interest rates.

Best wishes.


Jan Zufelt is an associate broker with John L. Scott Real Estate.