Manufactured homes are unique to the housing industry because they are the only type of living units that can either be titled as personal property (chattel) or real property. For a mortgage loan, it is critical that the home is titled as real property so that the lender can have security interest in both the home and land.
In some states in order to recognize the home as real property, there is a procedure of surrendering the certificate of title through a “paper” transaction. For instance, Arizona and Michigan, this is called an Affidavit of Affixture, However in California the distinction between personal and real property is determined by the type of foundation and underpinnings that support the home. In addition to “detitling” (removing its registration as personal property and putting it on the assessor’s real property tax roles), California actually records a document called the 433A. This document specifies that the home has been installed on a permanent foundation. In California, in particular, there has been errors in transferring title, so if this is a problem with your home or home of your borrower, On The Level has a curative title department.