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Manufactured Home Serial #?

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KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Doing my first manufactured home and was told to look for the serial # and model info. Was told often its under the kitchen sink?? What am I actually looking for and is it usually under the sink??? Thanks.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
You are looking for the data sheet. It is usually printed on 8 x 11 paper (letter size). It will have the exact date built (xx/xx/xx), builder, model number, serial number and HUD tag numbers. It can be any number of places. Look in all cabinets, circuit box, closets, etc. Sometimes the owners remove it, because they don't realize its importance. good luck!
 

Restrain

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
The main thing you need is the HUD tag, which is on one end of the unit. There are two if a double wide, etc. If you have the HUD tag, many states, like Texas, have websites where you can track who sold the unit, when it was sold, to who it was sold, and if the title has been cancelled to real estate. A lot of people pull that piece of paper with the serial number off of the cabinet door (it looks tacky!).

Roger
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
If doing an FHA appraisal, you need the info off of the red HUD data label on the exterior. If completing an appraisal for Fannie Mae, you need the info off the data plate in the interior that Tim described. Good habit to get into is to photo both and make notes of the information from both. If you can't find it, ask the owner's if they have seen a piece of paper with a map of the USA somewhere (they might have removed it and filed it away). Or even ask the owners if all else fails if you can take a look at their ownership documents, the serial number should be on that somewhere, as well as the year, manufacturer and model. The number on the HUD label is NOT the serial number. The serial number only appears on the data plate and on the front cross bar of the undercarriage (which is usually covered up by the perimeter enclosure).
 

sueinprescott

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
Sometimes the legal description contains the make/model & serical number/v# and the MH dimensions (not alway reliable though. Don't forget about the MHCL. :lol:
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Sue:
Do you mean manufactured housing check list by MHCL? Very bluntly, I hate those and refuse to fill them out since most obviously were written by someone who wouldn't know a manufactured home if it fell on top of them. Also most of the questions on a lot of those lists are not in the area of an appraiser's expertise. Unless an appraiser is a licensed professional engineer or contractor, there is no way the appraiser is going to know if the soil conditions or the frost-line is appropriate or not. The appraiser should only describe or answer questions regarding the information on the HUD label and data plate and what can be readily observed without a lot of digging and crawling around under a unit. If the lender wants more detailed info, they can contact a qualified individual--I ain't one!!

Only Yavapai, Greenlee, sometimes Mohave and use to be Graham Counties would post the info from the Affidavit of Affixture or the title (if secured personal property) in the legal description. Maricopa County doesn't post any info except the year on the real property roll. And they never would secure a manufactured home to the land unless an Affidavit of Affixture was recorded (even though there has been a law on the books, that has never been changed since 1912, that directs assessor's to do so), that happens to be one of my pet peeves I have been yelling at Maricopa County about since 1980!

Anyway, Fannie Mae wants the info from the data plate and FHA wants the info from the label, so a good habit is to photo and note both.
 

sueinprescott

Sophomore Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Arizona
Jo Ann: I agree. I haven't been able to get around the checklist, except I made my own in my addendum and it clearly states my disclaimer to all of those frost/engineering type questions. I second the photo idea. I like the info in the legal description because I reference the Assessor records/legal with the Ser#/Affidavit of Affixture etc. ;)
 

KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
thanks for the replies. What to do if the homeowner or you cannot find any data??
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Has Yavapai continued the info in the legal description? Department of Revenue had a former employee from Maricopa County assessor's office for awhile that got very confused regarding that 1912 law (because Maricopa has been confused since 1980). The change to that specific law that went into effect in 2000 only changed the scheduling of the personal property roll to once a year and could be paid in two installments. Before that the personal property roll came out each month, a homeowner never knew when to expect the bill, and it was due in full within 30 days (called unsecured). The requirement still remained that if there was real property of at least $200 in the county owned by the owner of personal property, any personal property had to be listed with the real property (called secured). That is why in 1980, Graham and Yavapai started listing all the info on all the manufactured and mobile homes on a parcel, whether an Affidavit of Affixture had been recorded or not. Other counties started following suit, Maricopa refused. Then about six years ago the uninformed person at DOR got a batch of the new assessors that were not familiar with the 1912 law confused and they stopped listing the info in the legal description. I helped develop the Affidavit of Affixture back in the 1970s, when the HUD building code went into effect in 1976, manufactured homes became able to obtain 30 year loans just like a house--and that was the purpose of the laws regarding Affidavits of Affixture so that the unit could be taxed as real property. Before 1976, mobile homes could only get 10-15 year loans with a very high rate of interest no matter how they were taxed.

I cover everything that is within the expertise of an appraiser in one paragraph in my addendum. If the client has a hissy fit, I fill out one I have created with wording exactly from Fannie Mae. If they threaten me with bodily harm that I have to use theirs, I type after most of the sentences that what they are asking is not within the expertise of an appraiser and a licensed appropriate individual needs to be contacted if they have a concern, that I observed the property for valuation purposes only and I am not a licensed engineer or contractor or home inspector.

Kyle: If you cannot find anything on or inside the home, talk to the homeowner. Ask to look at their ownership documents. If they haven't done whatever procedures is needed in your locality to enable the home to be taxed as real property, they will have to provide those documents to the lender and complete those procedures before the loan can close. In the ownership documents should be the year, make and serial number for the unit(s). If the procedure has already been completed, then the assessment office should have the information, there might even be recorded documents with the info (what state are you in--Arizona has a very good system). The homeowner has to have some proof of ownership, somehow, somewhere--or how are they going to be able to encumber the property with a mortgage? Assessment offices, building departments, zoning departments and other local government offices should also have some info somewhere. You might have to become a detective. Or call the lender, their title company or real estate attorney (depending on your area) should have been the detective of the ownership documents for the lender. If you cannot find info anywhere, then tell the lender you cannot complete the appraisal until they provide you with the information from the title search. And no they can't get a 24 hour turn around on this order!
 

Ross (CO)

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Kyle, ......The others have suggested the right places to look for these identifiers. The metals tags riveted into the siding on end of component halves may be painted-over and hidden from better view. They just may be on opposite ends of the house, yet respectively still on their own half of the "modules" set up over the foundation. There may by now have been a deck constructed and these metal tags are below the level of the deck, still affixed to the house but not readily seen by you standing on that deck ! The paper page may also be called a Certificate of Compliance, and do look for the map of U.S.A. for geographic identity of regional stuff, manufacturing location, insulation specs for that region, etc. Jot down as much data as you see to be pertinent in describing that home, ie. date of mfr., place of manufacture, company name-address-phone # !, serial number(s). If the kitchen cabinetry has ever been replaced in history of that home you just may up-a-creek, but not necessarily lost the paddle yet. Perhaps the seller moved cross-town to a nice stick-built place and is still in the area. Get the names, look for a phone number, and call them if no paper found. He may tell you that he removed it long ago, placed it a file with "stuff" about the house and packed it out of there when they moved. Plus, you get history on the house from a prior owner. Of course, if that seller is long-gone, then you just may be S.O.L. Seek, and yee shall find ! Good Luck.
 
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