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Mobile home questions

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Jeff Horton

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I have a mobile home I am appraising for an estate. Freindly estate so far. Lawyer says they just need the appraisial because one of the family members wants to buy it. Rural setting, 1 acre of land. Pretty typical and has reasonably good comp data.

Problem is i can not find out age of the unit. Tax records don't have anything so I have to estimate age. I am thinking its about 15 years old.

Now is it fair to say that the cost approach was not used because of the lack of age and model? I don't really think cost approach is useful in out market on a MH anyway. But since it is going to a lawyer I want to be careful too! 8O
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
This may sound crazy, but this is an old trick I learned to guesstimate the age of a house in question. Look at the date stamped on the bottom of the toilet tank lid. This may give you some idea as to the age +- a year or two, or at least it will tell you when it was last remodeled.
Remeber to wash your hands after going to the bathroom :!: :wink:
Mell.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Oh, geeezzzz. I thought that was my trick! Also, check the electric panel for a date. :roll:
 

David S. Roberson

Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
If you can get the manufacturer's name, and the unit's serial number, I think they can tell you the year it was manufactured. Try to find a dealer who sells this brand. If not, any trailer dealer can probably help.
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I think the main thing you have to look for is the HUD label. It is usually on the rear of a single wide. With that, the mobile can generally be financed. If it does not have the HUD label then a good estimate as to age is certainly acceptable if the client does not have a copy of the title. You might want to ask the attorney if there is a copy of the title since the MH has no information in it. If it is about 15 years old that puts it well within the HUD Code manufacturing period.

I happen to think that the Cost Approach is very relevant for mobile homes, old and new. When they are pre-HUD, I apply some functional for not qualifying for most financing.
 

Bob Mulder

Freshman Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
North Carolina
As a last resort, take a few digital photos of the unit and take or send them by e-mail to as many mobile home sales centers aas you can find. Someone is sure to recognize the make and model year.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
You say tax records did not report the age. How is the unit taxed? As real estate or as personal property? How are personal property taxes handled in that city/county/state? Does anyone involved in the estate have the title to the home? If personal property, it should have a title just like a motor vehicle. If they can't find the title, how will ownership be transferred if the unit is considered real property? How is ownership of real property identified and transferred? How is ownership of personal property identified and transferred? Somewhere, somehow within ownership records, whether personal property or real property, should be the year and manufacturer. Maybe the estate doesn't "legally own" the unit!
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
In our State, rarely is the age of a manufactured home indicated on tax records. I go to the electric panel, HUD seal/label, or as noted previously, under the lid of the toilet tank. If no luck there, I put it upon the owner to provide previous transfer records. I would not want to spend weeks on this one appraisal.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
In Arizona, it does take a lot of digging to find info. If the home is being taxed as personal property, none of the reporting services like MetroScan, Experian, DataQuick, etc have any information about the manufactured housing unit. If the title from motor vehicle has been surrendered and an affidavit of affixture recorded (the procedure to enable the home to be taxed as real property), the reporting services, again, only report the year of construction but no information about the unit itself. So research has to be done in and with the assessor's office. In their records whether it is personal property or real property will be the year, manufacturer, model, width and length which includes the hitch. Computerized reporting services and fiche providers did not have that data. So when receiving an order for an appraisal of a manufactured home, lots of direct research in the assessor's and treasurer's records has to be done for the subject and each comparable. Lots of phone calls and visits to the offices. Have you checked with your local assessing and or taxing authority directly? The computerized and micro fiche reporting services do not have the complete assessment and taxation records. Somewhere, somehow there has to be a record of some kind--or the local government can't collect any taxes! There has to be a basis of valuation for tax purposes somewhere. Find out what those local government offices have hidden in their files in the back room. Lots of good info-maybe even some gossip while you are searching!
:)
 

bradellis

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
I note that Joann has replied to you. Taking nothing away from all the other fine apprasiers who posted, I'll just say that when I have a question on manufactured homes, I just ask her. She is the most knowledgeable person on this subject I have ever met. Nuff said...

Brad
 
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