How to Appraise a Used Mobile Home

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The appraisal of mobile homes, or "manufactured homes," as they are properly known, presents unique considerations for valuation. Before beginning an appraisal of a mobile or manufactured home, you must first determine whether the structure is considered, by legal definition, personal property or real property.

Mobile homes are manufactured with axles, wheels and tongues for transport of the structures. In order to be considered real property, the mobile home must be permanently affixed to a parcel of real estate. Part of the process for permanently affixing the manufactured home to the property includes removal of the axles, wheels and tongues, along with surrender of the title for the home as it becomes part of the real estate parcel.

Step 1

Identify the make, model and year of the manufactured home. Mobile or manufactured home units constructed after June 15, 1976, will have a red metal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) label containing this information.

Step 2

Contact nearby manufactured home community managers and used mobile home dealers to obtain sales data for homes of similar make, model and year of manufacture recently sold, preferably within the last twelve months.

Step 3

Determine the condition of the mobile home. Is it excellent, good, fair or poor? What was the condition of the comparable manufactured homes that sold in the last twelve months? How does the condition of the subject mobile home compare to that of the comparable homes?

Step 4

Calculate the average sales prices of the comparable mobile homes to determine the median market value of a manufactured home of similar age, size and condition. Use the median market value to establish the market value of the subject home, adjusting upward or downward as required for condition and age.

Tip

"One thing to keep in mind when purchasing a manufactured home is the cost of not only transporting the home, but also site set up, including costs associated with water and sewer connection, and any porch or carport attachments," advises Greg Wright, 2009 President of Washington REALTORS.

In October of 1980, U.S. Congress enacted a public law to officially change the term "mobile home" to "manufactured home."

Warning

If you are unfamiliar with the valuation and appraisal of real or personal property, a professional appraisal or real estate broker's price opinion are recommended.

Things You'll Need

  • Accurate information about the home

  • Sales data from comparable mobile home sales

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