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Titling of manufactured housing can be confusing because homes can either be classified as personal property (chattel) or classified as real property. In cases of land-home transactions, lenders and title companies generally require proof that the home is attached to and classified as real estate. Not only does this allow the lender to be in a better position in the event of default, it is generally an ALTA title endorsement requirement. Currently it is a prerequisite for any Fannie-Mae, Freddie Mac, VA and FHA-insured loan.
In California, personal property title elimination is not accomplished by submitting a notice to the assessor’s office and recording an Affidavit of Affixture. Curative title is accomplished by having the manufactured home installed on a state-approved permanent foundation system, permitted by the local building department and having a recorded document called a 433A proving that fact.
California has one of the most complex procedures for changing the status of a manufactured home from personal to real property. Whether you are dealing with a new transaction or a case of a former error in titling, we have a team of professionals experienced in navigating the murky waters of California’s manufactured housing title issues.
California’s personal property title cancellation process is not a “fill-in-the-blanks” form. It requires direct access to building departments, knowledge of state-approved engineered systems, a network of manufactured home specialty contractors, engineers and a working knowledge of Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Title 25 Codes and Standards. Our state-wide technicians are familiar with city, county, and state jurisdictional guidelines, allowing us to resolve issues in an expeditious manner (depending on the building department of course!)
We can usually work directly with a title company, attorney, lender or escrow company to untangle even very difficult transactions!
In California, the most accepted way to cure title is to record a 433A, also identified as Notice of Manufactured Home or Commercial Modular Installation A Foundation System. Although California has a state-wide oversight agency called the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) which has prescribed protocol in Title 25 Regulations, 18851 of Codes and Standards for permanent foundation guidelines, in most cases HCD delegates their authority to local building jurisdictions. And there’s the rub!
While it was HCD’s intention to have a basic template for permanent foundation installation, each building department adopts their own standards so one size does not fill all when you approach the building counter. In California, there are hundreds of different agencies further complicating the scenario. Sometimes acquiring the 433A is a more simple administrative procedure because of a missed step by a building official, but quite often a 433A can only be procured by installing a state approved permanent foundation.
Once a foundation system has been installed, a building inspector visits the property and signs the 433A. Since a building official is responsible for signing the 433A and not a professional engineer, a manufactured home specialty contractor (C-47) is critical to the successful process of title elimination with the Department of Housing and Community Development.
California is fortunate to have an ample variety of state-approved engineered foundation systems that are designed to work in tandem with an existing home’s understructure components, allowing for a reasonable cost. All costs can generally be packaged into the loan process.
Not only do we have a network of C-47 contractors at our disposal, in cases of FHA-insured or VA loans that need a site specific HUD Foundation Certification, we can also provide those as well.