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To Understand how the Banks view Mobile Homes, and thus, their Mortgage-ability, you may need a little insight and legal history about Mobile Homes; also know as a Manufactured Home.
A mobile home (also trailer,
trailer home, house trailer, static caravan, residential
caravan) is a prefabricated structure,
built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before being transported
to site (either by being towed or on a trailer). Used as permanent homes, or
for holiday or temporary accommodation, they are left often permanently or
semi-permanently in one place, but can be moved, and may be required to move
from time to time for legal reasons.
Mobile homes share the same historic origins as travel trailers, but today
the two are very different in size and furnishings, with travel trailers being
used primarily as temporary or vacation homes. Behind the cosmetic work fitted
at installation to hide the base, there are strong trailer frames, axles,
wheels, and tow-hitches.
History of Mobile Homes In the United States, this form of housing goes back to the early years of cars and motorized highway travel. It was derived from the travel trailer (often referred to during the early years as "house trailers" or "trailer coaches"), a small unit with wheels attached permanently, often used for camping or extended travel. The original rationale for this type of housing was its mobility. Units were initially marketed primarily to people whose lifestyle required mobility. However, beginning in the 1950s, the homes began to be marketed primarily as an inexpensive form of housing designed to be set up and left in a location for long periods of time, or even permanently installed with a masonry foundation. Previously, units had been eight feet or less in width, but in 1956, the 10-foot (3 m) wide home ("ten-wide") was introduced, along with the new term "mobile home". The homes were given a rectangular shape, made from pre-painted aluminum panels, rather than the streamlined shape of travel trailers, which were usually painted after assembly. All of this helped increase the difference between these homes and home/travel trailers. The smaller, "eight-wide" units could be moved simply with a car, but the larger, wider units ("ten-wide", and, later, "twelve-wide") usually required the services of a professional trucking company, and, often, a special moving permit from a state highway department. During the late 1960s and early 70s, the homes were made even longer and wider, making the mobility of the units more difficult. Nowadays, when a factory-built home is moved to a location, it is usually kept there permanently, and the mobility of the units has considerably decreased. In some states, mobile homes have been taxed as personal property if the wheels remain attached, but as real estate, if the wheels are removed. Removal of the tongue and axles may also be a requirement for real estate classification.