Mobile Homes

What You Need to Know About Mobile Home Buying & Selling in the State of Texas

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The great state of Texas is known for sometimes doing things a bit differently than the rest of the country. In similar fashion, transferring a mobile home from seller to buyer is handled differently in Texas than in any other state. If the mobile home seller has clear ownership, then be prepared for a streamlined and typically easy process moving forward while closing.

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1. Purchasing From a Dealer

If you are purchasing from a manufactured home dealer or mobile home dealer, then nearly all the paperwork will be handled for you by these professionals. You will simply need to show up on the day of closing with proper identification and payment for the home. Confirm with your dealer or sales agent what documents you need to bring to closing.

2. Purchasing/Selling Private Seller to Private Buyer

What is a statement of ownership and location?

In 2003, Texas did away with traditional mobile home paper titles and adopted a more internet friendly solution. In the place of a mobile home title, Texas now has Statements of Ownership and Location, more commonly known as an SOL. An SOL is a form created and printed by the state of Texas and mailed to a mobile home owner soon after they close and file with the state. In addition to this physical piece of paper, known as an SOL, the ownership records are stored online in a public record for everyone to see.

Related: 6 Things Investors MUST Consider Before Moving A Mobile Home

Unlike traditional mobile home titles, an original Texas SOL is not needed in the same way a Title is needed to close. The seller may not even have the original Texas SOL in their possession; it may be lost or misplaced. As long as the online ownership reflects the current owner, then the current owner is the current owner.

A searchable online mobile home database

Texas has created a user-friendly mobile home database for anyone to search through looking for specific mobile home details. Before purchasing a mobile home, an interested buyer may easily search through these online public records to find if the subject mobile home has any active liens, to verify the age, size, and previous owners, and much more.

No titles at all?

There are still a few mobile home titles floating around Texas. These are from current mobile home owners who have owned their mobile homes since before 2003 and have not switched their homes’ Titles over to an SOL yet. When these homes inevitably sell or transfer ownership, their information will be added to the online database, and a new SOL will replace this current mobile home’s Title(s).

Closing

In many states you will not need to close at a title company, escrow agency, or real estate attorney’s office when dealing with a mobile home inside of a park; this is the same in Texas. In Texas you may meet at the subject property to sign all closing documents.

The seller(s) and buyer(s) will want to sign at minimum a Texas SOL application and Bill of Sale. The SOL application may be downloaded online from the state website. The Texas SOL application will help transfer the home from the current seller to the new buyer. The SOL application also details all the pertinent information about the mobile home, the seller(s), the buyer(s), and even the closing details will be made public record.

Keep in mind there may be additional closing forms required. Examples of when additional forms or fees are needed may be if there is no current HUD seal currently on the home, or if there is a new lien being placed on the home, or if the mobile home is being moved from one location to another. See the SOL application instructions here for a more detailed outline.

We just signed papers and closed. Now where do I go?

Texas makes this simple. Unlike other states you will not need rush to the local DMV, DOT, Town Clerk, or other manufactured housing title transfer office in your state to transfer ownership. Instead you will simply mail the signed SOL application, Bill of Sale, and transfer fee to the Department of Housing and community affairs located in Austin. Please allow 15 days or more for the paperwork to be processed and your new Statement of Ownership and Location to be generated.

Related: 4 False Stereotypes About Mobile Home Investors, Debunked

Friendly Customer Service

Having personally called every states’ (or group of states’) Manufactured Housing Division or office, I can attest that in some states it is easier to get your questions answered than others. Having called the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs multiple times, I am continually impressed by their politeness, professionalism, and promptness in getting a real person on the phone immediately. Any questions you need answered about a particular property or sale details should be directed toward the Texas Department Housing and Community Affairs at (800) 500-7074.

In conclusion Texas’s mobile home closing procedure is a bit different than other states; however, it is still just an ABC process to understand and follow. The mobile home public record search feature is a concept most states may hopefully start adopting. It is time states start treating mobile homes more like actual homes and less like vehicles.

Have you ever taken possession of a mobile home in the State of Texas?

Let us know about your experience with a comment!

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

    Paul Ewing Investor from Boyd, Texas
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    John you may want to add some more about dealing with manufactured homes that are no longer classed and Personal Property or that are PP but the transaction involves purchase of the land as well since this is a more common scenario in Texas than in park sales. From my experience Things are much more like a conventional home purchase, just with the extra $55 going to the state for the SOL modification on top of all the other standard transaction fees.
    Account Closed from Fort Worth, Texas
    Replied over 3 years ago
    great information thank you
    DJ
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great post, I am in the process of looking at one to flip, may hit you up on BP
    Vicki
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    I am concerned about selling my mobile home from out of country through a friend where the mobile home is (in Texas). Does this “streamlined” sales process give would be bad guys the opportunity to recreate former “titles” and resell them without actual ownership?
    Cecilia gonzalez
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I recently bought a trailer a mobile home from some people from Missouri I bought a cash I sent in the money but they never send me a receive the sale of the purchase I have not yet received the title to the home and I bought this trade this mobile home in April the 12th 2017 and they just keep on giving me the runaround but I need a proof of salesmanship wish I haven’t gotten can you help me Reply
    Cecilia gonzalez
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I recently bought a trailer a mobile home from some people from Missouri I bought a cash I sent in the money but they never send me a receive the sale of the purchase I have not yet received the title to the home and I bought this trade this mobile home in April the 12th 2017 and they just keep on giving me the runaround but I need a proof of salesmanship wish I haven’t gotten can you help me
    Kyle Wayne
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    I like that you mention how paperwork is really easy when working with a professional. My brother is looking to buy new mobile homes for sale but needs tips. I\’ll be sure to talk to him about working with a professional so the paperwork is easy.
    Lynn Anderson
    Replied over 1 year ago
    I’m in the process of selling my mobile home in TX. Should the buyer or seller fill out the Statement of Ownership and have it ready for signing at closing?
    Paul Ewing Investor from Boyd, Texas
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Ideally the seller should fill it out, but as the buyer I (or often the title company) usually do because I know what it is and most sellers have no clue. It doesn’t really matter as long as long as everyone signs it.
    Richard J Reiser from San Antonio, TX
    Replied about 2 months ago
    John, good post. Thank you. Are there different regulations that cover modular homes when you must have a foundation built on the land and the house is assembled in sections?