Chapter 17, Section A:
Manufactured Homes - General Information

Revised August 28, 2008


Definition

A manufactured home is a movable or portable housing structure that exceeds either a width of eight feet or a length of forty feet, constructed to be towed on its own chassis and designed to be installed with or without a permanent foundation for human occupancy.

A manufactured home may also be called a house trailer. It is not to be confused with a motor home.

Manufactured Home as Vehicle

A manufactured home may be thought of as a house that, while it is temporarily on wheels between one permanent location and another, is also a vehicle and is considered to be personal property for tax purposes.

Manufactured Home as Real Property

When a manufactured home is placed on a permanent foundation and its wheels are removed, it is usually entered on the books of the county as real property, subject to real estate taxes instead of personal property taxes, and is no longer a vehicle.

Problems with Titling of Manufactured Homes

  • A manufactured home, when it is bought from a dealer, should be titled and registered as a vehicle before it is moved on the highways of New Mexico to its permanent location.
  • When the home has been placed on a permanent foundation with its wheels removed, the county assessor should be notified and, once the title is deactivated, should then assess the home (together with the land on which it sits,) as real property.
  • If the home is later sold and it to be taken off the foundation, with its wheels put back on for movement on the highway to a new location, it should be re-assessed as personal property and the title should be reactivated.

That is the correct process, and is the usual process today. Historically, though, many manufactured homes were never properly titled and registered when they were new. And, if the manufactured home was never titled as a vehicle when it was new, it cannot simply be reactivated now.

In that case a new title must be created, requiring all of the usual new-title paperwork, which in many cases cannot be found. In these cases, follow the, as described in Section F and in PQU#12. If complete documentation cannot be produced, a surety bond process may be required.