This post was updated and expanded October 27, 2023.
Simply put, de-titling is the process by which the tax status of a manufactured home is changed from being a vehicle to a piece of real estate. The need for de-titling and the steps to accomplish it raise questions, especially for people considering the purchase of a manufactured home. In this post we answer some common questions about how to de-title a manufactured home in South Carolina.
Why is my manufactured home not classed as real estate if I live in it, and I don’t intend to move it?
Real estate, by definition, includes land and permanent improvements attached to the land. Because any type of mobile home is manufactured in a factory and then moved to a location, it doesn’t fit the real estate requirement of being a permanent improvement until it is attached to the land. Until you remove the wheels from the home, you could theoretically move it. That’s the crux of the matter.
Can any home on wheels be de-titled?
No. According to South Carolina's Manufactured Housing Detitling Statute, to qualify for de-titling in South Carolina, a mobile home must meet the following requirements
The wheels, axles, and towing hitch must be removed.
The home must be at least 8 feet wide, 40 feet long, and have 320 square feet of living space.
The home can be de-titled only by the owner of the home
The home must have plumbing, heating, AC and electrical systems contained in it.
Under the South Carolina statute, then, you can’t de-title your 25-foot-long camper or the 250-square-foot tiny-home you built on a truck chassis. You can certainly live in them if you want to, but you can’t de-title them in SC. They are always going to be classified as personal property rather than real estate.
What are the steps to de-title a manufactured home in South Carolina?
The process requires completing official de-titling paperwork, getting the paperwork to the correct county official, and paying a fee. Specific steps include the following:
Filing a Manufactured Home Affidavit for the Retirement of Title Certificate with either the register of deeds or clerk of court for the county where the manufactured home is located.
Verifying ownership of the manufactured home by presenting a copy of the most recent deed of record or another instrument that vests title.
Presenting a certificate of occupancy from the appropriate building official of the jurisdiction in which the manufactured home is located.
Verifying that property taxes have been paid for the year.
Presenting a lien release for each lien, if any were were recorded on the title.
Paying the de-titling fee which, as of October 2023, is $50.
Once all of the paperwork is complete and all fees have been paid, the DMV will confirm in writing that the Certificate of Title has been retired.
The details for de-titling a home in Greenville County can be found here. You can click here to find the de-titling procedure in Spartanburg County. If you live in another SC county, searching online for your county’s de-titling procedures will provide the details you need.
At Walker’s Riverside properties, we do the HOMEwork for you so that you can buy or sell a home with confidence, knowing that you’ve gotten great service from knowledgeable agents who care. Contact us today if you’re considering buying or selling a home.
This article was updated and expanded October 27, 2023.