Assessing Manufactured Homes
Almost all manufactured homes in Napa County are located in specially designed parks, where a space is rented from the park owner, who owns the land and the park's streets, clubhouse and other amenities. County Assessors have assessment responsibility for manufactured homes placed in parks after 1980; those homes receive a Proposition 13 base-year value and supplemental assessments. Owners of these manufactured homes receive a property tax bill from the County Tax Collector, payable in two installments.
Value of the Home
Two identical manufactured homes may sell for different amounts based on the location and quality of the park they are in. However, both manufactured homes should be valued the same, without regard to their location. The value of the land on which the park is built is assessed to the park owner and reflects the location and quality of the park.
The manufactured homeowner also pays a space rent based on the location and amenities of the park. To ensure equal treatment of comparable manufactured homes, our certified appraisers rely on cost tables prepared by the State Board of Equalization that value the manufactured home only. As a further check, we use a value guide, similar to a Blue Book, which gives adjusted figures for sales of new and used manufactured homes throughout California.
Because manufactured homes in parks are not permanently affixed to the land, the second difference from conventional homes is that they are treated as personal property, not real property. Even though the purchase of a manufactured home is often handled through a title company, deeds are not recorded to transfer title.
Title to manufactured homes is transferred through the California Department of Housing and Community Development, in much the same way that title to automobiles is transferred through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Loans for manufactured homes are also handled differently than mortgages on conventional housing. Loans on manufactured homes are not recorded like a mortgage or deed of trust.
If someone does not make the payments on a manufactured home loan, the process is more like repossessing a car than foreclosing on a mortgage. If the taxes on a manufactured home go delinquent, the tax collector uses unsecured collection methods, including liens, instead of the five-year defaulted tax auction used for real property.
The assessment of manufactured homes is comprised of two values. The Improvement Structural value shown on the tax bill consists of accessory features such as decks, carports, storage sheds, etc. This value is adjusted annually by the inflationary adjustment required by Proposition 13.
The manufactured home is shown as Personal Property-Manufactured Home on the tax bill. Napa County is not currently applying the inflationary adjustment to the personal property value because manufactured homes depreciate in value as they age, unlike conventional homes.