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Senator French Improves Financing for Manufactured Homes

JUNEAU–Governor Sean Parnell signed Senate Bill 104, which makes it easier for Alaskans to get traditional mortgage financing for manufactured homes.  SB 104, sponsored by Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage), changes the state’s real estate laws to treat manufactured homes that are attached to land as if the house was built on that property.  That designation will help Alaskans living in manufactured homes gain access to lower interest loans.

SB 104 establishes procedures to convert manufactured homes to real property through a defined process with the Division of Motor Vehicles.  Manufactured homes, also called mobile homes, have traditionally been treated like automobiles under Alaska law.

“Though manufactured homes are a popular, low cost alternative for consumers who cannot afford traditionally built homes, manufactured homebuyers often struggle to find fair and affordable financing to purchase those homes,” said Senator French, who lived in a mobile home when he first moved to Alaska.  “This legislation removes that barrier and helps more Alaskans achieve the dream of owning their own homes.”

In a letter of support for SB 104, Wells Fargo Regional President Richard Strutz said the bank has been forced to turn away potential customers because “Alaska does not have a clear method of converting a factory built home to real property, especially older manufactured homes that come back on the market for resale.”  Mr. Strutz also said this legislation will help homeowners gain better access to credit and more easily sell their homes.

Senate Bill 104 also includes the provisions of House Bill 264, sponsored by Rep. Cathy Muñoz (R-Juneau), which reduces costs of developing new housing by allowing cities to defer collection of property taxes on new subdivisions until the homes are built and sold.  In the past, when an area is subdivided, the property value skyrockets, pushing up the property taxes.  This provision allows developers to defer the rising costs during the development process, pay later when they have the money available from selling the houses.

For more information, please contact Cindy Smith in Senator Hollis French’s office at 907-465-3892.

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