The extent to which consumers are aware of theses tradeoffs and how consumers weigh them remains an open question. It is not clear to what degree upfront costs and convenience, lack of availability for mortgage financing, or lack of relevant information about financing options drive consumers to chattel financing.
State laws allow mobile home owners a choice of classifying homes as either personal property (“chattel”) or real estate. While chattel loans carry costlier financing with fewer of the consumer protections that apply to mortgages, they often have a shorter loan term and a simpler, faster origination. Local rules may require a more expensive permanent foundation for a home to be titled as real property.
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