In regard to appraisals, different types of properties play by different sets of rules.
This rings especially true in the case of manufactured or mobile homes. Although some appraisers may be wary of working with manufactured homes, an experienced appraiser can figure out what type of appraisal you need for your particular home based on specific factors.
Types of Manufactured Home Appraisals
For starters, your appraisal will vary based on whether or not you own the land in which your home is being appraised or if the land is owned by someone else.
In the case of the former, you'll need what is referred to as a “real property appraisal” and subsequently an “RP” decal. This applies to any manufactured home affixed to land considered your principle residence and on which land you currently pay property taxes
If you don't own the land in which your manufactured home sits (in the case of a mobile home park, for example), you'll need to pursue a mobile home series appraisal and an “MH” decal.
Figuring out which type of decal and appraisal you need should be relatively straightforward; however, your appraiser should be able to handle any questions if you're unsure.
What Do I Need to Do for an RP (Real Property) Decal?
Fortunately, acquiring an RP decal is a one-time process. Visit your appraiser's office and be prepared to complete a DR-402 form which goes to the tax collector's office. In exchange, you'll be able to purchase your decal which remains valid as long as you retain ownership of your home and property.
If you have an RP decal applied to your property, you are also eligible for Homestead Exemption in the state of Florida. This exemption lowers the value of your home assessment for property tax purposes by $50,000. Obtaining this exemption requires you to apply prior to March 1st, although late exemptions are accepted through September.
What Do I Need to Do for an MH (Mobile Home) Decal?
If you do not own the land for your manufactured home and therefore must acquire an MH decal, you'll need to purchase them during the month of December from your local tax collector's office. Remember: MH decals do expire unlike RP decals and are valid for an entire year (and will therefore need to be purchased annually). Subsequently, MH properties are not eligible for Homestead Exemption.