Are prefabricated houses movable or immovable property?

In recent years, Spain has experienced a growing boom in the popularity of prefabricated houses. This phenomenon is due to a combination of factors, such as increased environmental awareness, the focus on quick and efficient solutions, and the flexibility of design that prefabricated homes offer, adapting to the needs and tastes of each individual.

Due to their popularity, many questions have arisen among those who wish to purchase these homes. Today, at MisterWood, we want to clarify a controversy that revolves around this type of housing and that is to define whether prefabricated houses correspond to movable or immovable property. Stay in your reading and discover the answer!

What is a prefabricated house?
Prefabricated houses are a type of housing that are built using a system that differs from the conventional way in which houses are built. This is because they are assembled in factories and then assembled on site.

Nowadays they have become a great option for those people who want a home with personalised designs and who do not have large budgets. Some companies offer the possibility of personalising your home, giving that touch of originality to your new home.

Mobile or fixed prefabricated house?
If you are looking for versatility and you have in mind to change your geographical location, a prefabricated mobile home is the option that best suits your style. These homes offer you the freedom to move your home from one location to another according to your needs and preferences. Whether you want to explore different landscapes or adapt to new environments, a mobile manufactured home gives you the flexibility you're looking for. On the other hand, if you have a specific location in mind and are looking for the stability of a permanent home, fixed prefabricated homes offer the peace of mind of settling in a certain area. The final decision will depend on your preferences and lifestyle.

Differences between fixed and mobile prefabricated homes
Before deciding between a fixed prefabricated house and a mobile home, it is best to be clear about what you want to use the prefabricated house for. At first glance these houses are similar, however, they have differences that you should keep in mind before deciding to buy:

Possibility of moving: As the name suggests, mobile homes have a versatile structure so they can be moved from one place to another without cons. On the other hand, fixed prefabricated houses are characterised by being anchored to the ground by means of solid anchoring systems, which guarantees their stability and permanence in a specific terrain, providing a stable and durable home.
Shape of design: Mobile homes are recommended to be single-storey, as they can be much heavier and lose their portability when they are moved. For this type of housing it is recommended to use several modules if you want to have a larger house. When it comes to fixed prefabricated houses, their design has no restrictions as they will be built on a plot of land.
Cost: The value of a basic and simple mobile home is generally much lower than that of a fixed prefabricated house. However, there are some requirements that increase the cost of any house and prefabricated houses do not escape from that; so, the type of material, the luxuries you want to add can increase its value.
Assembly: The construction and assembly process of prefabricated mobile homes is carried out entirely in specialised factories, where all the parts of the house are assembled in an efficient and controlled manner. Once completed, these houses can be transported to the chosen location without complications and without requiring additional assembly. In contrast, fixed prefabricated houses are assembled in parts at the factory, but then moved to the installation site for the final process of ground anchoring and complete assembly. This approach allows the construction to be adapted to the needs of the site and ensures a solid and safe structure.
What are immovable and movable assets?
At the outset, it is imperative to define these concepts in order to determine the classification of prefabricated houses. Specifically, immovable goods are all those goods that are anchored to the ground, while movable goods are defined as those that can be transported from one place to another.

How do I know if my prefabricated house is movable?
In order to be classified as movable property, it is essential that this type of house has the capacity to be moved from one place to another without causing changes or modifications to its structure. Furthermore, in terms of services, these homes must have their own systems that allow them to be supplied autonomously.

This versatility and autonomy are key features that make prefabricated homes an attractive option for those seeking flexibility and adaptability in their lifestyle.

These types of homes do not have anchors or foundations fixed to the ground, so they can be considered mobile, which saves them from having to obtain permits or licenses.

Therefore, mobile prefabricated houses are considered movable property as they can be moved from one place to another and still be in perfect condition, as well as having their own water and electricity supply.

In short, because they are mobile, they can be treated as if they were a vehicle, which exempts them from having to obtain building permits, but they do have to notify their location.

How do I know if my prefabricated house is real estate?
Those fixed prefabricated houses that do have anchorages or foundations in the ground where they are located and also require a perennial supply of water and electricity fall under the classification of real estate.

The distinction between a prefabricated house as immovable or movable property has significant implications in terms of the necessary paperwork and permits. If it is considered immovable property, it must comply with the regulations set out in the Ley de Ordenación de Edificios (LOE) and the Código Técnico de Edificación (CTE), which implies obtaining the corresponding building permits. On the other hand, if it is classified as movable property, this red tape can be avoided and the installation process can be speeded up.

These legislations define some obligatory procedures for real estate such as: building permit, construction permit and, once finished, habitation permit. Another point to consider is that where these homes are to be built must be developable land.

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