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Mobile & Manufactured Home Q&A . . .

What is the difference between a mobile home and manufactured home?

Manufactured homes and mobile homes are both regulated by HUD, the Housing and Urban Development division of the federal government. According to HUD, a factory-built home prior to June 15, 1976 is a mobile home and one built after June 15, 1976 is a manufactured home. A manufactured home (formerly known as a mobile home) is built to the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (HUD Code) and displays a red certification label on the exterior of each transportable section. Manufactured homes are built in the controlled environment of a manufacturing plant and are transported in one or more sections on a permanent chassis.

How does manufactured housing compare to site built housing?

Manufactured homes are built entirely in the home building facility regulated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Regulations include construction, strength, durability, transportability, installation, energy efficiency, fire resistance, and more. Further, many costs savings are realized in the controlled building environment. Manufactured home builders purchase materials in large quantities and lower prices. The efficient flow of materials saves time for the builder, more savings passed on to the eventual home buyer.

What makes a mobile home safe to live in?

All mobile/manufactured homes must be built in accordance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations. These regulations, the Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards, were amended in 1994 to better insure that mobile/manufactured homes can withstand high winds.

All mobile/manufactured homes installed in Florida must be installed by a licensed mobile/manufactured home installer, in accordance with Rule Chapter 15C-1, which are perhaps the most stringent mobile/manufactured home installation standards in the U.S. All mobile/manufactured homes in Florida must be built in accordance with the Wind Zone standards of the county in which it will be installed.

Finally, most of the homes we sell are 20-30 years old, some even older. They have survived many serious storms through the years, and promise many more years of affordable living for the new owners!

Where can I find the HUD and serial numbers on a manufactured home?

Since 1994, the Data Plate, including the model, serial number, HUD number and additional information, should be located in the master bedroom closet.

Prior to 1994, the Data Plate may have been placed on the master bath vanity door, kitchen cabinet door, in the utility room, inside the breaker box, or in the master bedroom closet. Data plates are often unavailable to view, especially in older homes, as they may have been removed or painted over by a previous owner.

All models, however, will have the serial number stamped on the front header. This is the I-beam that runs across the width of the front of the home. More specifically, it will be found on the left side of the header when viewing the front of the home.

Land Lease or Lot Rent Community Q&A . . .

What is meant by a land lease or lot rent community?

Residents in a land lease community purchase their home, and not the land it rests on. In most cases, this saves the home owner tens of thousands of dollars to use as they wish. An owner may use this money to invest, save for a rainy day, travel, or anything else imaginable. Lot rent is paid by all residents to the park owner, usually on a monthly basis. All of the homes sold at The Mobile Home Spot are located in land lease communities.

What are the benefits of buying a land lease home over a home on its own land?

The most immediate and obvious advantage is the initial cost. In some cases, the buyer will save tens of thousands of dollars to buy in, with predictable costs thereafter. Residents and management partner with each other to maintain high community standards, producing favorable results for everyone. Community managers routinely serve the residents by working to resolve problems such as disruptive pets, property upkeep, and parking. They maintain the resources to correct problems in emergencies, perform background checks on potential home owners, and enforce common rules and regulations for all.

The affordable lease payments bring a great value for all home owners. A wide variety of amenities is available for many residents, but may vary from one community to another. Some of these include: pools and spas, tennis and shuffleboard courts, bocce ball, basketball, horseshoes, fitness centers, pool rooms, crafts rooms, RV and boat storage. Replicating all of these amenities would be prohibitively expensive for individual home owners. All common areas of each park are maintained by the community management and staff, and home owners are not responsible for property taxes!

How often is lot rent paid?

Typically, lot rent is a monthly payment, made by check. Most communities do not accept cash. Some communities offer an electronic debit from your checking account, and others allow for online bill pay with your bank to pay the monthly payment to the community each month. Annual payment is also welcome, but there is typically no discount for advance payment.

What does lot rent include?

In most cases, lot rent includes taxes and use of park amenities. The home owner is responsible for all utilities: electric, water/sewer, trash, phone, internet, cable, and lawn care. The community owner is responsible for the common areas. Your Mobile Home Spot sales agent or the community managers can answer further specific questions about lot rent.

Are pets allowed in mobile home communities?

Most communities are pet friendly, but you can expect restrictions and rules. Some restrictions limit size, weight, and number of pets per household. Rules mandate the use of leashes when outside; some parks allow dog walking on the street, while others don’t. All communities prohibit some breeds that are considered to be aggressive. Many communities have designated areas for pets, known as dog parks. Finally, there are a few pet free (no pets permitted) communities. Ask your agent or contact the community manager for specific pet policy details.

Can I put up a fence on my leased lot?

Sorry, but community rules prohibit the installation of fences. This guarantees satisfactory aesthetics for all community residents long into the future, and encourages neighborly communication. Additionally, since resident turnover is relatively frequent, the installation and inevitable removal of fences on a regular basis would be particularly troublesome.

55+ Community Q&A . . .

What is a 55+ community?

55+ communities, sometimes referred to as retirement communities, are communities with an age restriction for residence. Typical 55+ communities offer a variety of amenities for their residents, such as clubhouses, pools and spas, fitness centers, tennis courts, game rooms, crafts rooms, and scheduled activities. Most 55+ communities have residential covenants. These restrictions and guidelines ensure stable home values and a safe and friendly community for all residents.

Must everyone in a 55+ community have to be 55 or older?

Residency restrictions usually require one of each home’s residents to be at least 55, although specific age requirements will vary from one park to another. Some communities make special allowances for younger caretakers and legal guardians of residents. Even though most residents of 55+ parks are retired, many others continue careers while residing in their respective community. Consult with your Mobile Home Spot sales agent for specific age requirement details in the communities we serve.

Are my children and grandchildren permitted to visit?

Most communities allow younger relatives to visit, usually with time limit restrictions, such as one or two weeks per visit. However, there are often rules in place that prohibit residents from allowing children and others younger than 55 from becoming permanent residents.

Central Florida Area Q&A . . .

What is the best area in Florida to retire and buy a home?

Florida has it all, regardless of your particular interests! At The Mobile Home Spot, we feel that Central Florida is in the “Heart of It All!” We have available listings just a short drive from beaches, Disney World, Orlando and Tampa attractions, international airports, restaurants and shopping, world renowned medical facilities, major sporting events, and so much more!

While everything you’ll need is close, many of our communities have a rural or small town feeling. Our location offers a buffer zone of protection from tropical storms, but you can plan on beautiful weather year round.

Please CLICK HERE to browse our home listings and call the corresponding listing agent to learn more about the local area. Finally, remember that when you move into a community, your neighbors become your new friends and extended family who will also help you learn the area.

How can I find local businesses and professionals for home maintenance, medical services, shopping, dining, etc.?

CLICK HERE to go to our Mobile Home Spot directory of local businesses and services. Most leased land communities print monthly news letters that contain advertising for local businesses. Many businesses also advertise in local newspapers and free publications found at the entrances of many grocery stores, convenience stores, restaurants, etc. Look inside the community clubhouse for a bulletin board of local residents and businesses advertising their services. You may also conduct your own internet search to find even more service providers.

What’s the weather like in Central Florida?

The Florida weather is often cited as the Number One reason people decide to move here! Everything you enjoy doing outdoors is a 12 month activity in sunny Florida: golf, tennis, gardening, fishing, you name it! Imagine no snow or ice, and short sleeves in January! Severe storms are possible but rare, and most storms lose much of their strength before they reach us in the middle of the state. We’ll be looking forward to sharing our wonderful sunshine with you!

General Buying / Selling Q&A . . .

Do you sell homes that include the land?

No, we only sell homes in land lease communities. Please contact a realtor in the city you wish to purchase or REALTOR.com to view listings of homes with land.

How and when can I view a home you have listed?

The agents at The Mobile Home Spot are usually able to accommodate you with a scheduled appointment. We always stay busy with appointments, so we can’t always meet with you immediately. We want you to view the homes of your choice in an unhurried manner, so it is necessary to arrange for adequate time. Just email or call your Mobile Home Spot agent, and we’ll fit you in!

How long does it take to close/complete the purchase of a mobile home on leased land? When do I get the keys?

At The Mobile Home Spot, we understand that you may need to take possession of your new home in warm and sunny Florida ASAP. In some cases, you may move in from one to three business days! In that case, ask your agent to show you homes that are vacant, meaning the seller has already moved out. For currently occupied homes, the average closing is around 30 days after the contract signing.

Closing dates are flexible; your agent will assist you with that as part of the negotiation process. In some cases, the seller will request an extended future closing date, which is also negotiable. Most importantly, make sure your agent knows your particular requirements regarding a closing date.

This way, we will work to insure that your time is conserved and you will only view homes which will meet your individual needs and desires. In order to take possession, you must be resident approved by the community and have paid for the home in full by either bank wire or cashiers check.

How is the selling price of a mobile home on leased land determined?

Most mobile homes are priced at current market value. Some factors that will affect the price are condition, age, size, and location. If you find a home you like, it is best to promptly make a respectable offer. An offer much below the asking price can be considered insulting to the seller, and negotiations may then be stalled. Because some sellers wish for a quick sale, they may price their home at less than market value. Your Mobile Home Spot agent will inform you of any listings that fit this category.

When do I put down a deposit? How much is expected?

The home of your choice will not be taken off the market unless and until you make a deposit. Don’t lose out on the home by hesitating and allowing another buyer to make a deposit! We require a 20% deposit on all homes, to indicate to the seller that you’re a serious buyer. For example, a deposit of $3,000 will be required for a home with an agreed sales price of $15,000.

If you’re unable to immediately produce the 20% deposit, we may be able to accept a smaller deposit and take the home off the market temporarily. This would be allowed with the stipulation that the balance of the deposit or full balance be made within a specified time frame. Your deposit will be returned if your offer is not accepted.

Further, your deposit is refundable if you are denied park approval or if financing is unavailable. Ask your Mobile Home Spot agent about time requirements that must be met to prevent the breach of contract and potentially, the forfeiture of your deposit.

What are the closing costs for the purchase of a mobile home on leased land?

Closing fees include: $395 closing fee, 6% Florida sales tax, a flat rate county tax (usually $25 to $75), and estimated title transfer recording fee: single wide- $275, double wide- $375, triple wide- $475. Any remaining collected funds unused in the title transfer recording will be refunded to the buyer.

What documentation do I need to buy a home?

If you are a US citizen, we’ll need to make a copy of your driver’s license or state issued identification. All necessary sales and title documents will be supplied by your sales agent. If not a US citizen, two forms of picture identification are needed – driver’s license/government issued identification, and passport. The resident approval process with the community may require additional documentation, such as social security card, proof of income, etc. If you have a pet, veterinarian records and a photo of your pet may be required.

How do I obtain resident approval to purchase a home?

The park approval process varies from one community to another, but your Mobile Home Spot agent will assist you with this process. All the communities we serve will perform a criminal background check; some perform a credit check, while others do not factor credit history into consideration for resident approval.

All potential buyers are required to complete and sign a community provided resident application, and pay an application fee. The application fees can range from $50 to $400. The average approval time is one to five business days. However, the approval time can take longer, due to the location of the buyer’s current home address, or additional documentation required by the community.

Do I need to hire a real estate attorney to buy a mobile home on leased land?

An attorney is not necessary to facilitate the purchase, because this is not a true real estate transaction. Remember, you’re only purchasing the home, but not the land where it is located. It’s a personal property transaction, much like the purchase of an automobile. Your Mobile Home Spot agent will process all the paperwork and transfer the home titles for you!

Do I have to pay property taxes on a mobile home on leased land?

You are not required to pay property taxes on leased land mobile homes because they are not considered “real property.” Each year, you will be required to pay a yearly registration renewal fee and display a sticker in your front window. This registration (similar to auto registration) expires on December 31 of each year.

Registration costs are as follows: $100 or less for single wide, $200 or less for double wide, and $300 or less for triple wide. You can expect a renewal notice in October or November from your county’s tax collector’s office. If you do not receive a renewal notice, you may renew in person at your local tax collector’s office, call the tax collector, or visit the tax collector’s website. For a list of local tax collector’s offices, CLICK HERE.

Some mobile home communities have a “pass on tax” that is charged to the home owner. Depending on the community, this pass on tax may be paid monthly or annually. Some include this fee in the lot rent; others charge it separately. Pass on tax amounts vary by community, usually ranging between $200 and $1,000 annually.

Can I purchase one of your listed mobile homes without seeing it in person?

You may purchase any of our listings without seeing it first, often referred to as a “sight unseen” sale. We can complete all the necessary paperwork by email and standard mail. If you know someone in the area, ask him or her to view the home for you, and provide feedback. Additionally, we recommend that you hire a licensed home inspector and termite inspector. Your Mobile Home Spot agent will inform you of any known concerns or any issues that have been disclosed by the seller.

Can you HOLD a home until I arrive in Florida next week or next month?

Sorry, we are not able to place a hold on any home for a future viewing. This is a first come, first served business, with the homes often selling quickly. You may arrange for someone to view a particular home for you and provide you information. You may also purchase any home “site unseen,” by signing a contract and sending an escrow deposit. An offer can be contingent on the results of a home inspection scheduled within one to three business days. Your home inspector will inspect the home for you, usually providing you with a written report. Many of our buyers first find their preferred home online, then arrange for travel to see the home in person for themselves!

Why are many homes sold that are furnished?

Most of our listed homes are sold with furnishings because the seller has a second home in another location. Buyers often prefer to purchase a furnished home, to avoid the expenses of moving and purchasing new furnishings. If you choose to purchase a furnished home but don’t need the furnishings, you can make a charitable donation, contact a consignment shop, or check with the community manager about conducting a yard sale. Most communities have a bulletin board inside the clubhouse where items for sale or free can be posted.

Is financing available for manufactured homes on leased land?

Yes, there are lenders that specialize in financing mobile/manufactured homes on leased land. Several factors determine financing eligibility: age, size, location, purchase price, etc. The buyer must meet lender requirements: credit score, debt to income ratio, etc. Whether the buyer plans to occupy the home full or part time may also affect financing eligibility. On average, the minimum down payment will be 25% of the total purchase price. Please CLICK HERE for a list of companies that offer mobile home financing for more information. Feel free to conduct your own internet search to find more companies that offer mobile home financing.

What if I am unable to perfectly time the sale of my present home and the purchase of a manufactured home on leased land?

You may find yourself owning no home temporarily, in which case you’ll need to make short term living and storage arrangements. On the other hand, you may find yourself owning two homes concurrently. In that case, it is important to have extra available funding for insurance, utilities, maintenance, etc. Remember that either situation is temporary; you will soon be enjoying life in the wonderful manufactured home community of your choice.

What is meant by sold “AS IS?”

All of our homes are pre-owned and sold in present condition AS IS. There are no warranties, guarantees, and representations from the seller or Mobile Home Spot on anything related to the home, equipment, appliances, and contents now or in the future.

All due diligence is the buyer’s responsibility. All known issues or deficiencies discovered by the agent or previously disclosed by the seller shall be communicated to the buyer in writing. We recommend all buyers have the home inspected by local professionals.

All inspection expenses are the sole responsibility of the buyer. All manufactured homes are used items that have evidence of wear and tear, and will require routine maintenance, much like a used automobile.

Should I hire a licensed home inspector?

For your peace of mind, The Mobile Home Spot recommends you have a home and termite inspection performed on the home you plan to purchase. Feel free to conduct an internet search to find inspectors in the city where the home is located. You can also visit our HOME INSPECTOR AND TERMITE INSPECTOR pages for more local professionals.

I have never lived in a mobile home or in a land lease community. What should I expect as I begin my search?

Mobile homes are one of the most comfortable, cost effective housing options available today. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to thoroughly inform your Mobile Home Spot agent of your preferences. All of our agents are experts on the communities they serve, so we will make every effort to find the perfect home for you as soon as possible. Additionally, all parks perform background checks, and some perform credit checks.

If the agent is fully familiar with any factor that could negatively affect your potential park approval, she will be able to assist with the park approval process as much as possible. As you advance with your home search, it is best to realize that all homes we list are pre-owned. In many cases, this will require you, the buyer, to imagine what each listed home potentially offers you, often after cleaning, updating, and tune up tasks are completed.

Don’t let a less than perfectly clean home with dated appliances turn you away. Many of our sellers are elderly, and their preferences and standards may not match yours, so try to overlook relatively minor deficiencies.

As always, we recommend you order a home inspection to address the condition of the things that matter most: A/C, plumbing, electrical and roof. In the end, our goal is the same as yours: to find a home for you that you can be proud of at the best possible price.

Can you show me a home that is listed by another company or a community sales office?

Sorry, we are not able to sell homes listed with a park sales office or another mobile home sales company. The Mobile Home Spot is an independent mobile home broker and has no affiliation or ownership with any of the mobile home communities where we have homes listed. We do not co-broke with any other companies because there is no Multiple Listing Service like there is in real estate. Much like used auto sales, we can only show you those on our own “lot.”

Do you work directly for the communities in which you have homes listed?

No, we only work directly for the individual mobile home owners who contract with The Mobile Home Spot. The information available here- current lot rent rates, items or activities included in the lot rent, park amenities, etc., are considered to be reliable, but may change at the discretion of the park management. Things like lot rent and amenities are always subject to change, and The Mobile Home Spot assumes no responsibility for any out of date information presented here. We will continue to update all park information to the best of our ability, however. We highly recommend that you, as the prospective buyer, verify any park information we provide to you.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract, usually renewable annually, that covers the repair or replacement of a variety of different appliances and system components. With a home warranty, separate from your home owner’s policy, you’ll have peace of mind and valuable coverage that can protect you from the costly unexpected failures to the major systems and appliances in your home. However, they are necessarily specific and do not cover all system and appliance failures. Please CLICK HERE for a list of companies offering home warranties, or feel free to conduct your own internet search for even more service providers.

After closing, who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

At closing, the buyer will be asked and encouraged to do a final “walk through” of the home to verify everything is in the same condition as agreed at the time of purchase. If any issues arise, the agent will work with the seller to reach an acceptable solution. After the buyer completes the “walk through,” the keys will be transferred to the buyer. From that moment forward, the BUYER is solely responsible for all maintenance and repairs necessary on the home and the rented land.

Can I purchase insurance on a mobile home?

Yes, there are several local companies that specialize in insurance for mobile/manufactured homes. Several factors such as age, location, and size will help determine policy rates. On average, you can expect rates of $400-$900 per year, and additional inspections (often referred to as four point inspection) may be required to bind the coverage. Please CLICK HERE for a list of local companies that offer mobile home insurance, or feel free to conduct your own internet search for more companies.

What if I have a mobile/manufactured home on leased land to sell?

Please call Mobile Home Spot today at 863-272-7200 or toll free at 1-844-888-SPOT (7768) or CLICK HERE to contact us. If the home is unoccupied, we highly recommend leaving the utilities on, so potential buyers can “test drive” the home. If necessary, hire a cleaning service to clean and freshen up! We welcome your business, and will do our best to get your home sold for you as soon as possible!

What if I buy a mobile home in Florida and decide to move to another area or out of state?

The professional sales agents at The Mobile Home Spot will be happy to assist you with selling your home! In most cases, mobile homes sell quickly because people will continue leaving cold weather behind for the Florida sunshine, baby boomers are retiring, local residents are downsizing, and other buyers are seeking a vacation home or investment opportunities. So don’t worry, if for any reason you need to sell your home, we will be on the SPOT and ready to help! Florida law allows you to sell your mobile home using ANY licensed mobile home broker or for you to sell it as a “For Sale By Owner.” Sign placement is determined by individual park rules.

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