Before You Buy A Manufactured Or Mobile Home

What Is a Manufactured/Mobile Home?
A Manufactured/Mobile home is a dwelling which is built on an integral chassis, in a factory, transportable in one or more sections, and which is eight feet or more in width. All single family manufactured/Mobile homes manufactured since June of 1976 must be built to standards established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and must display a label certifying compliance. One of every three homes constructed in Florida is a Manufactured/Mobile home.


What To Look for When Buying a Manufactured/Mobile Home
As with any significant purchase, you should shop around for the Manufactured/Mobile home of your choice. The Thompson Team will be honored to show you many homes in their listing inventory. The Thompson Team will point out to you the differences in not only Manufactured/Mobile homes but also the difference the several Communities they work have to offer! Compare cost, floor pan design, energy efficiency, interior and exterior decor. When you are shopping for a Manufactured/Mobile home, don't hesitate to find out the details of its construction methods and materials. A reliable Dealer or Agent will be happy to explain them to you. If new, be sure that all warranty and appliance instruction booklets, and home owner and setup manuals are in the home. Beware of a new Manufactured/Mobile home that does not display a label certifying code compliance. (All single family Manufactured/Mobile homes must bear a certification label which is displayed on the rear of the home. A label is required for each section of the home.)

What About the Dealer?
If you purchase a new or used Manufactured/Mobile home, the Dealer or Broker must be licensed with the Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Used Manufactured/Mobile homes may be sold by Licensed DMV Dealers, Brokers, or the owner may sell his own manufactured home just as with site built homes. The choice of a Manufactured/Mobile home Dealer is as important as the selection of your home, since you will be relying on his judgment and expertise, not only in the selection of a home, but in any future service which may be required. The Division of Consumer Services, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, (1-800-342-2176) and your local Division of Motor Vehicles office can also be helpful with any questions you may have.

Tag and Title
In Florida, a Manufactured/Mobile home is classified as a motor vehicle and requires a certificate of title as proof of ownership just as your car or truck does. There is a separate title document for each section of your Manufactured/Mobile home (there is one title document for a single-wide Manufactured/Mobile home, and two title documents for a doublewide). If your Manufactured/Mobile home has been paid for in full, you will receive the title(s) from Tallahassee. If there is a lien on your home, the lienholder will receive the title, and hold it until the lien amount has been paid. If you own the land on which your Manufactured/Mobile home is located and the home is permanently affixed to the land, you must declare the home to be real property and have it placed on the tax rolls of your county. Your taxes would then be paid in the same way as conventional taxes are paid. If you rent the land on which your home is located, or if your home is not permanently affixed to your land, you must purchase and display a decal each year for each section of your Manufactured/Mobile home. By being on rented or leased ground you do not pay property tax on the Manufactured/Mobile home itself. If you are uncertain as to whether your home is permanently affixed to the land, you should contact your County Property Appraiser who will make this determination. If your Manufactured/Mobile home is real property, failure to place it on the county real property tax rolls may result in back taxes and penalties being assessed against you, so it is important to make sure your Manufactured/Mobile home is classified properly.

What if You Need Service?
Florida law requires both the Dealer and Manufacturer to warrant a new Manufactured/Mobile home for one year from the date of delivery. If your home needs service during this time, contact your Dealer. He will arrange for repairs with his own employees; or, if the work is the manufacturer's responsibility, your Dealer can assist you in notifying them. If you feel that the Dealer and/or manufacturer is not responsive to your problems, you may file a written complaint with the Division of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee. DMV has the authority to require that repairs be made to your Manufactured/Mobile home so that it will be in compliance with HUD standards.

Financing and Contracts
There are many sources for financing your Manufactured/Mobile home in addition to dealer financing. The Thompson Team will direct and give you several suggestions for financing, and insurance of your Manufactured/Mobile home! As costs will vary, you should shop around for the best finance and insurance plan. Be sure you understand what your costs will be. Also be sure that you understand which items on the contract are your responsibility, and which items are the Dealer's responsibility; check that they are clearly defined. Do not leave any blank spaces on the contract, and be certain that all the items which you and the Dealer have agreed to are covered by the contract. Do not rely on oral agreements. Read the entire contract before signing it, and be sure to save a completed copy for your records. If you place a deposit on a home and do not complete the sale, you may forfeit part of your deposit, depending on your contractual agreement. If the purchase is contingent on the sale of your present home, this condition should be noted on all copies of the contract, and initialed by both parties.

How to Choose a Community
Before investing in a Manufactured/Mobile home, be sure you have a place to put it. If you are considering residing in a Manufactured/Mobile home community, visit various communities and compare what the amenities they have to offer. The Thompson Team Central Florida Manufactured Home Sales will point out features to you to aid in your comparisons. Be sure you read and understand the terms of the lease and the rules and regulations of the Community, as you will be expected to abide by them. If possible, talk with some of the residents about their experiences with the community and its management. If leasing the lot, find out the amount of rent, what it includes, and how often it is raised. Under Florida law, the park must notify the tenants in writing, of any changes in fees, charges, rules or regulations at least 30 days prior to the implementation date. Most generally rent increases if any are between 2%-5% annually. The Florida Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Act (FMHLTA) applies to tenancies in which a Manufactured/Mobile home is placed upon a rented lot in a Manufactured/Mobile home park of ten or more lots. The FMHLTA addresses the rights and responsibilities of both homeowners and park owners. A copy is available as a public service from the Bureau of Manufactured/Mobile Homes, Department of Business Regulations, 725 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399; phone: (904) 488-0970.

Tie-Down (Anchor) Requirements
All Manufactured/Mobile homes are required to be tied down in accordance with the specifications provided by the manufacturer. In the case of a used Manufactured/Mobile home, and in the absence of the manufacturer's tie-down instructions, the home must be tied down in accordance with the specifications provided in Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Rule 15C-1. Each county is responsible for assuring compliance with the tie-down regulations, through permitting and onsite inspections.

In used Manufactured/Mobile Homes
the selling Daler/Agent is responsible for fulfilling the terms specified in the contract. The title will show the correct model year of the Manufactured/Mobile home. If the home is purchased from a Dealer/Agent, the Dealer/Agent must apply for title in your behalf. Real Estate Agents and/or Brokers often use Title Clerks in this process for your protection assuring you all transfers are done correctly. The Thompson Team are experts in the Manufactured/Mobile home industry in Central Florida, Polk County. They can and will answer any questions and or concerns you might have. They will take great pride in assisting you in the search of your Florida dream home. Feel free to call upon them today @ (863)325-8218. 

Pamela Shilling Thompson
Pamela Shilling Thompson
Central Florida LAKE WALES FL 33859