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10 Things to Know About Buying a Preloved Home on Leased Land

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

You’re thinking about buying a Florida home, but prices are soaring! A great option that gives you flexibility of ownership is the lifestyles that 55 plus communities offer. It is a simple concept; you pay a cash sum for the home and you rent the land. The showings are like how a licensed realtor would show a home involving real property EXCEPT these homes are not real property and the salesperson in most cases, is not a Realtor but works for a licensed dealer. The dealer is responsible for transferring title, paying the sales tax and closing the home. We hope when you are buying a home you think of SunBelt Mobile Home Resales to handle your transactions. We not only help you with the closing, but we also handle insurance and finance needs as well. Financing a Mobile Home on leased land can be tricky. We can help navigate the different lenders and types of mortgages that are offered. Here are a few tips to help if you’re buying a pre-owned manufactured home.

  1. The Park manager – Call over to the community. It’s just a quick phone call to confirm costs and amenities. Especially if you don’t buy thru SunBelt. If you’re not buying through SunBelt make sure that before you close, all the lot rent is paid up to date. If you buy a home directly from a seller in a manufactured community, unscrupulous sellers may have fallen several months behind on lot rent and sell the home by giving the buyer a title to transfer, but the community will not approve you if there is back lot rent, you would have to pay it, it. could cost you thousands. Don’t get scammed by a seller. Sunbelt does a title check for liens; we also get a clear to close from the community manager. If there are fees owed, we are authorized to take it out of the sellers’ proceeds.

  2. Check the Floors – if you’re buying an older home, your floors could be made with particle board, or worse, honeycomb. These floors tend to get weak in high traffic areas, or anywhere dampness or water encroach upon it. Make sure you check near sinks, toilets, bathtubs, under windows, even in corners where plants may have been watered and overflowed. Another important area to check is the water heater. If it leaked, the floor could have collapsed.

  3. Roof Overs – Having a roof over is great if you have an older mobile home with a metal roof. The new metal roof over gives you a layer of insulation and another metal roof over that. Many of these have lifetime warranties and can be transferred once, but be warned, you have to do the transfer paperwork!

  4. Electrical- Be aware of Federal Pacific, Sylvania electrical panels. The panels can overheat and catch fire causing serious harm to the occupants and the home. Many of the panels operate normally for years but a malfunction could be deadly. Insurance companies will not insure these homes. We recommend an immediate upgrade.

  5. Grey Piping – some older homes that did not participate in the recall, still have grey piping. These may be working fine but if they malfunction, it can flood your home. Most insurance companies will want you to replace it. It can range between $2500 -$4000

  6. Homes on Canals – Florida can experience droughts. Find an experienced agent or ask around about when and if the canal ever died up. I remember seeing countless pontoon boats stuck on land for years. Owners of these homes pay a premium lot rent for these lots. Some canals are deep water, some are not. Do your homework! Working with an experienced agent who has served the area for years can really benefit you, like SunBelt!

  7. Contractor Alert- neighbor Joe is a retired plumber; neighbor Betsy is a retired carpenter. Be careful of people who say they are something they’re not. If you need work done on a future purchase, get references and see the work they do. Especially new neighbors. The good ones will show you their work. If you have a bad gut feeling, follow it! Get bids from 2 or 3 licensed and insured contractors. When working with SunBelt, we can give you referrals of people and contractors we’ve worked with over the years so you can feel comfortable our referrals are the right ones!

  8. Park approval – all applicants who move into a 55 plus community will be required to fill out an application. The community will run your credit and background check. There is a non-refundable application fee required. You will have to provide proof of income, type of vehicles and license plates and driver’s license. At closing you will need to sign a lease agreement with the community for the lot rent. Rules, regulations, and lease terms should be inquired directly to the community manager. Don’t rely on what someone says about the status of the home, rules or regulations, just call the community and ask your questions.

  9. Realtor Alert – I am an active licensed Realtor and active in the multiple listing service. Big deal… I am also a Mobile Home Dealer Licensed in Florida and that is a big deal if you’re buying a home with lot rent. You don’t need to be a Realtor to sell a manufactured home on leased land in manufactured home communities. In fact, it’s best not to hire a Realtor! Realtors will actually put your home buyers lead into a 200k home with a 30-year mortgage and make a 6 percent commission. Think of it… if your home is 35k, your commission is only $3500, by selling a 200k home, they make $12,000. Get it?? Here’s how they sell it: they tell their buyer that instead of paying lot rent on a 35k house, use that 35k as a down payment and spend a little more and get a mortgage!! UGH I hate this!! Realtors need to stay in their lane but they don’t. Some even call themselves experts in mobile home you tube videos. I watch them when I need a good laugh, some calling tie downs, strap downs, LOL. Do not be fooled by a Realtor if you are buying in A manufactured home community on leased land. SunBelt Mobile Home Resales only sells manufactured homes, and we ARE experts in the industry. Call us anytime for free advice about any aspect of the factory-built housing industry. We specialize in 55 plus Retirement Communities. We can help you navigate a sale for both buyers and sellers. Remember never list with an ego driven Realtor. They will just park a sign in your yard, and you’ll be paying lot rent until their contract ends. Keep with a Mobile Home Dealer that specializes selling preowned homes, like SunBelt!

  10. Buying online from out of state – Some people can not actually come down to look at a home. If you plan to buy a home, it doesn’t have to be sight unseen. You should expect your agent to do a live, video showing, as well as send you dozens of pictures, pictures of any problem areas, and the agent’s opinion about the home. Once you decide you want to buy it, ask for a contract, and make sure your agents add these items on an addendum: 1. Contingent on a satisfactory home inspection. 2. Contingent on a termite inspection. 3. Contingent upon acceptance in the community. Make sure the details of the home are verified as well. Also, ask if there are others in the community for sale and the prices.

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