Working with Mobile Home Purchases

I’m helping some buyers purchase a mobile home (land included). This is my first experience with a mobile home purchase so it has been a “learn as we go” situation.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Get a copy of the title ASAP. Mobile homes are titled through the DMV when first purchased. Once they are fixed to the land (underpinned and axels removed), the DMV title must be retired so the home is considered regular real estate. If this hasn’t happened, the sale will be delayed. I’m waiting on this closing now because of title issues that were uncovered the day before our closing date. That’s a whole other story. **This is a super simple explanation of mobile home title issues so ask your closing attorney or broker for a more thorough explanation.**
  2. Find vendors who will work with mobile home sales. Not all mortgage companies, insurance companies, or closing attorneys will work with mobile homes. Finding the right vendors takes some leg work. If your market has lots of mobile homes, figure it out now so you’re ready when/if you have to work with a mobile home sale/purchase. Lenders have specific criteria that must be met to finance. Know what those criteria are before listing or house hunting.
  3. Don’t guess: ask your broker. This is kind of a general rule. This is not a guessing game. You can get sued. Ask someone with more knowledge and experience if you don’t know what to do.
  4. Cash is king (always, right?) in mobile home sales. Financing a mobile home may be difficult. Cash is better. The end. Only mobile homes with the land included can be financed. Homes on leased land are cash only. Buyers will have more purchase options with cash. In my market, getting as close as possible to the beach will likely involve purchasing a mobile home on leased land. Can’t finance that, it most be cash or owner financing. Buyers and sellers probably won’t know that. It’s our job to know it so we can guide them.

.Hopefully my first mobile home deal will officially close before the new year. Fingers crossed!

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