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  1. I need som advice on a mobile home I purchased through a private seller and he is hold title. We pay a monthly lot rent and a monthly payment to him. Our problem is, the paperwork he provided is not for a mobile home sale but for residential property. We have him 10k down and we asked him to to adhere to Florida law and ad himself to the title as a lien holder. Without this I cannot be a member of the HOA, rent negotiation committee at all. Furthermore, with an open title as such, my investment is not protected whatsoever. He could sell this right out from underneath us. There are also some code violations that were brought to the sellers attention… 1). He covered the second entrance with kitchen cabinets, and hid the escape hatch inside a walk in closet.
    2). With this in mind we have one way in and one way out.
    I can’t get the seller to respond to anything we have sent via certified mail. What do I do?

    1. Hi Karen,

      I’m so sorry this is happening but this issue is way over my head. I think with the investment being so large it may be best to contact a lawyer.
      PS when we bought our 1978 single wide it was owner financed and the contract used was a printed template for residential property and we just changed the wording to reflect that we were buying just the mobile home and renting the land. Our name was not put on the title at all and we paid it off very quickly and had no problem with anything (the title was signed over and we registered it with the WV DMV). A couple of months later the seller sold us the land on a rent-to-own contract. I JUST paid the land off last month (it took 12 years). The deed is being registered as we speak. I say this to let you know that contracts are binding and in WV, at least, it was enough to make the situation legal. Luckily, we had no problems.

      PS I’ve read where ‘renters or rent-to-own’ buyers don’t get voting rights in a park because people on that kind of contract usually come and go a lot more than those with bank financing so they aren’t as invested in the community? It sounds like a bunch of ‘uppity’ junk to me but what do I know?

      Best of luck! Let me know how it goes!

  2. If I understood this article correctly, there is money to be made by purchasing, then selling or renting the mobile home. There is nothing wrong with that. This article is just explaining it.

    For me, the most enlightening information is in the reader’s comment regarding the park having the right to approve or disapprove the sale of a mobile home by the owner. I am about to retire and have plans to move to a very nice retirement park in Donna Texas. Fortunately I will not need to finance it so that part of the article doesn’t concern me. What I hadn’t considered was a possible limitation on my freedom to sell it or rent it as I choose. Thanks to your article and the reader comments, I have a few more questions to ask before I sign anything.

    BTW, I like your suggestion in your article about purchasing the home. If something (ANYTHING) doesn’t feel right, leave. An automotive website (edmunds) makes the very same recommendation when purchasing a vehicle.

    1. Thank you!

      You’re right – I can’t fault anyone for wanting make a living with mobile homes. I’ve actually thought about doing the same thing – buying properties with old mobile homes on it, fixing them up, and either renting or selling them via rent-to-own contracts. There’s good money in it!

      I hope the article helps people understand both sides of the transaction and gives the buyers some good tips so they don’t go into it with blinders on.

      Best of luck to you! You will need to research and ask lots of questions about the rules regarding sells and such. Some parks are setup to hinder the homeowner at every turn because they an empty lot is lost money.

      Good luck to you! I’m sure you’ll find a great place to live!

  3. so it is best to take out the financing to buy a used trailer on a piece of land /lot that you would own outright when finished paying than in a park. my thought was to buy the trailer in a park , pay off quick as possible, while saving for a piece of land and yes pay the cost to have it moved an set. now I am not so sure , I have a down payment , not a lot that’s why I thought best to do on the home, 5,000, not sure that would be enough for home and land

    1. Hi Sharri! You could look for an owner financing deal on a private lot, or find a home you can pay cash for that’s already in a park so you don’t have to move it twice and live there while you save up for the down payment on the land. Moving is sometimes more expensive than the home! Owner financing deals could work well for you, as long as you go in with your eyes open and know the laws and your rights, along with the maximum interest rate allowed in owner-financing deals and the future of the park (always make sure there’s no leins on both the home and the land). Banks will often do a personal loan on smaller amounts with a little collateral, too.

      I’ve been hearing commercials from our local dealerships that they will let you use your tax refund as a down payment. We lucked up and found an older mobile home for sale on a rented lot and then after a little nagging we talked the owner into selling us the land, too. He was going through a divorce and we had to wait almost 2 years but it all worked out in the end – the same thing could happen to you :)

      1. Hi Crystal, I have lived in mobile homes most of my life, and like you I want to dislike Mr. Shepard, and his ways. I have to say this he is generalizing laws he has dealt with in his state, and costs. Every state is different. Having worked in the Title Insurance Industry in Florida, I can assure you he is making generalized assumptions that it is easy to get the property back if you buy in a park, and are not able to make lot rent payments. The process is no different than if you are renting a home, or an apartment.

        I say don’t let his article scare you off.

        To Sharri: If you have the money to buy a mobile in a park, and the lot rent isn’t to high, do it. Like Crystal says. If you can buy the home outright do it. Depending on what state you are in they park owners can only raise the lot rent by a certain percentage every year.

        I would again like to emphasis it depends on what state you live in, and their laws. North Carolina (which it appears) where Mr. Shepard, operates out of has very lenient laws about mobile home park owners (and I know this through my older sister.) My sister was royally cheated when she tried to sell her mobile, that was paid for, but on rented land. She was injured seriously on the job, and wanted to come home to be near family. Multiple times she had buyers that the park turned down. They at the time had several trailers for sale that were older, and not as well taken care of. She in the end, sold to someone who moved it. But to be fair to the buyers split the cost of the move. As always it is buyer beware, especially of the rented landowner you may have to deal with. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING, ALWAYS.

      2. Thank you so much for your insight and information, MJ! It’s always great to hear from someone that has a lot more knowledge on the subject!

        Hope to hear from you again!