Are you moving to Sarasota Florida but can’t decide whether you buy or rent a mobile home? Buying and renting are totally different processes and in this article, I will explain the pros and cons of both renting and buying so you can decide which one is the best for you. If you are looking for cheap mobile homes for rent in Sarasota, you may also find the details below so continue reading. 

Before you search “mobile homes for rent in Sarasota” or “rent a mobile home near me”, it is important to understand which options for mobile home living are truly right for you. Rent, or buy. This is the question.

Although we, at The Mobile Home Dealer, are always asked to assist mobile homeowners in selling their homes, we also help clients who are looking to rent their homes as well which is why this article was created.

Mobile home in a 55+ community

Mobile home in a 55+ community

Renting Vs. Buying a Mobile Home in Sarasota

There are many pros and cons to both buying and renting a mobile home in Sarasota. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately it’s about deciding what is right for you and your family, your financial situation, and your future.

There are Three Different Ways of Living in a Mobile Home

  1. Rent a Mobile Home in Leased Land Mobile Home Park

Renting a mobile home on rented land is very common in leased-land mobile home parks. Renting a mobile home along with the land it sits on could avoid paying a huge downpayment while making a mobile home living a reality. 

Although renting a mobile home on leased land usually involves certain rules by the landlord or the park manager to follow, including several restrictions, being a renter also means putting yourself off the hook for major maintenance and emergency costs. When you rent a mobile home on a leased-land mobile home park, you’ll get all the perks the community has to offer (privacy, safety, public amenities).

Many mobile home parks offer package bundles that allow renters to pay one rental fee for both the mobile home and the land (lot rent fee) together. This means you have less to worry about when it comes to managing monthly bills separately. Many leased-land mobile home communities also offer annual rental agreements.

This type of rental option also applies in resident-owned mobile home parks (COOP).


  • Low upfront cost
  • No land preparation needed
  • Less responsibility for major maintenance, natural disaster or fire damage, and other unprecedented repairs
  • No long-term plan needed


  • No equity built
  • Potential landlord restrictions
  • No control over upgrades, expansions, and additions

People who usually sign in to this type of mobile home living are those staying for just a few months in Sarasota, especially during the snowbird season. When the hard winter seasons are over, they return to the North. 

If you are planning to follow this path, it is always recommended to shop for Sarasota mobile homes for rent a couple of months before your scheduled move.

  1. Buy a Mobile Home in a Leased Land Mobile Home Park

Arguably the most popular choice among people who are moving to Sarasota and want to live in a mobile home is buying a mobile home in a leased land mobile home park. There is no better way than owning your home without paying a huge mortgage while only paying for the land it sits on If you are looking to lower your monthly bills while increasing your savings, buying a home on rented land is your best option.

Utilities are usually less expensive or partially included, such as sewer and trash, so homeowners can often save money there as well. Not having to purchase the land could minimize your upfront cost. As most mobile homes in Sarasota are more than 20 years old, buying a used mobile home is another way to lower your upfront cost while still experiencing quality mobile home living.

Mortgages and traditional real estate loans usually don’t apply to used mobile homes so it is important to note that you must prepare a certain amount of money to pay for the mobile homes in cash. Used mobile homes in Sarasota can be as low as $10,000 to over $100,000. 


  • No land preparation needed
  • You have total control of your home’s upgrades, addition, and improvements
  • You build equity by owning it 100%
  • Can be a long-term investment
  • Far less expensive than buying a mobile home and the land
  • Great mobile home community and peaceful neighborhood experience in the long run


  • Higher upfront cost than renting a mobile home
  • You will be responsible for all repairs, maintenance, and upkeeps
  • Your investment can depreciate if the home is not properly maintained
  1. Purchase Land and Buy a Mobile Home

Buying private land and purchasing a mobile home to place on your property may sound like having traditional real estate and an ultimate dream, but it also involves the largest upfront investment. There’s a lot to prepare and things that need to be paid for. This includes land preparation, property taxes, utility installation like electricity and water, etc. This might be the ultimate freedom once it’s over but it’s a long road to travel. The difference between buying land and installing a mobile home, and having a new traditional home, is very small. 

Although this process will build you the best equity, it’s not practical when it comes to mobile homes. The mobile homes are designed mainly for affordable housing and it is not supposed to be this expensive. However, if you have enough money and consider a mobile home a luxury possession, then you have the freedom to choose this option.


  • Full control over the land, home upgrades, additions, and maintenance
  • No restrictions from landlords, mobile home park managers, HOA, or property management
  • The best way to build equity and investment


  • Highest upfront cost
  • Complicated building and zoning codes and need lots of preparation
  • No professional management of maintenance
  • Potential of having a not-so-friendly and not-so-peaceful neighborhood
  • Lack of socialization

The Advantage of Buying a Mobile Home Vs. Renting

It is not a secret that living in a mobile home is the most affordable type of housing in the United States. Having said that, there is still an ongoing debate about whether one should buy or rent a mobile home. The truth is, only you can decide what is best for you depending on your needs and circumstances.

Nevertheless, if you are comparing the total cost of purchasing a mobile home to renting one and paying monthly, you will soon find out that buying a mobile home is better than renting.

Forget about monthly rent, maintenance costs, upfront payment, upkeep, etc. When you are renting a mobile home, you are paying for your everyday use. This means that it’s like consuming something and when it is done, there’s no equity in it. 

To further show this let’s look at crunching some numbers. You are contracted to work in Sarasota for three years and you need a dwelling. You found a 2-bed, 2-bath, 1976-built mobile home for rent that cost $2,200 for the mobile home, and another $700 for the lot rent. So you are going to pay $2,900 for three years unless the rent stays the same. For three years, you are to pay a total of $104,400.

On the other side, there is a similar mobile home for sale with a $54,000 tag price. Given the same amount of lot rent ($700), after 3 years, you paid a total of $79,200 ($54,000 for the mobile home and $25,200 for the lot rent). You’ll definitely save $25,200 within 3 years if you buy the house. If you rent, however, not only that you lost all $104,400, you are without a mobile home. See a big difference?

But of course, buying is not the best option for everyone especially those who are staying just for a few months and don’t have any plan or means to buy.

mobile home sarasota

Sarasota Mobile Home

Where to Find Cheap Sarasota Mobile Homes for Rent

Since you are here because you are looking for a cheap mobile home to rent in Sarasota, we dug into our resources and identified some places that could provide you with what you are looking for. When we say “cheap” it depends on your budget. A $1,000 monthly rent for one bed and one bath mobile home may sound cheap for 

someone but may sound expensive to another renter so it always depends on personal preference, budget, and other needs.

Not all mobile home parks in Sarasota Florida allow mobile home rentals. Also, remember that the majority of these mobile home parks where rentals are allowed are 55+ mobile home communities.

Most of these communities can be found at Parrish, Venice, Bradenton, Nokomis, North Port, Sarasota, and St. Petersburg. 

Sarasota is not really a cheap place to live compared to other places inside the country but if you are looking to stay for just a few months, you can search online specifically in these cities.

How Much is the Average Mobile Home Rental in Sarasota, Florida

As mobile home prices differ greatly based on size, age, furnishings, and location, the same can be said with mobile homes that are offered for rent. There seems to be no exact data on the average rental cost but we’ll give you at least an idea of how much you can expect to pay.

  • One bed, 1 bathroom – from $1,400 to $1,700
  • Two beds, 1.5 to 2 bathrooms – from $1,500 to $2,100
  • Two beds, two bathrooms – from $2100 to over $3,000 
  • Double-wide mobile homes for rent demand higher rental fees

Take note that some of the mobile homes offered for rent do not include the rent. If you find something that interests you, you should ask the owner if the lot rent is included in their listed price. If not, ask them how much the lot rent fee is and add it to the mobile home monthly rent and see if you can afford it.

Final Words

Whether you choose to buy mobile homes over renting them, planning your budget is always essential.

Buying a mobile home may require a hefty upfront cost for a downpayment. On the other hand, renting mobile homes will typically involve lot rent, security deposit, and house rent, among additional small charges.

Lastly, if you choose to buy a mobile home, be mindful of the age of the house. Some financial institutions won’t lend you money if the house is more than 15 years old.

If you change your mind and buy a mobile home instead of renting, we, at The Mobile Home Dealer, are ready to provide you with our services and will find the perfect mobile home for you here in Sarasota, Florida.

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