Ahh yes, the mobile home park application process!
As licensed mobile home brokers within the state of Florida, here at The Mobile Home Dealer, are all too familiar with this process as we are unable to sell a mobile home to someone who is not already park-approved at the time of closing.
The reason why we are unable to sell a mobile home to someone who is not already park approved is that, if we did sell these Buyers a home, and then they went to get approved and were denied then they, along with their new home, would need to be moved out of the park!
This can create a MAJOR problem for these new would-be Buyers as most mobile home transport companies within the state of Florida will not move a mobile home if it is older than 20 years old due to the transporter not being able to obtain a permit from the county the home is in to legally transport the home.
As you can quickly see, this can become an issue as now the Buyer has a home they legally own, that they can not live in, that can not be moved!
Now that everyone knows why it is so important to have approval on file with the mobile home park before purchasing a mobile home in the greater Sarasota area let’s go ahead and tackle the actual application itself.
Most mobile home parks that have mobile homes on leased land within the Sarasota area of Florida follow a standard application process.
Some parks are a little more tech-savvy than others and offer everything through their online portal and others are not that far advanced and require the application to be filled out in paper form either at the office or to have this application physically mailed to the Buyer’s residence.
The application usually is pretty short and checks the potential applicant on three main categories:
- Credit History
- Criminal Background
- Reported Income In Relation To Lot Rent
While we do not work for any park and do not see or review any applications in the mobile home park approval process, we are under the understanding that each park will pull a basic credit history of each applicant. Required credit ratings are a bit of a mystery, but, generally speaking, most parks look for over a 550 credit score.
For each household wishing to live in the community. A common benchmark for many communities is a minimum credit score of 550, however other parks may have much lower or higher minimum credit beacon score requirements. Remember Update as of December 2022:
Since mobile homes on leased land in Florida are taxed as personal property and not real estate, they require different but specific documentation. in order to expedite your sale, it is important to prepare these documents in advance.
These documentations include
- The vehicle title of the manufactured home (if titled as chattel) or the real estate deed (if titled as real estate)
- Bill of sale for the manufactured home, with both the seller’s signature and the buyer’s
- Tax records to prove the seller has paid all applicable taxes on the manufactured homes.
Most mobile home parks around the country will have a minimum credit score required for those who apply for the park. If two people are applying to be on the same park application, many parks will average the two scores together in order to get a single score required for park approval
A standard background check will be done on each applicant. Usually, the fee that is associated with the application fee is used in part to pull the criminal background of all would-be applicants.
Most mobile home parks around the country screen for criminal offenses locally and nationwide. Remember to be honest and forthcoming when speaking to Park managers about your past. Criminal restrictions in parks vary wildly from community to community. Some communities will not allow DUI offenses in the past 20 years, and others will not care in the slightest.
In order to protect their investment, mobile home & trailer park owners must screen park residents to be a good fit among their established residents. Background checks enable you to protect good tenants while enabling a calculated risk decision to avoid what could be a problem tenant.
Reported Income In Relation To Lot Rent:
This is usually a standard 2-3X what the lot rent is. What this means is that if, for example, the lot rent is $500 then the park would look for the entire household to have reported income somewhere around $1,000-$1,500 per month. The reason for this is that the park wants to do its part in making sure that the applicant has on paper enough money to cover their monthly lot rent payment.
In addition to the above three most common checking categories, some mobile home parks around the country screen for previous evictions. This will be a deal-breaker in many communities, however, the length of time since the last eviction will absolutely vary from community to community.
After being in the mobile home industry for quite some time we, at The Mobile Home Dealer, have yet to find a park owner or manager who will provide us with a hard-lined set of standards that they require all applicants to meet.
Most park managers and owners we have spoken to send all of the information to a third party and the third party that completes the approval has a set standard on which they based their approvals or denials on.
What we do for certain is that whatever a park requires the applicant to provide in order for the application to be completed needs to be sent in as soon as possible because if it is not then it will lead to additional delays in the approval process.
While certain mobile home parks may contain a number of restrictions they do vary from park to park. Aim to keep an open mind and proactive attitude when reaching out to park managers and aiming to get approved within the community. It is typically better to have more clarity rather than less clarity while moving forward with purchasing or investing in any mobile home on private land or inside parks.
This is Mark Kaiser with The Mobile Home Dealer and we help mobile home Buyers and Sellers get to a better place in life.