Buying or selling a mobile home in the greater Sarasota Florida area and not sure what documentation you need?
Are you looking to buy a home but don’t know what role a title plays in the purchase transaction?
Are you looking to sell a mobile home but are not sure what you are supposed to do with your title when it comes time to sell the home?
This is totally understandable as many times when we get asked these questions they are asked by mobile home buyers or sellers who only sell or buy a few mobile homes their entire life.
Don’t worry, we are here to help!
When looking at buying or selling a mobile home within the greater Sarasota Florida area one first needs to know, for certain, where the mobile home is located and what type of park the home is within.
As silly as this may sound, it makes all the difference in the world in how the sales transaction will be handled.
In the state of Florida, if a mobile home is within a mobile home park and the park is selling the home with the land included then this will equate to a real estate transaction, the same way a single-family home will be sold.
Here, a deed for the land will be issued for the sale of the home.
If, however, the mobile home is being sold and the Seller is paying lot rent and does not own the land the home resides on then this transaction will be viewed as and taxed as personal property.
Here, a title will be issued for the sale of the home.
Mobile home titles are blue sheets of paper that look the exact same as a vehicle title does.
One key difference is that, with mobile home titles, there is a title for each side of the home.
For example, if the home being sold is a double-wide mobile home then there will be a title for side a and a title for side b.
When you buy a mobile home it is a good idea to make sure the seller has the title to the home in their name.
Mobile homes must be registered with a current decal affixed to the mobile home unit at all times, even when unoccupied. For mobile homes affixed to land that is rented, mobile home decals will expire on December 31st each year. The registration fee for mobile homes is based on the length of the mobile home. Doublewide, triple-wide, or additional mobile home units require a separate registration and decal for each unit.
Individuals that currently have a regular mobile home decal and who own the land upon which the mobile home is affixed are required to have a permanent Real Property (RP) decal affixed to their mobile home. In such cases, the mobile home owner is required to obtain a Declaration of Real Property from the Property Appraisers Office. Then, the mobile home owner is to present their RP Declaration to a Tax Collector’s Service Center and purchase an RP decal for their mobile home.
Florida law requires mobile home decals and registrations to be renewed before they expire on December 31st. It is a violation of the law to fail to display a current registration decal. Mobile homes that fail to properly display a current decal are subject to late fees or tangible personal property taxation.
Mobile Home registration and decal renewals may be conducted online, by mail, or at one of the Tax Collector’s Service Centers.
To renew by mail, be on the lookout for your registration renewal notice! As a courtesy, the Tax Collector’s Office mails renewal notices to mobile homeowners. The courtesy renewal notices are generally mailed no less than 3 weeks prior to the mobile home registration expiration date (December 31st). The renewal notice includes materials that allow mobile homeowners to easily renew their registration(s) by mail. Florida law does not require mobile home registration renewal notices for vehicles to be mailed, and failure to receive a courtesy renewal notice by mail does not relieve the mobile home owner of their responsibility to timely renew their mobile home registrations and decals.
With this understanding, it is of utmost importance that anytime a mobile home sale is being transacted that the Buyer and Seller have all titles necessary for the ownership of the home.
When looking at a mobile home title, the upper left-hand part of the title will list who the owners of the home are. This is important to note so that you are buying the mobile home from the individual or individuals who are legally able to sell the mobile home.
Oftentimes with the names of the person(s) who are on the title, there will be the words “and” or “or” between the names.
While this may seem like an insignificant word in the title it surely is not.
When the word “and” is in between the two owners’ names this should alert the Buyer that, unless an extreme circumstance such as death has occurred, both names of the Sellers need to sign off on the title for the documentation to be transferable to the Buyer. Barring an extreme circumstance, if this does not happen, then the title can not be transferred.
When the word “or” is in between the two owners then this will signal to the Buyer that either person can sign off on the title for the title to be transferred.
When looking at buying or selling a mobile home in the greater Sarasota Florida area it is always important to know exactly what documents are needed for the transfer of title so that when the sale is complete there are no issues with the paperwork going forward!
This is Mark Kaiser with The Mobile Home Dealer and we help mobile home Buyers and Sellers get to a better place in life.
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