Buying a mobile or manufactured home can be a less expensive way to become a homeowner. You should consider a number of specific legal issues that affect mobile home owners. These include getting a loan, finding land on which to put the mobile home, and figuring out what your rights are.
You May Need to Lease Land
Many mobile home owners rent space in a mobile home community. If you go this route, you may need to sign a written lease, pay monthly fees to connect the mobile home to utility services, and agree to all rules and regulations of the community.
Government Permits May Be Necessary
If you want to buy a parcel of land for your mobile home, or to place it on land you already own, you need to find out whether government regulations allow you to do so. You may need permits to comply with zoning laws. For example, you will need a permit to legally transport or install the mobile home. If you fail to get a permit, you may end up paying fines and penalties. Lack of awareness is no defense.
Options for Financing Your Purchase
If you need a loan to finance part of the mobile home's purchase price, mortgages are available. However, the terms of your mortgage are very different from mortgages used to buy a house with a permanent location. Banks need to put a lien on a mobile home as security for repayment of the loan. This complicates matters because you could move a mobile home without the bank knowing.
Understand All Warranties
Your mobile home may come with warranties, each of which may only cover specific types of damage. You need to review each warranty in full so that you understand your rights. You need to understand who is responsible for making repairs. For example, one warranty might cover only manufacturing defects, while a different one might cover damage that occurs while the home is in transit.
A Real Estate Lawyer Can Help
The law surrounding ownership of a mobile home is complicated. Plus, the facts of each case are unique. This article provides a brief, general introduction to the topic. For more detailed, specific information, please contact a residential real estate lawyer.