Why is purchasing a mobile home so different from a house with lot expenses and taxes?

Asked by Darlene Shriver, Hamburg, NY Thu Jul 14, 2011

I am looking at buying a mobile Home and don't understand why there are no taxes. Why lot rental is so high and why cash needs to be paid. They are asking 39,000 for this home

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scott farmer, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Thu Jul 14, 2011
What the other two agents said is on the money. There is an exception to the rule when a mobile home has been set upon a foundation and has a certificate or affidavit of fixture attached. This now creates a real property scenario and the mobile can be treated like real estate instead of a vehicle. So, when you buy a mobile on it's own land you will pay real property taxes and won't have a land lease.

Hope this also helps to explain the difference.
1 vote
David Niles, Agent, Blasdell, NY
Thu Feb 7, 2013
As others have already noted here Darlene, mobile homes are a lot like a car purchase, terrible investment and depreciation vs appreciation you normally find in real estate. My advice on both cars and mobile homes, buy used and let someone else take the major initial depreciation hit.
0 votes
Dp2, , Virginia
Fri Jul 15, 2011
I'm impressed with all of the answers. I didn't realize there were some agents here who also specialize in mobile homes. I'll definitely have to keep all of you in mind.
0 votes
Lee Ann Oben…, Agent, Hamburg, NY
Thu Jul 14, 2011
Darlene: Buying a mobile home is like buying a car. It is not real estate. You do not obtain a mortgage but a loan from a lender who specializes in mobile homes. Most towns only allow mobile homes in parks not on private land, so you must rent a lot in a mobile home park. Lot rents are extremely high in this area. They cover property tax, road repair, snow plowing, insurance and sometimes, water, garbarge and even cable. Mobile home parks also have rules just like gated communities that you must abide by. Also your lot is very small and your neighbors are very close to you. These communities are not for everyone. But if you want a little piece of life to call your own, but cannot afford a lot, this may be the way to go. But there are many alternatives. In some towns such as Eden, Evans, Boston and even parts of Hamburg, if you qualify, you can buy a home with no money down. You can purchase a $90,000 for what it would cost you every month to rent an apartment or pay a loan on a mobile home plus lot fees. When you own your home, there are no community rules to following and it is truly yours. If I can be of any assistance to you, please feel free to contact me. Lee Ann Obenauer
Metro Roberts Hamburg
(716) 983-3607
0 votes
Joe Sorrenti…, , Buffalo, NY
Thu Jul 14, 2011
First Darlene, A mobile home is not real estate, it is a vehicle. If you purchase one already in a park, 99% of the parks here in Western New York, you RENT the lot; you do not own it which is why you do not pay taxes. Whoever owns the Mobile Home Park pays the taxes on the entire property. In most mobile home communities in our area, you have a lease for the lot and the lease amount can change from year to year. Some parks include water and sewer and others charge you. Many parks here have rules, regulations and some have age restrictions (over 55). Banks do not give mortgages out for mobile homes but you can get a loan, more like a recreational vehicle but it usually is at a higher rate than a mortgage and is for less number of years. Also, because it is NOT considered REAL property, you cannot deduct the lot rent on your income taxes like you can with property taxes however, you may be able to deduct interest paid on a loan if the unit is your residence. I recommend discussing that with an accountant.
Purchasing a mobile home is a choice many people make when downsizing and they are not concerned with the property appreciating in value. Most mobile homes (manufactured homes) decrease in value over years, at least in the Buffalo/Niagara region because there are so many the go up for sale and in many mobile home communities, you also compete with the park who may be still selling new ones or trade-ins.
Finally, the closing is not like closing a house. Some people choose to use an attorney but you don't need one. Some parks do the closing there. Again, it’s a vehicle so it's like buying a car. Just make sure that you get a title and have a UCC search to make sure that there are no judgments against the unit.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Joe Sorrentino - Associate Broker
MJ Peterson
0 votes
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