Florida's temperate climate, beautiful beaches, and lack of state income taxes have long made the state a popular choice for old and young movers alike. Florida also boasts a high quality of life with a relatively low cost of living. The state attracts many kinds of communities, from traditional retirement communities to mobile home havens.
Florida Residents have the choice of living inland or on the coastline. The large state allows for a variety of living options, including a growing number of people choosing to live in mobile home communities or buy prefabricated homes for their land.
Related: 5 Reasons to Choose a Mobile Home
Fast Facts About Florida Mobile Home Living
Florida has some of the highest numbers for mobile home communities of any state. The affordability and flexibility that mobile homes offer are attractive to many homeowners. When it comes to putting a modular home on residential land, there are some things you should know.
-Some areas of Florida permit mobile or modular homes on standard parcels. It's as easy as buying a residential home lot, either in a town or rural areas of Florida, and moving your mobile home onto it.
- Some counties restrict where you can plant mobile homes, usually limiting them to rural or agricultural areas.
- Factory-Built Homes are usually as safe as traditional home types from hurricanes and inclement weather, according to the Florida Manufactured Housing Association.
- Florida is estimated to have around 1,600 mobile communities!
- In Florida, mobile homes are able to be "retired" on a property and turned into real property (changing the status of a mobile home as personal property).
Florida has an astounding amount of options for inexpensive mobile home parks and communities. Many more facts about mobile homes and legality in Florida, including the Florida Mobile Home Act, can be found on the US Department of Housing Florida page.
Looking for the highest quality manufactured home for life in Florida? Home Nation is the best source for factory-direct mobile and modular homes.
Is Buying a Mobile Home in Florida a Good Investment?
A recent report found mobile home prices increased an average of 34.6% from 2016 to 2021. This price increase is just slightly lower than the increase in single-family homes, showing that mobile homes don’t lose value as much as mobile homes did back in the 70s.
And many corporate investors are scooping up mobile home communities across the nation as an investment asset. Unfortunately, these corporate entities are also increasing the rent on land for these communities. So it would be wise to own the land you place your mobile home on to avoid corporate shenanigans.
When is the Most Ideal Time to Buy a Mobile Home in Florida?
The short answer: pick a hot day in the summer. Because Florida is one of the fastest-growing states in the US, competition for new or pre-owned mobile homes is fierce. Picking a hot summer day is your best time to buy because many Floridians are snowbirds, so they won’t be in the state to increase competition.
Pricing is also more affordable, and there are fewer people looking to buy on a hot day in the summer. You’ll get more attention from agents and should find more homes on the market. At Home Nation, we offer an extensive inventory of high-quality Florida mobile homes that are new and pre-owned.
How Much is a Down Payment on a Mobile Home in Florida?
Lenders typically want 5% down when you finance a mobile home, but they may also require collateral depending on the loan. The percentage down will depend on the lender you choose. Most will want between 3.5% to 10% as a down payment. If you want a conventional loan, you’ll be required to pay up to 20% down.
At Home Nation, we understand the struggles many mobile homeowners are facing when trying to secure lending for their mobile homes. We offer affordable financing options to help people find housing to fit their family’s needs. We have several loans, including conventional, to help you finance that mobile home in Florida. Fill out our form to find out if you’re eligible.
What Credit Score Do You Need to Buy a Mobile Home in Florida?
Most mobile home loans have a minimum credit score of 580 to 620 when buying a mobile home. If you are a first-time home buyer, it may require a higher score. Putting down a larger down payment can offset a lower credit score.
Do You Pay Taxes on a Mobile Home in Florida?
Yes. Florida requires that you pay sales tax when you buy a mobile home because it is classified as a vehicle, boat, or plane. The sales tax rate is 6% in Florida. And you’ll have to pay an additional property tax if you own the land it sits on. If you are part of a mobile home community, you’ll have to pay an annual registration fee that helps cover the cost of the property taxes.
Looking to buy a manufactured home in Florida? Contact us to learn more about our currently available homes in Florida.
How to Get Started
Being ready for your next step for mobile living in Floria is exciting, but make sure you know everything that goes into buying.
Purchasing Your Mobile Home in Florida
- The first step to complete before buying your first mobile or modular home in Florida is figuring out how much you can afford for your home. This is similar to buying a house, and you can use a mortgage calculator to gauge how much you can afford.
- Step two: Choose where you want to live. Making the choice between a community or buying your own land will give you more information about your monthly costs. These are very different lifestyle choices that will depend on your preferences.
- Step three: Apply for financing through your preferred bank.
Once you have completed these steps, you're on your way to your new life!
Don't want to go through the hassle of these steps? Home Nation takes care of it for you.
Registration & Titling
Once you have your new or used mobile home, you must register your home with the Florida DMV. The person or company you purchase the home from must open the title application, so make sure they are doing their part.
Once you are registered and a fee is paid (fees vary depending on the size of the home), you will install a decal on a window that is visible to the outside. Every title is required to have a bill of sale, but you do not need to have a notary present.
Once you have secured the title for your new mobile home, the taxes will carry over to you (so ensure they are all paid up to the current date). The buyer is required to pay the state sales tax of 6% and any other local taxes.
Taxes for your mobile home in Florida are usually assessed in 2 different ways:
As an annual license tax through the DMV with window decal renewals. Taxes will be due annually for your home, and you will need to update the decal in your window.
As real property. If your mobile home is permanently attached to your land, you can pay real property taxes like a traditional house instead of going through the DMV.
Related: How Much Does a New Mobile Home Cost?
Buying a Used Mobile Home
Buying a used mobile home may be a good option if you are looking for the most affordable option. However, it can be a challenge when assessing value. The average price of a used mobile home in Florida is around $47,853, but options can range far below or above this. The average size was about 1,100 feet (a usual double-wide).
When purchasing a used mobile home, make sure that the home is in good repair, and you have done a thorough inspection and walkthrough, taxes have been paid up to date, make sure there are no hidden or unexpected liens on the property.
If the mobile home is in a park or community, make sure to speak with the manager and make sure they have completed all payments to the current date, and check if there are any lot rent increases that will be occurring in the future.
Mobile Home Community Living
If you haven't lived in a mobile home community before, there are some things to take into consideration when thinking about choosing a park.
- You must follow all park rules and HOA regulations.
- Keep your lot clean and uncluttered.
- Pay rent on your lot in a timely manner.
Communities and parks can be a good choice if you are looking for an inexpensive or more temporary option that doesn't require land ownership. Mobile home parks often have the additional benefit of amenities like swimming pools or spas, fitness centers, and community hangouts.
Now You Know!
Florida is a gorgeous place to settle down and enjoy the warm weather, coastal lifestyle, and friendly communities. With over 1,600 mobile home parks in Florida, the state shares a common interest in living life to the fullest with fabricated homes. Mobile home living is an alternative lifestyle that helps millions have a more flexible and affordable lifestyle. Get started today!
Related: Buyers Guide to a Used Mobile Home