John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Should You Retire Your Mobile Home Titles? That Depends!

Retired - Gone Fishing! - JTE Not long ago I got a letter from the Florida State Retirement Office. It appears that since I worked for 9 years in the public school system here in Pasco County, I could now start collecting early retirement if I want to. It is not a lot of money since I only taught 9 years here, and 12 years in Spain which don't count. However, a few hundred dollars each month is still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Many people do not realize that mobile homes also have a retirement option, and I don't mean demolition. A lot of consumers are not cognizant of the fact that mobile homes have titles just like your cars, trucks or motorcycles do. At least in Florida they are treated just like recreational vehicles (RV's). A single-wide mobile home has 1 title, a double-wide has 2, and a triple-wide has 3.

The problem is that these "vehicles" are residences. When they are located on a lot that you own, they can be financed for up to 30 years. During that time the lender holds the actual paper titles showing that they have an interest in the property. Here is the problem, over the course of the mortgage, the loan may be sold to several different lenders. This is very common. It would be very unusual for you to have the same lender for the entire length of the loan.

As the loan is sold to each new lender, the titles are supposed to be passed on to them. But guess what? Somewhere along the line the titles get lost. It happens all the time. So when the homeowner finally sells the home, he has to pay for duplicate titles since the bank cannot/will not produce them. That used to be a minor cost, but now our great state of Florida has increased it to nearly $300 for a double-wide mobile! Fees may be different in your state.

To avoid this situation, many banks are now requiring that when they lend money on a mobile home on its own land, that the titles are "retired" by the title company handling the closing. This means that the paper titles are destroyed and the mobile is forever attached to that property.

The benefits are that there are no longer paper titles to be lost by the bank or the owners, no need to ever pay for duplicate titles, and future buyers will not have to pay for any title transfer fees since there are no longer any paper titles to transfer. Trust me, a lot less ha$$le$. 

On the downside, there is a one-time cost of $300 to retire the titles. This is unavoidable if the lender requires it. If a buyer is paying cash, then he/she can decide whether or not to retire the titles or not. Some will still choose to rid themselves of having to guard paper titles.

The choice is up to the cash buyers/owners. Too often I have sellers who cannot locate the titles to their homes. My own mother lost hers and had to get replacements that cost her $300! So it is something to consider. Each situation is different and only you can decide which is best for you, if the choice is yours.

**If you are still uncertain about the legal ramifications of retiring the mobile home titles for your particular situation, it is best to seek legal advice from a real estate attorney who can give you specific information you can use to help you make great choices.**

NOTE: The above post is only relevant for mobile homes that are on lots that the occupants own. It is not meant for people who own a mobile home BUT rent the lot. Those are treated very differently and ARE NOT considered to be "real estate". For more information about that, you can see my previous post about rental and owned lots in mobile home parks by: CLICKING HERE

If you have any questions concerning this issue or any other real estate topic, do not hesitate to contact me at: John Elwell - Sales Associate at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. 813-783-4444.

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 0 commentsJohn Elwell • June 30 2017 01:00AM
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