Purchasing Home from Tenant

I am purchasing a home from a tenant. This will be my first time going through this. Do I need to run a title search as if it was a stick built home? Or what type of due diligence is generally done to make sure the home is owned free and clear?

I’m not super experienced but here’s what I have seen… I’m interested in the “market” for those who might want to live in my parks so I nose around when I see a home for sale in my area.I don’t think I have seen one for sale where they were current on their taxes. I call the county tax office (same place I pay home real estate taxes, they transfer me to a particular person in the office) and they’ll look it up. Two, there’s a title and like a vehicle it has a space for a lienholder. I haven’t seen any with liens but I’ve been a real bottom feeder when I’ve looked at homes for sale. Oh and 1.5 should really be can they find the title? If not you can go with the seller whose name is on said title with proof of payment of county taxes to the DMV and file for a lost (duplicate) title and they’ll send it to you, the buyer, in your name. I’m a little shocked at the number of people who can’t tell me the size of their home. I can tell you how many sq ft in my house with and without the basement and in the house before, and my parents house, too.I honest to god had someone tell me they thought maybe their home was 300 feet long. Maybe it’s market research, maybe I just inquire on homes for sale for the pure entertainment of it. 

The correct method for buying a used mobile home would be to have the seller give you a clean title with no liens and sign it over to you in exchange for money. However, this is rarely what happens. The more common structure is to buy the home from somebody who claims they own it, but do not have a title and the title shows a different name on it (who they bought it from or even several owners ago) and probably a lien on it. The normal operating method is then to:1)  Contact the bank to make sure the lien has been paid.2)  Contact the personal property tax dept. and see that all taxes have been paid and who they show as the owner (often much different from the title).3)  Contact the owner on the title and see if they know the history of it4)  Get a letter from the seller on how they came to own itAt the end of the day, to buy old used mobile homes, you have to take a leap of faith that the seller really owns the home. That means the home should be cheap so, if you’re wrong, you don’t get burned too bad. A $2,000 home without a title is an entirely different animal from a $20,000 home with no title. One we would do and one we would not.I will tell you that in 20 years of buying homes – and probably over a thousand purchased – that I have never had the title to a home challenged. That’s probably because, when somebody abandons an old mobile home, they never come back, due to the perception that there is old lot rent and taxes owed.