Watch Out for Out-of-State Mobile Home Sellers

Watch Out for Out-of-State Mobile Home Sellers

Watch Out for Out-of-State Mobile Home Sellers
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If you are interested in purchasing a Mobile Home in California, be sure the seller has their brokers license in California. The law in California requires that all manufactured or mobile home salespeople, dealers and manufacturers that intend to conduct business in the state of California to have the proper license issued by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, or HCD. This law is so broad that if a person or company advertises itself in the state of California via mailers, telephone marketing or any other direct advertising or marketing, and does not have the proper licensing, that seller is violating state law. In California, only licensed dealers and salespersons within the state are allowed to advertise their homes for sale.

When a buyer purchases a Manufactured or Mobile Home from an out-of-state seller or company that does not have the proper licensing, there are many problems that are likely to occur, aside from the obvious liability issues.

The mobile home buyer may not get the home they expect:

California law states that all of the amenities and features of the new manufactured or mobile home be listed either with their prices or with the total purchase price. The law also states that this information must be provided to the buyer prior to signing the purchase contract. Purchasing a manufactured or mobile home from an internet seller may result in the buyer never physically seeing the final home order that is sent to the factory for assembly, let alone the final prices.

The mobile home buyer may wind up with a home that the factory never paid for:

California law requires mobile home dealers to deposit every penny of a buyer´s deposits on the mobile home being purchases, including initial down payment and additional deposit funds, into a California escrow account with a licensed escrow practitioner. When working with an internet seller or an out-of-state company, a buyer runs the risk of handing their hard earned money to a company or person that may not be licensed to handle the funds. There is also the possibility that the buyers funds are never deposited towards the home they believe they are buying (yes, this does happen). Without an escrow company ensuring the proper deposit of the funds, a buyer may never know whether the manufacturer of their home was actually paid with the money they handed over.

The mobile home buyer may end up with a Limited Warranty:

Manufactured and mobile homes sold in the state of California by properly licensed salespersons or companies will always carry more buyer protection than the minimum warranty required by the federal government. The manufacturer’s warranty required in California holds both the dealer and the manufacturer responsible for any repairs covered under the warranty and enforcement of the warranty typically does not require a lawsuit or a lawyer. If a buyer purchases a manufactured or mobile home from an out-of-state dealer or salesperson, California cannot enforce the warranty on the mobile home and any enforcement actions must be filed in the state(s) where the dealer and/or manufacturer are located.

In summary, if you are considering purchasing a manufactured home in the State of California, it is highly advisable to speak with a licensed company that specializes in manufactured and mobile homes, such as a California-licensed Department of Real Estate broker or salesperson, a California-licensed Escrow Company or a California