HCD has released a Consumer Alert to all mobile home residents and those looking to purchase a mobile home. Consumers interested in purchasing manufactured homes should use extreme caution when considering a manufactured home ordered over the Internet or from an out-of-state seller.
California law requires manufactured home salespersons, dealers, and manufacturers doing business in California to be licensed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). If a person or company solicits for purchasers of manufactured homes in California by letters, telephone calls, or other direct advertising or communications, that seller is violating the law because only licensed dealers and salespersons may advertise or solicit in California.
There are a number of people trying to sell mobile homes for “cheap” but the homes are located out of state. The HCD warns that these prices often do not include the “California Use Tax” that is placed on goods purchased outside of California and then moved into the state. There are also a number of features that California requires each mobile home to have that other states might not necessarily require, but if you purchase the home and move it into the state you are responsible for installing these features, which can often be costly.
The buyer must also take into account the cost of moving the home from its current location out of state to the park in which they have chosen to place their home.
Do not be fooled by the low price of a home. Make sure that the seller has a permit to sell the home in California and do your research on what features the home offers versus what California State Law requires.
If solicited by an Internet or out-of-state solicitor, ask for proof of California licensing. Use HCD’s website at http://www.hcd.ca.gov/codes/ol/ol_lic_query_cover.html or call HCD’s Occupational Licensing Program at (916) 323-9803