dealers in WA - Posted by Susan

Posted by Jeff Bliven on February 12, 2001 at 13:16:45:


#3) What about hooking up with a local dealer, and working a deal!! Pay him a fee if needed! As I like to say… WHATEVER IT TAKES!

Good Luck,

dealers in WA - Posted by Susan

Posted by Susan on February 05, 2001 at 14:42:54:

Jacque and Tom or anyone else from WA,

Have seen your postings Q & A about WA state requirements for dealers in used MH. I’m just starting out and wondering if either/both of you would be willing to chat about your experience with the requirements in this state? I’m in voicemail he-- with the state on what precisely I need to do! (do I really need to own an office and a lot??)

On another note, am interested to know who else is doing these Lonnie-deals in WA state? I’m on the east side and considering my first deal (hope to have more on that later). Also, if there are any WA state folks out there headed to Atlanta?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Re: dealers in WA - Posted by Larry-WA

Posted by Larry-WA on February 05, 2001 at 19:53:07:


I am in Spokane and have done a few “Lonnie” deals. I have looked into the dealer requirements but have not taken action yet to satisfy them. WA requires being listed in the telephone directory, have an office open 10-4 M-F with a sign attached visible from the street. Of course you have to provide your complete business history, fingerprints, a bond, and $500/yr.

For additional details, contact the WA Sec of State and request a package for Mobile Home Dealers.


Larry Drews

Re: dealers in WA - help! - Posted by Susan

Posted by Susan on February 07, 2001 at 15:54:03:

Larry and others,

Thanks for the response/details on dealer license requirements in WA state. This is a bit disheartening, so I’m calling on the creative brain energy of the group for a solution!

I did call the appropriate state offices and ended up speaking with the “investigations” office division of the Dept. of Licensing for the state. The woman I spoke with had a lot of good information, but most of it was discouraging. Yes, it’s true that in this state, to obtain a mh dealer’s license one must have a commercially zoned office space, open between the hours of 10-4 (minimum) with a sign displayed (Also, $30,000 bond, background/criminal check). These requirements are designed to discourage “curbside” dealers from operating from homes, mobile offices, etc. The logic is that “the public” wants to be able to trust dealers, be able to contact them, see their operation, etc., and that this level of trust and professionalism can only be accomplished within the confines of a traditional business operation. Now, I can understand some of this logic, specifically, if my neighbor decided to deal in used cars, had them constantly parked all over the neighborhood, attracting a lot of non-residential traffic and clutter, I’d be an unhappy neighbor. But there seems no way around these requirements, even when the mh’s would never be on my personal, residential or neighborhood property, and even though the people I buy from/sell to would not ever be coming to my own residence. It’s just my computer and fax machine that are at home. (Actually, I’m hoping to never have to even move a mh from one park to another.)

Honestly, I’ve been really excited about trying “Lonnie deals” in my area (seems ripe for them, really). Now, it seems that my options are limited to (1).operating without a license (not too comfortable with that one) or (2) avoiding mh business altogether and sticking with traditional “real estate” and wholesaling/rehabbing. Is there anything more to try?!

One wild thought…can lease/option to purchase technique get around the “sale to the public” classification that gets me defined as a dealer? I don’t know much about the lease/option thing (although I’ll be doing a lot of reading on those as-yet-unexplored parts of this website immediately to remedy that!), but can anyone point me in a more encouraging direction? I have no desire to attempt to evade or ignore state laws, but I’d really like to try some of these mh deals!

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Re: dealers in WA - help! - Posted by Jeff Bliven

Posted by Jeff Bliven on February 10, 2001 at 18:24:52:

You… Fly by Night, You!!
Only Kidding!

You’re right that creates a problem! However, here are two QUICK Suggestions…

First off, I’m not in the stae of Washington, so I don’t know your laws!!

  1. You aren’t a tree, as someone told me years ago! You do have the ability to move! Probably won’t like that, so let’s move on to #2!

  2. I would assume there are a certain number of sales ONE person can make in a given year?? I know that the person you are buying from aren’t dealers, SO you must be able to do more than ONE a year before you run up against this “Dealer Law”!! Let’s just say that it is FIVE per year before you need to be licensed!

Are you married? If so, you’re up to 10 per year now! Got a partner? You’re up to 15!
Is he married? You’re up to 20!
How about starting an LLC or an S-Corp, you’re now at 25 & 30!
Start another LLC or an S-Corp, you’re now at 35 & 40!

Getting the picture??

Is this legal?? Yes, maybe No! I don’t know where the “Line” will be drawn… that’s up to you to find out!!

Good Luck…

Re: dealers in WA - help! - Posted by Susan

Posted by Susan on February 12, 2001 at 13:06:11:


Thanks for the tips…will let you know how the state responds (not just to satisfy my own need to respond to everything, but because so many people, including myself, look to these posts for advice and recommendations;)

  1. No, not a tree, but crossing state lines to do business did cross my mind…have to check out dealer status in the neighbor state, and then contend with their state taxes, etc. A possibility.

  2. Problem with having others do the deals, so as to get around the state limits: Washington, like many other states apparently, says that a person can do four deals, with the fifth suggesting “dealer” status, but according to the state dept. of licensing, doing even one deal with the intent to resell for profit, by definition, makes you a dealer. So this is not a great option.

  3. As follow-up, I’ve discovered that the greatest obstacle is really having to have a business office that is open 10-4, 5 days a week, minimum. I can get cheap office space and post a sign, and put my name/company in the phone book, but staffing an office (I have a full-time job that I am (for now, anyway) attached to) 30 hrs. a week is the biggest restriction. Am trying to think creatively on that one right now, too.

I’ll let you know what happens, and please, send along any other suggestions!

flying by night…,