Posted by Tony-VA on January 25, 2000 at 23:22:57:
You are on the right track here with your list. I would suggest however, that you do most of those things BEFORE you sign the purchase agreement.
Get to know the Park Manager first and find out if the home can stay there and how much, if any, lot rent is owed.
You may want to use a pro to inspect the home but this will cost you money. Maybe on the first deal just so that you can see what they do. Quite honestly, lonnie’s book describes what you really need to do to look for most of the common problems. Plumbing may be tricky to locate but think about it…those problems aren’t hard to find. They leave tell tale signs such as soft flooring, warped boards and stains.
For electrical, I bought a little three prong plug in testor from Wal-Mart. It is yellow with 3 red lights on it. It plugs right into the outlet just like a lamp plug. The colored lights light up in different sequences to tell you if all is okay, or if wiring is wrong and what is wrong. This little gadget costs a couple dollars and is a great tool. Heck I had one electrician ask to borrow mine. (He was installing a bad GFI breaker in the breaker box for me).
Find out from DMV how mobile homes are transferred in your state. Here in VA for example, Mobile Homes are titled just like cars so the DMV title does the trick. In other states, it is a Uniform Commercial Code that governs the transfer of title, lien registry etc. DMV may be a good start and can refer you if they do not handle mobile homes. They should also be able to tell you what the transfer fee and sales tax % is as well.
You and the seller don’t need to meet at DMV necessarily. While you are at DMV, ask for their “Power of Attorney form”. You have the seller sign this in case you miss a spot on the title, you can then sign for him. You can take title from the seller right at the home or wherever you meet for the closing. (Be sure to do a walk through before you close)
I suggest you hold the first “closing” in the Park Manager’s office. The PM does not need to know the exact figures in the deal, but this way, you are certain that the park gets any back lot rent it is owed. The seller then gets the balance of the purchase price. This worked wonders for me on my first deal. The PM loved it and the trust established by this made further meetings unnecessary. Now it is all handled by phone or in passing.
As for the homes Vin#. I have found it one some and not on others. I have had to make the best good faith effort to ensure myself that this is the correct home. I go by the title description, the copy the PM has, the titled address of the home, the sellers info (confirmed by DMV photo license). Perhaps others can help. Supposedly there is a sheet of paper posted in a closet that has this info. I have only ever found one of them. It was 20 years old! Usually you will only find old smutt magazines. (My wife found worse than that today while inspecting a home, I didn’t know she could blush that much. But I digress.)
Good luck on your meeting tomorrow and feel free to email any questions you may have. I am happy to help if I can.