The Investor’s Guide to Mobile Home Licenses

by | BiggerPockets.com

If you intend to invest in single-family homes and/or mobile homes attached to private property, then you won’t need a license to invest. With that said, few states do require a license if you plan on repairing or managing any handyman repairing your properties. However, if you intend to invest within mobile homes inside pre-existing parks, then a license may be required by your state.

State-to-State Licensing Process Will Vary

If the state you are investing in asks you to become a licensed mobile home professional, then the process moving forward will vary slightly from state to state. Some states seem to just want to collect a fee before handing over a license or certification. Other states require you to go through some education, pass a test, become insured, pay fees, and potentially even have a place of business before being licensed.

Pro Tip: See this article to understand how many mobile homes you may purchase in one person’s name before the state asks you to become licensed. Call the local motor vehicles department or licensing department in your county or city to ask for further licensing details.

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Common Types of Mobile Home Licenses

Disclaimer: The list and definitions below may not be fully accurate for your state. The list below is made to point out there are various licenses within the mobile home space, but typically, one or two licenses will best suit your specific goals.

1. Manufacturer/Builder

This is a person who constructs or assembles mobile homes for sale, exchange, or lease purchase in the state. Manufacturers and builders include large nationwide companies as well as smaller regional or state mobile home builders.

Related: 5 Ways Mobile Homes Differ Across the United States

2. Retailer

A retailer is a person who:

  • Buys and sells mobile homes or offers mobile homes for sale to buyers. This can include a person who maintains a mobile home sales lot.
  • Might buy mobile homes with the intent of renting or profiting from each mobile home.
  • Buys and/or sells at least ____ mobile homes to buyers in a 12-month period.

Pro Tip: This license’s description fits us best as active mobile home investors.

3. Broker

A broker is a person acting on behalf of a buyer or seller to negotiate a contract for the sale of a mobile home for which a title has been issued. The term does not necessarily include a person who operates a mobile home sales lot. A mobile home broker may be thought of as a real estate agent for mobile homes inside of preexisting parks.

4. Mover/Installer

A mobile home mover or installer is a person who agrees to perform or performs an installation and setup on a mobile home. This license may also be required of a retailer or broker if he/she plans on moving or installing mobile homes to their clients.

Pro Tip: Whenever speaking with new park managers, aim to ask for referrals of recommended mobile home movers and installers.

5. Salesperson/Sales Agent

This is a person who is an employee/agent of a retailer/broker who sells mobile homes to buyers for any form of payment or compensation. This person may work at a mobile home dealership, sales lot, or directly for mobile home park.

6. Traditional Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Agents

In some states, a traditional real estate license will allow you to broker or sell mobile homes on behalf of others. Contact your local board of real estate agents for more information.

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Related: 3 Things That’ll Surprise You When Investing in Mobile Homes Inside Parks

Forms & Bookkeeping

As a licensed manufactured home professional, you will typically be held to a higher standard compared to the average buyers/sellers. During the manufactured home licensing class, you will learn what is required of you after receiving your license and owning properties. These requirements may or may not include:

  • Including your dealer number on all paperwork provided to the state.
  • Providing additional documentation or paperwork to the state for each unique mobile home.
  • Providing additional documentation or paperwork to every buyer or seller you work with.
  • Making sure your mobile homes are at a certain minimum habitable standard. (Example: All homes must have working heat source or working air conditioning.)
  • Subjecting yourself to regular audits by the local mobile home division in your state.

In conclusion, each one of us controls our own business and decides if/when to get licensed and how to move forward on a daily basis. There are many mobile home investors around the country buying and reselling mobile homes with and without required licenses. There are many mobile home investors who want nothing more than to build win-win businesses within their local communities. However, there are other investors who do not mind taking advantage of others for the personal gain of themselves. Always aim to help others if possible. The more value we create for others, the more we will see ourselves. Enjoy your journey forward.

Any questions about mobile home licenses?

Comment below!

About Author

John Fedro

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

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