MH Dealer license questions

MH Dealer Rules

I live in Texas and would like to begin doing some Lonnies. I am very concerned about how to work within the framework of the dealer licensing issues. I do not believe that I want to get a retailer’s license, because that would require me to take possession and sell the homes on my own lot. Without a license, it appears that I am limited to only 1 sale per year.

How are others in Texas (or other states with similar laws) dealing with this?

Section 80.123 of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Manufactured Housing rules states:

“Retailer: Any person engaged in the business of buying for resale, selling, or exchanging manufactured homes or offering such for sale, exchange, or lease purchase to consumers shall be licensed as a retailer. An application for license shall be submitted on the form required by the department and be completed giving all the requested information. The application shall be accompanied by the required security, Articles of Incorporation or Assumed Name Certificate, and payment of the license fee. No person shall be considered a retailer unless engaged in the sale, exchange, or lease purchase of two or more manufactured homes to consumers in any consecutive twelve (12) month period. Sales, exchanges, or lease purchases by any employee or agent of a business entity are deemed to be sales of the business entity. Each separate sales location which is not on property which is contiguous to or located within 300 feet of a licensed sales location requires a separate license and security.”

Here is a link to the entire document:


I hope you haven’t let this silly little rule stop you from making money.

There’s a very easy way to sidestep this rule. Buy every mobile home in it’s own separate land trust. Each land trust owns 1 mobile home. Therefore, each land trust only sells 1 mobile home in a 12 month period. Viola, you aren’t breaking any rules because you don’t own anything.

Don’t get too caught up in all the details. Just get out there and start doing some deals. Technically, I’m supposed to apply to the city for a permit before each rehab I do. Do you really think I do that?

Stacy, thanks for the land trust idea. How do I do it? What are the steps?


There was nothing in your quote that said you had to take possession and sell the MH’s on your own lot.

Being a “Retailer” doesn’t mean you are a street “Dealer.” A retailer can also be a “Broker.” Street dealers have retail lots with models, brokers on the other hand take listings.

My business strategy is to work as a retailer to capture investment opportunities. After all, when people are thinking about selling who do they call? The people they know buy homes. Since retailers are listed and highly visible in the market they get the majority of the calls.

Does anyone know of a link to find information on licensing requirements to sell used mobile homes in California?

In Texas, the only way to sell more than 1 mfg home in a 12 month period is to sell real propery where the home is a mfg home. You have to cancel the title and pay a fee state fees for their paperwork but at that point you are selling your own real estate.

The key is financing, if your plans are to re-sell the home. I helped start the land-home sales process in Texas in 1997. made a lot of money and still am providing mortgages for these niche market homes.