7 On Your Side:What You Should Know Before Buying A Manufactured Home - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

7/25/06-Tyler

7 On Your Side:What You Should Know Before Buying A Manufactured Home

  Allison Wells thought she'd never see her $1000 deposit again. Money she gave to now defunct Pleasant Homes in hopes of owning a manufactured home. 
  "The response from the actual salesman that was dealing us and helping us was 'Oh you think you're going to put money down on the house and back out of the deal and get your money back?'," recalls Allison. 
  She was ready to cut her losses until she got help from Chris Harry, President of Academy Homes in Tyler and board member for the Texas Manufactured Homes Association. 
  "The law protects the consumer in every avenue," says Harry.
  Here's how: Harry says every dealer should have a sign like in their business, showing they are licensed and bonded. "It's an insurance policy that basically says if we fold our doors, whomever has money at our locations can file against that bond," Harry explains.
  Harry instructed Allison to begin a paper trail by writing a certified letter to Pleasant Homes requesting her full deposit back. Then he referred her to the complaint form at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs website. 
  "I filled it out, mailed it along with copies of the letters, certified receipts from Pleasant Homes, all the documentation that we had," says Allison.
  The state agency reviewed her complaint and just over a month later, Allison's check was in the mail. 
  "Oh I was elated!," says Allison smiling. "I was just ecstatic!" 
  Before you buy, use the Department of Housing and Community Affair's website to make sure the home is registered, verify previous ownership and find out if there are liens on the home. 
  "Why would you not want the consumer to be comfortable 100% with the business transaction and be able to verify it," says Harry. Allison's happy ending doesn't end there. She's bought a home from the same company who stepped in to help her, and has moved in just in time for the birth of her first child.
  Chris Harry also suggests get copies of everything you sign. Detailed documentation is what worked to Allison's favor when getting that refund.  Click here to link to the Department of Housing and Community Affair's website if you're in the market for a manufactured home.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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