The South Carolina Building Codes Council, a division of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR), has been made aware of several modular home sellers misleading the public. As a public service, LLR is providing consumer alerts regarding modular home insurance, financing, legal representation and sales.
Several modular home sellers have falsely informed customers that mortgage, hazard or homeowners insurance for a new home must be purchased from agencies referred (or approved) by the seller.
The fact is, any insurance agency licensed in S.C. may provide mortgage, hazard and homeowner insurance. The seller must accept the insurance as long as the insurance amount purchased covers the amount of the loan.
Financing may be arranged with the lender of your choice. Modular home sellers may offer a customer "in-house” financing. However, the consumer makes the final choice.
An attorney hired by the seller, represents the interests of the seller. Consumers should be cautious of any seller that discourages a potential buyer from obtaining legal advice of their own.
Before signing a contract to purchase a modular home, you are entitled to (and should have) an attorney representing your interest. An attorney should review every document requiring your signature. If you do not understand any part of the contract, do not sign it. Do not sign a contract that is incomplete or contains any blank lines or sections.
Do not purchase a residential or commercial modular building from a non-licensed salesperson. State law states that only licensed sales representatives of manufacturers, homebuilders or commercial contractors may sell new modular buildings.
If a consumer elects to purchase a building from an unlicensed seller, he will not be protected in contractual disputes or from damage, such as building damage from improper transportation or installation.
South Carolina is unique in its requirements for sales of modular buildings. Out of state dealers or third parties are not licensed to sell modular buildings to be placed in South Carolina. By contrast, surrounding states may allow modular buildings to be sold by manufactured housing dealers or other third parties.