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Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:02 pm
by JD
I am working on an estimate for a MH dealer that has got into a bit of a bind. I have been involved on many projects with this dealer and have found him to be an honest and genuinely caring business man.

He sold an 80's mobile home to some folks at a very reasonable price on an "as is" basis. "As Is" is plainly spelled out in his paperwork. The people took the home to their property, which is waaay out of town. After getting the home there, they were not happy with the AC and some of the setup. There also was a window cracked by the set-up people. Anyways, long story short, after battling the meaning of "as is" for a long period of time, these folks got the Fair Housing People involved, who got HUD inspectors involved. They flatly said there is not such thing as "As is", and the home must meet their livable standards.

The fixit list now includes new windows, new sliding door, new roof, new ceiling throughout, new skirting and many other smaller repairs. The repairs total out over the $20K he sold the home for and at this point, he is court ordered to fix it. The officials have not seen the estimate amount of the repairs yet, so they may limit the liabilities. We will have to see what happens next.

But what I am seeing is, selling a used mobile home is a very risky business. This home is actually in very good condition, although it needs an AC/heater and some minor repairs. At this point he would be money ahead to give them the home as a gift, give them their money back and call it a lesson learned.


RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:42 pm
by Handweaving
I thought I read here once that the movers are the ones that need insurance in case anything like what you mentioned happened. Doesn't seem honest to me when the new owners knew the items mentioned happened after they bought it. JMHO

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:26 am
by Harry

"As-is" still counts ....within reason.

This is a case of "seller/MH dealers" beware.

Here there should be permits, a "final" inspection, and the MH would have to be "livable".

What you describe probably could happen here.....if the setup was shoddy, there were a lot of expensive hidden problems and the "final" did not pass.

Installation - In Florida you can bring a lot of heat on whoever holds the MH Installer License for a bad setup....if you know who to call. In this case the installer was obligated to fix the window, set the MH up properly permits and inspections.

MH Dealers - can not stand too many consumer complaints.

In this area the oldest/most respected MH dealer does not sell the older MHs...he scraps them.


PS: I told my wife about this one and she said "sounds like a California courtroom verdict".

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:09 am
by Greg
What we do in our park is $1.00 specials. For $20k I personally would agree with HUD that they should be livable. Greg

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 8:43 am
by kashton
"as 'is" to me(especially when buying a car) usually means there is something that needs to be done. But, then again, when I sell my mobile, it will say "as is, where is" so if the person decides to move it, I am not responsible for anything. Everything that I think needs to be done to save her time and money, will be done. Little things that she can do herself(paint, etc) would all cost extra in the price. I would never sell to anyone a place that is unlivable, but we have all seen what some will live in compared to others.

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:13 am
by kashton
Ok, now I'm getting worked up about this. Everyone should have standards on the condition of anything they sell. But I know allot of people that think everything that doesn't last a lifetime should be the responsibility of the previous owner.

There is nothing worse than someone phoning you 3 months down the road saying the tap drips, or the light fixture needs to be replaced, or the fence is sagging. Sorry, but no longer my responsibility.

I like to think I take care of my home, and if the next person has trouble with it, it just means they don't use it in the same manner as I did. But there still needs to be standards on the condition of the home. I may think it is a castle, and someone else may think it is "Dump worthy".

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 11:06 am
by JD
I just feel there is too much govt in everything. I feel that a person should be able to buy a stick built, MH or car that is in unusable condition if they want to. If you can fix them up, you can save a lot of money. When the govt auctions off a lien house, they do not bring it up to standards. They get to sell "as is". The buyer gets the bargain and knows they have to fix it to sell it.

In our area, this home was sold about $10K under value. This same exact home would sell for $60 set up in a park, with the mentioned repairs. A person could easily make $20K profit flipping this house with $10K and selling quicker for $50k

I guess I am just old school. If you make an honest deal, then a deal is a deal. On the other hand, if you misrepresent the home or hide things from the buyer, you should be responsible for the deception.


RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:15 pm
by Greg
JD, I guess the question is becoming more of what is "liveable"? If it is a matter of A/C than I would call it liveable, If on the other hand you open the door and fall through a hole in the floor..... Greg

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:41 pm
by Robert
I have to agree with these last two posts by JD and Greg. I think they hit it on the nail.

In this case, sounds like the dealer is getting the shaft.

Take care and best wishes,

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:09 pm
by Yanita

Guys, my 2 cents...AS IS, by all means, but whatever is wrong should be fully disclosed.

As for the guy that sold this home, I think the buyers are trying to capitalize on something that is clearly not his fault.


RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:03 am
by Maureen
Here's my take on As Is as far as a mobile home goes........

If the AC wasn't working when it was sold, oh well. It was sold as is. That is part of the home and surely wasn't damaged in transit.

I might give them the broken window in the fix it list, but nothing more. It's like gimme a break!!!

As is, means just that. We've all bought used cars in our lives 'as is'. That means that repairs are going to be needed.

Do we all deserve a decent place to live? Of course we do! But no one can let themselves be sort of held hostage on sale!

Sliding door, roof, ceiling, skirting... way out of line!

That's like buying a 87 car and expecting no dings, perfect interior, rebuilt engine and brand new tires for $1200.00!!! Hey, who knows, maybe they are setting a new standard for used personal property.

Just my opinion!

Maureen 8)

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:38 am
by hvac1000
The term as is can and will cause problems. The work around to this is a legal statement containing all necessary wording to amend the sale contract.

In my case I always use a legal statement that covers my business and myself to the extent than no liability is incurred.

The statement has to be signed by all party's to the contract and notarized by a licensed notary and stamp sealed. Then there is no excuse for a complaint from a customer or buyer as to what was said or what the exact meaning of the words contained in the original contract to purchase. This system works for items up to $20,000.00 as proven in courts of law in my area.

If it is above $20,000.00 then we have a deal closing in my lawyers office and at that time we recommend that the buyer hires a lawyer also. If the buyer fails to hire a lawyer this is noted and the buyer also has to state in writing that they were aware of there requirement to have an lawyer but decided to wave there rights for the closing.

Now some of you all may think this is a lot of work but it only takes one bad deal and the lawyer fees for defense can be $10,000.00 easy especially if the buyer has got the state working for them for free.

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 5:06 pm
by Guest
I've had training as a real estate agent and my broker taught us that "as is" means "all faults disclosed but seller will not repair." Disclosure law, in California, Is quite complicated and causes the generation of much paperwork in a transaction whether stick-built or modular. If the seller sells "as is" but does not disclose known faults, he is liable for repairs in most cases and can be sued for damages.
Inspection, Inspection, Inspection!
The seller should have one and the buyer should get his own done independently before escrow closes. It should be conditional in the offer contract whether "as-is" or not.
My 2/100 of a $ :)

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:00 pm
by dandjbarrett
Sounds like the buyer got himself quite a deal. To me "as is" means exactly what it says. That buyer went into the deal with his eyes wide open and could have had any number of inspections done BEFORE he bought the home. I really become unhappy with the litigious society in which we live.

RE: Does "as is" really exist?

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:09 pm
by JD
Yes, the world is a different place than I grew up in. When I was a kid, there was still that old time honor. The honesty of both parties was an expected thing. It was not so common for people to sell their integrity. Of course "the deal" was always a separate issue. Horse trading to get the most you can from your wares has always been there. But that part was up front. If the item was worth it to you and performed as represented, then you got a good deal, regardless of price.

But with this mobile home and situation in question, I felt that the buyer was out for all he could get, regardless what was fair, right or wrong. The mobile home dealer wanted me to take this job, but I ended up declining to bid on it. If push comes to shove between him, HUD and the courts, I would do the job for him if he took all recourse resulting from the contract. It felt really weird turning down an $11,000 to $17,000 job. There was just too much liability and chance that I would be the next guy sued.

Anyways, life goes on and we are always booked pretty solid. I hope the dealer guy comes out alright and the owners eventually have a home they are happy with.