How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
How much does a mobile home inspection cost?
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Most home inspectors charge the same fee for inspecting a mobile home as a site-built home. Pricing varies from $250 to $400 or more, with urban and resort areas often at the upper end of the range.
While price is a primary consideration, it’s equally important to find an inspector who has special training and experience in mobile homes. Within the manufactured home industry they are often referred to as “HUD-code homes,” because all mobile homes built after the summer of 1976 must meet a national standard established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The HUD code has been upgraded several times over the years to make mobile homes both more storm resistant and energy efficient. An inspector you choose should be familiar with the HUD standards and their evolution in order to evaluate your future home correctly.
So, after you get past the all-important “how much do you charge to inspect a mobile home?” question in your phone call, be sure to ask about a few other things:
- Are you familiar with the HUD code for mobile homes? The answer should be something more than just “yes.” Ideally, the inspector will tell you about special training in mobile home inspection--which revolves around understanding the HUD code--and maybe a little about recurring issues found in local mobile homes.
- How many mobile homes do you inspect each month? In some areas of the country, mobile homes are a small percentage of the housing stock, so it may be unrealistic to expect that an inspector does more than a few. But pretty much all rural areas have lots of mobile homes and it will be easier to find an inspector with years of experience examining them.
- Do you check the “data plate” for the correct wind zone and roof load zones? The data plate is a paper sticker that HUD requires the manufacturer to place in every mobile home, listing important information about its construction. If they don’t know what a data plate is, move on.
- I’m concerned about the “belly board.” How do you do to check it? The belly board is the plastic sheeting that seals the underside of the mobile home. You should expect that an inspector will visually inspect the underside for any openings in the belly board. This will require crawling under the home or, at least, removing the skirting in several locations to look around. Again, if they are vague about how they check the belly board, keep looking.
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