How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manufactured 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

    Also, see our blog posts Should I get a home inspection before signing a contract to buy the house? and Should I use a contractor or a home inspector to inspect a house I'm buying? 

Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES:

Where can I file a complaint if I have problems with my new or used manufactured/mobile home in Florida?

 What are the most common defects in mobile/manufactured home foundation piers?

How do I determine the age of a very old mobile home?

What is a "HUD label verification letter" for a mobile/manufactured home?  

When did a ground cover vapor barrier (plastic sheet) become required under a mobile/manufactured home? 

Is it safe to go under a mobile home? 

Are older mobile homes unsafe? 

What do I need to know about buying a foreclosed mobile home? 

Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? 

Where do I find the vehicle identification number (VIN) on a mobile home? 

How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?

What is the right price for a used mobile home?

How energy efficient is a mobile home?

When were the first double-wide mobile homes manufactured?

How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home? 

Can you move an older mobile home in Florida? 

What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home? 

Can you put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

How can I remove water under my mobile home?

What's the differences between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home? 

What is a D-sticker mobile home? 

What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?

How fireproof is a mobile home?  

Can I install a mobile home myself?

What is a Park Model mobile home?  

Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code? 

What walls can I remove in a mobile home?

What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home? 

How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?

How can I tell the difference between a manufactured home and a modular home?

       Visit our MOBILE/MANUFACTURED HOMES  page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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