What are the best tips for buying a used mobile home?

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Here’s our “Top 5” tips for evaluating the condition of a manufactured home you are considering buying:

1) Determine the level of construction quality. The better quality homes will have a longer life with fewer maintenance problems over the years. Read our blog How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed? to learn the visual clues—such as the pitch of the roof, height of exterior walls, and size of roof overhang—that will tell you whether the home you are looking at was budget, mid-range, or premium quality when originally constructed.

2) Look carefully at the slope of the site around the home. The ground should slope away from the home on all sides. If it does not, then you may have puddling water under the home after a heavy rain, with the resultant mold and wood rot issues. To learn more about the proper siting of a manufactured home, read our blog How can I remove water under my mobile home?

3) Check for the most common defects found in older mobile homes. Examples would be torn openings in the belly board, polybutylene piping, and damaged skirting that allows animals under the home. See our blog What are the most common problems with older mobile homes? to learn about the ten defects found most often.

4) Verify the age and manufacturer of the home. You can do this by locating and reading the manufacturer’s data plate. It will also tell which wind zone and roof load zone the home was manufactured for, the recommend size of the HVAC unit, and specifications of the original installed appliances. HUD has required that every home manufactured since 1976 have a data plate affixed to an interior surface. To find out where to look for the data plate and how to understand it, go to our blog How do I find out how old a mobile home is and who manufactured it?.

5) Get a professional home inspection. After you have educated yourself about mobile homes by reading our blogs and given the place a careful look-over, call a local home inspector for a final, thorough evaluation.

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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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