June 15th, 1976, is the date to remember. It was when the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s “HUD-Code” standards for manufactured homes took effect across America. That month is a dividing line in time between an era when there were only voluntary or minimal state-by-state mobile home standards and when every manufacturer had to meet the new national building code.
The HUD-Code was not all that strict at first, but it was a uniform standard. Homes built before 1976 varied wildly in quality of materials and workmanship. So a mobile home that is 40+ years old can have an inferior structure, wiring, and insulation—or it might even be better than average. Who knows? No real standards means that only a careful examination by a knowledgable inspector can tell what combination of built-in defects from the pre-HUD era and deterioration from age are present.
The fact that the home has lasted so long already tends to indicate that it is both well-made and cared for over the years, but pre-1976 homes are near or past the end of an average 40 to 50 year functional lifespan anyway.
Also see our blog posts Does it make sense to buy an older mobile home and remodel it? and What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?
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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?
• 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.