How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What are the common problems to look for when buying a mobile home that is older than 40 years?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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.
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