How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes
What does a home inspector look for when examining a mobile home crawl space?
Thursday, July 19, 2018
There are two levels of possible restrictions for locating a mobile home on a particular site that is not inside a mobile home park. The first is the local zoning for the land. Because of the bad name that mobile homes acquired in the past, many counties and cities have limited or no zoning designations where a mobile home can be sited. Although the quality of the homes has improved dramatically over the past decades, especially since HUD took over supervision of their construction in 1976, there is still a slowly fading stigma attached to mobile homes and their owners. Popular TV comedy shows like My Name is Earl and, even worse, Trailer Park Boys, that perpetuate that tawdry image certainly don’t help either.
After checking to confirm that the county or city zoning allows a mobile home on the site that you want, the second hurdle is to get a copy of any deed restrictions if the land is part of a subdivision. And it’s good idea to read them very carefully, because even subdivisions that allow mobile homes often place restrictions on the minimum size and maximum age allowed. One that we know of in a country lakeside subdivision disallows older homes by not accepting ones with metal siding. Also, occasionally zoning or homeowner association standards change and, although a mobile home is currently located on the site, you may not be allowed to replace it with a new mobile home in the future.
If you are moving a used mobile home to a new location, the local jurisdiction may require an inspection report on the condition of the home by a private inspector or an inspector with the local building department before allowing the home to be relocated. To read more about this issue, see our blog post “Can you move a mobile home that is 20 years old in Florida?” Also, if you are buying a mobile home to be moved to a new homesite, a moved home typically will not qualify for a mortgage from major national sources, even if just a few years old. So be sure to find your financing before proceeding with the deal.
Also see our blog post Are mobile homes well built?
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