So, you’ve decided to go for the more budget friendly version of life, and you’re ready to buy your first used mobile home. Good choice!
You have figured out where you’re going to put the used mobile home and you know how much you can spend.
Now, the only thing left to do is find and buy the home!
One of the hardest parts of mobile home living is choosing the best used mobile home for you and your family.
There have been hundreds of different models and layouts designed throughout the years, some will work for you and your family and some won’t.
Thanks to the internet, buying a used mobile home is much easier than it used to be. Search Craigslist, local trading papers, newspaper classifieds, local real estate channels, internet classifieds or even Ebay for local or regional used mobile homes.
Don’t limit your options, look at as many different choices as you can. The more choices you have, the better chance of finding the perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Buying a Mobile Home: First Impressions Count
First impressions will be one of your most powerful tools when purchasing a mobile home.
You can usually tell if the home has been properly cared for and maintained by appearance alone.
Homeowners that have kept their home neat and tidy are more likely to stay up to date on maintenance. If you see that the home wasn’t well cared for you’ll need to be extra cautious.
Inspecting the Mobile Home
A thorough inspection is imperative to a good mobile home purchasing decision.
Here are a few things to look for when inspecting a possible home:
Will it pass all necessary codes?
Depending on your location, your new home may have to pass several building codes before you can occupy it.
Inspections for transportation, structural design, electrical, plumbing, foundation, and several others may be required.
Two standard inspections are electrical and plumbing:
If the home is older than 1976, it should have already been re-wired and a new breaker box put in place. If not, you will need to re-wire the home. HUD standards did not take effect until mid-1976, and those old aluminum wires are not safe. If the home is newer than 1976, check out the breaker box for ample, organized circuitry and check all the wall switches. They should all work, and GFCI switches should be utilized at all water sources.
Look at every water source, look above and around windows and doors. Water is always a mobile homes worse enemy.
Does the home have sagging floors or ceilings?
Sagging floors or ceilings mean something isn’t right. Usually, sagging means there is water damage or the home is un-level.
How’s the Plumbing?
Look for leaks at all water sources: sinks, tubs, toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, and showers.
Inspect the water heater and the floor under it for leaks.
Flush the toilets while running water, look for pressure loss.
Look under the home for signs of water damage or leaks.
Bathroom floors are the most commonly damaged and replaced areas in a used mobile home. Some manufactured homes even had carpet in the bathrooms so be sure to lift the floor covering if possible and check for mold.
Do the doors and windows open and close properly?
If the kitchen cabinets or interior doors won’t stay closed without help, you may be in a home that is un-level. A unlevel mobile home puts stress on the home’s joints and can cause leaks.
What’s it look like under the home?
By looking for certain issues under the home you can save yourself a lot of issues in the future.
Look at all the piers. Each and every pier should be supporting a beam. If you see space between the beam and the top of the pier, the home could be stressed and compromised.
While you’re under the mobile home, inspect the plastic sheeting, or underbelly, for tears or holes. The plastic sheet under a mobile home is much greater than most people realize. It acts as a vapor barrier, insulator, and protection for the home.
|Sealing a flat roof is a necessary routine!|
How’s the roof?
If the roof is not properly maintained, the entire home can suffer damage.
Each type of roof have their own issues:
Flat roofs need to be sealed on a regular schedule. Some professionals advise new coating be applied every two years,
If you end up purchasing a used mobile home with a flat roof, you will need to seal it immediately after the move. The trip will cause the sealant to break bond.
Metal roofing should be dent free and trimmed properly. All seams should be water tight and sealant used around all cuts.
Shingled roofs require re-roofing every 15-30 years. Check that all shingles are in place and all angles and cuts are water tight.
Even more considerations…
Buying a used mobile home is a big decision!
Use your purchasing power by researching as much as possible from several different sources. A post we wrote, 15 Tips For Buying A New Manufactured Home, has some good points for both new and used home purchases.
research, you can find a solid and affordable used mobile home that meets your needs.
Living in a used manufactured home is a great way to save money and still live comfortably and stylishly!
If you have anything to add, please let us know in the comments. I can update the list, and we will be able to help those looking to buy a used mobile home!