Buying a Mobile Home and What to Look For

Buying a mobile home in 2013 is the right choice. Many “Baby Boomers” are discovering that the 4 bedroom house and large mortgage payment are just too much too maintain. When all of your kids have moved out of your home, finished college and started families of their own, maybe its time to consider downsizing to a mobile home?
My father and I have combined experience in the mobile home industry of more than 50 years.I personally have inspected thousands of mobile homes and have recently been seeing more and more people getting ready for retirement and discovering that buying a mobile or manufactured home is the right choice. With space rent averaging somewhere between $600 and $1500 per month, you are nearly guaranteed low rent as you advance into your golden years.
Mobile homes are selling for 1/3 the price they were selling for in 2008. I am seeing doublewide mobile homes in Huntington Beach sell for $30,000 and less. Of course, some of these homes may be outdated in appearance, but if the bones are good, remodeling is fairly inexpensive. The key to buying a mobile home is making sure these items are in good shape:
1) Roof
2) Plumbing
3) Electrical
4) Piers and pads
5) Windows
6) Siding/Skirting
7) Furnace/AC

If these items are in good shape, then a little paint, some new floors and possibly new appliances will make a huge difference. I look at mobile and manufactured homes everyday, that’s all I inspect. I look at 1970’s mobile homes all the way to the new triplewide 2013 mobile homes. I pretty much see the same problems occurring again and again. These are the most regular problems I see as a mobile home inspector.

1) mobile home water heater needs earthquake straps
2) mobile home missing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors
3) Leaks under the mobile home in bathroom or kitchen areas
4) dead rodents under manufactured home due to improperly sealed perimeter
5) mobile home has soft floors near toilets and high moisture areas
6) mobile home has ceiling stains near roof vents
7) mobile home lights not working
8) mobile home outlets not working
9) mobile doors not shutting properly
10) mobile home has low water pressure

These are all fairly inexpensive things to fix if caught early. But if these problems are not corrected early enough, then the problems just gets worse. The great thing about having a mobile home inspection done before you buy a home, you can negotiate with the seller to have these items repaired before you move in!! Thats much better than moving in and being faced with a major water leak after escrow has closed. Our fee for a Manufactured or mobile home inspection is a flat fee of $200 which includes a 9 page report with photos. 90% of the time I find more than $1000 in repairs that are negotiable before the home closes escrow. Now you tell me if it’s worth it?

Posted in: Manufactured Home inspection

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