Posts Tagged mobile home inspection

What to look for in your mobile home inspection team

Usually the anticipation around buying a manufactured or mobile home is such that it makes you overlook something very important: its inspection. The mobile home you are about to buy might appear as the best one out there but what should remain your primary concern during the process are the factors you cannot see immediately; such as plumbing, electrical works, wiring and fixtures. It is only when you move in that you start to encounter these very practical problems.

Therefore, it is imperative that you hire a credible manufactured home inspector to come over and conduct a detailed inspection before you close the deal. You can judge how professional and credible the inspector is by looking for the following central factors;

Association with a Relevant Company

The most reliable home inspectors almost always belong to any of the good inspection companies/organizations found in your area. If an inspector works independently even in the presence of such organizations, chances are you are in for some risk and uncertainty.

As a general rule, it is safe to look for an association with a company so that you have a platform to report to in case anything goes wrong.


This is, without a speck of doubt, the most important aspect. Experience is something you cannot hide neither can it be shown untruthfully. Make sure that the home inspector you intend to hire has some substantial experience with him so that he better reports not just the apparent problem but the prospective ones as well that could show in the near future.

Coverage of Inspection

Before you go gaga over unexpectedly reasonable rates the inspector is offering, do make sure to ask him about the coverage of the inspection in detail. Any of the crucial aspects must not be left out of the inspection such as detailed plumbing and electrical inspection among others. It is not just the apparent problems the inspector must cover but he should ideally dig in deeper and try to look for hidden ones as well.

Time Factor

Don’t go for someone who promises a detailed inspection in an unusually short time. Usually, a detailed inspection takes no less than 2 to 3 hours. Apparently, you might be impressed with someone who claims a quick and thorough inspection, but chances are high that he will overlook quite a few things.



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What is the Life Expectancy of Manufactured Homes?

Today’s manufactured homes have a life expectancy of 30 to 55 years, depending on the level of maintenance, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Although that maybe a true lifespan estimate, but there are a number of variables other than owner care that will affect how long a mobile home lasts:

  1. The HUD projection was based on today’s standards for mobile home construction. They established a nationwide building code for manufactured homes in 1976, and have ratcheted up the construction standards every few years since then. Newer homes are built to be more windstorm and fire resistant, along with other requirements that make the homes sturdier overall.
  2. While an aging mobile home may still be habitable, there are several downsides to continuing to maintain it. Lack of adequate insulation is one problem. Older mobiles are notorious for high utility bills during the winter heating or sweltering summer seasons. Many have 60 or 100-amp electric panels, which are marginally adequate for today’s higher electric usage. Also, the floor plans often feel cramped by modern standards, with narrow hallways and tiny bathrooms.
  3. The budget models that offered lots of square footage at an amazingly low price when they were originally purchased will not last as long the more expensive, better quality homes. Lower-priced mobile homes can start to show signs of age within 10 years if poorly maintained. To understand how to tell the difference between the several levels of quality of mobile home construction.
  4. The conditions at the homesite also affect the longevity of a manufactured home. If the home is installed over ground that is wet for part of the year or the site is not graded so that rainwater will flow away from the home on all sides and it’s prone to puddling water under the home, then moisture will begin to deteriorate the underside of the home prematurely, especially if the bellyboard has been torn open in places. Homes built during the 1980s with fiber-board siding are especially vulnerable to high moisture. To find out how to avoid the mold and wood rot that result from a wet site or other moisture-intrusion problems.
  5. Remodeling an older mobile home can be a sensible strategy for extending its life, especially if a large part of the budget goes to roofing, siding, insulation, windows, and interior upgrades that will improve both the weather-tightness and livability of the home. For more on remodeling.

In summary, selecting a better quality manufactured home and careful maintenance of both the home and its site are the keys to reaching the 50+ years of longevity for your mobile home that HUD predicts.

For more information about scheduling a home inspection please call us (714) 353-1360 or contact us online 

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10 Very Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality.

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.

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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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About our Mobile Home Inspection Process

My name is Jerry McKinish and I am your Manufactured Home Inspector. Our business is a Father son business which has an accumulation of over 30 years in the mobile and manufactured home business. My father started working on mobile homes long ago with his C47 license which allows him to specialize in Mobile home and manufactured home repairs. Not long there after, he also received his B, General Contractors license which allows him to work on single family residences as well. My father and I have worked together in this business since I was old enough to work. We have built some solid relationships with mobile home dealers like Monarch, Advantage, OC Mobile Homes, Wallace homes, Blue Carpet, Sunrise, Strictly Mobiles, Heritage and J&R. Our Manufactured Home Inspection Business has been so successful all these years because we are honest, trustworthy and objective. We approach every manufactured home inspection as if it was our own mother who was buying it.

Our extensive Manufactured Home Inspection takes between an hour and an hour and a half. We start on the outside of the manufactured home by inspecting the siding , the skirting, the windows, driveways, awnings, shed, electrical outlets, lights, utilities, water heater closet, furnace, AC, gutters, downspout, roof, vents, porch, steps and doors. We then enter the home and inspect all plumbing, faucets, drains, outlets, lights, appliances, walls, ceilings, doors, windows, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, electrical panel, showers, baths and flooring materials. When the interior and exterior inspection has been completed, do a crawl space inspection or under carriage inspection. This is when we put on the coveralls and get dirty. When we go under the home we look for damaged bellyboard and insulation, rusted piers, missing piers, cracked piers, improper electrical, plumbing leaks, duct work, dryer vent connection, axles, earthquake bracing, vapor barrier, tie downs and marriage piers.

When your extensive manufactured home inspection is complete, we will email you 20-40 photos of what we discovered. these photos will have complete descriptions of what the problem was and how it relates to Title 25 of the Health and safety code. Within 24-48 hours, we will type an extensive 9 page report which details every little thing I just discussed. Once you have this report in hand, you can enter negotiations with the mobile home seller to see how these repairs will be completed. When all is said and done, $200 is a very small price to pay to have such an extensive and objective analysis of your manufactured home.

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Top 10 Reasons to Complete a Mobile Home Inspection

If you are interested in buying a mobile home, manufactured home or modular home in the near future, there is one thing that is very important to do before closing escrow- GET A MOBILE HOME INSPECTION!! Why you ask? There are several reasons to get a mobile home inspection, here is a list of the top 10 reasons every mobile home buyer should get their prospective home inspected.

  1. Know what you are buying- A mobile home inspection is a detailed report with photos that lists any possible problem with your home. From plumbing to Roofing, dont you think you should know what you are buying?
    mobile home inspectors

    plumbing leak

  2. Be Safe- There may actually be a gas leak or rotten porch or electrical hazard that you are unaware of. Let a professional, mobile home inspector, inspect your home to give you the assurance you need.
  3. Negotiate the purchase price- If you have a mobile home inspection and the estimated cost of repairs is $1000 or more, this is something that needs to be discussed before closing escrow. You may be entitled to a discount on the purchase price.
  4. Prevent future problems- There may be a problem lurking in your new mobile home that the seller may not even be aware of. Many times larger problems can be prevented if small problems are taken care of soon enough.
  5. Save Money- If you purchase a mobile home before having an inspection, then you own the problems that come with it.
  6. Educate yourself- If you have never owned a mobile home or manufactured home before, you may not understand how they are built and problems that regularly occur with mobile homes. Meeting with a licensed mobile home inspector will offer you the opportunity to learn about what it is you are getting into.
  7. Know whats possible- Meeting with a professional Manufactured Home Inspector will give you the opportunity to ask about kitchen remodel ideas or bathroom remodel ideas. It’s best to know what the possibilities are from the start.
  8. Get it fixed first- If problems are discovered during the extensive mobile home inspection, you can negotiate with the seller to have these problems all fixed before moving in. Thats a stress reliever!
  9. Dont buy a lemon- It may just be that there are many more problems with the mobile home than you had expected. It may just be better to find a better home with less problems.
  10. Peace of Mind- For an inspection fee of only $200, the cost is minimal compared to the peace of mind you will have once the mobile home inspection report is in your hands!
    hidden leak under mobile home

    under carriage leak


Posted in: Manufactured Home inspection

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