Manufactured homes can be an affordable housing alternative, especially for new homeowners. Used mobile homes can be even more financially appealing, but there are two fundamental things you should consider as a prospective buyer.
Know the Building Codes
You will need to find out the year the mobile home was manufactured, then cross-reference that date with current building codes for your area. In certain regions, building codes will have changed drastically over the years. An older mobile home may not have been constructed to meet the changes in the code.
Fines for building code violations discovered on used mobile homes will be equally as costly as for new construction. Know the year of the home you are considering, and then consult with an appraiser who understands building codes for used mobile homes.
A little extra financial outlay to get an expert appraisal can save you a substantial amount of money later on in potential code violation fines.
Inspect the Roof
The condition of everything below the roofline in a mobile home is dependent on the condition of the roof. Roof leaks in normal houses are a problem, but a leaky roof in a mobile home can be destructive.
The smallest leak in a mobile home roof can slowly create major problems. Older homes are even more susceptible to damage from a bad roof, and often this damage can go undetected for years.
Roof leaks, even small leaks in the seams, can run down along the windows and door jams, warping the frames. This will gradually make it where the doors and windows will not seal properly when closed. Air conditioning and heat will be lost due to poorly sealed doors and windows, raising your electric bill.
Beyond just compromising the seals on windows and doors in a mobile home, roof leaks can damage both the interior and exterior of the walls. Unlike in a regular home, roof leaks that drain down inside of walls can destroy the framing and ruin the insulation.
While this type of damage can cause problems in a normal home, it is especially harmful to a manufactured type house because it can cause the walls to warp. With the way mobile homes are built, a leak on one end of the house can cause damage that warps the whole structure, creating problems clear at the other end.
A knowledgeable mobile home inspector should closely scrutinize every potential roof leak, or possibility of a leak in the past.
So, if you're looking at used mobile homes for sale, be sure to compare current building codes with those that were on the books when your home was built. Finally, have a qualified inspector do a thorough examination of the roof for any signs of a leak.
Spending a little more now to be certain of these two important details can save you a lot of money down the road.