Manufactured Home Buyer’s Checklist

If you’re looking at buying a pre-owned mobile home, you’re aware of the many decisions you’ll need to make. There’s the basics like figuring out what home is the right size for you and your family, what’s the right location, and whether you want a “handyman special,” something that is “move-in ready,” or something in the middle.

On top of those considerations, there are unique mobile home details you may not be aware of. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy checklist of 10 essential, but little known, items you don’t want to miss before you buy.

Home Buyer’s Checklist

  1. Confirm Manufacturer, Model Name, and Date of Manufacture

It’s always a good idea to confirm the Manufacturer, Model Name, and Date of Manufacture before you purchase a home. Many banks and insurance companies require all of the purchase paperwork to match the exact state records concerning the home. You can typically verify this information by locating the manufacturer’s data plate; this sheet of paper is normally glued to the inside of a closet or cabinet door. Also be aware that the Year of Manufacture may differ from the Model Year of the home.

2. Verify Dimensions of Home

The size of the home should be verified with a tape measure, as many documents containing the dimensions of the home include roof overhangs and a 4′ trailer hitch. Your actual square footage may be smaller than anticipated if you go solely by the listing information. 

3. Does Home Meet HUD Construction Guidelines?

All homes built on or after June 15, 1976 are required to meet federal HUD construction guidelines. These homes are required to have a small red metal tag affixed to the exterior of each home section. Technically, if a label is missing or if the home has been modified without the proper permits and inspections, the home cannot be offered for sale.

4. Is Resale Inspection Required?

Many communities require a resale inspection before they will approve the home for sale. Checking with the community manager about needed inspections or park rules before you buy a home can help the purchase go through without a hiccup.

5. Is Home Located in a Flood Hazard Area?

Flood Insurance will be required if the home is located in a Flood Hazard Area. FEMA has a website with Flood Map information on their website.

Homes tend to hold their value better when they are located in communities of similar homes.

6. Market Analysis Report

Homes tend to hold their value better when they are located in communities of similar homes. Homes which are much newer, nicer, or larger than neighboring homes may lose value due to the neighborhood. Homes which are much smaller, older, or run down may be deemed obsolete and have a tough time selling. If you’re curious about the area you’re purchasing in, MHVillage offers a detailed, comprehensive Market Analysis Report that will tell you about the mobile home park, nearby homes that are currently for sale, and homes that have sold recently. The report is just $7.95.

7. Is There Standing Water By Home?

Good drainage away from the home will prevent water and moisture damage to the underside of the home. Standing water underneath the home can cause serious structural and health problems if not corrected. Be sure and look for any standing water.

8. Are You Considering Moving the Home?

Tie downs are metal straps or chains which anchor the home to the ground to prevent catastrophic damage in the event of high winds. Axles will be required if you – or subsequent buyers – need to move the home at some point in time. New tires will most likely need to be rented or purchased at that time as well. These are things to look at if you are considering moving the home.

9. Are There Small Holes in Skirting?

Look for holes underneath the skirting or gaps in the skirting which would allow access to animals. Animals like to chew away the underside insulation which causes moisture damage and possible infestation. Small holes in the skirting can be caused by yard equipment and weed-whackers. Replacement skirting can be purchased to replace damaged areas.

10. Does Homes Need to be Re-leveled?

Every home should be re-leveled periodically by a professional installer. The home’s structural supports will sag and sink into the ground over time which will cause structural problems with the home including cracked ceilings, binding doors, and gaping between ceiling and wall panels. Look for these signs to see if the home needs to be re-leveled.

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Additional articles and resources you might find interesting:

Mortgage Application Checklist

Looking to Buy a New Manufactured Home?  Download this Free eBook!

How to Move a Mobile Home

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