If you’re considering buying a used mobile home, having as much information as possible about its history and how it was cared for is essential. This can help you avoid costly problems down the road.
You should also pay attention to the home’s electrical system and plumbing. These areas can cause serious problems for families if not properly cared for.
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Pay Attention to the Home’s History
A used mobile home will likely have a different history than a brand-new one, and that’s something you want to pay attention to. You want to know when it was built, how long it’s been owned by the current owner, and any previous owners. This will give you clues about the home’s issues, such as a leaking water heater or other problems. Remember that many mobile/manufactured homes have a “spec sheet” or something similar. This will be affixed to the inside of the electrical panel cabinet door or the kitchen cupboard door (typically in older mobile homes). You must ask a seller to see this and not remove it. It will tell you regulations made the home, and it’s essential to find out this information before purchasing a used mobile home.
Know the Home’s Builder
The quality of a home’s construction and materials determine how long it lasts and how much care and maintenance it will require. To make a sound purchase, potential buyers need to know what materials are used throughout the mobile home and what the plumbing system is made of. In general, you should avoid buying a mobile home built before 1976. After that year, HUD devised a set of standards and regulations that make manufactured homes much more durable. If you’re looking at used mobile homes for sale in SC under $5,000, it’s a good idea to take the time to walk underneath the house and inspect the plastic sheeting (or underbelly) to see whether it has any holes or tears. If this is the case, it could compromise the whole mobile home’s integrity and cause future problems. Additionally, if the mobile home has piers under it that are spaced too far apart, they can become stressed and compromised. The home’s builder should be able to tell you how old the piers are and give you an estimate on when they will need to be replaced.
Check the Home’s Electrical System
The electrical system is fundamental whether it’s a new or used mobile home. It needs to be able to power all of the appliances and equipment in the home without over-stressing it or running out of juice. This requires a thorough inspection from a qualified professional, but it’s well worth the effort for safety and comfort. The first thing you’ll want to do is look at the breaker box and all of the wall switches. Ensure ample, organized circuits and that GFCI switches are utilized near all water sources. You’ll also want to test every outlet with a tester to ensure it works. Loose or exposed wires are not only an eyesore but can also be a severe fire hazard and dangerous to kids, pets, and adults. A qualified electrician must check the wiring before purchasing a mobile home.
Check the Home’s Plumbing System
A mobile home’s plumbing system has several problems, like leaks, clogs, low water pressure, and obnoxious odors. You’ll want to hire a professional to inspect the home’s pipes and sewer system.
A professional will also be able to determine whether the plumbing in the mobile home is safe and up to code. This is particularly important if the home has undergone any remodeling since its original manufacture. The professionals will be able to check the septic tank’s condition, too, although that’s typically only necessary if the home is being sold with its land.
It’s also important to note any damage caused to the home and its plumbing during a previous owner’s tenure. Typically, these issues stem from a lack of pride of ownership or an inability to repair and renovate. A professional can help ascertain whether these repair issues are deal breakers. They can also point out rotten flooring, mold, or mildew lurking in dark and damp places.
Do Your Homework
Buying a mobile home, whether used or new, should not be taken lightly. You will need to ask many questions of your real estate agent, inspector, and even the seller to get the information you need to decide what kind of home you want and can afford. If you purchase a used manufactured home, stick with homes built after 1976. The term mobile home’ was replaced by manufactured home’ after that year, and HUD devised a set of standards that these homes must comply with. Homes built before that date may have yet to be constructed to HUD code, which could result in future issues with the home or problems when trying to resell it down the road.
The more you know about the home’s history, builder, and current owners, the easier it will be to understand its value and potential issues down the line. Asking many questions may seem like a hassle, but buying a used mobile home safe for you and your family is well worth the time and effort.