Advice for Buying a Mobile Home
Buying property is a substantial undertaking, especially for the first-time home buyer. But even veteran homeowners should research issues related to manufactured homes when considering a mobile home.
A major purchase such as a mobile home requires careful consideration. You must ensure the home works for your family and your budget. Monitoring your credit, assessing your mortgage qualifications and choosing your home's features are the standard steps. Once you find your home, careful scrutiny of your purchase contract, government regulations and warranties will help you avoid headaches and keep you in a happy home.
Know the Regulations
All mobile homes are required to meet local, county, regional, state and HUD building codes, according to Foremost Insurance Group. Plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning are federally regulated by HUD, while energy efficiency, durability, transportability, overall quality and fire resistance are generally set by local, county, regional or state governing agencies.
Choosing the Home
Single-wide mobile homes, which have about 1,000 square feet of living space on average, are the most economical and common option. Double-wides, on the other hand, have approximately 1,600 square feet of living space on average. Adding extras, such as recessed tubs, built-ins, hip roofs and fireplaces are custom features to consider that will raise the price.
A mobile home that is placed on a permanent foundation is less likely to lose value, according to Mortgage Loan Directory. However, a mobile home that is placed on rented property generally loses value. In some cases, you may find it difficult to secure the financing you need if you are putting the home on a rented lot or forgoing a permanent foundation. In order to secure long-term financing like that of a traditional home, a mortgage that includes both the home and the land is advisable.
Whether you purchase a new or used mobile home, ensuring that it has a valid, comprehensive warranty is important. A warranty may be difficult to obtain on a used mobile home, especially one purchased from an individual. If that is the case, take future repair costs into consideration when you look at the price. Many reputable mobile home centers will offer a warranty on all used homes sold. When you are checking the warranty, be wary of broad terms, such as "cosmetic items." Coverage for these could be left open to interpretation. Ask for a written list of the items that are covered and the items that aren't covered. This should be included in your purchase package for reference later. If the mobile home you purchase includes appliances, be sure that you have warranty information for each one. Often, appliances are covered under individual warranties from the appliance manufacturer. Once you purchase the home, keep the original copy of the warranty in a fire-proof safe or safety deposit box.
Home Buying Institute says you have some special considerations if you are buying used. For example, if the home was made prior to 1976, it may have aluminum wiring. That's a fire hazard and could mean a rewiring of the entire home. Another thing you must check is the shape of the plumbing and framework. If there are any leaks in the plumbing or noticeable framework weaknesses, have a professional check out the home prior to making an offer for it.
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