Why consider used mobile homes? The main advantages of mobiles over traditional homes are clear for first-time home buyers. It may be the only option, for one. Then there is the lower initial price, simpler, cheaper maintenance, lower monthly payments, less property tax, lower insurance cost, and faster equity build-up. Mobile homes do have their own unique problems, so be sure to watch for the following.
Problems With Used Mobile Homes
Many times, the age of a mobile home makes it tough to finance. If it can be financed, it may be at a remarkably high interest rate. Check into this before making an offer and consider the higher payments when comparing your options.
The age also plays a key role when it comes to insurance. Some older homes may just be uninsurable. Find out if you can obtain insurance at a reasonable rate before buying.
Dangerous Building Material
Certain manufactured homes built before 1976 have aluminum wiring which can be a fire hazard. The chemical reaction between aluminum and other metals causes the wiring to break down, eventually leading to sparking inside the walls.
Remove any of the electrical outlets or switch covers and look inside with a flashlight. If the bare ends of the wires are silvery-looking, they are possibly aluminum, and you may need to have the home rewired to get it insured.
Observe the ceilings for stains
Used mobile homes are typically prone to leaks. If it is raining and the spots are dry, the leaks have been fixed. however, if there are many dark stains, you should ask for how long the roof leaked. Leaks that were quickly repaired may not have done any or much damage to the support beams. In contrast, a seriously sagging roof is a sure sign of there may be rotten wood.
Always look for uneven walls and crooked door frames. If the mobile is irregularly settling, the walls will sometimes show it. It can also show in the door frames, so see if the gap over the doors is straight compared to the frame.
Check for spongy floors
Many mobiles have floors built with particleboard. These floors become warped and rot if they get wet. Step down hard here and there to test, especially in the bathroom. Is the restroom level or tilted? Around the toilet is a common place to find problems, because of the condensation from the toilet running down and soaking the wood around it.
Most of these problems can be solved, and for far less than in a traditional home. If there are questions, you may want to see them as an opportunity to make a lower offer.
Alternately, you can just avoid the mobiles with problems. In any case, do not give up on owning your own home due to high prices. Just look for good used mobile homes. Even with the mortgage payments, these can end up being cheaper than renting, plus you can pay it off quickly and resell later for a reasonable profit.