Here are some tips for buying a used mobile home. A used mobile home can be a very inexpensive form of housing, but mobile homes in poor condition can quickly become a money pit and may even be hazardous to live in.
Not an Investment
Unlike a typical home, a mobile home should not be looked upon as an investment. Mobile homes generally quickly depreciate in value. Used mobile homes should only be purchased as a low cost form of housing.
Does It Have to be Moved?
Moving a used mobile home may or may not be expensive depending on the distance that it needs to travel, local laws and towing companies. In areas where mobile homes are common, business competition will keep prices low. In many areas permits will be required to move the mobile home which will and they may be expensive. Movers should be experienced with this type of work and properly insured.
Water damage is a serious problem that should be checked out thoroughly before buying a used mobile home. While roofs and other sources of leaks can be repaired, damage to walls and floors may require expensive and time consuming repairs. Going under the mobile home is the best way to check floors for water and other damage. Roofs should be inspected after a mobile home has been moved as the home will be twisted and shook when moved as well as when being placed onto a new foundation. These movements may cause a previously leak proof roof to begin to leak.
Piping / Wiring
A home inspector should be hired to check out the mobile home, especially the piping and wiring. A home inspector can help to assure the buyer that the structure meets local code or to determine what upgrades are needed.
Prospective buyers of used mobile homes need to check out zoning laws as many areas do not allow mobile homes and those that do may restrict trailers based upon age. Banks and most other lenders will often not make loans on older mobile homes. Home insurance for a mobile home may also be difficult to obtain and expensive.