Mobile Home News
News / Consumer

Advice on Buying a New Mobile Home

Len Bonifield, www.theledger.com - Saturday, February 17, 20077

If you are contemplating the purchase of a new home, whether it is a mobile home, a modular home, site built or panel built, you want to take steps to assure that you are making wise and not emotional decisions.

I am going to list just a few of the items you should consider. I am sure going through these steps will cause you to think of even more items to consider.

You will want to know and understand each type of construction; know the differences:site built modular, panel and mobile homes. I own and live in a mobile home, so naturally, I favor them. A mobile home can be ready to move in to sooner than a site built home and usually faster than a modular. A mobile home is built entirely inside the factory under controlled and well inspected conditions.

Check out a number of manufacturers; in other words, shop around. Today's mobile homes can range from 900 to more than 3,000 square feet. Mobile homes cost 20 percent to 30 percent less per square foot than site built homes. Check out the various floor plans. Ask how much you can customize and what options are available for your home, and most importantly, learn all the construction features of each manufacturer.

If you are going to finance your home, make sure you check with enough lenders to assure you are getting the best deal. Lenders today have many options available and you will want to understand them all. Check to see if you are eligible for FHA or VA loans. Ask retailers for referrals of finance companies.

Shop the various manufacturers for the best warranty available. Make sure you understand what is covered and what is not. Make your retailer/seller put in writing any promises of warranty coverage. Most manufacturers offer a warranty that covers performance of the structure, factory installed plumbing, heating and electrical systems.

Mobile homes are built to federal standards, what is known as HUD Code. They regulate design and construction, strength and durability, transportability, fire resistance, energy efficiency and quality control. Each section of your mobile home must have a HUD Code label affixed.

Where to place your home? You have the option of placing it on land you own, in a land-lease (rental) community, or in a community owned by the residents (ROC). Land-leased and ROC communities are specifically planned and consist solely of mobile homes. If you plan on buying land, you must first check on zoning laws to assure that manufactured housing is permitted in that area. Contact the local utilities to check on the availability of electric, water, sewer, or gas. Will you have to drill a well for water, install a septic tank? You will want to make sure that the site/land your home will be placed on is properly prepared.

Your home has been built and installed. Now you will want to carefully inspect it prior to moving in. Many of the manufacturers require you to complete a checklist that shows you have inspected and checked everything. In my opinion it is worthwhile for you to consider hiring a professional home inspection service to identify any problems.

Think long and hard about where you are going to place your home. It is possible to move a mobile home to a different location, but it is complex and expensive. Choose your site as if it is going to be permanent.

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