What to look for when buying used. Get the home you want, whether it's manufactured, tiny or a park model.
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Looking to Buy a Used Mobile Home?
Whether you’re a retiree ready for adventure or you’re single and looking to save while you pursue your career, manufactured homes can be an excellent living solution for both your financial and lifestyle needs.
If you are planning to live in a manufactured home, that doesn’t mean the quality of the build should be minimized. There are ways to save money where it makes sense and end up with a perfectly safe and reliable house that will last for years.
To ensure you make educated decisions throughout your home search, here are 4 key areas to pay close attention to when buying a used manufactured home.
A Functional Foundation
Many people looking to save on time and cash will look at purchasing used tiny home trailers from pre-owned flatbeds to unknown chassis on eBay or Craigslist. This is a major red flag. What you want is more than a trailer used to haul hay bales from the farm. This is the foundation on which you will carry your home, your family, and all of your belongings.
When buying used, you want to ensure roadworthiness and safety by hiring an inspector. Make sure the chassis can handle the weight of your home.
Electric and Plumbing Hazards When Buying Used
You want to be certain the builder of your used small home was a certified contractor and, whenever possible, that they are certified to build manufactured homes specifically.
Aside from the obvious hazards, a DIY attempt at electrical could pose dangers for electrocution, code violations, expensive after-build repairs, or improper breaker boxes. Plumbing concerns can include the use of improper materials for piping, connections remaining without proper sealant, and the ruining of furniture and flooring. Emergency repairs for these mistakes are very costly and can even result in a complete rebuild.
Ventilation, Windows and Insulation
Unlike a traditional home build, there is much to consider in the way of insulation and window installation when having your manufactured home built or installed. Buyers must consider things like how often their house will be moved, what seasons it will travel through or be parked in, and how severe the temperature changes might be. These kinds of climate changes can result in mold damage if the home has not had the proper ventilation installed correctly.
It is more costly to install a double paned, tempered window in any home, but if you plan to move your house often, a tempered window can save you thousands in window replacement in the long run when rocks on the highway bounce up and break your glass.
Denim and sheep’s wool, spray foam or traditional fiberglass can be used for tiny house insulation. The cost varies greatly depending on your choice of material, but these changes are benefits of a fully customized build where everything from environmental impact and R-rating can be considered. Be sure to ask your seller what type on insulation was installed in the mobile home as well as its R-value to ensure it will keep you warm enough wherever you park.
When buying a used mobile home, tiny house, or park model, unlike a traditional stick-built home, financing and lenders can be very particular. This means that if you do not plan to pay for your new home in cash, you may need to plan for a few extra weeks before the keys will be in your hands.
Like with any large purchase, be sure to do your research before you commit. Check out certified and trusted builders. Look for professionals within the manufactured home industry. They will be your best bet for happy and safe small home living for the long-haul.