5 Helpful Insights On How To Buy A Used Mobile Home


Maybe you’re a college student on a strict budget and you’re desperately searching for a frugal housing alternative. Perhaps you’ve reached your retirement years and your home just feels too big. You feel like it’s time for something new. You talked with your friend about it, and she mentioned that you might look into used manufactured homes.

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Unsure, you didn’t give it much thought, but it’s beginning to sound like a possibility the longer you think about it.


You take a seat and do a quick Google search on buying a used manufactured home. There is a ton of information out there, so you grab your pen and notepad and start taking notes.

However, there are so many ideas and tips available that you’re not sure which ones are the most relevant to your situation. To help, here are four things that you’ll definitely want to look into and add to those notes you’re taking.

#1: GETTING A LOAN      

If you’ve decided to purchase a manufactured home, getting a loan is probably one of the first things you’ll need to think about. First of all, you’ll need to know whether the manufactured home you’re looking at is under the category of “personal property” or “real property.”


In general, a manufactured home has the label “personal property” or “chattel” when it isn’t permanently secured to an appropriate foundation on the piece of land that it sits on. Conversely, when a manufactured home is permanently fixed to a foundation, it is considered “real property.” While these classifications may seem unimportant at first glance, they actually have a lot to do with what type of loan you can get.


Cash out of an envelope

If the manufactured home you’re interested in has been deemed personal property, then your only loan option will probably be what’s called a “chattel loan.” Homeowners typically use a chattel loan to finance “movable” property. There are pros and cons to getting a chattel loan. For instance, your interest rates will likely be higher than if you get a traditional loan. But your processing costs will probably be lower.

You can take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of chattel loans by checking out this article.

While it’s not guaranteed, you’ll most likely be able to get a “real property” loan if the home you’re looking at buying has a secure, permanent foundation. A real property loan is like a traditional mortgage. Generally, homeowners consider it more desirable than a chattel loan. If the home you want to buy has a permanent foundation, make sure to explore your options before settling on a chattel loan. Since you may qualify for a real property loan.


Whenever you’re thinking about buying a used manufactured home, you’ll want to check for a specifically red plaque that is usually attached to the rear exterior of the home. The plaque should state that the manufactured home is in accordance with the rules of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is a HUD tag.


On June 15, 1976, the HUD code went into effect. New laws governed the building of manufactured homes- with attention to providing safety guidelines to builders. The HUD code ensured improved structural safety by requiring that:

  • a manufactured home be attached to a permanent foundation
  • have an appropriate amount of exits
  • posses a proper system of ventilation

… and other safety regulations.

A warning: if certain alterations are made to a manufactured home, it will be considered out of compliance with HUD code. This will probably end up costing you money. So if you’re looking at a home, you’ll want to make sure that none of those alterations have been made by the previous owners.


It doesn’t matter how nice the seller is or how polished the home looks when you’re giving it a walk-through. Before buying a used manufactured home, you should always get an inspector to give it a thorough examination. You may be able to see some water damage, but what you won’t be able to see at a glance are the plumbing or electrical problems the home may have. By all means, go ahead and let an expert take care of that for you. Even if you’re fairly positive that there are no problems with the plumbing, an inspection can’t hurt.

An electrician checking electric box


Imagine this scenario:

You found the perfect manufactured home a few years ago. It was in excellent condition and within your price range, so you bought it and settled down for a while. However, you’ve recently decided that you want to sell your home.  It’s still in exceptional shape, and you’ve even taken extra steps to spruce it up. You know it’ll attract plenty of buyers.

You soon realize, however, that a major complication in your home-selling process is coming from your neighbor. His grass hasn’t been mowed for months, his house is surrounded by year-old aluminum cans, and his dog barks perpetually. You’ve become used to the mess over the years, but prospective buyers are wary of it.

Now you regret that you didn’t know how much your neighbor’s messiness would affect the value of your home at the time of purchase. This article will teach you how to spot these types of neighbors during your search for a home.


You’re beginning an exciting new part of your life as you look into buying a used manufactured home. Now that you have a list of ideas to get you started, you can take on the rest of your research armed with the “weapon of organization”. And before you make the decision to purchase, be sure to take a look at these manufactured home reviews.

How to buy a used mobile home

While there are many great options for new mobile homes at an affordable price, buying a used mobile home may catch your attention for a myriad of reasons. And that’s OK so long as you bear some things in mind on how to buy a used mobile home.

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So here we go with five helpful insights on how to buy a used mobile home. We hope these pointers help you wade through the waters of used mobile home shopping. It doesn’t have to be too intimidating if you know what to look for and how to go about the process.

#1 Where to find a used mobile home

There are several places you can poke around in your search for that perfect used mobile home. For some, a fixer-upper of a home is no daunting challenge, but rather a welcome one. Others may be on the hunt for a mobile home that’s used but in well-cared for condition.

Whatever your angle is on this hunt, you’ll find what you’re looking for if you invest the time into searching.

Check into real estate listings – you can reach out to a real estate agent or search places like Zillow.com will turn up some listing. You can also flip through your newspaper classified ads, social media real estate groups, local bulletin boards, and online classified websites such as Craigslist.

#2 Look for mobile homes built after the HUD code

The second insight we have- you should look for homes built after the HUD code was instated. The HUD code came into effect back in the 1970s to raise the bar to a set standard in mobile home quality. Prior to HUD, mobile homes were subject to whatever the manufacturers deemed sellable. They were low-quality, energy inefficient homes that quickly lost their original luster.

Mobile homes made after the 1970s are not only more energy efficient. They’re made of higher quality standards and materials to withstand the weather patterns of the zone they were made for. But they’re also getting better and better with each year. The mobile home industry is on the move and eager to give homeowners a home to rely on.

#3 Ask for an inspection

Don’t just blindly buy a used mobile home.

If you’re serious about the purchase, insist on having an inspector look through the home. They’ll be sure that everything is in working order and approved by state regulations. It would be disappointing to buy your home and find out that it doesn’t pass state muster.

By bringing in an inspector, you’re protecting yourself from unforeseen expenses. The home failing inspection may not necessarily mean you’re out on the deal. Maybe the price of the home is still worth the expense you’d pour into bringing it up to par. Maybe not. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons for the house you’re looking to buy.

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#4 Check the VIN number

Now how about the VIN number? The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is important. It’s like a birth certificate for your home and it identifies the different details surrounding your home.

It tells you things such as the manufacturer, the state it was made in, and it gives you a serial number. It can protect you from being scammed. If you locate it, you can compare the information it provides with the information on the title. Does it jive? Or is it misrepresented?

This information is a big deal as far as how to buy a used mobile home.

#5 Before you sign any paperwork

Pen On Contract Paper

If there’s a lease agreement where the mobile home sits, find out how that affects you. By purchasing the house, does the lot rent fall to you? Do you want to keep the mobile home on that lot? If so, then all is well.

However, if you plan on moving the mobile home, make sure this does not mean the lot rent falls to your name.

Also, consider whether moving the mobile home is worth the expense. Unfortunately, mobile home relocation is a costly endeavor, requiring the use of a special vehicle and professional involvement. If it’s a double wide or triple wide mobile home, professionals will need to come divide and move the home in various sections.

Be prepared before you buy a used mobile home

Buying a used mobile home can be intimidating but it can also be an adventure worth taking. Should you approach the task with some of our tips on hand, the road will be smoother.

If you’re ready to push forward with a mobile home purchase, consider the different mobile home lending options that may be available to you.

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