What Mobile Home Owners Wish They’d Known Before Buying

Apr 15, 2019Blog, Buying a mobile home, Finance

Is buying a mobile home new territory for you?

If it is, you’re probably being plagued by questions and doubts about the process. Every new buyer has been through the stage where they feel unsure whether they are doing everything the right way and they need some information on what to know before buying a mobile home so they don’t have any issues in the long run.

There are many insights that you only gain through hindsight. Luckily, you can learn from other’s experience of this process.

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In this article, we are going to review seven things that mobile home owners wish they’d known before buying. These are things to know when buying a mobile home.

HUD Code

The National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974 became law in June 1976. The HUD code sets out standards to regulate the quality, safety, durability and other vital aspects of these properties.

Therefore, there is a significant difference between the quality of homes that were built before then and those that were built after. Newer models are constructed to be much higher quality.

Whether a manufactured house complies or not could have significant effects. For example, it can be more challenging to get financing as well as to resell the home.


In the early days of the industry, there weren’t many financing options available for manufactured homes. But that time is in the past. Nowadays there are hundreds of companies which provide different types of loans for mobile houses.

Buyers often get stuck in financial agreements that they later regret. So it’s important to research your options beforehand thoroughly.

The two most common loans for mobile homes are chattels and more traditional mortgage loans. Both have their pros and cons which you need to assess before you make a decision.

Note that different creditors will give the same person in the same situation different rates. That’s why you should shop around.


An expert tip for anyone who is in the market for a mobile home is to have a professional inspection done.

Inspecting electric box

The step is genuinely worth it. It isn’t costly as you could potentially have an inspection done for just $200-$500.

Experienced inspectors will be able to spot any issues in the home, like repairs, quickly. Therefore, it can help you to avoid buying a house that is more trouble than it’s worth. On top of this, it can save you tons of money by using this as a negotiating point with the seller.

It can benefit you to take a close look at the home on your own to ensure that it suits your vision.


One fantastic revelation that many buyers find out after the fact is the extent to which you can upgrade a mobile home. You can add several features like a porch to the house later on and remodel it to your heart’s content.

So don’t stress if the home that you have your eye on isn’t completely perfect. You can address much of this later.

You could save money on a model that is a little rundown but that you can renovate to look brand new.

Here are a few examples of jaw-dropping transformations.


There seem to be too many misconceptions about the life expectancy of manufactured homes. Newer models have an estimated lifetime of 30 to 55 years. This isn’t equal to that of site-built houses. However, houses that comply with the HUD code and local zoning regulations can be surprisingly durable. They can withstand a lot of extreme weather conditions. And you can keep them in tip top shape for longer with regular maintenance and care.


One thing that often surprises new owners after the purchase is the depreciation of mobile homes. Like most types of moveable assets, they decrease in monetary value from the moment it was first purchased.

If you are planning to buy the house to resell it later, you should be aware of this. They depreciate at a rate of about 3-3.5% a year.

But it’s not all bad news. It can work to your advantage if you are buying a used home as it will cost less than you might expect. This can potentially help you when negotiating the price for a property. You also have some options to maintain the value of your home.

Don’t rush, don’t stress

People often come out on the other side of the buying process exhausted and overstressed. One common reason for this is that they try to rush through the process. It frequently feels that if you don’t, opportunities are going to slip through your fingers.

A man in stress

But not taking your time can lead to costly mistakes. It can cause you to skip necessary steps like the inspection.

Don’t feel pressured by realtors or the opinions of others. You don’t want to feel afterward that you could have chosen a different option.

Instead, take time to think over everything and do thorough research. You will feel more reassured about your choice in the end and sleep more easily at night.

Smart choices

Now, you have an idea of things to know when buying a mobile home.

Keeping these tips in mind when you start planning to buy your very own manufactured house. They aren’t hard and fast rules but can help you to get the most value from your purchase.

If you are beginning this process read our how to find and buy your dream mobile home for a guide to the different steps you need to take.

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