3 Common Problems with Manufactured Homes

You’re tossing around the idea of purchasing a mobile home that’s not brand new. You may be thinking of one major advantage to a used mobile home – it will likely cost less to purchase. However, you also know that there are probably some manufactured home problems to keep an eye out for when buying a used home.

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Understanding manufactured home problems

As we all know, nothing can stay in perfect shape forever. And mobile homes are no exception. Since manufactured home problems will occur over time, it’s important to know what they are. You can avoid the worst problems when looking to buy and prepare yourself to handle the rest.

Old wooden door

When you’re looking to buy, common sense and a few insights will carry you a long way. If a home appears run-down and junky, don’t try to talk yourself out of a sensible feeling of reservation. As for insights into potential problems, the following are the most common problems to look for.

#1 Mold

Even PBS is no stranger to the concept of mobile homes developing problems as they age. In fact, in their 2013 article Aging Mobile Homes Burden Owners With Huge Power Bills and Mold, they share the story of Charlotte White. Her mobile home has such a problem with mold that “she’s stopped using several of her closets because the mold keeps spreading.” PBS quotes her as saying, “It’s on our clothes and in our shoes. Everything turns green.” While this may seem like an extreme case, it’s a good reminder to have both eyes open when purchasing an older mobile home.

#2: Electrical problems

Obviously, your home’s electrical system is vital. Unless you feel like living in the dark, you’ll want to pay attention to the electricity. Watch out for outlets that don’t work, switches that spark, dangling wires, and excessive use of extension cords. These should be evaluated during an inspection, but it’s a good idea to keep them in mind before you even get to that stage.

As StreetDirectory.com points out: “Many older mobiles were built to meet different building codes than the more recent ones. For example, some mobile homes built before 1976 have aluminum wiring. This can be a fire hazard because of the chemical reaction between the aluminum and other metals, which sometimes causes sparking inside the walls (not good).”

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#3: Problems underneath the home

Keeping an eye out for potential problems could include getting down and dirty. The underside of a mobile home can tell you a lot about it condition. If the skirting around the mobile home is damaged, then it’s possible there are bigger problems underneath the home. Small animals may have made their way in, damaging wires, plumbing or insulation. You might also find problems due to moisture. Even though a professional inspection will cover the home’s underbelly, you may decide to pass on the home after a quick look yourself.

Things to check in older homes, generally

Old window with shutters

In addition to these problems, there are other things to check in general. These include:

  • The age of the roof and whether it’s been replaced. What kind of shingles are the new ones? Are they durable?
  • How old are the windows? Are they original ones or have they been replaced?
  • Is the plumbing original?

Consider taking a knowledgeable friend with you

While a knowledgeable friend may not dredge up all problems, at least it’ll be a start. If you’re not seasoned at identifying problems yourself, then it could be great to rope in a friend with more experience.

So before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to keep these manufactured home problems in mind. And make it a point to ask good questions.

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