#1 “Do you offer upgrade options?”
Quality manufacturers provide customization options for flooring, wall, roofing, and more. Look beyond the low price tag. Basic home packages carry a lower price tag due to lower quality building materials. It should come as no surprise that we get what we pay for. That’s not a problem as long as we’re happy with what we’re getting.
A good mobile home retailer can help you work out a good deal on worthwhile upgrades. Remember, statistically speaking, this will be your home for at least a decade if not more! Construction materials will go a long way for aesthetics and practicality.
#2 “What are your HUD standards?”
In 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Development instituted a set of regulations for mobile homes known as the HUD Code. These regulations have since been revised in 1994 and 1999. As a result, all manufactured homes must meet the minimum requirements. These standards mitigate costs in energy for homeowners and ensure your safety.
Many manufacturers are exceeding the minimum requirements. Their homes meet Energy Star guidelines, reducing energy costs even further. No one wants to move into their new home facing a decade of inefficient heating or air conditioning. That’s cash seeping out the window!
As an aside, different zones require different safety standards. Zone 3 mobile homes are of the highest quality and most energy efficient construction.
#3 “Can you please provide me with referrals from satisfied customers?”
Referrals can confirm that a business is on the right track. Happy clients are often delighted to sing the praises of a company that served them well. Another useful tactic is searching for online reviews or forums on the topic of mobile homes.
#4 “What are your warranty details?”
Ask to see warranty details on paper. Find out who is handling the warranty claims. It’s best if the local dealer or a local business is handling it. For the most part, if the manufacturer is taking care of the warranty claims, don’t expect a fast turnaround time.
Look into the warranty’s coverage. Find out what would void it, and go over the warranty with a fine-tooth comb. Typically, it’s only good for one year, and any extra is an insurance that you’re paying into. If the manufacturer pushes an “extended warranty,” read how it compares to the original. Pay attention to how they word their policies. It may not be worth it.\
#5 “What expenses do you cover in the set-up?”
If it’s not written in the agreement, you are probably paying for it. Extra expenses include things such as site preparation, hooking up to sewer and water, a set of steps, cost of moving the home to your site, etc.
Communicate with all parties involved. (For some buyers that may include a park manager).
It’s best to know what you’re paying for ahead of time. No one likes surprise expenses, especially after springing for a new home! You are most likely responsible for hooking up gas and electric. But keep in mind you may be able to add these (and other) expenses to the financing.
#6 “Do you have a blocking plan for this home?”
A blocking plan serves the purpose of providing technical guides for the foundation and support systems of a particular home. The factory offers this. In short, if you’re purchasing a mobile home from a retailer that doesn’t have this plan, then chances are they just don’t care about a quality and secure home installation.
#7 “Can you provide me with a tour of the construction process?”
This will grant a front seat view to the manufacturer’s methods in their construction process. Are they careless? Do they take they make the effort towards excellence in the details? Take a notebook with you and jot down any questions you’d like to ask along the way. It may spark some ideas you didn’t think about in the search for your new home.
Take time to ask the right questions and get the home you’re looking for
So then, don’t be shy! Ask questions, take notes, and listen intently. Get a friend involved to help you think through and ask hard questions. And most importantly, do your research. The internet is a knowledge warehouse for the home buyer. A little patience and knowledge can go a long way in avoiding a bad fit for your family. If you’re looking to buy a used mobile home or one already installed, read this list of questions to ask.
2016 Zillow report