Important tips that every mobile homeowner and buyer needs to know
Must-know tips about mobile homes
In the US, about 5.6% of the population live in mobile homes. Though this statistic doesn’t sound like much, given America’s population of around 328.2 million, this means that slightly over 18 million people stay in mobile homes.This could be a good opportunity to sell a mobile home fast. As such, it may come as a surprise to many that there are very few resources available about mobile home living. Most magazines, television programs and online resources cater to those living in site-built homes. As such, here are some of the most important tips to know about mobile home living. Whether you’re a newbie or veteran mobile homeowner, it’s possible be able to pick up some useful information from this article. For those interested in mobile homes, keep reading to find out more.
Installation and setup
1) Proper installation and setup up for a mobile home is key to starting mobile home living off on the right foot. More than 3/4 of buyer complaints are due to the poor installation of factory-built homes. As such, ensuring that a mobile home is properly installed is the first thing to do as a mobile homeowner.
2) Having a 12-16cm slope around the first three meters of a mobile home is best for water drainage. This also prevents water from ponding around the mobile home.
Underbelly and skirting
1) Apart from installing a mobile home correctly, one of the first few things to should check is the underbelly of a mobile home. Look out for any tears or holes that might be signs of shoddy construction. However, if damage can be spotted to the underbelly of a mobile home, don’t fret! These rips can be easily repaired.
2) Ensure that vents are installed within one to one and a half meters of the corners of a mobile home skirting. Vents are especially important for air circulation within a mobile home as they prevent dead air space and mould growth.
3) Open the vents of a mobile home during the warmer months but keep them closed during the colder months.
Doors, windows and siding
1) Consider upgrading the doors of a mobile home. Not only do they spruce up the look of a mobile home but they also increase its equity.
2) The windows of a mobile home can be replaced with site-built home ones though they might need some modification.
3) For those who are mobile homeowners and are thinking of upgrading the home’s look, consider repainting the metal siding of the door.
1) Remember to carry out regular maintenance checks and repairs if the mobile home comes with a flat metal roof. Look out for dried out sealant and caulks that might need to be redone to prevent leaks. Furthermore, metal roofs should be recoated once every two years.
2) Eaves help to ensure that water doesn’t splash against doors windows and doors. When choosing a mobile home or re-roofing, ensure that the eaves are at least 20cm or longer.
3) If a mobile home doesn’t have eaves, make sure it has J-channel to funnel water away.
Walls, floors and ceilings
1) Mobile homes typically come with POG (paper on gypsum) or VOG (vinyl on gypsum) walls that are paintable.
2) The walls of mobile homes are removable. However, ensure that they aren’t bearing walls before attempting to move them.
3) For those who need to whiten their ceilings, try using 3% hydrogen peroxide. Chalk and shoe polish are good alternatives.
4) MDF (medium-density flooring) absorbs water easily. Consider replacing the sub-flooring with plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) flooring if the new mobile home comes with MDF.
Mobile home plumbing
1) Make sure that all water supply lines like taps, sinks and dishwashers have a shutoff valve.
2) As mobile homes come with simplified pipes and plumbing design, ventilation problems are a common issue that mobile homeowners face.
3) Bathtubs in mobile homes are infamous for yellowing. If this is an issue, consider having them repainted.
Insulation and energy efficiency
1) Periodically check the sealant, caulking and flashing of doors, roof and windows.
2) Those who own an old mobile home, try using the drill and plug to better insulate the house. This process blows insulation into the ceiling cavity and can help with heating.
3) Check that the furnace is approved for mobile homes.
Buying a mobile or manufactured home
1) Never purchase a mobile home from someone who doesn’t have a legal title.
2) Most states don’t recognise ownership of a mobile home until the legal title has been transferred to the buyer’s name. As such, it’s of utmost importance that to register you name under the mobile home the minute it’s purchased.
3) Getting the mobile home appraised by NADA (National Appraisal Guides) is another thing to do after purchasing the mobile home.
4) For those thinking of purchasing a second-hand mobile home, always get it inspected by a licensed inspector.
5) Buyers who are thinking of purchasing a mobile home are eligible to apply for FHA loans.
6) Mobile home dealers earn a reported $11,000 for every house sold.
7) Some buyers may end up paying through their nose if they include insurance, warranties or taxes to a dealer-financed loan. Hence, the smarter option is to get an additional private bank loan if extra funding is needed.
8) Always buy mobile home insurance from an authorised insurance agent. Insurance rates given by mobile home dealers are often marked up.
9) Do not throw out the data plate and manual of the mobile home. These documents are important as they include certificates and figures required to get equity loans if you decide to sell the mobile home.
10) Around 4/5 of all mobile homes are built by 10 building companies. When comparing prices and choosing to purchase from either of these companies, ensure that they aren’t under the same parent company.
Buyers should be better equipped to purchase their first mobile home after reading these tips. For those who haven’t lived in a mobile home before, this article will definitely expose to new things never considered when living in a site-built house.
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