First, Older mobile homes are still a good bargain. Just because it was manufactured in the 1960’s or 1970’s does not automatically make it bad. But you need to be more careful about what you buy, meaning the condition it is in.
Part of the value of a mobile home is the space it occupies. If you were to take even a new Manufactured home off of it’s site and stick it on a truck, it would loose a ton of value. So make sure what ever you buy is in a good spot in a great park.
Second, you must realize that buying an older mobile home is limiting you in appreciation. There is only so much that an older home will go up in value, and it is likely that it will continue to go down in value – EVEN IF you remodel or upgrade the unit. Therefore, you MUST be buying for other reasons. For instance you like the park/location, you like the layout, or you like the price. If this is the case, then who cares if it goes up in value? If you do care then check out putting a new home on the spot. This will really be the only way to increase the value any.
Third, up keep is even more critical in mobile homes – they need to be repaired and kept in very good condition to keep their usefulness.
The most important areas are termites, electrical, plumbing, roof and leaks, and moisture.
If you find an older mobile home that you like, the location is good, and the layout works for you then get a thorough inspection and assume that there will need to be work done to get it into better shape.
There have been instances where the electrical or plumbing goes out in a room or the whole unit, and the owner just runs an extension cord or a hose from outside. Or any soft spots in the floor are not fixed – these are a disaster for keeping the value of the home up.
If you are living in an older home now, or if you are buying or selling one, be aware that you should install smoke detectors and get your wiring checked out by a qualified electrician. Replacing the wiring is expensive, but if you are going to remodel at all, consider replacing as much of the wiring as possible.
Check the roof VERY well. Have a qualified roof company inspect the roof every 5 years. Fix any leaks immediately. Pay close attention to any stains.
The plumbing is another area that often is a cause of problems. Normal wear will produce leaks – fix these immediately. Any leaks that are allowed to continue will cause serious damage to your unit. Luckily, these are usually inexpensive and easily fixed.
Termites and dry rot are very common in Mobile Homes. Be aware of any termite droppings (very small wood pellets) and any flying bugs that are obviously not flies or mosquitoes. Get a pest inspection every 5 years and expect to have your unit tented. This will save thousands of dollars later.
Moisture – one of the biggest problems yet almost no one thinks about it. Due to the large crawl space below a mobile home, there is a good chance that water can collect and not drain from under your unit. Check this at least once a year. Also, make sure all water is draining away from your home by at least 10 feet or more. Install gutters, downspouts, and french drains along all sides of your home to prevent water from pooling. What happens is the moisture rots the wood of the structure, causes the ground to become uneven and then your home becomes unlevel – further causing twisting and stress in the structure. This is can be fixed by re-leveling, but the moisture MUST be gotten rid of.
Moisture also leads to Mold. When mold is allowed to grow it becomes harder to get rid of and becomes a health hazard. That is why it is so important to have a new home installed on top of a moisture barrier.
Check out more information, tips, advice, and recommendations about mobile homes and manufactured homes at: http://www.free-mobile-home-info.com