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5 things you must do when buying an older mobile home

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5 Things You Must Do When Buying an Older Mobile Home

Check the home for:

1) Termites and Dryrot

2) Electrical problems (aluminum wiring and outlets/fixtures not working)

3) Plumbing leaks

4) Roof leaks

5) Foundation being level and sound

Ok, these may seem obvious, but for an older Mobile Home any of these problem areas can be disasterous.

Let's take them one by one:

First is Termites and Dryrot - Termites are either above or below ground bugs that eat dead wood. I don't need to go into the specifics of termites, but they are bad because they will turn your home into sawdust if left untreated. Dryrot is a fungus that eats dead wood and turns it into very soft fibers that turn into sawdust. Get a termite report (also called a pest report), insist that all major problems be fixed before buying.

Second, Electrical problems for older Mobile Homes are common. They can be just a simple outlet that is not working, or as serious as half the home not having any power. Mobile Homes built in the 1960's and 1970's had Aluminum wiring which is susceptable to causing fires. Get a Home Inspection before buying and make sure all electrical problems are fixed. This would include smoke detectors in all rooms.

Third, plumbing leaks are especially bad in older Mobile Homes. The reason for this is because the floors are usually made of a pressed sawdust material. This is not a problem unless there is a leak somewhere. If there is a leak that is not fixed quickly, the flooring becomes soft and unstable. If sever enough, the floor could collapse. Again, a Home Inspection should reveal any plumbing leaks, make sure all are fixed AND that the flooring is in good shape before buying.

Fourth, Roof leaks are in the same category as plumbing leaks, for the same reason mainly. If the floor gets wet there could be trouble. But it has to be a lot of water over a long period of time. Get a Home Inspection and ALL stains should be assumed as active leaks and repaired. The roof itself should be in great shape before buying. A new roof for a Mobile Home should be less expensive than a site-built Single Family Residence.

Fifth, and finally, the home should be level and free from any foundation issues. This could be simply looking at the home from the outside for any shifting or cracks. Inside, notice if the doors and cabinets are flush and closing easily - if they stick or don't close, then the foundation is off and the home will need to be re-leveled. This is not that hard or expensive, but it is essential. Also, a Home Inspection should include the piers under the home. If any are damaged then they should be replaced. This is also not hard or expensive, but needs to be done.

Looking for these 5 things when buying an older Mobile Home will help your home stay in great condition for years to come.

For more great information on Mobile and Manufactured Homes, visit

Willy Cunningham owns and operates a free information site dedicated to the buyers, sellers, and owners of mobile and manufactured homes.

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