Not too many years ago, we used the term trailer or mobile home. Generally speaking, when a manufactured home is installed, today, the wheels are removed so it is neither a trailer nor mobile. The better definition is that the home is built in a factor, moved to the site and permanently installed. Once a manufactured home is installed on site, it becomes very expensive to move.
If you are buying a new manufactured or modular home, you should carefully read the contract and thoroughly understand yours and the installer’s responsibilities for the installation. Site preparation, installation of the foundation, delivery requirements, mechanical and structure connections, and connection to utilities are some of the items where you need to be sure of who does what.
If you are buying a new home, you may choose to hire an inspector, general contractor, or other professional to verify that the correct things are being done to comply with the laws of the state, county or city. Be sure you choose someone who has experience with manufactured housing. For example, a general contractor may have built 100s of stick-built homes, but he has no experience with manufactured housing he may not be a knowledgeable about installation of a manufactured/modular home.
If you are buying an existing manufactured home, getting a home inspection is critical. The manufactured home has some unique requirements that set it apart from a site-built home. You should be sure to hire someone who has experience with this type of home inspection.
Many times, manufactured housing is set up in rural areas. The inspector should be familiar with inspecting not only manufactured housing, but also inspecting rural homes. There are some differences between the inspection of a rural home and a home in the city. This is particularly important when the home is in unincorporated parts of the county.
Read the series of articles (below)
then call for your inspection
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Below is a series of articles to help manufactured home buyer better understand some of the nuances of their home choice. While this series is not all encompassing, it should help the buyer better understand some of the technical details of inspecting this type of home.