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How to Look

at a House

A blog with answers
to your questions about

Here’s links to some of our other blog posts about mobile homes:

  1. How do I find out how old a mobile home is and
    who manufactured it?

  2. How can I make my mobile home look more like a house?

  3. Does it make sense to remodel an older mobile home?

  4. What are the most common problems with older mobile homes?

  5. What does the HUD tag look like and where do I find it on a mobile home?

  6. How can I tell the difference between a manufactured
    home and a modular home?

  7. What can I do to prevent dampness and mold in my mobile home?

  8. What is the plastic sheet called that covers the underside of a mobile home?

  9. Why is there such a big gap under the doors inside a mobile home?

  10. What are the warning signs of a dangerous deck?

  11. What size air conditioner is right for my mobile home?

  12. Does an addition to a mobile home have to comply with the HUD Code?

  13. What’s the difference between a manufactured and a mobile home?

  14. What is a Park Model mobile home?

  15. How can I remove water under my mobile home?

  16. Where do I find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on a mobile home?

  17. How much does a mobile home inspection cost?

  18. Can I install a mobile home myself?

  19. What is the stuff you paint on an old mobile home metal roof to extend its life?

  20. How fire-resistant is a mobile home?

  21. What’s the difference between a trailer, a mobile home, a manufactured home, and a modular home?

  22. How can I upgrade a wind zone 1 mobile home to wind zone 2?

  23. Can I put a zone 1 mobile home in Florida?

  24. Are house numbers required by law in front of a house?

  25. What is a pit set mobile home?

  26. Does a single-wide mobile home have interior bearing walls?

  27. Is 7 feet a normal height for a wall/ceiling in a mobile home?

  28. Do you have any tips for buying a used mobile home?

  29. Why is the floor tile cracked in my mobile home?

  30. Why is it important that a mobile home stay level throughout its lifetime?

  31. How much venting is required for mobile home skirting?

  32. What is the average lifespan of a wood deck?

  33. What is the life expectancy of a modular home?

  34. When was the first double-wide mobile home manufactured?

  35. How do I upgrade my old (pre-1976) mobile home to meet HUD standards?

  36. Can I tell the year of a manufactured/mobile home from the HUD tag (red tag)?

  37. What are the limitations on homesites where a mobile/manufactured home can be located?

  38. What does a home inspector look for when examining a mobile home crawl space?

  39. How do I look for mold in my mobile home?

  40. What is the difference between the electric service to a mobile home and a site built home?

  41. How can I make my mobile home more energy efficient?

  42. What are the ventilation requirements for bathrooms and kitchens in mobile homes?

  43. What would cause half of a double-wide mobile home to lose electric power?

  44. How many manufactured/mobile homes are there in the United States?

  45. Can I convert a shipping container into a HUD-Code manufactured/mobile home?

  46. How do HUD-code mobile/manufactured home standards compare to the IRC building code for site-built homes?

  47. What is the right humidity level in a mobile home?

  48. What is an “RP” sticker for a mobile home?

  49. What is the building code for mobile/manufactured homes in Florida?

  50. Where do I find the VIN/serial number on a very old (pre-1976) mobile home?

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

  1. 3)The tie-down standards for mobile homes were raised by HUD in 1994, as a response to the devastation from Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in 1991. Then the state of Florida further raised the standards in 1999. “Homes installed before 2000 require an upgrade of their tie-down system in order to get financing, if it hasn’t been done already,” according to Dianne Chewning, a Century 21 realtor in Old Town, Florida. To find out more about tie-down requirements, go to our blog post “What are the tie-down requirements for a mobile home?”

  2. 4)Homes located in a park (you don’t own the land) that is in less than desirable condition are devalued by their location. Conversely, homes in upscale parks like Paradise Cove Trailer Park, on a bluff overlooking a private beach on the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, Calfornia, bring top dollar. It’s hard to find one there for less than $1-million.

  3. 5)The condition of homes that are the same age can vary widely depending on the quality of construction and level of maintenance. See our blog post “How can I tell if a mobile home is well constructed?” to learn how to recognize the different levels of construction quality of a mobile home.

  4. 6)If you are buying a mobile home that has to be moved as part of the sale, be aware that moving it can cost more—sometimes much more—than you are paying for the home. This is why we tell our customers that a “free” mobile that must be relocated is not really free at all. Moving a used mobile home to a new location also requires that the home meet the standards set by the county or city that it is being moved to, and they specifically do not accept dilapidated, older homes, not matter how much you plead and tell them about all the repairs you are going to do. An inspection by a professional is typically required, and any necessary repairs must be done and approved before it is moved. To read more about this subject, go to our blog posts “How much does it cost to move a mobile home?” and  “Can you move a mobile home that is 20 years old in Florida?” .

  5. 7)Manufactured homes have a life expectancy of 30 to 55 years, depending on the level of maintenance, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Rehabbing a 40-year old or older mobile home, or even just continuing to maintain it, means you are investing money in a unit that is typically under-insulated and has an electrical system that is too small for today’s electrical loads. With careful, meticulous maintenance, a manufactured home can last longer than it’s life expectancy, but will have minimal value. The one exception is vintage homes that are considered collectible by trailer enthusiasts. See our blog posts “What is the life expectancy of a mobile home?” and “How energy efficient is a mobile home?” for more on this subject.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
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