Checklist Before Purchasing Your Manufactured Home

Before purchasing your manufactured home, there are a number of considerations to make. Keep the following checklist in mind as you navigate the home-buying process.

A smooth home buying process requires quite a bit of decision-making. If you’re interested in purchasing a manufactured home, it would behoove you to consider the items on the checklist that we’ve compiled below before sitting down with a manufactured home retailer to custom order your new home. With a working knowledge about your manufactured home options and buying power, dream home ideas, family needs and beyond, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision on your future home.

Let’s start our “buying a manufactured home checklist” with a simple task. Take some time to plan out the looking/buying process before signing on any dotted lines. We suggest you even begin planning before you start looking for a new home. For instance, take time to consider your current living situation and what you are looking to accomplish and gain in your new home. What is it you want to change? Additionally, what is it you don’t want to change?

The First Stages

  • Have a brainstorming session and write down your thoughts about what you want out of your manufactured home. Consider what you’d like the home buying process to look like and begin to research retailers in your area that you can partner with.
  • Consult with other manufactured homeowners, community members and professionals. Talk to them about your hopes and expectations. This way, you can try to get a sense for whether you’re being reasonable in your plans for your manufactured home.
  • Keep tabs on who you’re supposed to communicate with. Whether you’re working with a retailer or trusted professional or not, this is a good idea. Know who you should be calling, texting or emailing and when, and make a point to get and keep their contact information.
  • Commit to being organized in your approach.

Location Considerations

  • Research local property taxes. City or county government websites in the communities you’re considering should have information about these.
  • Check with local zoning officials to make sure the land where you want to place your home is zoned for manufactured homes.
  • Calculate distance to work, shopping centers, activities and family when debating certain locations for your manufactured home.
  • Ask about the school district. Ideally, try to discover more than just what school district you’re in. You may want to know how it compares to other local schools.
  • If your home will be located in a Flood Hazard Area, take out flood insurance.

Educate Yourself on Rules & Regulations

  • Today’s manufactured homes must be HUD-approved living spaces. If you are buying the home from another homeowner (as opposed to a licensed retailer), make sure the home meets all the federal and state legal requirements.
  • Look for a small red metal tag on the outside of every section of any manufactured home that you are considering purchasing to ensure that each part conforms to the federal HUD guidelines. The home cannot be legally sold without them and it will not pass inspections.
  • Discover rules that will apply to the manufactured home community you’re thinking of moving into, if applicable.
  • Research laws in your locality that apply to mobile homes. You can review local Alabama laws on the AMHA website. In brief, know what will and won’t be options for you legally.
  • Review property boundaries in the area that you are considering placing your manufactured home. Either ask about this or check with your county or city administration for property records so that you can ensure your home will be placed appropriately.

Inspection & Provider Considerations

  • Make sure that a third-party resale inspector has approved the building so that you know it is legal for sale.
  • As you look over prospective properties, keep the following tests in mind. You might not need all of them, but it will be helpful to know what to look out for: conduct a home inspection, test the water and septic systems, and consider a termite/pest inspection.
  • Know and confirm the model name, manufacturer and date of manufacture before buying a home. There is usually a manufacturer’s data plate where you can verify this information for your insurance and/or bank.
  • If you’re moving into a home that’s already hooked up to utilities, you might not have to worry about the following. However, it’s a good idea to find out who the providers are and approximately how much these services will cost you: Water hookup, electrical hookup septic hookup, garbage disposal/pickup, Internet and TV provider.

Homeowner Considerations

  • Find out what kind of heating and air condition the manufactured home has.
  • Ask the age of the manufactured home.
  • If the home doesn’t come with furniture included, figure out how your current furniture or furniture you intend to purchase would fit in the home.
  • Know what kind of manufactured home layout you’re looking for. Home layouts might be pre-determined but can also be customized depending on the homeowner’s needs and desires.
  • Note the age and condition of the roof, windows and doors.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for signs of water damage. Look inside the home for signs of water leaks from the ceiling, windows, doors and plumbing. Be on the lookout for stains, signs of rotted wood or moldings.
  • Examine the drainage, looking to be sure that moisture and water are drawn away from the home. Be wary of standing water under or very near to the structure.
  • Find out what the parking situation is like around the home (if applicable).
  • Double-check the size of the home since many documents include extra elements such as a trailer hitch, roof overhangs and other factors into their measurements. Know your true square footage.

Buying a manufactured home can prove to be an effective, reliable and affordable housing option for many. If you have any additional questions or would like to see how beautifully manufactured homes can fit your lifestyle, find out more here about homeownership or visit a local Alabama Manufactured Housing Association retailer.