Whether you are buying, selling, or want to be sure everything is alright, a mobile home inspection is simply a must. These homes are different from the site-built homes, and many things can go wrong. The structure of mobile homes is weaker, and they are more vulnerable to damage. Furthermore, mobile homes also deteriorate faster. Therefore, let’s see what you have to check to make sure your mobile home is in good shape!
Are you a buyer?
Buying a mobile home is a viable option for many families because they are more affordable. However, we have already mentioned how these homes are more susceptible to damage. If you are buying, inspection is the only way to make sure your future home is in good condition and that you are not overpaying it. It might show you that the home requires extensive remodeling, which will create additional expenses you are not willing to pay.
Are you a seller?
Preparing your home for sale is a lengthy process. You need to make the place look eyecatching and inviting. In this case, inspection will tell you what the condition of the house is. As a result, you will be able to price it correctly. Furthermore, you will also discover if any repairs are necessary before the home hits the market.
Keep in mind that a home inspection protects buyers and sellers and all other parties included in the process.
What to check during a mobile home inspection?
Now that we understand the importance of the process, let’s see what you should check during a mobile home inspection:
- VIN number;
- home structure;
- interior elements;
- the exterior of the house;
- electrical wiring;
What is a VIN number?
Believe it or not, but a mobile home is classified as a motor vehicle. Hence the name. All mobile homes have a unique VIN number. However, sometimes the VIN number on the identification document does not match the one on the house. That can cause many issues with the claim of ownership. When buying a home, this step is simply a must.
Checking the mobile home structure
The structure of mobile homes requires more care. A structural home inspection includes checking a couple of different elements.
The foundation of mobile homes is less stable. It has a steel frame at its base. The chassis sits on piers, and piers are placed on a concrete or plastic pad. The entire structure stands on the ground as the base. You can often find wooden shims between the steel frame and the pier, which is used to level the house. It is not that uncommon that they fall out of place after some time. Bad weather can also cause this problem. If a mobile home is not sitting well on the base, a strong wind could even tip it over.
Other structural elements that require checking are floors, walls, and the roof. Everything has to be in top condition and sealed tight to avoid the loss of heat.
Checking the inside of mobile homes requires a thorough inspection of flooring, ceiling, drywall, railings, stairs, doors and windows, etc. Discovering problems with any of the interior elements will give you a clearer picture of the state of the entire place.
It is also essential to check the plumbing. Mobile homes have a lot of problems with leaking pipes simply because they are not that accessible. Even a small leak can cause significant issues.
When it comes to the outside of a mobile home, it is crucial to check the siding of wall covering, drainage system, flashing and trim, the soil, and the vegetation around the house. In some cases, the vegetation affects the house, and it can cause major problems.
Drainage is also critical. The biggest challenge of a mobile home inspection is checking the places that are not that easy to access. It mainly includes the crawl space beneath the home. That’s why water under a mobile home poses a considerable problem and why you need a properly functioning drainage system.
When checking the electrical installations, it is imperative to inspect the breaker box, grounding, main disconnects, the service equipment, etc. Always have a professional electrician checking these things. You don’t want to do it yourself and risk your safety, or maybe cause a fire.
Finding a licensed home inspector
Keep in mind that 39 out of 50 states have rules and regulations regarding a home inspection. It is crucial to find a licensed inspector, mainly because you will get a detailed report at the end. A thorough inspection will show you everything, both good and bad parts.
To find a home inspector, you can contact either the American Society of home inspectors or the International Association of Home Inspectors. Both of these organizations operate under heavy regulations, and they are required to pass several tests.
A mobile home inspection made easy
Let’s quickly recap why a mobile home inspection is so important. First of all, whether you are a buyer or a seller, it is good to know the condition of the place. Buyers are risking a lot by purchasing a home that is not in good shape, primarily because they will have to spend a lot of money on repairs. When it comes to sellers, they need to protect their investment and conduct necessary fixes before selling the home. Most of all, inspection is necessary to secure the longevity of the house. Since these homes are more susceptible to damage and deterioration, a regular maintenance check is imperative from time to time. With that in mind, do not let your home go to waste; hire a mobile home inspector today!
Nathan Marsh is a structural engineer and a professional blogger working for the Vision Movers. His goal is to educate both sellers and buyers and make sure that everyone’s investment is protected.