Below is a short list of common EXTERIOR repairs concerning used mobile homes that investor are likely to run across when investing in mobile homes in some capacity.
Without a solid and water-resistant roof, a mobile home stands very little chance against the elements. As we outlined above, ceiling water-stains and ceiling leaks are the best evidence of an active and/or previous roof leak. However, do not passively accept the absence of ceiling water-spots as an excuse to avoid getting on the roof and walking around if possible. Verify the integrity and strength of the roof by visual inspection and walk on the roof to check for possible soft spots, tears, small holes, weaknesses, waviness, missing shingles, loose material, fallen branches, etc.
Pro Tip: Roof issues do not void a possible deal, however, these repairs must be factored into the purchase price of any mobile home you are considering investing.
When discussing the exterior of the mobile home, we have to consider the aesthetic appeal of the property and the functionality of the current siding to keep the home safe from the elements. An unattractive exterior is not something most buyers want to see when looking at a mobile home for sale. However, an unattractive exterior is preferable to a dilapidated property in need of many exterior repairs. Be on the lookout for waviness, wood rot, holes in siding and skirting, stains, dents, etc.
Pro Tip: Completely replacing or installing vinyl siding directly over aluminum or wooden siding on a single wide mobile home may cost approximately $1,000-$2,500 for labor and material. This work should take no longer than a few days to complete.
Related article: What to look for when Inspecting a Used Mobile Home Deal (Interior)
Spacious decks can be an affordable way to increase the desirability of almost any manufactured home. Be aware that all stairs, steps, railings, and decks should be up to local codes with regard to their safety and construction. Holes and weaknesses in floorboards or hand railings should be corrected and fixed immediately.
Always be sure to remove a few pieces of skirting and look underneath the mobile home with a powerful flashlight. Some possible things you will notice are:
- Junk and debris all over the place
- Water pipes seeming to lead nowhere
- Insulation hanging down
- HVAC ductwork
- Stray cats or other animals living under the home
- Piers or blocks supporting the home
Before reselling a manufactured home it is important to make sure that the underside the property is protected from animals and freezing weather. In general, a mobile home skirting is ideally designed as a buffer from the outside world and the underside of the mobile home. Ideally, this should keep away vermin and cut down on wind chills under a home.
Before reselling any manufactured home the underside of the property should:
- Be free of most debris, pests, and junk.
- Have all the insulation re-tacked to the underside of the home.
- Have all the exposed pipes wrapped with working “heat tape” if located in an area with freezing weather.
Pro Tip: In areas with multiple months of freezing weather, it is wise to use 1/4 inch plywood to hold the insulation to the underside of the mobile home. This will result in a smooth looking underside that is finished 100 percent with plywood. This will act as an additional weather barrier and pest defense.
Whether your manufactured home is located in a pre-existing mobile home community or attached to your own private land, it is crucial to consider the location before and after purchasing this investment property.
- Your land: If the mobile home is located on land you will also be owning, then by all means it is important to have curb appeal throughout the property to attract a retail-paying buyer. The cleaning and rehabbing of this land is up to you.
- In a land-leased park: If the mobile home is located in a pre-existing mobile home community, then it is important to work with the current park manager and owners to make sure the home’s lot looks aesthetically pleasing to most buyers and the park.
Pro Tip: Always make sure to account for the local buying-demand and supply for any given area. Regardless of the home you are selling, it must be priced attractively to sell to a low-risk buyer within a fairly short period of time.
Mobile Home Deal Inspections Conclusion
In conclusion, there is not one or two things that go into purchasing a manufactured home for personal use or investment. Rather, there are a few dozen moving pieces to consider before purchasing any property for investment. If you are walking inside or outside a subject property, be aware of repairs needed and your initial feelings about the home; these will likely be the same feelings and thoughts many of your buyers have as well.
With that said, unless you have experience with mobile home investing, it may be unwise to assume you know what local mobile home buyers are looking for. Instead, you may wish to always have clarity of your local market, the subject property you are looking at, all repairs needed, a buying demand once fixed, your entrance and exit strategies, etc. From this position of clarity, you will then be able to structure win-win purchase offers with most sellers and aim to help local buyers and sellers directly in your area.