Mobile Homes Defects

Home Inspector with Catskill Home Inspection

Consumer Reports points out common weak spots surveyed and recommends that buyers hire a home inspector.

  • Price: $15-$70K; 15 million in U.S.;
  • "mobile homes" aka "manufactured housing" per the industry - confused with modulars & panelized.
  • single mobile home vs. double-wide trailers (specs)
  • single wide mobile homes
    • typical 1000 sq ft, $24,000.,
    • more problems with floors, roofs, windows, doors
  • multi-wide mobile homes, double wide trailers, popout trailers and manufactured homes
    • typical 1600 sq ft, $43,000.
    • more problems with joining of the sections
  • 1x lumber and siding "trailer" construction vs. more recent
  • land often not-owned; rented 50% of the time


Fire Safety Defects in Mobile Homes

  • Electrical - aluminum wiring, owner-modified or otherwise unsafe wiring
  • Heating, flues, chimneys
  • Safety Exits - doors and push-out windows; unsafe steps and rails at entry doors;
  • Smoke detectors critical - short exit time for this construction



  • Movement (impacts electrical & flues)
  • Storm Damage
  • Floor Collapse (particle board, exterior & plumbing leaks)
  • Mobile home & manufactured home tie-downs - to secure the structure against wind damage



  • Roof leaks
  • Leaks at windows and doors (photo at left)
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Heating systems not maintained, possibly unsafe
  • Rot and insect damage at points of leakage into walls and floors
  • Wet or contaminated crawl areas, especially where enclosed


Mobile Homes and Manufactured Housing Labels & Certifications

  • INSTALLATION MANUAL - For new/recent mobile home, every manufacturer is required to provide instructions on site preparation, installation and anchoring.
  • Manufacturer's CERTIFYING LABEL - on rear section outside or near the main entry door, HUD Insignia
  • DATA PLATE - near the main electrical panel or other visible & accessible location (under sink for many manufactured homes): name of mfg., serial and HUD ID, zone information (see Structure discussion)
  • DAMAGE DURING TRANSPORT: if the unit was damaged during transport it no longer conforms to the standards and should not be accepted by the code official;

Comments (1)

John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

Hi Chris,

I'm way late for this one but it just popped up on my radar so here goes anyway. 

Today's "Manufactured" "Factory Built" Home is constructed exactly like any Site-Buit (Stick Built) Home. In most cases even better inasmuch as they are built in a indoor climatically controlled environment and inspected by a liecensed HUD inspector through every phase of construction. 

As a RE Broker, Manufactured Home Dealer, General Contractor and Manufactured Home Contractor in California, Arizona, Oregon and Florida for the past 25 years I can assure you that having built equally as many site built projects as I have Manufactured Home projects that I would select a manufactured home any day. 


As for financing? There are plenty of lenders out there willing to finance MH's if they meet the following requriements.

Please feel free to log onto our Trulia or Active Rain blog for more comprehensive information about the MH Industry. 

Or you can check our our website and give us a call or drop us an email. We are RE Brokers, Manufactured Home Dealers and licensed, bonded and insured General Contractors and have been actively engaged in the MH Industry statewide for almost 3 decades. 

We also do "Lonnie Deals" 
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Mar 02, 2011 04:21 AM