Buying A Home From The Home Inspectors Perspective, Manufactured Homes
Part 5 - Buying A Manufactured Home, From A Home Inspectors Perspective
In my experience as a North Texas Professional Home Inspector, I have seen some very nice manufactured homes that were well maintained and in great condition. But just like "stick built" houses, I have also seen many that are in desparate need of some TLC.
Yes. Manufactured homes should have a Professional Home Inspector provide a complete report. And like other homes, WDI reports (wood destroying insects) and septic system inspections are also prudent. In addition, it is now mandatory in Texas that any time a manufactured home is bought, sold or moved, that it receive a Foundation Certification from a licensed engineer. The state requires it and all reputable lenders require it. It is important to note not only because it is smart and a requirement, but because it is a cost consideration in buying a manufactured home.
As I said, a home inspection, WDI report and a septic system report are just as important when considering a manufactured home as any other type of housing. And on top of it, you will need the engineers foundation certification as well which can cost as must as $700.
Selman Home Inspection is a certified field agent for several leading engineering firms and provides the required foundation inspection. The manufactured home foundation report which includes photos is sent to the engineering firm for analysis.
In general, the field agent or inspector takes photos of the foundation including the footers, blocks, beams and tie downs. The inspectors report of the foundation along with the photos are sent to the engineering firm. If the foundation is satisfactory, the engineering firm issues a "Foundation Certification" which is provided to the lender and sometimes, the insurance company.
Because of the nature of the way manufactured homes are installed at their location, lenders and inspectors believe that it is important to insure that the structure is sound, level, properly supported and, properly tied down so as not to be damaged by severe weather. Sometimes the purpose of a manufactured home is the ability to move it from one location to another. Because unlike other housing, a manufactured home is sometimes moved, it is another reason that lenders and insurers want to "certify" the foundation and tie down system of manufactured housing.
So, if you are considering the purchase of a manufactured home, you will want to understand that at least in Texas, it will require a foundation inspection not normally required of other structures. And, there are other considerations:
- Plumbing is often APEX or PVC
- There is no attic space
- The crawl space should be well protected from entry but well ventilated.
- Replacement doors and windows are often not the same size as those in other structure and must be special ordered.
- The HVAC duct work is normally in the crawl space.