Inspecting a Used Mobile Home – What to look for?

Welcome back,

Almost every used mobile home property you come across may need some degree of light cosmetic repairs all the way to structural repairs. Many mobile homes need some repairs, and some mobile homes need many repairs. While recently touring a manufactured home facility, I was able to see firsthand the fairly simple construction of modern-day manufactured homes. While the engineering and safety that goes into constructing these homes is great, the few simple layers that separates the interior and exterior of the homes are relatively easy to understand and work with.

As an investor, you inherently understand the value of properly estimating repairs. Every dollar that you invest making repairs is a dollar you must make back before a profit can be realized.

Part 1: The 3 Common Fallacies About Mobile Home Repairs.

1. Correctly estimating repair costs is priority #1.

Repairs, material, and labor estimates are only one metric when purchasing a used mobile home — and a rather minor metric when compared to others. This article is certainly not advocating repairs do not matter; they absolutely do. “Repair costs” matter because we must know what our buyers are looking for and what repairs must be made prior to reselling quickly for your desired price/terms.

A free and clean mobile home may be a horrible investment if other factors are ignored. Other factors to consider when purchasing mobile homes may include: 

  • Homes for sale in the community?
  • Homes for sale nearby?
  • How these homes are all being sold and days on the market?
  • Current time of the year?
  • Local mobile home market environment?
  • Ability to add more mobile homes to your land? — if attached to private land
  • Park rules and regulations? — if located inside of a pre-existing mobile home park
  • Lot rent?
  • The park’s application process?
  • The attitude of the park management and owners?
  • What your end buyers want to see and will pay Exit strategies?
  • Purchasing terms?
  • Seller’s motivation?
  • Size and functionality of the mobile home?
  • Address?
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms?
  • Etc.
Each one of these questions/topics may lead you to a costly mistake and potentially sabotage your entire deal if ignored. This last sentence is not mentioned to be cryptic or overwhelming. It is to point out that repairs are only one part of the mobile home investing equation. Below we will be discussing many of these repairs in detail.

Pro Tip: Know your clear and realistic exit strategies before making any purchase offers to any sellers.

mobile home inspections pic 1

2. You must be an expert to conservatively evaluate mobile home repairs.

With clear vision, a flashlight, and knowledge of what to look for, you will be able to make sure you know what you are buying, or since we cannot see through walls, at least be compensating for the worst in certain situations.

Pro Tip: Some investors like making repairs; others do not. There are pros and cons to making repairs yourself versus outsourcing to others. Wherever you fall on this spectrum is perfectly fine and acceptable as an active investor. All businesses change and morph over time, so be aware of your productivity and time management to know where your time is being best utilized.

3. A mobile home must be completely rehabbed before reselling.

This is a very common (and costly) misconception that most mobile home investors have in their minds. Depending on your exit strategy, not only is this thought process wrong, it goes against what your ideal buyers actually prefer.

Let’s face facts — everyone loves a deal, and most buyers would prefer to pay less for a home if possible. With that said, there are certain repairs that will scare off most end-user-type buyers from purchasing a property they plan to move in and live. These repairs may include: 

  • Plumbing problems and leaks
  • Electrical issues
  • Moving and setting up an entire home
  • Chronic roof, wall, or floor issues throughout the home
  • Horrible smells
  • Bugs and/or garbage everywhere
  • Etc.
Your buyers are likely not made of money. Once the above issues are corrected, many mobile homes can and will sell to happy buyers via an all-cash sale, bank financing, seller financing, or other means depending on your area. Experience teaches that many mobile home purchasers will gladly make minor repairs, such as cosmetic issues, minor painting, minor floor work, landscaping, cleaning, etc if it means they will save money getting into the home. Know what your specific end-buyers are looking for to make a quick purchase. Do not over-improve a property based on what you want or prefer. End buyers vary depending on price points, locations, and purchasing methods (all-cash, bank financing, other).

Related article: Top 4 Mistakes of Mobile Home Flippers

Pro Tip: Listen to the suggestions and feedback from potential buyers walking though your property for sale. If most folks complain about certain issues, fix these problems fast and continue advertising.

With that said, there is of course a certain segment of society that is absolutely looking to purchase a brand new or like-new manufactured home. Cost is of little importance as long as these buyers get what they want. These buyers are the minority that you will come across. Most situations are different. Always disclose, disclose, disclose in writing all repairs needed with any property you resell.

Part 2: Below is a short list of common INTERIOR repairs concerning used mobile homes.

1. Roof Repairs

Roof leaks are sometimes inevitable. Minor pinholes from falling acorns or branches can cause significant water damage to a home overtime. Correct the roof by removing and replacing damaged shingles or re-tarring/cementing (using roofing cement) the damaged area. Once the entry point for water is corrected, remove and replace any damaged insulation, mold, and ceiling panels/drywall to cover.

Pro Tip: When a roof leak is identified by water stains appearing on the ceiling, a hole or tear directly above the water stain is typically to blame.

2. Wall Repairs

As mentioned above the general construction layers of these homes are fairly simple to understand. While walls of manufactured homes are expertly designed to keep water out of the home, windows are inevitably left open, gutters will overflow, seams tear, or roof/water leaks travel into wall cavities to rot wooded wall studs and cause mold in warmer climates.

Pro Tip: Push on all exterior walls to verify vertical studs are attached to horizontally running joists at the floor and ceiling levels. Some walls may be wobbly to the touch and/or show evidence of significant wood rot. While this may not void a deal, it should be accounted for in the purchase price.

Cosmetic holes in drywall or paneling can easily be fixed with patches or by removing and replacing entire wall sections. Occasionally some walls need to be rebuilt. Always be sure to hire an experienced and recommended handyman or contractor.

mobile home inspections pic 2

3. Floor Repairs

Over the last 50 years, the flooring material in factory built homes has changed from 1/4 inch compressed wood fiber board to 3/4 inch water-resistant plywood. With better material comes a more water-resistant and safer home. With regards to flooring issues the most common repairs are listed below:

  • Holes in floors: Cut a square hole around the existing floor-hole back to the surrounding floor joists. Cover square hole with matching square of plywood with same thickness of the existing floor. Glue and screw the new wood square to the nearby joists for a tight fit.
  • Soft-spots in floors: Cut a square hole around the existing soft-spot back to the surrounding floor joists. Cover square hole with matching square of plywood with same thickness of the existing floor. Glue and screw the new wood square to the nearby joists for a tight fit.
  • Wavy floors: Wavy floors can be firm/rigid or soft and ready to cave in. Depending on the degree of waviness and softness the floor may have to be removed and replaced, or simply left as is. As a rule of thumb, if you notice a wavy floor than your buyer will most likely notice it as well.
  • Unlevel floor: This may be due to the home settling over a number of years from the outside due to peers shifting or a poor foundation for which the home sits on. An experienced mobile home contractor or handyman may be able to diagnose the best and quickest fit for this issue.

4. Plumbing Repairs

For the most part, we have talked about rainwater damaging a home. However, any water leak or overflow inside a home can absolutely damage the surrounding walls and floor if left for a substantial amount of time. Before purchasing any homes, make sure to test water lines and listen/look visually for leaks in pipes, water lines, sink connections, appliances, faucets, refrigerator water lines, etc.

mobile home inspections pic 5

5. Electrical Repairs

While walking through a property to purchase, the electrical service may be connected and powered on. If this is the case, than make sure to check all outlets, appliances, and light switches to see they are in proper working order. Additionally, there should be a suitable number of amps (minimum 100A) coming into the home to power all modern appliances and air conditioning systems.

Pro Tip: If you are uncertain about electrical repairs, breaker boxes, or exposed wires, make sure to bring a licensed and experienced handyman or electrician to give you added clarity and cost estimates to repair.

Turn on power before closing, if possible. If you are unable to test the working order of appliances, water heaters, HVAC systems, or lights and outlets to account for electrical issues in a rehab, then budget a minimum of $750 in case there are any electrical issues the seller forgot to disclose. Hopefully, no repairs are needed, however this must be accounted for if you are unable to verify exactly what you are buying because the power is off.

Pro Tip: If the subject mobile home has been sitting vacant, without-power, for over 6 months make sure to call the local power company to verify an inspection will not be needed prior to power being reestablished. If an inspection is needed the inspector may require many costly updates to be made around the home. This alone may void a deal as Electrical repairs may be very expensive.

None of these mobile home repair issues above are deal breakers unless they are chronic problems throughout a home, and even then, there still may be an opportunity to create value and help local buyers/sellers in your market. As a mobile home investor, it can be important to recoup all our invested capital back as quickly as possible. For this reason, it is sometimes unwise to place many thousands of dollars into a mobile home as repairs, especially if the property will not be worth the added amount once it is repaired. Keep your end-buyer in mind and remember you have to make every property attractive and affordable for this end-user.

mobile home inspections pic 6

Part 3: Below is a short list of common EXTERIOR repairs concerning used mobile homes.

1. Roofs

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.

2. Siding

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: A Complete Guide to Mobile Home Skirting as an Investor

3. Deck/Stairs

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.
mobile home inspections pic 3

4. Underside

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.

5. Location

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.

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, 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.

Questions? Did we miss anything? Please comment below or email me directly…

Love what you do daily,
John Fedro
support@mobilehoeminvesting.net

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35 Comments

  • Omar Ngyen

    May 17, 2016

    This is a Fantastic resource! Are you able to post rehab costs and reprairs for mobile homes now or in the future. Thanks John.

    • John Fedro

      May 17, 2016

      Hi Omar,

      Thanks for commenting and reaching out. It took a while to put some of this together so I hope it makes sense and helps. Thanks for the video/article suggestion on repairs and costs. I have something like that in the works now for the general public, it should be ready in a few weeks or more. As always, if you have any personal repair questions or MH related issues never hesitate to reach out anytime. Keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

      • Omar Ngyen

        May 20, 2016

        Much thanks, John! Looking forward to it. Cheers

  • Jason Sha

    May 20, 2016

    Hi John,

    Do you find it helpful to ask the managers if you should add siding to a home or do you just always do this? How much should this cost? I am looking at my first home now but getting cold feet cause I dont want to lose any money. Thanks for any help.

    Jason

    • John Fedro

      May 20, 2016

      Hi Jason,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and connecting. Please see my thoughts below in bold.

      Do you find it helpful to ask the managers if you should add siding to a home or do you just always do this? Not usually. This is a major expense that will likely cost you over $1000 for a single wide so unless the home really needs this, or the park mandates it, or I’m trying to sell for cash or bank financing and this will significantly increase the sales price, I usually decide and make this decision for myself. If you are asking this question for a specific home you are currently working on don’t hesitate to send me pictures and let me know specific reasons why you are thinking of adding siding compared to what you currently have. Most of the time I purchase a mobile home on land or any pre-existing community I leave the outside as is and do not add siding unless it is necessary. With that said, a pressure washing is something I usually do in most cases. How much should this cost? There are many different types of skirting and siding however to side a 14×65 single wide mobile home I would look to spend no more than $1000 for the siding and a few hundred dollars or less for labor. The should take no longer than a few days to complete. Adding skirting to a home will cost an extra $300 or so for the material. I am looking at my first home now but getting cold feet cause I dont want to lose any money. Congratulations on getting this far when working with a seller and helping to purchase a mobile home. There are a lot of variables that go into any deal besides just repairs or siding. If you have any specific questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time. With that said, you should absolutely know you’re going to make money and a significant profit from any mobile home transaction that you ever purchase. In fact, you should not be making purchase offers if you do not know what a mobile home will sell for, the buying demand, and the repairs needed, etc. Thanks for any help. Of course. Very happy to help. I do hope my thoughts and opinions do make sense to you. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time. Keep up the good work.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Chris

    May 27, 2016

    Great article John! Just curious, to keep the underside of a mobile home warm in the colder months, do you recommend anything in particular? Like a space heater or something? Or will the general heating of the home keep the underside warm? Or do you not recommend it at all to keep critters out? Thanks for the info!

    • John Fedro

      May 27, 2016

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and connecting with regards to your questions. There are a few different materials that mobile home stores or general hardware stores will sell to keep insulation in place and critters from chewing through pipes and floorboards underneath your mobile home. With that said, these meshlike products will do little in the way of insulating your home in the colder months. For insulation purposes I highly recommend some type of plywood screwed to the underside of your mobile home. This can be done over a few months and ideally can be done with scrap wood that can be purchased at a discount. This is the best way I found to insulate the underside of a mobile home affordably, in addition to making sure proper insulation is there of course. I hope this all helps and points you in the right direction. If I did not answer your question fully or you have any follow-up questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time. Keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Chris Maple

    May 29, 2016

    My wife’s sister loaned her money to buy a mobile home so she could take care of her dying mother,she put her boyfriend’s name on the title(big mistake) anyway to make a long story short,for the past few years they ended up in separate bedrooms & first he said he wasn’t leaving then I started seeing her & he moved out. they agreed that who ever died the other would get the trailer.she has paid lot fees property taxes & repairs + tags every year,where as her ex has paid nothing in two years…is that not considered abandonment? If he expects to be considered part or half owner shouldn’t he be paying something ? We’re in California so I’m not sure just how that works, could use some help here…thanks for reading this & any help you can give…chris in California

    • John Fedro

      May 30, 2016

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for reaching out and connecting with regards to your situation and questions. Additionally, thank you for being very detailed and descriptive in the nature of the situation and what exactly is going on. At least once a week I receive an email or comment from a person in a similar situation. I certainly do not mean to belittle your situation at all, rather let you know that this is very common.. Likely due to the trusting nature of humans and the fact that when emotions become involved we can oftentimes do silly or counterproductive things.

      With all of this said there may likely be two names listed on the title to this mobile home. The “registered owner” is going to be the lienholder on the property. Hopefully your wife’s sister did place a lien on this home however she may not have based on the fact she was lending money to a family member and may not of felt that this is needed. If your wife’s sister is lienholder she can repossess the home if payments are not being made. She can then place the home into a whoever’s name she would like. Whether your wife’s sister is the lienholder or not, the “legal owner” listed on the title is likely going to be the boyfriend. If this is the case then the boyfriend is the legal owner and can evict anyone else in the home if he chooses to. While it is not fair that your wife has to pay lot rent, taxes, repairs, tags, etc. every year… This does not change the fact that the legal owner is still the boyfriend and the one in control of the property. With that said I am certainly no attorney and only basing this comment off of experience in your state. If you have any specific questions I do encourage you to call the state directly and explain your situation to them so they can give you the best and most up-to-date information possible based on the property. I hope this all helps a bit and starts to point you in the right direction. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns please never hback out. Keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Bill Neves

    June 6, 2016

    Good info John.
    Thanks

    • John Fedro

      June 9, 2016

      Hi Bill,

      Right on! Thank you so much for saying so. Hope you got some good value out of it. If I missed any major issues or topics please never hesitate to comment back and let us all know what they were. I know I did glance over a lot of cosmetic issues however you certainly know your stuff when it comes to repairs. Have a great week and keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Taylor

    June 13, 2016

    Awesome information! My wife and I are exploring the idea of getting our first mobile home investment in the next half year, and your site is the best place to go for learning the industry.

    • John Fedro

      June 13, 2016

      Hi Taylor,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to follow along and comment. This is perhaps one of the best comments I have received. I do sincerely hope that this content has been valuable to you both thus far. If you have any specific questions or concerns about a property you are looking at never hesitate to comment back to reach out to me personally. Additionally, if you think of any topics or videos you would like to see in the future never hesitate to let me know that as well. Keep in touch. Always here to help.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Anthony

    June 14, 2016

    Great information!
    I’m considering buying a my first MH but I’m a bit concerned that moving every 6 months will hinder my attempts. Any advice John?

    • John Fedro

      June 14, 2016

      Hi Anthony,

      Thank you for reaching out and connecting with regards to your questions. You absolutely bring up a very valid concern about moving every six months. Unless you are selling a mobile home in a very high demand area where there are cash buyers willing to happily pay high prices for used mobile homes, I would make you aware that selling a mobile home may take a few weeks or months if the property is not very competitively priced and an obvious deal for a buyer. Keep in mind that this is if you are planning to sell for “all cash”, if you will can sell her sitting each of these mobile homes for a down payment and monthly payments you will open your property for sale to a tremendous amount of local motivated buyers. I say all this because if you are able to purchase mobile homes every six months for a very inexpensive purchase price, you will be able to hopefully resell the home for all-cash the exact same amount or more fairly quickly when you need to sell. I hope this all helps and begins to point you in the right direction. If you have any additional follow-up questions or concerns never hesitate to comment back anytime. All the best.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Bob Hayden

    June 28, 2016

    Awesome article John!

    Only inquisitive, to keep the underside of a fabricated house warm in the colder months, do you prescribe anything specifically?

    Like a space radiator or something?

    On the other hand will the general warming of the home keep the underside warm?

    On the other hand do you not prescribe it at all to keep critters out? A debt of gratitude is in order for the data!

    Thanks for sharing, and keep posting more.

    BOB HAYDEN

    • John Fedro

      July 1, 2016

      Hi Bob,

      Thanks so much for commenting and reaching out. Additionally, thank you so much for the kind words. Please see my thoughts below in bold.

      Only inquisitive, to keep the underside of a fabricated house warm in the colder months, do you prescribe anything specifically? Great question. I should’ve absolutely covered this in the video, but I definitely missed it. I use large sheets of OSB as a direct barrier on the underside of a mobile home. This keeps wind chills out and animals out too. With that said, there are certainly other types of “vapor barriers” or “insulation barriers” that are sold for this exact use. However to save money and receive comparable results I use tack up OSB whereever it is needed.

      On the other hand will the general warming of the home keep the underside warm? No, pipes still burst if not covered or insulated.

      I hope this helps and makes a bit of sense. If you do something that is better or find something that is easier never hesitate to comment back. Additionally, if I do not fully answer your questions never hesitate to write back anytime. Keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • David Jones

    July 11, 2016

    Great article, John!

    I’ve recently changed directions in my strategy to include MH investing. This article appears to provide a solid baseline for success to that end. I’m now much more confident in moving forward.
    Thank you!

    Respectfully,

    David

    • John Fedro

      July 13, 2016

      Hi David,

      Thank you so much for commenting and reaching out. Additionally, thank you for the kind words. Congratulations on having the guts and dedication to change directions to help local mobile home buyers and sellers in your local area. Your journey is going to be a lengthy, growthful, and fun process moving forward. Keep in touch and if you ever have any follow-up questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Dana

    July 28, 2016

    I’m so happy to have found your site. I’m planning to buy a mobile home to live in, from a friend, on his property. He wants it moved eventually. My 5-6 year plan is to pay off in < 4 years then save another 1-2 to move it SOMEWHERE!? I'm NOT an investor but after seeing your video I realize I've got a lot to learn and planning an EXIT strategy is top priority! I sense that moving a double/triple wide will be cost prohibitive and at this stage of our negotiations he is asking $35,000, seller-financing, AS-IS..with a few exceptions.

    We are trying to make sure ALL is fair and beneficial and our longtime friendship remains intact. I've collected forms for leasing the ground lot, Bill of Sale, Promissory Note and his Disclosure Statement. I really need help kind of urgently. I want a PROFESSIONAL for inspection, appraisal and estimates.
    How do I find one?

    I got this info from the internet:

    Houston, Harris County, Texas 77050-3508
    APN 6000003018219
    Average condition
    Aluminum/Vinyl siding
    Raised foundation type
    1996 Green Hill Fleetwood
    42X60 HUD#RAD 0922263
    SER# TX FLT 84A12642GH11
    1,874 square feet
    3bd 2 bath
    Lot size 2,520sq ft
    Property Value $305,452
    Additions $26,548
    2014 taxes $549

    I'm not sure what every bit of that means. Can you please help me interpret?? A ballpark valuation?

    Thanks for your work.

    Dana

    • John Fedro

      August 2, 2016

      Hi Dana,

      Thank you for reaching out and connecting. Additionally, thank you for your detailed email and questions. Please see my thoughts below in bold.

      I’m so happy to have found your site. I’m planning to buy a mobile home to live in, from a friend, on his property. He wants it moved eventually. My 5-6 year plan is to pay off in < 4 years then save another 1-2 to move it SOMEWHERE!? I'm NOT an investor but after seeing your video I realize I've got a lot to learn and planning an EXIT strategy is top priority! I sense that moving a double/triple wide will be cost prohibitive and at this stage of our negotiations he is asking $35,000, seller-financing, AS-IS..with a few exceptions. Make sure that it is written into your agreement that you will be able to keep the home on this land for at least four years minimum. Something could happen and your friend could become motivated to sell his land and kick you off the property early.

      We are trying to make sure ALL is fair and beneficial and our longtime friendship remains intact. I’ve collected forms for leasing the ground lot, Bill of Sale, Promissory Note and his Disclosure Statement. I really need help kind of urgently. I want a PROFESSIONAL for inspection, appraisal and estimates. Happy to help. Let me know any specific questions you have now or moving forward. I completely understand about wishing to keep the friendship intact. Things are easy when everything is going good, however when problems arise there should be paperwork in order that clearly explains who is responsible for what. In my own personal business I’ve only had to perform to evictions, and one of them was on a friend that did not pay for months and months and months. Sometimes friends are the worst people to do business with I have come to learn.
      How do I find one? To help find an inspector, appraiser, or handyman I highly encourage you to look online locally for these individuals. You may also want to try yelp or Angie’s list to look for reviews for local inspectors. Make sure you get an inspector who has experience with manufactured homes. Most appraiser should be able to appraise your manufactured home if possible. With regards to a handyman I would encourage you to contact local mobile home park managers to ask them if they know of any handymen they would recommend and refer to you. The reason I suggest this is because a handyman that comes with good referrals is typically much better than an unknown handyman without referrals. Additionally, mobile home handymen that live in mobile home parks may be a bit more motivated to do the work quickly and less expensive than other contractors.

      I got this info from the internet:

      Houston, Harris County, Texas 77050-3508
      APN 6000003018219
      Average condition
      Aluminum/Vinyl siding
      Raised foundation type
      1996 Green Hill Fleetwood
      42X60 HUD#RAD 0922263 The home certainly sounds large and fairly new. When you move the home it sounds like it will need at least three sections moved. This may run a total cost between $10,000-$20,000 for a move and set up in the new location. This is a big cost to consider and should absolutely be taken off of the purchase price knowing that the home will need to be moved someday soon.
      SER# TX FLT 84A12642GH11
      1,874 square feet
      3bd 2 bath
      Lot size 2,520sq ft
      Property Value $305,452
      Additions $26,548 This is likely closer to the real value of the home. Keep in mind that it does have to be moved which is a serious cost moving forward.
      2014 taxes $549

      I’m not sure what every bit of that means. Can you please help me interpret?? A ballpark valuation? Please let me know what specific questions you have and I would be happy to answer them. The land value looks to be roughly $305k based off of public records, keep in mind that this is simply the county appraisal and not a real-world appraisal based on local real-time comparable sales. The additions are likely the mobile homes and any sheds that were added. While I’m not looking directly at the Harrison County website this is likely how the fees break down. $500 for taxes seem extremely low for this property is taxes. If the mobile home still has a physical title then the land and home have not been “married” together legally yet. This is the process where the mobile home is attached to the land and the SOL or title is relinquished to the state. The reason the taxes may be so low is because the home and land are still Separate. How have you both decided to split property taxes yearly? As the landowner, your friend should pay all of the land taxes and you will pay for the mobile home taxes. I hope this all helps and starts to point you in the right direction. You will likely have many follow-up questions and concerns moving forward. Never hesitate to reach out to me anytime with questions or concerns. I absolutely encourage you to contact a local real estate attorney to help facilitate this deal and make sure all paperwork is filled out and signed correctly. All the best and keep in touch.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Greg Burkke

    July 29, 2016

    Really Nice post thats for sharing with us

    • John Fedro

      August 2, 2016

      Hi Greg,

      Thank you very much for the kind words. I do hope that this post has been helpful to you thus far. Moving forward if you ever have any follow-up questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Bryan Hennen

    August 4, 2016

    HI John
    I’m working on purchasing a park and will need to purchase some homes for vacant lots. Any tips on looking for maybe a bent chassis, or other structural type issues? Would these be a huge red flag, do not buy?

    What about making sure its movable? I know past a certain year, pre 1978? pre-hud? can’t be moved. What to look for under the home to ensure it can be moved. I’ve seen some homes advertised with no wheels, anything else to consider?

    Thanks in advance
    Great site, blog and podcast!

    • John Fedro

      August 7, 2016

      Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for reaching out and connecting. Additionally, thank you very much for the kind words. Please see my thoughts below in bold.

      I’m working on purchasing a park and will need to purchase some homes for vacant lots. Great job moving forward on your first community. Any tips on looking for maybe a bent chassis, or other structural type issues? Would these be a huge red flag, do not buy? This is not a huge red flag for me if the rest of the home is in solid shape and my mover agrees it will easily be pulled down the road.

      What about making sure its movable? Your mover can definitely help with this. As long as walls are not wobbly then there will likely be little issue. Even if some walls are wobbly these can be rebuilt on the site or braced up for the move if needed. I know past a certain year, pre 1978? pre-hud? can’t be moved. They absolutely can be if you know what you are doing, follow certain local rules, and know the right people. In short, you can absolutely get these moved. With that said I have seen homes from the 1970s that look better than some homes from the 1990s. What to look for under the home to ensure it can be moved. I’ve seen some homes advertised with no wheels, anything else to consider? A competent and experienced mobile home mover will be able to add axles and remove and replace wheels when needed. With that said you can absolutely peek underneath the home to look for falling insulation, duct work, junk, animals, as well as the wheels and axles. You can then inform your mover of the situation. Adding axles or wheels will typically add on $1000 or less to the moving bill. I hope this all helps and make sense. If you have any follow-up questions or concerns please never hesitate to reach out. Keep up the great work.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • John

    August 17, 2016

    Love the article. Definitely an interesting topic.

  • McGuire

    August 30, 2016

    Great article. I really enjoyed the subject.

    • John Fedro

      September 1, 2016

      Hi McGuire,

      Thank you for following along. Very happy that the article and video helped in some way. Moving forward if you have any additional concerns or issues never hesitate to reach out any time. All the best.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • RentAppeal

    September 1, 2016

    Thanks for this. It was a great read!

    • John Fedro

      September 2, 2016

      Welcome to the website,

      Thank you so much for commenting and reaching out. Moving forward if you ever need any specific questions answered or help never hesitate to reach out any time. All the best.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • David Lemmon

    October 8, 2016

    John, I discovered your material and Youtube videos within the last week. Your videos are the most enthusiastic, informative, and entertaining of all RE investment vids I have seen, in my opinion. I love your enthusiasm, great sense of humor, and delight when your students succeed. I am amazed at how you are sharing all this educational material at no charge. You genuinely seem to care about helping others succeed. And this video and article is another super one!!

    • John Fedro

      October 13, 2016

      Hi David,

      Thank you so much for commenting and for your kind words. What you said means more than you know. I do hope that these articles and videos have been helpful to you. If you have any specific questions or concerns never hesitate to reach out any time. Always here to help if I can.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Victoria Reid

    November 27, 2016

    Hello from Nova Scotia John,

    I am looking at a mobile home to purchase for family. It will take all of the equity I have built up in my small house so it is very important I get it right. I was doing research to know what to look for, not only the good stuff in the mobile but mostly the bad stuff to be aware of.
    I found your videos on YouTube and I want to thank you so much for providing all the free information that you do. Because of you, I have valuable facts that is going to knock thousands of dollars off of their asking price. They can accept or not because I have also learned from you, if this deal falls through, no worries. There will always be another deal will be around the corner that may be even better! Thanks again 🙂

    • John Fedro

      November 28, 2016

      Hello Victoria,

      Thank you so much for commenting and reaching out. Additionally, thank you so much for your kind words. They truly mean more than you know. Moving forward if you ever have any specific follow-up questions or concerns please never hesitate to reach out any time. While I certainly do not know everything I’m always happy to help if I can. Please keep in touch. All the best.

      Talk soon,
      John

  • Allan Foglio

    December 24, 2016

    Hey John! This is an excellent post that you made. After reading this article I learn extra info from here. Your article is the best. Thanks for sharing this article.