What You Need to Know: Your Buying a Mobile Home Checklist

row of mobile homes

So, you’ve decided to buy a manufactured home, or you think that it might be a good option for you. You’re making a great choice—manufactured homes offer tons of advantages in price, features, and quality, and they’ve helped millions of Americans to become independent homeowners. 

However, the experience of buying a manufactured home has some important differences from buying a stick-built home. This buying a mobile home checklist from the manufactured home experts at MHVillage will help you find the mobile home that’s perfect for you. 

Knowing What You’re Looking For

Your hunt for a great manufactured home should begin with research. Talking to friends and family who own manufactured homes is a great start, as they may be able to give you valuable information on builders and communities that they recommend. Research the types and sizes of mobile homes available and determine which factors are most relevant for you. 

Some basic questions that you’ll need to answer include:

  • Do you want to buy a used home or have a new one built? This guide will mostly focus on what to look for in a pre-existing manufactured home, but, if you have the resources, buying a new one can be a great option.
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms will your manufactured home need? 
  • Do you want a single-wide, double-wide, or triple-wide manufactured home? 
  • Does your climate require a home with greater energy efficiency?
  • Will your mobile home be placed on a permanent foundation?
  • What is your available budget? Understand the different prices of mobile homes

Once you know what you’re looking for, MHVillage offers an easy user interface to filter manufactured home listings by the criteria that matter most to you. 

Finding a Great Community

Most mobile homes are in mobile home communities where residents either own or rent lots from a mobile home park owner. Finding the right mobile home community for you will go a long way toward making your mobile home a pleasant place to live and relax. 

First, learn about the types of mobile home communities and consider the pros and cons of each. Do you want a senior community, an all-ages community, a resident-owned community, or something else? MHVillage’s mobile home classified ads include all different types of communities, so don’t be afraid to pick and choose. 

Mobile home park owners should be able and willing to provide you with information on park rules, utilities, rent, and any other information you need about the park. Visually inspect the park on your own, as well. You want to see a well-maintained park with mowed lawns, minimal litter, and a generally orderly and well-maintained atmosphere.

Evaluating a Manufactured Home

When you find a manufactured home that looks like it could meet your needs, contact the seller, and schedule a time to see the home in person. It’s important to personally inspect any mobile home you’re considering to ensure that its basic structure is intact and that it’s a good fit for you and your family. Our used mobile home inspection tips will help you do a basic review of the home’s structural integrity and condition.

However, most mobile home buyers don’t have the insider knowledge to objectively evaluate a mobile home’s condition and value. That’s why a professional mobile home inspection and appraisal is an important step for ensuring that a mobile home is a sound purchase. Datacomp is the mobile home buyer’s preferred source for an accurate, market-based manufactured home appraisal and thorough inspection. In addition, when a seller lists a home on MHVillage, they receive a free mobile home book value

Shopping for Financing

Mobile home buyers typically have several different financing options available. First, check with the seller of the mobile home—they may offer their own financing options, particularly if they’re a mobile home dealer. 

Buyers who are purchasing land with their manufactured homes and are planning to set their home on certain types of permanent foundation may be able to get a traditional mortgage from a bank. Buyers who are purchasing only a mobile home without owning the land underneath it will likely need to apply for a different kind of loan known as a chattel mortgage. A chattel mortgage is a loan made with your personal property as collateral—in this case, the mobile home, which will be titled as personal property rather than real property. 

Other types of mobile home financing include government-assisted loan programs such as USDA Rural Development loans, Federal Housing Administration loans, CHOICEHome℠ Mortgages from FreddieMac, and MH Advantage® and Standard MH Mortgages from Fannie Mae. Each requires different conditions and offers different advantages, so get prepared by learning about the different types of mobile home loans

Get Started With Your Home Search

At the end of the day, remember that finding a great mobile home usually isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Mobile home buyers have a lot of different resources available to them, and the main things you’ll need are diligence, patience, and an ability to prioritize as you work through your mobile home buying checklist. MHVillage offers the easiest way to get a head start on finding your ideal mobile home, with over 30,000 mobile homes for sale across the USA, plus great tools to find a mobile home dealer in your area.

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