Looking at a mobile home from 1972. What should I be concerned about?

8 Replies

I have no experience owning a mfg home.  It is a 3BD, 2BA home with about 1300sqft, a detached garage on an owned lot so no lot fees.  Structurally the home seems sound and looks like mostly cosmetic work needed.  My main concerns are these:

1. The ceiling has some water spots but noting looks recent.  The roof is old and likely needs to be replaced.  The problem is that there is no way to get into the "attic" space.  Suggestions?

2. Nearly every ceiling in the home droops a little.  They all seem solid and I think at some point someone has floated in a second layer of covering.   

3. How will a bank appraise it once it is fixed back up?   I have looked for comps but they range from 8k up to 50k so it's hard for me to guess what the place would be worth once fixed.

I've bought homes "as is" before so I know from that standpoint to assume the worst and hope for the best but I am mostly just unfamiliar with Mobile Homes and how to assess what I am seeing.  

Appreciate any input from experienced owners. 

Thank you!

I am no expert, just a newbie but for such an old home prior to 1976 you will not have a HUD seal. I doubt it is worth more than 8k, probably even less. You might not be able to move it anywhere due to lack of HUD seal. You might want to get some quotes on fixing it before moving any further.

Originally posted by @Eric Wallace :

I have no experience owning a mfg home.  It is a 3BD, 2BA home with about 1300sqft, a detached garage on an owned lot so no lot fees.  Structurally the home seems sound and looks like mostly cosmetic work needed.  My main concerns are these:

1. The ceiling has some water spots but noting looks recent.  The roof is old and likely needs to be replaced.  The problem is that there is no way to get into the "attic" space.  Suggestions?

2. Nearly every ceiling in the home droops a little.  They all seem solid and I think at some point someone has floated in a second layer of covering.   

3. How will a bank appraise it once it is fixed back up?   I have looked for comps but they range from 8k up to 50k so it's hard for me to guess what the place would be worth once fixed.

I've bought homes "as is" before so I know from that standpoint to assume the worst and hope for the best but I am mostly just unfamiliar with Mobile Homes and how to assess what I am seeing.  

Appreciate any input from experienced owners. 

Thank you!

Howdy @Eric Wallace and @Rina Amir

OK - a couple items...

1 - Is the roof metal, rolled roof material, shingles or ?
Metal can usually be repaired or recovered with a membrane. You can do shingles but entails roof joists and is costly.

There isn't attic space to get into. 

2 - Ceilings may be sagging due to walking on the roof and age and condition. Many times older unit ceilings will sag. Legally, you can only put 1 layer of roof on mobile homes due to weight. Many people put extra layers but not recommended and not legal.

3 - I don't know any banks that will finance a mobile home of this vintage. Market value is dictated by area, park, condition, etc. I've obtained them for $500 and after repairs sold them over $30k - same unit. I know several people who have gotten them for $1 ! Yes one dollar.

--------------------------

Condition is more important than age. I recently sold 2 that were older than 1976.

1968 2 bed/1 bath for $24,900

1970 2 bed/1 bath for $28,000

In some areas, you may need to upgrade the home to local code standards.

1 - Sheetrock around heater and hot water heater and within 6 inches of cook top.

2 - Egress (escape) windows in bedrooms.

3 - Electrical - older than 1976 may have aluminum wiring instead of copper and pugs and switches may need to be upgraded.

4 - Linoleum may contain asbestos and might need to be removed.

Hope all this is clear. If I confused anything, let me know and I can clarify.

Check with local codes for requirements. Building dept can steer you to right info.

In most states you register mobile homes with Dept of Motor Vehicles, just like a car and they can point you in the right direction, too.

Have fun!

Old mobile homes have water pipes that freeze and break as well, unless they have been converted over to Pex. I believe that's why I updated to when I owned mine in 1999. One other down side is there is no possibility for appreciation in a mobile home they are yearly losing money.
Originally posted by @Bill Neves :
Originally posted by @Eric Wallace:

I have no experience owning a mfg home.  It is a 3BD, 2BA home with about 1300sqft, a detached garage on an owned lot so no lot fees.  Structurally the home seems sound and looks like mostly cosmetic work needed.  My main concerns are these:

1. The ceiling has some water spots but noting looks recent.  The roof is old and likely needs to be replaced.  The problem is that there is no way to get into the "attic" space.  Suggestions?

2. Nearly every ceiling in the home droops a little.  They all seem solid and I think at some point someone has floated in a second layer of covering.   

3. How will a bank appraise it once it is fixed back up?   I have looked for comps but they range from 8k up to 50k so it's hard for me to guess what the place would be worth once fixed.

I've bought homes "as is" before so I know from that standpoint to assume the worst and hope for the best but I am mostly just unfamiliar with Mobile Homes and how to assess what I am seeing.  

Appreciate any input from experienced owners. 

Thank you!

Howdy @Eric Wallace and @Rina Amir

OK - a couple items...

1 - Is the roof metal, rolled roof material, shingles or ?
Metal can usually be repaired or recovered with a membrane. You can do shingles but entails roof joists and is costly.

There isn't attic space to get into. 

2 - Ceilings may be sagging due to walking on the roof and age and condition. Many times older unit ceilings will sag. Legally, you can only put 1 layer of roof on mobile homes due to weight. Many people put extra layers but not recommended and not legal.

3 - I don't know any banks that will finance a mobile home of this vintage. Market value is dictated by area, park, condition, etc. I've obtained them for $500 and after repairs sold them over $30k - same unit. I know several people who have gotten them for $1 ! Yes one dollar.

--------------------------

Condition is more important than age. I recently sold 2 that were older than 1976.

1968 2 bed/1 bath for $24,900

1970 2 bed/1 bath for $28,000

In some areas, you may need to upgrade the home to local code standards.

1 - Sheetrock around heater and hot water heater and within 6 inches of cook top.

2 - Egress (escape) windows in bedrooms.

3 - Electrical - older than 1976 may have aluminum wiring instead of copper and pugs and switches may need to be upgraded.

4 - Linoleum may contain asbestos and might need to be removed.

Hope all this is clear. If I confused anything, let me know and I can clarify.

Check with local codes for requirements. Building dept can steer you to right info.

In most states you register mobile homes with Dept of Motor Vehicles, just like a car and they can point you in the right direction, too.

Have fun!

 Thank you all for the feedback.   Bill Neves,  it is a double wide with a peaked roof and shingles.   I will budget a tear off  with new shingles.  Thanks again for the info.

Originally posted by @Cory Wo :
Old mobile homes have water pipes that freeze and break as well, unless they have been converted over to Pex. I believe that's why I updated to when I owned mine in 1999.

One other down side is there is no possibility for appreciation in a mobile home they are yearly losing money.

If he's flipping it this doesn't matter. 

And if he's renting it this again doesn't matter. 

You force appreciation with repairs. Or cash flow at way higher than SFH rates.

Originally posted by @Cory Wo :
Old mobile homes have water pipes that freeze and break as well, unless they have been converted over to Pex. I believe that's why I updated to when I owned mine in 1999.

One other down side is there is no possibility for appreciation in a mobile home they are yearly losing money.

If he's flipping it this doesn't matter. 

And if he's renting it this again doesn't matter. 

You force appreciation with repairs. Or cash flow at way higher than SFH rates.

Hello all that may read this!

I am relatively new to investing in real estate, but have been a student of the industry since 2007. Mobile homes however, I know a lot about, as a mobile home has been my home for all of my life. I have been over, under, around, in and out with the maintenance of my mobile home [in all types of weather] that was built in 1972 for model year 1973.

What you have to worry about with a mobile home older than 15 - 20 years is 'how structually sound' the mobile home is. There are mobile homes in my community that are much more new than mine, but are in deplorable condition. The reason why my mobile home is structually sound is because I have kept up with the maintenance and took care of the necessary repairs as things have broken down, fallen apart or just plain ol' stopped working. I can give you horror stories of all of the crap that I've dealt with, just to keep my place going.

As far as the original question of this particular thread, you have a plethora of things to worry about with a 40+ year old mobile home. The main thing is, structual stability of the roof, walls and floor. If those are in check, then you can do all the repairs or upgrades you wish. If there is an issue with the roof, wall(s,) floor or a combination of all three, then you have to figure out the cost of that or those repair(s) and see if it would be financially worth it to perform the repair(s.)

A mobile home more than ten years old normally will not qualify for financing through a traditional bank loan. So, you would have better luck looking elsewhere for the funds. Also, the older a mobile home is, the more difficult it becomes to get homeowner's insurance on it.