Buying A Pre HUD Mobile Home? 1976 Or Older?You really need to be more concerned about the condition of such and old mobile home before you do.
There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a pre HUD mobile home (built before June 15, 1976),
the most important being financing.
Unless you're paying cash I'd look into securing a chattel (personal property) loan before you commit to a purchase. Chattel loans for homes this old are very difficult to find. If you do find a lender they will usually require a huge down payment, will demand a very high interest rate and will usually only allow 10 to 15 years to repay the loan. Maybe 20 but that's a stretch.
All in all it can be a very expensive ordeal. Then when you finally add the rent, utilities and insurance into the mix you'd almost be better off in today's market looking for a condo or a manufactured home in a resident owned park/development.
Another thing to be concerned about is the safety of such an old MH. Many if not most pre HUD homes have some genuine concerns regarding caustic materials i.e. formaldehyde, asbestos ad other caustic and/or carcenogenics. Mold and mildew can also be a concern.
Add to that the overall condition of a home that old. Pre HUD homes were built like trailers unlike today's HUD approved 2x6 walled Factory Built Housing. Additionally, I would encourage you to hire an experienced MH inspector not just any home inspector. Most home inspectors don't understand all the nuances that pertain to a MH let alone a pre HUD.
You need to make sure that the understurcture i.e. the wood pads, steel piers, etc are in good condition and not dry rotting, termite ridden or rusting out and that the home is level. Then you need to see if there is a California Housing & Development (HCD) approved earthquake resistant bracing system (ERBS) installed. If not you had better consider adding about 2 to 4 thousand dollars onto the cost of the home if you want to get adequate insurance which you will have to have if the home is being financed.
In the photo above you can see where the Vapor Barrier has been ripped open by a rodent or cut open by a plumber and not repaired properly. In any event it compromises the integrity of the home inasmuch as it will leave tthe home vunerable to rodent nesting along with mold and mildew issues. Many inexperienced home inspectors miss this and in many cases don't even attempt to crawl trhough the entire understructure.
In the photo below the Insulation that should be incapsulated in the cavity above the Vapor Barrier and below the floor has fallen to the ground. This could seriously compromise the temperature control on the interior thereby creating a serious HVAC consistancy issues which could lead to increased energy costs year around.
Next make sure the inspector checks the vapor barrier and insulation under the home for rips, tears and nesting rodents or cats. This is a great nesting place for critters. The nickname for the vapor barrier is "Varmint Barrier".
Lastly, make sure the home and the entire park does not have an inherent drainage problem and have your inspector look for standing or ponding water under and around your home and adjacent lots. Also have them look for any evidence of soil erosion and expansive (deeply cracked and checkered clay) soil. If there is any evidence of a drainage issue there could also be inherent mold and mildew issues.
As you can see from the photo above and below these drain pipes have become severely clogged and are rendered completely ineffective and useless. This situation inhibits if not totally restricts any runoff to escape to the storm drain system thereby allowing it to back up under the home where it will pond, erode, damage understructure components and cause mold and mildew issues.
A few hundred dollars on the front end of a purchase like this can save you thousands of dollars and years of grief on the back end. We don't provide inspections because as a contractor, dealer and broker that would be a conflict of interest and would be self serving. But please feel free to contact
As a parting thought you may want to consider simply removing the old pre HUD home and installing a
state-of-the-art Factory Built HUD compliant Home and save yourself years of frustration. You would be gaining years of pleasure and fullfillment and have an asset that you can take to just about any bank. Today's Factory Built Housing is built exactly like any site built home and in many cases even better.
Additionally, you will find it much easier to finance a new home and realize much friendler terms than that of a Pre HUD Trailer. Not to mention how much easier it becomes when trying to market a new Factory Built Home.