Many features found in new manufactured homes can be found in pre-owned homes, usually at a substantial savings. Although most preowned homes are a good bargain, you can make a better buying decision if you know where to look, what to look for and what to be cautious about.
An established, well maintained home in a manufactured home community or on private land is often a real value. Since a home's location is as important as the home itself, you should carefully consider the neighborhood and surrounding area before you buy a home.
If you are looking for a preowned home in a rental community, check out the neighborhood before you check out the home. Drive around to see if the community has a neat, pleasant appearance and if most of the homes are well maintained. Does it seem secure and friendly? Is the location close to work, schools, shopping centers and churches?
Visit the rental community office and ask the manager about monthly fees and what kind of approval is required for residence. Are there rules and regulations concerning children or pets? What services and amenities are offered? How many homes are listed for sale in the community?
Preowned manufactured homes located on private property can also represent an excellent housing value. In some ways a preowned home on private land is easier to buy and move into than a new home. The practical matters of getting permits and installing the manufactured home have already been taken care of.
But as a prospective buyer, it's wise to take time to check with building officials or the local planning department to ask about up-to-date zoning laws, restrictions, water, utilities and sewerage hookups.
For example, have any recent restrictions been placed on the property or size of the home? Did zoning requirements change since the home was placed on the property? Are there any new circumstances that might affect the sale of a preowned manufactured home?
Searching for your preowned manufactured home is exciting, but can also be time consuming and frustrating. Knowing where look for the best deal can smooth out the search and help you make a good decision. Although there are many good ways to find and buy a preowned manufactured home, here are a few suggestions:
Shop around for the right home at the right price. Compare quality, costs, design, interior and exterior features. But don't be fooled by appearances. Look past the floor plan and furnishings and concentrate on how the home is built. Structural integrity is the most important factor to consider when buying a preowned home.
Virtually every preowned home needs some repair or improvement, but you will want to know about any major defects and what it will take to fix them. Use the following checklist to help you find potential problem areas.
After you have inspected the preowned home carefully, ask the seller to give you a written promise that all major systems are in good working order and that there are no substantial defects with the home. Never rely on oral promises from the seller or sales person – get it in writing.
Review the purchase agreement and financing terms with caution. Do not leave any blank spaces on the contract. Before you sign an agreement of sale, you might consider asking an attorney to look it over and tell you if it protects your interests.
If your home will be located in a manufactured home community, ask for written documents, such as rental agreements, maintenance agreements, rules, regulations and restrictions before signing a lease.
Most preowned manufactured homes do not carry any warranty from the retailer or manufacturer. If the private seller or broker says one exists, ask to see the terms. In case you are considering a home that is still in the one-year new warranty period, be sure to check the owner's manual. In some cases, the warranty does not continue if there is a change in ownership.
Be sure there is a separate title document for each section of the home – one for a single section home and two documents for a double section home. Check to see if the title shows the correct model year. If you paid for the home in full you will receive the title. If there is a loan on your home, the lender will receive the title, and hold it until the lien amount has been paid.
Set aside ample time to look at a variety of preowned manufactured homes before you make a buying decision. By comparing similar homes in the area you will be better able to spot a bargain as well as a home that is overpriced.
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