Buying a mobile home?

alviecJuly 24, 2006

They call it a manufactured home. Only becasue they changed the wording when they established the manufactured housing standards act. It is still a mobile home.

If you decide to buy a mobile home, I suggest you check out all applicable State and Federal laws. Why? Because the retailer, installer, manufacturer, and State know what they can get away with when you buy a mobile home.

Recently in a survey of one retailer in Austin Texas, I have personally talked to 11 consumers who did not even know they had the right to file a complaint against the retailer who either refused to perform warranty work and blamed the consumer for the problem. Of these eleven consumers, only one was satisfied with the work performed by the retailers goonies. And he admitted that he just didn't want to mess with it anymore. Sad isn't it.

READ EVERYTHING YOU SIGN. Make a list of warranty items to be addressed within the first thirty days and send a copy via registered mail to the reatiler and manufacturer. If not you will get caught up in a "loop" they like to put you in. Until your warranty period runs out a year later. And don't forget to check the "installation" report sent to the state. Find out how they say they installed your home versus what you know how they installed it. You will be surprised at the information you request from the agencies the retailer and manufacturer submitted. Even if you get an FHA loan. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows you to botain this information. The paperwork I have and the paperwork HUD and the State of Texas have are different. The information the retailer submitted to HUD was falsified.

All you have to do is just look at my property and you can tell that.

However, as a consumer, you are looked at as a "isolated" incident and you will not win a complaint or even get HUD to look at the problem. The State will tell you that there is nothing they can do or that is is out of their jurisdiction. You don't have to belive me. Wait until you can't get your problems with the warranty work done and you want to complain.

The retailers, manufacturers all know how to work the system and you do not stand a chance when it comes to getting the work performed. Or they will send someone out to your home and cause an even greater problem that you originally had.

If you would like to see photos of our Cavco home that was badly damaged by the reatiler and manufacturer, I will gladly provide them to you.



Take a Look a TAISMHO website

Get a real inside look at what you are up against.

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I live in a modular, not a mobile but the dealer where I ordered my home from sells both modular as well as mobile (single, double and triple wide) and has only one guy that does the final punch list. And no matter whether or not the home is modular or mobile he's not finished until you're satisfied. And I did have one problem that only could be rectified by the manufacturer. And they sent a rep up from PA and he was here for almost 7 hours and fixed the problem to my wife's satisfaction. No charge. That was 3 years ago. And no major problems since.
So I guess if you research where you get the house from you can find the good guys. I did.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 8:03AM
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A blanket statement by a disgruntled buyer should always be accepted as what it is, one person's opinion. The fact that some similarly disgruntled people have started a website dedicated to a hatred of manufactured housing should also be suspect.

Did the individual who started this thread have a valid complaint against his dealer? Possibly. What industry does not have its bad representatives? Is he justified in condemning the entire industry? Hardly.

While I have almost 17 years in the modular home industry and have no dog in this fight, I would still suggest approaching the purchase with an open mind. Research the product and the dealer, and talk to their customers. The product is not as bad as a post with an abundace of capital letters would have you believe and is still an affordable option for housing a family.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 8:56PM
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Tiis guy also indicated a website that also rails against manufactured housing. Did you know they will BURN? And do you know they actually get destroyed by tornadoes? And it's all THEIR fault too!

That website is probably put out by a bunch of stick builders who are losing business to the manufactured housing industry.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 8:30AM
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In the realm of manufactured homes, there are (like virtually every other product out there, INCLUDING stick built homes) the good, the bad and the downright ugly. This is a person that didn't do the research and got stuck with a piece of **** from a disreputable dealer and wants everyone to know how it's everyone's fault but theirs. Caveat emptor still applies...

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 11:59AM
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I appreciate the opinions about this article. I envite you to visit my home. As you will clearly see the amount of damage caused by not only the retailer but the manufacturer also. And the internal emails provided via the FOIA from our state agency. The State and HUD are clearly for the manufactured housing industry. Have you ever filed a complaint with your state or HUD? Did you get anywhere with it other than these agencies acting like they are concerned? The dealer has since abandoned the business and has left these other consumers including us high and dry. As for the website mentioned, it was created by an individual who had received treatment similar to ours. He is now an advocate for consumers of these mobile homes. He alone maintains this website.
Sure there are consumers out there that are satisfied with what they got. But the questions is, did you do your research? Did they install it correctly? How do you know? Did you watch them install it? Did you watch them build it?Most base their trust in these people who are very deceiving. Until you have read the Code of Federal Regulations, State regulations, it is likely you have put your confidence in them. Or you are one of the many corrupt person within the manufactured housing industry. I'm not calling them all bad, but there are more bad than good. I love to hear negative feedback from my readers. Most of it comes from the manufactured housing industry.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 10:40AM
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I don't work in the industry, never have. I also NEVER disputed the fact that there are manufactured homes that are built like crap. I've seen them. You get what you pay for. There is also no doubt that there are dealers that will screw you. What I said was that you need to research your manufacturer and your dealer.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Well I for one , got a piece of crap called Fleetwood. Also the first and last mobile home for us . And "you get what you pay for "? we paid a pretty penny but discovered to late it was built with staples ,glue, and cardboard !! What a piece of %$##@. You really don`t see them for what they are till you live in them a while.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2006 at 1:51PM
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A couple of things one should look at when being side tracked by industry people. Read the code of Federal Regulations Congress put into place. 24 CFR 3280 states how mobile homes should be built and 24 CFR 3282 states how the agencies (SAA) should be ran to protect the consumer. Then you have the state regulations and/or statutes that are supposed to be in place to protect the consumer. (Check with your state for this information). One might suspect ALL these intities are rubbing each others shoulders since the consumer ends up getting the worst end of it.

What if the media were to run a survey on television and radio to ask the public(mobile homeowners) to provide input about these so-called federally regulated mobile homes and ask two questions:

1. Were you able to get warranty work in a reasonable amount of time, and
2. What do you think of the quality of your mobile home?

What do you think the stats would be? Probably not very good for the industry. This just might spark a light into the consumer to wonder just how safe these things are. One would wonder what changes might be made to these industries? However, the industries are out to keep this information from the public because they know the mobile homes would not be purchased and stockholders would probably be selling stocks as fast as they could before they lost their money.
So to keep this somewhat simple, the industry is counting on the consumer to be ignorant of the basic facts. Mobile homes are poorly constructed. And it is not until the consumer gets the shaft and is forced into becoming an expert on his or her home that they find out how the real game is played.

If you have had an inspection because of a complaint you filed or if the manufacturer filed an "industry" complaint, you have seen how this works. Did you notice how they tend to selectively write down things? OR they just won't admit to a defect?

This is because the Code Of Federal Regulations (24 CFR 3282) states they have to notify the consumer(s) of such defect: " The manufacturer shall provide notification as set out in this subpart with respect to all manufactured homes produced by the manufacturer in which there exists or may exist an imminent safety hazard or serious defect. The manufacturer shall provide such notification with respect to manufactured homes produced by the manufacturer in which a defect exists or may exist if the manufacturer has information indicating that the defect may exist in a class of manufactured homes that is identifiable because the cause of the defect or defects actually known to the manufacturer is such that the same defect would probably have been systematically introduced into more than one manufactured home during the course of production. This is just one of the many regulations that state how they are "supposed" to do business.
If they can't build a good home, what makes you think they want to do more paperwork.

So, if they ignore it, they are in the clear. All you need to do is read the regulations to see how these guys work. They can paint you a beautiful picture, but in reality it is all in black and white.
So, call me "disgruntled" or "one of the few" if you(industry) want to entice the "consumers" come buy a "defective" mobile home. I am educating these consumers so they know what they are up against when they buy a mobile home that is "non-compliant" before they ever move into it. This is not even counting the many defects(failure to comply with the Act).
In all seriousness, consumers should really read the "Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards" and "MANUFACTURED HOME PROCEDURAL AND ENFORCEMENT REGULATIONS". (They are easy to find. Use any search engine and query these or click just on the links above).

Don't take the word of these guys in the industry who could care less about your safety. Read about mobile home safety from the U.S. Fire Administration. These are reputable organizations, and not just my word about the safety concerns of consumers who own mobile homes. Then make your decision as to whether you want to buy a mobile home.

And, make sure they leave your "running gear" on your property. They are an "intergral part of the home" as stated in 24 CFR 3280. They belong to you, the homeowner. You paid or are paying for them. They are part of the home. This is another money maker for them.

I wonder if these guys taking the "running gear" are reporting this revenue to the tax people. They certainly are not reporting this to the legal authorities. They would go to jail for theft. Duh.

Let's think about this one. I (the consumer) just bought a new mobile home. The retailer/installer/dealer/manufacturer brings my new home to my property. They set it up. Then they remove the "running gear" because they are supposed to. Ok, this could be acceptable. But when they load it up and take it from my property, they just stole something I just paid for or I will be paying for over the next thirty years.

They take it and sell it to a recycler and make money off something they stole from me that I will be paying for over the next thirty years. Does this sound ok to you? I would think not, but it happens on a daily basis.

So, how much money do you think these guys make off of other peoples property? And they think it is abolutely fair practice.

Hey industry guys, consumers are catching on.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 11:25PM
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I want to thank you for the time you took, to post this information.

I have considered buying a mobile home, and I appreciate having this information.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 1:14AM
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