Desperately needing serious opinions!

espoladyAugust 6, 2010

My husband and I live in a small 2 bdrm apt. We are 54 and 50. No children, but enjoy making stained glass mosaics and use the 2nd BR for our supplies and workroom.

We have a chance at a possible rent with option to buy a 3 bdrm mobile home not far away. I went today to check it out and loved the size, but as I looked around started to wonder if this is a good idea. Painting the interior isn't a problem...I can handle that. The 'cracks' between the paneling shows where the trim has been removed, or where it's been pieced together. But the water damage around the window in the master bedroom and rotting on the outside as well as damaged walls in one of the bedrooms. I've never lived in a mobile home and don't really know where to begin. Can drywall be put over the existing interior walls? How do we know how much damage has been done to the wall around that window?

I feel we need to go look at this again, REALLY inspecting it better than I did today. I didn't want to offend the owner by inspecting rather than just looking around like I did today.

I took pics to show my husband. Please look at them and give me some honest answers. We are low/middle income and don't have a lot of money to throw into it right away. The skirting and walls have been insulated which is a huge plus.

(I hope this link works!!)

Thank you in advance!


Northeast Iowa

Here is a link that might be useful: Mobile Home

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You don't say the area you are in or the price. I can tell you that I bought a DW foreclosure in March of this year and I think it is the best move I ever made. But that's just my experience, yours could turn out different. There have been no major issues. And as long as you tell yourself there is nothing that breaks that can't be fixed I think that it could be a wondurful experience. I don't regret it at all. Don't know if this helps or not, I hope I have helped a little. good luck

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 3:13PM
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brnincalif - We are in northeast Iowa and haven't talked price yet. The owners have just moved and don't have everything out yet and wanted to clean it first. I had to pretty much beg to get them to let me see it before they cleaned it. lol (just because she's picky like that!)

The thing is I've never lived in a mobile home before so I'm not real sure about it. However I've been going through posts on this forum, learning more and between that and talking to a guy I know who's lived his whole life in mobile homes, I'm not as scared as I was. I really think I'll like it because it will be something I can really make MINE!

So now the next step is to find out how much they want for it...but then comes the next hurdle...the legal side of it! Don't know how to approach this and what all needs to be done.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 4:49PM
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Just be careful to get rid of all the mold!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:51PM
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We live in a new MFH of 2 years. Loving it. I would guess if there is wall damage around a window there is some missing caulk on the outside letting moisture in. Are there eaves on your MFH or is it the older variety with no eaves? There is a membrane on the older homes that you have to very careful with the membrane on the edges and might be damaged. It too can be repaired but you have to seal it up well.

I looked at your pictures and there are no eaves and I would bet that membrane has been broken along the top edge. This probably will continue to be a problem for you unless you really know what you are doing to repair it. I see it is in more than one place. That Stuff in the hole will just wick more water into the house wall. The neighbor lady here had the same problem and spent a huge amount of money residing the whole house and sheet rock inside too.

It really is better to find a home with eaves so the rain water off the roof does not just run down the sides of the house. This has been a real issue for years with MFH.

As far as the seams in the walls where the strips have been removed. There are several posts about filling them here. I have not had to do it. Our house is all sheet rock.

I HAVE done mosaic and tile on the master bath counter and tiles and mosaic back splash on the guest bath counter and surround.I did back splash in the kitchen. I really messed up the window sill and had to remove it twice. EEEKKK Took lots of the sheet rock with it. I was freaked but in the end it was no problem to repair.

So as briancalif says as long as you realize everything can be fixed and the price is right go fo it. If the owner is that fussy maybe SHE will do the wall repairs for you.

As far as making it legal. We take the information to the Title company and write up a regular real estate contract. They do title search and all. Pay their fees. Buyer seller sign. Done deal. If the place is in a mobile home park then you usually will just be buying the house and not the land. So the sale will be a bit different.


    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 9:56AM
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You need to get a well recommended inspector in. Structural issues in mobiles are different from 'regular' houses and someone who understands what matters needs to check it out properly. And be sure you can afford the lot rent every single month (plus it generally goes up at least a bit almost every year).

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 10:29PM
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There are moisture/mold issues that the owner is going to fix per our private contract. These things were slated to be fixed before they found a house to buy.

I have bought Borax to clean the mold with and have done research online as to how to do it.

Sounds like you have a personal story about mold??

    Bookmark   August 15, 2010 at 8:10PM
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espolady, if you've never lived in a mobile home you might be surprised by a few things like I was. It seems the manufacturers use the cheapest material they can possible find to build these things. Forget "workmanship" there is none--pride in workmanship does not exist in the mobile home manufacturing business. When we've gone looking to replace doors, sinks and other things that need repair or replacing it's difficult to find because everything in the mobile home comes in "unique" sizes. The carpet that is put into MH's is the cheapest they could find and wears our very fast. Deciding what to replace the carpet with is another problem--I wanted tile but it would have required going underneath the home and installing extra supports so that walking on the tiles doesn't loosen or break them.

Where the kitchen sink is located the counter top is all buckled from water going against the back splash and running down. I guess at the factory they never considered to chalk that and if the new owners were expected to do so then why not tell them. :(

As you can see I am not a satisfied MH owner. I would like to encourage you to buy an on-a-foundation kind of home instead even if it requires a bit of fixing up it will be a more solid investment for you. I wish I had listened to friends and never made this mistake but now I'm stuck with it and figuring out how to fix and repair a structure that was made to never last very long. I suppose is Americans answer to the so called, "American Dream" that everyone can and should have their own home and jeez, just look at the price--cheap! It's the incredible cheap materials that make me the most angry and terrible workmanship with everything stapled and these staples eventually work themselves loose over time--it's a messy and dangerous with staples sticking out every where been injured a few times!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 11:04AM
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Please don't take Sunsi's version of things to mean all mobiles are like that - they aren't, and some are well thought out and put together. If she bought a place because it was 'cheap' then yes, she got what she paid for, but it doesn't mean they're all like that at all!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 2:34PM
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Barbara Kelly

I just moved into an older 3/2 and am quite pleased. Yes there's a window leaking, and there's stains where water has come in. My solution? What I'm saving in buying vs renting, I'm putting into a savings acct, as soon as I get enough will roof over the whole thing, possibly with metal roofing. This will solve both problems. No more leaks, and will keep the inside cooler with less sun on the roof. I expect just a bit over a year will do it for me.. I am thrilled to be in my "own" home, and have painted the place easily. Useing sheetrock mud and tape will take care of those seams..

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 10:08AM
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