Need some info on mobile homes

JasonsMommyDecember 30, 2005

Hi =)

My husband and I are currently living with my parents and plan to buy a pre-owned single wide mobile home within the next 6 months.(We want to save money to build a log home.) We're not looking for anything fancy and a trailer in need of some repair is fine with us. We'll be looking for a 3 bedroom. We're looking for something VERY affordable so will probably look for a mid-80's to early 90's home. Which makes/models are better quality?

I'm curious what the average is for having a trailer moved, how to go about getting it set up on the property we own, info on septic tanks (installation, costs,etc). Will we need to have a concrete foundation? I'm trying to come up with an estimate of how much work and money will be involved for the bare essentials of setting this place up to be liveable.

I've been searching the internet for answers for weeks now and so far, haven't found much. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.

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Are there any dealers you could poke around the lots and ask questions of? Even if you have to drive a bit....sometimes they have used trailers or even a model for a good price. At least they should be able to give you advice.

Personally, I've never seen a three bedroom single wide. When I was little my folks a a single that was 60 feet long (I think) and there were only two small bedrooms..........but that was a long time ago.

Definitely go with a home built after 1980 so it's built according to standards. As far as foundations, you'll have to talk to a local company that does them. Different states have different rules. From what I can see, what is considered a permanent foundation out here in CA is cement under the supports, but I know of others on a slab foundation ( I hate slabs, repairs are a pain).

Of course you'll have to be concerned with not having your pipes freeze.....I'm on septic here too, the only thing I know about is where the septic is in relation to your well (if you have one). Again, talk to a local septic person, or more than one.

I know there are companies that specialize in transport, hopefully there is more than one in your area so you have a choice. I would imagine they also install the home but I don't know...As in everything else though, cheaper isn't always better, so with all of these things, don't hesitate to ask for names of previous customers to see how satisfied they were.

The other thing I'v learned is that with mobile/manufactured homes, you can't just go to the hardware store. A lot of things are sized just a bit different so you have to get something specifically made for MHs.

Good luck! I hope this helps a bit.


    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 11:47PM
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I disagree with the above poster. Mine is a three bedroom two bath. In my area, it costs about $3500 to have one moved. That is just hooking onto the unit and driving. Tearing down, that is skirting removal, electric removal, tie down removal is all extra. Set up, once it gets to the location is another extra. Septic is very expensive in some locations. Must be permitted, inspected, and put in to exact code. This can vary greatly from one zone to another. I have never bought anything from a mobile home parts place. Lowes or Home Depot work for me. We have always treated our home as a home just as any stick built house. Different parts of the country have different brands that are better than others. Mine for my area is one of the best. That could be different somewhere else. I suggest you speak to some people in your area who live in the type of mobile you are interested in. Find out the pros and cons. Also, call your local building department, zoning department, and health department, ask about the septic issues and what kind of pad or pillars the home could be placed on.There may be other zoning issues and or building issues they could tell you about. That varys as well. Go to some local parks, a great place to speak to owners and a great place to look at models and find deals on used homes in the park.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 11:05AM
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They have 3 bed single wides in Ohio? Just goes to show -every area is different. When you look at websites for new homes, you can see that different areas have different requirements so maybe that's where the difference lies.

I can only speak from my own experience in California and my vague memories of Maryland in the days before standards.

Since I bought an existing home, and looked at many other existing MHs on their own lot, I can't really help much with moving and setup details. I have no idea what the rules are in WV, that's why I offered some thoughts on finding right answers.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 5:53PM
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There are so many differences in the same state and or county. Some areas are restricted to only double wides, no single whether on foundation or not. Zoning has a lot to do with that. That is why I suggested she speak to the actual departments in her area. BTW,Jasonsmommy, What part of WV are you in? If I knew that I could help you more.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 9:17AM
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Have you considered buying a larger used rv trailer to live in? some are really nice and may be fine to live in for the time you need it. When you are done building you can then have a trailer for camping or resell it.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 10:12PM
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I would definitely call around places in your area. Prices and regulations and things like that vary from basically township to township here. It also depends on where you're putting this trailer because parks have different rules, too.

Yes, they DO make 3 bedroom singlewides. I have seen plenty of them and we have one. Our trailer was made in '88. We have the master bedroom and full bath at one end and the kid's rooms and half bath at the other.

We also have yet to go to the dealer for anything. We treat our trailer as you would any home. A lot of homes don't have things that are the average size so that's nothing new!

We have replaced the exterior doors and some windows, put down new flooring, replaced subflooring, painted all the paneling, built new and re-faced the bathroom vanities, replaced appliances and many other things. I LOVE my home and I know one day we're going to want more space but I'll be sad to let it go!

If you're going to do any work, though be prepared to have to do extra work and have to work around things not being square and other hold-up's but again I know people that have nice new expensive homes that are the same way!


    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Thanks everyone for your input. We live in rural, north central WV. There doesn't seem to be any zoning in this area. It's a small, unincorporated town. There are trailers on several pieces of private property and as far as I know, people pretty much do as they please when it comes to set up and adding on. I'll check with the county office about permits and such just to be sure.

I apologize for taking so long to reply but things have been really crazy around here this past week. I'll write more soon. Again, thanks so much!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 11:14PM
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I am assuming you already have a lot? I would check with a mobile home moving company. They might know of one being removed and for sale. When we had our first mobile home (1985 Schult in PA) we had to put heat tape on the water pipes and be sure you follow the instructions and do not get a longer size than you need and overwrap it. My cousin had a fire doing that. There are shorter tapes - ours was 3'. Inside the water pipes under the sink maybe once a year would freeze in a bitter north wind so we learned to leave the cupboard door open. The septic did not need any tape because the pipe was bigger and sloped away. We lived in this home - purchased used - for 15 years before we built our house and we paid $18,000 for it and sold it for $6,000. We bought it as a repossession and the only thing we replaced was the kitchen floor so the next owner had some work to do. It was cheap living though!
Home #2 is in Chincoteague VA. We bought a lot, cleared off an abandoned 60's leaker full of wet furniture.
We went to Delaware to a big mobile home dealer and bought a home that was owned by a finance company going out of business. It is a 1997 vinyl sided Redman 3 bedrooms, 2 bath doublewide and we paid $13,000 for it but had to pay to have it towed (about $1,000) Set up was another $2,000 but the trailer had to be above flood stage (over 4'). The new regular septic was $1200. We saw a set of fiberglass steps for sale in front of a doublewide and lucked into a deal for skirting too. Skirting and track are pricey and Lowes sells it. If you are in a high wind area as we are we had to brace the skirting behind it with a sturdy framework to keep it from blowing under (we used a futon frame for part of it). If you are creative you can save money. We were going to buy a log home too until we talked to a couple who lives in one. That's a whole 'nother story! Do your homework though.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 9:37PM
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In this area, you can get a MH moved for around $1500 which includes moving and setting up on cinderblocks. Blocks are the standard set-up, so anything else would be extra. A concrete foundation would be far superior to help avoid shifting which would make your MH out of level. It depends on the type of soil you will be setting up on. When we lived in a MH, it was a mid-eighties model and required LOTS of upkeep and extra work that we put into it. They are prone to leaks around doors and windows, and along the roof edge, because many of them in that age category don't have a roof overhang. You can find some great deals on mobile homes buying from individuals rather than mobile home dealers, so really look around before you buy. And there are some parts from MH's that you can only buy from a MH supplier or a big box store that carries parts specifically for MH's. Examples: replacement windows and doors, parts for AC/ heater units, some types of plumbing parts in older models, just to name a few. As far as I know, though, Lowe's sells some stuff just for mobiles. Good luck in your search and endeavor.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 9:00AM
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