Monarch Home Sales offers the informational “Guide to Buying a Used Mobile Home” below to assist buyers in making sound purchases. All information contained herein is intended to illuminate potential buyers on making informed choices, and is based on practices employed by our company.
- Price of home
- Space rent and lease associated with the space
- Loan percentage rates and loan processing fees
- Insurance and taxes. Taxes on new homes are approximately one percent (1%) of the selling price and may increase if structural improvements are necessary.
- Health and Safety Inspection Report
When visiting potential communities consider schools, shopping and transportation needs. Visit the area at different times of day, and on weekends. This will allow you time to observe the surrounding area, traffic patterns, and may influence your purchasing decision.
Working with a Monarch Home Sales – Sales Specialist
Our Sales Specialists guide you through your home purchase. They have access to multiple listings and lenders that specialize in manufactured homes. Be specific about your needs such as number of bedrooms and baths, geographic preferences, etc.
Your Monarch Mobile Homes Sales Specialist will help you become pre-approved with a loan so you will know what price range to consider.You will be asked to provide the lender information concerning all aspects of your finances. Have these papers and your Social Security number available.
Inspecting A Prospective Home
Knowledge and diligence are imperative when viewing a prospective home. Ask for a certified Health and Safety inspection if you are serious about purchasing the home. Things to look for in a previously owned home before making an offer are:
- Sub-Flooring Check areas near plumbing such as the water heater compartment. Look around toilets and showers for signs of sagging or instability in the floor system. Step slowly through the complete house and check for any signs of flooring failure.
- Ceiling and Roofing Look at the ceiling panels in the home for color differences denoting water damage. Follow the ceiling to the exterior walls of the home. This will be the place of visible damage if the roofing system is faulty. Staining and/or sagging will be an indication of a potential problem. If the ceiling has been recently painted, look for signs of replaced ceiling panels. This will indicate that work has been done in this area. Now is the time to ask why!
- Electrical Check outlets for shorts. Bring a hair dryer, a very portable device that will produce a sufficient load on the circuit to test reliability. Inspect the electrical panel for installation of additional breakers. If so, ask for the sign off sheet from the local building department. Ask how many amps the house and/or park have. 100 amps is preferable. Note: Older homes usually have aluminum wiring. Connections need to be tightened once a year minimally. Consider hiring a qualified electrician, and have copper pig-tailing installed.
- Appliances Turn on appliances included in the home purchase, e.g., washer, dryer, dishwasher, heater and air conditioning. It is also a good idea to run the hot water. The information gained by checking will assist you in negotiating your purchase price.
- Plumbing and Water Pressure Check water pressure by turning on two water devices at the same time. If there is little water pressure, replacing the system can cost several thousands dollars. Do the faucets leak?
- Mold This can be a real issue for older homes that have had a slow unchecked water leak. One of the first signs of mold is an unpleasant odor. If you are concerned about mold have a professional company check before committing to the purchase.
- Smoke Detectors As of January 1, 1986 California State law requires all used manufactured / mobile homes sold have operable smoke detectors as of title transfer date. If the home was built with a hardwired smoke detector, regulations state these devices must be in operating order (not powered by battery back up). Ensure potential home has a working smoke detector.
Negotiating the Purchase Price
Once the prospective home has passed inspection and you wish to present an offer, obtain an estimate of repair or replacement costs for items noted during inspection. Present this to your agent, and ask for these items to be repaired or deducted from the asking price. This moves these items from liabilities to assets.
Making an Offer
Carefully review the “Offer to Purchase” and note all items to be addressed and agreed to, e.g., that price and contingencies are clear and in writing before you sign. This should include items to be repaired and / or disclosed prior to the establishment of a valid offer. To accompany your offer, a deposit check in the amount of $1,000 is required, made payable to the Escrow Company.
You must be park approved prior to residency. This means the mobile home park has the right to check your credit, and consent to you and all other members of your family living there. If you are unsure about approval, write a contingency in the contract that states: subject to park approval. Most parks require an offer on the table before park approval.
Do not sign any rental agreement for the specified space until you have read and understood all of the parks Rules and Regulations, as well as all lease options and the future cost of space rents.
The park manager is in place to ensure peace and comfort for all residents within the guidelines of the park. You can help facilitate this relationship by being clear and honest. Contact the park manager and ask questions prior to purchase. You will be asked to provide financial records, to review park Rules and Regulations, and to sign a rental agreement or assume a lease. Take time to understand all the benefits and limitations of this lifestyle before signing on the dotted line.
Purchasing a Home Warranty Program
This is a low cost, excellent option to protect against roof, appliance, plumbing and/or electrical defects that may fail due to age. Replacement costs can be high. Taking this step can easily offset the cost of the warranty, especially if the price of the warranty is negotiated with the seller.