Even though it is true that purchasing a mobile home is a very cost effective method of obtaining a comfortable home, just like any other home, it does require a great deal of work to keep it in optimum condition. It is also true that the mode of maintenance will differ from that of a conventional home even though the basic principles of safety and areas of concern are relatively similar.
Provided you know what to look out for, where to get mobile home replacement supplies when required, and when to call in a professional, maintaining your mobile home should be a pleasant experience; irrespective of the size, be it a double wide or single wide which are relatively kept in one place or an RV that’s constantly on the move. Here are some of the most common tasks you will be called upon to perform from time to time;
Ensuring that your home is properly leveled is one of the most important tasks you should and must undertake. Even though at the time of set up your home was leveled, as time goes by you will notice that it needs further leveling as your entry door will not close as tightly, the windows will not fit so right and your floor may squeak when someone walks on it. You may also notice some cracks in the ceiling or the wall. All these are tell-tale signs that your home may not be level, there are DIY kits available to help you with that or alternatively you can call in a professional to help you out.
The second thing you need to look out for is the skirting around your home as apart from protecting the belly of your house, it also helps in conserving energy. Make sure you repair any small hole appearing on the skirting fast. You can apply some tape on the inside and then apply some caulk on the outside and wipe it away with some sanding residue once you are through.
The exterior of your mobile home should also be kept clean. A good option is to either rent or call in someone with a power washer to help you out. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you follow the instructions so as not to damage the siding of your home or injure yourself in the process. Alternatively you can also buy a long extension handle and then attach a sponge or scrubber and clean the siding thoroughly.
For the roof, irrespective of whether it is made from metal or shingles, it is important to examine it regularly and get rid of any debris that may have accumulated over time. All the joints at vents, roof seams and edges along the end and side walls should be coated with some quality roof coating at least once a year. Missing or broken shingles should be replaced immediately so as to avoid instances of leaks. When maintaining the roof, it is not advisable to walk directly on top of the roof, if you have to, use boards that are at least four feet long and place them lengthwise on the roof and then step on them.
At times the cabinet drawers may start getting stuck at the guides and at the edges, this is usually as a result of debris and built up dirt, it is advisable to apply some wax on the drawer guides and edges to help them work more freely. In the case of wardrobes, it is important to keep the floor track clean so as to avoid having sliding problems.
Your rain gutters should also be checked on a regular basis, the main reason of having gutters is to prevent water from damaging the foundation of the home and also protect both the siding and skirting. They usually get clogged with fallen leaves, soil or even a cloth. It is important to always check on the drainage system so as to avoid damaging the roof of your mobile home.
If you have a bathtub or the entire shower stall that’s made from fiberglass, it is imperative that you avoid using cleansers that are abrasive to clean the tub or the entire shower stall for that matter. Using a mild detergent with some warm water is usually recommended, harsh and abrasive cleansers may discolor and dull the surface. In case the surface is scratched or chipped, you can get a repair kit from one of those mobile home replacement supplies stores and repair it or call a professional to do the job for you.
Make sure you have your smoke detectors in working condition, if you have a fire place in your mobile home, be it a triple side or double side fireplace make sure you check on the chimney and clear all the dirt and smoke debris that may be there. While still keeping an eye on fire areas, it is also important to have at least a fire extinguisher placed in a place that’s secured but easily visible and accessible in case of an emergency.
Most mobile homes are usually equipped with a variety of appliances such as a refrigerator, a gas or electric cooker and a set of gas or electric water heaters. It may also have a washer, dryer, garbage disposal and a dishwasher. It is important to carefully read through the manuals of these products, get to know what their warranties cover and take extra care for them. Even though some of these products may be specifically made for a mobile home and may require some getting used to, their maintenance requirements are generally quite similar with those of similar items found in conventional homes.
When replacing fixtures such as faucets and doorknobs from a mobile home, always keep in mind that most of them are usually made specifically for mobile homes and it may be advisable to either get the correct measurement of the holes or if possible, go with the fixture to compare with at the store before buying the replacement. Most likely you will also need special nuts and screws to fix the same.
The external surroundings such as carports, doorsteps, and backyards should also be cleaned from time to time. This is especially so if you are in a place that has lots of trees and other flora and fauna, there is bound to be lots of dropped leaves, bird droppings and other vegetative waste that may require constant cleaning so as to keep the surrounding of your home clean, safe and inviting. If you have branches of trees hanging dangerously close to your home, either move the home or have the branches cut off so as to avoid instances of branches falling on your roof or siding and damaging your home.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Where did mobile homes originate?
A: Mobile homes are housing units which are built in factories and not on site before being transported to where they will be located, usually being carried by tractor-trailers over public highways. This form of housing does go back to the early years of automobiles and motorized highway travel. As a matter of fact, they do derive their name from the travel trailer, a much smaller unit with permanently attached wheels. Larger units are on the other hand intended to be used as dwellings for several months or more in one location and were then known as house trailers which has since been changed. During this period, this form of housing was mainly targeted to persons whose lifestyle was mobile such as construction workers. However, beginning in the 1950s, these units began to be marketed primarily as an inexpensive form of housing that’s designed to be set up and left in a location. The units during this period measured 8 feet or less in width, in 1956, the 10 foot wide mobile home was introduced, helping solidify the line between travel trailers and mobile homes. In the late 1960s and 70’s these units became wider and longer, this diminished the mobility of these units even further. Currently, mobile homes are rarely moved once installed.
Q: Where can one find mobile homes for sale?
A: There are several online stores that sell mobile homes. most of them are approved by the concerned manufacturers. In addition, virtually all the stores have linkages with lending institutions which can provide you with credit facilities. Even though most of these stores tend to sell brand new units, there are also lots of other stores selling used mobile homes in parks and elsewhere. When shopping for a unit, it is highly recommended that you shop for a unit in three of four different stores for the best deal. Whenever possible, you should always strive to purchase a unit directly from the manufacturer; this is normally cheaper since there are no intermediaries such as store owners. A good number of them also tend to offer a variety of mobile home replacement supplies. Here are some of the popular online stores where you can easily get a wide variety of mobile homes:
A: Getting a mobile home loan is possible even if you have blemished or bad credit scores. Even though there are those that won’t offer a loan with bad credit, a good number will listen. Generally, a credit score that’s less than 620 more often than not find a problem in acquiring a mobile home loan. It is also worth mentioning that even though you can access credit, the interest charged is usually higher. The worse your credit score, the higher the interest rate is bound to be. Making a down payment does reduce the monthly payments in interest but paying less or missing a payment will lead to a serious payment problem at the end of the term. It is important to note that the entire process is one of perspective and so you can always shop around for one that fits your bill. It is highly recommended that you get at least 3 different quotes before you decide on the most appropriate lender.
Some of the leading lenders of loans to mobile home owners with bad credit include the following:
A: Under certain conditions some homeowners start to experience problems with windows that will not open as well as doors that will not shut properly even when adjusted. This is usually due to the I-beam has become unlevel due to the settling of the soil beneath the home. a small shift in the soil does leave a significant area of the I -Beam that’s unsupported. If the I-beam does not have support or is sagging, then you need to have it leveled so as to avoid instances of structural damage to the unit. To get this done, you should always hire a reputable, state licensed mobile home installer. You should therefore get a reputable company to help you with the reveling since failure to do this may seriously damage your mobile home. Even though some people opt to do the re-leveling themselves, this is not recommended and one should therefore seek the services of a licensed installer. Here are some of the popular installers, they include but are not limited to the following;
A: The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) was enacted by Congress in 1975 and requires mortgage lenders in metropolitan areas to collect date about their housing related lending activity and report the data annually to the government and also make this data publicly available. So, yes, a mobile home is defined as a dwelling in 203.2(d) and HMDA is reportable if the purpose of the loan is refinancing, home improvement or home purchase. In this regard, if you are buying a mobile home that’s attached to the land and the both loans are secured by the mobile home, then they are both reportable. Otherwise, you only report the loan that’s secured by the mobile home.
Q: Are mobile homes eligible for HARP?
A: Yes, mobile homes do qualify for HARP. What you need to know though is that you may not be able to get the appraisal waiver code in underwriting. This does mean that an appraisal will still be required on all the mobile homes keen on going through HARP. The good news though is that the value doesn’t actually matter. It is important to note though that not all lenders offer this service and some that offer this service may have rather stringent criteria for this. As a matter of fact, some lenders may ask you to show them two or even three years of regular monthly payments on the existing loan. However, there are lenders out there who are willing and ready to help, just keep on looking for the best offer. It does need some patience though and you also need to know where to look.
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