When Is A Mobile Home Too Old To Justify Major Repairs?

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lger
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 4:29 am

I have a 1971 Squire that I am considering updating. I need new floor coverings and would like to update the furnace/central air units. I asked the furnace repairman for a guesstimate on what it would cost to replace the units and he told me that it's not worth the money to do it in this old of a mobile home. That got me to thinking (rare) that these homes must have some kind of a life expectancy. I wanted to remodel the bathroom and kitchen as well but when I thought about what he said I decided that he may be right.

I've given some thought as to the responses to this posting that I may receive and I guess the response that would concern me is if I am asked something like "Is the home structurally sound?". I don't have a clue. What goes first? There is so much that can not be seen by just looking. One concern that I do have is that there is no fiberboard or vapor barrier on large portions of the underside. I was told that the water pipes burst years ago and they needed to remove a lot of the underside to repair things.

I am beginning to think that it may be wiser to replace the home with something newer. I know that this question is very difficult to answer based on what I have given you but what I am really looking for is kind of rule-of-thumb advice. Thank you very much.

Leon
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Yanita
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Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Hi Leon,

Welcome to the site.

My first questions are pretty simple, does the roof leak, and are the floors solid and appear level?

To me if these 2 things are in good repair then if you want to alot time and cash then you are good to go. Every home has repairs and upgrades through the years.

As for your plumbing most here have had to repair/replace that as well, not an uncommon thing.

Underbelly, same reply as above and can be a PITA to replace but can be done. My best advice is to get a inspector in there and check it out.

As for your heat/air unit you do not necessarily have to go with a MH unit, I have a Goodman gas pack. BUT, you will serve yourself better if you post all heat and air questions in the HVAC forums.

It really will depend upon your money and skill on whether you want to tackle this job. Many here have, myself included. The benefits of doing this is once done you know how your home is put together and what quality of materials where used.

Many items can be replaced with items from Habitat for Humanity resale stores, Lowe's etc...There are also alot of bargain stores and bins available. Alot of times floor coverings can be bought in the discontinued areas of stores and fit. LOL, we have small rooms. With creative thought and installs about anything can be achieved.

Look through alot of the post/pictures here and you will get a good idea of what is involved.

Don't forget to check out our BOOKS/PARTS link and grab yourself a copy of our Repair Manual, it will be priceless to you once you start this endeavor.
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!
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Greg
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Location: Weedsport, NY

Hi & welcome. My advice is to figure up EVERYTHING that needs to be done, do a cost estimate and weigh that figure against a newer home. I always plan for the worst and hope I get some luck.

Keep in mind that a newer home may need also need work. Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
mp183
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 12:49 pm
Location: Adirondacks - NY State

I have one made in the 1970's.
It has two additions and would have been a waste to get a new one since that would have to be all re-done.
The home also had an permanent foundation that is insulated.
The home had already been partialy re-done when I bought it.
The home already had a new roof with new rafters etc.
There is a gap between the old roof and new roof.
When I bought it two years ago the 40% in the front was already gutted and re-done. 2x4 studs were added to the walls 2x6 was added to the ceiling. Those had to be shaped to the shape of the ceiling.
Last year I had the rest of the trailer done.
I had the balance of the electrical re-done. All the water lines were
moved inside. Nothing is underneath. Raceways were built up against the walls and ceilings. If there is ever a problem I can just
remove the covers and get to the plumbing without a problem.
Threw out the furnace. There was an existing kerosene heater that is vented through the wall and that heats the whole place in the daytime. I put electric heaters in the two bedrooms and the bathroom. The electric heaters are used at night only. The kerosene heater takes care of the place in the daytime.
It's a neat setup. We used a lot of pine planking to give it a rustic look. Interior doors, closet doors are all solid pine.
It'a neat se-up and looks and feels like a real house.
In this case it was worth doing because the house was in good shape and looks like the previous owners took good care of it.

If the home did not have the foundation, additionl roof and all the addtions it would not have made sense to do all this stuff.
I did some of the stuff myself but the bulk of the stuff I had someone do pretty cheap since it was winter and the guy wanted the work. The guys brother did the electrical work at a very cheap rate. At normal labor costs it would have not made sense to do even the portion that I did.
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Bea
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:00 pm
Location: Plymouth MI

I'm relatively new to MH so someone with more experience will have to chime in. But here are my thoughts.

Do you know the current value of your place? How much would it cost you to move into a home in better shape?

Do you have insurance on it? You might want to chat with your insurance agent about how much they think it is worth and how long they will insure it. I was surprised that in some places MHs are not insurable after a certain age.

When I started to look for a place, I found that the places built before 1976 (HUD regulation) were unregulated and often very shoddily built. That would figure into any decisions I made, and in fact it caused me not to buy several places in more desirable locations.

Good luck with your tough decision!
DigitalDreams

My ideology is how many bedrooms how many bath
and what would it cost to build a stick built or buy a modular with those same features.

If you are financially secure or young enough to withstand a mortgage for one with same features or slightly better then yes buy new or upgrade.

But like in my case I bought one that practically
every room had been redone by the previous owners and it was maintaining it and upgrading things to my liking that has justified near to 15,000 into it.I bought it for 8,000 dollars 14 years ago and put that into it, then paid 13,000 for 12 acres of land which makes total investment of 21,000 and then sunk 15,000 more into it.
With a total of 36,000 in it to date,I still couldn't go to town and buy a handyman special or a hud
home for that now,or buy a modular with similar features off a lot for that now.
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Yanita
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Hi folks,

We are headed to the OFF TOPICS...follow me there.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!
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Yanita
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

On a side note,

I bought a pre hud home...a much better investment than the 32,000 I paid for a brand new singlewide in 1999.

Get your inspection, figure out what your repairs/upgrades are and make sure money is right...then make your decision.

As you can see, some of us put alot of money into our homes, more than we paid typically, and no, the return is not what you have into it. BUT as with all things if maintained afterward you have a home as good as any.

Want insurance on a pre hud...Foremost, the best MH insurance available.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!
topcat
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Salem, MO
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Just a little FWIW......mine is a 96, and was in serious disrepair when I got it. the roof was good and the floors were good, it was just ratty inside. it was well worth repairing, and to be honest, it was a lot of fun and a hell of a learning experience. If its a good base to build on, I'd say go for it.
'If you tolerate this, then your children will be next'
lger
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 4:29 am

Thanks for the advice all. I've learned a lot here. I was kind of worried about collapse after X number of years from the number of years withstanding wind, moisture (especially from underneath), etc. I guess that the best thing would be to have an inspector come and determine if the floor (joists, beams, etc.) are solid. Thank you all for your input!

Leon
lonestar1947
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 8:02 pm

I have a 1955 ABC "Super Coach" it's only 8'x45' but it was worth repairing. I think if you can do the work, then remodel, if you have to hire everything out, then get something newer, or that only needs cosmetic repair.
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Harry
Posts: 1249
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:45 pm
Location: Citrus county Florida

Hi Yanita

Foremost does not insure MHs in Florida.

Harry
Aside from the roof leak, soft floors, rats, mice and bursted plumbing ........ how do you like it?
DigitalDreams

However they do insure them in Minnesota and
older ones as well. I assume they don't insure them in Florida because they tend to blow apart
in hurricane force winds.
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Yanita
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 10:16 pm
Location: Eastern N. Carolina

Hi,

LOL, I don't recall seeing a state mentioned as to where the home is...Florida is a hard place to get MH insurance period...I used to have my other home insured through a company based in Florida, hmmm can not recall the name now...maybe United Bankers Insurance or something like that.

Thankfully Foremost still insures homes in our hurricane prone region, although I do not know if they are writing new policies.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Yanita
The difference between success and failure is who gives up first!
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