Manufactured homes have been around for many years
now and may get a bad rap sometimes. Since they came
to the property with wheels attached, for many years they
were labeled mobile homes. There have been some
famous redneck jokes that highlight this fact. Even though
they are entertaining, such teasing may unfairly characterize
owners of such properties. While it is a true that stick
framed homes generally hold their value better than a
manufactured home, many properties that are manufactured
homes are extremely high quality and offer wonderful
floor plans and amenities. Since a manufactured home
offers relatively inexpensive and quick setup, this has been
an economically viable choice that has allowed many
folks the enjoyment of a rural location.
Since manufactured homes do not fit under the Uniform
Building Code, the Department of Labor and Industries has
been tasked with the stewardship for policing and permitting
any alterations or additions to manufactured homes.
I recently viewed a property with a client which was
obviously a quality home in a wonderful setting. The massive
rear deck and impressive covered front deck immediately
attracted my attention. I asked if an L&I permit had
been obtained when this construction project had been
done and the owner assured me that it was built by a
licensed contractor, “so it must have had the proper permitting.”
In this case the contractor had applied for the
proper county permits, yet had failed to obtain a permit
and inspection from the Department of Labor and
Industries. Most home owners and many good contractors
are simply unaware of this requirement!
Most of the time when a purchaser considers buying a
property, one of the main criteria is to at least consider
what the resale value will be when they decide to move on.
When purchasing a manufactured home, a buyer should
understand that any alterations done prior to or during
their ownership, could have legal ramifications for them,
unless such inspections have been done. Since most people
do not find out about this requirement until the 11th
hour during a sales transaction, the corrective action
required can be irritating and costly, especially when
major deficiencies are discovered.
If you own a manufactured home or are planning to in the
near future, remember this tidbit of information so that you
can have peace of mind knowing that your remodel contractor
has complied with local and state permitting requirements.