Buying manufactured housing may be one of the largest investments you ever make. It is also important to assure that your investment, which is where you live, meets expectations and is habitable. You should take several precautions which can help you assert your rights under Texas real estate law.
A homeowner’s manual along with manufacturer, retailer and appliance warranties should accompany a new home. Manufacturer’s warnings generally cover workmanship defects in factory-installed structure, plumbing, heating and electrical systems along with factory-installed appliances.
The retailer’s warranty contains an explanation of the warranty and the services that the retailer will perform. Separate warranties may govern appliances which also include use and care manuals if these are not covered by manufacturer warranties. Purchasers need to learn how to get warranty service and to properly maintain their new home so that warranties will be honored.
Site preparation and placement requires review of zoning requirements, restrictive covenants and connections to electrical, water and sewer utilities. Permits may be required, especially in low lying locations.
Except for rental communities, homeowners are responsible for site preparation. This may require the removal of debris, sod, tree stumps and other organic material from areas where the footings will be placed. Organic material should be trimmed, and exterior grade slopes should be sloped away from the home to prevent surface runoff from settling under the structure. There should be adequate site access, so the home is not damaged during transport.
Buyers are better protected if they purchase their home from a retailer licensed in Texas and by using an installer licenses in the state. Retailers and installers must complete a licensing class and have proper bonds and insurance.
Bonds and insurance protect you if the retailer or inspector go out of business before the warranty expires. These address faulty installation that can cause unsafe conditions, structure deterioration, rapid depreciation and higher utility costs.
As soon as possible, inspect the entire interior and exterior of your home. Pay attention to interior and exterior doors because problems may indicate that the structure was improperly installed and is not level. Walls, floors and ceilings should be inspected for damage and you should assure that all windows, faucets and appliances are working.
An attorney can help seek damages for defects. They can present the most reasonable options for correcting defects or obtaining relief.