Saturday, August 23, 2008

Why I’ll never buy a Fleetwood…

It has rained nearly nonstop with just a few breaks for the last two days, a perfect opportunity to test roof repairs. I went into the second bathroom this evening to fill up the kitty kats water bowl and what do I see? A slight wet pot in the ceiling above the shower and it's in the same damn exact place that was wet before the roofer (who we trust) came over and fixed it last time. I'm just like "WTF!" because he did a great job fixing it it earlier this year. It was a leak in the angle of the roof where it pitches up (kinda like a triangle). Well something in that area is leaking again and I'm not happy about it. Just two weeks ago our roofer had to patch an area that was causing the ceiling in one of our closets to go soft. He got it just in time, had he not fixed it before Fay it would have been awful. Turns out the previous owners put a piece of PLYWOOD over the hole. He worries of course that LL will get tired of having to pay for repairs and decided to sell it. We've been in it just over two years and we asked for a new lease of three years because DH and I should be done with school by then, and right now it's a good thing for LL that we're here because we pay our rent on time every month and we take good care of the place. Our plan eventually was to consider buying the place if LL decides to sell (he's a nice guy, said he'd give us first dibs) but I don't know. There's just too much that can go wrong with one of these things. I don't care what anyone says, they are STILL manufactured homes and they still suck. We hate renting but this place is only $625 per month and we have 1550 SF, three bedrooms, two bathrooms one of which is as big as one of the spare bedrooms (!), a rather large kitchen, and plenty of space not to mention five wooded acres of land. It's a very quiet and nice place to live. It's worth the gas to live in the rural area 45 minutes from work.

Every time something goes wrong here it makes me less interested in possibly buying this place eventually. Our LL would be smart to shell out the $$ and get a new roof on it, perhaps a nice metal roof would do the trick. Now this is a 1999 Fleetwood and it's NOT even a decade old yet, AND it's a Fleetwood which is supposed to be top of the line. The previous owner (I tracked her down when we moved in) told me that this had been a floor model, I guess it got a lot of wear and tear. But I'm telling you that there should NOT be a condensation leak in the bedroom in a place on the ceiling where the seam meets, holding it together. There should not be occasional small pieces of insulation blowing from the a/c into the vents. The floors should be level, the windows should work (there's one window that will not close all the way, there's about a 1 1/2 " gap and we had to put tape over it on both the inside/outside of the window. The damn thing won't close all the way, if you try it, it cracks more than it already is. When I did contact the previous owner she said that she had contacted Fleetwood and even their tech had come out here and said they couldn't fix it. Umm hello??? They build the damn thing, it's their job to put a new window in—one that works! There should not be a lot of things going on in this nine year old house. I'm thankful to have a roof over my head and overall it's a decent place, it's clean, spacious and the rent is good, but the longer I live here and see the shit that can go wrong, the less I want to buy it. If we did buy it, we'd have it inspected top to bottom and we'd want everything fixed from top to bottom before we bought it – or – take the full cost of the repairs off the price.

I am definitely going to email Fleetwood and tell them that I think their manufactured housing is shit.


  1. Think back to 1980 when we bought this double wide. Remember all the problems we had, the first month the roof leaked and then the pipes in the bathroom busted in the wall. We swore over the years that we'd never, ever buy a manufactured home again. But we also knew that, considering the cost of building a home was out of the question for us, so we made an investment and completely redid this one, new siding, new roof, real concrete all around new double insulated windows and doors. Now we have what I consider a home. I feel that after everything we've done, or rather everything that your dad has done, this home will last us for years and will hold up to many, many storms. You mentioned that you had thought about buying that one? Well, think about doing the same thing. You've got a great place there, spacious, nice looking on the inside, why don't you think about doing what we did? I know that Vin could do it, he's very handy with tools and you could help him. Do a makeover on it and you'll have a good, sturdy home and a great piece of land for years to come.

  2. Anonymous8/23/2008

    Manufactured homes are exactly that. I've never known one that didn't have the same problems. Sma is right. If you do a complete makeover of one you will have a nice home. Otherwise, you will be doing continual repairs.--ST

  3. Hey Jess,
    Sorry to hear about the leaking roof. It's a hassle. Roof leaks can be tough to repair, even in site-built homes. Maintenance (and headaches, sometimes) are an unavoidable part of home ownership.

    Listen to your mother! You are on a beautiful piece of land, and if you choose to buy, your investment is in the land, not the manufactured home.

    You can choose to remodel, or to build a traditional home. Either way, the land value is always there.