How do I find out the age and manufacture of a manufactured home? 

While one can often tell a lot by looking at a manufactured home, any discerning home buyer knows: there is often more than meets the eye. When inspecting and considering the purchase of a manufactured home, or preparing your existing home to sell, you will want to track down two documents that you will likely find conveniently affixed to the home itself!

The first is the Data Plate:

The name can be a bit misleading. The data plate is actually a certificate, usually printed on paper, and posted somewhere in the home’s interior. You might sometimes hear the data plate be referred to as a “compliance certificate”.

 What does the data plate display?

On the data plate, you will find details of the manufactured home displayed, including date of manufacture, model number and manufacturer, and serial number. For a more detailed rundown of what you may find posted on the data plate, click here.  

What should I do if I can’t find the data plate?

Let’s be clear about what you’re looking for: The data plate will be printed on paper (sometimes foil), and be around the size of a standard piece of paper (8.5”x11”). It is usually affixed to an interior wall, and either inside a cabinet, the master bedroom closet, near the laundry, the main electrical panel or other breaker box. 

What if I determine that the data plate is missing altogether? 

According to HUD.org: 

“The In-Plant Primary Inspection Agency (IPIA) is a third party inspection agency that works in conjunction with HUD. to inspect manufactured homes during the manufacturing process to ensure that the manufacturer meets the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards. To obtain a list of inspection agencies, visit here.”