About this calculator. This tool is meant to provide a ball park estimate of the cost to buy a new mobile home. As with anything else, there are lots of details that go into determining the exact sales price. But you should be able to get a rough estimate of the cost as well as monthly payments on the loan.
How Much Does a Mobile Home Cost?
Mobile homes have been around for decades but they’re seeing somewhat of a resurgence. It could be the rising popularity of a growing minimalist movement or the skyrocketing costs of home ownership in some parts of the country. Or, perhaps it is simply because investing in a mobile home is a smart choice for the right buyers.
Mobile, or manufactured homes, are those built in a factory and then moved to a location. If the factory-built home was manufactured prior to June 15, 1976, it is considered a mobile home. If it was built after, it is a manufactured home. However, the terms are generally used interchangeably to refer to any home not built on a foundation.
Mobile homes are a great option for anyone look for an affordable alternative to a traditional home. Choosing a mobile home can also often allow you to move to a location you might otherwise not be able to afford. Whether you’ve been inspired by the tiny home revolution or are simply looking to downsize, a mobile home may be the right choice for you.
But exactly how much does a mobile home cost and what should you know before buying? We’ve broken down some of the basics regarding mobile home ownership.
Average Mobile Home Price
According to Census Bureau statistics, the nationwide average price for a mobile home in September 2020, was $87,300. This includes any house not built on a foundation. For comparison, the national median price for a traditional home built on a foundation in the same month was $350,000.
However, there are several factors that contribute to the cost of a mobile home including location, type of home, and other customizations or associated costs. You will need to consider not only where you will locate your mobile home but also whether you are renting in a community or you own the land on which the home will sit.
Types of Mobile Homes
Just like traditional houses, mobile homes come in a variety of types. There are single-wide, double wide, and even multi-wide mobile homes.
Single-wide mobile homes are the smallest and therefore, the most affordable. These smaller homes fit within one highway lane, so they take less work to move and transport. Single-wide mobile homes can range between roughly 750 square feet and 1400 square feet. They generally have one to two bedrooms with one or two bathrooms. In September 2020, the average price for a single-wide mobile home was $58,300.
As the name suggests, double-wide mobile homes are twice the size of their single-wide counterparts. These homes arrive in two parts and must be assembled at the home site. Most double-wide mobile homes have two to three bedrooms and sometimes as many bathrooms. Many have separate dining spaces and can span anywhere between 2,000 to 2,500 square feet. In September 2020, the average price for double-wide mobile homes was $107,800.
Although transportation of these homes can be a bit more complicated, it also means there are more customizations available to both the interior and exterior. For some, this flexibility and extra space is well worth the added costs.
While it is possible to get a mobile home that is larger than double-wide, these multi-wide homes are rare. Multi-wide mobile homes can be up to 4,500 square feet but will look the most like a traditional site-built home. The price of these home varies according to size but can be double the cost of a double-wide home.
Mobile homes do allow for customizations so that your home best suits your family’s needs. Common customizations include changes to kitchen cabinets and appliances, or bathroom fixtures.
Some mobile homes also allow for structural customizations like porches and garages. Because these are larger jobs, they are more expensive than cosmetic changes. The cost of any customizations varies greatly so be sure to get quotes and understand the typical costs in your specific geographic location.
Home Site Costs
Because all mobile homes are built in a factory, you need to secure land to put your home. Generally, you have three options: buy a plot of land, rent land or put your mobile home on property you already own.
There are benefits to both renting or buying, depending on your situation. Renting is great if you plan to move your mobile home or prefer the benefits of living in a rental community. Buying, on the other hand, may save you more money in the long run (though you will need a larger sum for the initial down payment).
If you buy the land, you’ll need to consider any needs associated with putting a home on that property. For example, the land may need leveling to correct any potential slope issues, tree removal, soil, or drainage corrections. Additionally, you’ll want to be sure you understand the property tax laws in your community.
If you plan to rent land in a community, factor in any additional HOA Fees. The conditions in mobile home parks or manufactured home communities can be quite different. Some simply offer a small piece of land, while others may offer community pools, clubhouses, or tennis courts.
While these costs are generally well advertised, be sure to also read your lease carefully to know if the land is managed by the landlord or if services like lawn care, trash pick-up, utility hookup and water are included or need to be arranged separately.
Buying a mobile home is a bit more like buying a car than a traditional home. Mobile homes are considered personal property, not real estate, so the buying process differs from other real estate purchases. Just as when buying a car, you get the title of the property, not a property deed.
Because mobile homes are considered personal property, you will not be able to secure a typical mortgage. Instead, you can find loans for manufactured homes with companies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or various government agencies. Although getting a loan for a mobile home may feel a bit more difficult, lenders generally consider these purchases less risky.
The value of your mobile home is also more comparable to buying a car than a traditional home. Unlike a home built on a permanent foundation, the value of mobile homes typically depreciates. But just as with a car, the more well-maintained you keep your mobile home, the better it will retain its value. Furthermore, because these homes (in many cases) are smaller, the costs to maintain or make upgrades to your mobile home are the same or less.
As with any new home, you can expect a home inspection, but it will likely be a condensed version. Most mobile homes undergo a four-point inspection before purchase. A professional will check the roof, electric, plumbing and heat/air.
Purchasing a mobile home is an increasingly popular option for families across the country and with good reason. These homes provide all the comforts of traditional homes sometimes at half the cost.
As with any significant purchase, the cost of a new mobile home varies widely and is dependent on a number of key factors. Location is one of the biggest price determinations but so is size, customizations, and the actual plot of land on which the house will sit. Be sure to ask questions about sewage, waste disposal, and utilities in addition to any questions or concerns about the house structure itself.