Last Updated: March 10, 2023
As property prices rise, mobile homes are becoming more accessible as permanent homes because they’re cheaper to maintain. As manufacturers release new and improved models every year, potential mobile home owners are curious about how much do mobile homes cost, how viable it is to live in one, and whether there are any requirements. In this article, we’ll answer all uncertainties about mobile homes and their pricing!
What Is a Mobile Home?
Mobile homes are homes that can be moved when required to. They may be built at a separate location and simply assembled or delivered to their intended plot, which is usually done to reduce the prices of mobile homes.
There are different kinds of mobile homes that are often interchanged in conversation, but here are the basic differences:
Manufactured homes are HUD-approved buildings that are prefabricated and constructed off-site. They’re mobile only in the sense that they’re meant to be moved to the desired plot of the owner, not to travel in or be moved on a regular basis.
Buyers have the option to request a site-build home with materials of their choice as well, but it will cost a bit more.
These are very similar to manufactured homes, with the key difference being they’re transported in sections and assembled on-site. This usually doesn’t affect the mobile home price.
Mobile homes was the term used for trailer homes with wheels during the 1970s, much like high-end RVs. This is the most common term used when describing the manufactured homes of today.
This is another outdated term for RVs parked in mobile home parks that were mainly used as vacation homes. Many homeowners used to sell their real estate properties to purchase a parked home to travel from place to place.
|DID YOU KNOW: The most popular types of mobile homes are manufactured homes.|
Why Are Mobile Homes Less Expensive Than Traditional Homes?
The average cost of a mobile home is much less than a traditional home, mainly because the mobile home construction costs a third less than a traditional home. The costs involved include:
Land or Plots
The cost of leasing, building, or buying land will depend on what state you’re in and what the required size is. Having a plot in a mobile home park might be the most cost-effective option since most parks have a ready-made foundation and utility connections, but they may be limited in terms of customization, gardening, or privacy.
Luckily, most prices of mobile homes include free delivery. However, delivery inclusion is usually limited to a certain distance from the manufacturers’ factory, so you should ask your manufacturer whether there are any delivery fees.
When buying a home, potential home owners will have to pay a lot for extra rooms or bathrooms, as well as the overall architecture of a home. When you purchase a mobile home, the rooms and space are limited, but the structure can withstand a lot of weather and be transportable. Needless to say, a bigger and more modern design will cost more than a basic mobile home, but it’s still much cheaper than a traditional home.
If you have a private plot outside a mobile home park, contracting a professional to connect your utilities might run up your costs. Consider parking your mobile home in a park where utility hookups are included.
Taxes differ quite significantly from state to state, and they also depend on the type and size of your mobile home. Most taxes on mobile homes are quite low, but some states have the same tax as you would have on a traditional home.
Despite the above factors that influence the cost of mobile homes, and although the taxes are equal to those on traditional homes, you’ll still save on structural costs.
|DID YOU KNOW: According to the Manufactured Housing Institute, a manufactured home cost on average is $55 per square foot, and a site-built home costs $114 per square foot.|
How Much Do Mobile Homes Cost?
In 2021, the average home price was at a record high value of $346,900. Compared to an average single-wide mobile home at $40,000 or a double-wide at $75,000, the average price of a mobile home is significantly less expensive than that of a traditional home.
This can make potential buyers frustrated as to why houses are so expensive, while on the other hand, even the largest mobile home of roughly 3,000 feet costs about $100,000, a third of a traditional house’s cost.
|DID YOU KNOW: Potential homeowners wondering whether they should buy a house are now more frequently opting for the most popular size mobile home instead—a double-wide manufactured home.|
Although the mobile home average price is lower than the average price of traditional homes, you may still require some financing. There are 5 main types of quick personal loans available:
1. Conventional Mortgage Programs
These are home loans that aren’t offered nor secured by any government entities. They’re available by private lenders or one of the two government-sponsored enterprises known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Fannie Mae can offer you a mortgage if the title includes the mobile home and the land it’s on, but single-wide mobile homes may not be approved for financing. Down payments start at 3%, making the cost of a mobile home affordable.
Freddie Mac only finances properties that are considered real homes. Although it may vary from state to state, the down payment can be as low as 5%.
2. Agency-Backed Mortgage Programs
There are 3 main agency-backed mortgage programs to finance your mobile home costs, the first being Federal Housing Agencies (FHA). Terms range from 25 to 30 years, depending on which option between Title I and Title II you choose.
Secondly, veterans have the option to consider the US Department of Veteran Affairs for a mortgage loan. Buyers can also consider the US Department of Agriculture as an option if their mobile home is considered real property, the site is designated as rural, and the home is less than a year old.
3. Chattel Mortgage Loan
Chattel means movable property, which is fitting since this type of loan is specifically available for mobile homes. It’s more of a personal loan than it is a mortgage, and it covers mobile home pricing as stipulated by the buyer.
This loan comes with higher interest rates since the repayment terms are limited to 15 to 20 years, which usually causes the repayments to exceed those on traditional homes.
4. Personal Loan
Personal loans are a suitable option when you only want to finance the mobile home and not the land. Overnight personal loans generally have lower loan capacities and higher interest rates, but because mobile homes are cheaper than traditional homes, you may still get a loan large enough to cover mobile home costs.
5. Installment Agreement
Instead of a bank, consider going directly to sellers or manufacturers that offer financing options. When buying from a private seller, you may work out an installment agreement according to their available plans. Before buying the home, make sure the property title is clear from any judgments and liens against it.
|DID YOU KNOW: There’s been an increase of 226% in manufactured housing, suggesting that it has become a widely popular option.|
What You Should Know Before Buying?
Here are a few things to consider before buying a mobile home:
Purchase or Lease?
Leasing in a mobile home park may bring you a sense of community and the freedom to move whenever you like. Once you know how much do mobile homes cost to buy and decide on going through with this option, make sure you get a 3-year lease in place to boost your chances of financing your home.
Buying your own plot may sound ideal, but consider the safety risks, taxes, and costs for connecting utilities before you do so. Also, you need to make sure the area you’re planning to buy in allows mobile homes to be placed there.
The Right Time to Buy
Prices may fluctuate over the year, but costs are generally lower from January through March. Make sure to monitor the prices before making your move so you can choose the ideal time to do so.
Know What Width to Buy
While the cost of mobile homes that are single-wide might be cheaper, they’re usually only 15 feet wide on average. For more comfort in the long run and the added advantage of having more financing options, you should consider getting a double-wide mobile home.
|DID YOU KNOW: 37% of new mobile homes are built off-site and placed in communities.|
Considering that 22 million US citizens live in manufactured or mobile homes, with the numbers increasing every year, it’s safe to say mobile homes have become a more affordable option. If you’re interested in a mobile home, check your local building regulations, laws, taxes, and restrictions. Although calculating the final cost will depend on different factors, mobile homes are generally much more affordable than traditional homes.
Considering the average prices of both mobile and traditional homes, you’ll most likely get away with a cheaper mobile home than a traditional home in most parts of the country.
Mobile homes are fully customizable to your liking and lifestyle. Mobile homes are built according to strict building standards, so they’re safe to live in, and a great alternative to more expensive traditional homes.
So, how much do mobile homes cost? Depending on your preference, location, and requirements, costs for a mobile home range from $40,000 to $100,000. However, keep in mind that these prices don’t include the plots where the homes may be placed.