When you’re ready to put down roots, start by comparing your financing options.
You’ve done your research and found the perfect manufactured home. Now comes the hard part: Finding the money to pay for it. Depending on your credit and the model you’ve selected, you may be able to move right in with a mortgage. If not, there are plenty of other ways to finance your mobile home.
What types of loans are available for mobile homes?
Manufactured or prefabricated homes are considered either personal or real property — the distinction determines what type of loan you’re eligible for.
- Personal property. If your home is designed for the road or sits on rented land, it may be considered personal property, which means you’ll need a personal loan or similar financing options to pay for it.
- Real property. If your home is designed for a solid foundation and sits on land you own, it’s likely considered real property, making it eligible for a mortgage.
Compare unsecured personal loan options
What interest rate can I expect with mobile home financing?
The interest rate you’ll pay depends on the home you intend to purchase, the type of loan you’re looking at, the loan term and the amount you’re interested in borrowing. Your credit, income and existing debt will also play a role in the rate a lender is willing to offer.
If you have decent income, good credit and your mobile home qualifies for a competitive loan, you could see approval at prevailing rates — from 5.25% to 6.00% at the time of writing. On the other hand, those with less-than-perfect credit who are looking for a chattel mortgage or personal loan can find interest rates that border on the upper-end of legal — up to 36%.
Many lenders offer preapproval that can help you gauge potential approval amounts and interest rates before committing to a loan.
How much does it cost to buy a manufactured home?
The US Census Bureau reports the average price for a single-wide trailer in 2017 at $44,900 to $53,400. For a double-wide, prices range from $88,000 to $99,100. How much you pay varies by region, with manufactured homes in the Northeast and South costing less than those purchased in the West or Midwest.
When you’re ready to buy a manufactured home, account for more than just the purchase price. Every type of home comes with unique costs, which a budget can help you tackle.
What are the different types of manufactured homes?While almost every manufactured or modular home is called a mobile home, there are differences between them that can impact the type of financing you qualify for.
- Mobile homes. These homes are models built in factories before June 15, 1976. Although they may still be around, they likely don’t contain modern safety standards, which might make lenders wary and financing harder to come by.
- Manufactured homes. These homes are required to meet safety standards outlined in the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974. Any model made after June 15, 1976 should follow these guidelines, which will make financing easier — though you and your home will still have to qualify.
- Modular homes. While modular homes are built in factories just like mobile and manufactured homes, they’re usually affixed to a concrete foundation. This means they don’t tend to lose value like a manufactured home. Lenders are generally much more willing to finance a modular home, and you might even qualify for a mortgage.
How much does moving a mobile home cost?
Unless your home is built on-site, you’ll need to transport it to the land you plan to live on. Consider the full costs of moving that include:
- A moving company. Most mobile homes don’t allow for DIY moving. Get estimates from two to three moving companies to compare prices. Costs can range from $2,000 to $5,000 for short moves and up to $20,000 for longer moves of more than 100 miles.
- Weight and size. Moving a lightweight single-wide trailer is usually less expensive than hauling a heavy triple-wide. Your moving company should estimate the weight and size of your trailer for a more accurate moving price.
- Permits. Most cities and counties across the US require a permit to move and set up your manufactured home. Call your local authorities to learn how much you’ll need to budget.
- Setup. Your moving company likely folds this cost into your estimate, but it’s best to double-check. Correctly placing your home on the right foundation is critical to meeting safety standards and keeping your home maintained for years to come.
- Foundation. If you’ve purchased a preowned home and intend to move it, your price may vary by the type of foundation it currently sits on. Homes on block foundations are generally more expensive to move.
Do I need to own the land under my mobile home?
No. You don’t need to buy the land you intend to place your mobile home on. But you’ll likely need to lease the land — either from a private party or from a mobile home park.
Like renting, you’ll agree to a set lease period with a contract that includes what is — and isn’t — included in your lease. Some owners offer amenities like garbage pickup, gardening services and maintenance. Compare potential rental costs to the cost and benefits of owning the land to determine the best place to place your mobile home.
What else should I consider when purchasing a mobile home?
When comparing your options, determine the needs of you and your family foremost. Factors that can play a role in the type of mobile home you finance include:
- Age. The age of your manufactured home likely affects its selling price. Older homes may be cheaper, but they’re also considered more difficult to move and maintain.
- Previous ownership. Consider the previous owners and the condition of their home. Ask about repairs, maintenance records or recent updates made to the property.
- Zoning laws. Every county and city restricts where you can put your mobile home, so check the zoning laws in your area.
- Size. Single-wide trailers generally come with two bedrooms, while double- and triple-wides can be as large as a standard home. Think of the space you and your family need.
- Utilities. Utilities costs money. Contact the city or county you’re moving to so you can have a general idea of hookup and starting fees.
Many Americans call a mobile home … well, home. Offering a wide variety of styles, sizes and models, a manufactured home can offer the space and amenities that suits your requirements. And because manufactured residences are typically less expensive than more traditional properties, you might be able look beyond traditional mortgages to other loan options that could unlock the door of your next home.
Frequently asked questions
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