Whether you want to buy or sell a mobile home, you need to know:
1. Exactly what the home is worth
2. How to gauge the worth of a mobile home
3 A reasonable ask or bid price.
Buying or selling your home is a big financial step, one that affects to your foreseeable future. Consequently, it is crucial that you get it right for you and your families financial well-being.
In this article, we will be focusing on those readers who want to buy a mobile home and would like to get the idea of the immediate, and short to mid-term costs involved. Additionally, we’ll take a look at your financing options. Along the way, you might pick up some helpful tips on how to classify mobile homes and what to look for when trying to value one.
Mobile home prices and the factors involved
Let’s get to the most important bit first. The actual cost of new and secondhand mobile homes. Because financing options are more restricted and less attractive, when it comes to mobile homes, knowing what homes cost in full is important. Mobile homes, even though growing in quality and “homeliness” every year, are still much cheaper than stick-built homes. As a result, more of us can afford one without the help of financing.
One thing to keep in mind is that mobile homes today vary greatly in dimensions, materials, designs, layouts, and amenities. Some manufacturers even let you choose which add-ons you want to enhance your home before buying! Mobile home owners are usually capable, DIY homeowners and might have made some tweaks of their own. Other significant factors include age, overall condition, area, and the number of times it has been moved.
Understandably then, pinpointing the value of any mobile home into one price range is a perilous task. You should judge every home on its own merits. Okay, warning time is over. Here follows the three types of mobile homes as well as their average costs.
What kinds of mobile homes are there?
First, we’ll start with the smallest one. Single-wide mobile homes officially fall within the dimensions of 10-16 ft. in width by 42-90 ft. in length which results in 600-1300 square ft. of living space. They are called “single”-wides because they can be towed as a single unit to a site or location.
As the opportunity for variation shrinks with the size there isn’t as wide a range of room assignment variations as the bigger versions. A regular single-wide comes with:
- 2 Bedrooms
- 1 bathroom
- 1 living room
- And an eat-in kitchen
Some higher-end single-wides will have a second toilet. Other models trade a bedroom for bigger living space, like a bachelor pad. These models are typically only suitable for young, small families.
Single-wides are very hard to finance and you should keep that in mind before you buy.
- New: Around $40,000
- Used: Typically between $10,000 and $25,000
These are the most common type of mobile home. The dimensions of double-wides usually fall within the 20-42 ft. in width by 42-90 ft. in length range, resulting in up to 2000 square ft. of space. Much bigger than a single-wide. They are towed to the site in two separate sections before assembly.
Double-wides also allow for much more flexibility when it comes to room layouts. However, the typical room allotment is:
- 3 Bedrooms
- 2/3 Bathrooms (usually one ensuite and 1 or 2 for sharing)
- Two or three of the following:
- Dining room
- Living room
- Washing room
As you can see double-wides are already a huge step up when it comes to size and living comfort. The bigger model should easily house an average size family with ample room.
- New: Around $75,000
- Used: Can vary dramatically, but a good model should be between $20,000 and $50,000
Triple or multi-wides
These homes aren’t as popular just yet but are slowly taking their own share of the market. Because of the stigma and stereotypes surrounding mobile homes many people feel they are better off simply buying a smaller site-built home if they are going higher in price. Triple-wides are around 50 ft. in length but the width varies greatly and the living space is usually anywhere below 4500 square ft.
Multi-wides can get pretty huge but are very rare. We will stick with the average rooms available in a typical triple-wide, which are:
- 3-5 Bedrooms
- 3/4 Bathrooms
- An endless possibility of combinations between:
- Living room
- Dining room
- Washing room
- New: $100,000 to $250,000
- Used: $50,000 and up
Asking Price Comparison Reports:
If you’re in the market to purchase a mobile home and you’re not quite sure how to know if the value matches the asking price we suggest getting an Asking Price Comparison Report. By giving us a bit of information about a home, we’ll match it up with thousands of homes currently on the market and give you the average price range, as well as the highs and lows. This allows you to purchase a home with confidence, knowing you’re not paying outside of market standards.
With this report you’ll get:
- Lifetime – You’ll never need to purchase another report
- Live data – We update your report in live time, as new homes go on the market
- Printable – Print a PDF of your report for flyers or open houses
- Sharable via web link – Post the link with other web listings you have so buyers can see your report
- Visualized via graphics – Easy to understand bar graphs to visualize the data
A price comparison report is the best way to know if a home’s asking price is within current market standards.
Moving a mobile home
Moving a mobile home is an expensive, time-consuming, and risky endeavor. It is not recommended to move a mobile home if it can at all be helped. This is not just because the home is at risk of being damaged but because it can impact the value of the home and lower the chances of financing. In fact, it is virtually impossible to finance a home that has been moved two or more times, mostly due to the fact that lenders feel the foundation of the home can no longer be trusted.
At the same time, there may be cases where moving a mobile home can not be avoided, and it’s better to be armed with the knowledge of how much it costs when the situation arises. When you have to sell a mobile home but plan on keeping the land, try to sell the home locally. Moving the home somewhere in the same vicinity drastically cuts the cost.
A good rule of thumb is to bank on somewhere between $1 and $5 per mile.
- Short distance haul: $1000-$5000
- Long distance haul: $10,000 and up to $25,000
- Disconnecting utilities and preparing the home: Up to $1,000
For more information read the article What is the Cost of Moving a Manufactured Home.
How to finance a mobile home
For some obtaining a way to finance their new home is the only way to make the acquisition financially viable. While it’s not exactly easy to finance a traditional home, it can be even harder if it’s a mobile home. Even though mobile homes have made great leaps regarding quality and standards, especially thanks to the HUD code, the process of buying and financing hasn’t changed much. It means that buying and selling a mobile home shares more similarities with buying and selling a car.
Factors that make it difficult to finance a mobile home
- It is a single-wide.
- If the home has been moved (almost impossible if moved twice or more)
- Not permanently affixed to a property
- The home is not up to the HUD code
- The age of the home. If the home was built before 1976 when the HUD code was written, the chance is even worse.
- Personal credit score.
- Not owning the property the home is on.
- The probability of the home being moved.
Although obtaining financing might be harder, it’s not impossible, and there are a few options available to you. For some types of financing, a mobile home will immediately be disqualified if it meets one of the points just mentioned. Let’s look at the options so that you know what could apply to you.
Finding a conventional lender that is willing to give out loans for a mobile home is pretty hard. There aren’t many willing to take on the risk. If you do find one they usually charge a very high down-payment and have exceptionally high-interest rates which mean mobile homes have been called “higher priced mortgage loans.” On top of that, you will need a good credit score and might have to put down collateral to qualify.
Usually, the down payment is 5-20%, the terms are usually 20-30 years, and the rates are around 5%.
This is one of the most widely known and used ways to get financing for a mobile home because they do not require you to own the land the home is on. The biggest problem with a chattel loan is the very high-interest rates and short terms.
If your credit score is in good standing, you could get an interest rate lower than 10%. If it’s not that great, expect it to be in the 13% range. The terms are usually limited to 20 years, and a minimum down payment of 5% is required.
The FHA (or Federal Housing Administration) falls under the Title 1 program and therefore includes mobile homes as well as site-built homes. Essentially, what the FHA does is take some of the risk themselves when they hand you a mortgage or loan. If you fail to make your payments or default, the FHA will pay part of the remaining amount.
Just like a chattel loan, whether or not you own the land is unimportant. Unlike chattel loans, the loan is fixed for the full mortgage term, and the borrower must have the option to lease the plot under the home for at least three years. They do take into account what your credit score is and how likely you are to meet your payments. The home must meet HUD standards.
There’s also a limit to the loan amount. For example:
- For a Mobile Home only: $69,678
- For the Lot only: $23,226
- For the Home + Lot: $92,904
The term is usually 20 years, the interest can be really low at under 5%, and the same goes for the down payment.
For a complete comparison between FHA and Conventional loans, refer to this article.
First of all, only veterans are eligible for a VA loan. You will need to present proof that you served in the military to qualify. Other than that, VA loans are very similar to FHA loans in that the Department of Veteran Affairs takes up some of the risk themselves. These loans also do not require you to own the land.
You have to pay a minimum of 5% of the loan’s total amount up front. The interest rates are just over 3.5%, and the terms are between 15 and 30 years.
- Double-wide at an average cost of $70,000: $3,500 down payment and a monthly payment of $350.
Other costs when buying or selling a home
- Building a foundation: Every home needs a foundation, even a mobile one. Although it depends on the type of home, plot, and foundation it usually costs anywhere between $10,000-$15,000.
- Utilities: Removing or hooking up utilities will cost around $1,000
- Lot rent: If the home is in a park. Lot rent varies a lot according to the park and the state. However, it tends to be much lower than the rental of an apartment or home. You should be looking at anywhere from $300 to $800.
We hope this guide of mobile home prices has been a light for you in the murky, foggy waters of trying to figure out the cost of a mobile home. We’ve pulled all the information into one place so you can make the best-informed decision whether you are buying or selling your home.
If you are reading this article and you have it in mind to buy a mobile home, refer to our guides How to Buy a Mobile Home Without Breaking the Bank and Double-Wide | The Ultimate Guide to Buying and Selling for your benefit.