One thing many don’t people realize about modern manufactured homes is that they’re not really that mobile. However, sometimes there’s no other option and you just need to buckle down and do it.
Relocating a manufactured home will cost money, time, energy and perhaps other negative consequences. If you’re considering moving a manufactured home, the costs involved can include much more than just money. In fact, the headache of the moving process is a price all of its own. And moving a manufactured home involves much more than calling a local tow truck company and hitching up.
There are several factors that go into moving a manufactured home that you will want to know before taking on this difficult task. That being said, we do it all the time so it does have its benefits, obviously. The question is: Do you want to take this task on by yourself?
In this article, we’ll shine a light on all the manufactured home transportation costs you can expect so that you can calculate what you might need to cough up.
how much does it cost to move a mobile home?
Manufactured homes offer convenience and affordability, and most people assume that because of this, they’re easy to move. Unfortunately, with legal considerations varying from state to state, high costs of transport, insurance, and repairs, this often isn’t true. Finding the right manufactured home movers makes it all the more frustrating with outdated list and phone numbers. If you’re planning to move, it is important that you approach your decision to move your manufactured home cautiously and with all of the facts to help you get the best deal and the most for your money. The first and most crucial element of deciding whether or not to move a manufactured home should be cost-effectiveness. While the term manufactured home might make moving your home sound easy, most aren’t that mobile and a considerable amount of effort and preparation goes into their transportation. If the move costs more than half of the value of your manufactured home, you are most likely better off choosing to sell and purchasing a new or secondhand manufactured home at your destination.
PREPARING FOR THE MOVE
You can begin preparing your manufactured home for the move or allow your movers to do so for you at an additional cost. Preparation includes:
- Canceling utilities in advance and paying a licensed plumber and electrician to disconnect the home
- Removing skirting and storing it safely for transport
- Removing additions, decks, sheds, and air conditioning
- Securing windows and glass panes so that they do not shatter during the move
- Packing belongings and securing furniture inside of the manufactured home Lifting the home off the ground to install axles and a hitch.
Transporting manufactured homes is often difficult because most of them weigh in excess of 18,000 lbs. Movers must first lift the home off of the base to install the wheels so that they can tow it. Then, they will drive to the destination, often with one or more guide cars, which are required by law in most states to protect other travelers on the roads. Because of the size and length of the manufactured home, movers must travel slowly, use major highways, and may frequently stop to replace tires and axles as needed. Most movers charge between $5 and $15 per mile for actual transportation. Here, it is crucial that you choose a moving company with insurance to cover the costs of any damage that might be caused by the move. Moving permits, insurance, and any fees required by your local state or county will affect costs.
Installing Your Manufactured Home
Once your manufactured home reaches its destination, it is ready to install but this can be costly as well. If you aren’t moving into a manufactured home park, the base will have to be prepared. You will have to handle activating utilities, having utilities connected by licensed plumbers and electricians, setting up sewage, reinstalling the skirting, removing axles and hitches, leveling the home, and much more. In most cases, you will also have to pay for building permits in your new township.
AVERAGE MOBILE HOME TRANSPORT COSTS
To give you a rough idea, the cost of a transport-only move can range from $1000 to $3,500, while a full-service move can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $14,000. If you’re moving a single-wide mobile home within a distance of up to 60 miles, you can expect to pay around $1,000 to $1,200 for a transport-only move, and $3,000 to $5,000 for a full-service move that includes disconnect, reconnect, and transport services. For a double-wide mobile home, the cost of a full-service move will be between $4,000 and $10,000, and for a triple-wide, the cost can be $10,000 or more.
Keep in mind that these figures are only estimates. Moving a manufactured home can cost between $1,000 and $20,000 depending on these and other cost factors. Therefore, it is crucial that you get an individual quote from manufactured home movers based on your circumstances and your manufactured home.
The money you spend on moving your manufactured homes depends on the distance of the move. Short distance moves can cost between $1,000–$5,000, while longer trips can cost as much as $15,000 or more. You can determine your cost using this good rule-of-thumb: Estimate about $5–$10 per mile for your move.
You will also need to factor in the cost of permits and a minimum charge for short moves. The best way to get an estimate is to call a moving business near you to find out their rates, but we’ll cover this next. You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand the rising expenses of such a move. And because moving takes so much effort and cost, manufactured home parks often scoff at those who threaten to move their homes.
HERE ARE THE MAIN THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE LOOKING AT COST.
HIRING A MOVER
You will need to hire a professional who specializes in relocating large homes. Choosing a mover can be a difficult task, especially when thinking of the costs involved. It can be very tempting to base your decision on the price quoted. However, this may not be the best approach. Of course, you’re going to be price conscious, but be aware that there are shady people in every industry, and the manufactured home industry is no different. Be sure to do your due diligence before selecting the company you’re going to use. It’s wise to ask for references or check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints that may have been filed against them.
Be sure to look into what is actually being quoted. Are they guaranteeing that the lot will be cleaned when they’re finished? manufactured home parks hold you responsible for messy lots left by movers. Make sure they include this service in the quote or you could be left dealing with an angry park. Also, check to see what they’re going to do with sheds and decks. This should be determined prior to the move so that there are no miscommunications during the moving process.
There are different types of mobile home sheds that can be built on them.
By choosing a good moving company, you get:
LICENSED & INSURED TRANSPORTATION COMPANY.
This is very important since most manufactured home insurance companies do not cover the home while in transit. Be sure to ask the mover about the coverages they carry prior to your agreement.
They also inspect your home to determine if the home’s current condition allows for transportation. If so, many moving companies will get the permits for you. Make sure to verify this or you may have to get the permits needed. They are not typically hard to get, but if you don’t know what you’re doing it can add to your frustration.
The professional moving company will disconnect plumbing and anything else necessary for transportation purposes. They will disconnect at the marriage line and get the manufactured home prepped for the road.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE VARYING MOVING COSTS FOR A MANUFACTURED HOME:
What is the existing foundation of the home? Is it on a slab? If so, the moving cost could be lower. However, if the home is sitting on a block foundation the cost could be considerably higher.
How much does the manufactured home weigh? This will affect the price since it determines the size of equipment needed for the haul.
As discussed above, the distance of the move is a huge factor in determining the cost.
Permits need to be collected for each state that the manufactured home enters.
What is the size of the home? Double-wides, being bigger, will cost more, and traffic on roads and highways might need to be altered during transport. Also, if the home is split into sections, it could be double the travel expense.
GETTING TO THE DESTINATION.
Where is the home being moved? Is it easy to reach? Can the roads along the way accommodate the size of the load? Remember: the more difficult the trip, the more costly the move.
OTHER ASSOCIATED COSTS:
If you have an older home, it might need new wheels. Ask yourself, is the home in good condition to withstand a move?
Repairs to the home after it has been moved. In a perfect world, any move would be flawless. But in reality, anything can happen, like having an accident during transport. The moving company should have insurance but you should check with their policy to see what is actually covered during the process.
Consider unexpected repairs after the home has reached its destination, Ie. Shingles, Siding, etc…
MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE DECIDING TO PURSUE A MOVE…
- Contacting several companies to get bids can save you thousands of dollars.
- DON’T use a company that doesn’t offer adequate insurance. Do your homework and ask questions in advance before settling on a mover.
- Think about the costs of moving and compare those with the actual value of the home right now. Is it worth the move or would it be more cost effective to just buy another home?
- Your manufactured home park could try to prevent your move. Although this is never a good reason to stay put, it pays to be prepared. Parks have put vehicles in front of homes before to keep owners from moving; this is ILLEGAL so don’t let it deter you! Instead, seek legal representation or law enforcement to help.
- Know that you are responsible for removing the skirting, decks, steps and landscaping around your home.
- Keep in mind that, as with most things in life, things could go wrong. Prepare for the unexpected!
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Factors that affect manufactured home transport cost
Because it is an inherently challenging task, movers usually have a minimum price no matter how local the move is. You can expect to pay $1,000 at the very least for a move, no matter where you are taking the home.
Generally speaking, transportation can cost between $1,000 to $13,000 for a move that is shorter than 100 miles. This number can vary from mover to mover. However, past a certain distance, you usually start paying per mile. This rate is usually around $10 but also depends on the home itself.
Size of the home
It only makes sense that the bigger and heavier a home is the harder it is to move, which directly affects the manufactured home transport cost. The width of a manufactured home makes it particularly difficult as you have to navigate the roads meant for much narrower vehicles. A single-wide has a width of under 18 ft. while a double wide has a width of more than 20 ft. and is towed in two separate units.
This means that you will pay per section if you move a double-wide. You can expect to pay almost twice as much to move a double-wide. To move a single-wide should be around $1,000-$5,000 while a short double-wide move should be around $5,000 to $10,000. The same goes for the per mile rate.
Whether an escort is needed
Some moves may require escort cars to drive all the way with the home. This could be decided by the local authorities issuing the permit, be required by the size of the home or it might just be how the particular mover operates. Expect to pay another $1-$2 per escort car per mile.
The weight of the home
This is usually not such a big factor. However, more and more movers are taking it into account as manufactured homes are becoming heavier and heavier. This might come in to play as an extra flat rate cost or a per mile rate.
Possible additional costs
Preparation for transport
It’s not as easy as strapping a trailer to a truck and start pulling. Some movers include a preparation service or you might be forced to do this first if there is a problem with your manufactured home. This service can cost around $1,000-$2,500 and includes:
- Disconnecting utilities.
- Separating the two sections in the case of a double-wide.
- Adding protective material to the outside of the home.
- Tying down loose appliances/furniture.
- Repairing/replacing the tires ($50 per tire), axle ($100-$200) or hitch ($200-$300).
- Loosening the home from its foundation.
- Removing items that need to be moved separately (skirting, outdoor features, etc.)
Setup at a new location
The home will also need to be set up at its new location. Because this is almost impossible for the average owner to do on their own, most moving services include this as an extra service. The typical cost is around $2,500 but can be anywhere from $1,000-$5,000. It could include:
- Placing the home on its new foundation, tying it down, and making sure it’s level.
- Connecting it to utilities.
- Reattaching anything that was removed for the move (skirting, outdoor features, etc.).
If your head is already spinning at all the costs involved, don’t worry! Any permits required by the local authorities across which states you move usually pale in comparison to the actual transportation costs (around $20). Most movers even include it in the quoted price. However, it’s best to make sure, since not having a permit can land you in legal trouble and void the insurance on your home.
What are your options?
Do it yourself?
Most manufactured homeowners aren’t scared of tackling any challenge on their own. However, we’d strongly advise against trying to move a manufactured home by yourself. Moving a thousand square feet plus, 40-50 ton object is no walk in the park. Neither is all the preparation and setup services required before and after.
If not done properly, it could not only make the move extremely difficult and land you in “hot water” with the law, but it can jeopardize the integrity of your home. There is a very good reason that it becomes harder to finance a home the more times it has been moved – the chances of something going wrong and damaging the structure of the home is just too big.
The only way to tow the home by yourself would be to hire a truck, assuming you have a license. You will also need to hire some extra pairs of hands, rent a crane to lift and move the home, etc. Not to mention, you need to know how to disconnect and connect utilities, separate and join the sections of a manufactured home (if you have a double-wide), and check for any damage to the chassis.
See if it’s included in the price
If you either buy your home new or from a wholesaler/reseller, the chances are good that they will take care of all the transportation for you. Manufacturers often include the transportation at no extra cost when you buy the home. Wholesalers might require you to pay an extra fee to move the home to a specific area.
CAN I MOVE MY MANUFACTURED HOME WHEREVER I WANT TO?
Again, this is a good question to be asking. No, you can’t always move your manufactured home wherever you want. There’s a little something called “wind zone,” and it affects where certain homes are allowed to be moved to. A little more on that here.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Grab your phone and start calling. Armed with a knowledge of what kind of manufactured home you’re trying to move (size, etc.), call local manufactured home movers. Next, ask for a quote. Keep a pen and paper handy so you can write down what you’re told by each company. Once you do this, you may find that the most sensible option for you is pretty clear.
AVERAGE COST TO MOVE A MANUFACTURED HOME SEEM TOO HIGH?
If our discussion of possible average cost to move a manufactured home has you thinking maybe you don’t want to move it, after all, don’t despair! You’re not out of options. For instance, look into selling the place instead. In fact, in just a few minutes, you can fill out our form here. Then, we’ll get back to you with an offer.
Helpful tips to get you moving
Reading this article, you already probably noticed why moving a manufactured home is so hard and, as a result, so expensive. If you’re looking for a few ways to cut your manufactured home transport costs when moving a home, we provide some budget-friendly tips here. It might also be worth finding out what the value of your home is to decide if moving it is worth it.