If you have never owned a mobile home before and are considering investing in one, it is understandable to have questions. For instance, you may be wondering how to go about purchasing both the manufactured home and land to park it on, or perhaps you want to learn more about the different ways to finance the investment. Moreover, you may want a checklist of what to ask before making the purchase.
It is responsible to understand your options before deciding. To help you out, we discuss all this and more in our handy guide below:
Finding Land For Your Mobile Home
Since a manufactured home is built in a factory and delivered to your location, you will first have to find vacant land to park it on. It is important to secure the land first since each area adheres to specific zoning laws and guidelines – all of which your mobile home needs to comply with.
Wondering where to start looking for land? You have three main options:
Option 1: Buy Land from a Manufactured Home Retailer
Many retailers of manufactured homes also purchase land in order to resell them to customers. A great benefit of this is that it provides extra convenience and saves you the time of looking for vacant lots. Moreover, it helps to ensure that your mobile home adheres to all the zoning laws and restrictions when your home and land provider is one and the same.
While this option comes with benefits, the downside to it is that your manufactured home retailer will have to mark up the price in order to profit from the sale of the land. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you have the extra resources and prefer to prioritize convenience.
Option 2: Manufactured homes on private land
Mobile homes are often set on privately owned land or in a park. With parks, you get to be around a manufactured home community that also enjoys the mobile home lifestyle. Private land, on the other hand, provides more space and potential time to yourself, which makes it a great option for those who value privacy.
If you opt for the latter, it is important to note that you will still need to gather the necessary permits, comply with zoning laws, and adhere to the other regulations of the area. This is still relevant even if you decide to put your mobile home in your backyard. For a more detailed list of these permits, laws, and regulations, you will need to look into your specific state or town as these can differ per location.
Option 3: Buy a Mobile Home and Land Together
An existing manufactured home – either new or used – already situated on private land, is another option. Purchasing both the land and home together has a lot of advantages compared to purchasing them as individual units. One of the most essential benefits is that you no longer have to allocate a budget for transporting your mobile home to the location.
Questions to ask before buying Land for a Mobile or Manufactured Home
Now that you have a better idea as to what your main options are when it comes to purchasing your mobile home, ask yourself the questions below to determine if the location found is right for you.
1. Can I live here for all my life?
Deciding on a place to live is a big investment. Not only do you need to allocate enough budget for the mobile home itself, but you must also have enough finances for the land, exterior needs, and everything you need for the interior. It would be practical to first ask yourself if you can envision a life here before deciding on the spot.
However, this is not a definite choice. Should you want to move homes later on, it is definitely possible and you can find more information in our article: moving mobile homes cost
2. Is this Property in a Flood Plain?
A flood plain is described as a generally flat piece of land situated next to a body of water, such as a river or stream. Areas like this are more vulnerable to getting flooded.
It is important to consider this when purchasing land since you want to lessen the risk of flooding and other calamities in your permanent home.
Learn more about what to look for in land foundation through our article: mobile home foundation requirements
3. Is the Land Suitable for a Manufactured Home?
Not all areas allow manufactured homes within their county, which is why it is important to first understand the zoning rules and regulations of your desired spot. This may also require you to secure permits and ensure that your home is up-to-date on HUD code.
4. Utilities are essential to a functional and comfortable home. It is important to note whether or not the area has access to city water and sewage drainage, or whether you would have to install your own septic and drill a well.
We recommend hiring a professional to set up utilities should you find that the property needs work done.
5. Is there an electric meter with 200-amp service?
It is safer to have a 200-amp panel in order to fit all your electrical consumption needs. This reduces the risk of short circuits, overload, and fires.
For safety purposes, outsource a professional electrician for all your Mobile Home Electrical needs.
6. Are You Tapped into a Fresh Water Supply?
The water connection to your manufactured home is one very crucial aspect to consider when choosing a location. It is important to know what kind of water supply you are dealing with if it is sufficient enough for your needs, and what system you should have in place to utilize it efficiently.
7. Is There a Way to Treat Wastewater?
Wastewater treatment should be in place to rid as many suspended solids as possible before the water is expelled back into the environment. Learn more about installing this through our article Installing Your Mobile Home Filtration System.
8. What About a Natural Gas Line?
Having an efficient natural gas line can help carry natural gas to your home, which is what helps the heating system function properly. This not only pertains to the HVAC but also to individual appliances that require heat. This is an essential gas line that is used in your day-to-day activities.
9. Is the Price a Good Deal?
Before settling on a place, it is best to check the mobile home values in your area, and your neighboring counties. It would also be good to weigh out the many advantages the home has in order to determine if the price is a good deal.
You can also check our article mobile home price guide for reference.
Types of Loan programs you can get for purchasing land for a mobile home:
For most types of big purchases, such as buying a manufactured home, financing is often very helpful. There are different kinds of loans offered today that you can avail of, depending on how your manufactured home is titled and what you are qualified for.
Two of the most common categories for loans are Conventional Loans and Government-Backed Loans.
When it comes to Conventional Loans, there are multiple private lenders that offer the option to finance a manufactured home with land. However, one factor that may pose a challenge for many homeowners is that in order to qualify, you must place the manufactured home on a permanent foundation, and then title it as a real estate property.
If you are looking for more options, consider any of the government-backed loan programs below:
FHA manufactured home loans
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers loans to insure you purchase your manufactured home. These are available to finance the home alone, the land alone, or both the home and land in one purchase. You can also use this type of loan program for a home installed on a leased lot. The terms available under this program range from 15 to 25 years.
VA loans for manufactured homes
If you are a military service member, veteran, or surviving spouse, you are eligible to apply for a loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Loans under this program require that the manufactured home is attached to a permanent foundation on property that is owned by the borrower. Moreover, the home must also qualify as real property.
Other manufactured home loans
USDA Manufactured Home Loans. Homebuyers that fall under low to moderate-income earners living in rural areas may qualify for this loan program. The USDA Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan is highly flexible with no minimum down payment or minimum credit score required.
Personal Loans. Personal loans generally cover between $50,000 to $100,000. These loans come with fixed rates and often come with terms between 2 to 5 years. The downside to this type of loan is that it usually has higher interest rates compared to mortgages and auto loans.
Chattel Loans. A chattel loan is similar to a mortgage except that it is often reserved for personal property of higher value such as boats, planes, and various types of heavy equipment. These also have higher interest rates when compared to mortgages.
- Is a mobile home with property a good investment?
There are many pros and cons to purchasing a mobile home with property. On the positive end, it is highly affordable to acquire a mobile home compared to a single-family traditional home. Its construction process is highly efficient since it is pre-built in factories, and there are also many financing options available.
However, they may come with high interest rates, depreciating value, and can be difficult to resale. Overall, whether or not it is a good investment depends on your long-term plan and priorities.
- How do I prepare my land for a mobile home?
A quick checklist to prepare your land for a mobile home includes:
- Getting accurate measurements and updated information regarding the land
- Acquiring all necessary permits
- Building a solid foundation
- Ensuring you have proper drainage and water supply
- Securing utilities such as electricity, area services, and others.
- Can I buy land and put a mobile home on it in California?
Yes, you can, subject to a permit and approval by the Building and Safety Division in the area. There are specific zones where manufactured homes are allowed, and each home also follows the same architectural standards as that of similar homes in the area.
You’re All Set
Now that you have all the information necessary to purchase land for your manufactured homes, you can be well on your way to acquiring your dream home in no time!
For other mobile home needs, you can check out our website and also learn more about how we can help you sell mobile homes for cash.