The Cost of Manufactured Homes
The Real Costs of Manufactured Homes
Manufactured homes are often more affordable than traditional single-family properties—even those of comparable size and location.
This is due largely to the efficiency of the construction process. Manufactured homes are built off-site in a factory setting, allowing for a fast, efficient, and low-cost assembly-line approach. Factory-built homes also aren’t at the whim of local weather conditions so they can be manufactured quickly and in higher volume than traditional homes.
Finally, high-volume production allows manufacturers to purchase supplies and building materials in bulk, resulting in a lower end-cost to the consumer.
Learn more about the cost of manufactured homes.
What Influences the Cost of Manufactured Homes?
Just how affordable are manufactured homes? Well, that depends on several factors.
Size, of course, is one of the biggest influences. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a 1,442-square foot manufactured home cost $71,900 in 2017. A smaller manufactured home (around 1,000 square feet) was $48,300, while a larger, double-wide property (about 1,700 square feet) was $92,800. The chosen manufacturer of the home also factors into the total cost.
Here are other factors that influence the cost of manufactured homes.
With manufactured homes, you have two choices: you can purchase a plot of land to place your house on or you can lease land in a mobile home park or other similar community. The price of both options varies greatly by location. Generally, rural areas have more affordable land prices than urban and suburban ones.
If you own your land, you may opt to lay a permanent foundation under your home. This can help ensure its long-term viability and safety. Manufactured home foundations vary and can include basements and crawl spaces, so their costs are equally wide-ranging.
Once your home is placed on its site, you’ll need to configure it for utilities like water, sewage, electricity, and cable and internet service. The costs of these vary by location and the specific utility provider you’re using. This can be especially expensive on undeveloped land. You'll need to pay to have the utilities extended to your home along with a fee for the actual hookup.
Mobile home communities may offer utilities as part of their monthly rent price.
Delivery and Set-up
Manufacturers will often include delivery if you’re located within a certain radius of their facility. Outside that, you’ll likely need to pay a fee based on the distance and number of miles from the manufacturer. There may also be other delivery expenses if you require an escort vehicle or multiple trucks.
Your home will also need to be set up and assembled once it arrives. This might also come with a fee, depending on your chosen manufacturer.
Taxes on manufactured homes vary by state and on whether the home is built on land you own or land you're renting, like a mobile home park. In California and Oregon, for example, you’ll pay state and local taxes near the same rate as built-on-site properties—usually between 0.72% and 0.98%. Arizona, Washington, and New Mexico also treat manufactured homes as property, as long as they are on a permanent foundation.
Customizations to the Home
Many manufacturers allow for the customization of their home designs. These include interior features like fireplaces, built-in desks and shelving, appliances, and more, while exterior customizations often include different siding options, decorative doors, and roof updates. These all come with an added cost that depends on the level of customization and your unique manufacturer.
Finally, as with any home purchase, you’ll want an insurance policy to protect your investment. Manufactured and mobile home insurance can cover perils like weather damage, fire, and theft. Make sure you also consider travel coverage for when your home is being transported to its final location.
Not every insurance company will cover manufactured homes, so allow for extra time to shop for a policy.
Financing Your Manufactured Home
Though manufactured homes may come at a lower cost than traditionally built properties, that doesn’t mean you have to pay for it any differently. Manufactured and mobile home loans can help you finance your purchase and pay it back over time. These loans are often available from manufactured home retailers or specialized mobile home lenders. As with a traditional mortgage, you can also refinance these loans at a later date.