The Cost of Manufactured Homes

The Real Costs of Manufactured Homes

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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. Their construction isn't subject to 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 cost to the consumer. Learn more about the cost of manufactured homes.

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost of a manufactured home in 2020 averaged $57,700, but cost varies with size, location, and other factors.
  • Opting for a permanent foundation secures your manufactured home, but it also increases the cost. 
  • Placing a manufactured home on undeveloped land will cost more due to the expense of extending utilities to your home. 
  • Taxes on manufactured homes vary by location and whether you own or rent the land the home is built on.

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, the average cost of a manufactured home in 2020 was $57,700 for a single manufactured home ranging from 784 square feet to 1,440 square feet. For a smaller manufactured home (around 1,000 square feet), it was $48,300, while for a larger, double-wide property (about 1,700 square feet), it was $109.300. The chosen manufacturer of the home also factors into the total cost.

Here are other factors that influence the cost of manufactured homes:

Land Expenses

With manufactured homes, you have two options: 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.

Foundation

If you own your land, you may opt to lay a permanent foundation under your home, which 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.

Utility Hookups

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 services vary by location and the specific utility provider you’re using and 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. Otherwise, you’ll likely need to pay a fee based on the 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 need to be set up and assembled once it arrives. Assembly might also come with a fee, depending on your chosen manufacturer.

Taxes

Taxes on manufactured homes vary by state and on whether the home is built on land you own or are renting, like a mobile home park. In California and Oregon, for example, you’ll pay state and local taxes near the same rate as you would for 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 permanent foundations.

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 added costs that depend on the level of customization and your unique manufacturer.

Insurance

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 extra time to shop for a policy.

Financing Your Manufactured Home

Though a manufactured home may cost less than a traditionally built property, 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.