How to Buy a Manufactured Home and Land | rental tree (2023)

A prefab home, often referred to as a mobile home, is built in a factory and moved to a permanent location. Buying a prefab home is sometimes more complex than buying a regular home. Find out more about financing a prefabricated house.

On this page
  • What is a prefab house?
  • What is a mobile home?
  • How much does a prefabricated house cost?
  • How to Get Home Financing: 5 Types of Loans
  • Pros and cons of buying a prefab home
  • 6 steps to buying a prefab home

What is a prefab house?

Prefab homes are built in a factory and then shipped to a retailer in one or more sections on a chassis—or permanent frame.Propertyor fabricated house community. Many people think that a prefab is mobile, but prefabs are not typically moved after being installed at a site.

What is a mobile home?

Prefab homes are often referred to as mobile homes, but technically they are not the same. 1976, theUS Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), implemented the Standard for the Construction and Safety of Prefab Housing (HUD Code), which governed the construction of mobile homes. Prefabricated houses built before June 15, 1976 are mobile homes; Homes built after this date are prefabricated.

While "camper van" is an outdated term, it continues to be used in everyday language to talk about modern prefab homes. Today's prefab homes are built to HUD standards and can look and function surprisingly similar to homes built on a specific site. A key difference, however, is that prefab homes are typically purchased from a distributor or retailer.

Prefab vs. modular house

Modular homes is another term closely associated with prefab homes, but they are not the same. Like prefab homes, modular homes are built at the factory and then transported before being finished at the construction site. But just like site-built homes, modular homes follow state, local, or provincial building codes, not federal requirements.

Unlike prefab homes, modular homes are not typically sold through a dealer. Instead, as is common with site houses, a general contractor or contractor will have completed the construction before the house hits the market.

How much does a prefabricated house cost?

The average cost per square foot for a new manufactured home in the United States, according to U.S. Census Bureau as of 2021 $72.21. However, the cost of prefabricated houses varies depending on the location and the size of the house. So expect a wide price range.

(Video) The REAL COST of Preparing Land For a New Manufactured Home

What is included in the cost of a prefabricated house

If you are buying a manufactured home, here are some other expenses that you must consider as part of the cost of owning a manufactured home:

  • land purchase
  • site preparation
  • delivery and installation
  • supply connections
  • Insurance
  • Steer

You may be able to fund some of these costs along with the home ownership.

How to Get Home Financing: 5 Types of Loans

You have several options for getting a loan to buy a home and land, but your choice depends on what your home is titled. Here's a look at the requirements side-by-side:

ConventionalSupported by the government
Fannie MaeFreddy MacFHAVAUSDA
minimum deposit3%-5%5%3,5 %5%0%
Maximum Loan AmountBased on lender requirementsBased on lender requirementsHome Only: $69,678

Ticket only: $23,226

Both: $92,904

Based on lender requirementsBased on lender requirements
type of loanFixed and variableFixed and variableFixed rateBoth, but an adjustable rate might be hard to findFest
minimum credit rating620720580 with 2.5% down,

500 with 10% discount

Varies depending on the lenderNo minimum
Must be titled and/or attached to real estate

Traditional loans

Many private lenders offer prefab loans, including financing for a prefab home with land. In most cases, however, to qualify for a manufactured oneHaushypothekYou must put the house on a permanent footing and call it real estate ownership. Here are some options forconventional loanson prefabricated houses.

Fannie Mae MH AdvantageTo finance a prefabricated home, it must be certified as an MH Advantage home. Homes that qualify typically have construction, design, and features similar to locally built homes and are located in residential areas. These prefab homes are built on a permanent chassis, installed on a permanent foundation on land, and referred to as real estate. Loans can be fixed or variable rate mortgages with terms of up to 30 years.

Fannie Mae Standard MHThis loan option is for homes that do not meet the MH Advantage program eligibility requirements, including traditional single and double width manufactured homes. However, unless it is a co-op or condominium project, the borrower must own the land on which the house stands. The manufactured home must be built on a permanent chassis, installed on a permanent foundation on land owned by the borrower (mortged or unmortgaged) and titled real estate. Loans can be fixed or variable interest rates and have terms of up to 30 years.

Home mortgage created by Freddie MacThese manufactured home mortgages are available in most states. The credit terms include both fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgages. Homes must be built on a durable foundation and can be built on the borrower's private property, in a proposed development or project, or - with written approval - on leased land.

Top.If you're buying a prefab to place on a lot you already own, you might be able to do soUse your property on the landto cover all or part of the deposit.

Government-backed loans

The FHA established home loans

You can buy a prefab home with one of the insured loansFederal Housing Administration (FHA). These loans are only available to finance the purchase of a manufactured home, just a piece of land, or both at the same time. In addition, you can use a home loan manufactured by the FHA for a home installed on a leased lot. The terms range from 15 to 25 years.

(Video) Manufactured Homes - Getting Your Land ready and How to Save $$$

VA loans for prefab homes

Loans secured by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).Providing funding opportunities for military service members, veterans and surviving spouses.VA loans for prefab homesrequire the homes to be associated with a permanent endowment on land owned by the borrower, or a manufactured home and land together. The house must qualify as real estate.

The USDA established home loans

Low- to middle-income rural homebuyers looking to finance a manufactured home or a home and lot may qualify for aGuaranteed loan for USDA single family homes. These loans offer flexible qualification requirements, including no minimum down payment and no minimum credit history.

Personal loans for prefabricated houses

Depending on the cost of the prefabricated house you buy, aprivate loancan be an option. However, personal loans usually go up to $50,000some lendersLoans up to $100,000.

These loans have fixed interest rates and terms typically range from two to five years. However, personal loans usually have higher interest rates thanMortgagesAndAutokredit. Exactlypersonal credit qualificationvary by lender, but most typically check your credit history, income, and other financial details.

furniture loan

Another way to buy a manufactured home is with a furniture loan, which is similar to a mortgage except it's for expensive personal property like boats, airplanes, or heavy equipment ("chattel" is another word for "personal property"). Furniture loans for manufactured homes are common and typically have higher interest rates than mortgages. The loan is secured solely by your manufactured home, so unlike a traditional mortgage, if you default on the loan, only the home can be repossessed, not the land.

Pros and cons of buying a prefab home

According to the latest data from the US Census Bureau, prefab homes accounted for about 9% of new single-family homes in 2021Survey on Manufactured Housing. But before you jump into any type of home ownership, it's always worth weighing the pros and cons.


affordability.In 2021, the average prefab home price was $108,100, but a single-family home cost an average of $365,904 (in both cases not including the value of the lot).

Efficient construction.Because prefab homes are manufactured in factories, their construction is not affected by weather or other factors that affect site-built homes.

Multiple financing options.There are many options available to you for financing a prefabricated house. We've focused on options that allow you to finance both the land and the house, but it's very possible, right?refinancejust the house itself.

(Video) Don't Buy A Manufactured Home UNLESS...


Higher interest rates.Manufactured home loans usually come withhigher interest ratesthan other loan types.

social stigma.Prefab homes have come a long way in the last few decades, but that doesn't mean everyone got the memo. You may get negative opinions from co-workers, family or friends when you buy a prefab house.

Depreciate house value.Unlike traditional site-built homes, which tend to appreciate in value over time, prefab homes can depreciate in value.

difficult to resell.Prefab homes are not easy to resell and can present particularly costly challenges if you just want to sell the home and keep the land. It will likely cost thousands of dollars to move a prefab home to a new location.

6 steps to buying a prefab home

Buying a prefab home involves a different process than buying traditional real estate. The exact method varies by state, so check with themCooperative for manufactured housingfor information on regulations, permits, and the process of buying a manufactured home in your state.

Here are six steps to buying a prefab home and land.

1. Decide on the location of your prefabricated house

If you are buying land or building the house on a piece of land you already own, read the zoning statutes and any other guidelines you need to follow.

2. Look for a prefab house

(Video) Buying land for airbnb in Joshua Tree: What we Learned about PREFAB

Unless you are purchasing a standard model or an existing prefab, work with your prefab retailer to customize your prefab.

3. Secure financing

Work directly with a lender,mortgage brokeror your home builder to consider your home loan options. Similarly, compare lenders and loan terms when considering a personal loan or furniture loan.

4. Prepare the home page

Your dealer will work closely with you to ensure the site is ready for your home to be installed. This includes obtaining the necessary permits, fixing any issues affecting the plumbing of the home, and preparing utility hookups.

5. Arrange delivery and installation of your home

Your house will be delivered and installed after the land or property is ready.

6. Sign up for insurance

Before you can move in, you must insure the home and meet all other occupancy and maintenance requirements to avoid any potential problems or delays.

(Video) The VERY COSTLY Differences Between Modular and Manufactured Homes


How many mobile homes can fit on 1 acre? ›

Typically, the number of mobile home units per acre varies across different localities. On average, the numbers are 5 to 9 units per acre.

What questions to ask when buying a manufactured home? ›

Ask these top 10 questions before making any mobile home purchase:
  • How Old is the Home?
  • What Materials is the Home Made From?
  • What Condition are the Plumbing and Electrical Systems In?
  • What Signs of Wear and Tear Does the Home Have?
  • Can I Get a Proof of Title Certificate?
  • Does the Home Comply With Local Regulations?

How to negotiate a manufactured home? ›

Negotiate | When you're at a dealership you CAN and SHOULD negotiate the price of your home. Ask the dealer if you can see the invoice of the home and what the cash price would be. Don't offer up what your maximum payment would be or what price you'd like to pay.

How many acres do you need for a mobile home in Georgia? ›

Mobile homes must be located on a minimum of one acre unless located in a manufactured home community. E. Mobile homes must be INSTALLED in accordance with OWNERS/MANUFACTURER INSTALLATION MANUEL, or GEORGIA FIRE SAFETY COMMISSION (O.C.G.A. 8-2-16) also: Must be installed by a STATE CERTIFIED LICENSED INSTALLER/MOVER.

How many trailers can you fit on 2 acres? ›

Assuming the acre is functional in shape, meaning closer to a square than a bowling alley, estimates typically range from 34-40 trailers per acre with no truck cab.

How big is the acre? ›

Officially, it is 43,560 square feet, and a football field is 48,000 square feet. Our standard acre isn't the same worldwide. Irish and Scottish acres are bigger than those in the US.

Are there downsides to manufactured homes? ›

Manufactured homes might not be a good idea for some home buyers for the following reasons: Must have a foundation: You can't just wheel your home wherever you feel like it, like a camper or RV. Manufactured homes require finding undeveloped land or space in a manufactured home community.

Can you ask for a lower price on a mobile home? ›

Don't be scared to negotiate the price of a manufactured home. Manufactured home dealerships mark up the price and utilize holdbacks, just like automobile dealerships. This means there is a profit built into the invoice price of the home.

Do manufactured homes appreciate in value? ›

Looking at all of these factors, the answer is yes -- most of the time. There's no guarantee that a mobile home will appreciate in value, but there's also no guarantee for stick-built homes either. Manufactured homes will typically appreciate in value over time as long as they are well-maintained.

Can I put a mobile home in my backyard in Georgia? ›

Yes, you can have a mobile home on your Georgia property, but Georgia has a few rules you need to know. Most counties require a building permit for your mobile home, and the home must comply with the HUD code. Some counties only allow single-wide mobile homes on agricultural land.

How many acres is a land lot in Georgia? ›

This system established counties, districts, and land lots through a number of land surveys. Each county was divided into districts and each district was subdivided into land lots, ranging in size from 40 acres to 490 acres, depending on the lottery. The Cherokee territory, however, was also divided into sections.

How old can a mobile home be to move it in GA? ›

Often these regulations imposed an age limit on a manufactured home that could be relocated within a county. Counties frequently drew the line at 10 years, some as few as five years; any manufactured home older than the established age limit could not be moved into the county or relocated within the county.

How many cars can you fit in 1 acre? ›

each acre of land contains 43,560 square feet, a simple mathematical computation shows if each parking space requires 180 square feet, 1 acre of land would accommodate 242 parking spaces. Of course, this assumes no turning lanes and each parking space is right next to each other.

How many houses can fit on 30 acres? ›

Something we didn't discuss is how many houses you would be able to fit on your 30 acres. If you were to build homes consisting of the average footage of 2,400 square feet, then you could fit 544 homes.

Can 2 acres be considered a ranch? ›

A small one might be as small as a hundred acres, and specialize in training or breeding stock. A middle sized to big one can be ten thousand acres or more, with a few a hundred thousand acres or more. Sometimes these so called ranches operate on government owned land.

Is a football field equal to 1 acre? ›

1 football field is roughly 1 acre. (The exact measurements of football fields vary.) 1 hectare = 2.47 acres. 2.47 football fields in 1 hectare.

How many football fields in 10 acres? ›

Articles abound online comparing 10 acres of land to a host of seemingly relatable, visual examples. Commons visual representations include: 7.5 football fields. 90 basketball courts.

What an acre of land looks like? ›

How big is an acre visually? To visualize an acre, compare it to sizes you're familiar with. An acre has 43,560 square feet, which is about 90% of a football field (minus the end zones) or nine professional basketball courts. If you want to visualize an acre as a square, that's about 208 feet by 208 feet.

How long does a roof last on a manufactured home? ›

Manufactured homes' roofing materials can last up to 50 years, just like the entire home itself. However, the choice of roofing materials, installation, and weather elements are among the factors that will hinder the lifespan of a roof.

Are mobile homes safe in storms? ›

With proper installation, manufactured homes are designed to meet the same minimum safety standards against tornadoes and hurricanes as site-built housing. Some research indicates that most storm damage to manufactured homes actually occurs from debris impacts, not from high winds themselves.

How do you winterize a manufactured home? ›

11 Fast Ways To Winterize Manufactured Homes
  1. Reverse the ceiling fans. ...
  2. Inspect the water heater. ...
  3. Let the faucets drip. ...
  4. Never turn off the heat. ...
  5. Provide adequate skirting. ...
  6. Crack open closets & cabinets. ...
  7. Caulk doors, windows & more. ...
  8. Apply heat tape to water pipes.
Nov 9, 2022

Why people buy expensive mobile homes instead of a house? ›

Advantages of Buying a Mobile Home

And since mobile homes usually cost less per square foot than a stick-built home, you can get more space for your money. There are some stick-built home builders that have standard floor plans and options that allows them to build homes for prices similar to mobile homes.

Why are mortgage rates higher for mobile homes? ›

Many manufactured home purchases do not include the land they sit on. Thus, the asset is less secure for banks to lend against. Over 40% of manufactured homes are chattel loans – these contracts are designed for mobile homes and non-stationary property, and often have higher rates.

What increases the value of a mobile home? ›

Low-Cost Upgrades and Interior Finishes

Consider upgrading your appliances to increase the comfort level in your home as well as the energy efficiency. Other ideas for low-cost upgrades include a fresh coat of paint on interior walls, high-end bathroom fixtures like faucets and showerheads, and stylish light fixtures.

What type of foundation is best for a manufactured home? ›

The pier and beam system is the most popular foundation type for manufactured homes. With it, anchors are driven into the ground to hold the home down and protect it against wind. Then, steel straps connect the anchors to a main beam of the home's steel frame.

What are the strongest built homes? ›

Research-wise, concrete foundations, insulated concrete form framing (ICF), and a corrugated galvanised steel roof are the strongest house materials. Foundations are usually constructed from concrete because it is our strongest building material and it's important to have a sturdy house foundation.

Can you build equity in a manufactured home? ›

The BIG question! Will a new Manufactured Home build actual equity? Before we get into details, the short answer is YES! Manufactured Homes built by reputable builders that are affixed to permanent foundations hold the same value as traditionally-built homes.

What is the economic life of a manufactured home? ›

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), today's manufactured homes have an average life expectancy of 30–55 years, depending on the level of maintenance.

How fast do manufactured homes lose value? ›

Modular home facts

Modular homes appraise the same as their on-site built counterparts do; they do not depreciate in value.

Can I put a tiny house in my backyard in Georgia? ›

While there are no specific laws governing tiny homes in Georgia, most building codes and zoning regulations still apply. This means that your tiny home must meet all the same safety standards as any other dwelling, such as having proper electrical wiring and being up to code for fire safety.

Is it legal to live in a shed in Georgia? ›

Residential sheds are classified as accessory structures (e.g. lawn and garden and tool sheds, detached garages and carports) and they must comply with the state residential codes. They are not designed or intended to be used for human habitation.

What is the minimum square footage for a house in Georgia? ›

The IRC codes require that all homes must be built on a minimum of 320 square feet. The minimum square footage for a house is 120 square feet, and at least one room must be habitable. Habitable rooms meet other regulations, such as needing a closet and at least one window.

How much does 1 acre cost in Georgia? ›

Another con is the cost of purchasing land in Georgia. The state is one of the most expensive in the country, with an average price per acre of $4,000 upwards to $8,000.

Who is the largest land owner in Georgia? ›

Ted Turner – 2.2 Million Acres (USA)

Much of Turner's acreage is used as grazing land for approximately 50,000 buffalo – the world's largest private bison herd. He owns thousands of square miles of hunting land in Georgia and Montana in the United States.

What state is land the cheapest? ›

10 of the Cheapest Places to Buy Land in the U.S.
  • Mohave County, Arizona. ...
  • Kanosh, Utah. ...
  • Valencia County, New Mexico. ...
  • Fort Hancock, Texas. ...
  • Royalton, Kentucky. Photo: ...
  • Edwards, Missouri. Photo: ...
  • Sun Valley, Arizona. Photo: ...
  • Deming, New Mexico. Photo:
Feb 27, 2023

What is the law on abandoned mobile homes in Georgia? ›

Georgia's “Abandoned Mobile Home Act” allows landowners to get relief from having derelict mobile homes on their property. The law is codified at O.C.G.A. § 44-7-113, et seq. Under this law, at the request of a property owner, a county agent will be authorized to inspect the mobile home in question.

How do I change my mobile home to real property in Georgia? ›

Before a mobile/manufactured home can be declared as real property a valid Georgia certificate of title is required. The owner(s) and the security interest holder(s) must complete the Certificate of Permanent Location, Form T-234, once the mobile/manufactured home is classified as real property.

Is a mobile home considered real estate in Georgia? ›

Manufactured homes are taxed as real property if: (1) they are permanently affixed to land, and the same person who owns the home owns the land; and (2) the owner of the manufactured home and the holders of all security interests must execute and file a Certificate of Permanent Location in the real estate records of ...

How many mobile homes can you put on 1 acre of land in California? ›

Each mobile home park shall contain a minimum of four acres. (b) Maximum Density. Each mobile home park shall not exceed a density of ten mobile home sites per gross acre.

How many trailers can fit on 4 acres? ›

Estimates typically vary from 34-40 trailers per acre with no truck cab, assuming the acre is useful in shape, meaning closer to a square than a rectangle.

How many sq ft is a mobile home? ›

On the modest side, double-wides can run a low as 704 square feet or as large as 2,300 square feet. Much of that living space will be driven by state regulations regarding transportation. However, this class of mobile homes generally runs between 1,000 and 2,200 square feet.

How many square feet are most single wide mobile homes? ›

A single-wide mobile home can have 1-2 bedrooms and bathrooms and is typically between 500 to 1,200 square feet. A double-wide mobile home has 2-3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is usually between 1,000 to 2,200 square feet.

How many acres of land can sustain one person? ›

Even though a lot of those sources put the number at a lot less, the general consensus is that you really need at least 5 acres of land per person to be self-sufficient. And that's assuming you have quality land, adequate rainfall, and a long growing season.

How much does an acre of land go for in California? ›

How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth In California. Based on information collected by the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2021 the average cost of an acre of farm land in California was about $13,860 up 7.4% from 2020.

How much does an acre of land sell for in California? ›

The average cost per acre of land in California is between $5,000 and $12,000. But there's more, this figure doesn't paint a true picture of the cost. California is known for some of the highest real estate prices in the nation.

How many cars can fit in 1 acre? ›

each acre of land contains 43,560 square feet, a simple mathematical computation shows if each parking space requires 180 square feet, 1 acre of land would accommodate 242 parking spaces. Of course, this assumes no turning lanes and each parking space is right next to each other.

How many houses can you put on 5 acres? ›

However, the median size of a family house is 2,261 square feet or 0.05 acres. So, on a 5-acre parcel, you could fit 96 homes.

What is the most common mobile home size? ›

Most single-wide mobile homes are between 14 and 18 feet wide, and they run 66 to 80 feet long. It's important for mobile home buyers to understand that there's a massive variety in the manufactured home market.

What is the biggest size mobile home? ›

In fact, it's common to find homes that vary quite a bit in their square footage, but have the same number of sections. A single-wide mobile home is most commonly between 900 and 1,440 square feet, but can be bigger or smaller. Meanwhile, a triple-section mobile home can be as large as 3,600 square feet.

Is a double wide the same as a manufactured home? ›

A double wide home is another type of manufactured home and isn't built on site. Because of this, a lot of customization options are available. These homes can be moved to anywhere you'd like, consisting of two sections, joined together to create a larger home.

How many square feet is a 16x70 mobile home? ›

Clarion 16 X 70 1001 sqft Mobile Home | Champion Homes Center.

How many square feet is a 16x76 mobile home? ›

These single wide homes all have 3-bedrooms, 2-bathrooms, and a single living room. They all include kitchen appliances as well. The homes are 1140-1178 square feet.

How much are most mobile homes? ›

Double-Wide or Double-Section Home

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average new double-section manufactured home costs $155,200 as of November 2022. There are some homes that can be made of more than two sections, but they are less common.


1. Please Don’t Buy a Mobile Home in 2023?? Watch before buying!!!
(GK Building)
2. THE TRUTH about Mobile Home Parks
(Kerry Tarnow)
3. HERE'S HOW MOBILE HOMES ARE BUILT! Start to finish manufacturing plant tour! Winston Homebuilders
(Chance's Home World)
4. 5 Facts You Must Know When Buying A Mobile Home | Purchasing a manufactured home
(Kristina Smallhorn)
5. Manufactured Home Site Preparation | Perfect Manufactured Home Lot
(Kerry Tarnow)
6. Why Buy Mobile Homes For Massive Cash Flow
(Investor Army)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 11/15/2023

Views: 6601

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.