Buying Land for a Mobile or Manufactured Home? – Watch for these HIDDEN COSTS!

Buying Land for a Mobile or Manufactured Home?   Watch for these HIDDEN COSTS!

In this video, Felicia talks about things to watch for when you’re buying land for a mobile or manufactured home. If you’re looking for land for mobile home or land for manufactured home, being familiar with the County’s zoning ordinance, and whether or not the property has utilities, access, and financing will help you plan your move and help you understand how to parse through land for mobile home for sale.

From the video:

Think you’re making your life easier by bringing a manufactured home onto your new property? If you answered YES, you need to watch this.

My name is Felicia I’m a land investor and a partner at Compass Land USA.

We’ve bought and sold hundreds of properties across the US.

Today I’m going to go over a list of things you need to watch out for if you plan on purchasing your next property for a mobile or manufactured home.

So first, there is a difference between a mobile and manufactured home. A mobile home is kind of like a predecessor or ancestor to the manufactured home. A mobile home is a manufactured home that was built before 1976.

If it was built before 1976, it is not subject to the housing and urban development (HUD) code. Those are called mobile homes.

Mobile Homes

  • Made before 1976
  • Often also referred to as a trailer
  • No HUD insignia ❌
  • Not allowed in a lot of counties ❌

If it was built after 1976, it is subject to the HUD code, and those are called manufactured homes.

Manufactured Homes

  • Made after 1976
  • HUD insignia upon meeting criteria ✅
  • Counties like these more than mobiles!
  • Delivered in a few large, pre-assembled pieces 

It’s really important to distinguish between those two. A lot of counties will not allow mobile homes because they don’t meet the HUD code.

Knowing that, what should you be looking for with your next land purchase to find out if it’s suitable for a mobile or manufactured home?

Obviously the first thing you want to start with is location. And a lot of people know this already. We chat with a lot of folks who want to retire to Florida or Arizona, or want a manufactured home in the mountains of Colorado.

Or families who want to move, then they consider things like nearby schools, amenities. If you want to be near a beach, hospital, your kids, shopping, you need to consider all that. People normally have at least a rough idea of where they want their land to be (you can learn how to find land for sale online here 🙂 ).

Once you have your location narrowed down to the County level, the very first thing you need to do is check the zoning.

Manufactured homes usually aren’t allowed just anywhere in a County. Often they’re limited to certain zones.

In some counties, mobile homes are only allowed in designated mobile home parks, but manufactured homes are allowed in residential areas.

The County’s zoning ordinance will give you all the details on this. They’ll let you know which zones a manufactured or mobile home (if mobile is allowed) can go into, they’ll let you know the minimum size requirements of the home, whether or not they need to be installed on a permanent foundation, all that good stuff.

To find the County’s zoning ordinance, isn’t normally difficult. You can head over to Google, and search “COUNTY NAME zoning ordinance”. So let’s try this with a Florida County, Pinellas.

This first result, Municode library, is normally pretty good, nice clean site, easy to navigate. So you can pull it up in there. They have a search bar you can use, so I’ll search manufactured home, and it brings up all the points in the ordinance that refer to a manufactured home.

If you don’t want to search through the internet, you can just as easily pick up the phone and call the County’s Planning and Zoning Department, they will be able to give you this information as well.

So, zoning is the most important thing you need to check once you have your location narrowed down. This will make or break your entire land purchase, so please don’t skip this step. You don’t want to pay for that perfect property, and then find out a year or two or six months later that you can’t bring a manufactured home onto it.

Once you’ve confirmed the location, and that the zoning allows for a manufactured home, there are still a couple things you need to be aware of.

You want to consider the size of the property, and make sure that once your manufactured home is installed, you will still several feet around the perimeter. The zoning ordinance will specify the minimum distance required for that.

You also want to check road access. Not just for you, but for the company delivering your manufactured home. Will their trucks be able to get to the property?

By the way, when you spec out your manufactured home, you want to ask the company how much the delivery and install costs are. It will vary depending how far your property is from town, how many trucks they’ll need to get your manufactured home out there, etc.

Another huge consideration is utilities. Are there utilities on the property?

Is there city water and sewer or would you have to install septic and drill a well?

Are there power lines in place? Can you go solar?

The power lines especially are a big one because if the power is far away, you have to pay to bring that in by the foot. So the cost of bringing it in 500 feet is very different than the cost of bringing it in 1 mile.

The last thing you want is to buy land specifically for a manufactured home, and then find out it will cost you more than what the home is worth just to get utilities to your property.

If you need more info on this, I have a separate video and post about how to find out if a property has utilities. You can find that link here.

While you’re looking up utilities, it wouldn’t hurt to get a cost estimate on the pad either. The County’s Zoning department will be able to tell you if it has to be concrete or limestone or whatever, how big it needs to be, all that.

Those are the big ticket items you want to check.

Another thing to consider is financing. If you have the cash to pay for the land up front, good on ya. If you don’t, there are still options.

You can try getting a loan from a bank or a traditional lender, but honestly for vacant land it’s pretty difficult.

A lot of land investors like myself will offer owner financing. We don’t do credit checks or charge prepayment penalties.

That is a great option for you if you want to finance.

So those are the big things you need to check when buying land for a mobile or manufactured home. Checking these will help you get a better idea for how much it’s actually going to cost to get your dream property, and set up a manufactured or mobile home on it.

If you’ve done this, found land and brought a manufactured home out to it, leave a comment below let me know how that went. I’d be really interested to hear it. 🙂

Alright so if you enjoyed this video and found it helpful, please give it a thumbs up, leave a comment and say hello, and don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.

We do lots of land-related videos like this as well as custom property tours for all of our lots.

Thank you so much for watching, and I’ll talk to you soon.

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One response to “Buying Land for a Mobile or Manufactured Home? – Watch for these HIDDEN COSTS!

  1. Thank you for informing us that mobile homes are often referred to as trailers, which may not be allowed in some countries due to them not meeting the HUD code. I want to live in a trailer to make it easier for me to move around due to my work, so I’m looking for a mobile home community I can join soon. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for a real estate agent to speak with regarding mobile homes soon.

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