Mobile Home Manufactured Housing: Trailer Options from Double to Single Wide Explained

Looking for the sweet spot between affordability and having a place to call your own? A pre-loved mobile home might just be the ticket, not to mention, it could set you back less than the latest SUV on the market. Nowadays, these homes on wheels have evolved into what we call manufactured houses. With the …

double and single wide homes

Looking for the sweet spot between affordability and having a place to call your own? A pre-loved mobile home might just be the ticket, not to mention, it could set you back less than the latest SUV on the market.

Nowadays, these homes on wheels have evolved into what we call manufactured houses. With the real estate market skyrocketing and rent not far behind, these cozy dwellings are a lifeline for those dreaming of homeownership without breaking the bank.

Plus, the government’s stepping up, making it easier than ever to snag one with new FHA loan caps that stretch up to about $106k for a single-section home and even higher if you’re eyeing something more spacious.

If you’re in Minnesota, you’re in luck. The landscape of affordable housing is changing, and manufactured homes are leading the pack, making up 15% of new single-family homes sold.

Picture this: a brand new place to live without the sticker shock of a typical home and land combo. Think of these homes like a hybrid of a house and a car – they’re a bit like both but definitely easier on the wallet.

If diving into the world of manufactured homes sounds right up your alley, here’s a little rundown of what you should know to get rolling.

Prices Vary

When you’re browsing the market for a place to call your own, you’ll discover a wide range of pricing for factory-built homes.

Unlike traditional houses, these dwellings come in various forms, from those that are trucked in, ready for move-in, to modular homes that need some assembly on your lot. They differ in how they make the trip to you and in the building standards they meet.

In the landscape of home prices, manufactured homes don’t follow the usual real estate route. They’re often traded outside of common listing platforms, which can make their market prices a bit of a mystery.

But to give you an idea, data points out that on average, you could snag a manufactured home for about $127,300, minus the land cost. This is significantly less than the $430,808 average tag on site-built homes.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Average Single-Wide: A more compact option, averaging around $86,100.
  • Multi-Section Homes: Offering more space, these come in at an average of $158,633.

Prices have been on the move too, with new mobile homes surging about 77.1% in price over a five-year period, surpassing the 46.7% jump in site-built homes—land not included. It’s not just size upgrades; climbing construction expenses might also be fueling the trend.

Manufactured homes are increasingly catching the eye of various buyers, including those buying for the first time or those narrowing down their space after the kids have flown the nest.

Due to rising construction costs, it’s becoming a viable choice for those who might find building from scratch too steep or for those dreaming of some extra elbow room in the countryside.

To illustrate, imagine a three-bedroom place, with a couple of bathrooms to avoid the morning queue, resting on three serene acres of land—yours for around $185,900. Bargain when you stack it against traditional site-built homes in today’s dollars.

So, if you’re hunting for value and ready to plant your roots, these homes might just be the treasure map to your X marks the spot.

Allotting for Lot Rent

When eyeing a spot in a manufactured home community, you’ll need to budget for the monthly lot rent cost. This isn’t just for the patch of earth your home will sit on; it’s a package deal that usually covers a bit more. Here’s the scoop:

  • Location Matters: Just like real estate, where your community is located influences rent prices. Closer to city centers, you can expect to pay more.
  • Services Included:
    • Water and garbage disposal are typically bundled in.
    • Some places might throw in snow clearing and lawn care.
    • You might even get amenities like a community pool or gym if you’re lucky.

Take Urban Grove, for instance; it’s a mere 10-minute drive from the heart of Minneapolis, and a spacious double-wide there will run your monthly budget about $910.

Keep in mind, though, the park’s policy could be a make-or-break factor:

  • Credit and Criminal Checks: To call one of these spots yours, you’ll need to pass these checks. It’s more than affording the place; it’s about meeting the park’s bar for community standards.
  • Homeowner vs. Renter: As these communities favor homeownership, finding rentable options is increasingly challenging.

In the world of manufactured homes, the adage of location, location, location, applies to lot rents too, and with added perks or policies, be sure your budget and background are ready for it.

Financing Options for Your Home

When you’re looking to finance a modular home — the kind that’s often built with a basement and attached permanently to a foundation — you can breathe easily knowing that these are seen as “real property.” That means they’re on the same playing field as traditional homes when it comes to taxes and qualifying for standard mortgages, just like any other house in the neighborhood.

On the flip side, manufactured homes, built to national standards rather than state, fall into a special category.

If you happen to own the land your manufactured home sits on, this enables you to qualify for a conventional mortgage, like the majority of homeowners. However, if you’re in a land-lease situation, brace yourself for fewer loan options since these are often categorized as personal property.

Now, owning the land under your manufactured or mobile home is a serious game-changer. Why? No pesky monthly lot rents to deal with. But, keep those dollar signs in check because you may need to fork out some cash for things like hooking up to utilities—and the costs could stack up by thousands.

Also, take a moment to think about where you want to plant your home.

If you’re eyeing a swanky new subdivision, double-check those design rules and local laws to make sure manufactured homes are welcome there. In rural spots, you might have more freedom, but you could be signing up for well and septic tank installations.

It’s worth noting that not all manufactured homes are going to appreciate in value like traditional houses might. Lenders sometimes see them more like cars or boats, which tend to lose value over time. That skepticism could mean higher mortgage rates for you compared to typical home loans.

But hey, getting financed isn’t a pipe dream. It may seem daunting, but plenty of people in your shoes find ways to finance their mobile homes.

The lending landscape has its fair share of players who’ve been in the game for quite a while. Big names like Credit Human Federal Credit Union, Triad Financial Services, and 21st Mortgage Corporation (yes, that’s the one tied to Warren Buffet’s Clayton Homes) know the drill and are ready to talk shop, provided they’re licensed in your state.

Keep this in mind while shopping around for loans: Not all lenders will be at your beck and call in every state, so it’s smart to check if they’re on the guest list where you plan to live.

The Hunt for Homes

Finding the right manufactured home isn’t your typical house shopping adventure. It’s all about networking, patience, and being on your toes.

A good number of these homes aren’t featured on the main housing lists you might be used to. Instead, they pop up on various websites like, Facebook Marketplace, and even

  • Where to Look?
    • Facebook Marketplace

If you’re eyeing a spot in sought-after locales, speed is key. Often, sales happen in a flash, or it’s all about who you know. Don’t be surprised to see a simple “for sale” sign on a window either.

Networking Tips:

  • Talk to park managers
  • Chat up current residents

Century 21 has tools that allow you to filter for mobile/manufactured homes.

If you’re house hunting in Cambridge, for example, Pine Village is one place that could be worth your attention.

It’s a neighborhood that caters to the 55+ crowd, perfect for those looking to downsize without giving up community vibes.

  • Why Pine Village?
    • Age-restricted
    • In-demand for those seeking low-maintenance living

Recently, a cozy two-bedroom went for an easy-on-the-pocketbook price of $39,900. Remember, Minnesota’s full of undiscovered spots for manufactured homes.

Quick Tips:

  • Seek out age-restricted communities for quieter living.
  • Consider previously owned properties from retirees, which could be well-maintained.
  • Keep an eye out for affordable options—like the two-bedroom steal in Pine Village.
Julie Cochran

Julie Cochran

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