How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Mobile Home?

While inflation has slowed since its peak, prices are still rising, with shelter and vehicle insurance being major contributors. It’s generally well understood that buying a mobile home is cheaper than a conventional house with a foundation and maybe a basement. It’s understandable why people are attracted to the idea of buying a mobile home, but is it a good idea, and how affordable are they? Those are the questions every homeowner needs to decide for themselves.

“Buying a mobile home can be an affordable way to get into your home,” says Haley Bartlett, a Denver-based real estate agent working with Your Aussie Agent and iGoRealtor. She adds that there are some downsides, such as “a resale is likely to be not as great as a regular home.”

As with any purchase, but especially with big-ticket items like a home, you want to do your research before signing contracts and hiring a home moving company.

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What is a Mobile Home?

Mobile home is a somewhat outdated term, although it’s still often used. Mobile homes are now called manufactured homes, especially if they’ve been built in the last 50 years or so.

Based on how they’re made, manufactured and mobile homes can also be referred to as prefabricated or “prefab” homes. Sometimes they’re called modular homes.While the terms are used interchangeably, there are actual differences between mobile, manufactured and modular homes in how they were built and how they are financed.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a factory-built house as a mobile home if it was built before June 15, 1976, and as a manufactured home if it was built after. Again, the terms are often used interchangeably, though if you know the difference, you may be able to impress your friends or get a question right at trivia night.

Here are the main differences between a mobile home, a manufactured home and a modular home.

— A mobile home was made in a factory and moved to a neighborhood, whereas a home with a foundation or a basement was made by a construction crew on the land itself.

— A manufactured home was also made in a factory and moved to a neighborhood. What separates it from a mobile home is that a manufactured home was built on or after June 15, 1976, with federal standards mandated by HUD

— A modular home also starts off being made in a factory, but then parts of the house are transported to the homesite where construction is finished by a builder.

Here’s what you need to know about the costs associated with buying and living in a mobile or manufactured home.

How Much Does a Mobile Home Cost?

Compared to a traditional house built on a foundation, a manufactured home is typically more affordable. The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis reports the median sale price of a new traditionally built home sold in the first quarter of 2024 was $513,100.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows that the median sale price of a new manufactured home in January 2024, the most recent numbers available, was $148,100. This is a 5.6% year-over-year decrease from January 2023’s median price of $156,900.

If you want to spend less on a home, and price is your only concern, you’ll probably save money by going with a manufactured home.

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Cost of a Mobile Home by Region

Like traditional homes, the cost of a mobile home varies by where you live. Here’s the average cost of a new manufactured home in each U.S. region, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

— Northeast: $124,100

— Midwest: $116,300

— South: $119,200

— West: $140,800

The total cost of a mobile or manufactured home depends on a number of factors, such as how large your mobile home is, what amenities you choose and the site on which it’s located. Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with buying and owning a mobile home:

Cost Breakdown for a Mobile Home

— Single-wide or single-section home

— Double-wide or double-section home

— Add-ons and customizations

— Homesite

— Renting in a community

— Costs of moving a mobile home

Single-Wide or Single-Section Home

As the smaller of your two options (single-wide or double-wide), a single-wide manufactured home will naturally be less expensive than its larger counterpart. Because it also fits within a highway lane, there is less on-site work needed when a new manufactured single-section home is brought to the homesite. The Census Bureau reports that the average price for a new single-wide manufactured home in the U.S. was $78,900 in January 2024. Manufactured homebuilder Clayton Homes says that single-section homes range between 784 square feet and 1,440 square feet.

Costs of a Single-Wide Home by Region

Here’s how much a new, single-wide manufactured home costs on average in each region, according to the Census Bureau:

— Northeast: $88,700

— Midwest: $84,400

— South: $75,800

— West: $92,600

Double-Wide or Double-Section Home

A double-wide manufactured home is twice the size of a standard single-wide home and carries a higher price. When purchased new from a manufacturer, the home arrives in two parts and is assembled at the homesite. The larger size also tends to allow for more customization when it comes to interior layout and the exterior.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average new double-section manufactured home costs $148,100 as of January 2024. There are some homes that can be made with than two sections, but they are less common.

Costs of a Double-Wide Home by Region

Here’s what you can expect to pay, on average, for a new double-wide manufactured home in each region according to the Census Bureau:

— Northeast: $142,400

— Midwest: $147,700

— South: $145,400

— West: $168,800

Add-Ons and Customizations

Many manufactured homes can be customized. Naturally, these customization costs can be minimal, but they can also become quite pricey.

But you can go way beyond a garage or carport. When you buy a mobile home, or months or years later, you could customize or add numerous features to your mobile home, including:

— Cabinets

— Plumbing features

— A porch

— A deck

— An extra room, like another bedroom or den

— A sunroom

— A fireplace

— A patio, and patio doors

— A surround sound system

If you’re doing any of these projects yourself, keep in mind that it’s always smart to hire a professional. Whether customizations or add-ons will add value to your mobile home is debatable, but if your DIY skills are lacking, you can definitely lessen its value with a shoddy addition to your home.


This is something else to keep in mind. Because a manufactured home is built in a factory rather than on site, the land is evaluated differently. If you’re buying a manufactured home to place on land you own or are planning to buy, factor in the total cost of the land, property taxes included, as well as any additional needs for getting it ready to hold your home.

Renting in a Community

You may choose to rent space in a mobile home park or manufactured home community, which vary greatly in condition, size and cost throughout the U.S. In this case, you still purchase the home from the previous owner, but the land it sits on is managed by a landlord. There are many communities that offer amenities like a pool, tennis courts and clubhouse for socializing, while others simply charge rent for use of the lot your house sits on.

Rent can range from a lot to very little. suggests that you may pay as little as $100 to as much as $900 a month to rent the land your mobile home is on.

That you often don’t own the land when you buy a mobile home is one of those aforementioned downsides, Bartlett says.

“If your mobile home is in a community or mobile home park, beware of lot fees,” she says. “Here in Colorado, these are some of the most affordable properties to buy, however, the lot fees can make that monthly payment shoot up.”

Bartlett advises researching to find out how often fees are raised. “I know of people that bought with a reasonable $500 a month lot fee and those fees a few years later are now close to $1,000,” she says.

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Mobile Home?

Mobile homes may be mobile, but they aren’t easily moveable. According to, there are two types of mobile home moves: a transport-only or a full-service move.

A transport-only move means the manufactured home is attached to a towing vehicle and taken to a new location. A full-service move involves the mover disconnecting utilities and disentangling structures — and then reattaching and connecting your home back to new utilities in the new location. It’s more involved and subsequently more expensive. A full-service move may cost between $3,000 and $14,000.

Transport-only moves generally range from $700 to $3,500, according to

In other words, you won’t be seeing the country in your mobile home. If that’s what you envision, you’ll want to buy an RV or camper.

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Considerations Before You Buy a Mobile or Manufactured Home

Before you buy a mobile or manufactured home, think about these details:

The purchase process differs from buying a house. If this is your first experience with a manufactured home compared to a traditionally built house, know that the purchase process and type of ownership is different. It also depends on whether you’re buying an actual mobile home that was built before June 15, 1976, or after.

“Manufactured homes can be eligible for a lot of traditional mortgage loans, including government-backed mortgages like USDA, FHA and VA loans,” says Jake Vehige, president of mortgage lending at Neighbors Bank, headquartered in Columbia, Missouri.

The borrower will still have to meet any program or lender requirements, and there are generally some additional requirements specific to manufactured homes. “For example, some loan programs or mortgage lenders will set a minimum square footage requirement for the property being financed,” Vehige says.

Mobile homes are a bit of a different story. “They aren’t eligible for many traditional mortgages so you may have to look into different options like chattel loans or other personal loans,” Vehige says. “If you can find a lender willing to finance a chattel loan, you’ll usually get a higher interest rate with a shorter loan term, so your monthly payment will likely be higher compared to a traditional mortgage payment.”

A manufactured home may depreciate in value. While real estate typically increases in value over time, a manufactured home typically depreciates in value over time like a car. A well-maintained and updated manufactured home may be less likely to lose significant value.

A simplified inspection will tell you what you need to know. While a home inspection for a house built through traditional construction can include hundreds of details and can take several hours to complete, a simple four-point inspection will typically tell you all you need to know for a manufactured home. Look for assurance that the roof, the electric, the plumbing and the heat and air are in good working order.

According to home improvement website and information network Angi, you’ll probably spend $200 to $400 a month on a mobile home inspection.

Plumbing is often an issue where problems arise, Bartlett says. “This has come up in many a mobile home inspection, where the piping throughout the home was piping that is now illegal or has been known to breakdown,” she says. “Having to re-pipe a whole mobile home is not cheap.”

Maintenance shouldn’t change much. The necessary maintenance for a manufactured home is roughly the same as in a traditionally built house, and the smaller footprint can mean that it’s less costly to maintain overall.

If you live in a mobile home community, there may be other maintenance benefits. You may not have to mow your lawn or shovel your driveway, for instance.

The stereotype isn’t always accurate. Mobile home parks sometimes have a reputation for being less than stellar places to live. But plenty of mobile parks have amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts and clubhouses. Some mobile parks are extremely upscale.

You will want to factor in climate change and extreme weather. “Mobile homes are not a safe shelter when tornadoes threaten,” the National Weather Service says on its website. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Association and Federal Emergency Management Agency recommend that mobile and manufactured home residents leave their homes for sturdier shelter before storms with tornadoes hit. Studies suggest that at least 40% of tornado deaths occur in manufactured homes.

Government websites often state that you’re risking your life if you wait out a tornado in a mobile home. As one of those government websites, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, states, “No area of a mobile home is safe during a tornado. If you have access to a sturdy shelter or vehicle, go there immediately, using your seatbelt if driving.”

So if you’re considering a mobile home, but live in a part of the country that is prone to high winds, that may give you some pause.

More from U.S. News

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How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Mobile Home? originally appeared on

Update 06/14/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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