How to Buy a Manufactured Home and Land Together

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Legacy manufactured home and land
Photo courtesy of Legacy Housing.

Do you want to buy a new manufactured home and land together to save time and money on your next home purchase? You should be aware that there are a few different approaches, and finance programs designed specifically for land-home purchases.

We will cover those topics and more in this blog post.

Buying a mobile home or manufactured home and land is simple once you understand how such deals are structured. It may seem like two transactions. However, it is possible to bundle the home and land together under a single loan or mortgage.

But planning and timing are important, as you will come to find out.

how to buy a manufactured home and land

Buying a Mobile Home and Land

If you want to buy a mobile home and the land, you most likely still need to begin the search by identifying each independently. Where do you want to live? What home should you put on that land? Unless you’re buying an existing home and the land where it’s already sited, you should begin your search with these two buckets in mind. As you get farther down the path, there are ways to bring the entities together, legally and financially.

Finding Land For Your Mobile Home

There are quite a few ways to go about searching for land for a manufactured home. Firstly, you know where you want to live, at least approximately. Maybe you hinge your decision on a school district, distance from work, or simply a part of the city or county that makes you feel at home. Clearly, the most efficient way to search available open land is to reference the area MLS. You also may be able to browse listings of property acquired and cleared by the county, through a housing authority or county land bank.

You can hire a realtor, as well. Or, perhaps you’ve already started your home search. In that case, the owner or sales representative at your preferred manufactured home dealership or retailer can be a great resource on how to choose land for a mobile home. Topics your sales professional can cover might include the type of land you have in mind, existing infrastructure and added site prep that may be required. But don’t forget the old school approach to finding land for a manufactured home! Drive the area. Take your time, appreciate the neighborhoods or rural attributes you’re considering. Look for open parcels and land-for-sale signs.

Placing a Mobile Home on Land

Since we started with a discussion on the land – the actual real estate part of the purchase – we’ll stay here for a bit to talk about mobile home transport and delivery, site prep, home installation, and setup. If you’re looking at land in the county or a township, you may have to dig a well for water. Is the land connected to, or near public utilities? How much grading needs to be done? What kind of foundation will be used, and how will the home be anchored and tied? These are all questions that need to be asked and answered in preparation for putting a mobile or manufactured home on land. Each question mark comes with an untold investment in time and money. And, unfortunately, no one will be in a position to answer those questions until the land has been identified and surveyed.

Placing a mobile home on land
Photo courtesy of Clayton Homes.

How to Buy a Manufactured Home

Let’s start with how to buy a new manufactured home. Getting your new home built in a factory is one of the most satisfying things you will ever do. Do you want to personalize your home? If so, put your designer hat on and get started. You can go to a manufactured home dealer or retailer near you and look through floor plans. Your sales representative will walk through all the potential changes and upgrades available for each floor plan. In many cases, you can point and click your way to the ideal manufactured home for you. You can move a wall, choose stainless steel appliances, go with granite counters, install smart devices, heighten the roof pitch, build a bar, add a mudroom, put on a porch or garage. The options are limitless.

On MHVillage, we do list new model homes with floor plans, home descriptions, photos, and, in many cases, you can take a virtual tour. There also is contact information for the Manufacturer or home seller. 

So, you get to design your ideal manufactured home. Some factories even have cameras set up so you can watch the construction of your home. You will save 30% or more compared with your new home’s site-built equivalent, and get the perfect new manufactured home for you.

How to Buy an Existing Manufactured Home

OK, you may have come to realize by now that MHVillage is the #1 marketplace for manufactured homes and mobile homes. We have more than 28,000 mobile homes for sale listed on our site. If you type into a search engine, like Google, “mobile home for sale in Denver”, or for a city or town of size near you, the top organic search result 99 out of 100 times will be an MHVillage listing page with a long list of homes you can consider. You can get all the information you need on a 2018 Legacy manufactured home for $125,000 or a 1996 Skyline for $40,000, both in Thornton, Colo.

However, there are a couple of circumstances to consider. About a third of the manufactured and mobile homes in the United States are located in manufactured home communities where you lease the land where your home sits. So, unless the property is a resident-owned community, you can buy the home but not the land. In addition, despite being called mobile homes, most homes purchased in parks are very difficult and expensive to move. So, they often stay in the community where they were placed because moving the home to a piece of land is too complicated and cost-prohibitive for most people.

If you do want to buy a home that will be moved to the land you’re purchasing, the home requires inspection before it can be loaded and moved and will be inspected again when it’s placed on a new foundation and considered for a loan. This is particularly detailed if you’re looking at a conventional mortgage.

What Kind of Loan Can I Get for a Mobile Home or Manufactured Home and Land?

Here’s the good news! There are an increasing number of loan types that cater to buyers who want to place a mobile home on private property. Fannie Mae (MH Advantage®) and Freddie Mac (CHOICEHome℠) have new lending programs for manufactured homes with particular home features that qualify for a conventional mortgage so the home can go into vacant parcels even inside city limits.

The most common way to bundle land and home finance together is with a land-home loan. Catchy, right? This allows you to get a conventional home loan for an existing manufactured home and the land it sits on. If you’re going with the new manufactured home, you might want to consider a construction-to-perm loan. This type of manufactured home loan creates a series of draws off the loan to pay for the home to be built, transported and set up. Once the home is placed and inspected, the loan converts to a permanent mortgage. Here is some more detailed information on different types of loans for mobile homes.

With that, we say “Happy House Hunting”, and we invite you to return for more information on manufactured and mobile homes. And, if there’s a question you have that we’re not answering, contact us so we can get on it!