Choosing a Location for Your Mobile or Manufactured Home
At the beginning of every manufactured home buying journey is deciding where you want to live. There are many factors to consider when making this decision and every home buyer will have a different set of priorities.
Some questions you will want to ask yourself when narrowing down where you want to place your manufactured home:
- How far am I willing to commute to work?
- How close (or far) from family do I want to be?
- Do I enjoy country living or city convenience?
Most of us know the answers to these questions immediately and others may need to take some time to really think through how they feel about a lengthy work commute or potentially not having family within a five-mile radius.
Check for Home Zoning Restrictions on Manufactured Homes
Once you have made these determinations and begun narrowing down your property search, you will want to verify your desired city or area is friendly to manufactured housing.
This is easy if you have chosen a manufactured home community but much more difficult if you are looking at property within city limits.
Each county has a “development office” that can be contacted with zoning questions. Some cities or counties exclude manufactured housing altogether, some have size, color, roof pitch, or other stipulations on the home installation, while others have very little to no regulation whatsoever.
While you’re on the phone, it’s a good idea to ask about potential permitting costs, electric and water fees and flood zoning. Read more about what to look for when purchasing land here.
Alternatives to Buying Land for Your Manufactured Home
So, what do you do if you want to be closer to town but find that manufactured housing is pretty restricted in your city?
This is the case with many cities across the nation and manufactured homeowners often need to seek property 20-30 minutes outside of the city to be able to install their home.
While some cities have small pockets of land available for manufactured housing, it’s rare and they are most often bought out.
Though other solutions are being brought to the table to make manufactured homes in the city limits more accepted, the best compromise home buyers have right now are manufactured home communities.
Choosing a community for your manufactured home does come with some downsides, but if a top priority is living in the city to be near work or family, then the pros might outweigh the cons.
Some positive aspects of living in a manufactured home community is of course, location, but also the amenities, resale opportunity compared to renting, and lower cost of living.
Most communities offer amenities such as playgrounds, club houses, pools, and exercise facilities similar to an apartment complex. The difference, of course, is that your home’s walls are not attached any other home. Coming and going for work or errands will also not involve fighting for parking or climbing three flights of stairs.
Aside from amenities and everyday conveniences, another huge bonus in choosing to place a manufactured home in a community is that when you decide to move, you can also move or sell your home. While your return on investment won’t be the same as someone installing their home on private land, you will be able to regain a good portion of your investment unlike with a traditional renting scenario.
Now for the downsides. Choosing to live in a manufactured home community means you own your home but are renting the land under it. While in 9/10 situations this is fine, there is a chance that community management or ownership changes or even city regulation changes and there will be a need to find a new place to install your manufactured home.
An additional downside is loan terms (interest rate and down payment) are often less favorable when placing your home in a community due to the risk of instability I mentioned above.
Is a Manufactured Home Right for Me?
Buying a home is a unique process for each home buyer and family. The benefits of a manufactured home—from the affordability, financing flexibility, and wide range of floor plan and aesthetic options—make it an easy choice for many.
However, whether due to limited location choices, lack of finances, or feeling unsure about your next steps, some folks wanting a manufactured home may not be ready right now.
And that’s okay. Where you live and the home you live in are among the most important decisions you will ever make. Our team is happy to answer questions about finding land, the credit process, or any other information you may be curious about completely obligation free. We look forward to hearing from you!