Your Next Manufactured Home: Discover What You Can Expect to Pay
Between the base price of the manufactured home, cost of the land, upgrades and site preparation–what can the average homebuyer expect to pay for their next manufactured home?
There are many factors that can affect the total cost of a manufactured home, including the home itself, the options and upgrades chosen, and the purchase and preparation of the land it will be placed it on.
These variables in cost are influenced most by where the home is to be sited, local building authority requirements, and the extent of site improvements elected by the home buyer. Instead of trying to address every possible option, we’ll break down the “typical” costs you can expect to encounter when purchasing your next manufactured home. The amount you end up paying can, and probably will, vary based on your location and upgrades.
Let’s say I receive a job offer that requires me to move to northern Texas, near the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I’ve located property in a rural subdivision zoned for manufactured homes, on the outskirts of Sherman—a growing community with a population of 41,200, within an hour commute to downtown Dallas. I’ve spoken to my bank, and I have $200,000 to spend on my new home. I have chosen a design I like, with three bedrooms, two baths, and 1,780 square feet of living space.
Land – $25,000
Land value may vary greatly, depending on its location. In some areas, an acre of suitable land may cost as little $1,000 or as much as $100,000. The $25,000 purchase cost of our building lot is comparably priced with other similar manufactured home properties in the area.
Manufactured Home Base Price – $90,000
The retailer’s base price for the home I have chosen is $90,000. The price includes standard delivery and installation, including required placement permits, and even the pilot cars required to escort my home delivery truck to its final destination. However, it doesn’t include special customization upgrades we’d like to make, or optional amenities we will add to make the home exactly as we have envisioned.
Customizations – $18,000
While the manufactured home is already close to what we are looking for, it lacks the personal feel that customizing the home will give us. We also want to go “green” by adding extra insulation in the floor, ceiling, and walls, an ENERGY STAR-upgraded appliance package, granite kitchen countertops, and a luxurious master bath with a large soaking tub, separate shower stall, and double sinks. We’re pleasantly surprised when our manufactured home builder also offers us an optional 8’, fully integrated and covered porch, at a cost far lower than building one on-site.
Site Preparation – $25,000
It is recommended that you employ a licensed general contractor, with local experience in contracting and installing all of the functions required to prepare the site and connections to utilities.
Often, the retailer will either serve as your general contractor, or refer you to a trusted third-party contractor to prepare your site and take responsibility for all subcontractors.
(Caveat: It’s best not to authorize your new manufactured home be built before knowing the scope, time frame, and cost of the site work and utility requirements.)
A site preparation cost of $25,000 is about average for a property like ours—a fairly level lot with nearby utility connections. However, if we had needed a well, that would carry an additional cost of $8,000 to $12,000 or more.
The contractor’s bid obtained on our behalf by the retailer includes permits, inspection fees, septic system, excavation, perimeter block foundation, utility connection from street to home, grading, driveway, and flat work.
Site-Built Garage – $24,000
If our budget accommodates, we’ll include in our financing the cost of a site-built 20 ft², two-car, attached garage—about $24,000. We’ve specified where the garage will be attached to the home, and asked the factory to install a fire door between the garage and the home. That cost has been included in the options we’re adding.
Construction Permits and Fees: $2,000
The total costs applicable to the purchase of the land—payments such as title fees, document fees, and realtor fees—are not accounted for in the total cost of our manufactured home. But, these charges will most likely be included in our financing package, as opposed to becoming out-of-pocket expenses.
In some areas of the country, housing jurisdictions require fees and assessments that aren’t necessarily applicable to manufactured home installations in our chosen state of Texas, such as developer fees, school impact fees, special permit fees, environmental impact fees, or mitigation fees. A good example is the State of California, where fees for a permit to place a manufactured home on private property exceed $12,000.
Construction Loan Costs – $4,000
The lending process for manufactured homes is equivalent to the lending process for a traditional site-built home. You’ll first apply for a construction loan—this allows your lender to release funds to pay for construction costs as each stage of construction is completed. The first draw will be to the retailer for the home cost, once manufactured home has been sited on the property. Other scheduled draws will be paid to the contractors as per a scheduled completion agreement. The interest and fees you’ll be charged by the lender will also be assessed based upon an agreed upon timeline for completion of the project. When the home is completed, the construction loan will be closed and retired by the permanent loan.
If my bank doesn’t offer construction financing, I know I can count on my retailer to refer me to a lender that specializes in manufactured home construction financing.
All-In Cost – $183,000
All told, the final price of my new manufactured home comes to $188,000. That averages out to just about $106 per square foot of living space for our well-built, energy-efficient, three bed two bath home, with a two-car attached garage, factory-installed 240 ft² covered porch, and all of the custom features and amenities that satisfy our specific needs and desires in our dream home.
To see more of the manufactured home pictured above, check out the Hybrid HYB3270-310 by Sunshine Homes!