Placing A Manufactured Home On Private Property: What You Need To Know

Manufactured home owners typically choose to place their manufactured home on rural private property or in a land-lease community, usually located in an urban area. According to the U.S. Census in 2011, 74 percent of manufactured homes were placed on private property with the remaining 24 percent located in land-lease communities, or mobile home parks.

The number of new manufactured homes placed on private property continues to grow, in not only in the rural areas, but also on lots located in and around cities and towns. You might wonder why are there not more manufactured homes sited in urban neighborhoods? The answer is that there has been a long standing bias and state regulations that prohibit manufactured home buyers from placing their homes in “site-built only” zones.

These archaic zoning and permitting regulations have deterred many from becoming manufactured homeowners; however, thanks to a coalition consisting of existing manufactured home owners and new manufactured home owners, these long-time placement restrictions are rapidly changing in many municipalities and jurisdictions across the country. There are several states where legislation has become enacted preventing local jurisdiction from denying permits for manufactured home placements on any property zoned for single family residential use.

So let’s say that you own a piece of property that you feel would be the perfect place for your new manufactured home. Before you begin the ordering and building process, there are few things to consider, such as building restrictions and zoning regulations that are differ depending on what city and county you reside in. If your property is located in a “home only” zone you should inquire whether or not there is a conditional use permit process available, and what is required in order to allow your manufactured home to be installed on the subject property.

If you are planning on purchasing your own property, your first step is to go to your county courthouse or city hall and obtain a copy of the zoning ordinances that apply to the area that you are interested in. After you find a private site that suits you and you have obtained the necessary approval, there are some other important factors that need to be considered:

  • *Does the property have restrictive covenants or other deed restrictions that limit your use of the property?

  • *How much will you have to pay in property taxes after your manufactured home is attached to your property?

  • *Determine the price of permit fees required to install the home on the property. Are there any requirements for special fees or assessments, such as developer fees, school bond taxes, etc?

  • *How far away are utilities?  In some areas the utility companies require that connections be made by their own technicians. In any case, be sure that the connecting is done by a qualified professional. If water and/or hook-ups are not available, then you may have to dig your own well and install your own septic system. Check local regulations concerning these points.

This may all sound confusing and perhaps expensive. We would suggest that you purchase your manufactured home from a professional retailer who is familiar with local requirements before placing your home on private property. Often the dealer will combine the site and permit costs into the total sales costs and coordinate your total site preparation in order to facilitate the sale.

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