Why Are Mobile Homes So Expensive? (11 Reasons Why)

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Brandon Porter

Brandon Porter is an architectural draftsman of 25 years and a self-proclaimed handyman. He loves renovating homes and making them his own, whether it's fixing up the plumbing or painting the walls.

Mobile homes offer the most affordable housing solution in America. Not surprisingly, many Americans—specifically millennials—rely on mobile homes to put a roof over their heads.

However, ‘affordable’ does not mean the same thing it did a few years ago. You might be surprised to find that mobile homes are now expensive. Why is that? Here is what I found!

Why Are Mobile Homes So Expensive?

Mobile homes are expensive because the production cost is increasing. Mainly, this is a result of the overall inflation occurring across different industries. Mobile homes cost a lot of money to move and attach to electrical and sewage systems. Accompanying fees like land tax and association dues can make mobile homes expensive.

If you want to learn more about the different kinds of mobile homes and the process of creating, acquiring, and delivering mobile homes that make them so expensive, keep on reading!

1. Producing Mobile Homes Is Expensive

Manufactured homes are costly to produce. Just imagine the space manufacturers would need to put together a house, even if they do it one room at a time.

That said, a single-wide can range from 600 to 1200 square feet, while a double-wide can range from 1300 to 1800 square feet.

Also, mobile homes use the same materials as site-built homes, namely PVC or chrome plumbing, lumber framing, wood flooring, and fiberglass insulation.

Considering the price inflation that is making construction materials costlier than ever, it makes sense why mobile homes are expensive.

2. Mobile Homes Can Be Produced At A Consistent Standard

Unlike sit-built homes, mobile homes are produced at a more consistent standard because mobile homes are created indoors.

When a client orders a mobile home, the materials are ordered in bulk and stored in a temperature-controlled environment to retain their quality.

Additionally, manufacturers can prevent or limit the deterioration materials suffer from because they will not be prematurely exposed to sun and rain.

Therefore, this swift and efficient work environment gives mobile homes extra durability, making mobile homes expensive.

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3. Mobile Homes Come In Numerous Sizes

Mobile homes come in all shapes and sizes, and the bigger the mobile home you get, the heftier the price you will have to pay.

Generally, mobile homes can be categorized into three categories, single-wides, double-wides, and triple-wides, with floor sizes reaching up to 3,600 square feet.

Naturally, each square foot of living space is costly because they enable function and convenience. As a result, mobile homes are expensive.

4. Mobile Homes Can Be Further Customized

Apart from the general mobile home designs that manufacturers offer buyers, there are also plenty of customization options that make your mobile home fit your lifestyle.

Contrary to popular belief, not all mobile homes are pre-constructed and sold like furniture. Instead, you have the power to influence your mobile home’s exterior, interior, and floor plan.

However, customization raises the cost of your mobile home, making the final purchasing price high.

5. Mobile Homes Are Not Easy To Deliver & Assemble

5. Mobile Homes Are Not Easy To Deliver & Assemble

Since mobile homes are pre-constructed in factories, their massive parts must be delivered to your owned or rented lot for assembling.

Once there, mobile homes must be put together to adhere to the federal construction codes for housing and urban development.

Additionally, you will want to rely on reputable workers for this job, as any amateur attempts can make the different sections of the home appear seamed or unattached.

Delivering and assembling mobile homes is expensive, and this expense is usually passed on to the buyer. Consequently, mobile homes become even more costly to purchase.

6. Some Manufacturers Charge More For Mobile Homes

Not all mobile homes are made equal.

For example, some manufacturers produce subpar mobile homes, while others produce stunning, high-quality homes that any homeowner can appreciate.

Naturally, the more reputable mobile home manufacturers attract more clients, making their mobile homes more in demand.

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Additionally, some manufacturers are known best for certain aspects of their work. Fleetwood Homes, for example, are reputed for making the best mobile homes for families.

Meanwhile, Adventure Homes is the go-to manufacturer for buyers who want more customized mobile homes.

Because of their branding and popularity, some manufacturers can charge more than others for their mobile homes, making them expensive.

7. Rent In Mobile Home Parks Is Soaring

Many mobile home owners are paying land rent in mobile home parks. In recent years, mobile home parks have been doubling or tripling their land rental fees.

Some of the main reasons behind this are the increasing demand for affordable housing and the reduced supply. Moreover, corporate developers and owners are on the rise.

So, since you cannot get a mobile home delivered and assembled without securing land either through buying or, more commonly, through renting, you have to consider land costs.

Now more than ever, land ownership and land renting is a costly commitment that can make purchasing a mobile home more expensive.

8. Housing Demands Are Increasing

People want to live in their own homes, but most Americans cannot afford to buy their own land and construct their own houses.

Consequently, more people are turning to mobile homes as their best option. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has interfered with operations and supply chains.

Therefore, an increasing gap between the demand for mobile homes and the available supply makes mobile homes more expensive.

9. Mobile Homes Include HOA Expenses

A lot of mobile home parks will require renters to pay homeowner association fees to keep the parks safe, sanitized, and orderly all year round.

However, if the mobile home park does not ask for monthly or yearly upkeep fees, it may be because these fees are already included in your rent.

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Regardless, both situations can make purchasing and maintaining mobile homes expensive. After all, your water, sewer, and garbage disposal needs have to be met one way or another.

10. Mobile Homes Need To Be Attached To The Land

There is more to setting up your mobile home than getting the parts delivered and connecting all the sections.

Additionally, you need to pay fees for attaching your mobile home to the local electrical and sewage system. Depending on where you live, these fees can be higher than average.

Also, getting permits and consent can be a pricy endeavor, making your mobile home much more expensive to set up.

11. Mobile Homes Are Considered Personal Property

If you cannot pay for your mobile home upfront with cash, you will be looking at financing aids.

Unfortunately, mobile homes are considered personal property and not real estate, meaning mortgage deals are out of the question.

Loans for personal properties tend to be more expensive due to their higher interest rates and shorter terms. As such, acquiring mobile homes becomes pricier.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why townhomes are so expensive, why apartments are so expensive, and why land is so expensive.

Conclusion

Mobile homes are the most affordable housing option in America, with over 20 million Americans currently residing in owned or rented mobile homes.

Currently, the demand for mobile homes is still high, and the supply is lower due to the interruptions caused by the pandemic.

Additionally, mobile homes take a lot of money to construct, deliver, and assemble. These are some of the main factors that make mobile homes so much more expensive today.

Author

  • Brandon Porter is an architectural draftsman of 25 years and a self-proclaimed handyman. He loves renovating homes and making them his own, whether it's fixing up the plumbing or painting the walls.

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