4 Things to Consider Before Moving a Manufactured Home


Moving a manufactured home is not easy. You don’t just hitch them to a big truck and pull them down the road. You need permits and licenses and bonded professionals.

Manufactured homes aren’t like the old mobile homes and recreational vehicles that could be moved with the turn of a key. In fact, one reason so many people take issue with the term ‘mobile home’ is that they aren’t very mobile at all. In fact, moving a manufactured home is a ‘professionals only’ job.

Once a manufactured home is installed on its original site the vast majority of them remain there. Over 90% of all manufactured homes are never moved again after installation.

If you’re thinking of moving your manufactured home, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:

Can your Manufactured Home Be Moved?

First things first, a manufactured home must be capable of withstanding the move. Older homes are often deemed unfit. The moving process is tough, even on homes in excellent condition.

Some transport companies have a rule that any home being moved more than 50-100 miles requires new tires and other standard equipment on the home.

Learn what to look for when buying a used mobile home here. 

Zoning Issues when Moving a Manufactured Home

Manufactured homes are built to different standards based on location. HUD has divided the country into three different thermal zones, roof load zones, and wind zones. Manufactured homes must meet or exceed the standards of each area.

Below is a thermal zone map released by ManufacturedHousing.org:

HUD Thermal Zones - 4 things to consider when moving a manufactured home
The 3 wind zones.

For example, let’s say you wanted to move a manufactured home from Michigan to Florida. Michigan is a Zone 1 wind zone and Florida is a Zone 2 and Zone 3 state. Zone 2 and Zone 3 areas are places close to oceans and therefore are more likely to be impacted by hurricanes and other damaging storms, so manufactured homes going there are built to withstand higher wind speeds. Therefore, you can’t move a home built to Michigan’s wind zone standards to Florida. But you could move a manufactured home from Florida to most parts of Michigan (only most parts of Michigan, though, because of roof load standards.)

Learn about mobile home inspections here. 

You also have to make sure there won’t be any zoning issues with the city or county where you would like it placed. Many towns have land use laws that prohibit single wides or manufactured homes more than 10-15 years old.

If you’re planning to move it into a manufactured housing community, this won’t be a problem. But if you want to put it on a privately-owned lot of property, make sure the area is zoned for manufactured homes and find out if there are any.

Moving a manufactured home - SavaConta - Flickr
A single wide is being transported to its new home.

Source

Costs

The costs of moving a manufactured home depend on the size of your home, location, and distance of the move.

Moving.com’s article, Moving a Mobile Home? Here’s What You Can Expect to Pay, interviews a licensed Mover in Florida. He quoted the following:

For a single-wide move, handling the entire move—from transporting the home within 50 miles to acquiring the permits to hooking up the utilities—will run the customer somewhere around $8,000. For a double-wide home, the price usually falls between $10,000 and $13,000

There are other costs involved when moving a factory-built home such as permits, utilities, and labor.

Finding the Right Moving Company

Moving a manufactured home can be a tricky process. You want to find a moving company with lots of experience. Make sure they carry the right insurance, are licensed to move homes in your state (and other states you might be passing through), can get all the necessary permits and bonds, and know whether or not a police escort is needed.

Don’t cut corners on this step or use anyone you haven’t researched. Working with a mover who isn’t licensed or doesn’t get the right permits could end up costing a lot more in the long run.

See our Directory of Mobile Home Installation Manuals here.  

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22 Comments
  1. Jean carter says

    Is there insurance available somewhere for a manufactured home that is used and we have completely paid for but are waiting to move it until our property is ready? The movers I understand have nothing to do with it until they actually start the teardown for the moving process.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Jean,

      That’s a really good question. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for you. I bet if you posted this question in our Facebook group someone would be able to help – they are the most informative bunch I’ve ever seen. Here’s the link (just ask to join and then post your question): https://www.facebook.com/groups/mobilehomelivingremodels/

  2. Angie says

    I’ve got to move my mobile home and I’m trying to find out if I have to move everything out for it to be moved to another location? I’ve packed things off the walls, kitchen cabinets and going to lay tv cabinet on floor before moving and other things that may fall over during the move. Question is can I leave packed boxes in trailer?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Angie,

      It really depends on the distance, home, and mover. Some movers are OK with items as long as they are evenly placed and secured for weight distribution (appliances are usually acceptable). However, by leaving things in the home during transport you may negate any claims of damage and all they have to do is raise concern before the contract is signed. I wouldn’t chance it around doors or windows at all.

      Best of luck!

  3. Rich G says

    Was thinking about moving my double wide (70×24) vacation home from its original location, leased land, to a permanent lot. We love the layout of of the home and always said we would love have this as a permanent home. haven’t found a lot yet but have no idea where to begin. Any help would be great. I would obviously have a professional mover and understand it would cost about 10K-15K.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Rich!

      In most states, it won’t take that much to move (though it may cost that in CA). I would look for a regular Realtor that specializes in land or just start hunting for land for sale on Craigslist. You can setup a notification system through Search Tempest to notify you of Craigslist listings that include certain keywords (such as ‘land for sale’ or ‘lot for sale’) by location. Also, if you drive around the area you like and see an old house or a mobile home on a lot that isn’t being lived in you may have luck talking the owner into selling.

      Also, post that you are looking for land to buy (without mineral rights) in Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Best of luck!

  4. Donna Richmond says

    What do I do? I paid a mover on Aug. 1st to move my double wide and it has now been over a month and it still has not been put together or set up. There is no communication on their part and they don’t seem to be in any hurry to get it done. I need this done before it rains since the wrapping is torn on several areas of the home. What can I do to get them motivated?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Donna,

      This is bad. I would start court proceedings for the money back along with any damages that have occurred and hire someone else to get the home together ASAP. Every day it’s not setup properly is a chance of permantly damaging the home.

      Best of luck!

  5. Carolyn Beard says

    In Texas, there is a law that prohibits federal financing of manufactured homes if they have been moved twice or more. How can I find out if my manufactured home has been moved twice?

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Carolyn,

      From what I understand a lot of states use titles as proof of ownership, a record of liens, and as proof that taxes are paid in full and the home is legal to be transported on public highways. I would suspect that TX has a record for each time a permit has been requested for the transport. However, last I read TX doesn’t even have a HUD state agency and is a state that has fewer restrictions regarding manufactured homes compared to other states. So, I suspect the information would be held through the DMV or whatever department handles titles. I’d call them and ask.
      Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  6. Jennie Murphy says

    Would you sell your 30 year old modular (haul off our property) and start over or remodel and add-on. We are owners with a mortgage? Peyton, Colorado

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jennie,

      I think I emailed you unless I’m confusing you with another reader (I get lots of emails and comments). So, if you still have a mortgage on the home I would probably do at least a basic remodel before I gave up on it. Otherwise, you’re going to be paying for two mortgages. However, if you can trade in the home for a new(er) home that may be your best option. That way you would be able to live in a new model home while still having one mortgage. Keep in mind, that trading in a mobile home is similar to trading in a car – if you have negative equity it will be attached to the new mortgage so you’re still going to pay for it (perhaps even at a higher interest rate).

      There are so many variables to consider in these types of situations. Best of luck!

  7. No Relief in Sight says

    Any advice on what to do next ??????? This morning two vehicles of mine were damaged when a local Salvage company decided to move out a older trailer home from my mobile home park in Aberdeen, SD. I got awoken to someone pounding on my door. Answering it i got “Hey buddy sorry but my driver clipped your 1998 Jeep when he passed by. To my surprise that driver not only tagged my older Jeep / but he also clipped my 2016 Nissan in the process. Auto Body experts quoted $6500 damage to my Jeep thus making it unfixable. And my baby, My Nissan Versa, all 9700 miles of it had $3500 damage as well. No prior attempts were made for me to move my vehicles. My lot manager told me to report this to my local Sheriff. I called the deputy Sheriff but to NO avail ……… They didn’t come out to survey the damage or make a report. Just said sorry you need to deal with the party involved and if he refuses to pay restitution over lost property you can file it in small claims court !!!!!!!!! $%#@! Is there no justice to personal property anymore and should this be classified as a hit and run incident ??????????? Even my auto insurance rep said to deal with the local Sheriff’s dept. I feel helpless and totally betrayed. 1/26/2018

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hello,

      I’m so sorry this happened. The transport company that moved the mobile home must have a license and insurance. You will need to put a claim into their insurance company. Take a ton of pictures, get a police report (just go to the police dept and tell them you need one for an insurance claim) and write down the events in the order it happened.

      You will also want to find the dept that handles manufactured home transport licensing in your state and ask them what the proper protocol is for damage during transport. If their insurance doesn’t cover it, the owners of the home being moved will be the next you make a claim with. Then the park’s insurance.

      You may want to hire an attorney to write the letters to the insurance companies. When they know you are serious and have a lawyer they usually act a little differently.

      Let me know how it goes!

  8. Jeff on the Mendocino Coast says

    My 1960 Nashua single-wide apparently moved three times during its 57 years in California, once to its first home, another to Boonville where I found it, and finally another twisty 50 miles through the redwoods to my homestead. It was already pretty tired, but had been lived in almost continuously over its life and seemed worth the gamble. I found the same mover who had hauled it to Boonville from Lakeport, and he was confident. He hired a pilot car, and delivered it without incident.

    Because I’m on a 1200-foot ridge barely a mile from the Pacific, I get heavy orographic rain and some intense winds during winter. To deal with this, I simply added a metal roof, and used long screws to anchor the furring strips that the metal panels are now screwed to. A gale-force wind might take the roof off, but I’m surrounded by redwood forest and doubt the winds will ever reach that intensity. I’ve also purchased the Xi2 anchor system that helps the body of the trailer withstand sustained winds.

    Did I mention I found the trailer on freecycle.org, a website where people offer up things they no longer need?

    This experience has me thinking of what a tremendous resource we have in the hundreds of thousands of aging single-wides that could be refurbished and gathered into collectively owned parks to provide affordable housing for people whose incomes are insufficient to finance a home purchase at salaries that prevail in their communities, as is the case here in my county.

    So this topic of moving a mobile home is actually really important, and worthy of study and experimentation. I’m doing my part!

    Many thanks, Crystal, for shining a light on this topic, and for your tremendous, loving work on behalf of durable, affordable, dignified housing.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Loved reading every word of your comment, Jeff! I would LOVE to see your new home! You have my email already, please send me some photos!

  9. jeffrey vest says

    We are renting a manufactured house and thinking about buying it. The house was moved from the south (roof load zone) to Idaho. We get a lot of snow here. When it was moved apparently no one checked the roof load because it is nowhere near code now. Should we have an engineer check it out? What would you suggest? Thank you.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Jeffrey,

      It’s very smart of you to be considering this. I’ve never ran across this issue before as it is typically cost prohibitive to move an used manufactured home so far. I would get definitely get a professional out there and take a look at it and perhaps even get a couple of estimates on a roof replacement or reinforcement and see if the sellers are willing to negotiate their price. The owners likely never even knew or considered that there was such vast differences in the way homes are built based on their location.

      If the home has a decent pitch and the roof is healthy (other than the load issue) there may be some things a roofer can do to help reinforce it without a completely new installation. I’m not very knowledgeable on roofing advancements unfortunately.

      You are certianly on the right track! Best of luck (and please let me know how it all goes for you). Thank you!

      1. Kathy Batts says

        Can you move your manufacturer home while you still have a loan with your property to a new property you are buying that is not tied to the home and still continue to pay that loan cause the new land you buy iqs paid in full

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Kathy,

        You shouldn’t have any issue but the lien holder will need to be informed before the move. You may want to call the bank just to be sure. The mobility of the homes is one of the reasons banks and finance companies charge so much more in interest (they say it’s because of higher bankruptcy and repo rates but statistics don’t align with that).
        Best of luck!

  10. Dreama Ellison-Rhodes says

    While it was scary enough moving our 79-80 mobile home 11 miles with a large tow truck, I’d hate to think what it would be like moving one across the mountains of WV! That one picture shows just what some of those mountain roads look like! Barely wide enough for a car, much less a mobile home! Definitely one of those ‘don’t try this at home’ moments! You’re doing a great job Crystal! Keep up the good work!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thank you so much! I’ve seen some manufactured homes pulled up the mountain on dirt roads that cars had trouble going up. It’s a neat thing to watch!

      Thank you so much for reading Mobile Home Living!