Buying a Mobile Home in Pennsylvania

Our trip around the states recently gave us some great information about Buying a Mobile Home in New Mexico. Now, let’s turn to what you need to know about buying a mobile home in Pennsylvania.

Facts About Mobile Homes in Pennsylvania

Mobile homes and mobile home communities have a long history in Pennsylvania. The average manufactured home community is 43 years old.

A few more facts we learned about mobile home living in Pennsylvania from Mobile Home Village:

  • The average price of a pre-owned home:      $58,419
  • Average model year of a pre-owned home:        2004
  • Average square feet of a pre-owned home:        1272
  • The average number of sites in a community:        82
  • Number of age-restricted communities:                 113
  • The number of all age communities:                    1107

buying a mobile home in pennsylvania

What You Need to Know When Buying a Mobile Home in Pennsylvania

Before You Sign

There are a number of things to consider before buying a mobile home of any age. Always make sure you search around for the best financing, you’ve chosen the right floor plan to meet your family’s needs, and know where you are placing your mobile home.

Related: 3 Financing Options When Buying a Manufactured Home.

The Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association offers six items that should be in any installation agreement with your purchase contract:

1. Transporting your home – The retailer will usually
handle transporting the home to its home site – as
long as the roads are adequate. Have your retailer
inspect the site ahead of time.

2. Building a foundation – If you are placing your
home on your property, you can choose from
a number of foundation types: concrete block, metal or treated wood piers; a concrete slab; or a full basement. Talk with your retailer and have him check the local building code to see which method applies. Also, consult your lending institution for any stipulations they may have on your loan.

3. Leveling your home – Make sure the home is placed level to equally distribute its weight. Do a walkthrough right after the home is placed, 60 days and 90 days afterward, due to the settling of the foundation.

4. Anchoring to the foundation – The home needs to be made secure by anchoring according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This must be done by a professional and in accordance with the building code.

5. Finishing your home – Again, do a walk through and make sure everything is finished to your satisfaction.

6. Connecting utilities – Connection to water, electricity, gas, and sewer should be included in the installation price. If not your retail center can assist you in having these items completed.

The Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association also offers a wealth of other information regarding mobile home living in Pennsylvania. You can contact them with any questions you may have about licensed dealers, financing in the state, and any other concerns you have regarding mobile home living in Pennsylvania.

PO Box 248
315 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, PA 17070
Phone: (717) 774-3440
Toll-Free: (888) 242-7642
Fax: (717) 774-5596

buying a mobile home in pennsylvania

Titling Your Mobile Home

Like the majority of states across the country, the state of Pennsylvania treats mobile homes like vehicles. You title all mobile homes through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Be it a single section or a multi-section home, there is always only one (1) title – if it is a multi-section home the serial number (a.k.a VIN) would end with AB or ABC. Typically, if purchasing a new mobile home, the dealer takes care of sending in the required documents. Be sure to confirm this with the dealer so that the state has a record of the home on file.

If you have to handle the titling yourself, such as purchasing a used mobile home privately that has been on private property and the title canceled, the following is required to secure a title:

1. Form MV-1 is the Application for Certificate of Title.

2. A certificate from an attorney that there is no mortgage, judgment or lien on record against the manufactured home. If there is such a lien, a release executed by lienholder and certified from the records of the Recorder of Deeds or Prothonotary, as appropriate is needed.

3. A copy of one of the following documents:
i. The receipt for manufactured home title cancellation issued to the owner who intends to transfer the manufactured home.
ii. The deed to the land indicating ownership of the manufactured home by the owner who intends to transfer the manufactured home.
iii. If neither of the two documents above is available, a notarized bill of sale for the manufactured home issued to the owner intending to sell the manufactured home will be acceptable.

4. Additional information that provides a detailed history of the past ownership of the manufactured home may be required by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A form will be provided by PennDOT for this information if needed.

The process to transfer a home located in a land lease community, or a home that there is a current PA title in the name of the seller, is:

  1. Make sure there is a current PA Title readily available in the name of the seller – signed by the seller and the buyer
  2. PA Form MV-4ST – signed by the buyer
  3. Tax Certification from county tax office – attesting that all current and past local, county and school taxes have been paid in full by the seller
  4. Copy of front and back of buyers PennDOT issued driver’s license or PennDOT issues ID in lieu of PA driver’s license
  5. Proper fees

If you are placing a manufactured home on real estate permanently, the home then becomes known as real property. The title of the mobile home must be canceled, and the home and property must be recorded with the local county tax department. Contact your local county for more information about any other requirements when converting your mobile home from personal property to real estate.

The Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Dispute Resolution Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Manufactured Housing Division works in partnership with the National HUD Department to handle any complaints that mobile homeowners may have regarding the dealer, manufacturer and/or installation of your home.

Keep in mind that new homes come with a one year warranty so it’s imperative that you create a paper trail of complaint and resolution recommendations within the one year.

You will always want to try and resolve any issue with the dealer or manufacturer before reaching out to the Manufactured Housing Division. If you have had no success with the warranty then you can file a complaint through the resolution program.

All complaints can be filed online through the Manufactured Housing Division or by contacting the federal HUD agency directly. We have included the contact information for both:

To file a complaint through the state, you can do so Online.

When submitting your complaint directly to HUD, you can do so the following ways:

ATTN: Manufactured Home Dispute Resolution Program
1676 International Drive
Suite 501
McLean, Virginia, 22102

Mobile Home Living in Pennsylvania

On Zillow alone, we found over 1000 mobile and manufactured homes for sale in the state of Pennsylvania. These are just a few examples of the homes available:

buying a mobile home in pennsylvania-roof over single wide
A roof over a single wide will greatly improve the life of the home.
Buying a Mobile Home in Pennsylvania-over basement
This single wide with a large basement is awesome!.
Buying a Mobile Home in Pennsylvania-double wide
What a beautiful home! It blends into the environment perfectly!
Resources You Need When Buying a Mobile Home in Pennsylvania-double wide with full basement
This manufactured home is ready for BBQ.

Is there a question we can find the answer to for you? Comment below or send us an email at [email protected] Stay tuned for next week’s look at Buying a Mobile Home in Georgia.

Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living.

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Kim Alley
Kim Alley

Kim Alley has been a part of Mobile Home Living since 2017 and has written over 300 articles for the site.


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  1. We bought a doublewide it is on so.eone else’s property there r a couple other mobile homes on property 40 acres spread out we all pay monthly lot rent we r like them no foundations moveable now we got our taxes the first one is 400 then school is 1000 my neighbor’s used to b the same but they filed somthing and there’s is now 75 dollars and 300 dollars can tell me what they filed and why they said an attorney came through a few years ago and cut all the mobile homes taxes by 60 plus percent confused in Armstrong co pennsylvania

  2. Hi Melissa,

    The moving company you hire to transport the home will usually take care of all that for you. Be sure to get at least three estimates and read all the reviews on a company before you choose a mover. Best of luck!

  3. i was given a mobile home ( single wide) and would like to put it on my property here in indiana county PA. what steps do i need to take or legal requirements are there to do this. meaning what do i do , who do i notify etc.

  4. Hi Lisa,

    This sounds like the a simple mistake where the home has been classified as real estate but the state somehow never entered that the title had been surrendered so it’s still in the DMV system as personal property/mobile home/vehicle but it’s real estate at the tax assessors office. This shouldn’t be too hard to fix.

    You’re going to need to go to the manager of the DMV and have them correct the mistake. Your tax records alone should be enough proof to show that the mobile home was indeed reclassified as real estate before you purchased it. If there’s nothing you can do you’ll need to have the DMV and/or the assesors office write a letter or fill out a form proving to the new buyer’s finance company that it is considered real property and not personal property.

    A lot of people misunderstand and misuse the words modular with manufactured. I’ve noticed it’s more of a regional thing and double wides are considered modular and single wides are mobile homes. The difference is that modular had to pass local inspection/codes and manufactured homes only have to pass the national HUD codes. Therefore, modular homes are always considered real property. A manufactured home is only considered real property if it is permanently installed on the land and the title is surrendered so that it can be taxed like any other home. If I had to guess, the person that sold you the home had no ill intentions – they just misunderstood the differences.

    Best of luck. Let me know how it goes!

    PS every state is a little different. I’m familiar with how WV works but not so much PA.

  5. I need help. The manufactured home I bought in 1993 is attached to a full basement. I was told it was a modular home by the owner. I was young and foolish. Anyway 30 years later my husband and I retire. A wonderful active airman wanted to buy the house. Offer was accepted and everything was moving beautifully until I got a call today telling me we have no title release on the home. Title? I have a deed not a title with the PA DMV. I called the DMV and the first lady said there was no title on the house..the 2nd lady asked if I had a VIN#.. no but i had the serial number. She wouldn’t confirm if there was a title or not but if i wanted to find out id have to fill out a form that would take way longer than the 7 days we have to close and move into our new home in SC. I have been paying over $3400 a year Real Estate Taxes on someone else’s automobile???? They say I am not the owner. I paid for title insurance, appraisal, inspections, put two new Bathrooms, a $12000 roof, a 13000 beautiful pool and deck and they are saying I dont own it and have no rights and cant sell it. The original male seller is dead and I’m assuming so is his wife or she is in her late 90s and their children will not return my calls or texts. What can I do? Do I need the vehicle title if my home has always been attached to the land it is on? When I thought I might have a manufactured home I went to tax assessment office because I was paying the same as new brick homes. I asked if my house was considered manufactured…they said NO and told me never to say that.

    Please help me

  6. If our adult son and his 10-year-old ever move out of our house (a 4bdrm 2-1/2bath 3story townhouse), my wife and I plan to downsize to a 1 or 2 bedroom single wide. And since we live in central Pennsylvania, this article was quite helpful to us. Thank you.