Every Friday for the past few weeks our focus has been on buying mobile homes across the country. Last Friday, our sights were on Buying a Mobile Home in Georgia, and this week it turns to Buying a Mobile Home in Iowa.

The Facts 

Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Communities have been around since the 1970’s in Iowa. One of the main reasons? That’s when HUD adopted a standardized code for the building standard of mobile homes. This is especially important when living in a tornado prone area such as Iowa.

Here are some more facts about mobile home in Iowa:

  • The average price of a pre-owned home:    $52853
  • The average model year of a pre-owned home:   2005
  • Average pre-owned home size in square feet:  1217
  • Average sites in a manufactured home community:110
  • The average year a community was developed:  1972
  • Number of age-restricted communities:  10
  • Number of all-age communities:  302

buying a mobile home in iowa 2

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Mobile Home in Iowa

Resources

The Iowa Manufactured Housing Association offers some insight into some of the advantages of buying a mobile or manufactured home today:

Value is the primary advantage, with costs estimated to be 25% to 50% less per square foot than conventional site-built homes. The average sales price for a manufactured home is $64,000, with the multi-sectional home selling for an average of $78,600. Manufactured homes are a solid investment. As is true for any residential dwelling type, many factors affect the resale value of homes. The well-maintained manufactured home, sited in an attractive, consumer desired environment, will generally appreciate in value. Other advantages include a wide variety of floor plans, custom amenities and architectural styles that make them indistinguishable from site-built homes.

Related: Is a Manufactured Home Right for You?

If you have questions about where to find a dealer or if they are a member of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association, or if you have general questions about mobile/manufactured homes, the Iowa Mobile Home Association is a great resource. You can contact them by visiting their website, or by mail, phone, or email:

Iowa MHA
1400 Dean Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50316
(515)265-1497
[email protected]
www.iamha.org

buying a mobile home in iowa

Titling and Taxes

According to AAA and their digest of Motor Laws, the state of Iowa has the following in place when buying and titling a used mobile home in the state:

  • The owner of a mobile home must submit a tax clearance form to show that no taxes are owed before obtaining the title.
  • A mobile home or manufactured home that is located outside a mobile home park is converted to real property by being placed on a permanent foundation. It will then be assessed for real estate taxes. The assessor will note the conversion on the face of the certificate of title and deliver it to the county treasurer for cancellation.
  • When a mobile home is reconverted from real property by adding a vehicular frame, the owner may apply for a bonded certificate of title.

We found a copy of the required tax clearance form that will need to be submitted, we have shared it below:

buying a mobile home in iowa-tax clearance instructions

What you need to know to file the tax clearance form.

buying a mobile home in iowa-tax clearance

A look at the tax clearance form.

Contact the DMV in your area for any questions about the required documents to title your mobile home. If purchasing a new mobile home,  your dealer should take care of any necessary paperwork, be sure to ask!

Issues and Complaints Regarding Your Mobile Home

All mobile/manufactured homes in the state of Iowa are required to meet the state building code. Any questions regarding the code or if your mobile home meets those standards should be directed to the Factory Built Structures Building Code Bureau by email, phone, or mail:

[email protected]
Building Code Bureau, State Fire Marshall Division
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-725-6145

The state of Iowa works in partnership with the federal HUD Manufactured Dispute Resolution Program if there is an issue with your mobile home that is dealer or installer related. If you have exhausted all other avenues for resolution, the HUD Manufactured Dispute Resolution Program can help. Keep in mind the following before contacting:

  • The retailer, manufacturer, installer, HUD, or the State Administrative Agency was notified of alleged defect(s) within one year after the date the home was first installed.
  • The home was not reinstalled.

You can submit your request the following ways:

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

A Look at Mobile Home Living in Iowa

We found some tremendous mobile homes for sale in  Iowa. However, on Zillow, there were only about 70 available. So, either homeowners aren’t selling, or they are using some of the more popular ways to sell a mobile/manufactured home, such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

buying a mobile home in iowa-single wide

Very nice single wide.

buying a mobile home in iowa-double wide

Love the paint and how it is used to accent the entire home.

buying a mobile home in iowa-double wide and garage

Very fresh take on a garage added to a mobile home.

buying a mobile home in iowa-double wide with garage

Nice place.

Is there something you would like to know about buying a mobile home in Iowa? Comment below, and we will try and find the answer! Watch for next week when we are sharing what we have learned about Buying a mobile home in Maine.

Thanks for reading Mobile Home Living.