Things to know before buying a mobile home in California

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Things to know before buying a mobile home in California

Mobile homes: affordable and flexible housing

On average, mobile homes cost half as much as site-built houses. The per-square-foot cost of a manufactured home is $55, compared with the traditional home at $114.


If you’re considering to buy a mobile home in California, there are a few things to keep in mind before deciding on your purchase. For one, know if getting a mobile home is within your budget. You also have to choose your unit’s size and floor plan.


Afterward, you need to decide on where you’ll install your home. One popular option is to lease space in a mobile home community. 


Since 1971, Storz Management Company has been managing mobile home parks in Sacramento and beyond. Our communities feature modern amenities like swimming pools, recreation centers and green spaces. 


In this guide, we explained some things you need to know before buying a mobile home in California. 


Types of manufactured homes

Mobile homes usually come in three sizes: single, double and triple. Single units are complete by themselves, whereas double and triple units are constructed in sections and are connected on-site. 


Like site-built houses, manufactured homes are customizable. You can choose your unit’s square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You will also decide the house’s layout and finishes, which can vary depending on your taste and budget.


Before buying a mobile home, it’s recommended that you browse pictures of units to get an idea of your home’s interior and exterior design. Mobile homes last a lifetime, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with your unit and it has features that accommodate your family’s needs. 


Mobile home prices

The most significant factor that affects mobile home prices is size. If you’re looking to buy a single-wide unit that’s around 1,000 square feet, it’s approximately $48,000. Meanwhile, a unit that’s up to 1,440 square feet may cost you roughly $58,000, and you can buy a double-wide unit that’s about 1,700 square feet for approximately $109,000. 


Used units are available in the market for a lower price, but you may end up spending more overall once you renovate the unit. By buying a brand new mobile home, you have the freedom to choose its floor plan, fixtures and style.


Additionally, manufactured home prices tend to fluctuate throughout the year. It’s typically cheaper to buy a mobile home from January to March. You can save a significant amount of money by strategically choosing when to buy a mobile home. 


Financing options when buying a mobile home

Some people may have the option to purchase their mobile home through straight payment. However, for most people, getting financing is the only option available. 


Most traditional lenders don’t give mortgages for mobile homes unless you buy a piece of land and permanently install your unit there. Despite that, you have several options if you’re looking for a loan to buy a mobile home.


Personal property loans

You can take out a personal property loan, but they typically feature higher interest rates and shorter repayment terms than mortgage loans. Nonetheless, this kind of loan is commonly available from banks.  


Government financing

Some government-backed programs can help you buy a manufactured home. You can get loans through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. 


These institutions offer low-interest, no-downpayment and flexible loans that you can use for your mobile home purchase. Check with each of these offices to see if you’ll qualify for their financing programs.


Dealer Financing 

Some mobile home dealers are offering in-house financing, so you’ll be paying for your mobile home directly to them. To get the lowest rates available, shop around and compare offers before committing to a payment plan. 


Regulations on owning a mobile home

If you’re looking to settle on a mobile home park in Sacramento or anywhere else in California, you should know your restrictions as a homeowner. These are detailed in the California Code of Regulations, but some notable rules include:

  1. A licensed architect must design any buildings or structures in your house (such as awnings, fences or porches). Moreover, those plans must be approved by a local building inspector.
  2. Your unit’s water lines must meet California building standards, and the components you use for the lines must follow the California Factory-Built Housing Law.
  3. Your unit is required to have an earthquake-resistant bracing system.
  4. You must have fire safety items (like smoke detectors) in your home, and your unit must be made of non-combustible materials. All houses are subject to the National Fire Protection Association’s inspection.


Depending on your unit’s size and type, there may be additional rules to consider. The California Manufactured Housing Institute features excellent resources for mobile home buyers. 


The popularity of mobile homes 

Buying a mobile home is a big financial commitment. So before deciding on the purchase, you should consider the pros and cons of getting a manufactured home. 


Based on a 2021 study, over 360,000 active mobile homes in California are spread across parks and communities, and the number is only growing. If you’ve made up your mind about manufactured homes, the next thing to find is a mobile home community.


Storz Management Company has maintained mobile home parks in California, Nevada and Oregon for more than five decades. To know more about modern, peaceful and family-friendly mobile home communities, call (916) 989-5333 or message us by filling out this form.

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