Rather than being built directly on a plot of land, manufactured homes are prefabricated and then installed at your desired location. They tend to be a more affordable option for many potential homebuyers and can serve buyers well for years to come — as long as you also know how to buy land for a manufactured home. A manufactured home is only as great as the land you place it on. Learn what to consider when looking for land to install your manufactured home on.
What to Consider When Purchasing Land for Manufactured Homes
Manufactured homes offer a range of benefits, including the ability to put them nearly anywhere. When purchasing a manufactured home, you can invest in your own plot of land to put the house on. While it’s not the only way to do things, buying land to put a manufactured home on gives you more freedom and control over your house and property.
To ensure you’re choosing land that makes the most sense for your situation, here are some deciding factors to help you consider how to buy land to put a manufactured home on.
Realistically, most people can’t afford to buy a home and land out of pocket. Rather, it’s more common for homebuyers to purchase their homes with the help of financing options like a loan. There are a wide range of loans available to homebuyers and many ways to use them. For example, you may use one loan to purchase the house and a separate loan to purchase a piece of land, or you may finance both the home and the land with the same loan.
Finding the right loan provider is essential and will vary from homebuyer to homebuyer. When financing a manufactured home, you have several options, including:
- FHA loans: These are Title II loans through the Federal Housing Association.
- Fannie Mae: Fannie Mae loans also have certain requirements for the house and property that would make the manufactured home similar to a house built on-site.
- Freddie Mac: If you qualify for Freddie Mac loans, you’ll receive a fixed-rate mortgage.
- VA loans: Loans through the Department of Veterans Affairs allow military community members to finance a manufactured home on land they own.
- Chattel loans: These loans are popular for those looking to rent a lot in a manufactured home community.
- Personal loans: Manufactured homes are more affordable than traditional homes, making it possible to finance them through personal loans.
Before settling on a specific manufactured home and lot of land, get approved for a loan. Getting pre-approved gives you a better estimate of the amount of money a lender will give you. This estimate will help you budget and look for homes and properties within your price range. Loan approval is part of the home-buying preparation that helps you avoid overspending and keeps your expectations realistic.
For example, if you qualify for a $150,000 home and land loan, the lender may approve you for $125,000 for the house and $25,000 for the piece of land. With these numbers in mind, you’ll know exactly what you can offer. Pre-approval also looks good when negotiating with sellers — it shows you’re a serious buyer.
Lot Size and Location
The size and location of the lot you may potentially purchase will affect the size of the house you put on it. You’ll likely look for lots based on how much space you want and where it’s located in relation to other homes and businesses. Lots in neighborhoods or manufactured home communities will likely be ready for home installation, though they tend to be smaller and may have rules or contracts you need to follow regarding home maintenance or landscaping.
You may have more options regarding what you can do with your house if you choose a more remote lot, though you may have higher installation costs. You’ll also need to pay attention to potential restrictions on land use and zoning ordinances, as these things can prevent you from installing a manufactured home in certain locations.
The location also affects utility access when buying land and a manufactured home. Utilities include electricity, clean water, wastewater treatment, natural gas, and more. Vacant lots in communities or more populated areas often have utility hookups already in place. More secluded vacant lots tend to lack utilities, which means you’d have to pay for them to be set up before home installation.
It’s important to ask about a lot’s utilities and what it would cost to get utilities to the location before making an offer on the piece of land. The cost of adding utilities could turn out to be more than you can afford or cost more than you were approved for. Looking into these aspects of buying land for a manufactured home is easy to overlook, but it can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run.
Understanding the flood risks associated with a lot is crucial to obtaining a loan and protecting your investment. The last thing you want to do is spend time and effort installing a new manufactured home on a lot that is in a flood plain. While this may be unavoidable in some places, look at areas with less risk and understand what the risks are, if there are any.
Is the Land Suitable for a Manufactured Home?
The main question to answer when looking at vacant lots is whether the land is suitable for a manufactured home. In addition to the factors listed above, be sure to look at the slope of the lot, the earth material, drainage, open space, and any other factors that could affect home installation and property maintenance over time.
For example, a lot with level ground and sturdy soil will be more suitable than a steep lot with loose dirt. Know what you’re getting into before making any decisions.
Finance Your Manufactured Home with CIS Home Loans
At CIS Home Loans, we believe homeownership should be attainable for everyone. In addition to helping our clients find standard manufactured home and land loans, we also have low-income home loan options, which help put more people in their own homes. For more information about our financing options or to apply for a manufactured home loan, contact our loan professionals today.
**ALL LOANS ARE SUBJECT TO CREDIT APPROVAL**