Congratulations on your move! Owning a manufactured home offers moving choices single-family homeowners don’t have. The primary decision is to move or not to move that modular home. A new double-wide mobile home may be easier or more difficult to move than a older modular homes that probably had fewer code requirements.  

This guide is intended to help answer some of the many questions you may have, particularly if you bought your manufactured home in its current location and you’ve located an ideal new site to move it too. 

By the way, we’re Bellhop Movers, experts at local and long-distance moves. Though we don’t move modular homes, we can definitely move your cherished possessions. 

Factors Impacting the Cost of Moving a Mobile Home 

  • Mobile Home Size: The square foot size of the mobile home affects many aspects of the moving process. Double-wide mobile homes and triple-wide mobile homes require more resources for tear-down, transport and setup than single-wide mobile homes, which can significantly increase the overall moving costs. 
  • Weight:  Depending upon its location, your home may have thicker insulation and walls. Its siding can make a difference. Ditto lots of windows. 
  • Location: Can heavy equipment easily access the site, or not? 
  • Local regulations: HUD sets requirements for single-wide mobile home construction. Local regulations can add more, particularly in climate-challenged areas where a double-wide mobile home may lose a roof, for example. 

Costs Involved in Moving a Mobile Home 

Mobile Home Moving Costs – Pre-move 

  • Removal of incremental home enhancements: Skirting, porches and awning are typical items that need to be addressed. 
  • Site preparation: Often some temporary grading may be required to position the large equipment necessary for the move. 

Mobile Home Moving Costs – During the Move 

  • Labor Costs: Moving a mobile home requires a team of professionals who manage the loading, transport, and setup, particularly across state lines. These labor costs will vary on the amount of manpower needed, which is influenced by the complexity and duration of the move. 
  • Moving Materials: To secure the mobile home during transit, durable materials such as straps, blocks, and padding are necessary for each single-wide trailer. The cost of these materials can vary based on the size and design of the mobile home. Each moving truck costs too so a triple-wide with heavier axle requirements will cost more than a single-wide to move. 
  • Necessary Permits: Obtaining the necessary permits is a key part of the moving process. These moving permits are required for towing a mobile home and the cost varies by locality and the complexity of the towing move. Moving permits may be required for each town / state it moves through. 
  • Travel Distance: The farther the mobile home needs to be moved, the higher the transportation costs. Long distance moves will add to fuel costs and may require additional charges for the travel time of the moving crew. Local moves cost less. 
  • Local Regulations: Each area has its own set of rules regarding mobile home moves. These local regulations can impact the cost by requiring specific transportation methods or safety measures. 
  • Various Transportation Fees: There are often multiple fees associated with transporting a mobile home, including charges for escort vehicles and heavy load permits. These fees help cover the costs of managing road safety and equipment. 
  • Insurance: To cover the home and any potential damage, plus liability insurance during the move itself. What could go wrong during the move of a manufactured home? Everything! 

Additional Costs of Moving a Mobile Home 

Additional costs are likely to impact your overall moving costs. These are typically additional fees as you add additional services. 

  • Cleanup and Removal of Materials at Originating Site: After a mobile home is moved, the original site may need to be cleaned and cleared of debris and installation materials. This process can involve additional fees, especially if large items or significant cleanup is required. 
  • Setup Services: After transporting a double-wide mobile home or single-wide mobile home to a new location, setting it up properly will be required by local codes or building codes. This includes the construction of foundations, hook up utility connections, and reinstalling other items like awnings which all add to the overall expenses. 
  • Use of Escort Vehicles: Escort vehicles (pilot cars and sometimes police escorts) are often required when moving a large mobile home. These personnel help ensure that the (now) single-wide mobile home is transported safely across roads, managing traffic and ensuring clear routes.  
  • Use of Electrical Utility Workers: In some cases, utility lines such as electricity and phone cables may need to be temporarily lifted or moved to accommodate the passage of a high or wide mobile home.  
  • Inspection Permits at the New Location: Once a mobile home reaches its new location, it may need to pass local inspections to ensure it complies with building codes and safety standards. Property owners may require an additional inspection.  

Factors to Consider Before Moving a Mobile Home 

Local regulations in the New Location Concerning Mobile Homes: Before moving your mobile home, it’s important to research the laws specific to your new location. These laws can vary significantly by town and may affect where you can place your home plus setup requirements and maintenance standards. 

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Finding an Alternative Mobile Home in Your New Location: Sometimes, it might be more practical or cost-effective to purchase a new or pre-existing mobile home in your new location rather than moving your current one. Compare the costs and benefits of relocating your mobile home versus buying another one that meets your needs in the new area.  

Potential Damage to the Mobile Home as a Result of the Move: Moving a mobile home carries a risk of damage to the structure. Consider the age and condition of your mobile home and the complexities of the move. Evaluate if the risk and potential cost of repairs post-move could outweigh the benefits of relocating the current home. 

Sky-high Insurance costs: Insurance costs seem to be rising everywhere. Mobile homes are often located in ‘mobile home parks’ on less-desirable land for single family-built homes. Where I live in Seattle, many are near rivers where flooding may occur. New flood maps from FEMA have been redrawn based on recent climate impact and mobile home insurance in these locations are a lot higher. The same goes for hurricanes in Florida

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Manufactured Home? 

Costs are based on a number of factors including square feet and weight of the manufactured home. Fuel costs vary by state. So do regulations. You can expect to pay as little as $7,000 according to Home Advisor. The website shows more detail and lower prices offering a ‘breakdown by transport-only or a full-service move and the type of mobile home you have (single-wide, double-wide, or triple-wide).’ 

How Much Does It Cost to Move a Double-Wide Mobile Home? 

These are pricier as there is added size and complexity (in disassembling and then reassembling the halves). Home Advisor shows an average cost of $20,000 for professional moving companies. 

We recommend you do your own research given the recent run-up in fuel and hourly employee rates, rather than rely on these websites. 

How to Find Professional Mobile Home Movers 

Most moving companies like Bellhop cannot help move a manufactured home. When it’s time to find professional movers to help with your manufactured home move, look for companies that specialize in moving mobile homes or manufactured homes because they’ll have the expertise and equipment needed. 

The Better Way to Move

Full-Service Mobile Home Movers versus Transport-Only Mobile Home Movers 

Full-service movers can be helpful depending upon how little you want to do yourself (DIY). Those porches or awnings you added need to be addressed. Plus, the skirting. At the other end of the move, a full-service mover can arrange for these to be added. The alternative is a transport-only move where you handle all the other chores 

Finding the Best Mobile Home Mover for Your Move 

Begin with a simple online search for “mobile home movers” or “manufactured home moving services.” Local expertise matters so consider searching with “mobile home movers near me”. We discourage using “best mobile home users” as a search term because it generally shows rating websites like that are paid a bounty when you click through. In my experience working at a similar ‘performance marketing’ company, the highest ranked manufactured home movers will have paid the highest bounty (so they may not be the best choice given your location or needs) 

Read reviews and testimonials from previous customers to gauge the reliability and quality of a professional moving company. Pay special attention to comments about their punctuality, care in handling homes, and how well they communicate throughout the moving process. 

Get in touch with local mobile home parks and dealerships. They often have connections with movers and can recommend services they’ve seen complete successful moves. 

Collect several quotes and compare services. Be sure to confirm that they include all potential costs, such as permits, escorts, tear-down and setup services. It’s also important to ensure that the movers are licensed and insured, which provides protection for your property during the move. Does their moving insurance cover events during setup and tear down? 

What about a DIY Mobile Home Move? 

Choosing to move a manufactured home by yourself to save money can seem like a good option over hiring professional mover, but there are several factors to consider before taking on such a task: 

  • Specialized knowledge and equipment. You’ll need access to heavy machinery for lifting and transporting the home, which can be costly to rent and operate. 
  • Daunting legal requirements for moving a mobile home. Obtaining the necessary permits and adhering to transportation laws, can be complex and vary significantly by region, potentially leading to legal issues. 
  • Risk of damage to the mobile home without professional help. Moving professionals are equipped to handle the various challenges that can arise during transport, from securing the home properly to navigating roads safely. DIY movers may inadvertently cause structural damage to the home, leading to expensive repairs that could offset any initial savings. 

Given these considerations, a DIY move isn’t recommended over hiring professional mobile home movers, especially for those who lack experience with such complex moves. 

What About Selling Instead of Moving a Mobile Home? 

What to Know About Selling a Mobile Home 

Modular mobile homes are typically sold independent of the land they sit on. If you own both, the land value typically goes up, while the value of the mobile home goes down over time 

Why Sell Instead of Move a Mobile Home 

Selling might be preferable to moving under certain circumstances: 

  • Favorable market conditions: Mobile homes are common and more desirable in some locations. In sunny places like Arizona and California double-wide mobile homes are a popular, low-cost second-home choice. 
  • Condition of the home: Being ready to sell or too costly to repair (for moving) are good reasons to consider selling. A new mobile home may or may not be easier to move than older mobile homes. 
  • Different legal regulations in your new location: You may want to own the land as well as the manufactured home and you cannot. Or building codes require significant upgrades. 
  • Different environmental dangers: Climate change may make living in your manufactured home more dangerous in your new location. Tornadoes and floods seem more likely and definitely can impact your decisions. 
  • Time to move on: Sometimes it’s time to start over. 

How to Finance the Sale of a Mobile Home 

Modular homes built to HUD standards are not covered under traditional home mortgage laws. There are alternatives. Remember that modular homes are sold separately from the land they occupy.  

  • FHA Loans: These loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans can be used for purchasing manufactured homes and the lots they will occupy. They offer low down payment options and are more lenient on credit scores compared to conventional loans. 
  • Chattel Loans: Specifically designed for movable personal property, chattel loans are a common financing choice for mobile homes not permanently affixed to a land parcel owned by the homeowner. These loans typically have higher interest rates and shorter terms compared to traditional mortgages, but they can be easier and faster to obtain. 
  • Owner Financing: If you own your mobile home, you can act as the lender. In owner financing arrangements, the buyer pays the seller in installments, typically with interest, until the total price is paid off. This can be beneficial for buyers and sellers. This may be preferrable if you own the home outright at a very low interest rate and can charge a higher one. 
  • Cash: Purchasing a mobile home outright with cash eliminates the need for a loan and the associated interest costs. This is the simplest transaction method and can often result in a quicker sale process. As owner this is your ideal choice. 

When You are Ready for the Big Move, Use Bellhop  

At Bellhop, there’s nothing we want more than for our customers to have a smooth move. We hope this article on how to move a manufacture home helps and saves you some time and research. If you’re ready to get moving, or have more questions, our local and long-distance movers would love to help with all the contents your manufactured home contains.  

Warren Sly