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McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
site-built, mobile/manufactured and modular homes
How much does it cost to move a mobile home?
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
The word “mobile” is probably not accurate when describing a home manufactured to HUD standards. “Expensive to move” would be better. Unlike a travel trailer, that can be hitched up to a tow vehicle and on the road in less than an hour, moving a mobile home involves significant labor, materials, and fees.
Moving a single-wide manufactured home a within a 100-mile radius in Florida costs a minimum of $5,000. Additional expenses such as preparing the interior of the home for the move, moving furniture and housewares separately from the home, and site prep work at the new location, can add thousands of dollars more. Double the cost for a double-wide. Extremely short moves of just a few miles will cost less, but it is also not unusual to spend $20,000—when all the incidental expenses are totaled up—to move a double-wide mobile home. Prices can vary dramatically between moving contractors.
Here is a summary of some of the costs:
- Permit and inspection to move home from county where it is located.
- Highway transport permits.
- Liability and property damage insurance for the duration of the move, carried by the moving contractor.
- If the home is older, repairs may be necessary to make it safe to transport.
- Removal of entry stairs, decks and porch roofs.
- Disconnect package air conditioner and main supply and return ducts.
- Disconnect utilities.
- Removal of skirting.
- A mobile home bounces around as it heads down the highway at 50-miles per hour. Crosswinds buffet it sideways and the suspension is minimal. All interior and exterior breakables—especially glass—should be removed to avoid damage in transit. This includes light fixtures, furniture, housewares and glass cabinet doors. Doors and toilet seats secured.
- Install tow hitch, axles and tires. Remove piers and tie-downs.
- Prep new site for home, including electric and water service. Grading of site to avoid standing water below home, paving of driveway, new well, septic tank, drainfield, and power pole may be necessary if not in mobile home community.
- Permit and inspection for moving home to new county location.
- Tow home to new location, including escort car. Move furniture, light fixtures, and other interior breakables, reusable equipment such as package air conditioner, stairs and skirting in separate vehicles to new location.
- Install new piers and tie-downs.
- Remove tow hitch, axles and tires.
- If the home is a double-wide, align, reconnect and seal the two halves of home at the marriage line.
- Connection of utilities by licensed electrician and plumber.
- Install package air conditioning unit and main supply and return ducts.
- Installation of entry stairs, decks and porch roofs.
- Installation of skirting. Some skirting from old location may be reusable.
- Reinstall furniture, light fixtures, and other breakables in home.
While some of the work can be done by a homeowner that’s handy with tools, such as removing and reinstalling the skirting, most of it requires paid professionals. Less than one out of five manufactured homes are moved from their original location. The cost and inconvenience of moving a mobile home means that it often makes more sense to sell the home you live in and buy another one where you want to relocate rather moving your current manufactured home.
If you are buying a used mobile home that must be moved as part of the deal, be sure to factor in the moving expenses before you decide whether its worth the price. Also, the condition and expected additional lifespan of a “free” mobile home, especially, should be carefully evaluated before attempting to move it.
Many Florida counties require that an older mobile be professionally inspected to confirm that it is in satisfactory condition before allowing it in their jurisdiction. Each county has slightly different standards for accepting an older mobile home, but they all have the same attitude: mobile homes in poor condition are not welcome to cross the county line. To learn more, see our blog post Can you move an older mobile home in Florida?
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