Buying a Mobile Home To Move to Your Land

Buying land in Southern California can be an investors gold mine… depending on what you’re going to do with it…

There are a few things, you as an investor or future homeowner can do get a huge bang for your buck when searching for a home. One of them is… purchasing land for a good price… developing that parcel… finding a good deal on a manufactured home… and moving that trailer to set up shop on that parcel.

… but if you can pull it off, you’ve found an acre of DIAMONDS!

I know I talk a lot about buying and selling homes in a mobile home park. Which I do frequently. But something that I’m also involved in is setting up homes in their own land. And many people I’ve come across on our list of buyers and sellers, are looking to do the same… and it’s a smart choice.

NOTE: if you’re looking to sell your mobile on land to get it moved, I might be able to help here.

So in this article, I’ll cover the know-hows of finding,… and…

Moving a Mobile Home on Your Own Land

The details of land

Before finding a mobile home, you need to secure your own lot… obviously. There is a TON of land out in Southern California and the Inland Empire.

You may want to check out California Land Sold Here for a good deal on land.

But not all land is equal.

If your goal is to build on that land (and move a manufactured home into it), then there are specific land criteria you need to look for.

  1. Know the County and Municipal requirements.
    Depending on if you’re in Riverside County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, or San Diego, each has their own restrictions on moving mobiles and developing the land. If there is a general area you are looking to live in, go to the county, explain your intentions, then find out the restrictions.For instances, in Riverside County, they only allow manufactured homes that are 10 years or newer (with some exceptions). If the home is older, they’ll have to do an inspection and the home will need to meet certain building requirements. Also, some cities may not even allow a manufactured home in the certain area.So, if you have a particular parcel, the best thing to do is to head over to the county office, and speak with them about the situation. Many times, they will give you all the info you need right there.
  2.  Is the land already developed?
    Don’t just buy any parcel. A more useful parcel is one that has utilities already in it.
    Land that’s developed and ready to build on is a more expensive parcel, it does free up a lot of headache in putting in utilities.

    Putting in utilities is no easy task 
    and take a lot of time and money. But, if you’re for it, and have the time (months for cities permits and utility companies), then you can find some great deals (and negotiate with a deep discount) on land that’s not ready to use. Because parcels that are not ready to use, are much less popular and sit for a loong time (waiting for a buyer for this type of deal is like watching grass grow during a drought)Also, you can get pretty creative with these parcels that are for sale. Like buying with seller financing or making a trade. Just be careful. Don’t rely on the agents’ promises of future development. Like, “oh the city is planning on getting a sewer main in here, and developing a track behind here next year”. The only reason an agent would say that is to justify the high price of the parcel. Negotiate based on TODAY’s value of the parcel, not tomorrows. 
  3.  What are your goals?Wandering around aimlessly with no intended location sucks, and so does not knowing WHY you’re building on land. If you want huge acreage for cheap so you can be secluded from lots of people then it doesn’t matter where you go just as long as the County allows for mobiles there.If you want to place a home there because of more affordable costs and in the hopes of reselling it for greater value, then you should purchase land where people are purchasing manufactured homes on their own lots. Building on a parcel ways out from civilization where there are few buyers may not be a good choice if you want to resell later.

Haulin’ a Trailer

To move a mobile home, can be costly. On average, for a single wide it’ll be about $5,000. However, for a double wide it’ll be $10,000-$15,000

The moving consists of three parts:

  1. Setting up for moving (taking skirtings and porch down, disconnecting utilities, splitting the doublewide, adding tow hitches, adding tires, etc).
  2. Transport
  3. Setting back up

There are numerous moving companies out there. If you Google it, you’ll find a few. Even on, you can find many.

If they give you a quote, ask if that includes setting up.

NOTE: if you find a manufactured home on land that is on a permanent foundation (dug into the ground, on concrete blocks, piers under it, axle and tires removed) then make sure the seller knows it’s his responsibility for tear down (making the home ready to move out). That service can cost about $6,000.

Get your home fixed… to the ground

If you’re planning on putting a permanent foundation on your home (I highly recommend it), ask the moving company if they can do that as well. The cost of that service can be anywhere from $2,500-$5,000.

Adding a permanent foundation will increase the value of your land and will have the ability to get a bank loan. The mobile home now becomes real estate. Just make sure that before you buy your home it complies with the bank rules on financing. Not all mobile homes (even if they have a permanent foundation) will be able to easily get a bank loan.

Check the link above to find out more about it.

Whad’ya buy it for??

You can find a whole range of prices on mobiles to be moved. From FREE to $100,000 (that’s just crazy but true).

The free ones are most of the time junkers that ain’t worth salt, and they’d have to pay ME to take it off their hands.

If it’s old (pre-1978)… it’s probably not worth it.

There are a number of ways to determine what you should be buying a mobile home for. One is, how much cash you have available.

The other is… thinking like an investor.

Your purchase price can be determined by how much future value your land will have.

Here’s the simple formula:

 The future value-(cost of purchase price+moving costs+all other expenses)=future equity.

For instances, if I own a parcel where neighboring lots with 3-bed homes affixed to the ground sell for $200,000, then buying one for $40,000, plus $10,000 for transport and set up, plus $3,000 permanent foundation, plus $10,000 for a large garage built, plus $20,000 for cosmetic repairs your all in cost is equal to $73,000… if my math serves me right… your future equity (and possible profit if you sell) is $117,000!

If that’s your all in cost, (and you plan to also move into the house), then that’s not bad of a purchase price for you.

Keep in mind that a 2 bed is going to have a lot less value than a 3 bed. And you’ll find a 2 bed very easily in Southern CA. If you’re ok with purchasing a 2 bed, make sure that the future value will make up for it… in other words, the comparable values found on Zillow, Redfin, or by your agent shows a future value well over $100,000.

Finding land and developing that for your own home can be very rewarding.

Just remember to do your homework and take your time in educating yourself. Find a good agent (that’s experienced in something like this) to help you. And shop around, continually looking for a good deal.

It’s a lot of work and money involved, but once complete…. you’ll own your own valuable real estate in Southern CA where you controlled all the moving parts.

If you have a mobile home that needs to be moved…

Contact me today at 951-356-9659…


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