How to Move a Manufactured Home
July 24, 2023
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Prepare To Move a Manufactured Home
Moving a manufactured home is not as simple as grabbing a trailer and moving the structure.
It requires careful planning and action steps.
There are laws and rules governing how to move a manufactured home.
There are also many factors to consider before you can transport one successfully from one location to another.
You Should Consider the Cost
Before you do anything else, you should take a careful look at the estimated cost of the move. Labor, home size, setup services, location, travel distance, repairs, permits, transportation fees, and local regulations are some of the elements to consider.
A transport-only move will typically cost between $600 and $3,500. This kind of move involves attaching a move-ready manufactured home to a towing vehicle, moving it to the new location, and unhooking it.
On the other hand, a full-service move will typically cost between $3,000 and $14,000. Full-service moves include the disconnect and reconnection of utilities, skirting and transportation.
The cost of moving a manufactured home is a vital consideration because this process is quite an undertaking. So, before you take any action, determine if this move is worth it.
You Need a Permit
The specific process to obtain a permit depends on your location. Typically, the information below is what you will need to complete the process, though:
- Address and name of the mobile house
- When the manufactured home was built or purchased
- Place where the mobile home is being transported to
- Documented details of the house, such as the size, model number, serial number, etc.
- Tax-related information, if your mobile home has any due taxes, and how much the tax rate is in the location you are moving to
- Certificate of title from your local DMV
- Certificate from the country treasurer stating there aren’t unpaid or overdue taxes on the property
Give yourself plenty of time before you move. You don’t want delayed approvals or paperwork messing up your moving plans.
You Must Hire a Manufactured Home Mover
DIY isn’t a word that applies to when you move a manufactured home. The law requires you to work with a licensed, bonded, and insured professional moving company.
Thus, research is critical. Compare quotes, ask for referrals, read through online reviews, and discuss the mover’s insurance policy. Be sure to choose a company that has experience moving manufactured homes and a good reputation. This can be a complex task and you want movers who know what they’re doing.
Here’s few things to ask each company you’re researching:
- If they know how to move your kind of home
- If they have a portfolio of similar moves
- If they will take care of all the permit work
- If you can see their insurance coverage
You Need a Manufactured Home that is up to Code
What are the the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations for the new location and does your home meet these requirements? Before 1976, there weren’t many laws regulating the quality of manufactured homes. Thus, if you have a home built before 1976 (technically these are mobile homes), it’s unlikely you’ll be able to move it at all.
HUD passed the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards (MHCSS) in 1976. This law regulates every aspect of construction, including design, strength, durability, transportability, fire resistance, and energy efficiency. This code is periodically updated based on a committee’s recommendations.
HUD also created Wind Zones in 1976 as part of the MHCSS. HUD enacted the most recent version of this rule in 2021.
HUD splits America into three zones based on each region’s susceptibility to natural disasters and storms. Each manufactured home is designed to resist the wind load of its location (measured in pounds per sq. ft.). Per the Manufactured Housing Institute, Wind Zone I has a maximum of 70 miles per hour wind speed; Zone II tops out at 100 miles per hour; and Zone III’s high point is 110 miles per hour.
Every manufactured home in these zones must meet or exceed these requirements. If your home doesn’t meet the requirement of the zone you’re moving to, then you cannot move your home there. For example, if you own a new manufactured home in Texas (mostly Wind Zone I) and want to relocate it to Florida (Wind Zone III), you probably won’t be able to.
You can find the Wind Zone, Roof Load, and Snow Load information on the HUD data plate inside your dwelling.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of how wind zones are determined:
- Zone I: This zone pertains to most of the interior of the United States where hurricanes are less common.
- Zone II: This zone covers areas that are more hurricane prone. The closer you are to the Gulf or Atlantic coast, the more likely your place falls in this zone.
- Zone III: This zone shows up along the coast of specific states, particularly where hurricane-force winds are more common.
Additionally, certain locations won’t allow manufactured homes of a certain age. Thus, you need to check with the local regulations of where you’ve moving to ensure your manufactured home isn’t too old according to their regulations.
You Need to Disconnect Your Utilities
If you don’t go with a full-service move, it’s typically good practice to provide utility companies with a couple months’ notice before you move. This lets the utility companies go through paperwork, sort out any fees, and provide any information you may need. They’ll also have the exact date ahead of time for when they need to shut off your utilities.
You Need to Give Notice
If you don’t own the mobile home park you’re moving out of, you’ll need to provide notice. This can vary from park to park (it’s typically 30 days prior to the moving date, though), so re-read your agreement.
The manufactured home lot rental agreement should also give information about your security deposit, situations where you might not receive the full amount back, and how much time the park has to return your money.
You Need to Secure Loose Items
After you’ve packed and once the move is about to happen, check your manufactured home for items that might break or come undone on the trip. Glass, light fixtures, and toilet tank lids are examples of these kinds of items. Wrap them in bubble wrap or blankets or pack them in boxes if that feels safer to you.
Don’t forget to secure cabinets. You don’t want a cabinet drawer flying around wreaking havoc during the move. If you leave large furniture in the home, be sure it won’t tip over, fall, or slide around.
Although reading this article may have given you heart palpitations about moving your manufactured home, it’s a very doable process with careful planning.
If you do your research, follow all the steps in this article, and hire an excellent moving company, you should be just fine.