Buying land for a modular home is more involved than it sounds, but knowing the right steps can speed up the process and ensure the transaction goes smoothly.
To buy land for a modular home, get all financing and search for available land listings. We recommend contacting real estate agents in the area, researching local land ordinances, performing a land title search, and taking an onsite visit. After confirming this, make an offer and close.
The cost of land in the United States is on the rise, and this trend can be attributed to a variety of factors. But modular homes are smaller and more affordable, so the process is a little more straightforward, and we will share our experience on how to do it successfully below in this guide.
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How To Buy Land For a Modular Home
Modular homes are unique because roughly 80% of the building is done in a factory. Once this is done, the home is sold and brought to the building site on purchased or rented land to complete the build.
Buying land in the United States can be challenging due to the various regulations and restrictions that state and local governments impose. And the process of buying land for a modular home differs from buying land for a traditional home.
Because of how unusual this housing style is, buying land for modular homes requires a different approach than usual, we’ll explain how to buy land and how to find suitable land for this house.
Get Financing In Order
As a buyer, it is important to know the monthly income and expenses before looking for land for a modular home. This will help us determine what kind of land we can afford and the size of the lot that would suit the home.
This step also includes setting a land purchase budget based on the modular home pricing and our credit profile. We can also go through the mortgage pre-approval process to get an exact lending budget.
Search For Available Land Listings
The most important step in buying land for a modular home is finding the right location. Searching for available land listings can be the most time-consuming step.
The land cost can also vary depending on the location, so it is important to do our research beforehand. We recommend using online tools like Zillow to find available land in the United States for modular homes.
Contact Real Estate Agents In The Area
We recommend contacting real estate agents in the area to find the best available land listings for a modular home. They can offer their insight into what is happening in the market and which areas are seeing increased demand.
Knowing our options is the key to finding a good location for a modular home. We want to build in the right area and avoid overpaying for something in a declining market.
Working with a real estate agent familiar with the area is the best way to avoid all of these problems while maximizing our budget.
Do A Land Title Search
The property title search is performed by searching public records on the property to confirm the rightful legal owner. This includes checking for liens, judgments, and pending sales.
We always recommend a land title search before making any real estate purchases, including land for a modular home. This will help us identify anything wrong with the area and whether we should avoid it or not.
Research Desired Land Location Zoning Ordinances
To ensure that we buy land suitable for a modular home, it is important to research the area. There may be certain restrictions on the type of land that we can buy.
It is also a good idea to check if any zoning laws and ordinances will affect our purchase. Many people who built their own homes and were unaware of these policies and restrictions ended up spending a fortune to bring the land up to code.
We can save a lot of money by filtering our search based on the current zoning ordinances already in effect.
Take Onsite Visits
The next step is to start taking onsite visits to see the land we like the most for our modular home. We can make a short list of the best options to make sure we see them all.
However, many people need to complete this step, which is optional. But we always like to see a piece of land and the surrounding area before purchasing.
Make An Offer
The process of buying a house can be overwhelming for many people. It is not just about finding the right house but also understanding the market and making an offer that will be accepted.
When it’s time to make an offer, we want to win the property without exceeding our budget. This is why working with an agent is helpful, and they can guide most buyers through this process with minimal stress.
Get Under Contract & Close
Finally, after the offer gets accepted, we can get our land under contract to close the sale. This is because once an offer is accepted and signed on a contract, no more negotiations need to happen.
Typically, it’s easier and faster to close on raw land like this than a house. Fewer inspections are needed, and after we close, the focus shifts to getting the modular home to the site.
How To Find Land To Buy For A Modular Home
A lot of people have the idea that modular homes are only for those who don't want to build a permanent home. However, many benefits come with using this type of housing.
But first, we must find land for our modular home. This can be tricky because costs and regulations vary widely across the country.
Consider The Lot Size Needed
The first step is to find out what type of modular home we want, including the size of the home. When doing so, we can narrow down our land search to look for the correct lot size.
Once we can find a suitable piece of land with the right amount of space, we can also start considering other important factors.
Make A List Of Permits, Zoning Requirements, And Restrictions
When looking for land to build a modular home, we must know what is needed to comply with zoning requirements and restrictions. We will need these to ensure that our modular home fits into the community.
For example, many places have started using new zoning restrictions to reduce modular housing communities. However, this is less likely to be an issue for anybody buying a piece of larger land or private property.
Look For Land In Modular Home Communities
A cheaper alternative is to buy a plot in an already-built modular home community. These communities are either privately or publicly owned and have been built with modular homes.
They are usually located near cities, towns, or other metropolitan areas that offer abundant employment opportunities. There are many benefits to living in these areas, including lower prices and a sense of community.
This concept continues to grow too. It’s known to be a more affordable housing option while still having a sizable house.
Consider The Utility Connections
Lastly, keep the utility connections in mind when searching for land to buy for a modular home. This includes gas, electricity, sewer, and water.
For example, if there is no public water service near the property, this would require an expensive septic system installation. This can quickly raise the land cost, meaning we should filter our property search based on these factors.
How Much Land Is Needed For A Modular Home?
Buying land can be quite difficult as it involves navigating the different purchasing processes and procedures. This includes determining the modular home size to find the proper land size.
Many people choose to look for land in a modular home community for this reason. However, the average single modular home is about 700- 1,000 square feet.
For double modular homes, the size increases to roughly 1,000-2,000 square feet with extra bedrooms and more space inside.
Based on these measurements, we recommend a piece of land roughly double the size of the home. This would allow enough space for a yard, utility hookups, and any other regulations or ordinances worth considering.
How Much Does Land Cost For A Modular Home?
The land cost varies depending on the location and house size. It generally costs about $10,000 to $40,000 for a plot of land for a modular home.
However, this cost also includes preparing the land for the home too. The actual land will likely cost between $5,000 to $15,000 unless we try to buy something close to an expensive city.
This is why the first step is always sorting out the finances, and every buyer should know how much they can spend, what they want to spend that money on, and what their goals are when it comes down to buying land.
This includes figuring out all monthly expenses, calculating what percentage of income goes towards housing costs and how much money is currently available for other expenses.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling