5 Challenges When Moving a Used Mobile Home and How to Overcome Them

There are many challenges that come with moving a mobile home

Let’s be honest….moving a mobile home should be an easy job to tackle, right? Most mobile homes are normal-sized (12 x 60 or 16 x 80), have wheels, and are affordable. It’s estimated that 5.6% of all Americans, about 18 million people,  live in mobile homes, making them the “single largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing” in the country, according to a 2017 report published in the American Sociological Review. At any given moment, the topic of relocation or moving the mobile home is bound to come up for mobile home owners. 

Unfortunately, there are many challenges to overcome if you are wanting to move a mobile home in Lafayette or anywhere in Louisiana.  How much it cost to move your mobile home and other factors add to the challenges of transporting a used mobile home.

For that reason, it’s important to know not just the specifics of moving mobile homes but the laws on moving a mobile home that can affect your ability to relocate to certain areas. It’s not like you can just hook up the home to the hitch on the back of your truck and take off with it to your desired location— although it sounds convenient and doable!

The age of your mobile home, its structure, local ordinances, the moving company, and your budget all play a critical role when relocating a manufactured home. 

The laws on moving a mobile home dictate when, how, and if a mobile home can be moved. So how do you know if you’ll be able to relocate your property? There are five challenges regarding moving a mobile home that you’ll need to know about before you pack up or try to sell your mobile home.

Challenge #1: Where Will You Relocate Mobile Home?

Knowing where to relocate mobile home is critical.

Will you pull home into a mobile home park? Do you have a private lot? Are you bringing it into the city or parking your home out in the country? These are questions that most mobile home owners don’t consider when making the decision to relocate their mobile homes. 

These critical questions must be answered because knowing and having the right location is the ultimate factor in whether your home can be moved or not. 

Some cities will not accept certain homes. And not every park is gung-ho to bring your home into their community. Relocating and finding a spot for your used mobile home is one of the biggest challenges to overcome. Read on to discover how to break through these barriers of relocating your mobile home. 

Challenge#2: You’ll Need to Get a Moving Permit

If I could receive $1 every time someone told me that they “purchased a mobile home but couldn’t receive a permit to relocate it” —I would be a millionaire! While the exact process of obtaining a moving permit for a mobile home depends on the local government and state in which you are currently living, you will almost certainly be required to prove a few key things:

  • Proof that you are the rightful owner by providing a certificate of title. Some local governments may also accept a copy of the bill of sale. 
  • A statement or evidence that there are no unpaid or overdue taxes or fees owed on the property. If the home is located in a park, the lot payments must be current or it may be illegal to move the mobile home. The mobile home must be free of any liens. 

After confirming your rightful ownership of mobile home— what’s next?

Time to call city hall, local fire marshall, or local government office and ask the following questions:

  • Do I need a permit to relocate my mobile home in this town/city?
  • Are there any restrictions? Example: size, age, wind zone, etc. 
  • Can you send me a checklist of what’s required to receive approval?

Make note of their instructions and directions. Do as they tell and everything should go smoothly. As you would any time you deal with local governments, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get your permit(s)in order before your move—you don’t want slow paperwork or approvals to mess up your moving day.

Challenge #3: You’ll Need to Hire Professional Mobile Home Movers 

Just because your uncle has a big rig doesn’t mean he can haul your mobile home. There’s no such thing as a DIY move when you’re relocating with a mobile home in tow. That’s because the laws on moving a mobile home require that you work with a licensed, bonded, and insured professional moving company to move the actual structure of your home. Reach out directly to local mobile home movers in your area and ask for a quote. Each company is different, be sure to read their reviews on Google or Facebook to see if they have the experience, equipment, customer service, and trucks necessary to move your mobile home. Please check out our exhaustive list of local Louisiana mobile home movers here. Visit this company’s website, this is who we highly recommend to transport your mobile home in Louisiana!

Not all moving companies are up to the task, so similar to getting your permit, give yourself plenty of time to do your research here. Not only will that help ensure that you get a good company to help you out, but you’ll also be able to shop around for quotes so that you know you’re getting the best deal possible on your mobile home move.

Challenge #4: Your Budget

When moving a mobile home, many people underestimate the costs of not only paying the mobile home movers fees; but also the costs of breaking down the mobile home and setting it up in its new location. Moving a mobile home can be a massive undertaking and very expensive. It can be a hassle and very stressful dealing with all the moving parts. 

Here’s an overview of how much it will cost you. These are rough estimates based on our experience of moving a single-wide home. You can almost double the costs to move a double-wide home. Be sure to check with local service providers to confirm prices:

  • Mover: $3500-$5500(add $500 if moving over 50 miles)
  • Remove and Reinstall skirting: $200-$350
  • Disconnect Utilities: $250(plumbing, electric, gas, a/c, etc)
  • Reconnect Utilities: $1500+
  • Permits and Miscellaneous Fees: $500+(deposits, dirt pad, lot fees, etc)

The cost to move your mobile home will depend on a wide variety of factors including labor costs, set-up services, moving materials, mobile home size, permits, and various transportation fees – among others. 

So what does this mean for your move? If your mobile home was built prior to when the HUD codes were enacted in 1976, then you’re probably not going to be allowed to move it. And most municipalities bolster this law with their own age limits, as well as strict local requirements around modern-day building standards for the home and its internal systems. With those standards in place, a mobile home built in the ‘70s, ‘80s, or even ‘90s might not get the pass. If these challenges seem overwhelming, there’s a simple and hassle-free option. Give us a buzz at 337-508-0795. We love to buy used mobile homes!

Challenge #5: You’ll Need to Check the Legal Requirements of Where You’re Moving

In addition to considering the laws of the locality where you are moving your mobile home from, you’ll also need to consider those of the locality where you’re moving your mobile home to. Each town or city is different. Just because one jurisdiction allows an older used mobile home doesn’t mean another town is as liberal. The town where you’re relocating to may have stricter laws regarding manufactured home standards and property age than the town you’re leaving, and will almost certainly have notable zoning limitations or wind zone restrictions that you’ll have to be sure to abide by. If your mobile home was built prior to when the HUD codes were enacted in 1976, then you’re probably not going to be allowed to move it. You may have to keep the home at its current location or scrap it.

If your mobile home is more than 10 or 15 years old, expect to go through a bit of legwork providing accurate proof of the integrity of its structure and systems. The local building code department may have to come out and inspect the mobile home before granting you approval.

How to Overcome These Challenges

Don’t let the laws on moving a mobile home deter you from starting the process. Many people successfully move their mobile homes every year, and so long as you give yourself enough time, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process. Don’t wait until an emergency, an eviction, or other stressful situation to be the genesis of your decision to move your mobile home.

As for what to do first, follow these steps for making sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s when it comes to the laws on moving a mobile home. You can also download our FREE Ebook on How To Sell Your Mobile Home Fast!

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Search Outskirts First: Your best shot at moving an older used mobile home is to check with parks or municipalities in the rural parts of your area. Large or more modern urban areas are making it tougher to relocate older mobile homes into the city. Smaller towns and parks tend to be more flexible and judge each application on a case-by-case basis.
  • Contact Codes Commissioner or Fire Marshall: They’ll be able to fill you in on any requirements around age and building codes, as well as any zoning issues that you’ll need to be aware of. This is the gatekeeper. If your home is just under the age or building restriction; be truthful and explain your situation. They may offer other options to help bring your home up to code. Remember: the appearance of your home is everything. If your home looks like a junker; it is highly unlikely that you will be approved to relocate your mobile home into their town. You may have to invest a little money and remodel or upgrade your mobile home to get the okay.
  • Hire a moving company: Ask your friends and seek referrals when hiring a mobile home moving company. Google can be your best friend to help you find a reputable company. I’ve heard horror stories of unscrupulous movers who took advantage of naive homeowners. Don’t let that discourage you because good ones do exist. It’s important to note that most moving companies won’t allow you to book service until you have your moving permit—and for good reason, since they can’t be of any help to you without it. While you should be doing your moving company research prior to this step, now is when you’ll want to actually choose a company and hire them for your move. A very important question to ask a potential mover is: Does your price quote cover leveling and blocking the home?

Relocating a used mobile home in Lafayette or anywhere in Acadiana can be a major hassle and daunting task for some people. Fortunately, we offer a simple and headache-free option. Sell your local Lafayette mobile home to us.  If you have any questions about how we work, what the process of selling your mobile home or having us help you avoid the major challenges of moving your mobile home, or just want to learn more about us… don’t hesitate to contact us anytime!

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