By Marina White
Want to move your mobile home? If you think you can simply hitch it to the back of your truck and take off, think again. Moving a mobile home that meets today’s HUD standards (also called a “manufactured home”) is a massive undertaking – not to mention expensive. However, with the right crew and plenty of planning, it can be done. Here’s an overview of how much it will cost you.
So how much does it cost to move a mobile home?
For a single-wide, full-service move – from transporting the home within 50 miles to acquiring the permits to hooking up the utilities – customers will pay somewhere between $5,000 to $8,000. Moving a double-wide mobile home this distance will likely cost between $10,000 to $13,000.
Of course, these are just estimates. 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. Obviously, long distance moves will cost more, while local moves will likely cost less. For local moves, the moving company may have a minimum fee that they charge, regardless of distance. Either way, you can bet the move will cost at least $1,000, when it’s all said and done. The transportation of a mobile home alone (without set-up services) may only cost between $1,000 to $5,000.
What factors affect the mobile home moving cost?
The cost to move a mobile home varies from move to move, however, there are several common factors that affect every mobile home relocation. These include:
- Distance of the move – The shorter the move, the cheaper the move will be. As you can imagine, lugging a mobile home behind a large truck requires quite a bit of gas. Not to mention, movers won’t exactly be able to drive at a fast speed or zip around corners with a “wide load” behind them. In addition, a longer move may require the moving company to invest in new tires and equipment to handle the distance.
- Size of the mobile home – The size of your mobile home will have a big effect on the overall mobile home moving cost. As expected, single-wides will cost less to move than double-wides, which are twice as big. If your home is too wide to safely drive down the street (read: it takes up more than one lane), you may also have to pay for a police escort or a temporary road closure.
- Weight of the mobile home – According to Free Mobile Home Info, older mobile homes typically weigh between 35 to 40 lbs. per square foot, while newer manufactured homes weigh anywhere from 45 to 50 lbs. per square foot. That means if your mobile home is 800 square feet, it could weigh up to 40,000 lbs. Yikes! Remember: the heavier your mobile home, the more moving equipment and materials will be needed. This inevitably adds up to more money as well.
- Permits and inspection – If moving your mobile home to a new county or state, permits may need to be acquired for each individual territory it enters or travels through. Fortunately, your movers should be able to help you get these permits in place before the move. Keep in mind, you may also need to get a “set-up” permit in order to install your mobile home in a new city. As far as inspections go, some states, such as Florida, require mandatory inspections of older mobile homes before moving them to the state. This helps ensure that the mobile homes are safe and up-to-code prior to the move.
- Moving materials – From tools and supplies to tow hitches and tires, moving a mobile home requires plenty of moving materials. Your moving company should be able to break down the costs of necessary moving materials in your contract.
Other considerations that may affect the cost to move a mobile home include:
- Set up services – If you’re planning to hire full-service movers for your mobile home relocation, expect to pay more. Besides transport charges, many professional movers will also require a separate fee for taking apart and/or setting up the mobile home. These fees may include: disconnecting and reconnecting your utilities; removing and reinstalling outer features, such as a porch; removing and reinstalling foundation (or skirting); removing and reinstalling interior features; and reconnecting a double-wide mobile home. According to sfgate.com, these services can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000. However, we should note that while many mobile home movers offer set-up services, they may still require homeowners to remove their mobile home’s skirting and exterior features prior to the move.
- Age and overall condition – If the mobile home is older or in need of serious repairs, the movers may have to spend extra time fixing and altering it before putting it on the road.
- Insurance and liability – If using professional movers, you’ll need to purchase liability coverage for the move. You may also want to consider purchasing outside insurance. If you already own mobile home insurance, be sure to check with your carrier about whether or not they cover a mobile home while it’s in transport.
What are the benefits of hiring professionals to handle the move?
I do not recommend moving a mobile home by yourself. This type of move requires a team of professionals, who are not only trained in setting up a mobile home but are also experienced in driving large loads attached to the back of their truck. Those moving their mobile homes a long distance and across state lines may need multiple movers to handle the transportation. This is because a mover may be licensed to drive a mobile home in only one state, meaning he’d need to hand off the car to another driver once across the state line.
While hiring a moving company to handle your mobile home move isn’t cheap, it does have its benefits. Here are a few good reasons to hire a moving company to handle the relocation:
- Moving companies will obtain all necessary moving permits for you – Permits are a pain to obtain. Fortunately, mobile home moving companies will handle all of the necessary permit requirements prior to your move. From local, set-up permits to state transportation permits, the mobile home moving company should take care of everything for you.
- Moving companies will transport the mobile home for you – Driving a large truck rental is hard enough without the added worry of dragging an oversized load behind it. So unless you’re an experienced truck driver, I highly recommend hiring professionals to drive your mobile home – especially if driving a long distance. Otherwise, you could put yourself and others at danger.
- It will save you time and energy – From popped tires to set up services, hiring a moving company will save you from all sorts of headaches later down the road. If you’re hoping for a smooth, easy move, hiring a professional mover is the way to go. Trust us – you won’t regret it.