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The Ultimate Guide to Turning a Mobile Home Into a House

New manufactured home with red vinyl siding and windows with white lineals

If you own a mobile home but want a house, you don’t have to sell everything and buy or build a new home.

You can simply convert it into the home you want!

Converting a mobile home into a traditional type of house isn’t hard and you don’t need to hire a professional.

If you have some basic building knowledge or willing to learn a few things, then your well on your way to turning a mobile home into a house!

This is your ultimate guide and knowledge for converting a manufactured home into a permanent home to live in.

Let’s get started!

Turning a Mobile Home Into a House

static holiday home

Before you start converting your mobile home, there are a few things you need to consider first and know.

Do Your Homework

Make sure you do your homework first and look at your budget, and then compare it to the costs of your conversion

Although building around a mobile home brings in great value to your home, it may be subject to taxes once converted.

Ensure that you are allowed to convert your home. Mobile homes built before 1976 don’t meet the federal housing and development standards. So if it’s an older mobile home you won’t be able to do the conversion.

The Uniform Manufactured Housing Act requires you to do two things to legally convert a mobile home into a real house:

  1. Relocate the mobile home onto a particular piece of land
  2. File for a certificate of location with the land records office of where your new home will be located

If everything checks out with what we just discussed and your ready to start building that home, keep reading!

Paper Work and Certifications

person on paper work

Below are the paperwork and certifications you will need in order to do your conversion.

You will need to get all of this in order before you start building, so the sooner you have all of this, the sooner you can build your new home!

Hud Certification:

This is the certification and code that shows your mobile home is in regulations with the Manufactured Housing Act.

This will show that your home is eligible for conversion and meets minimum building standard codes for required real estate.


Your mobile home will need to be reclassified as real property according to the Uniform Manufactured Housing act.

This means you will need to locate a piece of property you want and then file for certification of location.

Building Permit:

You will also need a building permit in order to complete your work on the home. This ensures everything will be up to code.

The Land and Property

Similar to cars, mobile homes tend to depreciate in value once you purchase them.

However, if you attach or convert a mobile home onto a piece of property, it’s value will no longer depreciate.

In fact, its value as an asset will only increase at that point!

One of the first steps you should take when looking at converting a mobile home to a house is planning ahead with the property you want it to be on.

Here are a few steps to take when looking at a piece of property for your new home

1. Check Zoning Status

You will want to make sure the property you want to convert the home on is zoned correctly. It will need to be zoned specifically for residential mobile homes and not just residential.

2. Purchase Land and Secure Deed

Once you find one with the correct zone, you will need to purchase the land and have the deed in your name as the owner of the mobile home you are converting.

There are a few states that do allow people to convert mobile homes on rented land, however, this can be complicated, especially if you ever go to sell. It’s always good to look over all of the rules and regulations first.

4. Ensure the Deed Matches Title Owner

Make sure the deed of the land is the same as the title owner of the home. Then you can move your mobile home onto the property

5. Inform the Financing Source

Ensure that the finance company you are working with know about the conversion. Be honest and upfront with them and ask for a written approval so there are no issues during your conversion.

6. Install Your Foundation

You will need to put in a permanent foundation for the new home. In order to do this, you will need to remove the axles and wheels by placing the home on concrete blocks.

This is where you will be able to start hooking up all of your utilities.

7. File with Your County

Next, you will surrender your title and file your affidavit with your county. Depending on your state, you may need to pay a fee for your conversion and to record the deed.

Get to your local DMV and confirm the title cancellation!

Once you have all of this in order, then you can start looking at making your conversion and planning how you will want your new home to look – the fun part!

The Conversion to a Traditional Home

established motor home on site

When it comes to converting a mobile home into a stick-built house, you don’t need to hire a professional.

Unlike traditional homes, mobile homes are built with materials such as wood paneling, which makes remodeling your mobile home much easier then if you were doing a traditional house.

Here the steps to take to convert your new home.

1. Start the Demo Process!

First, you will want to remove nails and screws that are holding up the paneling on all the walls.

You can use either back of a hammer or a pry bar. Once removed, you will want to wash the paneling with dish detergent to prep it for primer and painting.

2. Fill Your Holes

Next, you can apply putty to any and all cracks or holes in the paneling – You can do this easily with a simple putty knife.

After the putty has completely dried, you will want to gently sand down the putty and paneling. Using 100-grit sandpaper, sand down until everything is smooth and flush.

3. Clean Up the Surfaces and Primer

Wipe away all the dust and clean the surface of the paneling again.  After that, you can paint the paneling with a primer.

Once the primer has dried, you can start painting them with interior wall paint of your choosing.

4. Install Shutters

On the exterior of the mobile home, you should install shutters across all of your windows.

Not only does it look nice, but it protects your glass! Choose a color that complements the exterior of your mobile home.

5. Remove the Existing Flooring

Now we can move onto the flooring. Remove all of the carpet or laminate flooring that was originally in the mobile home.

You should be able to cut the edges of the flooring with a utility knife and then use a pry bar again to pry up all the flooring on top of the subfloor.

Also remove any nails, screws, tack strips, or glue.

6. Lay Your New Flooring Down

Once everything is removed from the subfloor, you can sweep it up and start laying new flooring down!

Lay down new laminate flooring of your choice, or use hardwood flooring to create the look of a traditional house.

7. Replace Doors

You may want to replace the any exterior doors on the mobile home. They tend to be much weaker than your traditional doors, and they don’t look nice either.

Find some new traditional home doors and replace them all.

Make sure to take measurements to ensure your new doors will fit – otherwise you may need to resize the doorways.

8. Replace the Light Fixtures

Next, you can replace your light fixtures, since mobile home lights are typically globe ceiling lights.

You should turn off all power to the house and unscrew all of the light fixtures. simply detach all of the fixtures and replace them with new updated ones of your choice!

Turn everything back on and test all of your lights to ensure they were installed correctly.

9. Anything Else That Looks Like Your Old Mobile Home?

Don’t be afraid to attempt a few other remodeling projects. If possible, you want to remove anything in there that screams “mobile home”.

Try adding in baseboards and molding throughout the house!

Once you’ve completed all of these steps, you old mobile home will now look and feel like a traditional home on your property!

These simple steps can be completed by anyone and can be done in no time.

Here are a couple of suggestions to add to your new home to make it stand out from the neighbors and make it feel even cozier!

Mobile Home Conversion Ideas

mobile house

Here are a couple of our ideas for making your mobile home conversion into a spectacular new home to live in!

Wrap-around porch:

Who doesn’t want a nice outside porch that goes around the house? It’s nice to have somewhere to cookout or enjoy a nice day in the sun while sitting on a porch.

This may be a bit more complicated though and may require a professional to build.

Second story:

Building a second story can add a lot to your home. It can give you a new office space, bedroom, or guest room.

Not only that, but it makes your house look more elegant and brings up the value as well! However, this can be pricey and should be done by a professional.

And when it comes to the roof, it makes more sense to bring in a qualified roofing contractor to plan the job and install the roof properly.

Wing or room:

Consider adding on an additional wing to the house. Mobile homes tend to be much smaller than your traditional homes, so adding on a new room or wing may be needed.

This can be done a lot easier than adding on a second story and ensuring you have the supporting structure for it!


One of the biggest things you can do to change your old mobile home into a new traditional looking house is the exterior around the house.

Try planting new shrubs around the house or create a little garden area on the side. Lay down a walkway with bricks or stones to the doorway.

This can really change the way everything looks on the outside!

If you plan on adding in any of these extras, make sure to check with your local zoning and ensure you will be within regulations.

Attaching any external structures to a home may require additional license/certification or may not be allowed at all.

Mobile Home Investments

As we mentioned before, placing your mobile home onto a piece of property and converting it add great value to it.

Putting effort into your new home or a trailer park can change the way buyers see it.

Adding in upgrades such as a porch, new flooring, and landscaping will help you if you ever decide to sell or even rent.

The manufactured home is the only major real estate asset that isn’t experiencing a year-over-year decline in net operating income since 2000. That says a lot for owners and investors.

So are mobile home parks a good investment? Absolutely!

Converting a mobile home isn’t difficult and can be done without spending nearly as much as you would with traditional houses.

Building a House from a Mobile Home

person working on making mobile home

When it comes to a home conversion, planning ahead and doing your homework is the most important and best thing you can do for yourself.

Make sure you have all the proper paperwork and set up a budget.

Turning a mobile home into a house doesn’t have to be difficult and doesn’t require hiring a professional.

With proper research and a bit of work, you can convert your mobile home into the traditional home you want!

If you enjoyed this article, head over to our blog to find more just like it!

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Zoe Newman

Monday 21st of June 2021

Great information - thank you, this really helps me

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