Highway safety laws determine how big mobile homes can be. A double-wide is therefore only as wide as the widest allowed on the nation's highways, which is 16 feet wide. Each half of a double-wide is transported to the site separately and put together there. At 2,560 square feet, these homes rival the average size of a traditional site-built home. Many stick-built developments feature homes that may be less than 1,500 square feet.
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No Jumbo Mortgages for Largest Double-Wide
Jumbo mortgages — needed when homes cost about $500,000 or more — aren't for double-wides. In fact, FHA Title I-approved mobile home insured loans allow for only a $69,678 maximum cost. While site-built homes average from $80 to $150 per square foot to build, mobile homes average much less. At $35 to $65 per square foot, these manufactured homes can cost as little as $89,600 for the largest double-wide.
Less Than Half the Cost
On the high end, a mobile home could cost $166,400 or more. A same-size stick-built home varies from around $204,800 to perhaps over $384,000 to build. But this still doesn't meet that $500,000 home construction mark, does it? When a lot is purchased and improved, it will be pretty close, though, whereas double-wides can still be placed in mobile home parks. These require a lot rent, which can be anywhere from under $300 per month to over $500 per month.
Monthly Ownership Costs
To estimate your monthly cost of owning a large double-wide, start with a loan payment of $657 at 8 percent for 30 years on the low-end largest double-wide mobile homes made. Then look into the higher-end homes costing $1,221 per month at the same interest rate and term. Add the lot rent of probably close to $500 per month. That brings monthly housing costs without insurance from $1,157 to $1,721 per month. At this point, the price starts to sound a little expensive.
Apartments Are Smaller
You may decide that the effort of purchasing and setting up one of the largest double-wide homes is too much and want to rent an apartment of the same size instead. The problem is finding an apartment the size of a large double-wide home. If it exists, the rent is going to be much higher than a mortgage at low interest rates. Homes typically are sold with good financing rates. Most apartments are available only in two- or three-bedroom configurations, which limits their size to about under 1,000 square feet. Plus, they can cost up to a few thousand dollars a month in rent.