How to Purchase a Mobile Home Legally in New York State

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Mobile homes are pretty easy to find in New York State, especially in rural areas, and you can probably find a good deal on one if you search extensively enough. Buying a mobile home is less complicated than buying a house but more complicated than buying most other types of tangible goods. Once the transaction goes through, finding a legal place to put it can be a challenge if you haven't made arrangements to rent or purchase the land it currently sits on. There are more regulations in the placement of the home than in the purchase of it.

Obtain required permits from the local government that has jurisdiction of where the mobile home would be located. A building permit may be required if there is minor construction work for setting the home on a concrete slab. If the mobile home is going in a park, an occupancy permit may be required. A zoning variance might be necessary if the mobile home is to be located on a vacant parcel or a lot that was previously occupied by a home that was built on-site.

Get proof that the mobile, modular or manufactured home was built in accordance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development standards. A HUD seal or data plate will be located somewhere on the home. The stamps were first issued in 1976, according to the New York State Department of State. Municipalities can prohibit mobile homes that don't have HUD seals.

Pay the required sales tax and Department of Motor Vehicles certificate of title fee. According to the DMV, certificates of title are only required on manufactured homes built after January 1, 1995, that are at least 8 feet wide, 40 feet long and cover at least 320 square feet when placed on a site. Sales taxes are only collected on new mobile homes, payable on delivery.


  • Municipalities may be more welcoming to newer manufactured or modular homes, but hostile toward the placement of singe- and double-wide trailers or mobile homes.

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