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Everything You Need to Know About Relocatable Homes

Everything You Need to Know About Relocatable Homes

Everything You Need to Know About Relocatable Homes

Relocatable homes offer owners an amazing perk: not being tied down to a singular location. They allow owners to take advantage of the opportunities available in different states. 

This article is a rundown on exactly what a relocatable home is, what it’s like to own a relocatable home in Australia, and other information that would prove useful to anyone who’s considering making a change to a relocatable home!

What is a Relocatable Home?

Relocatable homes are, to put it simply, any residential structure designed to be transportable. According to a ruling made by the Gold Coast City Planning Scheme, a relocatable home is something “more readily moveable than a normal dwelling house, but also something which is more permanently connected with its site than a caravan.” 

While the exact definitions might differ per state, this definition is a good overview. 

Another thing to note: the differences between a transportable home and a relocatable home are negligible, so we’ll be using the terms interchangeably.

Features of a Transportable/Relocatable Home

Some of the unique characteristics of a relocatable home are the following:

  1. Relocatable homes are built to be moved. Most relocatable homes are built on a permanently attached chassis on a slab, crawlspace, basement, or pier foundation. 
  2. Relocatable homes come in a variety of sizes and builds. While most transportable homes are designed and built in a factory under the supervision of the owner then delivered to their temporary location, some people opt to buy a pre-completed (and in some instances, even second hand) portable house and have it delivered to the location. 
  3. Relocatable homes are generally easier and cheaper to build. This one’s probably a bit obvious, but it’s one of the most common reasons why people go for relocatable or moveable homes!

Relocatable Homes vs. Granny Flats

A granny flat generally refers to a self-contained structure that stands within the grounds of another home. Granny flats can be built to stay on the grounds permanently, but they can be relocatable as well. In other words, you can have a relocatable granny flat!

Modular Homes vs. Relocatable Homes

A modular home is any residential structure that’s prefabricated in an assembly line factory or another manufacturing site. While modular homes and relocatable homes are similar in this aspect, modular homes are built to be permanent. Once the home has reached its spot, the structure is set up on a foundation. 

Trailers vs. Relocatable Homes

Caravans and trailers are, technically, vehicles, and are subject to corresponding vehicular regulations. Relocatable homes, on the other hand, are subject to building codes and permits.

Always keep in mind that regulations differ per state, so it’s best to seek legal advice prior to building to prevent issues and delays.

Relocatable Homes vs. Tiny Homes

According to the Australian Tiny House Association,

“Tiny houses are moveable dwellings up to 50m2 that are suitable for residential use. Tiny houses can be grouped into two categories: on wheels or on skids.”

You definitely can have a tiny, relocatable home. If the home that you have in mind doesn’t fit the above-mentioned characteristics, then you might just be thinking of a full-size relocatable home.

Pros and Cons of Relocatable Homes

Pros Cons
Durability Tricky regulations
Costs Financing options
Construction time
Location Flexibility

Pros of Relocatable Homes

  1. Durability. Transportable homes are designed to withstand being moved. Cranes, trucks, and harsh winds are no match to an exceptionally-built transportable home!
  2. Costs. Relocatable homes, like other alternative housing, are generally cheaper and more economical to build. 
  3. Construction time. Building a relocatable home also takes way less time than building a traditional stick-built home.

Location flexibility. Building a transportable home or purchasing relocatable homes for sale will allow you to take advantage of the opportunities offered in different parts of the country. Why worry about packing up and moving if you can take your home with you?

Cons of Relocatable Homes

  1. Regulatory concerns. The regulations differ depending on the locations, and it’s important to do your due diligence, maybe even consult with a lawyer. 
  2. Financing options. If you’re thinking of taking out a loan to help finance your relocatable home, the process of looking for a lender might be a bit more difficult. Some lending companies and banks don’t release funds until they’re sure that the house has been completed, or is on-site.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Relocatable Home?

Since there’s a lot of aspects involved in building a home (relocatable or stick-built), it’s difficult to give a straightforward answer to this, as these things vary per project and per area. Here are some aspects that could affect the length of the project:

  • Research on, and the acquisition of required permits,
  • Research on, and getting financing for the build (if needed),
  • Transport of the home to the location.

The bottom line is that building and setting up a relocatable home still requires less time than a traditional stick build, primarily because most of the sections of the home have been built off-site.

How Much are Relocatable Homes?

Relocatable home prices are heavily dependent on the project as well. Permit acquisition and demountable home transport can also incur significant costs. Most construction companies offer free pricing consultations, so comparing prices should be an integral part of the research process.

Who Insures Relocatable Homes?

It’s very easy to find insurance companies that will ensure your relocatable home. Check out this Finder AU article for a more complete rundown on the options available to you.

Do Relocatable Homes Need Council Approval?

Yes, and the requirements depend on where you are! NSW, for example, has Affordable Rental Housing SEPP. According to this provision, granny flats may be approved within 20 days by a council, given that it fulfils a particular set of requirements.

The rules vary, and it’s in your best interest to start working on obtaining the permits as early as possible, long before you start building.

Where Can You Buy Relocatable Homes?

You can find relocatable home builders everywhere in Australia. A single Google search will bring back hundreds of results, but always remember: an experienced, knowledgeable team of builders can help you save time and money. A good team can make the entire homeownership process a breeze!

A relocatable home is a great option for people who value the sense of adventure that comes with mobility. If you think that a transportable home might be a residential option that suits your needs, contact us! Let’s discuss your options.

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