Buying guide

Find relocatable homes for sale in NZ

Browse New Zealand’s largest selection of removable houses for sale in your area

Last updated: 2 May 2024

Finding a good relocatable home in NZ isn’t easy, but luckily for house hunters Trade Me Property is home to the country’s largest selection. To make your search easier we’ve explained:

  • How to quickly find relocatable houses for sale in your area. 

  • The basics that you need to know before buying and shifting a relocatable home. 

We’ll also look at the cost of moving and establishing a second hand relocatable home in NZ. 

Find relocatable houses for sale on Trade Me Property

There are two ways to search for relocatable houses near you on Trade me Property and it’s worth trying both:

  • Visit’s residential sale search page. 
  • Input location details and hit search. There are extra costs associated with moving relocatable homes further than 50-100km so searching in your region is a good idea. 
  • Click sort at the top of the results and select lowest price. 

Using this method, all the nearby removable houses for sale will be sorted to the top of the search results. Depending on where you live, you may also find some super cheap leasehold properties. 

The second way to search is to type keywords into the search bar after step one and two. Those keywords could include phrases like relocatable house, removable home or transportable home.

A removable house can make a great home.

Extra costs when buying a relocatable home

The super low prices of some of the relocatable homes on Trade Me Property can be very tempting. But it’s important to know that the cost of buying a removable house is just the beginning. 

After you’ve bought the removable home you also have to pay for:

  • Transport to site: $25,000 to $50,000+.

  • Renovations to get the home back into habitable condition: $50,000-$100,000+. This may include the cost of builders, plasterers, tilers and more. 

  • Service connections such as water, electricity and internet: $25,000+.

  • Surveying and geotechnical reports: $5,000+.

  • Draftsperson: $3,000+.

  • Consents: starting at $5,000. 

In total, you’ll need to spend $170,000 or more to move a home, prepare a section and get the property ready for habitation, according to Genius Homes. Add on the cost of purchasing the home and suddenly you’re looking at $300,000-plus for a three bedroom house. 

Costs may also be higher if the home has to be disassembled for transportation then reassembled on site, or if your land isn’t level. 

Things you must know before you buy

As well as the extra costs there are a few things you’ll need to know before you buy:

  • You may not be able to get finance until the house is sited on the property and connected to foundations. Speak to your lender before committing to anything. 

  • Relocatable homes that are cheaper up front may be more expensive in the long run. Older, larger homes in particular can be expensive to relocate and renovate. 

  • The land you buy is important. It must be the right size and shape to suit the layout of your home and when the property is installed it must comply with council regulations and zoning laws. 

  • It may be best to speak to an expert before purchasing a relocatable home to ensure you can get building consent.

  • You’ll need to buy insurance for your house relocation project. Speak to an insurance broker to make sure you have the right cover. 

Because of the complexity of relocating a home, it’s always best to speak to an insurance broker, an expert on council consents such as a surveyor, a builder and a relocation expert before you buy a home. It may also be a good idea to get a builder and a relocation company to inspect the home you buy before you put money down (or to buy directly from a home relocation specialist). 

That way, you’ll get a rough idea of the costs of relocation and installation on site before you buy. 

Moving a removable home can be expensive.

Is buying and moving a relocatable home cheaper than building new?

Installing a second hand relocatable home on land in NZ can be cheaper than building or buying a new home, sometimes by a considerable margin. However, there may be more risks involved. 

You can minimise these risks and save yourself time and money by speaking to your lender, insurance broker, builder, surveyors and other experts early in the process - before buying a removable home. Doing more research early in the process will mean you’ll have fewer surprises later on. 

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is general in nature. While facts have been checked, the article does not constitute an advice service. The article is only intended to provide general information about relocatable homes in New Zealand. Nothing in this article constitutes a recommendation that any house is suitable for any specific person. We cannot assess anything about your personal circumstances, your finances, or your goals and objectives, all of which are unique to you. Before making decisions about a relocatable home, we highly recommend you seek professional advice.


Ben Tutty
Ben Tutty

Ben Tutty is a regular contributor for Trade Me and he's also contributed to Stuff and the Informed Investor. He's got 10+ years experience as both a journalist and website copywriter, specialising in real estate, finance and tourism. Ben lives in Wānaka with his partner and his best mate (Finnegan the whippet).