Mobile homes, or manufactured homes as many prefer to call them, may be getting a bad rap. In fact, it appears mobile homes are doing just as well in the current housing boom as traditional ones. A new report from the Urban Institute that examined federal housing data shows the home price index for manufactured homes has increased at almost the same rate (3.4%) in the past year as the rate for site-built homes (3.8%).
Michael Weaster, realtor with Berkshire Hathaway in Houston, believes there's still a negative stigma attached to manufactured homes. "It's just what it means, it was manufactured off site and brought into the location," he tells KTRH. "A lot of people don't like the term mobile home, because it makes you think they could just hook it up to the back of the car and be gone in the middle of the night."
In the Houston market, Weaster can attest that mobile homes are doing just fine. "Not necessarily the ones that are in mobile home parks, but the ones that are attached to the land, we're seeing values increasing, believe it or not, fairly rapidly," he says. "Especially if you can find a dealer that's got refurbished or repossessed (manufactured) homes, you can pick them up a lot cheaper than you can stick build a home, and it really makes a good investment."
Not only do manufactured homes often get a bad rap, but the people who buy them do as well. "You'd be surprised," says Weaster. "I mean, these working class folks have got money, and they prefer this type of home."
Texas and just four other states---Alabama, Florida, North Carolina and Louisiana---represent about 41% of the nation’s manufactured housing market.