Home Ownership as Investment Questioned

Noting that manufactured homes of today are superior to the “single-wides” of 40 years ago, MHProNews.com has learned from MSNRealEstate that MH appeals to a variety of home buyers. Kevin Flaherty, vice president of marketing at Champion Home Builders says at the affordability level, “People are looking for a comfortable, safe shelter and they’re not heavily invested in the amenities.” At the other end buyers want to save money but they also want some of the up-scale features in a site-built home—granite counter tops, solid wood cabinetry, painted walls. They can have the roof pitch raised so it looks more like site-built. Phoenix-based Cavco Industries CEO Joe Stegmayer says manufactured homes cost 25 to 30 percent less than a comparable stick-built home. He adds the savings can be even more in rural areas where builders have farther to travel. The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), of which Stegmayer is chairman, says 2009 government data indicate the average new manufactured home was 1,530 square feet compared to 2,422 square feet for a site-built ;home. He says owning a home these days is not necessarily that great of an investment. “Maybe they can afford a higher-priced home, but they don’t want all their money tied up in a home,” Stegmayer says. “They buy a factory-built product at a much lower cost and use that excess income for other purposes: travel, hobbies, pastimes, investment. We’re seeing a lot more of that.”

(Photo credit: Greg Vote/Getty Images)

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