A YouTube channel dubbed the Migraine Craftsmen features a site builder who walks customers through the on-site building construction process.
This is the final video of a series on a what he dubs a small home. It asks and answers the question, How much does it cost to build a house?
First, let’s give this builder credit. The house looks nice. It is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath floorplan. He says it is 930 square feet, let’s take all of the information at face value.
The video above is the summary video. The one below is a longer one with walk through, narration, etc.
Here are the cost numbers, per the builder, on this house.
Now, let’s do some math.
- No window covering.
- No refrigerator.
- No curtain or door for the tub or shower.
- Scant cabinetry.
- Several standard features in a HUD Code manufactured home are not to be found in this house.
- Not unlike a manufactured home, this builder is apparently selling the house without a carport or a garage, to get and keep the price as low as possible for an entry level buyer.
- Stated size? 930 square feet – says the builder.
$135,000, less the driveway, sidewalk, brickwork, and land yields a net cost on the house only of $121,548 ($13,452 in property, drive, and stated outside items).
$130.70 per stated finished square foot.
According to the U.S Census Bureau data reported on Oct 2019, for May 2019, the average price of the homes sold nationally was $78,100.
Now, let’s compare a single section HUD Code manufactured home per the per Census Bureau data for the same month (February, 2019) as the Migraine Builder’s unit shown above states. The national average of the home only for a single section home would be $52,600.
The Census Bureau doesn’t say the size of those single sections, which could range in theory from 320 square feet to some 1241 square feet. Let’s presume that a 14×70 (14×66 floor size), subtracting out the outside ‘eaves and fixtures’ would yield some 880 square feet. That’s $59.77 per square foot.
Doing the Job the Big Boys Don’t Do
There are lots of ways that ‘the big boys’ in manufactured housing have pitched their products. Doing the math above isn’t totally new, but it is different than what the powers that be in MHVille routinely put forth.
The video below is a montage of several interviews, mostly with customers, but one with a retailer. The point here isn’t the brand per se, as relevant as that is. The point is that customer after customer that owned a conventional house is bragging about the quality and durability of their manufactured home.
Clearly, a Sunshine Home falls into that ‘residential style’ manufactured home category we’ve taught for years on MHLivingNews vs. the ‘entry level’ or ‘shade and shelter’ type home. There is no need to toss VOG style construction under the bus, those homes serve an important purpose, and they are a big, big part of HUD Code manufactured home sales.
But it is those residential style home sales that can most easily be compared ‘apples to apples’ with builders like the one in the Migraine Craftsman videos above.
The manufactured home industry will not recover until more professionals take their marketing in their own hands, and go after the types of concerns that millions of Americans have mistakenly been led to believe are true. Yes, as the video in the report linked below reflects the views of a not insignificant minority of buyers. But the fact that several good HUD Code builders clearly care about that end user that buys a manufactured home for their personal use and then those builders make sure that their customers are satisfied can’t be overlooked either.
The industry has a great story to tell. What the Migraine Builder’s story, properly understood, tells us is this. Even entry level manufactured homes come with a refrigerator and window coverings. A residential style manufactured home would look as sharp or sharper as this stick-builders model does. A HUD Code home would typically have more cabinetry than what is shown in this house.
Given these facts, it is hard to understand why manufactured housing is sliding in new home shipments…
…apart from the analysis and thesis advanced in reports like the ones above, below, and found beyond the byline and notices.
That’s your second installment today of “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Submitted by Soheyla Kovach for MHProNews.com.
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