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      In the past several months I received several calls and referrals for prospective home buyers looking to buy land and put a new manufactured home on it. During these 5 separate conversations, frustration was indicated in regards to the cost of housing.

      Prices Running Hot

      We’ve seen 6+ years of steady price gains in the cost of traditional housing that in many ways has outpaced the rate at which the average worker’s wages have increased on a local and national level. According to the National Association of Home Builder/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, only 57% of homes sold in the 2nd Quarter of 2018 were affordable to families of a median income of $71,900. The lowest level since mid-2008.

      MFH’s Comeback

      At their peak in 1998, there were around 380k manufactured homes delivered to dealerships for sale and then the industry saw a steady decline that bottomed out in 2009.

      Since then, the shipments to dealers have been incrementally rising in reflection of increase interest and demand for this type of housing. During that time, the manufacturers and lenders of these MFH’s have consolidated with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. setting to dominate this market with their ownership of 3 companies serving within this industry.

      Value Sells

      In an interview with “Hitch” Mark Landes, a Sales Associate of Homes Direct, he sites several key advantages to these homes over traditional homes. For starters, the price. They have entry level homes with over 1,000 sqft that start off at $80,000 which includes delivery and set-up. All homes come with 2×6 stud walls, cement siding and 5yr structural warrantee. They can go up from there as you pick higher end options such as granite and hardwood flooring, up to as much as around $230,000 for their top of the line home that comes with about 3,200sqft. As Hitch puts it, they are able to build these homes for less because they save so much cost in labor, purchasing power of material that comes with high volume output nationally and factory controls to limit waste. Also, they can be built and set up in about 2-3 months.

      They Don’t Look Like Trailers Anymore

      Since the early to mid-90’s, MFH’s have really changed in appearance. They no longer look like two trailers put together to make a box/home. Especially now. Add an attached Garage for about $15,000 and a wrap around deck for another $4-5k and you have a great looking home.