Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Q. We are upset to discover that another mobile home is going into our neighborhood.

We bought our custom built home a few years ago and at that time there were two such homes. Now there are five. We’re worried that it will bring down property values. What do you think?

I think you shouldn’t worry about it. Our community prides itself on making room for everyone and our neighborhoods are very eclectic. Mansions next to older manufactured homes are common here. It does not reflect on resale value at all.

It’s important to understand that today’s manufactured homes are an affordable way that moderate-income folks can have a home here. That’s especially true if they want acreage. A custom built home will run between $125 and $150 a square foot to build. This means that even a modest home of, say, 1600 square feet, will cost $200,000 to $250,000 to build plus the cost of the property and the land improvements.

That same sized manufactured home will cost between $50,000 and $100,000 depending on how deluxe it is. These homes are built to the same basic standards as “stick built” homes and once on the land, go up in value just like an on-site built rambler. Today, some of these homes are even two story and really very beautiful.

For the basic, economic models, adding porches, decks, garages, and landscaping can change a “boxy” look to more of a cottage. There are major manufactured home developments in the region that are exceptional. I doubt if you would know they were manufactured if you visited these planned communities.

I would recommend you put out the welcome mat and meet your neighbors. Once you get to know them your fears should disappear.