PROPERTY VALUES AND THE MANUFACTURED HOME: A WELCOME ADDITION TO THE MARKET
While the structure itself might be placed on its foundation in a unique way, manufactured homes are anything but detrimental to the property values of adjacent properties. The notion that a well built and maintained home (whether prefabricated or not) would potentially harm the resale value of a neighborhood is largely baseless. In fact, there have been multiple studies to show that the existence of modular homes or manufactured homes has no impact on property value at all, even when mixed with other stick built methods of home building.
The truth is, a manufactured home is just as viable and an excellent option to keep in mind whether developing an entire neighborhood or seeking to purchase a personal home. It’s been proven time and time again!
What the Experts Say:
Since the inception of this method of home building, studies have shown that factory-built houses are safe for property value and interest levels. In 1986, the Joint Center for Housing Studies, a cooperative think tank between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University, studied a New Hampshire town for property value retention. This specific town had no zoning restrictions for manufactured housing, so homes of mixed building styles were often placed adjacent to one another. The authors found that no statistically significant evidence supported the claim that manufactured homes had any impact on adjacent site-built homes.
Further studies support this finding, such as this 1993 study by the University of Michigan’s College of Architecture and Planning. Upon examination of the impact of three Michigan manufactured home communities on surrounding residential property values, the authors found that manufactured homes appreciated in value just like their stick-built counterparts. In their words:
…in all the cases we reviewed, the adjacent [to manufactured homes] residential property values showed substantial rates of appreciation that were similar to the appreciation of comparable non-adjacent properties. We found that neither the private market nor local public officials differentiate between adjacent and non-adjacent properties when valuation levels are established.
Property Values are Safe:
The pattern sticking out here is that manufactured or not, the property value of a neighborhood depends on factors that are largely concerned with what happens after a home is built. The truth is, appraisers do not differentiate between building methods. What truly matters is how the property is taken care of after move in. In any neighborhood, one type of house is no more likely to be taken care of than the other. So this reiterates that a manufactured home is not a risk to property values in itself. The playing field is level. Factory built and stick built homes are both viable options for home buyers, and the decision ultimately comes down to what makes sense for each specific family.
Whatever the ultimate decision is, rest assured that if manufactured is your choice, you have every advantage available to any other homeowner in the American housing industry. The myth that a whole home delivered by truck is any lesser than a home built on site, with supplies that came by truck, is deceptive and unfair. Let the American home buyer decide which building method fits their family, budget, and current life needs better. That’s the lesson to be learned here.