Warning: Country People, This Might Disturb You

Appreciation Rates for Manufactured Homes

Home values for manufactured homes versus site built homes in Middle Tennessee between 2011 and 2020, respectively.

“Who does he think he is, talking about us Country folk like that!?”

Don’t let the clothes or the hairdo fool you. I was raised on well water with a septic tank. I drank water straight from the spigot. I had friends that ate raw minnows straight out of the creek (and no, it’s not pronounced “crick” you yankee… Don’t get me started on how we say pecans or ice, either). My Granny and Granddaddy had us shuck corn and snap the peas, and I’ve pooped in plenty of woods without toilet paper…

Am I Country-Qualified Yet!?

Sheesh… lol… T.M.I.

You’re the reason I’m posting this. Because the likelihood of you running into a great Agent that will take the time to show you how these home types compare in value, is pretty laughable. Class is in session people. Pay attention! This will make you a smarter home-purchaser!


Note: This data set was constructed with our local MLS RealTracs, for Site Built homes and Manufactured/Modular Homes with less than 5 acres. I used 5 acres as a max parameter because I didn’t want the value of the land skewing the data set. Notice the Average Appreciation dollar amounts at the end of the table, in bold green text.

What are the key takeaways from the data set above?

  1. Manufactured Homes were the only subject to DROP in value – see Year 2012.
    • Why is that important? Because it shows the stability of that housing type as an asset. Remember, markets are cyclical. We may be experiencing a boom right now nationwide, but soon enough we’ll experience a market correction and home values will go skinny-dipping on us. Don’t let your house run away with your underwear, if you know what I mean!
  2. Pay attention to the consistency of the jumps between each year.
    • Once the Site Built Homes hit year 2014, they consistently jumped around $20,000 per year! This data was calculated throughout the entire Middle Tennessee Region near Nashville. If I concentrated the data set on the hottest markets, such as Nashville, Franklin, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, Mount Juliet… where homes are jumping around 20% in value per year, these numbers become even further separated and Site Built homes steal the show.
  3. Rural vs. Urban Housing Markets
    • “You don’t see trailers in the city, Byron.” You do, actually… But this analysis includes some very rural markets in Middle Tennessee. Whether you’re in the cut, or you’re smack dab in the center of urban Music Row, do you know what the largest determinate of Housing Value is? Population influx/efflux. If large portions of people are moving into an area, it creates a need for housing, right? In 2020, there were 53,898 single family residences that sold in Middle Tennessee. Only 1,060 of those were manufactured homes! They only constituted for 1.96% of the entire single family housing market. That tells us that the Buyers out there were looking for site built.
  4. I Can’t Afford a Site Built…
    • In 2021, that’s absolute nonsense. It’s an excuse, really. The truth is that manufactured homes (because of everything that we’ve already discussed) are more risky as an asset compared to a stick built. That means that the interest rates on those are going to be higher, including the insurance. Your mortgage is made up of 4 variables: P.I.T.I. Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.
    • Your total mortgage payment (and how much you’ll be approved for) is calculated based on the amount of income you make. Lenders will only allow your mortgage payment to take up a certain percentage of your income. Read that sentence again slowly….. That means that a lender will only let your mortgage payment reach a certain percentage of your income. So if you make $3,000 per month, and the lender only allows your mortgage payment to reach 50% of your income, your payment cannot exceed $1500 per month, right? Taxes on the property are set at the time of purchase. You can’t raise or lower those, only the government can (jerks). If you’re left with a high interest rate and high insurance because of it being a manufactured home, the only variable with P.I.T.I. left to adjust is the……. Principal. See what I mean? So the maximum purchase amount of your house gets restricted! You might as well buy a stick-built!

Final Conclusion

The stats aren’t lying… Unless you own a Manufactured Home on large acreage (like 5+ acres), I would consider a non-site built home more of a temporary necessity. If you’re living in it while you build a home on your land, fantastic. But owning it long term will cost you more in opportunity dollars than what you’re earning from it in Appreciation.

I love you! I want to see you make money. If you own a Manufactured Home right now, sell it and buy a Site Built. Don’t waste any more time.


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