Manufactured Homes' New Popularity in Reno-Sparks
Prices are hitting new records in our housing market, but there is an alternative that's gaining popularity…and losing its stigma.
Over his 27 years in the business, Tim Richardson at Craftsman Homes in Sparks has seen his industry's ups and downs. These days, it's definitely up. As he told me, "Business is good John. Business...oh we're swamped."
Tim and dealers like him are part of the comeback for manufactured homes, deliveries of which have been on the rise since 2009...and are primed for more growth in the face of high, high prices for local site-built houses. Tim says home prices now in Reno “are crazy, and I really don't know how people can afford them."
Which makes manufactured homes a more appealing option to those who would never consider them with the longtime trailer-park stigma. But now, they've never been fancier. Vince DiMaggio of Craftsman Homes gave of a tour inside a new wood-exterior home that resembled more of an over-sized cabin than manufactured home. Showing off the spacious kitchen, he told us, "All these can be upgraded with granite or marble counter tops, a farm-sink setup as well, as well as designing a custom island for the homes."
There are wood cabinets, wide outdoor decks and entertainment systems. In the bathroom, sit-down tiled showers. DiMaggio added, "Here’s a Roman tub...you have the high dual sinks here, additional cabinetry, separate toilet in this room, and over here is the beautiful walk-in shower."
All of it affordable, thanks to the cost advantages that come with having construction done on an assembly line in Idaho. General manager Tim told us, "That's the main reason. It's a controlled environment, so costs stay the same."
6 years of steady price gains have put owning a traditional house, out of reach of many Nevadans. And with affordable housing in such short supply, there aren't many alternatives. Reno's average price for a single family home is now $400,000. Tim's price for a double wide? “You can get a multi-section home for right around $65,000. So your payment will be under $1,000 a month, which is less than renting an apartment."
There is a catch…you also need to get the land you need. Tim says, "We have land packages in the low $200's for an 1800-2000 square foot house."
Bottom line, the manufactured home business is growing…while houses here aren't getting cheaper.