Local News

New Features, Price Attract Many To Manufactured Homes

Posted June 26, 2001

— Interest rates are low, but new home costs are still pricing some families out of the market.

That is why many manufactured home dealers say business is on the upswing for them.

The industry is taking steps to attract customers who never thought they would go mobile.

"Actually, I was a single mom with two kids and I was looking for a place to rent. Rent was outrageous and I never in my wildest dreams thought that I could buy a mobile home," says Linda Larrison.

Larrison bought her home a year and a half ago. She says it costs her half of what it would to rent in the Raleigh area. Plus, no deposit was required.

Many dealers say the manufactured home business is doing well because newer models have answered the concerns for safety and the preference for style.

Cathedral ceilings have been around for awhile, but dealer Steve Parker says sunken rooms are new, taking away from the shoe box image the industry has had.

Other features include spacious floor plans, multiple bedrooms and garden tubs.

Parker says the homes are built with the same materials as traditional homes: vinyl siding, wood frames and sheet rock.

However, dealers are having a tougher time finding land on which to move the homes.

"That's the million dollar question," says Parker. "It seems like Wake County is trying to force us out [and] away from Raleigh as much as possible."

Out to places like Nash, Franklin and Johnston counties, he says.

For people like Linda Harrison, paying half the price for a home is worth driving twice the distance for work.

Customers can expect the added costs of land and utilities, which most dealers arrange. Still, the costs are lower than traditional homes.

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