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Do Manufactured Homes Build Equity?

by Meribeth Phipps, studioD

Although it seems to be widely accepted that manufactured homes do not appreciate over time, this is no longer true. Strides in energy efficiency, workmanship and materials have made them to better investments than they used to be. Aside from improvements made, building equity in a manufactured home can still be a challenge. However, owners of manufactured homes may be able to improve their home's equity.


There is a lingering stigma associated with manufactured homes, and many people might think of them as similar to tin cans. Additionally, financing for manufactured homes can be difficult to obtain for buyers, which can add to the negativity that surrounds them. These factors can affect pricing and market conditions regarding manufactured homes and play a big part in their marketability. This can make retaining or building equity difficult for homeowners.

Better Built

Due to the revised HUD manufactured home standards that were changed in 1976, manufactured homes not only last longer, but are more efficiently built and structurally sound. Ranging from modest to luxurious, buyers have several options of factory-built homes at their fingertips. Buyers can not only invest in a better built home, but the initial price may be up to 30 percent less than comparable stick built homes. Because of these improved standards, manufactured homes do not deteriorate as quickly and tend to hold their value longer.

Placed On Land

Manufactured homes that are set on leased land tend to depreciate at a much faster rate than homes placed on private property. Homes attached to privately owned land often can retain their value or actually gain in value much like a traditional stick-built home. Many times it might be hard to tell the difference between a manufactured home placed on a foundation compared with one that was site built. Home owners will typically retain more home equity with homes placed on property they own.

Upgrades and Maintenance

One of the best ways to retain or gain home value is to stay on top of maintenance and repair issues. Homes that are clean and well taken care of will usually bring a higher selling price than those that are unkempt and run down. Additionally, energy efficient upgrades such as new windows and doors, extra insulation, caulking and weatherstripping can add to your home's marketability and reduce energy bills.

About the Author

Meribeth Phipps has been a real estate broker since 2000, specializing in residential new home sales. She holds a bachelor's degree in business and marketing.