The economics of mobile homes

From Alex Mayyasi:

…the problem is almost wholly that land is too expensive. Reduce the size of a new, modern house by 50%, Rybczynski notes, and houses in metropolitan areas will still cost over $200,000. 

That’s the secret to the extreme affordability of a mobile home—take land out of the equation.

…“a mobile home park is by definition a parking lot. Legally, our parks are no different from a parking lot by an airport.”

This is why used mobile homes only cost $10,000-$20,000. They make it possible for someone to buy a home but not the earth it’s parked on. As a Times profile of Rolfe reported, his average tenant pays $250 to $300 in monthly rent. If the tenant doesn’t own her home, she might pay another $200 or $300, with the option to apply half of that toward purchasing a mobile home.

“We’re the cheapest form of detached housing there is,” says Rolfe. “You can’t do cheaper.” 

In fact it’s an entirely acceptable way to live.

For the pointer I thank the estimable Chug.


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