Great idea. I actually talked to a single-plant manufacturer in Alabama about this concept. Shawn hit the nail on the head…the group would have to buy from the same plant and pay cash before delivery.
However, most of the manufacturers now don’t have the no frills 14x70 floor plan. The main reason is because there has been virtually no demand for this type of home from the independent retail sales lots.
Also, the plant owner went over his actual costs of production and they have risen drastically in the past two years. He simply can’t build anything for less than $14-15K due to labor, material and overhead costs. Truth-of-the-matter is nobody can build the cheapo home any more and keep it within HUD standards.
As you know, I purchased 12 new 14x70 homes a couple of years ago for one of my parks and discovered a strange phenomena. They were hard to sell and it took us almost a year to fill the last unit. People were willing to pay as much or more for a 5-10 year old 16 wide. Now, we don’t even buy 14 wides anymore unless they are repos inside the park.
The homes I recently purchased from Clayton were mid-level DWs. They are going into a large, upper scale park and we will have close to $40K in each by the time they are “sale-ready”. We bought these homes to make the park more attractive and feel like we can move them at a sales price close to $48K since they are being placed on a lake and have the back porch option where the owner has a lakeview. As you can see, we are not making much money on these homes, but the additional lot rent ($283) they will produce is what we are after.
On a different note, I think it would be a great idea to see a “focus group” come together in the near future consisting of park owners and manufacturers. Maybe this group could develop some ideas on how the manufacturers and park owners could work together to help each other out. I mentioned this to Jim Clayton a few months ago when he visited one of my parks. If something does start to happen, I’ll definitely let everyone know.