700-unit manufactured home community underway near Lake Conroe


A Phoenix manufactured home developer is launching a 170-acre master-planned community north of Houston in project that could bring 700 new manufactured homes to a community not far from Lake Conroe. 

Inspire Communities, which describes itself as one of the largest owner-operators of manufactured new home communities nationally, is planning a new so-called “affordable luxury” community called Rockrose Ranch. The community is planned in Willis, a small city about 50 miles north of downtown Houston and 9 miles north of Conroe in Montgomery County. 

Groundwork has already started on the new home sites located off I-45 at 11848 Calvary Road about two miles east of Stow-a-Way Marina on Lake Conroe, according to Inspire. Rockrose Ranch will feature some of the same amenities residents may find in a traditional master-planned community such as swimming pools, courts, children’s playground, fire pits, miles of walking trails, lakes and a fenced dog park.

“We like to think of Rockrose as offering ‘affordable luxury’ with affordable home prices combined with popular amenities found in traditional master-planned communities,” said Heidi Loftin, senior vice president, sales & marketing at Inspire Communities, in an email.

RELATED: Developer bringing 3,000+ luxury manufactured homes to Texas

 At Rockrose Ranch, residents would own the manufactured house but rent the dirt underneath, similar to other land-lease style manufactured home communities. The community is expected to include two sections: an active adult community for residents aged 55 and up who would buy the manufactured houses directly from Inspire; and an all-ages community where residents would buy the houses from a local dealer, Loftin said. Home sales are expected to launch in a matter of weeks, she added.

Although Inspire has not yet set price points for its manufactured houses in Rockrose Ranch, the price for houses in a separate one of its Houston-area communities (Oceanway in Baytown) starts at about $140,000 for a 1,200 to 2,000 square-foot house with a view of the water. The average price for a manufactured home was $123,500 at the end of last year within the south region, which includes Texas, according to Census data. (This excludes the cost of land, which is either leased or purchased separately.)

Inspire Communities recently wrapped up a multi-million redevelopment of its Oceanway community located at 7030 Tri City Beach Road in Baytown southeast of Houston. The 17-acre community features 150 homesites with 32 waterfront properties on Trinity Bay. The re-development included the addition of a boulevard lined with Victorian-style street amps and palm trees leading out to a 650-foot fishing pier with a boardwalk and covered seating.

Inspire’s new development projects are part of a growing field of manufactured community developers in Houston promising to bring a more upscale approach to sector. Recently a new Houston company called Live Lone Star broke ground on a 420-home manufacturing home community in Pearland south of Houston as part of its effort to develop more than 3,000 manufactured home sites across Texas.

Like the rest of the housing industry, the manufactured housing sector boomed in the pandemic as demand soared. This year manufactured home builders are expected to deliver more than 100,000 new homes, the most since 2006, according to Inspire, citing U.S. Census data.  The interest in manufactured homes comes as fewer Houstonians can afford to purchase a home here in a market where the median home price last month hit a record $355,000. 

“There’s a tremendous demand for affordable housing in the area. (Rockrose Ranch) and others like it, provides buyers with the opportunity for affordable home home ownership in a highly-amenitized setting,” Loftin said.