Inspire Communities Bets On Houston’s Mobile Home Market


(iStock, Inspire Communities)

Inspire Communities, a Phoenix-based developer of manufactured home communities has big plans for the Houston area.

Inspire has just unveiled its finished renovation of a mobile home community in Beach City, the Houston Business Journal reports. Oceanway takes up 17 acres along Tri City Beach Road on the Northern coast of Trinity Bay.

The firm bought Oceanway two years ago, and since then, the company has replaced many of the older homes, some of which date back to the 1980s. So far, the company has paved streets and added 30 new homes white picket fences, street lamps and tall palm trees, as well as adding a park and a 650-foot fishing pier. Oceanway’s waterfront homes start at $140,000 and the new “smart cottages” with bayside decks start at about $200,000. The average manufactured home in the South Census Region, which includes Houston, sold for $123,500 as of December 2021, according to the Manufactured Housing Survey.

Oceanway at 7030 FM 2354 Beach City, TX (Inspire Communities)

Oceanway at 7030 FM 2354 Beach City, TX (Inspire Communities)

Inspire’s latest project is Rockrose Ranch, a manufactured home community in Willis, a small town about an hour north of Houston. that will include a gated active-adult section. The company bought the 170 acre tract at Interstate 45 and Calvary Road last year and has already built roads and utilities for the development. A few homes have already been delivered, the company says, and future plans for the community include swimming pools, pickleball courts, lakes and a dog park. Though Inspire has not determined the home prices in Rockrose, it expects its first residents to start moving in by the fall.

Oceanway at 7030 FM 2354 Beach City, TX (Inspire Communities)

Oceanway at 7030 FM 2354 Beach City, TX (Inspire Communities)

As the average price for a single-family home in the Houston area inches toward half a million — hitting an all-time record $440,670 in May — demand for affordable alternatives have shot up. Inspire isn’t the only company bringing “luxury” mobile homes to South Texas. Through May, shipments for manufactured homes in Texas were up 17.2 percent from the same period last year, according to the Texas Manufactured Housing Association.

Live Lone Star recently broke ground on a $34 million, 420-home community at 17730 County Road 127 in Pearland, according to the Houston Chronicle. The company is also planning “luxury” manufactured home communities in San Antonio, New Braunfels and Corpus Christi.

However, manufactured homes may not be the ideal affordable alternative as they don’t qualify for traditional mortgage loans. Instead, a mobile home owner receives a chattel mortgage, which typically has a higher interest rate and shorter term.

[HBJ] — Maddy Sperling