Lack of Apartments Causing Record Mobile Home Sales

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- Mobile home dealerships are seeing a record number of sales.

When you walk inside one of the mobile homes at Big J Mobile Homes in Odessa, you'll see a fire place, a wet bar and a full-sized bath tub. It's not what many people picture when they think of a mobile home.

Big J Mobile Homes General Manager, Rodney Johnson, says, "When you think of a trailer house, you think of metal-sided houses with metal rooftops that blow off when the tornados come."

However, times are changing and these homes are more appealing than ever, not just for their lay-out, but also for their convenience in this economy, where the housing options are severely limited.

Johnson says, "We hear the same story all the time. A person will say, 'I just cant find anything to rent,' or, 'I can't afford to rent anything.'"

The boom is bringing in big bucks, but it's also bringing in a lot of people who can't find places to live.

Kimberly Stepp is the President of the Odessa Board of Realtors. She says, "There's lots of frustration. The motels are booked, the rent is high and the homes are not available for them."

"The amount of folks that are coming in here that can't find a place to live is endless," Johnson said.

Several people that would never normally consider a mobile home, are going that route.

"I would say last year over 50% of the people that bought homes from us were first-time mobile home buyers," Johnson said.

Right now, mobile home sales are sky-rocketing.

"Over the last year we've had a record year, basically," Johnson said.

Several mobile home park communities are either at-capacity right now or they're almost at-capacity. Parks are raising the prices of their rental spaces. That's causing mobile home owners to place their homes in surrounding areas as far off as Andrews and Stanton.