Or do they only depreciate, similar to mobile homes?
They're not mobile homes. Yes, they'll appreciate.
@Marcus Brown the term “prefab” covers a wide spectrum of build quality from poor to high end. There are cheap prefab homes that are not built to last and on the other end of the spectrum I’ve built prefab homes imported from Austria that are built so well they will last for many centuries (much higher quality than any modern stick-framed custom home). So it depends. I bought a rather poorly put together prefab modular home in 2009 for $200k and sold it for $340k a few years later so yes they appreciate if they’re cared for and located within an appreciating market.
They will appreciate, but you wont appreciate them :p
I have a lot of equity in one now, but its a pain to work on. The renovation was tough, and the house has a lot of quirks that caused problems.
Hi All! I'd like to chime in about pre-fab homes.
Pre-fab homes of the modern variety are extremely hearty, built to last - they are fairly new, but what I've seen in the Tahoe area is they appreciate at the same rate of stick builds. See www.plantprefab.com or method homes. Plant prefab is backed by Amazon. I'm working for a developer who chose pre-fab over stick-built for many reasons (we've used method and plant prefab). This type of construction is greener, it can save months of time, eliminates weather elements, and quality control is huge. In factory-built construction they are using their in-house trained craftsman rather than depending on subs to show up.
This is MUCH different than a double-wide home that was built for lightness and mobility. Prefab homes from the builders I mentioned (and many others around the country I'm sure) are building for permanency and durability. They're using a third more lumber than stick-built and have extremely strong framing in place.