News 2017

Valbridge Property Advisors' Robert Saia, MAI, SRA Writes First Book of Its Kind on Appraising Manufactured Home Communities

LOS ANGELES, June 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Robert S. Saia, MAI, a Director at Valbridge Property Advisors, today announced the launch of "Appraising Manufactured Mobile Home Communities and Recreational Vehicle Parks,” the first book of its kind to constructively analyze this subject matter"

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Rob is a Senior Appraiser/Director at Valbridge Property Advisors – Los Angeles/Inland Empire, part of the largest independent national appraisal company in the U.S. with 68 offices and 200 MAI-designated appraisers nationwide. Valbridge Property Advisors provides comprehensive commercial real estate valuation and advisory services for corporations, institutions, and private and public clients.

Published by the Appraisal Institute®, this well-researched book defines the complex legal, physical and economic challenges facing owners of mobile home communities and RV parks. It also provides appraisers with a broad overview of this fast-growing segment of real estate which requires a particular level of expertise to understand.

"Nearly 8% of Americans live in manufactured home communities (mobile home and RV parks)," says Rob, "which amounts to 38,000+ mobile home parks and 9,000 to 10,000 RV parks. Once thought of as low-quality housing, this real estate segment is now being built with many upgrades including nice landscaping, sidewalks, pools, saunas, tennis courts, recreational facilities, security features and other amenities that make it comparable to a good-quality, site-built subdivision."

Mr. Saia notes that manufactured homes make up a substantial part of America’s housing and come with a unique set of social, legal and environmental aspects that appraisers need to know about because they differ significantly from typical site-built housing in the U.S. Manufactured homes’ popularity is due, in part, to the enormous cost savings they provide. Saia says it costs approximately $93 per square foot for a site-built home while a typical manufactured home runs about $44 per square foot.

Additionally, RV parks are now offering upgrades, never before seen, as in Disney’s destination park which offers live entertainment, swimming pools, golf courses, marinas with boating and fishing, high-quality restrooms and showers, and the availability of the requisite dump stations. In this book, Mr. Saia explains that while mobile home communities and RV parks are high-risk endeavors, they also typically offer higher rates of return over other ownership holdings when properly managed. However, operators and appraisers need to be aware of any local ordinances that govern this type of real estate, which can differ state to state and county to county.

"RV parks in particular require a high degree of business acumen," he says. "You want your appraiser to be a specialist in this area because of all the nuances of manufactured homes. It’s important to have an appraiser who really understands these properties when they are doing an appraisal because it’s a business entwined with real estate."

According to Jim Amorin, MAI, SRA, and 2017 President of the Appraisal Institute, "Saia’s book, Appraising Manufactured (Mobile) Home Communities and Recreational Vehicle Parks, provides appraisers with a broad overview of the mobile home and RV industries and the methods used in valuing mobile home and RV communities. Because this book provides insight into the methodology applied in analyzing these properties, it can also be useful to investors, regulators, owners, and buyers and sellers of mobile home and RV parks."

Robert S. Saia, MAI, SRA has been a real estate appraiser since 1981. His previous book, "A Guide to Appraising Recreational Vehicle Parks," was published by the Appraisal Institute in 1998. He is currently a Director with Valbridge Property Advisors – Los Angeles/Inland Empire in the Pasadena office.

Valbridge Property Advisors’ Southern California real estate appraisal and consulting services cover a wide variety of commercial and geographic areas, including: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside & San Bernardino Counties (Inland Empire), among others.

For a quote on an appraisal for manufactured home parks, RV parks, industrial developments, retail shopping centers, office or multifamily properties, or any other commercial properties, please email us at or call us at 626-486-9327.