OXFORD – People who wandered through the recent manufactured housing show had more inclination to buy than in years past, those working in the industry said.

This was the fifth year the Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce pulled together the local manufactured housing businesses to participate in a collaborative event to show off their product, which is a major asset to the regional economy.

Seven dealers and three factories were involved in the show, and 12,000 to 13,000 people visited between April 28 and April 30 to check out the displays and goings-on.

Rich Livingston of the Chamber of Commerce estimated that the show could result in between $4.5 million and $5.5 million worth of homes being sold. That’s three to four dozen.

This year differed from other years because it seemed more of the crowd came with the intent to buy a home.

“In the beginning people came out of curiosity,” Livingston said. “Now people attend the show because they’re generally interested in the industry and generally interested in buying.”

Deb Allen, a saleswoman with Alternative Modular Homes in Oxford, said people serious about buying might wait to start the process until the show so they can peruse the displays and take advantage of extra services, such as lenders who set up at the show.

Scott Center of Schiavi Home Builders in Oxford and Bethel said it takes customers about six visits to finalize purchase of a modular home.

The houses generally cost between $70,000 to $250,000, but it is typical to pay around $170,000 for a house plus extra amenities and necessities like excavation, a driveway, a septic system and so forth.

Center said although having thousands of prospective customers visit his business in a few days is always good for sales, in the end most people come just to be entertained.

“It was mostly people who were looking for something to do the last weekend in April,” he said. “It’s a festival, it’s a fun thing to do. But hopefully they’ll tell their friends or family members, This is all cool stuff.'”

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