Instant House

A blog tribute to the manufactured, mass-produced, modular and kit homes that grace the American landscape.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Follow-Up: The "Lost" Levittown Model, and a Great Old Film!

The "Lost" Unit - The Budgeteer Rental
The Budgeteer
The Pennsylvania Levittown was strategically located near major manufacturing centers, many of which held important U.S. Defense Contracts (such as U.S. Steel).  Knowing this, Bill Levitt offered a rental-only unit called the "Budgeteer" as one of the three original Pennsylvania units.  The unit was designed with the idea that defense company employees would move around as contracts come and go.  Keep in mind, defense contracts were a fairly new thing.  (Think: reaction to the relative unpreparedness of the U.S. when entering World War II--we didn't want that to happen again.)  In reality, defense contractors didn't move around as much as anticipated, so renting was fairly unattractive.  The other reason for the unit's failure was simply a matter of poor pricing.  Renters had to put down $165 in security and rent was $65 a month.  It was actually cheaper to buy a Levittowner (with a modest down-payment and $60 a month).  Why rent when you can buy?  Everyone agreed, and only model units of the Budgeteer were ever constructed, and none were ever rented.

A Promotional Film About Levittown
Courtesy of YouTube, I found an old newsreel feature about the Pennsylvania Levittown.  Enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment