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The term "affordable housing" sometimes carries a stigma. It's gotta be cheap, right? No, not necessarily. If you're looking for a quality new home at a bargain price, try the modular home solution.
A modular home is comparable to the average site built/stick built home in quality, style and appearance but is in actuality a pre-built home. Pre-built means that a good portion of the home is built in the factory then delivered to the building site. And, with a modular home, there is assembly required at the site.
A Modular Home is not a Manufactured Home
There is a clear distinction between a pre-built modular and a manufactured home. Manufactured homes are not considered stick built or site built homes. They have their own classification as a mobile (on wheels) home. As such, they don't receive the same value as a traditional stick (or site) built home.
So, if it's a real home you're looking for at a bargain price, look closely into modular homes. It could be the best time in years to do so.
Bargain Seekers, DIY builders & Owner Builders
While even a custom home design could be adapted and made by a modular home company, I would not normally advise anyone who truly wants a higher end custom home to go this route. There are exceptions, but I have found that modulars are best suited to the do-it-yourselfer and the owner builder. Very often, both of them are looking for bargains.
What Makes a Modular an Affordable Home?
Here are some of the cost advantages of building a modular home.
- Shorter Building Time: The shorter building time usually equates to lower loan costs which is a big savings.
- Less Onsite Labor Required: You'll pay for factory labor but your on-site labor will be much, much less and the savings adds up.
- Buying Power of Manufacturer: This allows the home buyer to get more quality for less money.
- Special Deals Being Offered: Try to find the modular companies who are offering discounts because of the slow economy.
Researching Modular Home Companies
Start by learning all you can about modular home companies and how they operate. Here are some important questions to get answers for:
- Do they have delivery charges and how are they determined?
- Do they provide any labor or assembly on site?
- Do they know of local builders that are familiar with their product and assembly?
- What are their customer service policies and procedures?
- How many house plans do they have and can you ask for modifications?
- Do they have a local representative to deal with?
- Have they been approved by your local building authority?
With the slow economy and building industry, a modular home can offer a great solution and many companies are offering very aggressive deals. It could be the best time in many years to be shopping for affordable housing.
Start by Googling modular homes, modular, pre-built, and pre-built homes. Visit the websites of several modular home companies and try to find one that is within 500 miles (1000 max.) Check out their array of home models and then list the companies that seem to offer what you want.
Prioritize the list and narrow it to three to five. Then begin calling them. There is no substitute for talking to them. Home building is too big a project to handle just by online information and email communications.
Modular Homes could be the fastest and least expensive Owner Builder home building project. Check it out!
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