You’ve probably heard of modular homes. Future homeowners are redefining what a home is. Builders are adapting quickly to the changing housing market and the rise of new technology like 3D printing. Following I discuss a few key considerations before buying.
A MODULAR HOME IS MADE UP OF MODULES
They are built in sections in a factory and then shipped to their final location. Prefab homes are also known as factory-built homes. The parts are built off-site and assembled before being transported to the site. Once built, a modular home resembles any other home.
A MODULAR HOME IS NOT A MANUFACTURED HOME
Mobile homes are manufactured homes that are always on the move. Modular homes are built off-site in phases and then transported to the site to be permanently assembled and built on a foundation. An assembled modular home cannot be moved like a manufactured home.
THEY CAN BE DELIVERED WHOLE OR IN PIECES
Many types of modular homes exist. The term “modular home” refers to a completely pre-assembled home. There are a variety of factors that go into determining which is best for each case and lot location.
Pre-Assembled – Delivered by truck or crane. The modular home is always built in pieces. After each part is completed, the entire house can be delivered and set on a foundation. Because modular homes are pre-assembled, size options are often limited. In other words, a prefabricated home must meet road width and height criteria.
Panelized – Pre-assembled walls, roof, and floor that are assembled on-site. Faster than traditional site-built homes, but not as fast as modular homes. The advantage of panelized homes is delivery. Moving panelized homes is less expensive and there are more design and size options.
Flat-Pack – A flat-pack home is a kit of parts that are assembled on-site, like Legos. In a truck or shipping container, flat-packed items are transported flat. On-the-spot assembly. This is the simplest and safest method of transport. This procedure takes the longest to complete.
MANY FACTORY-BUILT HOMES ARE CRANED IN
Every factory-built modular home is constructed off site. This allows the manufacturer to build in a climate-controlled environment, away from the elements. The sections are then hauled to their final location and erected by crane.
MODULAR HOMES ARE ALSO KNOWN AS PREFAB HOMES
You may come across the term prefabricated (or prefab). Prefabricated Homes is an abbreviation for homes that were built off-site and then moved to the construction site. Prefab and modular are not synonymous. Modular Homes are homes that are completely prefabricated rather than prefabricated in sections or pieces.
MODULAR HOMES CAN BE CHEAPER THAN TRADITIONAL BUILT HOMES
How can these homes be less expensive than a conventionally built home? Pre-designed homes have no architect fee (Architect fees range from 4% to 13% of building costs) – The home plans are often pre-designed and ready for customization. The cost of hiring an architect to design a new home from scratch is incomparable.
A Modular Home’s Permit Fees Are Often Lower – You’ll still need permits, but they’ll be less costly.
Labor Costs Are Significantly Lower – Less time is spent on-site, where weather delays and additional costs can occur. The construction time of a factory-built home is greatly reduced.
No GC – A general contractor is not required when purchasing a modular home. Inspected by the factory.
No Dumpster – Pre-assembled modules produce little to no waste.
THEY CAN ALSO BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN STANDARD HOMES
A few things to consider when buying a modular home. However, extras must be factored into the final cost of your home. Ask your builder what is and isn’t included.
- Transport to the site fee.
- Fee for using a crane to install the unit.
- They cost more per square foot because they are smaller but have the same guts (plumbing, electrical, site costs, which is the most expensive part).
- Many cities allow backyard modular homes (ADUs).
Local governments regulate modular homes in the backyard, also known as auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs). Check with your city or municipality to make sure you’re following the rules. Your project may be delayed if you do not follow city codes and obtain permits. As defined in most cities in the US, an ADU is less than 1200 square feet.
MODULAR HOMES MAKE GREAT AIRBNB RENTALS
Airbnb has become a very profitable and competitive force in the hospitality industry. Many homeowners and even renters now use the popular website to rent out rooms or entire homes. Modular homes are less expensive to buy and maintain than traditional homes while generating comparable rental income.
MODULAR HOMES HAVE A LONG HISTORY
They’ve been around forever. They are a tried and true method of home ownership that have proven to withstand the test of time and the elements.
Modular houses and ADUS are becoming more popular. They used to be more cookie-cutter and only partially customizable. Many companies now produce unique and modern homes that you can customize.
A MODULAR HOME CAN BE BUILT AND MOVED INTO IN THREE WEEKS
This is a major benefit of buying a modular home. You can move into your new home in a matter of months rather than years because there is no exterior weather and climate to contend with. The home is built in a factory, reducing project variables and delays.
In most cases, modular homes can be built in two weeks or less. After the sections are completed, the modules are delivered to the site. The builder typically erects the modular home in 1 to 3 weeks. Modular home manufacturers have a network of trusted builders in almost every city.
STUDY UP BEFORE BUYING A MODULAR HOME
Buying this type of home requires thorough research. Many factors must be considered to make the best decision and avoid unpleasant surprises. Look into modular home companies. Prices, services, and quality may vary. A few things to consider when buying a modular home:
- Does the site meet the needs?
- Local rental prices (Airbnb listing prices).
- Its value (comps in neighborhood, other houses have them).
- Traditional mortgages are available from some lenders.
Home ownership usually requires a bank or lending institution mortgage. Financing a traditional home and a modular home are the same. Your lender will give you a variety of options based on the total loan amount, interest rate, and number of years, such as a HELOC, a construction loan, and some novel co-investment models.
MOST MODULAR HOME MANUFACTURERS DELIVER ANYWHERE IN THE US (INCLUDING HAWAII)
Local modular home builders are not required. Many modular home companies ship across the country, as you can see online. Of course, this raises the transportation costs, but having the perfect modular home can be worth it. Look for homes labeled “flat packed” or “kit of components” to identify traditional shipping methods.
TRY OUT A VARIETY OF MODULAR HOMES BEFORE BUYING
Consider a modular home. Look for modular homes on Airbnb and enjoy the immersive experience. There is usually a showroom where you can see actual houses.
THE PRICE OF A MODULAR HOMES IS FIXED
You know exactly how much a modular home will cost. Saving money is a compelling reason to buy a modular home. Who hasn’t dealt with construction projects and General Contractors? 3x over budget, 3x late.
A variety of pricing models are used by prefab home suppliers. Verify all details with the company. Others do not include appliances, heating, or air conditioning. Site costs are not always included, but they can vary. “Turn-key” refers to all-inclusive costs for organizations that provide everything.
REMEMBER THAT THERE MAY BE ADDITIONAL COSTS
The price of a modular home is fixed. This is not your final bill. The modular home must be relocated and installed on your property. Appliances and HVAC systems may be needed. Don’t be surprised by additional costs.
MODULAR HOMES HAVE A HIGHER RESALE VALUE THAN PREFABS
Due to their portability, manufactured homes depreciate faster than permanent modular homes. Modular homes also have a more traditional appearance and, as a result, appreciate in value.
MODULAR HOMES LAST LONGER AND USE LESS ENERGY
Most modular homes are built to be energy efficient. They’re usually made of durable materials that can withstand a variety of weather conditions. They are made of steel rather than wood, reducing rot and termite infestation.
MODULAR HOMES ARE NOT COOKIE-CUTTER
Customers can customize modular home floor plans to a certain extent. They’ve come a long way and aren’t cookie-cutter. Finishes, for example, can be customized.
MANY MODULAR HOMES COME WITH A WARRANTY
A building warranty is included with the purchase of a modular home from a reputable company. Everything from mechanical to electrical to plumbing to water-proofing is covered. Verify this information with your modular home builder.
Summary: Things to know before buying a modular home
You’ve most likely heard of the term modular home. Future homeowners are rethinking what defines a home, while builders are fast modifying their approach to how homes are produced. This is thanks to the rapidly changing housing market and the rise of new technology like 3D printing. The modular home is another of these technologies.
If you have any questions about things to know before buying a modular home contact me today.