Modular Home Facts You Should Know

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Executive Realty 91362

What are Modular Homes?

Are you giving some consideration to buying modular home construction? You may have heard about modular homes and how they can be better than traditional homes. But what are modular homes, and should you consider living in one?

Construction of a modular home takes place in a factory, it is then transported in sections to the construction site. A contractor will assemble the pieces, much like a jigsaw puzzle, to construct a house in a matter of weeks.

Modular homes shouldn't be confused with mobile or manufactured homes that can be moved to a new location after construction. Modular or prefabricated homes are built on permanent foundations and cannot be moved once assembled.

What is the Difference Between Modular and Traditional Homes?

Modular homes have the advantage of being able to be constructed much faster than houses built on-site. There is less chance of delays during the construction process because of weather or other issues.

Prefabricated homes still have to follow specific building codes and rules that can sometimes even be more strict than with traditional homes. Since the houses are built in factories, if you are looking to buy one, you can check feedback from other customers to avoid an inconsistent manufacturer.

Lots of folks wonder what the pros and cons are when comparing a stick-built home to a modular house. Many years ago modular homes carried with them a stigma that they were inferior construction. Frankly, back then much of what was said about them was true.

Today, however, modular homes have come a long way. They are no longer considered inferior construction. There are pros and cons when buying new construction regardless. Some people are not cut out for going through the building process.

Misconceptions About Modular Homes

It can be easy to assume that a modular property brings with it more issues than a standard home, but this isn't necessarily true. For example, modular homes appraise for the same value you as a traditional home, not depreciating because they are prefabricated. They are also permanent structures, just like on-site built homes.

They don't all look alike either, with no constraints on the design of the building. You can choose from many different styles and customizations. Taxes are the same on modular homes, as are insurance premiums, and home loans.

How to Assemble a Modular Home

The house will be constructed in a climate-controlled factory before the sections are transported to their final destination. The foundations have to be built before the sections arrive, and then cranes are used to slot the sections together.

Once the assembly has taken place, in a much shorter space of time than a traditionally built house would have taken, there are a few more things to do. The builder will need to connect up plumbing, electrical systems, and ducting to finish the home.

The builder you choose to work with for constructing a modular home is still vital. You may have a company that provides a shell and another that provides all of the finished labor.

Do Prefabricated Homes Cost More?

This type of housing can save you a lot of money over traditionally built homes. The whole process is accelerated because most of the work is done in a factory on a production line. This means massive cost savings for the amount of time you need to hire your contractors.

You also don't have to worry about having your home inspected during the construction process. Inspections will be performed during the manufacturing process in the factory. This will be carried out by a third-party inspector to make sure that building codes are followed.

Here is an outstanding guide on how much it costs for a modular home. You'll find tons of helpful information on what factors influence the price of a modular built home.

Can you tell if a Home is Prefabricated?

Each prefabricated section of a modular home should have a small tag providing details of its manufacture and date. This might be difficult to find, however, and could be hidden away in closets or cabinets. There should also be some information about the home in the electrical panel box telling you the home is modular.

Years ago, you could easily tell fairly easily if a home was modular construction. They had characteristics that were often not flattering.

In fact, in many instances, they screamed cheap. Things such as shallow-pitched roofs and popcorn ceilings were commonplace. These lagging indicators are no longer prevalent in modular construction.

Most lamen would have a very challenging time determining if a home is a modular or not.

The Advantages of Living in a Modular Construction

Modular homes normally benefit from being more energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly. There are many designs to choose from, and you can have an architect design a home to suit your needs as well. You can still add rooms to expand the home as you would with a site built property.

If you choose to have a modular home built, you'll probably need to buy your own land. In many instances, you aren't allowed to build them in a subdivision like normal homes, so this is going to add to your costs.

Your contractor will likely need to be paid upfront as well, possibly even before building work has begun. Lots of folks will take out their own construction loan when working with a modular home.

When the construction work is finished and the city or town grants a building permit, most lenders allow for the construction loan to move into a permanent mortgage.

These mortgages are just like any other conventional loan product. You will be able to pick typical loan terms such as a ten, fifteen, twenty, or thirty-year mortgage.

Still Have a Home Inspection When Buying Modular

What if you are not building a modular home but are purchasing a re-sale. Do you still need to get a home inspection? Absolutely! Just because a home has been built in a factory does not mean it cannot have defects develop over time.

There are certainly many kinds of problems that could surface when doing a home inspection. Many of them could be minor issues, while it's also possible others could be significant. You should never consider waiving a home inspection when buying a modular home.

Final Thoughts on Buying a Modular Home

You have many options available to you if you're considering a prefabricated build. Homes of many different designs are available from many manufacturers, so there should be something to meet your requirements. This can be a more cost-effective way to build a home that is right for you.

A modular home is no longer considered stigmatized. You'll have far more options now than years ago when it comes to customizing your home. Like anything else, it makes sense to do your research when picking a modular company and builder to work with.

Hopefully, you have found this guide to modular home construction to be useful.


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Bill Gassett is a thirty-two year veteran to the real estate industry. He enjoys providing helpful information to buyers, sellers and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Good information.  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend!

Nov 06, 2020 07:20 AM