Modular homes are not, as many people believe, mobile homes. Nor are they conventionally constructed homes. They are factory built in modular units, as the name implies. Upon completion, the modules are moved to the construction site for assembly. If you’re interested in purchasing a modular home there are things you should learn about and consider beforehand.
Know what you want
Modular homes, for the most part, are built to the purchaser’s specifications, so you should discuss what you need with the builder or his agent. How much square footage do you want? Where do you want the rooms? Bedrooms upstairs or downstairs? The module units can range in size from around 400 square feet to 2,500 square feet so you have many options. What about your exterior? Do you want vinyl siding, brick veneer, or another of the many exterior options available? Prices for these, as well as bay windows, awnings, etc. vary widely.
Know your location
Where will you locate your new home? Modular homes are almost indistinguishable from conventional ‘stick built’ homes. As they become more acceptable, zoning problems are becoming fewer; but, surprisingly, many locations that allow conventional homes are still not zoned for modular housing. If you own your own land, make sure it fits within the zoning requirements. Make sure, also, that your new home is constructed to withstand the weather conditions that occur in the area of the country where it will be located.
Have a Look at Some of the
Homes We’ve Built
As with any major purchase, shop around. Visit a number of retailers. Walk through and check out the various models; see how they’re constructed. Which ones give you ‘the best bang for your buck’? Also, check with your local real estate agents to see if there are any used modular homes on the market that might fit your needs.
In some ways purchasing a new modular home is similar to purchasing a car. The final price is more than the base price. There are always many upgrades available. More luxurious light fixtures, for example. Or bathroom fixtures, countertops, floor tiles – the list goes on. That being said, a modular homes is usually less expensive than a conventional. And as an additional perk, it’s likely to be a much stronger construction. Be sure to find out what items are included in the base price, and how much the additional accessories you would like will add to the price. No surprises!
Financing a modular home can be tricky. Many lenders still consider a modular home in the same category as a mobile home. In this case, you will likely qualify for a personal loan rather that a mortgage loan. This will result in high interest and short term loan; probably no more than 15 years or so. As always, the best way to get a good financial contract is to have a good credit rating. As more people are opting for manufactured homes, more financing options are becoming available. FHA and VA financing is available if you qualify. Find the lender with the best option, and don’t be afraid to switch when a better offer comes along.