More than 20 million Americans have purchased modular homes. They are a preferred buy for many reasons, not the least of which being the price. But when buying a new modular home, as in any major purchase, it pays to do your homework.
While prices for modular homes are some 78% cheaper than conventionally constructed homes, you should be aware of unforeseen price increases as the manufacturing process goes forward. It’s much like buying a car. You have a base price which might average $60.00 to $85.00 a square foot, but add-ons come extra. Before you can get started there are many decisions to make. Your new home needs heating and air conditioning; it needs plumbing. These necessities, plus garages, porches or decks are all extra.You have a wide range to choose from. And the price you pay depends, of course, on the quality you prefer. You may also want to pay extra to buy a better quality of wall covering or carpeting than that which is included in the base price. You might want extra electrical outlets or phone jacks. All these features add to the price.
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Do you have a place to build your home? Is the lot zoned for modular housing? This is another major concern, and should be attended to before manufacture is started. It can sometimes be difficult, but zoning laws are becoming increasingly acceptable to modular homes.
Public opinion moves slowly and modular homes are still, in many cases, considered mobile homes. This is unfortunate because they definitely are not! Modular homes must meet HUD requirements for safety, and meet all necessary building codes. They are assembled on a permanent foundations, and usually increase in value like standard homes.
Financing is available through all of the normal channels and meets the qualifications required for FHA and VA. Because some finance institutions still consider modular homes as mobile homes, refinancing can be a problem. However, this is rapidly changing. If you are over the age of 62 and considering the purchase of a modular home, you should be aware that they, too, can qualify for a reverse mortgage.
Once you have everything you need to get started, it moves quickly. Since modular homes are factory built in sections or modules, there are no weather delays. Transportation and assembly can usually be accomplished in two or three months. Because this type of construction uses about a third more material, it is usually stronger than a conventionally built home, and can withstand most disasters.
If you’re considering the purchase of a new home, before making a final decision you should look into the possibilities afforded by modular construction. You may be pleasantly surprised by the many sizes and designs available.