“Manufactured Homes – They Aren’t Just For Trailer Parks Anymore”
When I lived in upstate NY, most of the people we knew lived in single or double wide trailers. Sometimes after a really bad storm, I’d drive along the main road and see garbage strewn all over some farmer’s field. In reality, this “garbage” was the personal contents of someone’s trailer after it blew apart in the wind. Double wides were considered a step up because they were anchored to a slab or sat on top of a basement like their stick built counterparts.
Today, modular homes have come a long way, baby. In fact, many expensive homes are pre fabricated in climate controlled factories and then shipped to their building site in as little as 2 to as many as 20 separate pieces.
I looked into manufactured homes years ago and although there were several models, you couldn’t make changes to the floor plans. Today’s modular home buyer doesn’t have to pick their home from a catalogue. Instead, they work with a design team who can customize the home to suit their needs and show them, in 3D, how it will look when it all comes together. Houses can also be created from someone else’s plans, something you couldn’t do back in the day.
While stick built home costs range from $100 – $150 or more per square foot, manufactured homes cost from $75 to $80 per square foot, or depending on the client’s desired upgrades, top out at $100 per square foot. Why? Because modular home manufacturers capitalize on their ability to buy in bulk.
What do you need to get started? You’ll need a suitable building lot. Whether stick built or modular, you will need to apply for a new construction loan with higher interest rates and a term of just 6 to 12 months. Since many banks don’t understand manufactured housing, it’s harder, but not impossible to find financing. The good news is that once construction is completed, you can refinance into a conventional loan at a better rate for a 15 or 30 year term.
With so many of today’s homebuyers looking for new construction, I think you will see more and more homes being shipped in on trucks to construction sites near you.
- The US Prefabricated Housing Market to Witness Healthy Growth, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (prweb.com)
- Prefab modular story additions: an overview of leading suppliers (qualitysmith.com)
- Modular Homes Shed Cookie Cutter Reputation (Mary Diduch for Inman News)