If you think modular homes are boring, cookie-cutter homes, think again! This article should dispel some common-held misconceptions.
First and Foremost-A Modular and Manufactured Home are NOT the same thing.
Manufactured homes are mobile homes, while a modular home is built piece by piece in an enclosed factory setting, designed according to a builder’s specifications, with many floor plans to choose from, and many possibilities for unique design.
There are different standards and house-building codes. Modular houses must conform to the same local and state codes as on-site, traditionally constructed houses. These codes may vary from state to state. Manufactured homes must conform only to the HUD housing code. Codes for modular houses are, in most cases, more thorough and involve regulating energy efficiency.
Manufactured houses are transported on a steel chassis, which stays attached to the home and allows the house to be moved. Modular houses are transported in covered, weatherproof housing and built on-site at a poured foundation, like a traditional home.
Modular homes offer many customized design options and amenities. A manufactured home is available with three design options, generally: Single-wide, double-wide, and triple-wide.
Because a modular house is constructed on a foundation, lenders view modular homes the same as they do traditional homes. Manufactured homes appear as automobile loans, or under a separate lending category.
Is the construction process shorter than traditional building?
Depending on the design and the manufacturer, some modular houses can be built in the factory in as little as 2 weeks. Also, since the home is constructed in a factory setting, there is never a weather delay. Once delivered to the building site, most modular homes can be assembled in two months, often less.
Don’t all modular houses look alike, though?
Not at all. An innovative housing manufacturer will have hundreds of designs and floor plans to choose from. These floor plans can be altered to customize your new home. While the simplest modular home constructions of the past have resembled manufactured homes-a.k.a. “mobile homes”-new construction and energy efficient green construction and design, have given modulars more design options and flexibility than before.
Will the bank finance a modular home? And can I save money by going the modular route?
The short answer: Yes. Ask your mortgage broker to explain how they finance modular homes. Most banks, home appraisers, and insurance companies treat modulars the same way they do site built homes-a house that’s constructed entirely on your property. In some cases, especially if your house qualifies for EPA Energy Star certification, you may save some significant money by going the modular route.