A modular home is built in separate sections at a factory. Each section is transferred to the land it will be placed on, and construction is finished there. Prefabricated houses take less time to build than traditional homes, and they are generally cheaper. If you are considering purchasing a modular home, there are some simple guidelines that can help you make the proper decisions.
When calculating how much you can afford to pay for your new home, consider all the extra costs involved. If you plan to purchase the land that the house will rest on, you will need to include preparation fees. Land preparation includes foundation work, a septic system, electrical connections, landscaping, and cement pathways. If the home will be placed in a community where the land is rented, add that cost into the budget, and prepare for any potential rent increases. You will also need to factor in the cost for transportation and final construction. Ask if these costs will be included in the price of the house. To save money, consider purchasing a used home that is already on a permanent site.
Once you have researched the various fees, you should look into local and state building regulations and restrictions. This includes checking land surveys, zoning rules, water and electricity approvals, and applying for building and environmental permits. Plan on taking a few weeks to go through the entire approval process.
After choosing the site that your home will be placed on, you will need to determine what type of foundation you want. You can have the home built on a basement, crawlspace, or slab. Since modular homes are fabricated at a factory while the foundation is prepared, you should plan each timeline accordingly. Expect approximately one to three months for site preparation and building construction.
Choose a reputable builder that is certified and backed by the Better Business Bureau. Many builders will only service certain areas, so ask about any limitations. Be specific in your contract, and have a lawyer review it before you sign anything. The contract should include what type of warranty the home will have, and what the terms are. Be sure to determine the exact coverage offered. A contract should also state what type of insurance coverage will be provided during construction and transportation. Discuss what will happen if there is a delay or change in the construction process, and state it clearly in the contract.
Modular homes have endless design possibilities. After choosing your builder, discuss any specific customization you may want. You should also decide if you want any on-site additions like garages, porches, or patios. Determine whether you want a single or two story home and what style you prefer. Carefully consider the square footage and number of rooms you might need. Once you choose a design, consider energy-efficient upgrades like extra insulation. These upgrades will save you money in the long run and are easier to take care of during the construction phase.
Look at all the different floor plans available, and choose a few different designs. Having several choices will allow you to be flexible when it comes to financing. After you have selected a design, ask for an estimate on the price. Find out how long it will take the builder to draw up the plans. During this time, you should do some final calculations. Take into account other monthly bills like utilities, insurance, and taxes. You should check your credit report for any errors, and research mortgage rates. This will help you decide what you can afford.
Once the plans for your house are complete, the builder can tell you how much the total cost will be. You should then take the blueprints to the bank you will be working with. Before you discuss a mortgage with any lenders, find out if the company is familiar with modular homes. Prefabricated homes may be have better finance options than conventional homes. Spend some time discussing the appropriate package option for your budget. Check out several lenders to find the best rates.
Purchasing a home is a commitment. You should not rush into any decision, whether it is the architecture of the home or the finance package. If you are being pressured into making a speedy purchase, consider looking elsewhere. Take time to read and understand all documents and contracts involved in your purchase. If you make informed decisions and remain open to the various options available, you can have the modular home of your dreams.