What Are Modular Homes?

Have you been interested in looking at modular homes but want to learn more first before diving headfirst into the investment? Well, you’ve reached the right place. In this article, you will have a chance to learn what a modular home is, as well as the pros and cons of buying one and where you can go to find more information if needed.

What are Modular Homes?

A modular home is a home that is built in sections at a factory or plant and then is later delivered to a construction site where it is pieced together on location. This process of construction is quite the opposite of general on-site construction, which starts and finishes at the location. Modular homes are prepared in an assembly line fashion and are then transported when completed. This process is said to save customers time and money – a major selling point.

These unique homes have the look and feel of a traditionally-built house and meet all building and local zoning codes. They can be built to be hurricane-resistant or hold a sturdier frame for an earthquake prone area. No matter what specifications the owner and local zoning area have, most modular home manufacturers have learned to make adjustments that will meet the needs of those specifications.

Pros and Cons

One of the pros of buying modular homes is the process of prefabrication and indoor construction. The pre-fabrication process at an indoor location is beneficial for two reasons. One, the mess of fabrication that would have been accumulated on site is now handled before the home ever reaches your property, which results in less time spent cleaning up after construction. And two, by working at an indoor facility to get it partially constructed, your home is not susceptible to all of the outdoor elements including rain and animals that can adversely affect construction time and cause weather wear and tear to your home before you move in.

Another pro is the strength of modular homes. Many manufacturers claim that these homes are built to be stronger than traditionally-constructed homes – initially, at least. This is because many of the homes are built with screws instead of nails and add glue to the joints to enable an easier transport to the site. While they are said to be initially stronger, it has not yet been determined that they are stronger over a long period of time.

The major reason, however, that people say they love these homes is because of their lower price tag. Builders claim that because they are large manufacturers they can bargain for discounts on materials with the suppliers, which can cut the cost of the home considerably.

And now for the cons:

The first con of the modular home is that they are often compared to a cardboard box. In other words, you are said to be living in a boring carbon copy of tons of other homes built in the same facility if you buy one of these homes. However, many manufacturers have stepped up their game and are now offering custom options that homes look more original.

The second con is the financing issues that the home can present. Because these homes are still new on the home lending scene, many lenders are apprehensive about financing them; and if they do decide to finance one it will be for much less money than the traditional, on-site home. This can cause a problem for both the manufacturer and buyer as they don’t have as many resources available to create a nice home.

And the third con is the challenge of site access. One issue that on-site constructors do not have to contend with is the idea of driving a large home through narrow streets; but a modular home builder does. It may be that the customer wants to place their home in a remote area, and when the builder drives to the proper they realize that a low overpass, gated community or narrow road may cause a problem when trying to deliver the home.

Should I Buy a Modular Home?

Of course, I cannot determine your specific situation to say “yay or nay” to you buying a modular home. It is up to you to determine the obvious pros and cons and then look at your personal and family situation to see what works best for you. But if you are interested in more information on the ins and outs of buying modular homes, then you might want to visit the following websites for more information.

Homebuying.about.com

This website accumulates several different websites that tell you the advantages and disadvantages of buying modular homes as well as where you can find manufacturers and builders in your area to get started. Not a bad resource.

Modularhomesguide.com

Modularhomesguide.com is a website that tries to give you access to “the best modular homes, dealers, home builders, communities and new home builder web sites” in the country. They claim to be the largest database on the Internet for these homes, and with their high ranking in the search engines, they just might be.

Through their site you can find information about homes in your area by selecting your state, price range, manufacturer, floor plans or builder, and home type. Once you’ve conducted the search, you will be taken to a list of homes that fall into the criteria you pre-selected. In addition to searching for homes on the site, you can find informative articles that can help you make your decision.

Modular homes have become a nice alternative to people who are interested in paying less for a nice home. They’ve found that the benefits can be plentiful when they consider the cost reduction, lack of extended construction time, reduction in mess at the site, and sturdier home to live in. However, these modular homes do run the risk of having a “cooker cutter” beige box look, so it is important that you do your research before committing to buying one. The more you learn about the pros and cons of these homes, the more likely you are to make an informed decision that you won’t later regret.

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