Now that the real estate market has taken a downturn and home buyers are finding it more difficult to qualify for large home loans, some are searching for alternatives to standard site-built homes. Looking for a more affordable option, people are investigating the option of buying modular homes and manufactured homes. Both types have their advantages, but it is important to examine their differences thoroughly to ensure that you are making the right choice for your needs.
First, what is a site-built home? Sometimes referred to as a “stick-built” home, these are what we think of as a traditional home. Built from the ground up and permanently fixed to the property, these are the homes most of us grew up in.
While these types of homes last for a very long time, and are built in adherence to all state and federal codes, they are becoming harder to buy at the moment. Lending companies are making it difficult to secure financial aid, so many buyers are struggling to realize their dream of owning a home.
Well constructed modular homes can be indistinguishable from site-built homes. They have wooden frames, and also adhere to all local and national building codes. The difference lies in the fact that these homes are built in sections inside a factory, and are designed to withstand being moved.
While being constructed in the factory, these homes are safe from the elements. They can be built very quickly and transported to their destination in as little as 6 weeks. Once delivered, local builders will affix the structure to pre-made foundation, and finish any necessary tasks.
Modular homes are designed to look like site-built homes. There are many style choices for buyers, and custom designs are available. This means that with a modular home, you can still tailor the home to your needs while getting it move-in-ready at a much faster pace.
Modular homes are made to be energy efficient, which means that your bills will be lower than in a traditional home. You may also be able to save money on the purchase of your modular home in comparison to a stick-built home. Another financial benefit is that these types of homes appreciate with time, thereby increasing your home’s resale value.
Formerly known as mobile homes, manufactured homes are also built in factories, and are moved to their destination. Unlike modular homes however, these structures have steel frames instead of wood. This type of framing makes it possible to securely move the home without causing any structural damage.
While modular homes are delivered on flatbeds, manufactured homes are equipped with their own wheels, making them very portable. Once they arrive at their new location, they are sometimes affixed to permanent foundations, but more often not. This can be a definite disadvantage, as it can be difficult to get financing.
Manufactured homes measure up to federal building regulations, but not to local and state standards. Before deciding to purchase a manufactured home, be sure to check if your area allows manufactured homes. Many communities do not because local codes were not taken into account during the building process.
Because manufactured homes adhere to less severe code restrictions, and because they are often not placed on permanent foundation, these homes do not stand up to the elements as well as either modular or stick-built homes. This is important to keep in mind if you live in an area that is susceptible to storms, earthquakes, and the like.
Manufactured homes have the benefit of being much more affordable to home buyers than other types of homes. These can be a good option for you if you are looking to buy something that is reasonably priced, but not necessarily permanent. The downside is that these homes can present difficulties with getting financing, and they tend to lose value over time. It can also be difficult to find an area that allows these types of home.
While manufactured homes are a good choice for some and modular homes are right for others, be sure to do your homework before investing in any type of home. You will save yourself a lot of money and headaches down the road.