4 Things You Need to Know About Modular Homes

When many people hear or read the term "modular home," they immediately envision a larger version of a classic trailer house with perhaps a bay window or two punched out for aesthetic character. However, modular homes are neither trailer houses nor manufactured homes. Following are four things you should know about modular homes if you're in the market for a new house.

Modular and Manufactured Homes Aren't Interchangeable

Consumers often make the mistake of thinking that modular homes are exactly the same as manufactured homes, but that is not the case. Modular homes are set on a firm foundation while manufactured homes are not, therefore making it possible to move manufactured homes to different locations.

Although mobile homes may be a good choice for those who opt to live in commercially-owned and -operated trailer parks, those who want to live on their own land generally prefer a home with a firm foundation in order to minimize damage from earthquakes, wind storms, or other natural disasters. Banks also require those who apply for loans for modular homes to own the land on which they'll be placed. A good real estate agent can help you negotiate a package deal involving one loan payment. 

Modular Homes Do Not Depreciate in Value

Contrary to what many consumers believe, modular homes do not depreciate in value like their manufactured counterparts. For these reason, banks treat modular homes the same as site-built houses. Modular homes offer consumers excellent value because they are produced in controlled environments that are not subject to conditions such as storms, floods, and wind storms that may cause an increase in expenditures as well as unexpected delays.

It's important to keep in mind that your home will be subject to the same external market conditions as traditional properties. However, although its value won't go down solely because it's a manufactured home, it may decrease if real estate in your area experiences a bust cycle or otherwise becomes a less desirable area for potential home purchasers. 

Modular Homes Are Easily Customized

Although modular homes gained a reputation for being cookie-cutter structures when they first emerged on the real estate landscape in the 1950s, today's modular homes are unique, appealing buildings. Modular home companies employ teams of engineers to craft in-house designs using Computer Aided Design (CAD) technology, allowing purchasers to choose from a variety of customization options.

Many homeowners choose to work with an existing floor plan and customize it to meet their individual needs and preferences. For instance, they may decide that having more space in the kitchen is more of a priority than a large living room, and the plans can be changed accordingly. Others prefer to start from scratch and work with design engineers to create their own unique floor plans. 

Modular Homes Are Green

Many people dream of living in homes designed for green living but are afraid that these structures are out of their financial reach. However, modern modular homes offer green features such as energy efficient doors and windows, skylights, plumbing fixtures designed to conserve as much water as possible, and on-demand water heaters. Modular homes can even be customized to include solar panels and geothermal heating systems. Many modular home companies also use recycled materials such as steel, repurposed wood, aluminum, and glass in their manufacturing process.

Purchasing a modular home appears to be an excellent option for those who want to save a bit of money, live in brand new construction, and have a significant amount customization choices. Consider contacting local contractors to learn more about the process, possible upgrades, or pricing packages before coming to a decision.