With mortgage rates lower than most people could have ever predicted and more homes being sold on a monthly basis, we could be prepping ourselves for a housing market rebound. Just with any sort of market analysis, you’re going to get the folks who think that everything is fine and dandy, and you’re going to find writers who feel that everything is in a pre-apocalyptic state.
Not all homes are built from the ground up. If you were ever a fan of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a child, you’ll know that some houses are, indeed, built from the roof up instead. All kidding aside, there’s truly more than one way to build a house. Have you ever seen a house going down the freeway on a flatbed truck? Ever wondered what that was about? Today, let’s chat about two types of homes that you might see zooming down the freeway – modular and manufactured – and the differences between them.
What’s a Modular Home?
A modular home is a home that’s built in a factory and shipped to the homeowner’s lot, where it is pieced together, put on a foundation and completed. Like traditional homes, modular homes are placed on a permanent foundation and often have full basements. While the building process differs quite a bit from that of traditional homes, you’d be hard-pressed to identify a modular home just by looking at it. They can come in all sorts of layouts and designs, from a sprawling ranch or cape cod to a two-story colonial.
So why would you buy a modular home? There are many benefits to having your home constructed off-site. First, choosing a modular home over a site-built home can help you move into your new home faster. According to Tidewater Custom Modular Homes, conventional, site-built homes can take anywhere from six months to a year for completion, whereas modular homes allow homeowners to move in anywhere from two to three months after signing the contract – a pretty speedy process, if you ask me!
Second, quality is another benefit to consider when thinking about a modular home. When homes are built on-site, building materials are often subjected to the elements, and builders are forced to work in sometimes uncomfortable conditions. Wood can warp in the rain and the heat, and builders can get tired and lazy. And as ModularDirect.com states, “quality control is a more efficient function when inspectors are ‘on the job’ at all times.” In other words, your home will be extremely well-built since it’s produced under factory-controlled conditions and inspected at every turn. And since modular homes must conform to all local, state and regional building codes (just like traditional homes), you can rest assured that you’ll be moving your family into a safe, quality, well-built home that will stand the test of time.
Modular homes and financing
Most banks and mortgage companies, including Quicken Loans, finance modular homes. When you buy a modular home, your home’s value will usually increase over time – making modular homes just as smart a financial option as traditional, site-built homes.
What’s a Manufactured Home?
Manufactured homes, sometimes referred to as mobile homes and trailers, are completely constructed in the factory and built on a permanent, fixed, steel chassis. Newer manufactured homes, however, don’t always look like the double-wide trailer you might be picturing; they can be built with a variety of architectural styles, layouts and add-ons, like decks and porches.
Manufactured homes are usually built with wheels, which are detached after towing. Unlike modular homes, manufactured homes don’t have basements. While this theoretically allows manufactured homes to be moved from place to place, you can’t just put a manufactured home anywhere you please. The lot must be zoned for your particular type of manufactured home, and your home may have to meet certain local construction and set-up requirements. Manufactured homes are also subject to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code, which requires that manufactured homes be built on a permanent chassis.
So why would you purchase a manufactured home? Well, if you’re looking to own your own home, but don’t have the income or funds to purchase a traditional home, then a manufactured home may be right for you. While the cost can vary greatly depending on the size, materials and features you choose, you can get a manufactured home for as little as $20,000 or as much as $120,000, according to HowMuchIsIt.org.
Manufactured homes and financing
Quicken Loans does not currently offer financing for manufactured homes. However, if you’re interested in a manufactured home, there are a few other ways to finance one. According to HUD.gov, the most common method for financing a manufactured home is with a retail installment contract, which you can get through your retailer.
If you’re looking for a brand-new home to live in, you can usually save a little bit of money (and time!) by choosing to have your home constructed off-site. If you have any questions about modular or manufactured homes, shout ‘em out in the comments below!