Cost of modular?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HilltopDaisy, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just got the new "Country Living" magazine in the mail today, and there's a beautiful country home featured in it. It's a 2 story, 26' X 34', and it's a modular. Now, I know nothing about modulars, so I e-mailed the place and asked about the cost, bare bones. I was shocked when they responded with a figure of $124,000, and that was minus the special clapboard siding.

    I have every intention of checking out the local modular-sellers, but am I totally out of touch with the cost of homes?? Anyone ever buy one of these? I'm in the market for more like 1000sq. feet, as simple as it gets. Anybody out there give me an idea of what something like this might cost?
     
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    This is a good site for "shopping". It may not reflect prices in your area though.

    Around here it's a toss up. But the banks are what are killing the modular sales. They raise the interest rates on those deals which decreases resale value and increases the cost such that building is competitive.
    http://www.washhome.com/
     

  3. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We looked at several modulars vs stick built homes and the same finish trim there was little cost differance between the two homes. A small 1000sqft home was very similar in cost once you figure in transport and installation of a modular. The value of the home however will not be the same in 10 years. The stick built will hold its value more.
     
  4. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

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    We own a Cavco mobile home and have nothing but trouble with it from day one. Definitely build a stick built home; do not get a mobile or modular no matter what anyone tells you. The voice of experience; all bad.
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    hilltop,
    If you want a real bargain, check this out:
    http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucstsrh/
    go to the bottom to "trucks, trailers, and tractors" or something like that
    then go to west virginia
    there are some 14' x 60' trailers for less than the moving cost (as of this posting)

    for my 2 cents: forget building houses with sticks, they blow down, burn, and bugs eat them. Buy one of those trailers and live in it while you make a low tech low cost house that'll last centuries with no skills and few tools out of cement.
    Then sell the trailer. They attract tornadoes.
    gobug
     
  6. Oregonsparkie

    Oregonsparkie Well-Known Member

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    We also bought a manufactured home about 2 years ago. The manufacturer is KIT mfg. Do not buy from this company at all. Ive been screwed over more times than I want to admit.

    If you can swing it - buy a stick built.
     
  7. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be that if one found a modular floor plan they liked they could find a builder who would stick build the same place for a very competitive price. It might take a few extra dollars and not have some of the bells and whistles of the modular. The lower interest rates on a stick built home would offset the higher price. Modular home builders are enamored of the vaulted ceilings, hugh master suite w/garden tubs and walk in closets the size of a modest childs bedroom. Often people are sold by these very things when if they would just pause to look at their lifestlye they would realize that 1. they sleep in their bed room 2. they dont have enough clothes to even one quarter fill one of those monster closets 3. a bathroom is for the three s'es 4. vaulted ceilings are wasted heat
    The cheapest modulars depreciate like cars, the better ones hold their value and the best ones appreciate at a rate slower than their stick built counterparts. One of the big selling points on modulars is how fast they can get you into a brand new home of your own. Typicly sixty to ninety days is what they claim. Reality is closer to 120 days from when you are approved for the mortgage which takes another 30+ days. If you have decent credit and work with a reputable experienced builder they can build for you from scratch in less time than that. I once worked on a 7200 square foot house which went from first day of excavation to ready to occupy in 73 days.
    There are distinctions between different types of trailer homes. Singlewides are truly trailers and range from 14 to 16 feet wide and up to 76 feet in lenght (the dealer will discibe these as 80 footers but 4 foot is the tounge) Double wides have two halves which are seperate trailers joined onsite, the industry has taken to calling them modulars because they have (rightly) earned a bad reputation as doublewides or mobile homes. Both of these types come with a title like a car, arrive on a trailer frame which is part of the structure and stay with the trailer. They are also known as HUD (housing and urban development) homes. They must meet a national standard for construction and a roof load standard for the area they are installed in. The next step up are BOCA homes, which arrrive on a separate trailer which is removed. These are built to local building codes and dont have a title. They come in many forms from the typical doublewide (ranch) style to various multi story configurations. They also cost a whole lot more and often dont come with a built in furnace or hotwater heater. By the time a house like this is installed you may as well have built a stick built home, if for no other reason than when selling it the buyers will always find out that it came on a trailer which will lower the resale value.
    Just my $.02 worth
    Kirk
     
  8. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Then add in the cost of a foundation or slab, electric and phone service, plumbing from the well or the street, a driveway, and a septic, and you're only talking another $50,000 or more. :eek: Slap on the cost of a lot, the soil tests, the taxes, and the mailbox, et voila...a $2000 mortgage payment. And your house still isn't sided!
     
  9. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    As you said Kirk, "if one found a modular floor plan they liked they could find a builder who would stick build the same place for a very competitive price."

    A new neighbor down the road a bit did just that, but slightly enlarged the plan to about 1500 sqft. Built on a one acre lot, total move in cost was $112,000 (including the land).
     
  10. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there's one easy answer to this - there are a lot of variables. And I think some people are confusing 'modular' homes with 'manufactured' homes.

    I've seen 'modular' that *are* stick-built. But each individual room (or 'unit' such as a 'bedroom/bathroom' unit) was built in the factory, then shipped out and joined together. I've always felt that something like this can make a lot of sense. And they're as well built as a 'stick-built' house. (In fact, they're often better built and they're a lot more efficient to built.) I don't know how common these are - I used to work in real-estate investment and we were taken on a tour of a factory like this. Really quite amazing.

    I also have a friend who bought a modular house to put up at the top of a mountain. I'll be honest - I have no idea how they got it up there - but they're very happy with it.

    I would never recommend buying a 'manufactured' house (i.e. trailer) unless you had no other option and/or meant for it to be strictly temporary.

    Stick-built homes are not perfect. I got some quotes to build a straight-forward stick-built home on some land I have. The cheapest quote I got was $100/sq.ft. (the house was 1,600 sq.ft.). And I live in Upstate SC which is not especially expensive.

    I would suggest finding an older home that needs to be moved. I found one (1,200 sq.ft. and about 50 years old) and had it moved. It's built *much* better than the houses built now - solid as a rock. I'm renovating it myself and my total cost (for just the house - not the land and additional buildings and 1/4 mile driveway) will be between $45,000 and $50,000. (But that's does include septic.)
     
  11. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    I just want to be sure we're all on the same page.
    Is everyone clear on the difference between a "modular" and a "manufactured" home? Actually, both are considered manufactured because they are built in a factory. A modular however is built to BOCA code here in Michigan while a manufactured which is typically a single or double wide, and is built to HUD code. A single or double wide also has a VIN number like any other trailer because it can be moved while a modular is permenant and considered to be real estate. You also have to pay sales tax on a manufactured home and not a modular.
    I state these things because a lot of the comments here seem to be about manufactured and not modular homes.

    Ed
     
  12. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, I already have the land, septic, well and driveway. I bought a very old mobile home and put it on a gravel pad. Cost of mobile with new propane furnace and hot water heater--less than $6 psf!! So, I have a cozy but ugly place to call home. I've lived in this beauty for a year now, and she's just fine.

    I guess I was under the impression that a modular was less costly than stick-built. (I know the difference between single, double-wides and modulars). So, it's back to the drawing board. I'm 46 years old, so there's no way I want to be paying on a place til I'm almost 80! I could really fix this place up with a roof-over and a 12' X 30' addition, for pretty reasonable. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to answer my question.
     
  13. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

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    I bought a 3 year old modular - a TRUE modular, and we love it, so do our neighbors who have the same thing, minus the basement. These are no steel homes, they are lifted off the trailers with cranes and the pieces set in place, bolted and screwed together, and them finished plumbed, wired, etc. It is SUPER clean & dry, compared to a stick built - there is ZERO mold, so my eldest daughter and I immediately noticed the difference.

    1725 sq ft, (3br, 2ba, ranch), well, septic tank, walk out basement - $109k complete original cost. The value has already appreciated, just like the stick builts. From the outside, or the inside, or basement, it looks just like a stick built ranch.

    We think it's built better than a stick built, more solid floors, cleaner, quieter and tighter. The few problems we're nothing compared to my brother, who's building his 7th or 8th house. So far, every house he's built has had the lumber rained on, and takes months to dry out... leaving mold. Ours is a Cardinal, so is the neighbors - we're very happy with it.

    My problems have been a 6 gallon pressure tank which was good for a single flush before the well pump cycled. With all the power outages we experience, that was useless - I just installed an 86 gallon, several hours worth of water without power. I also added a spin-down water filter because our well pump - pumps sand! How I'm gonna resolve this, who knows... maybe our future roof water collection system will help a bit.

    None of the problems me or my neighbor experienced have anything to do with Cardinal Homes. It's the contractor that skimped where ever he could - just like he does with the stick built homes! Modular homes have really changed in the last 5 years, very nice floor plans! I'd recommend a modular over a stick built, there are more quality checks and the construction location is in a dry environment.

    As far as a mobile home - (steel support frame in the basement), NO THANKS! The drywall is thin & finished like a motor home, the floors flex & creak, the doors and windows fit poorly, they seem to radiate noise through the steel beams... all the nice appliances, fireplace and wall paper doesn't improve them or bring them close to a modular or stick built.
     
  14. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I live in a modular that was built in 1970. The good thing about it is the bankers think it's a stick built! That means I get stick built interest rates. I have the typical repairs needed for a 30 year old house, but other than that it is very solid.
     
  15. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

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    We selected our home just last week. I've read and heard a nightmare story from almost every single person I know who has worked with a contractor on their "stick built" home... from how he tried to cheapen up on this, or cheapen up on that, fudged this, fudged that, wasn't the quality of merchandise that was agreed on, wouldn't come back and make it right, and on and on it goes.

    We're buying a double with a perimeter frame - no beam down the center of each piece, but a box frame, with 8 ft. flat ceilings, 7/12 roof pitch, 3 bedroom, 2 bath, crown moulding, oak cabinets, drywall throughout, an attic, stairs to the full basement, and many other extras. It will cost us $70,000 in addition to the basement, well, septic. And this home is built in a factory - with supervisors, quality control standards, and made the exact same way as the one before it and after it, so I don't have to worry about some contractor going over budget, or screwing up something - like one guy who used a porous brick on the outside of a new construction and the walls all had water problems... then he went belly-up. No thank you! With all the decisions that have to be made as it is, I can't imagine having to stand by and babysit the contractor and all his workmen, or be sitting and waiting for them to show up, or seeing the home stalled because of weather. Mine will be built indoors, to set specifications with 2x6 exterior walls... recently we had a big wind storm and a home that was being built just blew right over... all those little 2X4 "sticks" laying in a big pile... very sad.

    And although they are titled for transportation, they title is retired and it can't be retitled once it is placed on a permanent foundation. Our interest rates at the bank are no different than someone going stick built... and we're going with Commodore as the manufacturer and have seen what goes into their construction and it's a high quality product.

    As for resale... well, I've seen quality, dry-walled doubles around here with full basements go for what a stick built would go for. Desirability is desirability... and my home is going to be beautiful... on 10 acres, with a poured foundation with 8' ceilings, huge ranch-style front porch and built for under $125,000 including the land, well, and septic. I could turn around and sell it for much more immediately and still be way under the price of the stick built counterpart.

    We shopped around a lot and not all homes feel like houses... nor are they all built with the same degree of design and quality. We're very excited about ours.
     
  16. andrew3d

    andrew3d Well-Known Member

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    I looked hard at the manufactured housing that is currently available. I was shocked at how many people swore they would do it again. Because every time you read about someone's epxerience with manuf/modular homes, their story is a nightmare. And 10 years later, they're never worth as much as a good solid regular built house. Apparently, the homes are as popular as any other out there.

    However, I am going to build an A-Frame. I think I can get 1000 square feet in an A-Frame just as inexpensively as I can if I buy a home. This may not be true since lumber has recently gotten so high, but the companies that make these homes buy lumber too, so it shouldn't be any cheaper going to a manufactured shelter.

    I should start a new thread about shelter options, pros and cons.

    Andrew.
     
  17. poppy

    poppy Guest

    We have a 1995 model fleetwood modular 28x64. We have no complaints at all, just ordinary repairs such as faucet washers and such. Economical to heat and cool, plus our property taxes are only 169.00 a year where a stick built house this size runs about 2000.00 here. Our oldest son just bought a fleetwood 28x80 for 53,000. No way he could build a house for that.
     
  18. Ozarkguy

    Ozarkguy Well-Known Member

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    .

    Well now, Hilltop Daisy...it seems you've started quite a thread here. :)

    From what I've been reading, it seems everyone either likes them or hates them. hehe :rolleyes:

    I've seen a few in my time, and thought they were rather nice. I had actually been in the cheaper, er, uh, economical versions. They were not terrific. But not bad either. Cheap, affordable housing. You get what you pay for is what I thought. Not bad.

    But that was then, and this is now, and it seems things have changed quite a bit. Over the holidays, I was forced, I mean "invited" :( over by the girlfriends moms new modular house for dinner.

    She had sold one in Florida at half of what she expected to get, and relocated and had a new one built. This thing is one of the supposedly better units that was factory built, transported, and is now permanently fixed to a foundation. This thing cost well over $100,000 and is (in my opinion) a complete piece of junk.

    Sorry, but that's my opinion folks. I guess it's like ANY kind of structure. Price doesn't always mean better quality. Noisy, poor insulation, drafty, you name it. She's already calling them back as the doors have "settled" as they put it, so much, she can't even lock her doors. They told her if she doesn't want to wait for the repair crew to get there (as they've been coming for two weeks) that the wall paper that's falling off, she should just glue it back on herself. Junk.

    Sooooo..... Hilltop Daisy..... remember her when you think about your "cozy but ugly" trailer. ;) I'd throw a coat of paint on it, or some siding, and go with that addition you're talking about. You'll still be comfy, and it will leave you with $$$ left over to buy more chickens!!! :) hehe

    gotta love those hills.....

    Ozarkguy

    .
     
  19. poppy

    poppy Guest

    We saw one a few years ago while on vacation. It had come off the truck on the interstate. It was i/2 a double wide and was at the bottom of a long grade beside the highway. We got off at the next exit to eat, and folks in the restaurant were talking about it. A man and his wife said the were behind it when it came off the truck, and it rolled over at least 5 times getting to the bottom of the grade. Only major damage to it was one corner bashed in a little. Apparently they are put together pretty well.
     
  20. mvfarms91

    mvfarms91 Well-Known Member

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    Building prices in this area (N. KY) go anywhere from $75-125 sq ft. But a no bells/whistle builder was quoted at $50. sq ft. I have received info from a Cabin company and this sounds like the way to go. 30 X 25, 8 windows, 2 doors, front porch, crawl space, 2 dormers, and loft for $20,000. Now that is not finished on the inside but you can add 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen and finished inside for $40,000. We are exploring all of our options here and are seriously considering the cabin option. If you would like more info about this place let me know I can get you a phone number (NO, Nothing in it for me) :p

    Susie