Pricing on Modular Homes Explained
If you are considering a new construction, modular homes are an option. Also known as a prefab home, It is a type of property that is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Modular home pricing is often less than less traditional construction.
But prefabricated properties are not a new phenomenon. Having been first popularized around a hundred years ago, designs and construction methods have changed a lot since then.
Modular home builders have perfected the quality over the last decade or so.
But how much are modular homes, to build and what else do you need to understand when choosing this type of property? The cost of a modular home can vary but it is often less expensive than traditional methods.
You might be surprised by how much the modular home cost ends up being. We will look at the things that are important to know before you buy a modular home.
How are Modular Homes Different?
Modular homes are constructed in factories instead of on-site, like traditional homes. The modular sections are then shipped from the factory to the lot, where they will be assembled. There is still some work to be done to finish the home after assembly, but around 90% of the home is built in the factory.
There are many differences between stick-built and modular houses. You can see a complete review if you want to get more in-depth information.
Modular homes shouldn’t be confused with mobile homes. Mobile homes are entirely constructed in a factory and transported to where they will be used. Mobile homes can be moved again when required as they aren’t held down by foundations.
On the other hand, a prefab house or modular home has a permanent foundation.
How Much Do Modular Homes Cost?
How much does it cost to build a modular home? Pricing of modular homes is likely different than what you expect.
Thanks to a lot of choices in modular home design, the costs can also vary greatly. If you are looking at building a small modular design, it could cost around $80,000. Larger modular home prices could be as much as $500,000 without the cost of the lot.
When you are looking at these type of properties, there are two main modular home prices you need to know about:
- Base model cost includes the modular sections, delivery, and assembly.
- Finished cost includes building the foundations, connecting utilities, landscaping, permit fees, and any other costs required to complete the home.
The more important figure is the finished cost since you need foundations and utilities, and building the home without permits isn’t going to go well. These additional costs cannot be ignored when you are looking at constructing a modular home.
Average base model costs are around $120,000-$150,000, but with the finishing costs, this is around $270,000-$300,000. Like other types of construction the base price will be significantly different than the overall cost after extras.
Average prices of modular builds will go way up with custom homes. The cost of a basic model with be different than when it’s loaded with extras and custom features. The cost of building always goes up with customization. It is the nature of the beast.
The pricing of modular homes is likely going to be attractive when compared to standard housing.
The Cost of the Lot Isn’t Included When Constructing Modular Homes
When you are considering modular home construction, the cost of the land has to be added. The lot could be the most expensive part of the construction depending on your location. The cost of land is always one of the biggest factors when pricing a new build.
One of the most expensive states for land is New Jersey, at nearly $200,000 per acre. Whereas Wyoming offers the best value at around $1,500 per acre. You can also get cheap land in Northern Maine.
However, the location within the state will make a large difference to the cost, with urban areas generally costing more than rural ones.
Most of Massachusetts also has a high acquisition cost for land. It will be essential to research buying land and getting land loan financing before purchasing a modular home. Additionally, land development costs can fluctuate greatly from one area to another.
Even from lot to lot the total cost can vary quite a bit. Site work will be a significant variable in the final cost.
For example, is there town sewer available of do you need to install a septic system. The cost to install a septic tank and leach field will usually be more expensive that a city sewer hook up fee.
The cost of modular homes will be challenging to pin down without knowing the land development costs. One building site may be very expensive, while another may not.
Final modular home prices are often determined by the land cost.
Don’t Forget Transportation Costs For Modular Housing
While the square footage a home and the custom features added will play a significant role in modular pricing, don’t forget about transportation costs.
Getting the home from the factory to the job site will be another cost consideration. Costs can vary from one area to another but $5 per square foot is good rule of thumb for rural areas.
Other factors that can play a role in modular prices including the distance from the factory, square feet of the building, and if modules need separate shipment.
Can You Afford Modular Home Prices?
In general, mortgage payments are higher than rent. And when you own a home, the cost of maintenance will fall on your shoulders, along with other costs.
You will pay the property taxes as part of your monthly mortgage payments. If you haven’t put 20% down, then private mortgage insurance premiums will also have to be paid.
There are other costs that you might not have been responsible for when renting, like utilities, internet and cable, garbage, and more. All of these costs need to be factored into your calculations when you are checking to see if you can afford to construct a modular home.
If your calculations show you can afford to construct this type of home, you need to find a suitable mortgage lender. There are many different mortgages available, and some will be more suitable than others. Do you want a fixed-rate or adjustable rate mortgage? How long a term do you want? These are questions to think about.
When you find the home loan that is right for you, mortgage preapproval is the next step. Your lender will review your financial and employment information to determine the maximum loan they can offer. You will be asked for information to confirm your income, like pay stubs and tax forms.
With your income confirmed, the lender can approve you for the loan. And with preapproval, you will know how much you can spend on a modular home.
When you have been preapproved, your lender will give you a preapproval letter that you can use to show to sellers when buying a home or land.
Are There Many Styles of Modular Homes Available?
It is easy to assume that all modular homes look alike, but this isn’t the case. There are many different designs, sizes, and styles available to meet your needs.
Picking your floor plan won’t be a problem. You will end up with a property that looks unique and has the layout you need for your family.
Hundreds of different layouts are offered by manufacturers, and some customization may be offered as well. Even in the early days of prefabricated homes, hundreds of designs were available. Sears in the 1930s had at least 370 designs of modular homes.
Prices of modular homes will be impacted by the design just like typical housing.
Vet The Builder When Building a Modular House
Just as you should vet the builder when buying traditional new construction, you should also do the same with a modular home. There are many different modular builders to choose from.
Without a doubt, there will be good and bad companies. It will be vital to do your due diligence. Make sure you ask the builder questions to ensure you’re on the same page. The answers are likely to go a long way towards determining your happiness at the end of the project.
You can expect the modular home prices to be different from company to company.
Do Modular Homes Hold Their Value?
While you might expect this type of property to not keep its value the same way as traditional stick-built homes, that isn’t the case. Modular homes should hold on to their value the same as other types of construction.
Modular homes should also last as long as other construction types. As long as you continue to maintain your home, it shouldn’t lose its value. If the local housing market is growing, a modular home in that area will grow as well.
While initial modular home pricing might be lower, don’t expect sale prices to be less relative to other similar properties.
Do Building Codes Apply to Modular Homes?
Regardless of where the home was manufactured, it needs to follow the building codes for where it will be assembled. All the same building codes apply, from the state and locally. It’s critical to understand that local building codes might be different from town to town or city to city.
Building permits will be required to be taken out locally just like stick-built houses.
Modular Homes vs. Manufactured Homes: What is The Difference
Both manufactures homes and modular homes are types of prefabricated housing. Both are constructed in a factory setting with a controlled environment. Final assembly for a modular house is done on site, whereas a manufactured home is done completely in the factory and then shipped.
Typically, manufactured homes don’t have the same customization as a modular construction does. Manufactured homes must conform to the HUD Code.
Buying Land to Construct Your Modular Home
If you have decided you want to build a modular home, you will need to find some land for it. Do you want a piece of land with acreage or would something more manageable be better?
Choosing the right real estate agent will better help you find the ideal lot for your new home.
They should have some experience dealing with this type of purchase so that they will help you avoid buying the wrong piece of land. They will have the knowledge to steer you away from a modular design that is bigger than your budget and make sure you don’t buy land at the wrong time.
Buying the wrong land could throw modular home prices out of whack.
Other Low Cost Alternatives to Building a Modular Home
There are a few other lower cost housing alternatives to a modular home. One is a tiny home and the other is a shipping container home. Each of these types of properties have their pros and cons that are worth researching.
Container homes may not be allowed in some locations. Tiny homes might not have the necessary space needed for a growing family. Both should be well researched before committing. Have a look at the cost to build a container home to get some comparisons.
Modular home pricing is likely to be a bit more expensive than both container and tiny homes.
A modular home can be a good housing choice for many folks. The average modular home will be cheaper than a traditional house for the same size and features. The pricing on a modular home might fall right in line with your budget.
Make sure you do your homework before committing to this type of project. Always consult with a real estate attorney before signing a contract to build a modular home.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information on pricing on modular homes is provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for 35+ Years.
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Pricing on Modular Homes: How Much Does it Cost to Build
See how much it costs to build a modular home. Pricing for modular homes is different than traditional stick-built construction.
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