Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

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lostinjersey
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Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by lostinjersey » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:35 am

My mom is 67 and lives 10 miles outside of town by herself in the home I grew up in, in Montana. My dad died last year and she has decided she doesn't want to deal with winters in the country any more, so she'd like to move 'into town'. Unfortunately there are no decent homes in the tiny town that she lives in, so she is considering buying a prebuilt modular home and putting it up on an empty lot.

I've been in some of these types of homes and haven't really been impressed with the fixtures, flooring, etc. But I'm sure that there are all sorts of quality levels when it comes to purchasing one of these homes. If you have experience in this area, can you recommend a specific companies or builders? We are just getting started so thoughts on the basics up to specifics are appreciated!

Mike Scott
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Mike Scott » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:13 pm

Modulars are better than they used to be but expensive does not necessarily mean higher quality. For other options, what about a large RV trailer? Or a custom built "tiny" home. Any condos or apartments for rent in the area?

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David Jay
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by David Jay » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:22 pm

Modular/Manufactured Homes
Note, two very different things:

"Manufactured Home" means a double-wide trailer. The trailer frame stays under the unit when the unit is placed on the lot.

"Modular" means factory build using stick-built (or better) construction. They are designed to go on a foundation. Our home is a modular, it is very well built with 2x6 exterior walls on 16" centers.
Last edited by David Jay on Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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weltschmerz
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by weltschmerz » Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:32 pm

I was watching an episode of "Tiny House Hunters", and there was a pre-fab house builder that really caught my eye. They are called Ideabox, based in Salem, OR:

http://www.ideabox.us/

They'll build it custom, or you can select one of their designs. They ship them all over the west coast, so I'm sure they could send one to Montana. If I ever had a plot of land, I would seriously consider one of their houses.

runner3081
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by runner3081 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:04 pm

My sister had a modular home built for them in Iowa. Zero issues with the house, but tons of issues with the foundation leaking and caving in (not from house builder).

Make sure to hire a reputable foundation company and have the lot graded appropriately. That costs a ton of money in repairs and resulted in a lawsuit.

Ron
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Ron » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:14 pm

Regardless of the type of housing, most local zoning ordinances define what can be put on a lot regardless if it's a modular, manufactured, or stick built on site. That's where a lot of problems occur in placing non-stick built housing.

My wife/me owned a 12x60 mobile home (trailer) back in the early 70's during our early years of marriage, after my military enlistment ended. It was a real pain trying to get a place to put it since we didn't want to go into a trailer park (entrance fees and monthly lot fees were quite high, along with the living conditions in most local parks at the time).

We finally found a single lot in the country that was being developed by a farmer that had intentions of building a park on other land he owned. For us, it worked out well and we stayed there for four years before we purchased our first "real" home.

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Rupert
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Rupert » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:46 pm

Yes, modular and manufactured are very different, with modular being better quality generally speaking. Manufactured means "trailer" with all the baggage that comes with that term. Modular is actually only one type of prefabricated home; a panelized home is another option. The structural components of a panelized home (walls, roof and floor systems) are constructed in a factory and delivered to your lot where it is and finished just like a stick-built home. Panelized houses must follow state and federal building code requirements and can be regularly inspected, just like site-built homes. Modular homes are built almost entirely in a factory. The house is constructed in separate box-like modules—complete with attached walls, floor, ceiling, wiring, plumbing and interior fixtures—which are transported and put together onsite. Modular homes are typically cheaper but not always, as there are many luxury options out there. You're fortunate in that most of the companies who build these types of homes are based on the west coast and would likely ship to Montana. People on the East Coast don't have as many options.

Yooper
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Yooper » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:23 pm

David Jay wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:22 pm
Modular/Manufactured Homes
Note, two very different things:

"Manufactured Home" means a double-wide trailer. The trailer frame stays under the unit when the unit is placed on the lot.

"Modular" means factory build using stick-built (or better) construction. They are designed to go on a foundation. Our home is a modular, it is very well built with 2x6 exterior walls on 16" centers.
Agreed. Very happy with ours (modular) and because of its modular design it's very easy to maintain (electrical, water and gas connections are all easily accessible). The only thing I would check on if you/she decided to go this route is to confirm the "attic" insulation. During transport and setup it can shift so make sure you do a quick walkthrough of the attic area to make sure the R value of insulation is in fact there and evenly distributed.

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Watty
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Watty » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:12 pm

I don't know anything about them but it would be good to make sure that house is handicapped friendly even if it doesn't meet every ADA standard.

bartbill
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by bartbill » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:59 am

I too am considering a modular home. It's just the two of us now and we don't want a large house. We want a small one (1800 square feet or so). We will be escaping Colorado soon; probably New Mexico or Wyoming. I would like to see some recommended builders of modular homes.

Yooper
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Yooper » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:51 am

bartbill wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:59 am
I too am considering a modular home. It's just the two of us now and we don't want a large house. We want a small one (1800 square feet or so). We will be escaping Colorado soon; probably New Mexico or Wyoming. I would like to see some recommended builders of modular homes.
Ours is a Fairmont (https://www.fairmonthomes.com/) and happy thus far. Although it appears they only serve a particular geographic area (https://www.fairmonthomes.com/find-a-retailer/) so you may need to research brands that are available in your area.

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prudent
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by prudent » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:57 pm

Parents had a ranch-style modular home built when they moved south. It's been 15 years, holding up very well. At the time it cost half of what the same home would have cost if stick-built.

lostinjersey
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by lostinjersey » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:16 am

Thanks everyone for the replies. We will stick with modular homes and cross manufactured off the list. My mom lived in a trailer house in they were first married and she wants nothing to do with them now.

Anyone else have recommendations or thoughts on modular homes? I appreciate the suggestions for Ideabox and Fairmont and will include both in our research.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:24 am

One neighbor and a friend have had modular houses put up. The neighbor had a traditional colonial with a 2 car garage under. This arrived in 4 pieces, was put up in 2 days then exterior siding was added. From foundation complete to house complete was under a week. Nice house that looks like many around it.

Friends built a 2 piece ranch. Cheap and quick, it was more contemporary. Looked almost like a squished A frame. Neither of these would stand out as something different from the traditional stick built houses around them.

Manufactured.......if she's going to Florida, for example, have her look for bank forclosures. My mom bought a "double wide" that the bank completely refurbished including all carpeting and all new appliances. This was 15 years ago and my mom paid $20k all in within Orlando. I do know that Indiana is cheap to buy in, but $20k is a low end car in my mind....not a house. Something to remember with trailers (manufactured homes) is that they depreciate like cars. They don't appreciate like houses often do.
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msk
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Re: Experience with Modular/Manufactured Homes

Post by msk » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:59 am

A friend lived in a factory-built home near Ottawa, Canada that was so high quality I was astonished when he told me it was factory built. This perked my interest and I subsequently visited a show-park presenting numerous designs in Nova Scotia and even a factory in New Brunswick (example here http://www.mapleleafhomes.ca/ and here http://www.kenthomes.com/kent-homes-home.aspx). The message is very simple: factory-built homes are a tremendous convenience (built very fast and since indoors the execution speed is never delayed by weather) and you can be assured of excellent craftsmen, plumbers, electricians, etc. since they are there for years at a time. Erection on site takes mere days. BUT! it's not cost saving. They cost the same as traditionally built stick frames, but you can expect next to nil "snagging" issues when you move in because of good quality craftsmen. Of course, 3 months or shorter lead time from signing the contract to moving-in is also great. I'd suggest it's worthwhile to travel to a factory or a show park before choosing a builder or a design. Fittings and finishings depend on how much you are willing to pay; all have vast choices. I also considered log homes. Bummer: they cost more than traditional homes but beautiful designs are available in western Canada http://www.panabodehomes.com/ (e.g. for Montana). In the end I settled on buying a 3-year-old traditionally built stick frame because the ocean view from the living room was world class and not available on any empty lot.

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