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Old 11-22-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Looking around and fell in love with this ranch we viewed, and turns out it is a modular home, built in 2003. 1700sf above 1700sf unfinished basement. I stress the 'unfinished' because I have access to everything (elec, plumbing, joists). It looks like a solid house, clean construction, 2x12 joists and 2x6 walls, but realtor and lender both say it will be harder to finance bc of their stigma as "lesser quality". Not to be confused with a manufactured home on an attached trailer, not what we have here.

Should I be cautious? Should I investigate anything in particular? Not seeing what makes it "lower quality".


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Old 11-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #2
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Get an architect to check it out. If he sees good quality materials and construction, he will be prepared to certify its soundness when it comes to find finance. I worked for a war service homes department (with 120,000 loans to returned service veterans), and my role was to appraise the soundness of construction and whether we would make a loan available.

Very rarely did we knock back a house based on stigma, in fact we found the majority of modular homes and prefabricated homes more soundly built than conventional homes. If you like the house, and the architect says its sound, you have nothing to worry about. It will be more a case of proving you can pay the loan back in the time required.

Cheers from Joe in Oz

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Old 11-22-2011, 04:59 PM   #3
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Manufactured Housing has come a long way in the past two (or so) decades. Lenders need to get their act together they are missing some opportunities.

I have worked in many of them and the more recent homes are first-quality and constructed no different than what would be considered a conventional stick build. They are as you describe and in my experience every bit as substantial as any stick builds I work on. The basement is an added bonus because I've seen plenty of them on a crawl space only.

I'm a nobody but I would say if you approach a lender and they squawk then approach them with having it validated by an independent architect to make the deal a little more appetizing to them.

JoJo has made a good suggestion.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Basement is a huge selling factor! My wife doesn't want me to do another total gut-job so this allows her to enjoy the upstairs while I get to play and build out the basement. The 30x30 finished and heated pole barn is a nice plus as well
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


I have lived in several homes and owned 4 I now have a Modular home built in 1990, let me tell you something this house is solid as a rock every wall & stud are perfect, the house is wrapped with tyvek there are no wind leaks anywhere, the exterior walls are all 2x6 , every electrical and plumbing penetration is cut exact and spray foamed.
This will probably be the last house I own but if it's not I will be looking for a Modular home. Another reason their built so solid is they have to travel over the highway to be put in place so nothing moves. It is on a full basement I can get at everything.
Happy Mod home owner. Go for it.
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Old 11-22-2011, 05:58 PM   #6
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Just thinking.

Modular homes are constructed under somewhat controlled environmental and climatic conditions. They are not exposed to the elements during their assembly as are stick-builds.

The configurations of the accouterments are planned and patterned and not left up to the discretion of various workers in the field with wandering skill levels.

The transportation is intelligently thought-out and professionally executed as is the final site-assembly.

The list goes on and on. There are all kinds of reasons to own and occupy a manufactured home in my opinion.
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #7
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


A few years back, we looked at some Nelson Homes being built around here, and of course talked w/ the rep. The homes were well constructed. Window and door frames were rectangles, not obscure 4-sided shapes, OSB (which I don't care for) was well nailed to the studs, the lumber was first rate, floor joists were skookum as hell, etc. I saw no reason for a person not to buy one. All the "hard stuff" (plumbing, wiring) is still to be done; building the wood is the easy part, and a machine can do that very nicely.
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Old 11-22-2011, 08:11 PM   #8
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Maybe refer to the home as "factory built?, or something other than "modular"...? Just trying to come up with ideas for the insurance/mortgage scammers....
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:36 AM   #9
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


1910 ne I like that.

"Factory built, Modular no wheels". Not a bad name I am sure that people can come up with better.

I was wondering about the bad rap they get and have and idea where that came from.
Unscrupulous General Contractor's selling them to people over the years and putting them up with inferior foundations made of 2x4s, cinder blocks, rocks and anything they could get their hands on to set them and hook them up to Utilities. Then wind and rain and snow just blew them over or they sunk in the ground. Just a thought.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:04 AM   #10
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


We are putting in an offer today. Went back yesterday to do another walk-through and I'm more than pleased with the structure as far as I can see. No warping, staining, leaking, and quite frankly its far higher quality than some of my friends' recent new-builds. The 2x6 studs alone speak a lot up here in the frigid north for increased insulation in the walls.

We'll see where we get and I'll keep you posted on the appraisal, if they accept our offer. Worst case scenario it comes out lower and we negotiate the price down
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Had a customer buy a house from Westchester Modular. The house was built in 2000, she bought it in 2005. It has MI windows slapped onto OSB. They just caulked the flanges on the windows and nailed them on.
Currectly the OSB is rotting. The vinyl clad wood windows are rotting.
Look more at the particular house then the modular vs. stick built concept. Pay particular attention to the windows and doors and the way they were installed and who made them.
Check that the boiler was cast iron and not steel. Many options can be chosen for a house. Make sure your house wasn't ordered with a bare bones option plan.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:06 AM   #12
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


FEMA said that modulars tend to hold up better during hurricanes. They are overbuilt to survive the transport.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:25 AM   #13
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


Quote:
FEMA said that modulars tend to hold up better during hurricanes.
Is that the same FEMA that did such an excellent job of rescuing and aiding the citizens of New Orleans after Katrina?
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:30 AM   #14
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


That's the one.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:29 AM   #15
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Modular home vs traditional built, a "lesser" home?


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Originally Posted by mikegp View Post
FEMA said that modulars tend to hold up better during hurricanes. They are overbuilt to survive the transport.
Structurally, they're like little load bearing boxes put together in a group.
All I'm saying is that the house is more then just it's structure. It's the high cost finish products put into it that can make or break it. These items are not always evident with a precursory look and should be gone over very thoroughly to make sure what's behind the curtain.

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