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Thread: Pre-Fabricated Houses

  1. #1
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
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    Pre-Fabricated Houses

    My DH and I are thinking ahead to retirement and are interested in researching pre-fabricated houses. The problem is, I can't seem to find much on the internet. I've tried different terms to search. Does anyone have any good info and/or websites to point me towards? Thanks in advance, you all always have a lot of information on just about any topic!!

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    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    use the terms 'modular homes' or 'manufactured homes'. i researched them last year and found a ton of info. i've heard nothing but good things about them. but i've decided i don't want to care for a home anymore and am moving to an apartment next month.
    Nancy in western NY
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    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    Many years ago I lived in a 'modular home' in northern NJ where it gets pretty cold and snowy in the winter. I have to say it was the best built home I have ever lived in. It was warm and all the finishes were much better than the stick build home I live in now. Hope you find the home of your dreams!

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    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I agree with QuiltnNan, those are the terms I have heard also. I'm sure they would be great homes.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Dyan's Avatar
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    Our local zoning officer, told me that he felt pre-fab houses are better built than stick built houses.
    Dyan

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    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Also, check out This Old House on PBS. They recently had a segment on how manufactured homes are built. It showed the house going through the factory. It was fascinating. (Of course, I'm a factory nerd, so maybe normal people wouldn't be impressed.)

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    I have lived in a modular home for the past 19 years...and I must say it's every bit as good or better than any stick built one, even the one that I and my first husband built. I have confidence in it enough I'm not afraid when it storms (unless it's a tornado; then all bets are off!) or anything else. It has held up well and wasn't too expensive; utility bills are low and it still seems to be well insulated. So go ahead!
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  8. #8
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Modular Homes

    My inlaws bought a modular home about 15 years ago. I was part of the process and thought it was well built....and the decorating process was a DREAM! They brought out several boards, each with one color scheme. Pick the one that you like best.....each board had color-coordinated carpet, counters, linoleum, etc.....Then it was easy.....pick between these two for the kitchen floor. Pick between these three for the kitchen counters. ETC! And in about 10 minutes, my wonderful but usually terrible indecisive MIL had decorated her whole home. I had a problem visiting the model homes as I seem to be sensitive to something (maybe the formaldehyde used in most materials) but after about a week, I was fine at MIL's house. I will definitely consider a modular for my retirement in a few years as well.....
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  9. #9
    Super Member CindyA's Avatar
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    Thanks, you guys came through again as I knew you would!! I found a ton of info searching with terms 'modular homes' and 'manufactured homes.' I've also seen the tv shows that tour the factory, Lisa. I'm not sure if it was This Old House, but it really got me interested in these homes. Teacherbailey, set choices will definitely help me, too!! Plus, it looks like if you do want to use a different product that you can easily work with them to do that.

    Thanks everyone!

  10. #10
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    I love walking through the displays! Each one can be modified to your taste. I find them more creative than cookie-cutter subdivision display homes. I would love to have one.

    sandy
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  11. #11
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    In my town the pre fab home are different then the mobile homes (trailor). Pre fabbed are constructed on the property and the mobile homes are towed and set up on the property. My area has a no mobile home zoning law, but a pre fab home is considered a built home. In my area a manufactured home and mobile home means the same as a trailer but a pre fab home is not. Every storm the local news is saying leave your mobile or manufactured homes for safety.
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    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    I live in a manufactured home in FL. Ours is a 2005 model built to withstand 130 MPH winds. Research the laws of the state where you plan to live. They are different. And if you can visit the factory where the homes are made. Take the tour and see how it is done. Each Manufacturer does things a little differently. What is an option (read that costs more) for one manufacturer may be included at another one. There are reasons for the price differences. Then decide if you want to live in a park. I would suggest one that is resident owned. That keeps your options open for the future. Or on your own land.

    Whatever you decide, do your homework up front.

    I would add, today's manufactured homes are very different from the mobile homes of yesteryear.
    Last edited by grammy17; 06-10-2014 at 04:54 AM.

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    How many 'stick built' homes can drive down the interstate at 70mph? and still be in one piece? Should tell us something about how good these modular homes are. I got to 'redesign' a few things from the sample home, add features, upgrade some, and go to the 'factory' to watch some of it being built! Then 2 weeks later !! Home!! : )

  14. #14
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    Our local zoning officer, told me that he felt pre-fab houses are better built than stick built houses.
    Yes, they are built better. There's a HUD inspector at every step of the way. Plus the homes are built inside a huge building, so are not exposed to weather. The zoning here is very specific about the way manufactured homes are set up and I would imagine the same is true for modular. Way more checks on the manufactured homes than the stick built. IMHO We bought one for our retirement and it sits on 10 acres. The worst upkeep is mowing! I like that we were able to choose colors, flooring, etc. before it was built. Cleaning is a snap. Lots of storage...more than in the large stick built home we had in Seattle!
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    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I think that's what my son and DIL got. when they had it moved to their property, the windows weren't in place well and the girls had drafty bedrooms. but they figured out the problem and it was fixed.

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    Super Member caspharm's Avatar
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    My InLaws had a manufactured home and it had wonderful finishes.

  17. #17
    Super Member abdconsultant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyA View Post
    My DH and I are thinking ahead to retirement and are interested in researching pre-fabricated houses. The problem is, I can't seem to find much on the internet. I've tried different terms to search. Does anyone have any good info and/or websites to point me towards? Thanks in advance, you all always have a lot of information on just about any topic!!
    look at American homes, google modular and panelized homes.
    Just passing through!

  18. #18
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    Live in a 1985 modular home, and it is sturdy and first owners had roofs extended to make them have wide eaves and it is a good home. Would like to update but hard to do on SS. Little at a time. In 1975 when buying first home in El Paso, got an older home as the new ones were so shoddy in their building in price range DH #1 (Career Army and pay sucked back then) and I could afford.

  19. #19
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    Just be careful what you will do with the home. If you set it on a leased lot or in a "retirement" community you run the risk of the community going broke and kicking you out. Since it costs over $10,000 to move a modular home you should consider it.

    Also, the home depreciates in value just like a car unless it is set on a permanent foundation.

    With all that said - I tried to encourage my DH to consider buying a modular home in a "50+" community. There were several here that had a pool, gym, social activities, landscaping provided, etc.

    He would not consider it and now he wishes he did.

    One wonderful thing about those homes is all the built in storage!
    :-)
    CAS

  20. #20
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I should add -- when shopping for one, make sure it is a "true" house with real studs, sheet-rock, windows, etc. Some houses that are stapled together fall apart rather quickly and have no value.
    :-)
    CAS

  21. #21
    Suz
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    We looked into this several years ago and passed. The land purchase, clearing land, foundation, permits, drilling a well, septic system, running electricity, etc. cost almost as much as the home. Be sure to check this out.

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    Check out: www.unityhomes.com they had some nice floor plans.

  23. #23
    Super Member reeskylr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CindyA View Post
    My DH and I are thinking ahead to retirement and are interested in researching pre-fabricated houses. The problem is, I can't seem to find much on the internet. I've tried different terms to search. Does anyone have any good info and/or websites to point me towards? Thanks in advance, you all always have a lot of information on just about any topic!!

    Cindy, we live in a Manufactured home. It was built in 1997 and is still going strong. It is top of the line from Palm Harbor Homes. Hope that helps!
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  24. #24
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    On DIY this morning there was a show dedicated to modular homes. Go to DIY and search modular homes and you can watch the show.

  25. #25
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    PreFab homes are built in climate controlled factories and they have come a long way. The timeline is also much shorter from purchase to installation. Depending on where a person lives the building of a home can take anywhere from 3 months to a year because of weather conditions. The cost may be a little more but one thing also is the labor. Workers show up more at a build when the weather is just right. My cousin worked in one of those factories and conditions were perfect. If it's too hot or too cold many contract workers always have some excuse not to work. Also remember they are not the same as a mobile home (an axle base).

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