Prefabricated housing, sometimes referred to as modular housing, is a type of home construction in which sections of the home are manufactured in a factory and transported to the building site for assembly. The main advantage of the prefab manufacturing process is that homes can typically be constructed more quickly than a traditional home. Buyers also have a wide variety of designs and styles to choose from. However, prefab homes also offer certain potential disadvantages.
In addition to purchasing the prefab home itself, you will have to find a suitable plot of land. It may take time and effort to find land in an area or neighborhood that is acceptable to you. According to the Modular Today website, a plot of land could cost as much as $100,000 or more, depending on where it is located and the status of the real estate market.
Building a prefab home requires you to pay the manufacturer while the construction process is under way, with payment in full due before the home is completed. If you don't have the cash on hand, you will have to take out a loan to cover the costs. Your prefab home dealer will pay off the loan when your home is finished and issue you a mortgage, much like a bank does for a purchaser of a traditional home.
Transportation and Assembly Issues
Because prefab modules must be transported from the factory to the building site, there is always the possibility of damage while in transit. Depending on how far the modules must travel, your transportation costs could also be relatively high. Precision assembly of the home is also necessary, as improper assembly can result in issues such as joint failure and leaks. Some issues may not become apparent until well after assembly is completed and you've moved into the home.
Although modern prefab homes feature sturdy construction and quality building materials and cost about as much to build as traditional homes, many people still perceive them as inferior, low-income housing. This could make it more difficult to sell the home when the time comes. The industry also has its share of disreputable manufacturers, which adds to the negative image. Before committing to a builder, check with your state manufactured housing association for possible complaints against it.
- Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images