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Edward Woods, Home Buyer in New Bern, NC

What are the pros and cons of building a modular home (prefab) vs stick built home in New Bern. Looking for land outside city limits. Resale value?

Asked by Edward Woods, New Bern, NC Mon May 7, 2012

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5
Although many of the modular home builders have fantastic designs (I myself once wanted a geodesic dome), there is still some resistance to this kind of structure.

It will have to be disclosed that it's a modular home ("pre-fab" just doesn't have the same cachet as a custom built home). People still think that it's inferior in construction quality. And as such, you may not get the same re-sale value as you would a custom built home.

It's a shame, really, since there are so many benefits to this, and the hybrid type of building.

See this article Prefab is not the answer to Affordable, Modern and Green Home
http://americanbuilders.com/articles/sitebuilt_vs_prefab.html
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 7, 2012
Edward
Good luck to you, whichever way you choose to go. It probably will now be a matter of paying now or pay later. Pay less for a modular home today, but when it comes to resale in the future, you'll probably also see less appreciation for the structure. Take care.
Flag Tue May 8, 2012
Thank you for your comment. I read the article and saw it was helpful to a point. A few years ago my wife and I decided that we rather build a house that met all our needs instead of buying one that was already built. We looked at about 40 new homes and many lack things we wanted large yard, kitchen, etc... We talked to some family and they told us about modular homes and we decided to check it out. When we met with the engineers they showed us some of the models and even went through the plans we had. They told us that they could make a home for us any way we liked at up to 15% less cost. Sounded good but I was concerned with the finish quality of the interior as some of the walls looked very cheap and appliance weren't the best. We got a quote for a 3500 sq. ft. custom home for around $275,000 which was much less than the $450,000 we had set aside for a 3100 sq. ft. site built we wanted before the market went way south.
Flag Mon May 7, 2012
We actually decided against the modular home because of restrictions regarding areas it could be placed. Some subdivisions saw it as a hazard if a hurricane approached. Many still feel as if it is not the same quality as a stick built home. We had the same problems concerning the upgrade and standard options. I remember we looked at a modular that was 2100 sq ft on the first floor with 4 bedrooms and 2/3 baths. It had a unfinished second story of an additional 1200 sq ft. I was going to use it for my recording studio, kids playroom and a small theater. The price of the standard build was quoted at $160,000. However, the standard options weren't up to our standards. The price we got to upgrade the kitchen stove and oven along was around $3000. That included a gas range and wall ovens. Granite was an extra $2500. Sometimes it's best to go with standard options if you can live with it for a few years and upgrade later when great sales pop up. We are building a custom stick built home in raleigh. Found out later that if we brought a modular home we would not have the ability to remodel it later. So that meant if we decided later we didn't want that wall dividing the family room, we couldn't remove it because its part of the permanent structure. I wish you the best with your home purchase!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
Edward- I was wondering if you ever went through with building the modular home? My husband and I are looking into doing the same in MD.
We got a number of around $125/sq ft for a 2000 sq ft home but quickly realized the standard options that covers are much less that what we would want. We are waiting on pricing for all the upgrades and waiting for some addresses from our local builder so that we can drive by and see a few homes in process.
If you did go through with it would love to hear about your experience.
Thanks-
Britt
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 5, 2013
Britt, We also live in MD and recently bought a lot to build a home. We originally thought of having a custom home, but someone mentioned modular homes. We have just started our research and I came across your post. What did you decide to do and any suggestions you could throw our way would be much aprreciated. Kim
Flag Mon Jun 9, 2014
The major "pro" for a modular home is initial cost. There is no question you get more square feet for the money. The major negative is appreciation, or lack there of. Appraisers see modular homes as a lesser value because the are built JUST to code. I have been told that most stick build homes (with the exception of some builders who have mastered the art of cutting corners) are built beyond the minimum requirements.

When working as a buyer's agent, I always consider resale for my buyers. No one plans to sell in 6 months or a year. We usually plan to stay in a house a minimum of 5 years and usually more. But, there are times when the unforseen makes moving sooner necessary. There are more buyers for houses closer to cities. That is proven by the fact that there are already more houses close to cities.

Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 19, 2012
Resale Value? This all depends on your price point. Affordable housing is always in need. The word "modular" does scare some people away. When an agent lists a pre-fab home they have to calorize it as modular. Also when you are looking for a lot make sure you read the restrictions for the subdivision. Many subdivisions will not allow modular homes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 8, 2012
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