I cannot comment about selling a modular home in Cupertino. My family built a modular home in Cupertino three years ago. The experience was positive.
To my knowledge, we are the second family in our neighborhood that built a modular home.
In 2008, on the way home, I saw a section of a house being lifted by crane and placed on the foundation. The whole house came in three sections. Previously, I had seen a HGTV episode about modular homes. Seeing a modular home installed in my neighborhood piqued my interest. I watched the building process, researched information online and finally, knocked on my neighborâ€™s door and asked questions. My neighbor shared some tips with me and I started talking to different modular home dealers.
We went to cityâ€™s planning department, the staff showed our lot's set back requirements and drew the building envelope for our future house.
After multiple negotiations, my wife and I selected a dealer and a factory to build our house. My wife designed a house that met our needs. The factory updated the design to be factory buildable. My wife and I made three trips to the factory to select our house options. Once the selections were made, we negotiated and agreed on the final factory price with the dealer. The factory did not raise the price after the sales contract was signed through the dealer.
Our house is well built. It has 2x6 exterior studs. 2x10 floor joists. The entire house is well insulated and it shows on the PG&E bills.
The building permit process was smooth. Anything built in the factory had to be approved by State of California. The factory gave us the building plan and Title 24 report already approved by the State government. Our architect/engineer did the blending package for the building permit submission that included the factory plan, foundation plan and the stick built portion of the house that was mainly the garage. City of Cupertino did a cursory review of the factory plan and paid more attention to the stick build portion of the submission. The first submission was returned for corrections. The return was mainly related to the stick build portion of the house. We got the building permit after the second submission.
Our house came with many items already completed in the factory, such as:
â€¢ Recessed lights
â€¢ Windows , cornice boxes, wood blinds
â€¢ Ceiling and interior walls painted, doors installed
â€¢ Tankless waterheater
â€¢ Furnace and air duct
â€¢ Plumbing and electrical inside the walls were already done
The bathrooms were completed at the factory. The bathroomsâ€™ tiles were installed at the factory and withstood the transport. The kitchen cabinets were partially installed and the rest of the kitchen accessories, including cabinets, faucet, garbage disposal, countertop, refrigerator, range and hood, were loose shipped. Our house has 9 feet tall ceiling throughout, tray ceiling in living room and 8 feet tall interior doors.
The city inspectors did not re-inspect any work that had already passed the State inspection in the factory. This made the building process much faster. We moved into our house four months after it was placed on the foundation.
We have refinanced our house three times to take advantage of the lower interest rates. We have no problem getting conventional interest rates. In our very first refinancing, our loan agent told the lenders that the house was built in the factory. This caused a few lenders thinking it was a HUD standard manufactured home. Fortunately, Bank of America had good knowledge of modular homes. We submitted the paperwork to show the house was built based on the uniform building code (UBC) and California Building Code (CBC). The appraiser treated our house no different than a stick built house. The underwriter later told our loan agent that in the future, there is no need to disclose the house was built in the factory. During our third refinancing, the appraiser found out that our house was a modular home through the city record. He called me and asked whether our house was craned or rolled onto the foundation. After I told him it was craned to the foundation, he told me he knew the house is a modular home that meets the state and local building codes. He would consider it as a regular house. He appraised our house at the fair market value, using other neighborhood houses as comps. He did not ask for additional documentation.
If you want to build a good house with little headache, modular home is a good route. We love our house.