Learn About Modular Homes

What's a Modular Home?

Modular homes are homes that are typically prefabricated (manufactured in a factory), and delivered on a truck either in sections, in small parts, or fully assembled. The ability to manufacturer a home in mass production helps reduce cost in labor. Modular homes are different than manufactured homes in that they are permanent structures and set on a foundation instead of on wheels.

If there's something you are interested in learning more about, check out some information below.

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How prefab homes work

Modular Homes 101

Modular versus manufactured

A manufactured home is different than a modular home in one main reason - mobility. Modular homes are permanent structures where manufactured homes are usually on wheels, and can be transplanted.

Prefab, modular, ADU

There's a lot of terms here but modular homes are almost always prefabricated homes; they are made in factories as a whole or a kit of parts. An ADU (accessory dwelling unit) is a modular home that can be lived in (bathroom, kitchen) as opposed to a recreational studio or office space.

Homeowner costs

When you buy a modular home, you typically are responsible for site prep work before installation: trenching for plumbing, electrical, and hiring a GC to build a foundation. Modular home Manufacturers often don't include site work in their price but they have general contractors that they can recommend.

Site costs

When shopping for a modular home, the biggest unknown is your site conditions - how difficult it is to get a modular home to your property and how difficult it is to crane it into place. Properties that are on mountain cliffs, or in-between high rise buildings will cost more. Site prep costs can be expensive, sometimes up to half the cost of the modular home.

Flat packed versus preassembled

A modular home that is flat packed is one shipped in pieces that can lay flat on a truck bed. This ability to be flat enables easier and cheaper transportation. Flat packed modular homes come to the site in sections, like walls and roofs, and they are assembled on site within a few days. Pre-assembled modular homes come fully assembled, transported on a flat bed, and put into place on a crane. Pre-assembled modular homes require minimal to no installation and can be lived in the next day.

Tiny homes, big price

You can expect to pay anywhere between $75,000 and $200,000 for a modular home. This might sound like a big price point compared to a mobile home, DIY home, or a track home. The reason is that you are not paying for square footage. An ADU home has the core elements of any home (electrical, plumbing, foundation) that makes up the bulk of the price point.

Financing modular homes

Modular homes can be financed through Home Equity Line of Credit, Construction Mortgage, Refinance Plus improvements, Refinance, Purchase Plus Improvements. In many cities like California, co-investing has become a desirable option where a third party will pay for the entire home and split the rental profits. Terms are different by lender but this model can help you get a modular home on your property without any upfront costs.

Shipping costs

Shipping costs are calculator per mile (or km) based on the closest factory to the property that you are placing your modular home. If the closest factory is overseas, you can expect a large shipping cost (~$17,000 USD) due to specialized shipping. If your modular home is flat packed, it is significantly cheaper because it is shipped conventionally.

Developers and Investors

If you are an investor and looking to build a community of modular homes, reach out to us about discounted pricing. Even if you are looking to build 3 or more homes, reach out to see what kind of bulk pricing you can get per unit.

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