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Guide To Buying A Prefab House

Views:0     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-05-14      Origin:Site


Why Buying A Prefab House

There is a few reasons that buying a prefab house might be a good chioce for you:

Aesthetics - you like the aesthetics of the home designs

Energy Savings - you’re looking for a strongly insulated environmentally friendly that will save you money on energy bills

Speed of Construction - Prefab homes are typically built faster and are also built inside a factory (which means whether is not a factor)

Price - In expensive markets, the cost of building high quality new construction with prefab is often 20-50% less than comparable quality new stick built homes

Less Waste - by building a home in a factory, you cut down on the amount of supplies wasted significantly (up to 50%)


Finding a land

If you’re looking to buy a lot that you’ll then build a prefab home on, you’ll likely either be buying raw land or a home that you teardown. Either way, here are the key things to consider:

Is there a flat place to build?

Custom designed prefab homes can be built on significant slopes, but most prefabricated houses cannot be built on challenging slopes without a substantial increase in site costs.

Does the property allow for the size home I want to build?

Many towns have limits on the size home you can build on a lot or set back requirements, so make sure you can build the home you want.

Is the property priced appropriately for my project goals?

Typically, most buyers want to have the price of land plus the price of constructing a prefab home equal or less than the price of a buying a similar quality already built home on the MLS.

Is there a complex design review process in the town?

If there is, review the town or county building plan, and particularly make sure the style and timing of review and approval is consistent with your desires and timing. You can typically quickly learn the zoning and design review procedures by calling the town’s building department and providing the property address or APN#.

Selecting a Prefab House Design

Choose between an already designed home plan or a custom designed home.

If you can find an already designed plan that you like from a credible manufacturer, then this will likely be less expensive. Typically, if you have a normal flat lot and want to build a home 3500 sqft, you have a lot of good options.

 If your lot or ideal lot is on a complicated (i.e. heavily-sloped) lot, is a tight (smaller than 3000 sqft) urban lot and requires an integrated garage, or if you want to build a very large home (4,000 sqft+), then the already designed prefab options are limited

Other key criteria decision (beyond basics like the availability of a design in your area, the aesthetics, size, and price)

Do you want a green home?

Certain manufacturers specialize in building highly energy efficient homes include net-zero homes and homes to the passive house standards. 

How many different parties do you want to work with?

Some prefab manufacturers also do all your construction, others have a network of local builders, others require you to hire the builder. Finally some prefab manufacturers only build the shell (outside of the house) which means you have the freedom or obligation depending on how you look at it to fully customize the interior of the home.

Do you have special weather requirements?

Some homes are specially constructed to be hurricane proof or handle large snow loads.

What you should expect to pay

Overall costs for prefab homes are somewhat variable based on geography as the cost of the site work varies a lot based on the cost of the cost of labor

Typical ranges for the cost to build prefab (all-in) which is the cost of everything except the land are $150 - $600, with the cost for high end homes in expensive areas (e.g. San Francisco Bay Area) typically in the $400 - $600 per sqft. As a benchmark, this is not the cheapest solution, but prefab is typically good value for the quality in expensive areas of the country.


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