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    Mobile Home vs. Stick-Built: Which is More Cost Efficient?

    1 year ago · · Comments Off on Mobile Home vs. Stick-Built: Which is More Cost Efficient?

    Mobile Home vs. Stick-Built: Which is More Cost Efficient?

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    Justin Becker

    Updated: June 22, 2021

    If you have been considering a mobile home recently, you may have noticed how reasonably priced they are. Modular homes are not just affordable, they are actually the more cost-effective choice when you compare them to traditional stick-built homes.

    Nevertheless, if you have had the pleasure of checking out some of these modern-day modular homes, then you already know what they offer — amazing contemporary layouts, full-size kitchens, multiple bedrooms, custom bathrooms, and more.

    With that said, you may be wondering why these incredible mobile homes/modular homes cost half the price of stick-built homes? Well, that is a great question that we can definitely answer.

    Mobile Home vs. Stick-Built

    There are five reasons, in particular, that manufactured homes are the more cost-effective option, when compared to stick-built homes.

    So, without further ado, let’s go over those reasons:

    The Major Difference

    Before going into detail about why manufactured homes/modular homes are half the price of stick-built homes, it helps to know the major difference between these two types of housing.

    Manufactured homes are built in a factory, and not one that was built on-site. In other words, modular homes are completely assembled in a factory and then transported to its intended real estate/homesite.

    Manufactured homes are often customized to the buyers’ specifications and offer roughly half as much square footage, or living space, as a stick-built home.

    In contrast, a stick-built home, or site-built home, is one that is built entirely on-site. Here, builders lay the foundation for a conventional house and then proceed to construct the buyers’ dream home.

    Building Process

    Now that you are aware of the major difference between mobile homes and stick-built homes, it should be evident that one of the reasons manufactured homes are more affordable is because of the overall building process.

    As briefly mentioned, the modular home construction is done in an assembly-line fashion, and in a climate-controlled factory. As a result, manufactured homes are constructed quickly and without any interruption from the weather.

    Plus, modular homes arrive at their homesites with complete wiring, plumbing, windows, and more, already installed. Thus, there is really not much to do once the home is transported to the site.

    On the other hand, stick-built homes are constructed from scratch, on-site. Thus, weather conditions play a major role in the building process and affect the overall quality of your future home.

    Think about it, if it is raining, snowing, or even too windy, then construction will more than likely be delayed until weather conditions are more favorable.

    Moreover, a traditional home is not efficiently built all at once, like manufactured homes are, rather they are built in stages, and they must adhere to all local building codes.

    Materials Used

    Stick-built homes require ample building materials, not only because of their overall size, but extras are usually kept on hand just in case of any unexpected problems that should arise.

    Thus, you have to purchase all the necessary materials upfront, and then, essentially, find a way to store them until they are needed. Remember, you cannot leave shingles, lumber, windows, and insulation lying around.

    Likewise, you do not want these vital materials exposed to the elements for too long. Unprotected building materials left out in the open are often vandalized, stolen, or damaged.

    Therefore, all of these things need to be accounted for monetarily when building a traditional site-built home. What’s more, any unused materials need to be properly disposed of, or removed, from your homesite, and this generally does not happen for free.

    With manufactured homes, these potential problems simply do not exist. Consequently, there is no real need to order extra building materials. The reality is that manufactured home factories have home construction down to a science, which means your future home is built without hardly any material waste, and in record time.

    Time Frame to Construct

    As briefly touched upon, there are a variety of factors that affect the time frame for constructing both types of housing.

    Modular homes take a short time to build, typically being completed in a matter of months — three to five months, to be exact. Stick-built/traditional dwellings, however, may take up to six months to build, or it could very well take years to complete, for several reasons.

    For starters, bad weather can literally undo any progress that has been made when building a home. Similarly, days that do not have the right weather conditions are days that no one is working on completing your house. Moreover, stick-built homes are larger and, thus, can take even longer to build.

    Ultimately, these are only a few reasons that affect the final price of your home. Note, many people save money with manufactured homes by having the foundation laid simultaneously to in-factory construction, which you simply cannot do with traditional houses.

    Design and Overall Scale

    Another reason manufactured homes are less expensive than stick-built residences is because of their design and overall scale.

    In the past, manufactured homes were, for lack of a better term, very cookie-cutter; thus, this was a turnoff for many people. However, today’s manufactured homes rival that of even the most intricately designed and customized traditional houses.

    Plus, due to the sheer size of manufactured homes, customizing them is very inexpensive. For instance, an upscale kitchen that needs granite countertops, custom cabinetry, and more, is still less labor-intensive and involves fewer materials when it is a manufactured home.

    Furthermore, manufactured homes are designed to be more efficient, which generally includes smaller, more energy-efficient appliances and fixtures. These inevitably cut down on labor costs since they are typically easier to install and transport.

    Finally, homes with less square footage do not require a wealth of materials or a lot of time to put together, which just equals even more savings.

    Price of Land

    Lastly, the price of your homesite/real estate is another reason manufactured houses cost less than stick-built homes.

    People often overlook the price they paid for their homesite when comparing the cost of modular homes and traditional homes; however, it is still very much a factor in the total price (depending on location, your homesite can account for more than half of your construction budget).

    Typically, traditional houses are built on purchased property; thus, the cost of a sizable land lot will absolutely be included in the price of your home, when you think about it. Plus, let’s not forget the property taxes and other expenses that pop up when you buy the land that your home sits on.

    With manufactured homes, you can also purchase property to place your house on, but if you choose to do so, it will likely cost you less because you will not need a ton of acreage for a smaller home.

    That said, most people, nowadays, place their mobile homes in manufactured home communities. So, they are not spending thousands of dollars on the property for their house.

    Likewise, manufactured homeowners generally pay less in property taxes, if they are even required to pay them at all. The cost to rent a manufactured home lot is minimal, at best.

    This is something to keep in mind if you are still unsure about which type of housing is best for your budget.

    Final Thoughts

    Ultimately, manufactured homes tend to be the more sensible option, especially if you are looking for luxury affordable housing. Not only do they cost less than traditional houses, but you also tend to get more value over time/resale value.

    So, if you are ready to start building your future home, why not do your budget a favor and check out the manufactured home communities and dealers in your area — these are at least five reasons you won’t regret it.

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    About The Author

    Justin Becker is a property owner in the state of Michigan and has a passion for managing communities. He owns both apartment complexes and mobile home communities and has been writing his own blogs for his properties for several years.
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