Manufactured vs. Prefab vs. Modular homes vs. Stick-built

Manufactured vs. Prefab vs. Modular homes vs. Stick-built

Buying a home is the single largest investment most people will make during their lives, so it isn’t something you should undertake without putting some serious consideration into the type of home you purchase. Choosing to build a new home provides you with several choices, such as whether you’ll purchase a manufactured, modular, pre-fabricated or stick-built home. Not all homes are created equal, an important consideration if you’re thinking of purchasing your home based on price alone.

Let’s look at the type of manufacturing methods used in each of the most common types of homes and some of the pros and cons of each.

Prefab and Manufactured Homes

This type of home is put together inside a large building, typically around a non-removable metal chassis. The perceived benefit is that your home arrives already completed, and is then simply set down on an existing foundation. The other advantage to this type of building is that you get more square footage for every dollar spent.

There are several disadvantages to be aware of when considering a manufactured home. The first is that this type of home isn’t attached to a permanent foundation. It can be anchored to the foundation but is never fully integrated to it. Thus, your lender will need your foundation to be of an approved type before they’ll even consider giving you a mortgage – the cost of bringing your existing foundation up to code can be several thousand dollars. Because it is not attached to a foundation, these homes are less likely to weather hurricanes, tornados, or severe storms.

These homes are also typically long and narrow due to the fact they need to be delivered by truck to their destination. This limits the size of each room and the amount of functional living space you can have.

This type of home will usually depreciate over time. Based on that, most lenders will only agree to repayment terms that can be best described as punishing. Moreover, many lenders will not provide financing for a manufactured home which has been moved from its original site.

Modular Homes

A modular home is also built in a “factory” environment, with each piece of the building completed before it’s shipped to the site. Better -quality modular homes are attached to a permanent foundation, resulting in a far more stable and sturdy home for you and your family.

The other benefit of a modular home, versus a prefab or manufactured home, is they can appreciate, giving your lender more peace of mind when considering your mortgage. You may be able to benefit from the same interest rates that you would for a stick-built home.

There are significant disadvantages for purchasing a modular home. Certain towns and municipalities won’t allow the construction of this type of residential building. You might also face challenges if, and when, you try to sell your modular home – there is not always a market for them.

Stick-Built Homes

Homes of this type are constructed using traditional building methods. Your home is assembled on-site, piece by piece, from the foundation up. Your layout and square footage choices are only limited by how much money you want to invest in your home, and because this is a home which should last several lifetimes, loan companies are usually much happier to finance this type of real estate.

At Goertzen Homes we only supply stick-built (also known as site-built) properties. Our homes are built right on the foundation for property owners who reside within a reasonable distance of our offices. For those who are living further away, we assemble your home in advance using stick-built methods, and then deliver it to you in one piece. Once there, we permanently attach your new home to its foundation.

Site-built homes will appreciate in the clear majority of cases, and property values will always bounce back after any type of recession or financial crisis. The same simply can’t be said of prefab, manufactured or modular homes.
A stick-built home is a smart purchase for several reasons:

  • Lenders are happy to finance homes of this type
  • Each home is manufactured by skilled craftsmen, with years of experience
  • You can customize your home size and layout to whatever extent you wish
  • Site-built homes will – all things considered – appreciate in value over time
  • A stick-built home can better endure adverse weather conditions and events, such as tornadoes and hurricanes
  • Your home is completed on time and to your exact specifications – there’s no need to hire sub-contractors to finish it

If you want a custom home you can fall in love with, raise a family in, and trust to become an investment for your whole family, buying a stick-built home is the only decision you should make. The Goertzen Homes team will work with you to make your real estate dreams a reality.