There has been a lot of chatter about the Australian housing market lately. As the economy-at-large continues to show signs of stability, many people are considering building. This number is especially significant amongst first time homebuyers.
Recently, loans to first time homebuyers have risen to their highest levels in years. Also, there is some evidence that the home prices – which were surging to astronomical levels – are starting to cool.
If you are thinking about building a new home, now could be a great time!
Of course, this is a big decision and requires a substantial financial commitment. It is important to understand all options in determining which home building route is best for you.
There are several different options in building a new home. One style that is gaining popularity throughout Australia is the modular home.
So before you jump into any definite plans, let’s talk about modular homes. They might be the best choice for you!
Uh, what is a modular home?
Modular homes are factory built homes that are created section by section. The sections are manufactured indoors and then transported to the land, rather than being built directly on the land. The sections are then assembled on a pre-made foundation at the home site and readied for you and your family to enjoy.
Normally, the modular home sections are assembled by qualified builders who use cranes to assist them.
Modular homes are mobile homes, right?
Although some people use the terms interchangeably, modular homes and mobile homes are two completely different things. Mobile homes (or manufactured homes) are factory-made house-trailers that are parked in a specific location and used as permanent housing. This type of housing can be moved from one location to another.
Modular homes are not mobile. Once assembled on their foundations, they become permanent fixtures – just like traditional houses.
Modular homes also last longer than mobile homes and have higher resale value.
While modular homes sometimes get a bad rap, they are actually high quality homes with many advantages. Some of those advantages are:
- Construction times
Because modular homes are built in sections in a factory, they are often available a lot sooner than traditional homes. Choosing to build a modular home means you are avoiding potential issues with material sourcing, weather, and other common home-building delays.
If at this exact moment, you decide you want to build a modular home, you could be arranging the furniture in your new place and picking out curtains before this time next year.
In order to go through the entire building process for a traditional home, you should expect to wait at least a year and a half before your home is approved for move in.
While costs can vary based on style, size, and the location of your home; modular homes are generally less expensive than traditional homes. Because modular homes are mass-produced, builders are able to save money on construction costs.
And ultimately, those savings roll down to you!
In fact, the total cost of a modular home is about 15% less than that of a traditional home!
- Energy Efficiency
One of the lesser-known benefits of modular homes is their energy efficiency. Because these home sections are built to predetermined specifications in factories and inspected at several points through their fabrication, they tend to have extremely tight seems and ultramodern windows that help control the temperature in the home and reduce energy bills.
Often times, modular homes are even more energy efficient than traditional style brick and mortar homes!
Still, modular homes do have their pitfalls. Here are some of the not-so-favourable things associated with this home-type:
Although modular homes are less expensive than traditional homes, and still provide quality housing, some people experience difficulties receiving financing for them. Some financiers are hesitant to loan money for modular homes because they see them as a niche market.
Others lenders may be unsure about their rights in financing modular homes, as the parts to these houses are made in factories and there is no construction on the home-site until they are ready for full assembly.
Buyers can choose from a variety of modular homes with several different configurations. But, because these homes are built on large scale in factories, they lack the total customisation that you can get from building a traditional home.
- Land Ownership
If you decide on building a modular home, you must have land to put it on. When building a traditional home, you can often buy the land as part of the house package. This is not generally the case with modular homes.
If you don’t already own land, you will need to work the price of land into the cost of building your new home.
Building a home is a huge decision. As people learn more about modular homes their popularity will continue to grow.
Consider the pros and cons associated with building a modular home to decide if this is the best option for you.
Good luck and happy building!