Before looking through a book for the right modular home plan, first determine which features are most important to you.
Questions to Help You Make the Best Modular Home Plan Selection
- What do like about the floor plan of your current home? What would you change?
- What types of floor plans have you liked in other homes, including model homes and homes of family and friends?
- What type of home will fit best in your new neighborhood?
- What type of home will work best with the topography of your lot?
- What design will allow you to take advantage of the sun?
- What is your ideal budget? What is the most you can spend, leaving 2 or 3 percent aside as a contingency fund?
- Do you need all of the space finished right away, or will an expandable plan work best, such as an unfinished cape?
- Do you prefer one-story or two-story living?
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
- Do you prefer an informal family room separate from a more formal living room?
- Do you prefer an informal eating area (“nook”) separate from a more formal dining room?
- Do you need a study or home office?
- Do you want the laundry on the first floor, second floor, or in the basement?
- Would you like an exercise room?
- What other rooms would you like to have?
- Are you counting on a walk-in closet or pantry?
- How big of a kitchen would you like?
- How big would you like the rooms in your house to be?
- The best way to determine if each room is big enough is to measure the rooms in your own home as well as in model homes and record this for future reference.
Visualize Walking Through Your Home
When you find a plan that appeals to you, imagine living in the house. Visualize walking through it, entering first through the front door, and then through the other exterior doors. Think about traffic flow and the location of various rooms. Imagine greeting guests and hanging up their coats. See yourself coming in from the car with a bag of groceries, or your children returning from their play in the backyard. Visualize placing your groceries on a countertop or table before putting them away. Make sure you have ample cabinets and closets in the convenient places; as best you can, count the cabinets and closets, noting their size. Imagine serving a meal at the table, and what you will see when eating. Consider whether the children’s or guest’s bedrooms are too close to or too far from the master bedroom. Would you have to walk through one main room to reach another room? Are the halls too long? Think about the views through all windows.
Customers often ask whether modular home resale value is the same as for a comparable site-built home when it is first built and later when it is resold. As far as professional bank appraisers are concerned, the answer to both is yes.
Why Modular Home Resale Value Is Strong
When a bank appraiser assesses the value of a site-built home and a modular home that are built to the same specifications and located in the same neighborhood, she applies the same appraisal rules to both homes and comes up with the same value. Likewise, most people shopping for a new home evaluate a house with their eyes in terms of its perceived quality. Few people have any idea who built a house or how it was built, and most really do not care. Once a house is constructed, its resale value is determined by how it appears to potential buyers, not its pedigree. What matters is whether you select a good house design, equip it with desirable amenities, and have it designed by an experienced modular home builder. Then your modular home needs to be built by a quality-conscious manufacturer and general contractor and located in a desirable community. If you do all of these things, you will do very well on your modular resale value with both appraisers and customers. The same holds true for stick-built houses. In other words, neither form of construction has an advantage when it comes time to resell.
No sales model is perfect, regardless of who builds it. Even modular home sales models have minor imperfections.
What I Learned about My Modular Home Sales Models
Soon after starting my business, I built a two-story model home with several upscale features. For example, I dressed up the first floor with oak trim and doors, all finished in clear polyurethane, so that my customers could see what this option looked like. The first customer who ordered this upgrade called me soon after we set his home, very upset. He said that some of his oak moldings had a much darker grain pattern than the others, which he felt was not the case in my model home. Without first looking at my model, I went to his house to see what made him unhappy. When I saw the variation for myself, I ordered replacement moldings. Unfortunately, the new moldings came in with as much variation as those installed in his home. Finally, after ordering three sets of replacement moldings, we were able to match all of the moldings in his house almost perfectly. (In retrospect, I cannot believe that my manufacturer provided me with all of these moldings for no additional charge.)
A couple of months later, the manager of a custom woodworking shop visited my model home. I told her about the problem with the oak moldings, and I showed her the rejected moldings. She then walked me through my model home and pointed out that it had the same “problem.” Even more surprising, she said that all of her high-end, custom stick-built customers had the same “problem” when she provided them with naturally finished wood moldings. She added that most customers actually prefer this natural variation.
Notice the Imperfections in Your Dealer’s Modular Home Sales Models
In addition to teaching me about the natural qualities of wood, this experience taught me how easy it is to miss the true appearance of a home’s features. Over the years, I’ve noticed that while most customers do not look closely at our modular home sales models, they put a microscope to their own home. And when they do, they see both real and imagined imperfections that they do not realize are typical of all homes, including their dealer’s modular home sales models. I strongly recommend that you make an effort to notice the imperfections in your dealer’s modular home sales models and expect them in your home.