Lakeland, Florida - There was a time when folks who wanted a brand new custom home had only one option: Find a contractor and wait six months to a year - or more - to have it built.
But these days, consumers are discovering that new technology, materials and other innovations have created a factory-built alternative that offers the same quality for a fraction of the time and money it takes to construct a site-built home.
Having settled on the factory-built option, prospective homeowners are faced with yet another choice: manufactured or modular?
Both began life -- virtually complete -- in a factory, just like our cars and eyeglasses and just about everything else produced in the industrial age.
And both are viable options for the individual, couple or family looking for an affordable, attractive and energy-efficient custom home that is move-in ready in a matter of weeks -- but budget, lifestyle and aesthetics can play an important role in deciding which best meets their needs.
MHLivingNews' new primer on factory-built housing sorts out these sometimes complex issues -- from detailing the differences between manufactured and modular homes, to exploring the many factors a prospective buyer should consider.
For instance, interiors for today's residential style manufactured homes and modulars both are comparable to site-built homes, with tall flat or vaulted ceilings, open floor plans, finished drywall and upgrades limited only by a prospective homeowner's budget and imagination.
But there are some structural and architectural differences that give one of them more flexibility than the other in terms of floor plan, set-up and locale.
One costs about half of a comparable site-built home, while the other offers about 25 percent savings.
One might be financed at a lower interest rate, while the other might have lower monthly payments.
One might cost several thousand dollars more in closing costs, while the other saves thousands in real estate property taxes.
Do you know which is which? You will after reading award-winning consumer reporter Jan Hollingsworth's Modular Versus Manufactured Homes: Which Is Right for You? here in MHLivingNews.
Photo Caption - Clayton Homes Modular - Top Left. HiTech Housing Manufactured Home, Top Right. Sunshine Homes, interiors, bottom.
MHLivingNews.com and MHProNews.com are the leading trade publications for manufactured housing consumers and MH industry leaders who want up-to-date lifestyle and business news.
L. A. "Tony" Kovach, Publisher