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pros / cons of a modular home on a horse farm?

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  • pros / cons of a modular home on a horse farm?

    A friend is looking for a farmette in southern NC. She found what she thinks is the perfect property (affordable, lots of flat, cleared land, and a nice barn already built). The home on the property is a modular home, though. Would this be a deal breaker for anyone?

    I have to admit I don't know much about them at all... so sorry if this is a silly question.

    Any pros / cons to a modular home on a farm? She'll obviously get an inspection on the farm if she makes an offer.

  • #2
    If it is indeed a Modular home, there's no difference between that and an on-site, stick built house. Modulars are simply built in a controlled enviroment or factory and installed on your prepared pad. Porches, garages, etc, are attached afterwards.

    Now, if it's a Manufactured home, that's different. Otherwise known as Mobile homes, they are built on a chassis and are wheeled/driven into place. They remain on the chassis, however you can build a permanent foundation around them to qualify for conventional financing.

    Your friend needs to find out which type of home she's looking at.
    You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


    • #3
      If it's a manufactured home and in a tornado area it would be a deal killer for me.


      • #4
        How far inland is it? Coastal southeastern NC is kind of a hurricane magnet.
        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


        • #5
          really important for any home on a farm to have a weather proof porch or mud room between the outside and the house. Every modular or mobile I've seen on a farm that did NOT have this handy little add on was filthy inside.
          The new modulars even come with a laundry/mud/bathroom built into the back entrance of some of the designs which is so useful- to have the "airlock" helps keep the living space livable.

          It would not be a deal breaker for me if the house is modular- I've seen some gorgeous prefab mod homes. Mobile-notsomuch, the new ones in the last 3 or 4 years are getting to be nice but anything older is generally too little light, space and air for me.
          "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


          • #6
            I'd do a true Modular home in a heartbeat. My FIL has a gorgeous one... complete with Mud/Laundry room in the back, master suit with sunken tub and dressing table, 3 bedrooms and awesome open kitchen.

            Mobile? No way in a million years.
            <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


            • #7
              regardless, it needs to be inspected to make sure it has been maintained well, otherwise either is a nightmare...


              • #8
                WE have a TRUE modular (not a Manufactured "doublewide") and I LOVE it. You can see pics here of it and of it being put up, they brought two HUGE cranes to do it, was scary to watch your house in the air!!!


                and a pic in snow this past winter:



                • #9
                  I lived in a modular house on a small horse farm for 14 years (and it was at least 10 years old when we bought it). There were things I didn't like about the house, but they had nothing to do with it being modular.

                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                  • #10
                    I also live in a true modular home that I custom designed. It is a two story ranch and no one can tell it is a modular. My brother builds and remodels homes and commented it is more structurally sound than many stick homes he has remodeled.

                    The big window at the far right is the master bedroom; my side of the bed is near the window because I want to see my horses and that glorious piece of property when I wake up - lol

                    There are different color tags hidden in some cupboard or another that indicate whether it's a true modular home or a double-wide mobile home.

                    Also, typically, on a mobile home there will be a metal tag on the outside of the house; you won't find that on a true modular.

                    Those tags are different so you would need to make sure you are looking at a true modular by making the agent show you the tags.

                    Also look under the home. If it is a true modular you will NOT see remants of the axels underneath. If you see axles, that is a double-wide mobile home.

                    Don't believe the electric company or the insurance company either.

                    My boss has two mobile doublewides on the books that were insured as modulars before she took this office. The power company also shows them as modulars. Someone lied very nicely because the homeowner rates for a true modular are the same as a site built home; they are higher on mobile homes. She had to hunt the tags down and get pictures of them.

                    So hunt the tags down and get pictures of them. They could be under the kitchen sink, one of the bathroom sinks or in the cupboard above the kitchen stove; that's where ours are.

                    Years ago I was told in good times true modulars hold real estate value equally with a site built home. In bad economic times they might suffer a 5% - 10% disparity.
                    Last edited by walkinthewalk; Oct. 1, 2010, 06:34 PM.


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you, everyone! This is all really helpful.

                      To answer some of the questions, friend was told it is a modular home and NOT a double wide. I'll definitely pass on the information to her about how to make sure that's true. I saw the listing and it does have a mud / laundry room with a separate entrance.

                      As for how far inland, I only know that it is west of Charlotte and not near the coast.

                      Again, thanks for all of the helpful responses.

                      The homes in the pictures people posted are just lovely, too.


                      • #12
                        Years and years ago I boarded my horse on a farm in central NC that had a modular home. The home was simple, but rather stylish. You could not tell it was a modular home from just looking at it. It did not have the boxy feeling. It had an open bright floorplan as I recall. The owners took very good care of the place in setting it up and I liked it quite a bit.


                        • #13
                          I posted earlier about our modular, ours has 9 foot ceilings which is WONDERFUL! We have a huge mud/laundry room with a side entrance that leads to the second bath, a nice little "computer nook" off the hallway and the kitchen is TO DIE FOR! THose were the big selling points on this house.

                          Here are some pics of the inside when it was still on the lot we bought it from, we actually talked them into selling us the model home, as we didn't have time to wait for one to be built, plus we got a discount for it having been a model!



                          • #14
                            Modular is very close to stick built in terms of financing and insurance rates, I can't say as to their safety in a tornado or hurricane.

                            Manufactured is harder to insure and finance. Can be dangerous in a high wind situation and need to be anchored to the ground or attached to a permanent foundation. I'd have been much better pleased to have had a modular here but that isn't the only thing I would have done differently and there is a market for used doublewides so new construction/replacement is always a possibility. If it is a manufactured home it should be reflected in a lower price. My little tag is in the kitchen cabinet above the range hood, has the mfg name, date, snow load rating and wind load rating (by area).
                            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                            Incredible Invisible


                            • #15
                              NC is the land of modular homes. Some are pretty darn expensive and well-built; some aren't. Some are attractive; some aren't. Pretty much like houses in general.


                              • #16
                                Check prices, because here, modulars sell for very close to stick built ones.
                                The difference, you get your house in 9 months, not a year.

                                Our neighbor put a modular home in his ranch that has tile all over and looks very, very nice.
                                It was not large enough for him as his family was growing, so they added a stick built part to it.

                                You need to check with your tax assessor office, they will tell you more about what they see around and what may make more sense for you in your situation, taxes, for resale, etc.


                                • #17
                                  I read somewhere that in a post-hurricane FEMA survey, it was discovered that modular and masonry homes were more likely to survive than traditional stick built homes. The reasoning is that because modulars are built to survive the stresses of shipping (and because they are permanently affixed to the ground, unlike mobiles) they are stronger than a 'normal' house. Also, being built in a factory means that they aren't exposed to weather during the construction process, so the basic material integrity is higher.

                                  I'm not an expert on this, though. Just something I read on the interweb.


                                  • #18
                                    I, too, have a true modular home. It's a two-story Cape Cod.

                                    I haven't found the tags that walkinthewalk mentioned, but there is a certificate in my walk-in closet that says who built it and when.

                                    Here's a pic--the house part is modular and the breezeway and garage are stick-built. This is the rear of the house, looking up from the barn.
                                    Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                                    • #19
                                      We bought a manufactured home 20 years ago. Still live in it. Love it! It's light, airy, open floor plan. Has a separate entrance to laundry room with half bath, no tracking dirt through the house. We had no problem with financing or insurance. It's on pillars with strong tie downs and permanent brick foundation. We've gone through several hurricanes and noreasters totally unscathed. As far as liveability and appearance, there's no difference between manufactured and modular. Our real estate appraiser says the only way she can tell the difference is if there's a plate on the outside of the house. So long as they're updated and maintained the same you would any other house, their value will track the same paths as other style homes. There is slight discounting, but if you're buying used, that's already figured in.

                                      Over the years, we've remodeled the bathrooms and had it recarpeted and tiled and also upgraded other fixtures. If it's a nice home, been well maintained and passes inspection, I would have no qualms at all at buying one. JMHO
                                      In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.—Thomas Sowell, Is Thinking Obsolete?


                                      • #20
                                        It is a huge pet-peeve of mine that so many people think modulars are mobile homes. Mine is stick built, but I live in my parents' modular for 7 or so years. It was a gorgeous cape cod that had stick-built attachments added on. It was a wonderful house and nowhere near the same as a mobile. I would not think twice before buying one.