Mobile or modular part 2 | PostIndependent.com

Mobile or modular part 2

My last article barely scratched the surface concerning modular and mobile homes.

Let me repeat that HUD and UBC standards apply to basic construction only. HUD standards are set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development; HUD homes are always mobile homes. UBC is the acronym for Uniform Building Code. Modular homes built to UBC standards have the same basic construction as on-site built homes.

Garfield County requires homes on private land to withstand a 40-pound snow load. Yet by some peculiar logic, the county allows a 30-pound snow-load limit in a mobile home park. Go figure.

Before purchasing a home be certain of the requirements of the local government, as restrictions vary from city to city. Don’t buy a unit with the idea of eventually placing it on private land in Garfield County, without being certain of its snow load rating.

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If you are buying a unit for a mobile home park, it would have to be a HUD. UBC requires a permanent foundation, and you wouldn’t build one in a park. On private property, either HUD or UBC can be purchased, and either would be on a foundation. Usually a HUD will be less costly than a UBC of the same model or floor plan. Consult your dealership.

UBC not necessarily better than HUD

Keep in mind that the quality of the build is dependent on the manufacturer, and UBC does not necessarily mean better quality than HUD. Shop!

Older and-or less expensive mobile homes have had a reputation for feeling flimsy. Hence the description “feels like a mobile home.” I did not mean to sound disparaging of HUD homes. Some units are 2×6 construction, the same as many of today’s homes which are built on site. Frankly, 2×4 construction is quite sufficient – has been for years. I think 2×6 is overkill, but that is my opinion.

Face it folks, how many homes would you like to test by loading them up and flying down the highway at 75 mph? These homes have been subjected to hurricane winds, and – if placed on a foundation – mild earthquakes!

One only has to shop the various dealerships to see, and delight in, the quality and options available in HUD and UBC housing.

You can buy a 2000-square-foot home or a 1500-square-foot home and pay the same. It is the finishing work that really distinguishes the price. By sacrificing finish quality, you can have a larger home for a pretty reasonable price. With the investment of some “sweat equity” and better-quality materials, over time you can bring your home up to the same quality finish as the more expensive homes.

I sincerely hope that Fannie Mae will reconsider the current financing guidelines on HUD homes that are placed on private land. While the difference in financing is not monumental, it sends the message that HUD homes on private land are inferior somehow to UBC modulars. Just ain’t so, folks!

It is my opinion that modular housing remains a viable alternative in today’s housing market. It is my opinion that modular housing remains a viable alternative in today’s housing market.


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