Modular Homes in MN

outdoorswedeMay 13, 2014

I am looking at a Dynamic (Detriot Lakes, MN) or a Homark Home (Red Lake Falls, MN). The dynamic is 1624 sq ft and the Homark is 1800. Both have about the same upgrades. The Dynamic is about $14,000 more. Homark claims this is because they are factory direct and employee owned. Construction materials seems to be about the same. Am I missing something other than the markup from the Dynamic dealer (they also sell Wisconsin)???


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Truthfully, the dealer you buy from is more important than the manufacturer. Ignore the pricing difference and focus on the service aspect. Was somebody in the office taking a phone call and setting up an appointment for a post-setup walk-through inspection? Or for warranty service?

Check the BBB for complaints about either dealer. See the modular home thread for the nightmare scenario of a bad dealer. Try asking around about both dealerships. Check with any area manufactured home parks about the dealers, if they know anything.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:12AM
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That dealer is everything!!!

First things first. I take it you already have the buildable land.

The only thing the manufacturer is responsible for is delivery. The driver gets the check for the house upon delivery.

The general contractor is responsible for everything else. Site clearing, foundation, crane services, setting the house, well, septic, power, driveway, HVAC, finish carpentry like porches, etc. He/she is responsible for obtaining the subcontractors to do the above work. The factory is not.

So talk to the dealers about what they will and will not do. Some dealers will act as the general contractor, and some know general contractors. But they get paid for their services over and above the factory price of the house.

Have you looked at any models of the homes? have you compared the quality between the two? Get spec sheets and closely read them! These tell everybody what they're getting in the home and what they're not getting. Look at things like the size of the wood in the walls. is it 2x4 or 2x6? How far apart? Don't accept anything wider than 16 inches apart.

Floor joists. 2x8 or 2x10? What type and brand of windows & doors? Vinyl or wood? Roof pitch? 3/12? 4/12? or 5/12? The higher that number the better for snow loads.

Don't give anyone a dime until you have established the actual turn key price. House, general contractor, names and bids of all the subs, etc.

The turn key cost of a modular is pretty close to the turn key price of a site built home. You won't save 30% or anything like that because the price you see is just for the boxes that come on the trailers. And that is only about half the cost of the finished product.

You may find out the costlier home is less expensive in the long run.

Oh, and have an attorney review all the contracts before you sign.

We were very fortunate that our dealer was the GC. And she did a superb job. We signed the contracts and placed the order with the factory on Labor Day weekend, and had Thanksgiving dinner in our new home.

What you will save is time. Here in Vermont we have a short building season, so modulars are very common today.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 7:23AM
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My experience is with a doublewide manufactured home set on a lot in a manufactured home park, but is similar to that of christopherh. My dealer arranged for all permits, and handled to connection to sewer, water, natural gas and electricity. He also subcontracted out the setup and finishing, such as finishing the roof shingling and siding the ends of the house once it was joined together and all the interior finishing, such as baseboard trim and the carpet joining at the home centerline. I can not stress how important is is for the setup and joining to be done correctly; I have heard horror stories of homes with a gap of several inches between the home halves.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 4:35PM
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