Two homes may have the same price, but what if one of them is far better built?
It’s the homebuyer’s business to know which is which.
Interestingly, the better-built home may actually cost less.
What if one of the two homes has 15-30% more structural framing wood? Since the added framing material is expensive and the labor to install additional material is expensive, we’re talking about what may be an important (but hidden) price benefit to the homebuyer: more for the money. And what if the heavier home is engineered to withstand forces fierce enough to destroy a more cheaply built house? Isn’t that another important (also hidden) benefit?
How is it that a homebuyer can get the far better-built home for the same price or less than the cheaper-built look-alike? It’s simple, to be competitive, the price of the better-built home may have to be, in effect, DISCOUNTED.
Think about this: If the two homes look identical and are on nearly identical lots in the same neighborhood, do you think the appraiser will know which house is built exceptionally well . . . and which is by comparison poorly built? Actually, no, the appraiser may not be trained to know which is which. And most homebuyers are not trained to know either. So, if a buyer will pay as much for the cheaper-built house, relying on the appraisal, the builder may make more profit by building cheaper (although without a factory’s industrial advantage and economics, the builder of the cheaper house may have to pay more for materials).
Further, it is not in a lender’s “business interest” to decide which house is (by comparison) superbly built and which is (by comparison) less well built.
That is, the lender’s focus is not on which home would logically be safer during a violent wind- or seismic event (click “Realtor Magazine”) or that one of the two homes may have far more key structural wood or that a more solidly-built home might require less maintenance. In fact, it may be of little interest to the lender that one of the two homes has a double-thick ceiling structure between the kitchen ceiling and the room above it. (Ceiling structure may prove to be very important to the homeowner and family, but that’s a quality-of-life issue. See the book dropping example.)
Price is a delicate balancing act: To compete with the price of a cheaply-built house, a builder of a significantly heavier and more durable home may have to be willing to take a smaller profit. (Great for the homebuyer.) For a homebuyer who has no clue about which home to choose, read this educational website. Although the building cost of the heavyweight modular will have the benefit of the technology, more efficient labor, bulk materials cost and so forth, this will be somewhat offset by the cost of transporting the modules, hiring a crane and paying a factory tax. All else being equal, on a 1-10 scale, where 10 is the best, note how CMHUSA subjectively compares building a home indoors with building it outdoors.
Nonetheless, CMHUSA emphasizes that every type of home construction is important in America. In fact, is some cases, CMHUSA may consider building the ordinary way.