Saturday, April 28, 2012

So many questions...

Be an Educated Buyer when Choosing a Modular Home Dealer!  Ask questions!

  • What does the modular home builder include in their base price?  We had a lengthy list of inclusions based on the floor plan we had chosen.

  • Are there any additional fees for modifying or drawing your own modular home floor plan? There were some charges for changes we made to our floor plan.  For instance there was a charge for us to "mirror" the floor plan.  And, I can’t tell you how many times we changed our “inclusions”, and had to have the price adjusted.  Sometimes we saved money, and sometimes we did not!  I had to have a certain kitchen island that was not included in our original price, and my husband had to have a certain layout to the bathroom that was not included. We spent more money on these particular options, but we saved some cash by choosing carpet instead of Pergo in our living room, and by .. uh, well, I guess we didn't save much money!

  • Does the modular home builder offer a "Turn Key" construction package? If so, what does it include, or do you have to find your own sub-contractors?  We did not want to deal with sub-contracting!  When we moved into our house, everything was done, all we had to do was “turn the key” to move in.  The carpets were down, the mirrors were up, the walls were primed.  One of the reasons we chose our dealer was because of the turn key service.

  • How much upfront or down payment cash is needed to receive blue-prints or to order the modular home? Is any part of the down payment refundable?

  • When looking at a modular home model, is the quoted cost "as shown" or is it the base price without options included?  The show homes we saw were quoted as shown.  However, because we had so many changes, the dealer ended up giving us a base price and provided us with a list of all the inclusions with prices.

  • How long have sub-contractors been with the builder?

  • Does the modular home builder have a field supervisor?  The field supervisor we met oversaw the house being set on the foundation, and he made sure the house was as we expected before we moved in.  In fact, I realized (much to my horror!) our kitchen island was made of the wrong wood when we had our walk through, and the supervisor had it delivered and changed that week.  Total freak-out averted!

  • Is the building site inspected for potential additional costs prior to signing a purchase agreement? Our site was inspected and we were warned about several additional costs, such as trees that needed to come down, which although it was more money, it was much better to have the warning than to be surprised!

  • Is the modular home builder quoting you allowances or actual costs? (example: lighting, cabinets, flooring - we chose all of this and were aware of the actual costs.)

  • Is a sump pump included in the package? (Our package did, but we chose not to have one, more on that later!)

  • Is there an additional delivery charge for the modular home, or extra cost for blueprints for basement or house?

  • Is there an additional charge for the crane used to place the modular home on the foundation?

  • Is trash removal included in the cost?  Is the modular home cleaned when construction is finished?  When we had our walk through of our newly set home, the house was very dusty, and there was a fair amount of trash, such as carpet remnants, inside. However, our house was spotless when we moved in.

  • How is the service and warranty work handled (by the company or sub- contractors?).  In our case, the warranty is all handled by our builder.

  • Is repairing drywall cracks included as part of the service warranty? After one year of living in our home, the builder returns to repair any drywall cracks.

My hubby had A LOT of other questions, some regarding the plumbing and electrical work, which I will have to interrogate him about at a later date (because all I heard at the time was "blah, blah, blah, blah?  nah, nah, nah?" !  However, this list of questions should be a good starting point for now!

Our dealer, Key Homes, , has a lot of information on their website, including this list of questions.  Feel free to check them out!