Buyers eye benefits of manufactured homes

If you are thinking about building a new home, want to savemoney and have ideas of what you want in your residence, first read “KitHomes” by Rich Binsacca. Starting with a short history of the more than75,000 Sears Roebuck kit homes built between 1908 and 1940, this unique bookexplains the pros and cons of today’s factory-built homes.

As author Rich Binsacca quickly explains, there are manychoices and sources for customizing these new homes to meet the buyer’s wishes.Looking at the many photos throughout the book, readers would never know mostof these houses started out on a factory construction assembly line.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The old days of bland “double wide” trailer andmobile homes with low pitch roofs are long gone, having been replaced bystylish, custom-looking manufactured homes that compare favorably with on-site”stick built” homes. Although exact savings are hard to pin down,considering time and finance cost reductions, Binsacca says at least 20 percentsavings are feasible.

This step-by-step book shows home buyers how to investigateand compare catalog designs, manufactured and modular homes, kit or lumberyardsuppliers, and on-site assembly of components. There is also brief informationon mortgage finance sources and options, but this aspect of the process dependsheavily on the buyer’s personal situation.

This new book opens wide the door of affordability toprospective home buyers, especially those desiring to build in a rural orretirement area away from city or suburban housing subdivisions. However,factory-built homes are also suitable for urban in-fill lots where normalconstruction costs are very high.

In addition to explaining the many choices available to homebuyers, the book contains valuable explanations of important construction termsused in the text. For example, in the section about on-site assembly of kitcomponents, Binsacca explains along the side of the page important terms suchas working drawings, permits, lien releases, in-house mortgage entities, andstick-built home.

To help readers narrow their focus, the book includesvarious checklists such as a “housing affordability worksheet” and a”needs and wants worksheet.” In addition to the sample filled-inworksheets, there are blank copies in the appendix for the reader’s use.

The book’s most valuable benefit is a detailed listing ofthe many factory home manufacturers and how they can be contacted in the statesthey service. Some manufacturers work from online and print catalogs. Othershave factory representatives with model homes available for inspection. Stillothers cater primarily to professional home contractors.

Heavy emphasis is placed on both selecting the right type offactory-built home and on choosing a contractor to erect it on your lot. Or,you can elect to work with a factory representative who takes the order,arranges transport, and then hires contractors to do the preliminary and finishconstruction work. The checklist of questions to ask builders is especiallyvaluable.

After studying this book, readers will have an excellentoverview of how to go about choosing the right type of fully or partiallyfactory-built home, the construction contract and process, costs and payments,and the completion process. Although the procedures can be complicated, thisconcise new book simplifies the details home buyers need to understand toobtain maximum benefits.

Chapter topics include “Kit Home History”;”Before You Build”; “Homes from a Catalog”; “Homesfrom a Factory”; and extensive lists of factory-built home manufacturerswith state-by-state contact information.

This unusual book brings together in one place the resourcesand choices available to prospective buyers of factory-built homes, explainingthe pros and cons of each alternative. Author Rich Binsacca takes an impartialview and lets readers decide which type of construction is best for theirsituation. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding new book rates a solid10.

“Kit Homes,” by Rich Binsacca (Globe Pequot Press,Guilford, CT), 2006, $16.95; 112 pages; Available in stock or by special orderat local bookstores, public libraries, and

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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