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How to Buy Land for a Prefab Home

Tips for finding a permanent home for your prefabricated home

You've decided to purchase a prefab home, and even chosen the style, and everything down to the carpeting and kitchen cupboards. Now it's time to find a permanent place for your prefabricated home, but you are a little unsure where to start looking.

Start by contacting a real estate agent. A professional can help you as far as what type of land you want, what location you want to be in, and they can do some research into if the land is suitable for a modular home.

First you should decide if you want a vacant plot of land in a development - such as a modular home community - or in a neighborhood. You can also have your real estate agent look into any land plots that don't appear to be for sale - yet have no ongoing developments underway. Oftentimes an owner will be convinced to sell a plot of land, based on your offer price - even if it's not for sale. Your real estate agent can get the land owner's information from the regional local title insurance or escrow company, and make initial contact to see if he or she is interested in possibly selling it.

The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a plot of land for your modular home is making sure the land is zoned for this type of home. Having the expertise of a real estate agent is vital, because they can look into if the land is flood zoned, if the land has any bylaws or zoning ordinances prohibiting the erection of pre-fabricated homes, and if the land is suitable for a pre-fabricated home at all.

The suitability of the land will be dependant upon a few factors:
  • Water hookup or an existing well
  • Electrical power hookup
  • Sewage system operation or septic system
  • If the land is flood zoned or if the owner needs flood insurance.
Once you pin point a few areas that you want to build your pre-fabricated home in, you should decide the piece of land that's most suitable for your living needs, based on the following factors:

Where do you want to live?
Would you like the community aspect of a modular home park? Or would you prefer the seclusion of a plot of vacant land in the country? There are many plots of vacant land available for decent prices just outside urban city areas. Just be extra careful with flood zoning in these remote areas, as many areas suitable for farming are in flood zones. Keep in mind that a modular home community will often charge you for the raw land, as well as monthly maintenance fees - much like condo fees - to keep up the care of the community as a whole.

How much land is enough?
You can decide upon this based on what you want to use the land for. For instance do you want it for just regular living? Then a park community or a plot of vacant land in a residential neighborhood might do. However if you want the land to set up a small business (say a auto garage) or to set up a farm or large garden, then a more remote piece of land would be more suitable. Keep in mind the potential to add on to your property, and make concessions for potential sun rooms or porches as well.

Take cues from other modular home owners
Drive around a neighborhood that you really want to live in to see if any other pre-fabricated home are located in the area. If you spot other modular homes nearby, chances are you will be approved for financing easily. If there are no other modular homes in the area you might run into financing troubles, as mortgage lenders prefer to see a connection between housing styles on any vacant land plots they finance.

Further tips on your modular land purchase
When you apply for a mortgage for your vacant piece of land, why not finance the purchase of the modular home as well? This will help your application along more quickly, and increase your chances of mortgage approval. Lenders typically approve vacant land loans if they also cover the additional collateral of the modular home.

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Modular Today is an independent reviewer of modular homes and pre-fabricated buildings. All logos, trademarks and brand names that appear on ModularToday.com are the exclusive property of their respective owners and are not property of Modular Today. Our modular homes information is free and unbiased. June 3, 2014