Modular Homes Section
Modular Vacation Home Tips
Your home is your castle but a modular vacation home can be your paradise. Once home owners gain a handle on their primary home mortgage they may start to think about a vacation home for them and their family. Whether it be a beach house in cape Cod, Massachusetts; a lake house in Minnesota; a mountain escape in Tahoe, California or any other magical and relaxing spot you should make an informed decision. Here are some tips to help stretch your home budget and avoid costly and annoying pitfalls.
The first thing you should consider is if it is financially smart to even consider a vacation home. The housing industry has moved around quite a bit lately and your home equity may have changed. If you lost home equity it will be harder to finance a second mortgage. Also you should look at your monthly take home pay and see if you can handle another mortgage. A general rule is that housing costs should only cost about 1/3 of your pay. If your current home and a modular vacation home will cost more than a 1/3 of your pay you should think twice.
Building a modular vacation home will be less expensive than on-site building since labor is typically very high in resort areas. Also you will avoid costly weather delays by building off-site. The building cost savings may be outweighed if your vacation home is located somewhere that is hard to reach. The transportation costs may be very expensive. Make sure to ask for estimates on the entire project so you can fairly compare all of you opportunities.
The second thing you should consider is the investment aspect of a vacation home. Are you buying into a market that has undervalued land or are you running into an overheated market that is about to decline? Many beach towns that were seeing steady double digit annual jumps are now seeing steady decline. Modular vacation homes will help save you some money but it will not reduce the cost of the land which may be temporarily overpriced.
Remember that vacation homes are more quickly to be hit with an economic downturn. When people need to tighten their belts they usually sell their vacation home since it is a luxury that does not impact the daily lifestyle. An example of a fickle vacation home market was Naples, Florida. From 2004 to 2005 it experienced almost forty percent increase in sales and then dropped almost fifty percent from 2005 to 2006. Naples, Florida was an extreme example but it does demonstrate the fickle markets that impact stick-built and modular vacation homes.
The third thing to consider is your timeline. If you are buying a vacation home for the long term you will be protected from the fickle price fluctuations. If you are looking at it for a short term investment, you better research your area carefully to protect your money.
For people that are looking to build a vacation home as soon as possible they should consider modular vacation homes. They can be built faster than stick built homes. Modular vacation homes also avoid weather delays that slow down on site construction of stick built vacation homes. It doesn't matter how much snow or rain falls or how hot it is. The modular home factory keeps on working on your home.
If you are in no rush to buy a vacation home it is smart to wait until there is an economic downturn in your area. You will find the best deals that way. During economic downturns the buyer has the power and the modular home manufacturers are much more willing to negotiate and offer enticing incentives. The land will also cost much less during these times.
The fourth item to decide on is what the vacation home will be primarily used for. Will you keep it only for your family use or will you open it up for vacation rentals. Depending on what you plan to use it for will impact how many bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage in your modular vacation home.
You may be able to raise significant money by renting the vacation home but you will also have to give up the most enjoyable time of the year to the renters. Renters are willing to pay big money only if they can get holiday weekends or the time of the year when the weather is perfect. Often rental earnings do not cover the mortgage, they help but you should understand that most vacation homes rentals will not completely cover the mortgage, taxes and home insurance.
If you keep it for your own family use, will you use it enough during the year? It might be cheaper for you to rent a vacation home for a month than to buy a vacation home that is empty 80% of the time. The mortgage payments and home insurance plus all of the maintenance costs and taxes divided by the nights spent in the vacation home might make a five star European vacation seem cheap.
Modular vacation homes give you another option to make your paradise a reality. Be smart and consider all of the options. You may find it is smarter to rent a vacation home for a few more years or to buy a stick built home if there are no good roads leading to your home or maybe a modular vacation home will allow you to get the dream home you want in a location that has a very narrow building window. Good luck with your vacation home dream!
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