Sunday, June 2, 2019

House Beautiful Magazine Writes a Very Confusing Article About Modular Housing

When I first read this article I was going to point out their reporter only did superficial research into modular housing. But something told me there is something here that could actually damage all the good modular construction has accomplished over the years.

This House Beautiful article states that modular could save you 50% over traditional site built homes and that financing one is harder.

Even though the print version of this magazine has dropped from 835,000 subscribers in 2012 to less than 100,000 in December of 2018, their online version gets more than a million unique visitors a month, many of whom share their articles with friends.

What they are currently reading about modular just might be enough to discourage potential new home buyers from actually giving modular housing a good look.

Read House Beautiful's “Everything You Should Know About Modular Homes Before Buying One” and let me know what you think about this article that is reaching millions of viewers as we speak.


Anonymous said...

Myths and Misconceptions in the article will perpetuate the negatives associated with our Homes. Perhaps the MHBA should write the editors for a correction.

Ken Semler said...

As the Chair of the NAHB Building Systems Councils and a board member of the MHBA I will be reaching out to the editor on Monday. Our industry needs to ensure the public has the best information possible about our industry. Misinformation doesn't help our industry and actually reduces the credibility of the source for the bad information.

Thanks for the reporting!


Anonymous said...

I found this article generally positive for modular. The only negative aspect was financing compared to EXISTING traditional homes. But this is true... it is more challenging to obtain a construction loan AND purchase land compared to an existing home.

They could have done a better explanation of how to utilize a construction loan. It is written as if you must pay 100% out of pocket.

Ron D'Ambra said...

1-They did a decent explanation during this presentation in separating a manufactured home from a modular home, BUT, as we know a manufactured HUD home can also and is placed on a permanent foundation, per the HUD code, contrary to their reference and lack of information. They should have specified the difference in locations; Scattered lot v. a manufactured home park, where a transportable manufactured home would apply and exist.
2-The use of the word “cheaper” used several times throughout the article tends to add the misnomer that the product is “cheaper” in a third party referenced to its building process, protocol and value. Instead I would have much preferred they referenced the “cost” of the home as “less expensive” then a site built home, since the articles body is making reference to the comparison of a Modular home v. a Site Built home. One consolation is they did state “site built” instead of “stick built”, since all homes are stick built, the difference is where they “are” built.
3-Next, it troubles me that they catagory a Modular home with “Pre-fab” kit? A pre-fab is more of a “panelized” kit home, and is not inspected in stages during the construction process of the plant built modular home. Instead, the “sections” are constructed on-site to manufacture a completed project, subject to “on-site” stage inspections from the county and/or state officials.
4-The reference to make a point of saying for a modular you must “own the land”, is a novice point, any home you have built and/or constructed, it is to your best interest to “own the land”, so what is the point of this ambiguous statement? Part of the bank’s loan requirement and protocol would be to own the land, regardless of the home being a modular or site built home project.
5-Referencing the investment value for resale the article again uses the term “pre-fab” instead of the industry correct Modular home.
6-Regarding ‘the pay as you go”, is nothing more than a construction loan, and its protocol same as a “site built” home, again a very ambiguous reference as one “to be noted”, as a deciding factor in considering purchasing a modular home.
I think the subjects staff writer had decent intentions as to her efforts to make for a pleasurable and informative article, unfortunately, Candice Braun Davison should have sought the advice and assistance from an knowledgeable industry associate, for verbiage and references to different factors and benefits regarding a modular home, especially when compared to a “site-built” home, or simply considered another topic.
There is an old saying in show business when referencing exposure, “don’t bother reading any contents of the article, good, bad or indifferent, as long as they spell your name right, that is all that matters”, unfortunately buying a home is reality and not a motion picture or Broadway play.
I agree with you, the theme of this article tends to compromise the integrity and value of a modular home and its building practice. A potential home buyer or prospect, after reading the article may leave them with uncertainty as to the real value of a modular home, further pondering “is there more to come than the face value of the article as it relates to the comparison of a site built home to a modular home purchase?
As the articles closing statement makes reference to purchasing a modular home as a non-traditional home, that statement could be the deciding factor for persuading the reader to discard any notion to consider building and owning a modular home, and that is simply an injustice to what a modular home and far advanced our industry has come and established its presence in todays housing market.