Last summer we posted the Breezehouse tour by Sunset on the blog and some of you had a chance to see the modern pre-feb home first hand. We finally got to see it.
I firmly believe that we are at the beginning of a new trend in housing -- prefab. Yes, prefab homes have been around for quite a number of years but something has been holding them back from more “mainstream” acceptance.
Sabrina and I had a chance to tour this “Breezehouse” from Blu Homes in Napa recently. Building your own home from online modules is a fun process, and watching installation over 2 days must be equally exciting, but I think there are many more benefits to a prefab home so here are some of the things I learned.
Enter from the front door.
Typical lead time from start to occupation runs about 9 months and 6-8 weeks of that time is just spent on the permitting process. Most people already have the plot of land selected before they start the prefab design process but that is not a requirement. You can get your home started and while they are building you can go out to find the land.
A 5% “deposit of intention” is due right at the start to get a project manager assigned and engage the process. Another 5% is due when the final “contract for drawings” is issued and 35% is due as “authorization to build”. The financing end of modular/prefab homes has always been a challenge since it’s hard to get a standard loan for something that is not attached to land. However, there may be construction loans now that recognize and support this building technique.
You should budget about $50k - $80k for site costs, utilities and plumbing hookups, foundation, etc. but I can say that I was very excited to see that Blu homes come standard with radiant heat! The Breezhouse model we saw runs about $585k for 2300sf, which seems very reasonable for the quality of home you get!
Given the controls you have on design, material, labor costs, and schedule, I can see that this style of pre-built homes will become more popular vs. build in place as more people spread the word of their experience. Are you ready to give it a try?!