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The first face-to-face meeting of the CHBA Factory-Built Modular Construction Council will take place on May 8, 2017 in St. John's, NL. Registration details will be posted soon.

 

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Modular Makes a Smooth Move

Posted: 
September 30, 2014

When Dr. Amanda Worden-Rogers and her husband, Cliff, decided they were ready to pick up and move back to Nova Scotia to be closer to their family, they wanted their move to be worry-free. This included building a new home with a firm move-in date. The busy couple looked to modular building for design flexibility and a straightforward purchase process, without delays.

“Modular homes are a lot more common in the Maritimes,” says Amanda, who moved from London, Ontario, to Antigonish in June 2014. “There are only a few months of weather for home building, so these homes are a lot more feasible, and [the manufacturer] can do pretty much anything – we could make up our own design plan.”

Alex Armsworthy of Kent Homes, the New Brunswick manufacturer that built the Worden-Rogers’ home, says the company’s goal is to make people‘s dream homes a reality. At one time there was a perception that modular homes couldn’t provide the same type of design flexibility as homes built on site, says Alex, but the manufactured-home industry has done a great job of changing that perception. Kent Homes provides its customers with online access to their home design, he notes. “Your design is online and shareable through social media, making it available to you 24 hours a day.”

There are a number of benefits that make modular homes a more desirable choice for consumers, says Alex, including staying on budget and on time. Since all of the design choices are made before the home goes onto the production line, the price quoted for a modular home is the final price. Building the home in the factory also happens according to a set schedule, so the delivery and move-in dates meet the expectations of the customer.

“Buying a home is the largest purchase in your life. We pride ourselves on making this an enjoyable experience,” says Alex. “We stand behind our product and take our homeowners on an incredible journey from initial visit to finish.”

Financing a new modular home purchase is slightly different than financing a traditional home, says Marion LeBlanc, a mortgage specialist with RBC Royal Bank. For one, there are no cost overruns. The manufacturer requires a deposit, but the remainder of the funds is advanced upon delivery of the home. This makes it easier for both the home purchaser and the manufacturer, notes Marion, because the purchase of the home is guaranteed – with no surprises or unexpected costs. On top of that, she says, the warranties provided by the manufacturer offer an added level of protection.

“I encourage everyone who is considering a home purchase to take advantage of the information and tools available online,” says Marion. “You can find out about financing options, types of mortgages, interest rates and amortization. You can determine what you can afford with budget and mortgage calculators, or even make a pre-approval application online.” RBC has an online advice centre with a 24/7 live chat function where homebuyers can submit questions and discuss their options.

Marion works directly with Harmony Grove Home Sales, a Kent Homes retailer in Truro, Nova Scotia. Owner Raymond Rieksts says that many homebuyers—specifically younger homebuyers—are very interested in the energy efficiency of modular homes. He says that the other major feature for homebuyers is the turnkey service.

“In the case of the Worden-Rogers, they required land to build on that was close to the hospital so Amanda was close to work,” says Raymond. “They wanted a specific lot, which was out in the country and required a well, septic system, driveways, etc. We communicated with them through SkypeTM throughout the whole process. We are absolutely flexible with design, which people enjoy. They assume you can have product A, B, C or D, but we can take some of each of those designs to create the home of the buyer’s dreams.”

“This wasn’t our first home-buying experience,” says Amanda. “With the new home, however, we got to make up our own design plan, it was well laid out and there was a specific way that it all happened with the modular home. If you’re looking for a headache-free way to build a home, this is the way to go.”