Your new modular home will be only as good as the manufacturer who assembles it, and the home builder who sells and sets it up. That’s why it’s important to choose a home builder who is knowledgeable, well-experienced in the industry and has a good customer-satisfaction reputation. Although modular homes are assembled in the factory, it is up to the home builder to ensure the home is set up and finished off properly. This requires a thorough knowledge of the set up process, as well as relationships with experienced third party participants, such as city/state officials, surveyors, plumbers, electricians, brick masons and others who will have a part in helping to build the finished product. So how do you go about selecting the RIGHT home builder to build and set the single most important investment you’ll probably ever make? Below are some helpful pointers and things to consider when choosing a modular home builder.
Customer Satisfaction Reputation
When considering a builder, ask for previous customer testimonials or references. You can find out quickly how good a reputation the builder has in the area by talking to a few of his past customers. Most builders will gladly give you references, or have customer testimonials posted on their website. Make sure you “interview” enough to get a fair evaluation, and not just go by the word of two or three who may be disgruntled over petty things that were not the fault of the builder. Ask past customers how well the builder interacted with them, how quickly phone calls were returned or information was given, how realistic costs were quoted, and how well the builder handled problems that arose during the set up process, as well as problems that may have arisen AFTER the customer moved in. The builder should also be an active participant in the ENTIRE sales process—from evaluating your proposed home site to accompanying you to the set up site when your home is ready to be set.
Industry Experience and Years in Business
Although the number of years a builder has been in business may not have any bearing on how well a builder they are, usually the longer they have been in business, the more knowledgeable and experienced they are in the home selling and set up process. Highly experienced builders have established firm relationships with others who are an integral part of the home buying process, including city/state officials, surveyors, attorneys, mortgage lenders and third party contractors. Builders are also required to take continuing education classes and keep their licenses renewed on a regular basis, as well as keep up with changes in local and state code and inspection laws and regulations. A good builder always has his finger on the pulse of the manufactured and modular home industry and keeps up with industry news and current marketing and advertising techniques. Also make sure your builder is properly licensed, bonded and insured to cover any costly problems that may arise with the set up process.
Good Set Up Crew
Behind every good builder is an even better set up crew, composed of contractors who are experienced in setting up manufactured and modular homes. Each should be properly licensed, bonded and insured, as well as have the tools, equipment and experience to do the job required, with little or no mistakes. Third party contractors should be knowledgeable in their area of expertise, timely and easy to get along with. Some builders have their own in-house set up crew with their own trucks and equipment, and may be more reliable than someone who is working on other outside projects while they are working on your set up. Try to be on-site when your home is first brought in to see the set up process in action, and note how well the set up crew work together to set your home. A well experienced set up crew will be on time and ready to set your home when it arrives, as well as be prepared for any last minute problems that may arise.
Integrity and Fair Dealing
When making the single most costly purchase of your life, it goes without saying you want to get a fair price, as well as deal with a builder who is honest and has integrity. But you would be surprised at the dealers and builders out there are who are only in the business to make money - at YOUR expense! These double dealing dealers can be the proverbial rotten apple in the bottom of the barrel, and give other credible dealers a bad rap. That’s why its important to probe a little into the personal as well as professional background of the dealer/builder you’re considering. A good place to start is the local BBB the dealer is associated with. You can gain a lot of valuable information about the integrity of a dealer through their BBB report, including problems that may have arisen from deceptive sales practices, service complaints and issues on pricing. Beware of dealers/builders who make “guarantees” on price, service or products, and make sure to get any such promises in a written form. Most home dealers/builders ARE trustworthy, and will go a long way to earn your business, as well as maintain a solid reputation in their community—and their industry. By doing a little detective work ahead of time, you can quickly found out whether you’re dealing with a builder of integrity, or a wolf in sheep’s clothing!
Buying a modular home can be one of the most exciting events in your life—and one riddled with emotions. Frank's Home Place has a combined 95 years experience in the manufactured and modular home business, is an award-winning, reputable dealer in its industry, and has hundreds of happy, satisfied customers! Knowing you are dealing with a trusted home builder, like Frank's Home Place, can help alleviate much of the stress and anxiety that comes with such an overwhelming event, and give you peace of mind throughout the entire home buying process.
Call or visit us for more information about the modular home buying process, or visit our website for more information about Frank's Home Place!