Which of the two homes above is the OFF-frame modular? Hard to tell just by the exterior, isn't it? Yet, the difference is huge when it comes to getting the best value up front and in the long term. But first, lets review the major differences in off-frame vs on-frame modular homes. The chart below will help simplify the major differences, as well as the one main reason you should consider buying one over the other!
Both on-frame and off-frame modulars are constructed to the same state and local building codes, and are subject to the same zoning regulations as site-built homes. Likewise, both are built inside a climate-controlled factory and must pass rigid inspection codes before being shipped to the customer. And with such popular options as sheetrock walls, shingled roofs and full porches, both can be indistinguishable from stick-built homes. But there is one major difference that can significantly impact the financial value of your new modular home. Did you guess what it was from the bulleted points mentioned above?
Simply put, an ON-FRAME modular, when appraised, is comparable only to manufactured doublewide homes and other on-frame modulars; while an OFF-FRAME modular is comparable to both stick-built and other comparable modulars. This could be a significant financing problem if your new home is an on-frame modular and doesn't appraise high enough. And in the current real estate market with home values still dipping below normal market values, making sure your new modular will appraise will greatly impact your financing options, as well as its resale value later, should you decide to sell. In my opinion, and having bought an off-frame modular myself, the difference in cost is simply not worth the appraisal risk, nor the deflated resell value.
Unfortunately, some dealers will try to sell you an on-frame modular, all dressed up with lots of frilly options and an eye-popping, low sale price, overshadowing the fact that its really just a glorified double wide! If you're shopping modulars, do your homework before you decide on buying an on-frame vs an off-frame modular. At Frank's Home Place, we only sell OFF-frame modulars, so you can be sure you're getting the best value home for the money, and increasing the likelihood of getting the best financing.
One last thing - did you guess which picture was the OFF-Frame modular? They BOTH are! Looks CAN be deceiving, can't they? And costly...