UMH Blog

How to Build an Affordable Custom Home

Have you ever wondered how to build a custom home on a budget? If you’ve ever searched the market for a new home, the desire to build a home of your own has probably crossed your mind. After all, for homebuyers going the traditional route, the journey to their new home is a tale of compromise between location, square footage and aesthetic. Throughout this process, most homebuyers have the thought, “If only I could build my own home exactly as I like it!”

Many people assume that a custom home build is an unreachable luxury. Or that it can only be accomplished on a budget either by going “tiny,” or by well-trained craftsmen that can do it themselves. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. With the rapid acceleration of the modular and manufactured home industry, it is entirely possible to custom build your own home for up to 45% LESS than it would cost for a traditional stick-built home.

Steps to Build an Affordable Modular or Manufactured Home

Manufactured and modular homes offer great quality and value to homebuyers who wish to design their home to match their lifestyle and tastes. It has never been easier to custom build your own home. Just follow these steps, and you’re on your way!

1. Find a Retailer

A certified manufactured home retailer is the best place to start. There are many advantages to choosing a quality retailer. For starters, you’ll have a wider variety of options to choose from, as most retailers are a host to many different manufacturers. Plus, because retailers broker special deals with manufacturers, delivery services, and contractors, a good retailer will help provide all of the services necessary to build, ship and install your home at more reasonable rates.

UMH has certified retailers at more than 4 Sales Center locations. Take a look and see if there is one near you!

2. Design Your Home

Your retailer should have specialists on staff that will help you with the process of designing your home. Rather than sifting through hundreds of floorplans yourself, an expert sales representative should provide a home-design checklist for you to fill out, so that they can offer the best options to match. Once you’ve selected your floorplan, you can choose from a manufacturer’s booklet of wall colors, flooring, cabinets, appliances and more.

Take a look at our homes to see the kinds of options available to you. Or, you can take a 3D tour of some of the homes we have available now at our locations to see the finished results.

3. Choose Where to Place It (Permitting)

You can place your manufactured home on your own land, or place it in a land-lease manufactured home community.

If you’re placing your home on land that you’ve purchased, you must obtain the proper building permits from your municipality’s permitting office to ensure your land is viable and everything is up to code. If you’d like to place your home in a community, this process will be taken care of for you. UMH operates 122 manufactured home communities in 8 states, and our communities have been voted the Land-Lease Community of the Year for 4 years in a row! Take a look at our community finder to find a UMH community close to where you work and play.

4. Purchase Your Home (Financing, etc)

Options for financing a manufactured home are the same as those for financing a stick-built home. You can obtain financing from a private lender, or pursue government-assisted FHA loans if you meet the criteria. Additionally, some manufactured home buyers obtain chattel loans. Read more about financing a manufactured home here.

5. Prepare Where to Place It (Foundation, electric, plumbing, etc)

While the manufacturer builds your home in a climate-controlled factory, you can take the measures necessary to prepare your land, such as laying a foundation, driveways or walkways, and preparing utilities and plumbing. Check with your dealership to find out if they have recommended contractors that are familiar with this job.

6. Install & Move In

Your home will ship built and ready to assemble! Depending upon whether you have any add-ons, there may be certain things that need to be built on-site, such as porches or garages. When these additions are complete, your home will be move-in ready.

You don’t need to hire expensive architects, or spend weeks of your life at Home Depot to embark on the journey of custom-building your dream home. Our experts at our UMH Sales Centers make the process easy and fun! Visit one of our locations today to learn more about your options and begin the process of finally finding the home that is designed just for you.


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