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New Home Construction Trends

When most of us think of how to build a new home, we imagine it is constructed onsite. We see crews of workers putting up pieces of lumber and hammering in nails and building a house in the traditional method. Known in the industry as a stick-built home, it is by far the most common and popular way to put up a new house.However, it is not the only way to build a house today. Many new homes are constructed off-site and then transported to their permanent location. Other construction methods include manufactured, modular, and panel.

Now you might be wondering if it makes sense to build a house in a factory and then ship it out to different areas incurring hefty transportation costs. The economies of scale using a prefabricated building process outstrip the cost of shipping in most cases. With a shortage of affordable housing across the nation, it might be the solution we should embrace to improve the affordability issue.

Manufactured Housing

Also called mobile homes, manufactured houses are put together in a factory from prefabricated pieces. Built on a steel frame, these homes require no onsite construction because they leave the factory complete with plumbing, electrical, heat, and air-conditioning installed. When the house reaches its intended home site, the wheels come off, and the home is placed on a concrete slab or a crawl space, the utilities are connected, and it's ready for occupancy.

Like any home, manufactured housing must conform to codes and standards. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, sets the codes, and they supersede any state or local building rules. The ...

Comparison of New Home Options

Overview and Comparison of New Home Options

For the majority of us, homeownership remains an essential element of the American dream. For some, that dream is for a newly constructed home. It’s not difficult to see why some people aspire to live in a new home instead of a pre-owned property.

Buying a new home means not having to live with and correct other people’s choices in décor and style. It means having “smart” home features built-in and building materials that meet the safety standards of today’s regulations. It means all new and clean appliances and fixtures, HVAC systems, roofs, and siding, which keeps the cost of maintaining the home low.

There are three options for those who dream of owning a new home: tract homes, spec homes, and custom homes. They range in price from the starter home level to the “sky’s the limit” luxury housing. So even if your budget is limited, it doesn’t mean you can’t afford a new house.

Tract Homes

The largest category of new homes for sale is tract homes. They are generally built by large residential home construction companies that have a regional, state, or national footprint. The contractor buys a large tract of land, makes streets, puts in utilities, and separates the area into buildable house lots and begins building homes.

Generally, a buyer of a tract home will have a few models available to choose from, each with a set floor plan. Custom choices will include paint colors, flooring, cabinets, and fixtures, but selections will most often be limited to those in the builder’s design center.

Most often, tract builders will have a staged model home in each subdivision. They also will build homes before they have buyers and generally have houses you can see in various stages of construction.

Tract homes are available at lower...

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