Frequently Asked Questions
Our Frequently Asked Questions page answers the most common questions about our modular homes. Do you want to build a modular home in California? Most of your questions will be answered here. If your question is not on the list, please contact us.
What is a Modular Home?
A Modular Home, also called a “Prefab” home and officially known in California as “Factory Built Housing,” is built in a factory to the California Residential Building Code. This is the same state and local building codes as traditional homes built entirely at a construction site. Your home is transported on special trucks to the building site where a licensed specialty “set crew” using a crane or sophisticated rolling equipment places each piece on a concrete foundation, and a licensed contractor completes the home. Once we deliver your home, it will be finished so that it is indistinguishable from a traditional “stick-built” home. Find more modular construction information here.
How much do modular homes cost?
Our standard modular homes retail for a minimum of approximately $200.00 Per Square Foot (“PSF”) delivered including sales tax. Modular homes generally cost 5-20% less than a comparable finished home built on-site in most areas of California, but the biggest benefit of a Cutting Edge modular home is getting your home built faster and knowing that you will have a strong and beautiful home to live in for many years.
Evaluating your total project costs based on a “Preliminary Guesstimate” from a dealer or contractor (big or small) is of no value to you. You can be told anything, but without engineered construction plans, the costs cannot be estimated. People ask us on an ongoing basis, how much will my total project costs be? No one should answer this question for you without preparing site-specific plans for your home. Every property is different, and every home plan on every lot will have a different cost based on site-specific conditions like the soils, foundation design, and specific construction costs in your area, and based on your preferences. When we don’t have good answers, we will not give answers just to say something. We know that our clients want reliable answers to their questions about costs, so we promise to provide the services and resources that you need to get your questions about total costs answered once your site-specific plans have been completed. It would be much easier for us to guess your costs or give you a rule-of-thumb cost, but that approach has not proven to be accurate historically, so Cutting Edge Homes does not provide a “guesstimated” cost for you.
Costs we know = The cost for the modular home that we offer delivered to your site, including tax.
Costs you don’t know until site-specific plans are completed = The cost for the on-site construction, including infrastructure costs, grading, foundation, crane, installation, button-up, and completion costs.
Once you have site-specific engineered plans in place a licensed General Contractor can provide you with an estimate for the on-site work. Cutting Edge Homes is not a construction company and doesn’t estimate or perform on-site work.
While our modular homes are normally less expensive than site-built homes, the homes will not be as cheap as manufactured or mobile homes, as our quality standards are much higher and the cost is more. We typically tell our clients that if they can’t afford a minimum of $275 per square foot for their vertical construction costs (hard costs from the foundation up, on a level lot, not including permits, utility connection costs, permits, fees, or engineering), they probably cannot afford our more value-conscious modular homes. Because there are no differences in the appraisal guidelines or a required disclosure for modular homes versus site-built homes, there is no good reason that a modular home should be less expensive than a site-built home.
The pricing noted above is for a standard-sized single-story home of about 2000 SF efficiently designed to be built in the factory and transported to your property. As homes get less efficient or smaller, the cost does begin to increase on a PSF basis.
Our single-story homes cost less than our two-story homes for the factory-built home portion, and this also has proven to be the case for the on-site work performed by contractors (others). If your budget is a primary concern, we recommend looking at the single-story homes to help keep your costs inline with your expectations.
If you would like to find out more about the pricing for a specific plan please sign up for more information on our Contact Us form and we will provide the pricing information to you directly.
How can I save money and get my home built faster?
Pick a Stock Plan that is in our CAD / computer drawing system and you will get a cash discount. Stock Plans can be engineered for your site faster than a new custom plan. Selecting from these plans is one of the few ways you can simplify the building process, and we pass on the savings to you. Building with Cutting Edge is already easier than your other choices but building in California can be complicated. We encourage our clients to consider ways to make it easier, faster, and more economical.
Using a plan where someone has already put in the money, time, and effort to get it drawn up will simplify the process and have you living inside of your new home much more quickly… with a few extra thousand dollars in your pocket. These specials apply to modular homes built in California only.
Do you sell real homes; or do you sell trailers or mobile/manufactured homes?
We only sell real homes, known as “Single Family Residences.” All of our homes are built to the California Residential Code, the State of California’s code for real homes. We don’t sell any mobile homes or manufactured homes, so please don’t worry! We are using an advanced way of building homes, not building trailers. These are regular homes, built in components in the factory and assembled on-site, but become indistinguishable from conventionally-built homes when completed. The financing is the same type of construction or permanent financing that you get with any other home. Your home will appraise like a similar stick-built home on a similar lot with similar amenities, not like manufactured housing.
Please don’t take just our word for it. The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), or “Fannie Mae,” provides liquidity, stability, and affordability to the mortgage market. Its purpose is to create a secondary market for the purchase and sale of mortgages, so it is the most credible source that you can go to about the sale and financing of modular homes. Please see the Fannie Mae “Selling Guide: Factory-Built Housing: Modular, Prefabricated, Panelized, or Sectional Housing” here.
Read a technical comparison between modular and manufactured homes here.
I would like to get a loan. What is the best way to learn more about construction financing?
You can call all of the big banks and try to get a loan set up, but they are normally poor lenders for construction loans. We have worked with plenty of lenders over the years. Lenders come and go in the construction loan business, but the following companies will do a great job for you and they clearly understand what a modular home is.
Our lending partners will integrate your loan seamlessly with your project and give you the same rates as stick-built construction financing.
It is generally not possible to close a construction loan without first spending considerable time, resources, and effort on your project. This is based upon the lengthy timelines for a building project, likely permitting delays, and the uniqueness of each project. A construction project typically requires that you at least have already purchased the land, paid to prepare engineered plans specific to your project, have submitted to the local jurisdiction, and obtained planning approval and building permits. When those items are completed, your project costing can be finalized by the General Contractor (others). The lender will then review your application for outstanding items so you can close your construction loan. We understand not all clients are familiar with or excited about the time and investment required to build a new home in California. We like to prepare our clients for reality and do not want to sugar-coat this process as it can be trying even for a sturdy person.
Important Note: Our pricing lists provide model-specific prices for cash buyers of our homes. Additional short-term financing costs will apply when a lender’s payment schedule differs from the factory’s.
Randall Lee Nixon
OneTrust Home Loans
(858) 429-4654 – Office
(619) 954-7816 – Cell
This lender specializes in new modular home construction loans.