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S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 10:39 AM
Thereare a lot out there..Almost a dime a dozen.. Any experience with them?
I am thinking that instead of paying large property taxes, it is time to remain on the hard and put the land to use..
I've got about 80 acres..About 30% is buildable.. Only two spots actually. Very rugged..Lots of beaver,deer, grouse, and woodcock.. Very secluded...Dirt road etc. Neighbors are state owned and managed property.
Is there a company out there which would allow me to design what I want... Yes, I'm sure there are but I don't want to be taken any more.

Also power..What breaks do power co. give on running the line(s)?

switters
01-13-2011, 10:54 AM
7 years ago I tore down a '67 mobile home and put up a new prefab, which I still called a mobile home because both halves showed up on wheels. The wife at the time didn't appreciate that. Anyway, she still lives in the house and other than needing to replace crappy carpet and upgrade some fixtures the house seems to be fine. We bought from Alpine and were able to move a few walls around to suit our needs but nothing close to a "custom" design.

I put the foundation in myself and redid the utilities so that saved me about 12K, but it also meant we lived in a camper for 3 months, doesn't sound like a problem for you. Power costs vary from place to place.

We had two growing boys and at the time and paid 85K for 2,400 sq ft. we were moving up from 950 sq ft, so it seemed like paradise at the time. On the other hand, I don't think it is going to last much more than another 40 years.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 10:59 AM
Switters.. the codociles (sp) from my father prohibit trailers.. I don't know what the fine line is. i.e. wheels. The buildable land is about 1000 feet.... I can do a lot of the obvious work and I am familiar with Alpine.Not good onthe power aspect.Do they let you design what you want to put in or am I locked into various models?

switters
01-13-2011, 11:10 AM
You are locked into the models they show, we were able to move one wall and I just remembered I built the walk in closet after we took possession.

We put it on a foundation, strapped it, and then it wasn't considered a trailer. The smaller ones have some variation in the roof lines making it is hard to tell if it was ever on wheels. To be honest though, if I were going to build again at under 1,000 sq ft I would put up a brick house or stick built.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:13 AM
Joe was hoping to get a post from you..Switters mentioned Alpine.. I don't need much and don't want much.. A really good galley, ( I mean really good!!!!)a studio with glass. may be two bedrooms. A fireplace. I know that they, (ex prefabs ) have come a long way. This site is in up state NY in the real sense of the term...
I figure I may have to design my own.. Another issue. I don't want this to benec. a copy or another copy of the house next door. Not that I have any neighbors...

The only reason my father changed the requirements on the deed... or will was simply that the houses were better than the old trailer park deals and he wanted no part of them.... Remember my father was born in 1913.

Canoez
01-13-2011, 11:19 AM
Another quick comment on modular homes is that they are generally built in factories on jigs with the intention of being shipped, so they tend to be of higher quality (square, plumb, and "regular") and they are overbuilt to handle the stresses of travel over the road and lifting with cranes. As Joe's post points out, they don't have to look like the old ranch houses and trailers of the past.

Here's an outfit that delivers to New England - you can customize a fair amount. http://www.the-homestore.com/ - no connection to this firm.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:20 AM
Google custom modular you will come up with a bunch of places to explore

Just looking at http://www.palmharbor.com/ they seem to have the right approach


That is the problem..as mentioned earlier by me..there are a ton of sites designated to these... I was hoping tht one individual had a recommendation.. These are big on the market...googling is like looking for a potential gem in the mess of well.....Someone who has one or has built one will help I hope narrow down the really good ones.

StevenBauer
01-13-2011, 11:20 AM
Around here the power company will put in the first pole. Any poles needed after that are your responsibility. If you are going more than a couple of hundred feet you can expect to pay many thousands of dollars.

In my experience (4 or 5 jobs) the quality is just barely acceptable. Upgrade the windows. And the siding. You really get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest one you probably won't be happy.


Steven

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:25 AM
Well a 100o feet...oh boy doing this or hoping to do this is gonna be fun....I am sure the perk test will be fine. the road is a separate issue.. More expense.. StevenI'm not worried..well of course I am about expense...but I have redone two boats...at great expense. I want fair, reasonable prices...not over costs.

Canoez
01-13-2011, 11:26 AM
We looked at having a home built this way. We chose not to for two reasons - we couldn't find a piece of land for an adequate price in a location we liked and I was concerned that SWMBO and I would have difficulty agreeing on things she couldn't see first-hand. You wouldn't have those issues. As Steven points out, you can get cheap vanilla, or creamy French vanilla. You have to look carefully at the options - it's worse than buying a car! Some options such as doors, windows, siding and flooring materials were well worth it. Others, such as light fixtures were better if you purchased them and had them installed yourself.

There are some pretty radical post-modern pre-fabs out there - depends on if you're looking at traditional appearance of construction or something more "edgy".

Hwyl
01-13-2011, 11:27 AM
There is a fine line between the perception of modular homes and trailers, that it seems to me has little to do with quality. Real houses tend to appreciate whilst modular homes tend to depreciate.

Jamie has already owned two examples of spectacular depreciation, albeit they were both aesthetically pleasing. He does not need another.

It seems to me that only someone in the real estate business in your area could define that dividing line.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:29 AM
Canoez I whether I am lucky or not have neither issue.. I have roughly 80 acres and lucky for my other half, I ain't married.. The fine tuning would be a monumental issue..no matter what... And I have a heck of a lot collecting storage fees in MD.

Above all, I want to desing the house myself... With everything pre fab, I am be locked into a design I don't want or need.

J P
01-13-2011, 11:38 AM
If you can do some of the work yourself, or contract it, another "pre-fab" option might be to look at what some of the timber frame companies offer. Some provide full custom designed pre-fab'd enclosure packages, and doors, windows, millwork etc. Might even be a co. nearby that would turnkey it.

Another option, not custom, but the ultimate in recycling: relocate an existing house. Around here I believe the minimum for a building move is about 10k.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:38 AM
Joe..I have to go through the family hoops.. I'm serious but as is often the case, other members do=n't want a survey although I pay taxes...on the property. It's been a ten year fight..but I am slowly wearing them down to my corner. It sucks being the youngest. I'm gonna meat the "godfather" in Feb.. I'll push this issue again. Be glad you are single..And if I can get through the family cloud, I am serious.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:44 AM
The land will need to be surveyed and BOH (board of health) approved, proper zoning and village restrictions need to be addressed and building permits granted before your onto the search for a quality modular construction company. Good luck it can be an ardiouse process to take on yourself.

Yup I know all of hat..see PM.

Canoez
01-13-2011, 11:45 AM
Hwyl - the dividing line for modular homes and stick-built is really a bit sticky, but newer "modular" is not the same as it was in terms of perceptions. The bank indicated that they had no concerns regarding the homes we were looking at - and it seemed to be a matter of "style" more than anything else. Single story ranch style homes didn't fly well (i.e. it looked like a modular). Two story homes and homes with more "interesting" roof lines and porches did well from the bank's perspective. I think you'll find that those of the style that Joe is proposing are considered to appreciate in a similar way to stick-built.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:48 AM
Hwyl - the dividing line for modular homes and stick-built is really a bit sticky, but newer "modular" is not the same as it was in terms of perceptions. The bank indicated that they had no concerns regarding the homes we were looking at - and it seemed to be a matter of "style" more than anything else. Single story ranch style homes didn't fly well (i.e. it looked like a modular). Two story homes and homes with more "interesting" roof lines and porches did well from the bank's perspective. I think you'll find that those of the style that Joe is proposing are considered to appreciate in a similar way to stick-built.

Interesting point..one story vs... TWO.. I wish I didn't need the room... This is one reason I want to design it myself.. Utilize the space....

Canoez
01-13-2011, 11:53 AM
No, not just single story - look carefully - two story and single story houses with more "interesting" roof lines and porches both did well from the bank's perspective

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 11:57 AM
Canoez..interesting or not, I'm thinking of octagonal.... Saves on space.. But it would have an interesting line or two on the roofline...These octagonal barns were quite the thing in the late 1800's..Now design..that is another thing...

Canoez
01-13-2011, 12:01 PM
Banks can have issues with "interesting" design - including, but not limited to log homes, "odd" or "unique" homes such as round or dome homes, and underground or partially bermed homes. It's primarily a reflection of the market's interest in a particular design in the area where your home would be located. Log homes where we are aren't a big market item, but up in, say, Vermont or New Hampshire, they're in greater demand.

This is where local realtors, builders and bankers can be of great assistance to you.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
01-13-2011, 12:05 PM
Modular construction of a smaller home is not a bad way to go... the construction takes place indoors on a jig, as mentioned, and because of the building environment things are square, not covered in rain or snow at any time, the wiring is all done, now that they use PEX plumbing, the plumbing is so simple it's a joke. The other thing is that there is an environment where individual walls get checked for insulation and vapour barrier better in my opinion, and I would definitely consider this method if I were building 1500 square feet or less. I would recommend you put a foundation in that is absolutely full height so you can finish that space if you choose, or someone in the future can. On a larger home where more complicated architecture and so on is a consideration, I can see the advantage of stick built.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 12:07 PM
Thanks Joe for a lead on this type..
will let you know what happens after my confrontation in Feb.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 12:13 PM
Read what I wrote about utilizing the land, that's the most important now.

I know the land like the back of my habd...Okay I majored in Wildlife Management, I know what is there..
Tree types, vegetation soil types.. Believe me.. I know.. I also know there isroughly 30 acres that could manage a house..re: perk test...septic, water etc... Been there done that a lot elsewhere...All I will or expect is confirmation fro the Gov. agencies...

Barry
01-13-2011, 12:16 PM
As a considerstion, is anyone doing this in New England: http://www.nickelbros.com/sales.html#buildinglistings. They service the Gulf Islands on a regular basis, and it's pretty
cool to see the barge go by with a monster house on deck. I have some friends who have bought houses via this method and were quite pleased and saved a good chunk of money.

paul oman
01-13-2011, 12:18 PM
neighbor has a mod home - two story farm house with wrap around porch. Cames in 4 pieces. I didn't know it was mod until they told me. Once of the nicest houses on the block. They said it was moved from some other location before. Not a clue/no way to tell not a custom in place stick home.... very impressive.

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 12:24 PM
Well, I am walking a fine line fior the next few months.. Juggling would be an art...I would be eligible for Barnum's circus... Hopefully when I am done, I will no longer be "baby brother"

J P
01-13-2011, 01:05 PM
Utilize the land first you seem to have about 75 acres more than you need. If you were to build such a small home on such a large parcel you will never be able to justify a selling or appraisal price. Subdivide and either give the extra land to family or a land trust and enjoy the land tax break.

With good planning I think small homes can work on larger parcels. Allow space for someone to build a larger home in the future and the small home can be for parents, or a rental, business, studio, whatever. If there is a particularly nice spot on the land don’t build there—that usually just ruins it IMO. I think part of the problem with our market is from bankers and realtors pushing the “re-sale/appraisal” paradigm, resulting in too many, and too much, house on the market now. There is a market for small quality homes.

Is the land forested or have any potential agricultural use?

How about a yurt? ... for a while anyway. ;)

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 01:09 PM
Hopefully the land will be in my name..unless I sell which isn't likely.. I will have no neighbors at all. I've got issues to thinka bout.. Triued to give the land outright to my niece but she already has two homes...No desire for another...
I'm getting old..these issues are important...

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-13-2011, 01:53 PM
Take the huff (http://www.huf-haus.com/en/home.html)

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 01:58 PM
What's the Huff? Not familair with the term..am knowledgeable of family dynamics..And my taxes are paid..And families are tough...I sometimes think they are waiting for me to die.. I'm just an uncles...What does an uncle do but give it to the family? In any shape or fashion.. Wait long enough..well. A terrible thing think about but.,...

David G
01-13-2011, 02:14 PM
Jamie,

I've seen enough of your posts here to have a thought. If you do decide to go forward with this, it might be good to have someone representing you. It could be an architect, or a builder, or a very savvy real estate agent. The title for such a position is "Owner's Representative". It's a common role in larger projects. It's a slot often filled by an architect, but a construction type is a possibility also. There are also people who specialize in contract Owner's Rep work. What you don't want is someone who has a conflict of interest. You want someone who will focus solely on YOUR interests.

Such a person can shepherd you thru the process, making sure that pitfalls are avoided, and that you're getting the most bang for your buck... and getting what it is you really want/need. Yes... it's an added expense. But it's one that will help keep you from the even-larger expenses incurred by some mis-step.

G'luck.

Garret
01-13-2011, 02:19 PM
Hi Jamie -

A few thoughts - based on situations in rural Vermont - which ain't so different from any rural New England:

Modular homes, panelized homes, etc. I have friends who bought one of the modular "comes in 2 halves on trucks & is put together on your foundation" homes. What a cheap piece of junk - at every level. Skimpy insulation, cheap roof shingles, lousy appliances, poor plumbing, you name it. This is not to say that there aren't quality ones out there, but that you really, really get what you pay for. In my research over the last few years, the good quality panelized homes end up being within probably 10-15% of custom built - but you get in much faster.

As has been mentioned - check out local timber frame folks who use SIPs (Structural Insulated Panel). This can be a very efficient way to get a shell up - efficient both in cost & heating.

Power: Running power a long distance to power company specs is expensive. However, if you (or someone you know) has some electrical knowledge you can do it for far less - if you don't have to have a 200 Amp service. 60 years ago, a 50 amp service was standard - but nowadays people have to have tons of electrical gadgets - so power companies will only run 200 amp service. If you've lived comfortably on a boat, you could get away with probably 20 amps - but a little extra won't hurt. I am running power into my place. Power company wants $15,000 on poles, $25,000 underground. I will run about a 70 amp service for about $7,000 - underground. You do this by having them put the meter out at the road & you then run the power in yourself. You do have to know what you're doing or hire people who do! Doing it wrong could kill people....

A note on power poles. It's in the small print, but power company contracts for above ground power (on poles) have a clause that states that you are giving them a right of way to run the power. That part's no big deal. What is a huge deal is that the right of way does not end at your house. The way they word it means that if a neighbor wants power (even if it's commercial & huge) - if your right of way is the closest way to run the power to them - they can. I know of a lot where a guy ran power in to his house & about 10 years later a development went in next door (1/2 mile away or so). The power company upgraded all his poles & wires & then ran them across the rest of his property to get to the new development. This means he now has a 50 ft. wide swath cut through his woods right to these houses.

If he'd run underground, this wouldn't have happened - as underground does not grant the ROW to the power company.

paladin
01-13-2011, 03:53 PM
Thirty plus years ago I bought a patch on the side of a mountain in West Virginia....Put in the foundation, a concrete pad, then rolled a 31 foot camp trailer on to it...added the well, septic tank, 13K for electricity, 2 8D batteries and a couple of solar panels topsides....absolutely fantastic, nice comfy.....

S.V. Airlie
01-13-2011, 04:09 PM
Chuck trailers are not allowed

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-13-2011, 06:01 PM
What's the Huff?.....

The pre-eminent German maker of bespoke modular houses - click the link.

Gerarddm
01-13-2011, 10:04 PM
Used to design and sell homes for a modular home builder. IF the company builds indoors, then you get the benefits of comfortable crews using dry materials in a controlled environment. Larger companies use jigs, etc. Definitely a better product than site built, and you'll move in sooner, though you lose somewhat on custom design capability.

Manufactured homes ( mobile homes ), on the other hand, are not a good deal. Cheaper, yes, and you get what you pay for. Plus they are property, not real estate. Like your car, they depreciate in value and when resold have to be identified as 'manufactured' and by the year of manufacture. Ask any competent real estate agent about the differences between modular and manufactured.

skuthorp
01-13-2011, 10:06 PM
Our house is 'prefab' in that apart from the foundations all the main structures were built in a factory and transported as a more or less 'flat pack' but constucted on site. We are considering a drop-in extension built completely off site and delivered with a truck and crane.

StevenBauer
01-13-2011, 11:51 PM
I'm sure you've done this already but if you Google "modular homes cooperstown ny" you'll see American Homes in Richfield Springs, right next to Cooperstown. They have some nice homes and some real dogs.

http://www.cnysource.com/document/21508_1.jpg


And

http://www.cnysource.com/document/21608_1.jpg


One starts at $103,895 and the other at $35,900.

Sometimes the companies finish the house themselves and sometimes a local contractor finishes it for you. Some of the horror stories I've seen personally are toilets that leak, mismatched electrical connectors between sections and plumbing runs that just didn't line up. The plumber that hooked up the boiler on one said it was the worst piece of crap boiler he'd ever seen. They can be great but you really have to stay on top of all the details.


Steven

Wild Dingo
01-14-2011, 05:10 AM
Problems with construction can and do occur at every level of building at every level of cost... just sayin! Often it comes down to the contractors on the ground who do make mistakes!!! A fella I know up here in Broome began building his 2.4 mil macmansion on Cable beach a year back and is still having nightmares with the contractors who keep stuffing up jobs big ones and small ones!!! Another bloke I know down south bought a flat pack job as Jeff up there talks of from a mob in Sydney had it trucked over started building and found several VITAL peices of the jigsaw were missing many phone calls later the missing parts are being built IN SYDNEY a long 4 month wait with half a house up and half a house down it arrived the wrong size!! too small by a few inches but too small... phone calls back and forth again hes made to wait another 4 months while they build it and truck it over it arrives and they put it together get to the internals that came with it and alls going well until the plumbing was found to be wrong... the local plumber had read the plans wrong and stuck the up pipe to the dunny in what was to be the bedroom... nightmares... but the point Im making is there can be problems no matter the cost or size or construction method of the house your getting... and there will always be "dodgy brothers" out there ready and willing to take any fools money!! So check check and double check again

Sometimes what we want is not what we get... in so much as IF you want a modular home then you will probably be stuck with what has been designed they do that for a simple reason the jigs are set up its easy and production line work ba da bing ba da bing done...

Archetectually designing something DIFFERENT but the same is gonna cost you no matter how you cut it... the cost isnt only in getting the archetect to design what you want which could in itself depending on the changes to his drafts you want done how many times he has to go back to the drawing board to make you happy will raise the cost incrementally... but also in the construction costs then theres the delivery etc etc etc.

Your needs from what I know of you Jamie are pretty minimal therefore I cant see why you would be trying to increase your costs instead of simply finding what you need rather than what you want which isnt very clear as to design needs... There are a multitude of choices available to you over there!! Way more than is available to us here believe me... but if you define your NEEDS... then your WANTS and follow it by looking at what is and will be superficial to your actual needs and wants you will find its already been done... and all you will need to do is a few minor cosmetic enhancements to end up with what you want in a home.

Also all this seems rather shutting the gate BEFORE the cows even out of the barn... sort the other stuff out THEN you have right of way to research and get all this together... but dont just wipe a design choice or suggestion out simply due to a preconceived notion you have that may or may not be correct... look into it!!!

On a side note... theres a bloke here whos started designing and utilizing 40ft seatainers and creating "modular" houses that arent to bad to look at... remember as someone said some councils or villiage whatevers dont like to approve "alternative" forms of housing as we found was the case with the Harvey Shire here when we wanted to demolish and rebuild in mud brick (adobe?) did we ever get some grief over that idea!!! So I guess check your local bylaws and village laws regarding what forms of housing can be constructed or utilized in your area... FIRST!!

Good luck with it all!!!

****note the above was written in an effort to assist and in no way was the author attempting to have a go at anyone said previously****

Iceboy
01-14-2011, 08:11 AM
I don't see why everyone seems to think he needs to get rid of the excess land. That is like telling someone they have too much money and better give it away. If you are worried about the taxes get yourself to a state forester and ask him about managed forest lands. I'm sure New York would have a similar program to Wisconsin's. What it entails is having a forest management plan for your property to operate it as a forest crop. The state approves it and gives a substantial tax break. Here in Wisconsin, if you wish to keep your property private it would drop your taxes to about $8.50 per acre for 25 years. Sure you have to take timber from the property occasionally but if you look at it like corn but a lot slower growing it will provide an income and harvesting helps the wildlife. Leaving a few acres out for a home site is usually no big deal. At the end of your life you could set it up in a trust where the harvesting income is divided between a property tax account and providing income to the trustees. The trustees could be neices, nephews or whoever you choose. I currently do this and enjoy a modest income, private hunting and picnic land, and security for my wife, neices and nephews. There is enough in the tax account that the interest pays all of the property taxes for now and well into the future. You also may be pleasantly surprised what the timber is worth. Putting your property in a conservancy will just take any control over it away from you. If the conservancy decides to trade off or build on that property you could be stuck with their decisions. Keep your property and make it work for you and your heirs.

S.V. Airlie
01-14-2011, 08:20 AM
I don't see why everyone seems to think he needs to get rid of the excess land. That is like telling someone they have too much money and better give it away. If you are worried about the taxes get yourself to a state forester and ask him about managed forest lands. I'm sure New York would have a similar program to Wisconsin's. What it entails is having a forest management plan for your property to operate it as a forest crop. The state approves it and gives a substantial tax break. Here in Wisconsin, if you wish to keep your property private it would drop your taxes to about $8.50 per acre for 25 years. Sure you have to take timber from the property occasionally but if you look at it like corn but a lot slower growing it will provide an income and harvesting helps the wildlife. Leaving a few acres out for a home site is usually no big deal. At the end of your life you could set it up in a trust where the harvesting income is divided between a property tax account and providing income to the trustees. The trustees could be neices, nephews or whoever you choose. I currently do this and enjoy a modest income, private hunting and picnic land, and security for my wife, neices and nephews. There is enough in the tax account that the interest pays all of the property taxes for now and well into the future. You also may be pleasantly surprised what the timber is worth. Putting your property in a conservancy will just take any control over it away from you. If the conservancy decides to trade off or build on that property you could be stuck with their decisions. Keep your property and make it work for you and your heirs.

Much of the land has easements..a lot is under managed land. Allows fort 4 houses..already one, my brother's built in 1807..and Steven,I do know of American Homes... I think a lot are better. Of course this one is close

Woxbox
01-14-2011, 08:37 AM
The credits and other paybacks for solar and wind are so strong now, I'd seriously consider an off-the-grid home. You'd be totally insulated from future electric rate hikes. If the cost of running the power lines in is really steep, it might pay off to put the money into a self-sufficient system.

Garret
01-15-2011, 09:44 PM
Putting your property in a conservancy will just take any control over it away from you. If the conservancy decides to trade off or build on that property you could be stuck with their decisions. Keep your property and make it work for you and your heirs.

Of course some land gets traded for rights, bu around here, most every piece of land put in conservancy has restrictions that would prevent this sort of thing if you don't want it to happen.

New York has Current Use laws that will allow a property owner to use the land as forestry land only & pay very, very low taxes.