All is not what is seems- Chelan and Wenatchee Home Inspections

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

All is not what is seems- Chelan and Wenatchee Home Inspections

When you are looking at home you wish to purchase there will be many things going through you head. Can I afford this home, what repairs will be needed, does have enough bedrooms and bathrooms, what shape are the appliances in etc, etc...

The new kitchen to the left

But for most we take for granted that the home is what is being sold as. If it is a traditional stick built home or a manufactured home we can make that observation fairly easily.

On a recent home inspection my client was looking at a bank owned property. I was just finishing the exterior evaluation which left me with a few questions on why they did some things with the exterior finishes. The basement was partially finished so I was going to be able to further evaluate my observations.

I was taking a picture of the EPA well head tag for my client's report when a neighbor drives by and starts asking some questions. She asked is the home being purchased? I give some very vague answers then she informs me that they were thinking that their daughter may want the home, but they had questions if the Kitchen addition had been permitted. I said I did not know. Then she informs me they were curious because when they brought the home in on a truck the kitchen was not like it is now.

Sometimes it is very good to be friendly with the neighbors because you can glean some very interesting information from them. Well this information just answered a whole lot of questions I had.

I went into the home talked to my client went downstairs and sure enough there was the final evidence.

The Marriage Line   The Marriage Line in the attic

This home was being listed as a conventional home but in actuality it was modular home.

 

NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more...                             

NCW Home Inspections LLC-509-670-9572

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Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Possible that the listing agent and present owner didn't even know. 

I have no problem selling a modular.  Factory standards are often higher that builders'.

 

Jul 03, 2011 06:01 PM #1
Rainmaker
368,212
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Lenn,

The only issue here in this area they tend to not be valued as well as a traditional stick built home. So if you basing your offer on what you think is a traditional home it could make a difference. This was a bank owned home.

You correct about the building practices. Since these are constructed in a controlled environment they can be built very well and very efficiently. But you still need to rely on a good contractor to properly set the home.

In this particular home some there was issues with how they connected the home at the marriage line which ended up causing some settlement issues.

Jul 03, 2011 06:27 PM #2
Rainmaker
635,133
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I agree with your assessment, these homes are built in a controlled environment with a steady work force as opposed to site built and a transient work force. Quality control is generally better too.

Jul 03, 2011 07:20 PM #3
Rainmaker
368,212
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim,

I agree. If these are set up well in the field they can be a very affordable quality built home. But perception is that they are a fancy manufactured/mobile home.

Jul 03, 2011 09:33 PM #4
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

HA!  A defect is a defect, be it in a stick built or factory build property. 

Two of the homes I sold in the past 3 years were factory built, large homes in the 2500-3000 square feet range. 

One property was not properly "strapped" which was discovered by the home inspector.  However, the repair was under $250 so the buyer went forward.

There is a certain consumer prejudice against factory built homes.  My experience, however, is that, with a good contractor, they can be as good as or better in quality than stick built. 

What I can't figure is, how did the contractor get the "parts" of this home in place????  This is the one I sold last week.  This home is on a wooded lot with a 50 ft. driveway.  Amazing. 

No one, absolutely no one would have known that it was a factory built home without a keen-eyed home inspector.  Best, the two main structures were not "strapped", they were bolted. 

Gail's house

Jul 04, 2011 06:24 AM #5
Rainmaker
368,212
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Lenn,

You are absolutely correct on the build and any associated defects. They can be built as well and many times better than a site built home. Still there is a stigma that goes along with it being factory built that effect the worth. At least that is the way it is in this area.

The one you pictured you would never know without seeing the connection/assembly points. If done well this may be even hard to find. In the home you pictured what did the inspector see that gave it away?

Here is a link that shows the assembly procedures. Pretty interesting. 

http://www.nahb.org/generic.aspx?genericContentID=53862

 

Happy 4th

Jul 04, 2011 12:58 PM #6
Ambassador
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Donald.  Jay Markanich was the home inspector.  http://activerain.com/blogs/jaymarkanich

When he entered the attic he let the buyer know right away.  I don't know what alerted him.  I surely didn't see anything in the basement.  He inspected the connection points though and said the house is very sound. 

 

Jul 04, 2011 05:29 PM #7
Rainmaker
368,212
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Lenn.

That makes total sense since this is an area that would not be covered by finishes. I was sort of thinking that was the giveaway point.

Once I knew the home I was inspecting was modular I told my client also. I even went over with some of the specifics of it being built in a factory. I am not really against them other than they do not seem to hold the value a site built home does.

My uncle used to manage Fleetwood Enterprises manufactured homes division in So. California. I actually was out to the factory and saw them build the homes. Though they were not modulars many of the same techniques were being deployed. They have come a long ways since those days.

Jul 04, 2011 05:39 PM #8
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Rainmaker
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Donald Hester

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