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Prefab. Home(I think)?-what to compare it to?

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Debra

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Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Tennessee
Hello!

This property that I went to yesterday is not a mobile home and is not a "home home". I asked the owner before I went if it was a Jim Walter home and he didn't know what that was. The home looks more to me like a double wide mobile home (but that's not what it is). The assessor's office has it as a "normal home" but with below average on the quality, cab-millwork, and paint-decor. It is not on a steel frame underneath but wood, has a concrete foundation and is well insulated. The ceiling inside looks like stirafoam. The property is hard to describe. What do I compare it to? If I compare it to mobile homes-what adjustment/s do I make? If I compare it to "normal" siding homes-what adjustment/s do I make? Maybe a couple of each? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks :roll:
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

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Jan 16, 2002
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Arizona
It sounds like you might have a "panelized" or "kit" home. Can you research out the building permits or zoning permits that allowed the home to be constructed? There might be something in those government records that could help you determine exactly what you have. Jim Walters homes always turn out to have exact dimensions--exactly 24' or 28', never 23.9 or 24.1 for example, at least in my area. DeGeorge or Mills or other suppliers and site built or manufactured usually are not exact. Are there any ways to determine through county/city or MLS records if there any other homes with construction similar to yours? What other homes would a prospective buyer consider as competition to yours? And what would cause a buyer (other than Grandma next door) to choose your subject over the competing properties? Is there something unique about the location, view, amenities of the lot, site area, etc that would over shadow the construction quality? Or additional buildings? You might end up with a mixture of everything--site built, manufactured home, modular home, kit home, etc, etc with at least six or more comparables. Sit back, close your eyes and pretend you are a buyer looking for a home similar to your subject. What ever you think--will be your comparables--even if they are miles away, next door, sold 3 years ago or yesterday.
 

Tim Hicks (Texas)

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Jan 15, 2002
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Texas
It could be a modular home or a manufactured home. You may need to re-visit the property and check for the appropriate tags. Incidentally, Jim Walters homes are not pre-fab homes in our area. They are site built and usually left to the home owner to complete the interior finish. These type homes are not put together in sections like modular homes. A Jim Walters home in this area can be compared to a site built frame home and sometimes they are constructed so well that they are similar in quality to regular site built homes.
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

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Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Majority of Jim Walter homes here in my two current counties are owner built on site. In the Phoenix area, there were a variety of owner built on site or licensed contractor built on site or some components already assembled, then delivered to the site and remaining assemblage by owner or licensed contractor on the site. Since there was a factory in Tempe, some would be 100% constructed by the Jim Walters employees with partial construction at the factory and the remaining partial construction on site. They are not modular homes (that is true Tim), but panelized or kit homes regardless of how much is done in the factory or on the site or who does the construction.

By the way did any one watch the Home and Garden network this afternoon? They had an episode on the 2002 International Building Show in Atlantic. One of the segments was a tour of a Genesis Modular home with a 15' ceiling in the living room which was on display at the show. That would be interesting to watch it ride Nancy's ferry up there in the San Juans! The line waiting to look inside the home was about a block long! But I am sure it is constructed in "boxes" that would fit under freeway under passes and then assembled with a crane at the site.
 
A

Anonymous

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Based on your description it seems that you have something similar to a fair quality house as defined by Marshall and Swift. How much does quality matter in your market area? I would keep it simple and make a quality adjustment if your market calls for one.
 

Debra

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Hello

I need to get comparable pictures tomorrow. I'm still trying to figure out what to compare it to? There are very few prefab homes(if any) in the area and no way to tell which ones are. So...do I compare it to a doublewide or siding home? I may not make adjustments for a doublewide. What adjustment would I make for a siding home? Thanks Debra :wink:
 

Rich Heyn

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Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Debra:

You may be looking at an older Wausau panelized home, or something like it.

The older Wausau panelized homes were typically one story affairs with about a 3/12 roof pitch and wide overhangs. They were true panelized homes in the sense that plumbing, wiring and interior finish were completed at the factory. In other words, both sides of the panels were finished prior to erection. What caught my eye was your comment that the ceiling finish looked like styrofoam. Wausau used a product called Upson (sp?) board on the interior side of the panel. Upson board is a fiberboard that wouldn't crack when the panels were placed like finished drywall. I believe it was finished with a "spatter" pattern and the joints between the panels were covered with wood batten strips. On the ceiling panels the strips would be either 4' or 8' on center. The wall panels would have a single, horizontal strip about 4' above the floor.

Two other characteristics I recall on the old Wausau product were cathedral ceilings in all the rooms and plywood on the underside of the floor joists. They used a smaller framing member for the floor joists (2x6 or 2x8 instead of 2x10) but compensated for this with a "stressed skin" of plywood on both top and bottom of the joist.

Wasuau still makes panelized homes, but does not finish the inside of the panels. What you end up with from Wausau now is basically a shell, with the mechanicals and interior finish completed in the field the same as a stick-built home. Once completed, the current Wausau homes (as well as most other panelized homes) are vitrually indistinguishable from their site-built counterparts.

By the way, you may wish to retire the term "doublewide" from your professional vocabulary. It's a non-specific term that does not tell clients what they really need to know if the loan is being sold in the secondary market. That is, is the home a "multi section HUD code home" or is it a "modular" or some other form of factory-built home.

Rich Heyn
 

Debra

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Thanks for the information.

It's 20 years old and sounds a lot like the Wausau home though not exactly. It definately didn't have cathedral ceilings. It does have floor joists that were 2x8 instead of 2x10 and etc. All but one wall inside was panel. To me still it looked mostly like what I'm used to calling a doublewide mobile home (what is the correct term for this)? What is the correct word for the subject?. The owner had almost no information about the property. He's not the original owner (not even close). It's something inbetween a "doublewide" and a fair quality vinyl siding home (I guess). I'll probably use 2 "doublewides" and two vinyl siding homes and make a quality adjustment on the siding homes. I'm still not sure exactly yet what to do and this property is rural and in another county about 1.5 hours from my office. Also it's on the edge of another county so I'll look for comps in both counties. Does it sound like I'm on the right tract? Thanks for replies! :? :)
 

Wally Jones

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Jan 23, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
Debra,

You mentioned the assessor calls it a "normal home". Do they make a distinction for manufactured homes? If so, then it appears the one thing you don't have is a manufactured home. As Jo Ann mentioned, visualize what the market would be for your subject. If further investigation doesn't reveal that it's a modular or kit built home, seems like your comps will be "normal" homes with as many similar characteristics to your subject as you can find. Sounds like you'll need to pack a lunch for this one! Good luck.

(Do a search on posts by Jo Ann for some really good information on manufactured, mobile and modular.....oh my!) 8O
 

Debra

Thread Starter
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Yes...the assessor's office shows the properties to be either mobile homes or what I called "normal homes" ones that are not mobile homes. They don't show anything inbetween and this home is something inbetween. So...I'm thinking that I'll use 2 "doublewides" because that's what it looks and feels like the most to me and 2 "normal homes" and make some kind of adjustment for the "normal quality homes". Does it sound like I'm on the right tract or is there one? Thanks! :roll: :? :)
 
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