By Ray Schmitt
Why would a manufactured home retailer want to be known as expensive?? Well, what one person calls expensive, another calls value. Consider cars for instance; the real cost is not the initial investment but the price per mile driven. A higher initial cost, well built, low maintenance vehicle (think Honda) will last longer, have less maintenance and higher resale value than a cheaper one (think Pinto, Yugo). And, coincidentally which product do you think has the most customer loyalty and referral value?
In our business it’s not just the factory-built home but the sales, installation and service that creates this value for customers. It’s also the ability of the full service dealer to turn a customer’s dream into a reality that meets expectations.
One of the truly unique projects we have completed was in the exclusive Carmel Riviera area on the edge of the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean. The owners (a household name in the stock market investment industry) had an empty lot (impeccably landscaped) adjacent to an existing home of approximately 4,600 square feet. Their goal was to create an energy efficient, low maintenance “guest house” that matched the architecture, texture and colors of the existing home maximizing the footprint allowed by the development constraints of a coastal property. The owners were intrigued by our Energy Star homes and the efficiency of our building systems.
This project had to go through local architectural review, neighborhood review, landscape review, the California Coastal Commission, Monterey County Planning and included hearings before the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. Coastal Home Solutions, Inc. prepared architectural, construction and landscape plans in house and processed the permits. This process took a mere 6 years before construction could begin.
As seen in the accompanying virtual tour, the finished project met or exceeded every expectation of the owners. The finished project is a 2,232 square foot, 3 bedroom, 3 bath, bonus room (convertible to bedroom) with great room, dining room, master bedroom and master bath with white water ocean views steps from the beach along with a detached matching 2 car garage.
The home is sided with cement fiber lap siding that matches the horizontal siding on the original home, the architectural composition shingle roof also matches the main structure for a pleasing aesthetic that makes you think the two structures were built together. These exterior elements also contribute to the low maintenance desired. The Coastal Home Solutions, Inc. designed front entry porch with columns, the pergola connecting the utility room to the garage and the elevated stone patio with glass railing were site built after the home sections were installed.
Inside, tile floors in the common areas and bathrooms, Silestone brand counters and KitchenAid brand Energy Star stainless steel appliances add practicality and lowered maintenance to the interior. Of course the generous use of glazing optimizing the gorgeous ocean view. A specially designed sliding mechanism hangs a beautiful painting that slides aside to reveal the television and entertainment components tastefully hidden above the fireplace.
Energy saving features include R-40 insulation in the ceilings, 2×6 exterior walls with R-21 insulation, R- 30 under floor insulation, 90% high efficiency whole house furnace, low E dual pane windows and sealed heat ducts.
This home retails for approximately $310,000. The development costs which cover the plans, permits, foundation, garage, site construction, utilities, engineered septic system, landscaping, paving, etc (lots of etc.) on this project added another $350,000. Complete construction time was approximately 5 months including weather delays and owner requested non-work periods.
Well that’s the expense side, what’s the value? This home is currently valued at $3.5 million. Granted the valuation is elevated because of location, however this home is very compatible with the neighborhood and is more energy efficient and lower maintenance. Construction time was probably ½ or less than the time required to construct conventionally minimizing the neighborhood impact and the cost was about 2/3 the cost of conventional construction.
This was not our most expensive project by far but it is a great representation of the value a manufactured home clients receive, regardless of their price point.##