Long Island Builder Moves to Modular

Before the housing bubble burst, builder Howard Kipnes would buy land speculatively and then build the home upon receiving a contract. That ended with the housing bust. Newsdays tells MHProNews.com that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, permits for single-family homes on Long Island, New York, fell to 90 in November, 2011, compared to 160 four years earlier. In New York, 421 modular homes were shipped in the third quarter of 2011 as opposed to 338 in the same period 2010. Kipnes began selling modulars because they require half the time as a site-built dwelling, and their price tag is 5-10 percent less. Westchester Modular Homes in Wingdale, NY manufactures the custom-built modular homes that he then assembles on clients’ property. Now completing his fifth modular home, he received a $480,000 Small Business Administration loan to remodel an 8,000 square foot space (he shares some of the space) and showcase his new product, including a large flat-panel monitor customers can use to design their home. He says buyers are still cautious about factory-built homes, but the inquiries have increased in the past year. He currently is working on 30 proposals.

(Photo credit: Ed Betz/Newsday)

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