When people think about buying a home, they usually think about buying a house. Who can blame them? That’s what’s often portrayed in popular culture—a house, a yard, a picket fence, and a mortgage payment to boot.
However, thanks to limited availability and a crowded, competitive market, more and more people have explored less traditional options over the past few years that may require unconventional mortgages.
Types of Unique Homes
Everyone’s heard of houses. Most people know you can purchase apartments and condominiums in larger metropolitan areas. Unless you pay attention to social media trends, however, you may not know that there are other types of homes—like tiny homes, container homes, and modular or manufactured housing.
Some people don’t love the idea of being tied to one place. And although median home prices across the United States are expected to fall by 4.5% this year, it’s hard to blame some people for not wanting to drop more than $400,000 on a home. That’s where tiny homes come into focus, a bite-sized abode that can cost a fraction of the average house.
Tiny homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but usually average out at just 225 square feet. Cost-wise, things vary. Prefabricated tiny homes could cost as little as $30,000, whereas custom-built tiny homes could cost as much as $150,000 or more. Still, even that cost is more palatable to some people than the average cost of a full-blown house.
And thanks to a wider range of financing options, including unconventional mortgages, it’s easier to obtain a mortgage for a tiny home that can be placed virtually anywhere.
Another rising trend? Container homes, or the refurbication of shipping containers, remodeled and rearranged in various ways to create truly unique homes. Like tiny homes, these options can cost as little as $10,000 if people forego finer details, but price tags can balloon upwards quickly for more in-depth configurations and customizations. Still, even the larger container homes shouldn’t cost more than $200,000 to build according to UpNest, a Realtor.com company.
While one container might feel like living in a studio apartment (or the aforementioned tiny home), two or three shipping containers could be laid out to feel more like a traditional house…or something famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright might have designed.
Modular & Manufactured
Modular homes are similar to container homes in that they generally consist of prefabricated pieces that are arranged on-site and they require an unconventional mortgage. They’re also referred to as manufactured or mobile homes, and come with a number of advantages:
- Quick to build
- Fewer location restrictions
- Less costly
That said, modular homes also come with some disadvantages. They’re typically harder to finance if they’re mobile, which means a mortgage lender may require the modular home to be permanently set in one location.
Concerned about cost? Good news: like other unique homes, modular and manufactured homes range in price—with single-wide homes running an average of a little over $75,000 and double-wide homes tacking on another $100,000 to that figure.
Unconventional Mortgage Options
Okay, now that we’ve broken down a few different types of unique homes, let’s talk about the unconventional mortgages you can use to purchase them.
One popular option we offer at Cardinal Financial is the MH AdvantageTM loan, which offers affordable housing alternatives to buyers nationwide so long as the unique home is built on a permanent foundation. The MH Advantage loan comes with flexible underwriting standards and reduced pricing for manufactured homes that meet specific construction, architectural design, and energy efficiency standards.
That means, if you like the idea of a modular home or a tiny home but aren’t thinking about traveling the country, you may be able to qualify for financing.
However, if—after reading through all of these unique home types—you’re thinking a conventional home may be more up your alley, consider the possibilities of building your own home with a one-time close loan. That way, if market availability’s got you feeling hopeless, you could create your own custom home that’s unique in its own way.
With this loan option, you don’t have to pay for the land and the home separately, and you close before construction ever begins. Once the project is complete, the loan becomes a Conventional mortgage.
Your Home, Your Way
Regardless of what home type you choose to pursue, we’re here to help you find the right financing options for both traditional and unconventional mortgages. One of the best things you can do in your adventure toward homeownership is to obtain a rate quote and speak with a loan expert who can help you find what you’re looking for.
Luckily, we’ve got a lot of those experts waiting for your call.
Thanks to a wider range of financing options, it’s easier to obtain a mortgage for a tiny home that can be placed virtually anywhere.