Park Model Tiny House – Buying Process

Here is a checklist of the steps we go through to make your Park Model Tiny Home a reality!

  • Placement
  • Determine park model and get a General Quote
  • Payment and Financing verification
  • Planning & Design
  • Build Order Agreement
  • The Build (Build process, home site utility infrastructure, inspection & certification)
  • Transport/Delivery
  • Setup on site
  • Utility Hookups
  • Home site considerations

Explanations for your checklist:

  • Placement verification: The first thing you need to do is to make sure you can legally place your new park model tiny home where you want to.
    • Private property: If placing on private land, you will need to check with your local planning & zoning office to verify placement allowance. Most municipalities (cities/counties) have planning & zoning rules that govern what types of structures can go where. You can usually find out quickly by visiting or contacting your local Planning & Zoning office. When you contact them, try to speak to someone in charge, or close to the top. Tell them where your property is and that you would like to place a Park Model Home on your property. It is usually best not to use the term “Tiny House” because they will form a mental picture of an RV. Although a park model is legally still considered an RV, once you show it to them they will realize this is a more permanently placed structure. Even though we build them like a house, they still fall under the ANSI 119.5 code as an RV.
    • RV/Tiny Home Communities: Another great placement resource where park models are usually accepted is in tiny home and RV communities. Your certification will provide you the home credentials you need to gain acceptance.
  • General Quote:
    • Model: Choose a Model and get a ballpark estimate to make sure you are in your price range for what you need.
    • Transport: We can assist in getting you a quote for transport of your new home from our shop in Buford, GA to your home site. We just need to know the destination.
    • Setup: We can also get you a quote for setting up your home once it arrives. This includes: leveling your home, placing footers and cinder block piers down both sides of your home and anchoring your home to the ground using steel straps even placed on both sides, down the length of your home.
    • Utility: If you are setting up a new home site, you will need to make sure you have the electricity, sewer/septic, fresh water and if you need it, propane/gas. Typically this is a two part process.
      1. Get utility on the property close to the home site;
      2. Connect the utility to the house once it arrives.
      3. If placing your home in a community for RVs or Tiny Homes, then they may already have utility hookups prepared.
      We can provide you with a floor plan and utility diagrams for your model so you can begin getting quotes from your local trades for these much needed services on your property. If you already have your utilities on site, you just need to get a quote to bring them to where your home will be then connect them once the home arrives.
  • Payment and Financing:
    • Cash: If you are paying cash, then our payment process normally functions on a 40/40/20 method. A 40% down payment will schedule and begin your build. With your down payment we will build your home to dry-in status with doors, windows and rough-in utilities. Once your home is dried-in, we draw another 40% with which we complete your build. The final 20% is due upon completion.
    • Financing: If you are financing, you can use your general quote we provide to apply for your Park Model loan. Our finance company can usually get you an answer and loan offer within a few days. Currently they have loans as low as 5+ % APR, as low as 10% down and up to 23 years. Their APR has recently gone down. We can provide you with a rate chart which will help you identify your loan package details. Once your loan package is approved, we can schedule your build with your down payment required by your loan agreement. Once the home is built, we receive final payment of the balance from the finance company directly.
  • Planning & Design: Our planning & design consultation (P&D) starts with a two hour meeting either using a shared desktop session like Zoom Meetings or in person. During this meeting we will go over a checklist of features, options and other details needed to make this house your home. Then we get busy with the fun! We will create:
    • CAD designed floor plans, elevations and 3D views of your home. Photorealistic 3D renderings are also available at additional cost. But these are not needed to accurately show your design.
    • A detailed itemized cost estimate.
    • A parts and materials list with allocations, for consumer items we provide model numbers and links to source.
    • Provide you a soft building schedule.
    • NOTE: The entire P&D usually takes us about six weeks. Currently our cost for P&D is approx $700 depending on the customization of your design. If your design calls for unusual customization we will let you know well ahead of time if additional cost is anticipated. When we contract for your build, your P&D cost you paid will be applied as partial payment toward your build.
      Our estimate pricing method creates a detailed itemized list of costs to build your home. We even include links with model numbers for consumer products so you can see where we source and what it costs. Then we add our profit and overhead at the bottom in the open. This gives our clients a clear view of where they are spending money so you can make buying decisions and even shop for alternatives where possible.
  • Build Order Contract:Once we have completed your P&D and the details and cost of your home is agreed upon, we can proceed to our Build Order Contract. Normally, we will receive a down payment for your build at this time or shortly after. Once your down payment is received we will hard schedule your build for our next opening. The cost of your build is clearly defined here as a result of your P&D.
  • Build (Usually about 8-10 weeks): ustard Seed uses Buildertrend production software to manage your build. This awesome tool allows you to have a private portal to track your build schedule, payments, invoices, change orders and all your build related documentation. Another awesome tool this provides is continuous pictures and video updates throughout the build which are uploaded to your portal and are available via mobile app or computer. This feature provides you a full record of your build as it progresses. It basically puts you in the shop and provides a permanent record of your home build. Inspection (approx $550): Also during your build, we will be inspected by the third party inspection firm to ensure all plan set requirements are met. All our builds are tracked and inspected throughout each stage of your build using a quality control and compliance system (Q.C.) to ensure quality of materials, method and craftsmanship. Our Q.C. system is also inspected and approved by a third party inspection firm. Nothing is left to chance.
  • Transport: Transport of your park model home must be transported by a professional big-rig hauler. Because of it’s over-dimensioned size status and its weight, a modular must have a permit for each state it passes through. Costs for transport varies depending on the company used and runs from $8 to $10/mile. The companies we rely upon usually charge an average of about $9/mile. Be sure your transport company is familiar with transporting homes such as these and have the proper licensing and insurance to protect your investment. Homes this size are not your every day haul. We can assist in getting you a quote for transport of your new home from our shop in Buford, GA to your home site.
  • Setup (approx 1 day, starting at $3000-$3500): Setup of a modular on-site usually consists of leveling your home, placing footers and cinder block piers down both sides of your home as a foundation underneath your two steel i-beams that run the length of your home. Then your home is anchored to the ground using steel straps even placed on both sides, down the length of your home. The steel anchors connect to long auger screws driven deep into the ground and provide protection against wind loads. Final cost can vary depending on the conditions and contractor used.
  • Utility hookup (approx 1-2 days, priced locally by your licensed contractors): Once your home is properly set up, it is time to hook up your electricity, plumbing and propane (when applicable) to the local utility. The exact cost of this step should be known well before going to contract.
    • For private property placement, this means having power, water and drainage resources run from wherever they are on the property to your home site before your home arrives. Then having them connected to your house after setup. Usually this is done in two steps.
      • Have utility resources run on your property to the home site. This is done while your home is being built.
      • Once your home arrives and is placed, the previously installed utilities are connected to your home.
      • For RV and tiny house communities, your utility hookups should already be installed prior to your home’s arrival. Once your home arrives and is placed, the on-site RV utilities are connected to your home using either RV hookups or stub out connections to the property utility.
      • The type of utility hookups on your house will be determined during P&D for the needs of your project. They will either be stubbed out like a regular house, or fitted with RV connections.
  • Home site considerations: Once your home is setup with utilities connected, your home is ready to live in! At this point you can consider other options on site such as skirting to go around the bottom of your home. These days, there are many skirting options available that look like stack stone, river rock, brick and others. It will make your home look like it was built there. You can also add stairs to access your porch from the property, add lighting, etc. All the little details that make your house a home.

Please note: We understand that this list of action items can be a bit overwhelming. Good grief…most of it uses terms and stuff most people have never even heard of before. But let us assure you that we will be doing most of this for you. The areas you will be most directly involved with are financing and your property/on-site items such as foundation footers and utilities. Still we will be assisting you through those as well to help make sure you get what you need. We will even coordinate with your local contractors and providers to make sure they understand what you need. This process is a step by step solution to getting where you want to be. And it works. Rest assured we’ll be there every step of the way. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have and we’ll be happy to help! And remember..Big Change Starts Small!

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