Building prefab homes and selling them

4 Replies

Hi everyone, 

There are quite interesting deals in China for prefab homes - they are light, easy to assemble, well insulated and earthquake-resistant, and looks like they are cheap too - approx. $250 per 10 sq ft. And they look good - they can make it according to your preferred design. 

You're sending your drawings and tech requirements to a manufacturer in China, they make a house for you, ship it to your location, you hire a crew to assemble that house in your place. It's about $3-4k to ship the house in a container to USA. There's also permits and other fees, and the assembly price. 

So this is the theory, and does anyone have any actual experience in dealing with prefab houses? I'm wondering if that can be a good business idea, as the final price should be lower than the market price, and they could be sold for profit. 

Please share your ideas, let's see if this is a good niche or not. Thanks!

@Account Closed , great in theory, but I'd be very skeptical of using Chinese manufacturers to build a home intended for America, simply because of a few recent hiccups.

I think the better idea is to use modular homes built here in the US. Higher prices, for sure, but they're built to local code and still have room for profit even including land purchase and assembly. 

Originally posted by @Brooks Rembert :

@Levon Janpoladyan, great in theory, but I'd be very skeptical of using Chinese manufacturers to build a home intended for America, simply because of a few recent hiccups.

I think the better idea is to use modular homes built here in the US. Higher prices, for sure, but they're built to local code and still have room for profit even including land purchase and assembly. 

That's most likely right. The price difference seems so attractive though, I'm thinking maybe there is a way to find Chinese manufacturers, who will build a house according to US building codes. I wish someone has tried that here. 

Keep in mind that when container shipping is quoted, it is most often to the "port of entry" and then there may be customs duties, expediter fees, trucking to your site and then you have to figure out how to unload the components from the container in the two hour time window they give you. (and where do you put them prior to assembly if it rains?)

I've dealt with quite a few containers and it's really a fairly complex process. So if you do something like this, make sure that you have all the bases covered or your $4000 shipping charge may change to $7500. (not even counting import duties/taxes)

Proceed with caution...

This is a great idea but I think main problem is how to find an inspection services or your city inspectors who are willing to go to China to inspect in every necessary phases.

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