Although this story may not seem terribly dramatic, it was quite costly and surprising and taught me a lesson I will never forget the importance of a modular home contingency fund.
She Wished She’d Put Aside a Modular Home Contingency Fund
My customer, a single woman with a young boy, was given a small piece of land by her mother. She didn’t have a lot of money, so we designed her a small ranch. The total price worked within her budget, but barely. The lot certainly didn’t appear to pose any problems. My customer and her mother had spoken to all of the neighbors, who they both had known for years, and learned that the ground water was low and there were no large rocks or ledge. In addition, the lot was completely flat, with only a couple of trees. There was no concern about the cost of a septic system and well, since public water and sewer were on her side of the street. I remember thinking that this would be an “easy” job, something I don’t see a lot with New England’s terrain.
What a surprise it was when we found solid ledge 18 inches below the surface. The best solution was to blast enough ledge to put in a crawl space and connect to the water and sewer. The real problem was that the cost was several thousand dollars, which my customer didn’t have. Fortunately, her bank, which her mother and late father had been using for 30 years, stretched her qualifications and lent her the additional money. Ever since this experience, I never assume that a job will be easy and without surprises. I suggest that you adopt the same cautious attitude and “plan for the unexpected” by setting aside a modular home contingency fund.
For more information about why you need a modular home contingency fund, see Financing a Modular Home in my book The Modular Home.