TechPractices are outstanding housing projects throughout the U.S. where innovative technologies are implemented. Builders and remodelers can use these examples as models for projects of their own.
|New Colony Village Snapshot
||Corridor 1 L.P.
||413 units; single-family detached two-story manufactured houses
||Average $109,000 to $132,000
||For-profit development offered with Fannie Mae land-lease purchase loans
||Two-Story Manufactured Housing Development; Detachable Hitch,
Wheel and Axle for Stacking; Site-Built Amenities; Space-Saving
Built-In Storage; Dual Sewer Connections
How can a manufactured housing developer compete with custom
two-story homes in an aesthetically-driven market? New Colony
Village found a way to beat surrounding conventional subdivisions
at their own game, installing two-story manufactured homes with
site-built basements, porches and garages. The community contains
manufactured (HUD-Code) homes, which are normally one-story units.
An innovative chassis design allows the manufactured units to
be stacked. New Colony Village is the first HUD-Code development
in the Eastern U.S. with two-story homes. The project features
additional breakthroughs in land development and financing options.
New Colony Village, slated to contain 416 units averaging 1,300
square feet, is designed to compete with conventional subdivisions.
The designs match the architectural style prevalent in the region
-- two-story homes complete with basements, porches, and garages,
features usually not present in manufactured-home developments.
The two-story HUD-Code homes not only help create a more traditional-looking
subdivision, but land is used much more efficiently, adding home
square footage by building up instead of out.
The 52-acre site, located about 25 miles from Washington, D.C.,
and 17 miles from Baltimore, is covered with wooded wetland preserve
areas. The developer needed to preserve the open feeling of the
site. But with a density of approximately 10 homes per acre, a
different approach is called for. To create a sense of openness
in a densely built-up area, designers creatively developed the
space by grouping homes in "pods", making narrower streets,
and by leaving common areas throughout. A two-lane feeder boulevard
flanked by sidewalks feeds into one-way loop streets. At the end
of each "loop" is a common space area. Homes on the
"outside" of the loop back up to wooded or wetland areas.
The narrow streets also create a more open feel and are less expensive
to build. The developer engineered dual sewer connections for
each pair of homes. Instead of a separate line and connection
to the sewer main for each house, a single line carries the combined
waste of a pair of homes.
New Colony Village offers five floor plans: four two-story
models and a one-story model marketed to the elderly or empty-nesters.
Designers maximized all available space. For example, wasted-space
areas under stairwells feature shelving or optional cabinetry.
Homeowners can opt for in-wall media niches for TVs and stereo
components that generally require space-consuming furniture. One
model has an entry foyer that steps down to a Great Room, divided
by a kneewall that features a mini-bookcase.
New Colony Village is the first manufactured housing community
to offer such site-built elements as finished or unfinished basements,
and garages and porches that not only add charm to the house,
but have ample room for the homeowners to use them. Among the
space configuration choices are roommate suites, ground floors
with two-car garages or a one-car garage plus family room, a ground
floor with two bedrooms, or one bedroom and a family room. A two-bedroom
model has the option of a site-built third bedroom or family room
above the garage.
For privacy, the garage side of every home has limited window
space, similar to the designs used in zero-lot line homes. To
create privacy without blocking out light, the builders used clerestory
New Colony Village features many amenities normally not included
in manufactured home developments, including a 24-hour staffed
entry gate, jogging trails, and a large recreation center with
a fireplace lounge area, a multi-sport court, and adult and children's
Under the HUD Code, manufactured homes must have an attached,
"permanent" chassis. This has thwarted builder efforts
to stack them into multi-story units. Even if the mobile undercarriage
could be removed, manufacturers use a steel I-beam chassis which
would make the floors too thick. New Colony Village developers,
in conjunction with housing consultants, devised a unique chassis
system that is an integral part of the floor joist system. The
2 x 10 floor joists are doubled at the perimeter, eliminating
the typical steel chassis. Hitches, axle, and wheel assemblies
are removable. When the module arrives on site, a crane lifts
the home and detaches the axle, wheels, and hitch, and the module
is ready to stack. Each two-story home is comprised of four modules.
For maximum curb appeal, care was taken to disguise mate lines
connecting home modules by incorporating connections into architectural
A substantial portion of the home is site-built, including basement,
garage and porch. To free-up space in the main floors, the furnace
is installed in the basement, a practice borrowed from modular
home construction. A technique borrowed from shared
wastewater treatment systems, dual sewer connections allow
for less excavation, pipe installation, and potential stoppages.
By creating a "T" connection between each pair of homes
and the sewer main, each home could be separately metered while
reducing construction time and costs.
New Colony Village is a land-lease community with a twist.
In land-lease communities, the homeowner owns the home but not
the land, lowering the overall purchase price. However, land-lease
buyers do not benefit from low-interest mortgages because they
do not turn over the deed to the land. Thus, land-lease purchases
are financed using chattel loans with interest rates several points
higher than mortgage rates.
To help buyers to benefit from low interest rates, and to bring
in more qualifying buyers, developer Wayne Newsome developed long-term
50-year land leases allowing Fannie Mae to offer New Colony Village
buyers a conventional 30-year mortgage loan with as low as 5%
down payment. Homebuyers then have a dual monthly payment -- mortgage
plus a fee paid to New Colony Village that includes the land lease
fee, infrastructure maintenance, and a host of site amenities.
This arrangement also frees up more money for the downpayment
as thousands of dollars in closing costs on conventional properties
are from taxes and fees assessed on the land. The 30-year loan
program is available to creditworthy customers. Loans with 10%
down are available to credit risks.
In Howard County, Maryland, a typical 1,500-square foot, single-family
detached home with three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths averages around
$190,000. Homes at New Colony Village are $109,000 to $132,000
-- prices more in line with area townhouses. Newsome tried to
employ cost-cutting measures wherever possible. For example, the
dual sewer connections not only reduce the amount of labor and
material required, they also reduce the sewer main tap fee for
each home. Total savings is approximately $400 per home.
The area is zoned for a mobile home park. Manufactured housing
is built under a pre-emptive national code administered by HUD.
The HUD Code mandates that manufactured homes have an attached
chassis. New Colony's removable undercarriage innovation allows
for a two-story configuration. Because stairs are not covered
by the HUD Code, they are built to the local code, as are the
attached garages and other onsite work.
Many items often offered as upgrades are standard features
at New Colony Village. Developers held focus groups to determine
what homeowners desired. As a result, such items as white cabinets,
white-on-white appliances, garage door openers, and cabinet and
vanity hardware are standard.
Do you have a specific question? Try the contacts listed below:
Select Housing Associates
3300 Irvine Avenue, Suite 225
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Corridor 1 L.P.
P.O. Box 39
Columbia, MD 21045
10319-B Tower Hill Ct.
Elicott City, MD 21042