Boomers and newlyweds are big RTM purchasers

As word spreads about the positives of Ready to Move (RTM) homes, Sean Goodlow has seen an increase of people checking out the RTM inventory. And, when it comes to putting the final strokes on an RTM purchase, he says two groups at opposite ends of the life-stage spectrum seem to be buying into benefits of an RTM home or cottage purchase more than others.

“We see a lot of younger couples that are first-time home buyers and we also see a lot of people who are looking at setting up nicely for retirement by buying one of our RTM products,” says Goodlow, a sales consultant at Star Package Sales in Winnipeg. “More people are looking at the RTM options. A lot of them come in here expecting to see homes that look like trailers and are pleasantly surprised when they see our excellent products and full range of options. Once on site, in many situations, you wouldn’t even know their beautiful home or cottage was an RTM purchase.”

According to Goodlow, the price standpoint of the fully constructed homes or cottages is a major attraction.

“People are looking at price. They can have a brand-new home for the same amount as they might be looking at an older on site home,” he says. “More people are considering and purchasing RTM product options.”

Customizing options

Having the option to pay a bit more to customize their RTM purchase through items such as flooring and cabinets is also something that Goodlow says is appreciated by new buyers. He says those preparing for retirement or starting young families are showing a strong affinity for bungalows. He also says those worried about RTMs standing up to the harsh Manitoba winters or becoming a money pit for high energy bills need not be concerned.

“The units are constructed to the highest energy-efficient standards from windows to trusses to insulation,” he says. “We also install low-flush toilets and other energy-saving items to help homeowners with their energy consumption. The fact that we are CSA Certified offers the ultimate comfort level.”

Most RTMs are constructed on site at the builder’s property or in a secured building compound. Goodlow says this minimizes construction delays and maximizes quality control to meet CSA manufacturing standards. Regardless of where purchased, most RTMs are usually destined for rural properties. There are RTMs ordered for city lots, however logistics such as the lot size, the accessibility to property and the transportation bylaws of the various urban location should be considered and investigated before the purchase.

Alana McElroy-Scott, residential sales consultant at Grandeur Housing in Winkler says the company is receiving a lot of interest on their RTM homes.

“We are seeing our homes go all across the Prairies, especially the southeast corner of Saskatchewan,” says McElroy-Scott.

One-stop shopping

Like other RTM vendors, Grandeur Housing offers a complete one-stop shop from building construction to foundation requirements to transportation of the RTM. She says convenience and quality are bringing people to RTM purchases.

“People want to design their homes and then have us tell them when they can move in,” says McElroy-Scott. “People who tend to come see us want to purchase the entire package and don’t want to deal with the headaches of building themselves.”

While there isn’t one particular type of buyer, one definite trend that McElroy-Scott has seen is the increase in the RTM size.

“People’s homes are getting bigger and more custom,” she says. “And we are really seeing no blueprint for who’s buying these homes. They come from every walk of life.”

While Grandeur Housing offers foundations as part of their package, Star Building Sales is one of a host of vendors that can provide a foundation plan with engineer stamp. They then provide customers with a reference list of recommended foundation builders.

“The whole foundation process is quite seamless for the customer,” says Goodlow. “We can provide the plans and the builders’ names that we work closely with to provide the best-quality foundation.”

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