At least I’ve found the home that I would buy if I were in the States and in the market for a house. LivingHomes is a company that makes prefabricated houses. Forget about trailers and run of the mill design. These houses are really nice looking, with the bonus feature that they are packed with green tech and get high marks for eco-consciousness. Because they are prefabricated, costs are less and construction is quick. The house in the picture (Model C6) in this post goes for $179, 000 and – get this – comes with an unheard of 10 year guarantee. For a house!
Based in Santa Monica, California, LivingHomes is the work of Steve Glenn, a former Apple marketing executive. They were the first company to make a house that received a platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating, the top standard of the U.S. Green Building Council. What makes it so green? Well, most of the home’s construction materials are recycled. There are also smart appliances throughout the house and good insulation to cut down on heating bills. Add solar power (sold separately) and monthly utility bills nearly disappear.
Glenn and his company got their start in 2006 designing luxury eco-friendly houses but then decided to turn their attention to affordable green housing. It seems to have paid off as the company is now in the black. According to Fortune the C6 model is
a three-bedroom, two-bath dwelling comes with cork floors, 12-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling glass, no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint, and a lighting system that can be controlled from an iPhone. The LEED Platinum C6 is 1,232 square feet — well below the average of 2,380 square feet for new construction. Thanks to the economies of scale of prefab building, the price tag (not including land and site prep) is $179,000, or $145 a square foot — about 30% less than a site-built home of similar quality.
Many more models are available at good prices. I’ll be checking back in when I return to the states in 2 years to see what new designs are available and to visit one in person. They seem like they would make a great first home. Check it out for yourself. Take a virtual 3D tour courtesy of Wired.com.