Modular Home Popularity Grows

Many South Mississippi homeowners who lost their homes to Hurricane Katrina are rebuilding, but they are choosing a different option.

Modular home buying is becoming a popular trend on the coast.

"From start to finish, it's a quicker process than site building a house," says Ryan Nance.

Nance is the president of New Gulf Homes. He says while his company may be new, the idea of modular housing has been around for a long time.

"In Mississippi, there has never really been a need for it. But the situation we are in right now, we need to get houses that are built stronger than your site built home, and homes that can get done quicker as well," says Nance.

The homes sit on concrete barriers and can withstand wind speeds up to 160 miles an hour. That's reason enough for homeowner Mary Bailey to buy a modular home. She lost her first home to Hurricane Camille, rebuilt, but lost it again to Katrina. Now Bailey is back in the same spot for a third time, but she's doing things a little differently.

"I decided at my age, I didn't have time to fool with an architect for a year and trying to find a contractor and all that," says Bailey.

Once the home is ordered and delivered, it typically takes about 30 days before the homeowner can move in.

"When this one came in, all the cabinets were hung and the fireplace in my bedroom was installed," Bailey said.

She also added hardwood floors, custom cathedral ceilings, and an elevator. Now that she's settled, this homeowner says modular housing is the best way to go.

"I have about four friends who have bought homes based on seeing mine," says Bailey.

Ryan Nance with New Gulf Homes says modular home buying is growing on the Coast. He says his company has brought in more than 25 new homes since last September.