Real Estate

Who knew a modular home could look this good?

JENNETT MERIDAN RUSSELL PHOTO | Modular homes are now built in such a way the naked eye couldn't tell the difference.

It was nine years ago that businessman Roy Dower decided to fix up an ailing house on his family’s waterfront property in Flanders.

He wanted to restore it for his aging mother, Edna.

But wrangling with Southampton Town over building permits proved to be more than the East Williston resident could handle. He instead decided to build a new home. Six years into the effort of designing the house — and more dealings with Southampton Town — his mother passed away at 84.

Although saddened, Mr. Dower decided to continue his efforts to make his mother’s dream home a reality. The stately two-story house, which sits at the end of Pine Avenue in Flanders, features breathtaking views of the Peconic Bay and surrounding inlets from every room in the house. The fact that it’s a modular house, assembled after being prefabricated in Pennsylvania, makes it a unique piece of East End real estate.

Sitting atop thick wooden pylons to avoid problems with potential flooding, it boasts a laundry room, walk-in closets and a master suite complete with balcony and master bathroom. Mr. Dower said he would like to live in the 2,100-square-foot home, which also features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and is heavily insulated, but the memory of his late mother is causing him to have many mixed emotions.

He has decided to put the house, which appeared in these same Real Estate pages when it was under construction, up for sale at $1.1 million.

“I’d love to use it myself,” Mr. Dower said solemnly, but decided under the circumstances to sell the house, making an opportunity for someone else “to have an amazing place.”

After deciding to go modular, Mr. Dower, who summers in Baiting Hollow, engaged Riverhead engineer Jeffrey Butler, then sent the design plans to Simplex Homes, a modular home builder in Scranton, Pa. This past August, four prefabricated components were trucked in from Simplex.

Setting these major elements in place by a crane took only one day.

The exterior siding, granite countertops and other fixtures were then installed on-site. Mr. Dower said that off-site building offered a host of benefits — including sturdier construction, faster installation, easier climate control and what might be the most attractive factor of all, lower prices.

The house is produced in components, Mr. Dower said, “and then they put the components together on the property and then you add what you want. It’s cheaper to build and it’s much faster.”

Coldwell Banker/Trading Places Realtor Lorraine Miller is currently managing the sale of the property. She pointed out that the house features a great room with a dining area and a gourmet kitchen, plus numerous large windows that offer spectacular views.

“There is a water view from every single window in this house, which I find utterly amazing,” Ms. Miller said. “You get so drawn in here and are so captivated by everything around you.”

As for the taxes, Ms. Miller quipped that anyone who has to ask likely can’t afford the home to begin with. However, Riverhead property taxes estimated for the house are just over $8,000 a year.

However, Ms. Miller pointed out that the property sits on a half-acre peninsula, and “it’s so tranquil and beautiful and you have the wildlife all around you. It’s the kind of place where you just want to sit in a chair and not move for the rest of the day.”