Amazon sells out of $105,000 three-bedroom houses

If you were planning on getting the $105,000 three-bedroom home Amazon started selling in recent months, you’re too late. It’s sold out.

“We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock,” the retailer says on the webpage for “Cliff - Premium Prefabricated Modular House.” The manufacturer, Q-haus, located in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in northern Europe, said there's a backlog of orders.

"The queue is long at the moment," Reino Soots, CEO of Q-haus, told HousingWire. "Of course, it takes time to fulfill the orders."

Cabins and garden houses have been available on Amazon for years, but the Cliff house is among the largest the retailer has offered. In addition to three bedrooms, the home has an open kitchen, dining room, and even a sauna. The assembly takes two days and requires two skilled workers, the company said in the Q&A section of the listing. And, a warning about the architectural style: If you don't like modern architecture, you might not like this house. 

“Cliff is a modular house perfect for accommodation for friends and family members overnight,” the Amazon description says. “It also can successfully be used to accommodate larger groups of people in ski-resorts or rent the units out in Airbnb, or as a private lake-house for romantic weekends. These modular houses are suitable in different climate areas all around the world. The idea of a Cliff is to offer more space with smaller measurements of the building with taking advantage of a smart-home technology for a more eco-friendly approach.”

The cost doesn’t include the land or a foundation, which the buyer has to have ready before assembling the house. And, of course, there are additional costs to consider that are not mentioned in the product descriptions, like utility hookups or, if you live in a cooler climate, insulation. It comes with appliances, utilities and some furnishings. There’s an option for one or two bathrooms, the Amazon description says.

The prefab, modular housing industry is growing, with revenue jumping 8.6% from 2013 to 2018, according to data from IBISWorld, including a 4.1% spike in 2018 alone.

Chris Schapdick, author of The Joy of Tiny House Living, said a lack of housing affordability is giving rise to alternative options, fueling the tiny house movement.

“Whether it's prefab or some other solution, there is a huge appetite for alternatives to traditional housing,” he said.

If you’re kicking yourself for missing out on the Cliff house, just type “prefab house” into Amazon’s search line. You’ll find smaller, and cheaper, alternatives like the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit for $33,990, or the Timber House for $75,000. Both are in stock.

Kathleen Howley

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