Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Palm Harbor's 2017 "The Santa Fe"

File the interior of this one under "stylish."

Each year most large manufactured home factories roll out a few new models, and of the ones I've explored on the web, Palm Harbor’s 2017 “The Santa Fe” stands out. It has a fresh, upscale looking interior of some of the pricier and better designed double-wide homes or modular homes but yes, it's a single wide, and comes in two models, one 18' wide and the other 16' wide. This is the narrower model. Both are 76' long.

The light circles you see in the floor are just from the screen shot I took of the 3D tour image. Ignore those. You'll see what they are when you do the tour linked below.
The exterior is plain, and disappointing that it has eaves only on the ends, but it looks simple, a little contemporary, and there’s something about the window placement I like. It’s better looking than most single-wide homes but there's no mistaking it for anything other than a single-wide, so you'd have to be a single-wide lover like me to really like it.

 Back to the inside…I like the dimensions of the main space. They broke with tradition in kitchen cabinet placement by having a large window over the sink instead of cabinets looming on each side. It gives it a contemporary, open feeling which I think would be nice when using the kitchen, and you might not be as likely to bonk your head on a cabinet. 

Click HERE and then click on Video Tour, to go on a 3D tour of the home at a Palm Harbor website. Be sure to click on the full screen icon in the lower right for the full effect. This home is available to order at a couple dozen Palm Harbor dealers in Texas, and a few places in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Check with the local Palm Harbor website for your area to see if they have a model on the lot.

A video of this home for sale at the Palm Harbor dealer in Oklahoma City, OK:

After you've taken the 3D tour, if you want to see close-up tour of the kitchen, and get a good look at the counters, including the beautiful Wilsonart plank-look island countertop -- yes, it's fake -- and the kitchen counters -- they're beautiful also -- then click HERE, and then click on on the video (and enlarge it to full screen) where Jeremiah, the general manager of the Palm Harbor dealer in Mesquite, TX, will take you on a kitchen tour of a home they have on their lot.

I prefer some of the dealer-made videos, because you see the home in more realistic lighting, and not that of a studio set up, as if the home is being lit from the light of a thousand suns. Jeremiah gets so close I think I can tell that by the window sill width, this home has only 2 x 4 walls. That is disappointing. I'm pretty sure they can make it in 2 x 6 as an upgrade. Never buy a new manufactured home, especially one costing this much, that has 2 x 4 exterior walls and poor insulation.

This following video is a slide show of the home, but it isn't as much like being there, like the 3D tour on their site:

From the photos, you'll notice the ceilings are all flat, not slanted. They look slanted in the screen grabs I did from the 3D video tour. The tray ceiling with beams is an upgrade.

There might not be enough cabinets for some people and the “work triangle” (placement of sink, refrigerator, stove) appears to be off a bit. I could see how that might impact a person’s decision, especially the cabinets, if you’re a person who is storing nuts, seeds, folded paper bags and survival foods for the Trumpocalypse.

Palm Harbor is getting smart in their kitchen designs, and not trying to match everything. They didn't use white appliances, or make the island white to match the cabinetry, and that's sophisticated and looks good.

In an open concept home, I don’t like it when they stick up extra cabinets in the kitchen which block the view to the living room, so if someone is in the kitchen all you can see is a torso moving around. Seinfeld had a memorable episode about that, where he had a kitchen redesign in his apartment and the cupboards cut off socializing with his friends.

Nice wall colors, large ceiling tray divided by beams, with no silly columns. It’s a trailer, not the Parthenon. The dining area is flexible in that you could put a long table in, or even add a second table for family gatherings.

It has a few design elements with window placement and beams which make the space harmonious, like the symmetrical placement of two large windows flanking the front door, and a ceiling beam aligned with the center post of each window. It’s little things like that which make the space look balanced, and it aesthetically pulls together the open concept kitchen, dining, and living.

The flooring, made to look like large wood planks, took a while for me to get used to. I guess it is a new trend. You can probably opt for more traditional flooring. Otherwise, I think this is the rare single-wide you could walk into, and not need a period of adjustment to like.

Palm Harbor has done 3D view tours on their newest homes and they are among the best I’ve used. A few other manufacturer's sites are using them. They work well, and can give the real feel of entering the spaces of a home without too much distortion.

The wood plank for the wall behind the TV, the counter top of the island, and the ceramic tile (well, looks like ceramic) that looks like wood planks in the shower of the master bathroom, add a natural or rustic touch. Sometimes that kind of thing goes awry, but it is just right here. I wonder what the home would look like with all my junk in it. They really got the furniture and wall colors down on this one.

On a previous blog, I’ve mentioned that Palm Harbor is one of the manufactured home companies I didn’t especially like 15 to 20 years ago because of the style of their homes then. They used to have home interiors which tried to look luxurious but ended up looking cheap. They simplified their design aesthetic and are one of the consistently better looking homes today across the model line, although I probably still don’t like most of the exteriors. You have to live inside a home though. The interior is most important. As long as people don't point at my house and laugh, I'm okay with it.

After a bankruptcy a few years back, Palm Harbor is now owned by Cavco, so they will be like Karsten and so many others, not going away anytime soon, although absorbed by a larger corporation.

Even though I continue to look at manufactured homes on the web like a maniac, I haven’t been blogging much for a while, but noticed a few things recently I’ll post about in the coming days.

Since I noticed Palm Harbor has other homes called "Santa Fe," here are the code numbers for this home, which actually comes in two sizes of single-wide, the bigger being 18' wide.

Update: As of 2/23/17, I found this photo of the home for sale down in Abilene, Texas, where it is on sale for $65,900. Visit this Abilene dealer's website to see a different set of photos, and what the home would look like with some blinds closed. Still looks good but not as magical. And my advice is to never pay that kind of price for a singlewide without 2 x 6 walls and good insulation. I don't know what the specs are on this particular home.

Palm Harbor's Fiesta Series, The Santa Fe

FF16763G, 1,178 Sq. Ft., 15'6" x 76'
FF18763H, 1,330 Sq. Ft., 17'6" x 76'


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