And assuming you can find a cheap-ish bit of land, NowHouse is actually relatively affordable. Even with high-end finishes, it costs $200,000 plus labor (which can be lower if you pitch in to build it yourself). Prefab building of a standard floorplan allows appliances and materials to be bought in bulk to substantially reduce the cost over custom building. ::NowHouse ::SF Gate [by KK]
Prefab is great. Modern prefab is glorious. Green and modern prefab sends us into a swoon. Get the smelling salts, 'cause NowHouse is all of these things. Bamboo cabinets, cork floors, solar power start off the list of eco-features in this house by San Francisco's CleverHomes. Prefab, patent-pending wall panels beat conventional construction against fires and earthquakes, and are "quicker, greener and cheaper" according to a great SF Gate article on the house. But it gets better.
Many prefab homes are modular, but that generally means they're designed and built as modules. NowHouse is modular in the sense that it can actually be taken apart and rearranged. If you can only afford a one-story version now, you can later pop the roof off, add a second story, and reattach the roof. The walls and floors are moveable, too, so you can play around with single- and double-height rooms. You can watch a NowHouse grow here.