Manufactured Home Land-Lease Communities: What to Expect
Historically, 32% of all new manufactured homes are sited in approximately 45,000 manufactured home land-lease communities, (a.k.a.mobile home parks), across the U.S., with 4.2 million “mobile homes” and/or today’s modern manufactured homes located in those communities.
Land-lease manufactured home communities are specifically designed for manufactured homes. Here you will own your manufactured home, but lease the land on which your home is sited. Many land-lease communities offer a wide variety of conveniences and facilities, such as clubhouses, playgrounds, pools, storage areas, and grounds maintenance.
Most of these communities welcome families and are designed and equipped for the family dynamic. Some are age-restricted communities, usually 55 years or older, for at least one occupant of the home. Facilities in these so-called “senior parks” are geared towards age-related activities.
Living in a modern manufactured home community is akin to residing in a small town where everyone knows their neighbors and where everyone has something in common: they love the manufactured home lifestyle. There is a sense of security and safety living in a close-knit community where residents tend to be concerned and protective of the health and welfare of fellow residents.
If you plan to live in a land-lease manufactured home community (formerly known as a “mobile home park”), one of the first things you will want to do is contact the community management office and check on the availability of sites for your new manufactured home. The community can inform you about what size home can fit on those available sites, and this will impact your decision about the home you select. The community may also have some aesthetic requirements for homes within the community, such as roof pitch, home siding, exterior accessories, etc.
You will also want to review the guidelines for the community to ensure that they fit your lifestyle. The guidelines of a community are designed to ensure a pleasant environment for all residents and to help maintain the community in a way that protects your home investment. Some communities may have restrictions on the number and sizes of animals in your home. So if you have a pet, you’ll want to know the community’s policy regarding pets.
Next, if the community has an available site for your home, you’ll need to apply for residency in the community. Once your application for residency has been approved, a prospective resident must sign a rental agreement that will spell out the terms of the residency, the amount of community fees that will be paid monthly, a list of rules and regulations for the community, a description of any physical home improvements that will need to be made to your home in connection to the installation of the home, and any services that will be provided.
Lastly, you’ll need to coordinate moving your home into the community with the community management. This will include date, time, transportation route, and coordination of dealer and/or contractors needed to install your new home.
If you have decided that today’s manufactured home is the realization of your dream home of homeownership, perhaps you might want to explore the possibility of installing that home in a well maintained manufactured home land-lease community.