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Old 03-27-2016, 11:31 AM
Location: NC Piedmont
3,911 posts, read 2,875,565 times
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My in laws managed mobile/manufactured home communities for several years. There is a difference between those communities and trailer parks (and my wife schooled me on not saying the "T word" before I met them ). Well kept grounds, covenants that require skirting and repair/maintenance and community ceters that were more than just pools - they had lots of social events. Even in areas that were not the best, there was virtually no crime inside the property; if you weren't a resident, there were eyes on you pretty much the whole time you were there (sometimes even if you were a resident which is one downside; there is not a lot of privacy unless you are indoors). Some of the manufactured homes (like kits that can be trucked in and put together on site quickly) are very nice and the newer ones meet a pretty rigid weather safety standard. It is definitely something on my radar.

EDIT TO ADD - Oh yeah, there are a few where you own the lot or have a perpetual long term lease paid up front and are managed by true HOAs and the fees are pretty reasonable. Barefoot Bay in Mingo FL is an example of that.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:00 PM
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
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Reputation: 8643
My MIl lives in community similar to the OP's one, also in FL during the winter and loves it. She chooses to be busy the entire time with exercise classes, group trips, club activities, the pool and a walking club. She's trying to fit us in for a visit before she leaves.

The community was being going to be sold by the owners to developers 10 years ago. The community banded together and purchased it and now run it. She loves her winter getaway.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:07 PM
Location: Happy wherever I am - Florida now
3,359 posts, read 10,907,213 times
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Several tidbits if I can remember them all.

You want to be in a park where the lots are owned by the community and not rented out from a landlord as the later condition makes it nearly impossible to sell a mobile and many end up giving them up thus losing any equity. Community owned parks are usually nicer and costs lower too.

Senior mobile parks like this have MUCH higher monthly fees when located along the coast as opposed to more inland. They are much more at risk in a hurricane though any are at risk from being flattened in a tornado.

Insurance companies will not write coverage for mobile homes past a certain age. They may require a roof inspection after a certain age which you have to pay for. Here again being by the coast greatly increases insurance costs for both houses and mobile homes.

Mobile homes in Florida are licensed yearly like cars as opposed to being taxed as real estate unless you are on your owned lot.

Food stamps are less than you might imagine in Florida. If you're low income you can qualify for addl rx help from SS and Advantage plans for local coverage can cost nothing. On a strict budget you probably couldn't afford to travel anyway.

I would encourage anyone doing future retirement budget analysis to not strictly count on a spouses addl SS. I met a senior man once whose wife had just died and he was fretting that he couldn't afford to live in his mobile anymore and didn't know what he was going to do. Lots of seniors have gigs a couple of hours a week and I've seen several remarry at late age for the above reason.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:26 PM
Location: Southern New Hampshire
7,216 posts, read 12,651,511 times
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My mom used to live in a mobile home park in California City, California (Mojave Desert near Edwards AFB), which was actually very nice. Her own home was beautiful -- from the inside, most people would not have been able to tell that it was a mobile home (unless they had a specific list of things to look for that differentiate mobile homes from sfh's).

I could see myself living in a mobile home park in retirement, but ONLY if it were a very, very, very, very, very quiet park with NO possibility of EVER hearing your neighbors (same thing I would want in an apartment, but I don't think there's such a thing as a 100% soundproof apartment) -- and of course, those things are pretty unlikely. In addition, since I want to stay in New England for retirement (will probably move to Maine), I probably would not be satisfied with the insulation (or lack thereof) of mobile homes.

But a lot of them ARE really nice.
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:27 PM
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I think that place is cute and would suit me fine...except I like to sit outside and like a screened in porch, bit of deck and bit of yard for bird feeders which a lot of places probably don't even allow !
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Old 03-27-2016, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I'm a big fan of mobile homes, I think they get a bad rap and I'd rather have one than share walls in a condo. I guess I could see selling a single family home and using the proceeds to pay for the monthly fees of lot rental and HOA. But I am trying to avoid any monthly obligations at all. But it's weird, my friend recently sold his and there was no closing, no inspection etc. Just a check and a trip to the MVA, no different than purchasing a used Subaru.
My grandparents bought a mobile home around 1969 or so -- it's the only one I remember. Pappy died in 1972, and Nanny sold it and moved in with my aunt. Last year when I went home, my aunt said -- wanna go to the trailer park? We said yeah!

56 years later -- its still there. It's been repainted... but... still there...so they do last.
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:01 PM
Location: SW Florida
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I live in SW Florida and would definitely consider a mobile home except there aren't any in an area where I want to live except for one where the lot rental is $700+ a month! In addition, you are supposed to vacate them during a hurricane which would be a major pain in the ass. The up side is you have nobody on top of you and no yard work to take care of. I think I would rather live in a townhouse; you have the best of both worlds: nobody above you and the insurance won't strangle you.
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:12 PM
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I worked in Riviera Beach for a few years. Im not sure I would feel comfortable living there. Im all for manufactured housing and saw lots of nice stuff during my stay in FL, but there is only one part of Riviera Beach I would live and that is Singer Island, or maybe the most northeaster tip close to A1A. Anything around Blue Heron or heading south to West Palm I would avoid. Im sure the park itself is nice, but you wouldn't really be able to walk anywhere around that location.
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:21 PM
Location: Ocala, FL
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We own two rental houses in a 55+ community in Ocala, FL. We own the lots they sit on and they're both stick-built homes. Current value is about $60K on each of them. There are houses in there selling for between $40K and $70K, depending on how much remodeling has been done. The amenity fee is $105 a month and includes basic cable, trash and garbage pickup, and use of all amenities including two pools, hot tubs, community centers, exercise room, pool tables, a library, shuffleboard, tennis, pickle ball, etc.

As a landlord, I don't get a homeowner exemption and the taxes run about $900 a year on each house. Florida has a $50K homeowner's exemption which would bring the taxes down drastically. Again, as a landlord I pay about $700 a year per house for insurance. As a homeowner it would probably be in the same range as the homeowner would require contents coverage which I don't have.

Each house sits on about a quarter of an acre. There are few deed restrictions as to birdhouses, that sort of thing, but you can't tacky-up the house. We don't have an HOA per se. The monthly fee is to pay for the amenities, cable, and trash/garbage.

There is a hospital within about 4 miles of the subdivision as well as doctors' offices, Walmart, Publix, Winn Dixie, Save-a-Lot, CVS drugstore, Dollar General, Big Lots, restaurants, Lowes, and hardware stores. There are three other 55+ communities in the same area, one of which has a public golf course. This area is serviced by an electric co-op so power is cheap. County water is about $20-30 a month. They're on septic tanks so no sewer fee.

There's lots to do in Ocala and we're about an hour and a half from a nice beach. In the area of these homes, the crime is very low. There are parts of Ocala where one doesn't want to live, but every town has those areas.

Just pointing out there are houses available in the price range of the trailer noted in this thread, so you don't have to settle for something that will blow away!
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:34 PM
Location: too far from the sea
19,824 posts, read 18,832,665 times
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There are some very nice mobile home parks. I was interested in some in Connecticut at one time, Jensen Homes, I think. My parents snow birded by having a mobile home in a nice park in the north and a regular house in Florida.

In their case the land was purchased as a co-op by the home owners but it was kind of expensive to buy into.

I also had wealthy relatives who kept their custom built home in the north and had a beautiful mobile home around Tampa. They could have had whatever they wanted in Florida but they chose to live in a park where their home would be looked after when they weren't there.

Most of the homes have screened in porches, a feature I enjoy about them.

The good part is that you feel safe leaving for part of the year because the management will keep an eye on things. Negatives are that the lot rents can go up (if you don't own the land) or the park can be sold and then you could be out of luck!

And for those who don't snow bird, a mobile home park can be an economical way to live. I'm talking about the parks for ages 55+--not the trailer parks that are loaded with kids (that's what is usually referred to as trailer trash.)
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