Hopefully, you’ve already overcome the perception that mobile home parks are dull and dreary places where neither the landlords or residents are interested in any luxuries or amenities. The range of people in the market (and their expectations) have diversified rapidly which means that you now get mobile home park amenities every bit as luxurious as those of real estate communities.

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In this article, we’ve compiled a list of amenities that we thought are the most popular, appealing to new tenants, and are the most possible to implement.

Park

We’ll get the easiest and the most obvious one out of the way first. Almost no decent residential community is complete without an outdoor space where their tenants can spread their legs, breathe in some fresh air, and where kids can have a safe space to do what kids do best: play together. A park would be a great place to put something like a playground or jungle gym.

The biggest thing you will need to be concerned about when starting a park for your residents is the maintenance. Mulching, overseeding, etc. should be tackled on a seasonal basis to keep it fresh and lively. If not properly maintained, it could be a real eyesore. However, this is something everyone expects when looking at their next community and one that most communities provide.

Pros:

  • One of the most inexpensive amenities you can add
  • No licenses, certificates, or any official permission needed
  • It’s something almost everyone looks for when they browse for a new community.

Cons:

  • Depending on your climate, it could add a significant amount of landscape maintenance needs to your park.
  • It will take up a lot of space that could be used for more units.

Swimming pool

Everyone’s eyes light up if they hear that the place they are looking at to make their home has a pool. After all these years, it’s still a star feature. Pools are so prized because they can be a source of endless fun as well as a serious way for people to exercise.

When building a pool, you should carefully think of the goals you have for it. For example, is it for kids? If so, it should be shallow enough or have a shallow enough end to be safe for kids. Is it for serious swimmers? If so, you should favor a longer pool (25 to 50m) in which people can do laps. As always, you will need to implement certain safety and precautionary measures. At the very least, it should be fenced in some way.

Pros:

  • It’s a highly attractive feature for almost all potential tenants.

Cons:

  • It will require regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • It’s expensive to build.
  • It could be a safety hazard, especially if there are kids in the park.

Clubhouse/community center

A meeting hall or community center could have a number of important functions within a park. For one, it could be the official meeting place if you have a management structure like an HOA or Co-op. It could also serve as a general meeting place for all members of the community, especially when important info needs to be relayed or feedback gathered.

A community hall can also be a great place for recreational events or even to host special training or recreational workshops. It might be an expensive undertaking that takes up some of the usable space in your mobile home park, but it’s a staple of any community that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a great central hub to your community and to place your office and a community board (which is required by law).

Group of adults in a paint class

Pros:

  • You can use it for official meetings and exchange information and ideas between you and the rest of the community.
  • It can serve as a central anchor to the whole mobile home park community.
  • You can host plenty of recreational and fun activities inside of it.

Cons:

  • It’s expensive and will possibly take up space where more units could have been.

BBQ area

A cookout or BBQ is a staple American pastime. Not only is it a fun way to prepare delicious food and spend some time outside, but it can also be a fantastic way to host events and bring the whole community together. And who knows, maybe even roast some marshmallows! You can use the BBQ areas for any outdoor events from chili or BBQ cooking competitions to a Spring celebration.

You will need to choose whether you want to provide gas BBQs or wood/charcoal fired BBQs. If you have a convenience store on site, a BBQ area could create a nice bit of business for selling fuel or ice to keep the beers cool. Just make sure that you observe all safety guidelines, particularly that BBQ areas are placed far enough away from mobile home units.

Pros:

  • An inexpensive and easy to implement community
  • Great for organizing community events and get-togethers

Cons:

  • People regularly working with fire in a mobile home park are not ideal.
  • The smoke may cause irritation for some tenants.

Paved walkways for jogging/cycling

Many cities have already started making sure that their pavement is suitable for joggers, speed walkers, and runners to run for longer distances without having to get out of town. Running is a popular form of cardio because you don’t need any special equipment which means it’s easy and low cost. To make pavement suitable for joggers, you just need to make sure that they are wide enough for two or three people abreast and that the surface is well taken care of.

It could be a great way for residents to stay fit while not having to leave the premises. If you’re feeling really generous, you could even start measuring “routes” through the park of certain distances and display these on the community board or on some other sort of signage.

Pros:

  • It’s a very cheap amenity that requires very little effort and no extra maintenance.
  • Everyone can use it.

Cons:

  • No real cons except for the occasional jogger bumping into someone!

Fitness center

All around the world, people are getting more health-conscious as the fitness craze continues to sweep in. There’s no doubt about the fact that a few astonished eyebrows would be raised at a mobile home park with its own fitness center. After all, it sounds like a luxury, and an expensive one at that. However, it could be fairly affordable to start your own fitness center, especially if you’re savvy.

Gym class in a fitness center

Weights and equipment are often found being given away or at bargain prices at yard sales or online. There are also many different kinds of gyms and even an open space with a few exercise mats could qualify as one. If you have a community center or meeting hall, some wing of that could be a perfect location for your gym. Otherwise, you could make a center out of one of your larger empty units, although we recommend enforcing the floors.

Pros:

  • You don’t really require any staff or extra management after the gym is opened.
  • It’s a highly sought after amenity that’s also for the good of your tenants.

Cons:

  • Inexperienced users could injure themselves or damage the property.
  • It will add some maintenance overhead to your daily schedule.

Tennis or basketball court

All you need is a flat piece of turf, some concrete, two hoops, and a tape measure. This is a great step-by-step guide that shows how you can build a basketball court in your backyard, but it would be just as viable for your mobile home park. Building a tennis court would be very similar.

These are two very popular outdoor sports activities and will immediately increase the appeal of your park for anyone who likes to play them. There are a few other sports you could also build courts for, but these are probably the easiest. You could also use them to host friendly competitions or as a flat outdoor space for other activities, like yoga.

Pros:

  • A fun-filled way for people to get out and be active
  • Relatively easy and inexpensive to construct
  • Relatively low maintenance requirements

Cons:

  • Not all tenants can or will want to use them.
  • Takes up about a single lot of space each

Convenience store

One thing that’s always a potential con of living in a mobile home park is that they are usually located some distance outside of the center of the nearest cities, and sometimes completely out of city limits. In fact, few new parks get approval to be built within city limits. This may mean that residents will be forced to stay far away from many modern conveniences.

If you can open a convenience store, you’ll be doing your tenants a huge favor as they don’t need to drive out for simple household items. Start off by just stocking the essentials before you commit to it big time. Your very own community may provide the staff you need to work in the store. We’ve created an article that details How To Open A Mobile Home Park Store Or Mini Mart For Your Residents.

Pros:

  • It will be a very unique, practical, and attractive feature for potential tenants.
  • It could serve as a decent extra source of income.
  • You could provide employment for some of your tenants that need it.

Cons:

  • You may need to apply for various business or safety licenses depending on your state.
  • It will make your taxes more complicated.
  • Making sure that the store’s finances, inventory, and general operation keeps ticking over will be a lot of extra work.

Playroom/daycare center

This is another one of those cases where you can take advantage of the fact that you already have a lot of freestanding structures in your park. An unoccupied mobile home can be very easily transformed into a daycare center. Who knows? You may even have tenants that are interested in working or volunteering as caretakers for the center. It will definitely be a great help to young, professional couples looking for a community.

Lettered wooden block toys

If this seems like something you would like to do, you should start by contacting your local state’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). They will be able to tell you what requirements you need to start operating a daycare center legally. It will usually include having the proper education or certification for your staff as well as the owner and an inspection of the premises according to certain codes.

Pros:

  • It could serve as a source of extra income.
  • If run correctly, it will help build a sense of community and connect you closer with your tenants.

Cons:

  • Taking responsibility for other people’s children is never a simple or easy thing and you should expect some conflict.
  • You will need to jump through a number of legal and bureaucratic hoops for a license.
  • The home should be cleaned/maintained regularly and kept up to safety codes.

Marina

This one, we just threw in for the heck of it. Marinas and mobile home parks are another two of those terms that don’t seem to go well together at all. However, mobile homes have become a popular option as a holiday home because of their much lower cost. In Florida especially, there are many mobile home parks on the coast with marinas for their residents to launch their boats and yachts from. Harbor Cove is just one such park.

Don’t feel any pressure to set one up in your mobile home park. This is a very high-class feature for a very select group of tenants. Needless to say that most properties are also not located on the shores of any lakes or oceans to have this opportunity in the first place. It will not be easy to do as you will need to apply for various licenses and might have to pay extra taxes depending on your state. Tenants who use the marina facilities are usually charged extra fees or levies.

Pros:

  • A luxurious and distinguishing feature for your mobile home park
  • Could make you the only option for a lot of people and allow you to cater to a niche market

Cons:

  • It is extremely expensive to create.
  • It will add a significant amount of maintenance needs to your park.
  • You will need to take on the responsibility of handling your tenants’ expensive property.
  • There will be extra tax and legal requirements.

Are you ready to create the dream mobile home park?

You should always think of amenities as part of your business strategy and as a long-term investment. There’s no doubt that certain amenities will attract new tenants. It’s up to you to decide whether the cost and hassle of building and maintaining them is a sound investment. However, it pays to think about the possible joy and pride you will bring to your community by offering these amenities which could be priceless depending on your goals and ideals.

If you’re one of those owners who care about making a change surrounding the negative perceptions of mobile home parks, you could help your park combat the stigmas even further using our advice. We hope that this helps you create a better park for you and your residents!

About Dan Leighton

Dan Leighton has been working in the mobile home industry for over a decade. His focus has been on sales and customer relations - making sure each person in the transaction is comfortable and fully transparent. He has a wife and one son. Dan continues to look for innovative ways to help both sellers and parks get the most bang for their buck.