Finding the right mobile home park presents a unique challenge as they are far and few between. Sparse locations can limit your options. And the cost of moving to one several hundred miles away is often unaffordable. However, living in a mobile home park is preferable to staying on an isolated piece of land or in someone’s backyard. With a mobile home park, you’ll have a sense of community and amenities designed for your housing needs. So even though you may not have a lot of choices to pick from, there are still some important park qualities you should be looking for.
Recent developments/quality of land
Mobile homes are tricky investments as they’re known to depreciate in value. One way to offset this is to increase the value of the land you’re sitting on. Check what the management team has been doing recently to develop the park and improve the land. This could take the form of paved streets, a gated entrance, or additional amenities like a swimming pool, basketball court, etc.
You should also try and get a feel for what other residents think of these improvements. While we all want to live in a nicer neighborhood, the park management could be paying for improvements by upping the rental price or charging extra for amenities. Take the quality of the land into consideration as this can affect your spending and your future selling price.
The age of the residents
Look for a park you can imagine yourself living in for 10, 20 or even 30 years. If you’re seeking a space where you can enjoy some peace and quiet, you shouldn’t move into a park with a lot of young families and residents. You won’t have a hard time figuring out if your park is family-friendly as the park manager will probably be more than happy to share this information with you.
It’s possible to find a mobile home park designed for residents ages 55 and up. These are also known as senior mobile home communities. Senior communities provide benefits that other parks don’t such as communal spaces, social events, exercise facilities, shuffleboard courts, and possibly a homeowners association. This is a great option for someone looking to build a tight-knit community with their neighbors.
There must be some available space if you plan to move into a park. However, you should be wary if you notice an abnormal amount of empty lots. This could indicate poor management or previous unruly tenants who were forced to move out. If these have been unfilled for too long, this could foreshadow an increase in rent to compensate for lost profits.
You can make these empty lots work in your favor, though. Think of them as a bargaining chip. The manager may be desperate to fill the lot and could drop the rental price for you if you play your cards right. Get creative with this. For example, you could ask for half-off rent the first couple months or bargain for free mobile home skirting installation included in your package. This could prove to be a win-win for you and the park manager.
Failing to assess the mobile home park management team would be like buying a car without taking a look under the hood. These are the people who are going to govern your life for the next several years or even decades, so try and meet as many of these employees as you can.
If possible, ask how long the manager has been operating the park. A manager who’s been in the business for a few decades will know what they’re doing. On the other hand, this could also mean they’re close to retiring and are less interested the park. An entirely new management team could indicate that the previous management had done a poor job and left a mess for the next guy to sort out. Try figuring out who the actual owner of the park is, too. You want someone who is experienced and is known to have their residents’ best interests in mind.
The surrounding community
Take a look at what the community looks like outside of the mobile home park. This can indicate a few things. Contrary to what you may think, you should actually be cautious of parks located near an affluent area. Mobile home park managers are known to raise the rent often. They’ll have even more incentive to do so if the other living options are unaffordable. They know that residents will have to deal with the rent increase as they have nowhere else to go!
You should also check if there are other mobile home parks nearby. There’s a good chance there isn’t one, as parks are typically spread out, and new ones are rare due to financing issues. If there is a park nearby, look into their rates and scout out the condition of the homes/land within. Park managers are keenly aware of their competition and could base their rent increases on what other parks are charging. Having this information in your back pocket could be helpful if you need to negotiate your rent down the road.
Lastly, ask for a detailed list of park rules. While you should be free to do whatever you like inside the home as it’s your personal property, it’s possible you’ll have to abide by certain standards concerning its outside appearance. For example, a mobile home park with a homeowners association could require you to install a specific type of skirting around the home or keep your grass cut to a certain length. The park could also enforce a no-pet policy, curfew rules, or parking restrictions. A park with too few rules could spell trouble, while too many rules could put a serious damper on your day-to-day lifestyle.
Enjoy living in a mobile home park!
Take a look at all of these factors before moving into a park, but remember not to get too picky in the process. We know you’ll make the right decision as long as you prioritize your budget and the needs of your family! And don’t forget that your mobile home may need to fit certain requirements if you want to move it onto a lot, so check up on those as soon as possible.