A mobile home park is a great place to call home! You can have all the benefits of traditional home-ownership without the burden of tiresome maintenance and excessive property taxes. Mobile home park living is quickly becoming a top choice for our aging population and for good reason – there are many advantages and only a few disadvantages of living in a mobile home park.

The negative stereotype of mobile home parks couldn’t be further from the truth if it tried. Most parks are gorgeous!

The aerial photo below, by Zen Sutherland, shows a beautiful mobile home park with spacious lots in a picturesque setting.

zen Sutherland

Advantages of Mobile Home Parks

The greatest advantage of living in a mobile home park is affordability. You get to enjoy the perks of home ownership without the burden of paying a property tax or having to maintain the land and utilities.

Many mobile home parks are age restricted, most being 55+ neighborhoods. This is a perfect setup for retirees that appreciate limited disturbances and enjoy the company of those within their own age range. There’s something to be said about the quite in a 55+ park – it’s so peaceful and serene.

Some parks are more family oriented which is great for families with small children – a best friend is bound to be found just a few houses down. Childhood memories made in a mobile home park are often cherished. When a park is managed correctly, with proper background checks and safety protocols, the entire community become a safety net for the children within the park.

Here’s a list of the greatest advantages of mobile home park living:

  • Cost. Land rental fees typically include water, sewer, garbage, and recycling pickup.
  • No property taxes.
  • No overly close neighbors. You’ll never have to beat the ceiling with a broom again!
  • Minimal maintenance. Property maintenance is minimal – tree trimming and mowing is a thing of the past.
  • Small yards. Your yard will be easily maintainable but you still have endless potential.
  • Location. Often times, parks are conveniently situated, many with an amazing view of ponds and lakes.
  • Pets are usually allowed.
  • Home ownership Perks. You can upgrade, paint, or completely remodel anytime you want.
  • Age and population restrictions.  Those living in a like-minded community are oftentimes happier and feel safer.
  • Community perks include pools, fitness centers, and regularly scheduled community events.
  • Bill V Miami Mobile Home Park

Disadvantages of Mobile Home Parks

The biggest disadvantage of mobile home parks is the horrible stereotype attached to them. All that matters, though, is that you know the truth about the homes and the communities – who cares what ‘they’ think?

The affordable lifestyle of mobile home living is perfect for anyone that wants to live life making memories instead of mortgage payments.

Another disadvantage of mobile home park living is a poor home appreciation potential. Manufactured homes can and do appreciate but those situated within a community have a harder time. However, with the aging population (baby boomers) and a new value placed on living within your means, that aspect may be slowly turning around.

  • Investment appreciation. Mobile homes can appreciate but being in a park limits the rate
  • Mobile homes setup in a park may be harder to sell than a traditional house. However, with the baby boom this seems to be a non-issue these days.
  • Park owners can sell the park with very little notice. (Co-op parks are becoming more popular and completely remedies this issue.)
  • Home transportation is tricky. Some homes are too old to be transported in the regular manner making the cost to move a home more than the home’s value.
  • There is a stigma attached to living in a mobile home park. 

 

William bird - Osprey Trailer Court mobile home park Osprey FL

Share Your Story of Mobile Home Park Living!

Do you live in a mobile home park? Tell us about your beautiful community in the comments below. We’d love to hear your opinions!

As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!

 

Image Sources: All images found on Flickr. Featured Image by  Lynn Friedman, Image 1 by Zen Sutherland, Image 2 by Bill V., Image 3 by William Byrd.


About The Author

Creator/Author

Hello! I'm Crystal, the creator of Mobile Home Living and I appreciate you stopping by! I hope MHL is an inspiring and informative resource for you! Please consider letting me feature your remodels, room makeovers, and home improvement projects. There's not enough inspiration available for manufactured homeowners and I want to change that. Thanks!

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48 Responses

  1. Kay

    Hi, I am looking to buy a mobile home but have heard that older ones are to be avoided (particularly one older than 1978). Do you have any ideas on this? Thank you

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Kay,

      1978 is the year that the HUD code took effect. Home built after June, 1978 have to meet federally mandated regulations and every home is inspected by a third-party at the factory upon completion. Before that, there were no standards at all and a lot of homes were unsafe and poorly constructed. Of course, there were some builders that were manufacturing some great homes before 1978.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  2. Amanda Hadley

    I found a great mobile home that I love, but I worry the park its in is overpriced. It’s well lit and clean but no amenities, but they seem to charge a lot more than I expected from the others in town I looked at. I feel like I’m in a tough decision since I’m in love with house but don’t like paying that much for just basic lot rent. Any ideas or advice?

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Amanda,

      Take a walk through the park and knock on doors. Not including any amenities seems a little odd though. Follow your gut, if you have reservations about it keep looking!

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  3. Derek Mcdoogle

    IN your article, you stated that the greatest advantage of living in a mobile home park is affordability and you get to enjoy the perks of home ownership without the burden of paying a property tax or having to maintain the land and utilities. My cousin and his wife have been looking for a new home and a someone suggested that a mobile home could be a good choice. I wonder if the process of buying a mobile home is different from a regular home.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Derek,

      There are a few differences between buying a manufactured home and a site-built home. Manufactured homes tend to have less financing options available to those that do not own their own land. Typically, if you are placing a manufactured home in a park you will need to pay cash for the home or finance it through a manufactured home dealership. Low-interest mortgages through banks and other lending institutions are more difficult to acquire and interest rates tend to be higher even for those with great credit history.

      Living in a manufactured home community is a great decision for many families but there are some issues. The financing limitations and the ever-increasing lot rent are the two issues that seem to plague manufactured home communities across the country.

      Best of luck to your cousin!

      Reply
  4. margaret odamo

    I am so psyched to have found this website. I am currently trying to buy a mobile home in the bay area of northern california. A single family home here costs about 650k. A brand new mobile home is 300-350k. The lot rent in san jose is $900/month.
    The process so far has been quite horrendous. The park approval process is in its 3rd week, the park manager refuses to receive any documents electronically and insists everything comes via snail mail.

    Reply
    • Sarah Young

      Margaret I hope you went to another park, you should not have to deal with that kind of behavior. I use to be in Real Estate in the bay area, north county, and I always told prospective buyers, once they had found an area they liked, to visit it on weekends and different times of the day, get out and walk around and talk to people, ask questions like what is good and or bad about the neighborhood. I think this still applies, get out of the car, walk around. You will find out in a hot second if this is a place for you. Ask, do you like living here? Believe me it works. Be for warned before you go to any manufactured home park, know the park rules and things like lease versus month to month rent, which managers will never tell you about. And remember that mobile homes sold by anyone other than a licensed realtor do not have to abide by seller disclosure laws in California. Be informed and you will get so much more out of the experience. My park is the best in the County and I took 18 months and went to every park in two counties before I made my choice. I wouldnt go back to a stick built because I enjoy the peace and quiet of a senior park.

      Reply
      • Quinn

        I don’t know if this is a nationwide thing, but make SURE if you do choose a park that your utility bill (particularly electric) is YOUR bill and not submetered by the park. Because that’s definitely not something they’ll tell you about in my experience, but you want your city/county/co-op reading your meter to determine your bill, NOT park management. (Mine once tried claiming a 14′ X 56′ single-wide with minimal appliances had a $500+ electric bill, and then dropped it to $190.)

        I’m in Texas, fwiw, and the park management I was originally dealing with submetered theirs for years and illegally tacked on charges (yard fines which are a very common rip-off, in-park speeding tickets which they had no authority to levy as far as I can recall, etc.) as a routine thing. We literally talked to the city code people and all that happened was “oh, if you can get enough people together you can file a class-action lawsuit”. This is a working-class neighborhood (with a fair number of people who aren’t necessarily English-fluent) and we were all understandably worried about getting evicted if we tried suing, so that went nowhere. (It’s illegal, but that wouldn’t have stopped that crew.)

        At the moment the current management doesn’t even put a telephone number on their rent bill, does not reliably staff the office even on rent day, and the usual office dude claims the owner is in California and has continued to add yard and upkeep fines as a relatively common thing.)

        So yes, most DEFINITELY talk to the people you see in the park. If it’s a good one, they’ll let you know, and if the park itself is okay but management is shady as all get-out, they’ll probably let you know that too.

      • Crystal Adkins

        Thank you so much for this information, Quinn. I had no idea that a park could (or would) do that. A park is only as good as it’s management and boy, I’ve heard about some terrible managers.

        You should at least try to report them to your attorney general’s office or your state agency that oversees manufactured homes (I’d say Texas has a HUD department, though).

        Thanks again!

  5. Scott

    I like that you point out that mobile home parks are good for retirees that appreciate limited disturbances. My neighbors are a couple years away from retirement. They get a little grouchy when my children get too loud while playing outside. I’ll have to ask them if they have thought about moving into mobile home park because it will be quieter for them.

    Reply
  6. Darlene

    Where can we turn bad managers in? She has paid so many fines for her bad choices. She tries to stick the new people she is selling mobile homes to with back taxes. Where do people like that get their real estate license from?

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Darlene,

      Your state should have an agency that handles park licensing and such but it will likely be part of a larger division so you’ll need to ask around. The Better Business Bureau may be able to point you in the right direction. Unfortunately, there is no federal unit that I know of. HUD handles the laws and regulations for the industry but I’m pretty sure they leave the parks for the states to handle.

      I have found that going vocal on social media (in a respectful manner) will at least gain the attention of the park owners (they usually have no idea what is going on in the parks as long as the money is right every month).

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  7. Gine

    I must of had a real senior moment when I thought it would be a good idea and sell my house and move into a mobile home park. I do like my new single wide. Just the perfect size for me and very well built. Since I wanted to stay in the area my options were limited. Plus were only two lots available in this park. One next to a barking dog and the main road. The other next to a empty house. But 2 weeks later these people moved in and their place looks like a DUMP! Once it got warm the parting started right outside my window. After about 2 months and enough people complainted the manger/owner finally did something but there is still stuff all over the place and now 4 more people have moved in. Sad when people come up to you and say sorry you have to live next to that. If I had it to do all over again I would have never moved.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Gine,

      Parks are either really awesome or really awful – with only a few in-between. Ideally, every park would be managed well and kept clean but unfortunately that isn’t the case.

      Is there any way a few of you can ban together and ask the park to update the rules and bylaws of the park? Perhaps if you show the manager (or owners) that these issues will not be tolerated you can get some changes made?

      I do hope it all straightens out for you. Not all parks are bad, I promise! Usually bad management equals bad parks though.

      Reply
  8. Eileen Sweeney

    Hi Crystal! I have owned and lived in my mobile home for seven years now and love it! It was built in 1976, so it’s getting old, but still in great shape! I’ve read some of the above letters and feel badly for the people who are living in not-well-run, park. Our Manager is top notch! She’s in the office 5 days a week, 6 hours a day. If we have a request, or complaint….she’s on it ASAP! If she can’t find someone to address the situation, she frequently shows up at the house to see if it’s something she can help with! Our park is well maintained, pretty and not too expensive! I highly recommend this lifestyle!

    Reply
  9. Catherine Rice

    We live in a family mobile community. We do not like living here…management is difficult to deal with. Cost is too much over $500 per month and only includes garbage pick-up. Monthly lot rent goes up every year $17-$20. We received a violation for fixing our car. We were fixing our brakes…fixing our car is not an everyday ordeal. Management told us if we did this again…we would be evicted. They don’t offer an alternative place to work on cars. The majority of residents are in poverty level and as such have old cars and are need of fixing. Where do residents go to fix autos. We are very unhappy at this park and are going to sell and buy a little home. Will never live in a mobile park again!

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Sorry you’re unhappy!

      I’ve heard about the same issues at apartment complexes. Friend of mine needs new brake pads installed – it would take maybe 2 hours for all 4 wheels – but she can’t do it anywhere on the complex property. Brake fluid is highly toxic so that’s probably a big reason they don’t allow it – parks are responsible for the runoff and if the EPA comes in and does a random field test and finds brake fluid residue the whole park could be condemned. It’s a slippery slope….

      The problem with managing communities like this is that if they allow one person to replace brake pads then the person that wants to replace a transmission feels they should be able to do the same. And, since, most people don’t know anything about car repair they think all car repair is the same.

      Lot rent is increasing every year in just about every state (but so is property taxes). I read most tenants get $100-200 increases each year.

      Sorry your park isn’t working out for you! I hope you find the place of your dreams!

      Reply
      • DweezilAZ

        Additionally, it’s not allowed in condo communities or any planned community with an HOA. It’s not allowed in my community and each lot and house is owned by each resident.

        We can’t have non-op cars or those without current tags.

        I would also think that a list of park rules was given to each resident or at some point early on in the process.

    • Jude

      We live in a mobile home park. We have the greatest neighbors and are located close to I-93, lots of places to eat and shop, and we are close to all the Schools. Our biggest issue is the Park Manager/Owner is also a tenant, and he consistently violates all of his own Park rules, but forces the other tenants to abide by them. We recently organized a tenant’s association and sent him a letter requesting he post the office hours on the door to the Office so people knew when they could go in and pay their rent. The Office was never open anymore and it was frustrating to our tenants. We also requested he consider putting in a drop box so tenant’s could pay their rent this way. He then posted a notice on the office door stating all rent was to be paid through the mail by check. The Office has been closed for around a year and a half now and his employee has been telling tenants the Office is now closed indefinitely, yet he never notified us of this. If you send him letters inquiring about things in the Park, he ignores them. We sent another letter requesting that he consider replacing some of the missing street signs in the Park, and it was again ignored. We have around 170 lots and when people come to visit from out of the area, they can easily get lost in here. Some of the streets are confusing. Although we have a number of members in the association, they seem to be afraid of him and appear to not want him to know they are members. If tenants put their homes up for sale, he finds a reason to deny the sale. He then waits until the tenant is so desperate to sell, that he buys it for a few thousand dollars, then immediately sells it for the same price the tenant was asking for it. People are trapped here. If the seller were to make a complaint about him interfering with the sale of their home to the Housing Board, the new buyer certainly wouldn’t want to live in a park with this kind of management. Any suggestions?

      Reply
      • Crystal Adkins

        Hi Jude,

        It sounds like you’re taking the right steps by forming the tenant’s association. If this park is owned by a corporation I’d send them a formal complaint. Out-of-state owners often don’t know what goes on day-to-day in their parks (as long as the numbers look good and the reports are done they assume it’s all being ran properly).

        Other than that, you may be able to file a complaint through your state’s park regulator. Each state has one, they just call them different things and are often part of a bigger branch (like HUD or Business Licensing via the Secretary of State).

        Best of luck to you!

  10. Lisa

    We’ve spent the last month and a half remodeling our new acquisition : a double wide. Our first home together. And it’s all ours! We moved in this weekend and I absolutely love it! We’ve had the past month to get to know the neighbors as we did work on the house, and now that we’re actually living in it, I couldn’t ask for anything better! We own the unit outright (paid cash), and pay the same for the land rent as we were paying for rent for our tiny one-bedroom condo previously. It’s beautiful. And, yes, get over the stigma. I live in a mobile home park, and I LOVE it! Friendly people, everyone waves and chats, paved streets, well-lit, pride of ownership abounds. Thank you for posting this article and making me feel even better about our decision.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Congratulations Lisa!

      I bet your home is gorgeous and even better, it is all yours and you can do whatever you want to it! I wish you all the best in your new home! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

      (PS I’m always looking for updates and remodels to share. If you would consider it please email at crystaladkins@mobilehomeliving.org). Thank you so much!

      Reply
  11. natasha wilkins

    Tell me what is the advantage and diadavange of regular condo with mobile home in Pacific palsaides , and how long you can stay there and what is the different

    natasha please send me this articiale to me

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Natasha,

      You would probably need to speak to a real estate agent to get the best answers to your questions. I do believe that a manufactured home in a park would be much cheaper per square foot in that area and you would have lower home owner’s association fees as well. Manufactured homes are typically preferred over condos because there are no shared walls and you have your own yard, even if only a small one. Most parks in that area are protected so once you buy the home you can rent the land for as long as you want.

      Best of luck!

      Reply
  12. Daniel West

    Hi Crystal, thanks for a great article. Currently im renting a small cellar apartment but by years end will be buying a mobile or condo.. Im hoping mobile but being 49 stinks lol .. single no kids but most in my area are 55 plus why is it .. they cant be 30 plus.. Do they have parks like that? Being single I can go anywhere but i love new england seasons… Danny

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Daneil!

      I’m was in the same exact boat as you!

      When we lived in FL our only options in our price range for renting were run-down parks or single dwelling homes. We could get a nice little house in a fairly safe neighborhood for only a $100 dollars more a month than what the parks wanted so that’s what we did. The 55+ parks were in our range and looked fantastic but we couldn’t live there.

      To be honest, I don’t think there are any parks like that though I think it would be a smart business venture if someone had the money. Parks are only as good as their management so it’s a real toss up and no two seem to be the same. Good luck on finding a place!

      Reply
  13. Ana Maria Dudley

    What a great article! 7 months ago we purchased our double wide in a 55 and older park. We put our farmhouse, build in 1897 for sale and the rest is history!! We LOVE it!! Making this move allowed my husband to retire from teaching, he has never been happier. I love the easy care of the small home, downsizing is a good thing! We could never have imagined how wonderful would be to be in the park, it has met our expectations and it has giving us peace of mind financially. We did not want to spend the rest of our lives taking care of a big yard, big house and big heating bills!. I am so happy to see the movement towards less of a footprint in the environment and to do with a little less of the material things I thought I had to have. We have not giving up anything by making this move, the gains have been 100% for the better. I am so happy with our new home and with our new community.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      So great to hear how happy you are Ana! Thanks so much for commenting and for reading MHL – I appreciate you and hope to hear from you lots more!

      Reply
  14. Jessi

    We bought a mobile home in a park as our very first home together. The one we purchased was in serious need of renovations, but for the price we figured it would be worth it. We enjoy having our own home, yard and parking spaces. The park that we live in has many families which will be nice when we have a baby. The park is paved, well lit and has a little park area for the children. Currently we are debating getting a double wide in the same park.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Jessi!

      It’s always great to hear positive experiences with mobile home parks. I think they are all awesome and all have great potential to be wonderful communities.

      Thanks so much for commenting! I hope to hear from you more – let us know if you buy the double wide!

      Reply
  15. Monika

    Hi Crystal,
    I did not know about co-op owned mobile home parks until I read your article.
    That sounds interesting! Not owning the land is something my husband and I really want to avoid.

    Do you know of a directory that lists such parks?
    So far I have only found some in CA and in FL..
    We are interested in moving to the Pacific Northwest or to North Carolina.
    Or, if we find something here, we stay in New Mexico.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Monika!

      How ironic! We have been talking about moving back to NC or taking a leap of faith and going to Northern CA (somewhere near a beach). We probably won’t ever actually move but it’s fun to think about it and dream a bit!

      To answer your question, the only place I know with ample information on co-ops is ROC. They help owners buy the communities but I also found a list of communities on their website. I learned that about 2% of all parks in the nation are co-ops. That’s more than I figured! Here’s the link: http://www.rocusa.org/communities/community-album/default.aspx

      Reply
  16. Anne

    I bought a home in a beautiful community and love it! Mail almost at your door, walking trails, the park is set back from the main road quite a bit with a beautiful tree lined road to the entrance. This is my first manufactured home and I don’t think I could have found a better place to live. I had to jump a few hurdles to get into the park, but it was definitely worth the time and effort.

    Reply
  17. Kat

    Hi there! We own a 55+ community in St Petersburg, FL. My grandfather bought it in the 60’s, my mother then became manager, and now I am the next in line to take over! I have a back ground in art and interior design, so as I am learning the biz, in and out, I am also bringing the park into the future with updates and home remodels. It really has bugged me my whole life (growing up in the manager’s residence) getting the stereotype of this sort of community. I am on a mission to change that perception. Our park is well maintained, and well run by caring management and staff! Our residents love our home AND it’s rules! I hope to inspire the many, many, many mobile parks in this area that THIS way of life is the FUTURE, to be PROUD of it, and always EVOLVE to be better!!! :)

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Kat! It’s great to hear from you! I firmly believe that a park can only be as good as its management – they are the heart of the park. It sounds like yo have the passion and the know-how and you’ll be perfect for the job!

      Keep us updated on your progress – I’d love to feature great parks in addition to great homes. I think its important to show the world what real mobile home living is all about! Thanks for commenting – I look forward to hearing from you more!

      Reply
    • Don Hamilton

      We live in a very nice Mobile Park in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
      I am a 5 minute bicycle ride from the beach,Ferry Beach State Park.
      I do miss living in St Petersburg’s Americana Cove.
      We are definitely qualified for over 55.
      Kat, where is your park located?

      Reply
    • Angie

      Kat, do you allow 3 pets or know of any that do in your area? We have 2, 13 pound Jack russells and a 25 pound Sheltie.

      Reply
  18. Hunter Hampton

    I would have bought in a mobile home park, but for the fact that I have three dogs, two 30 pounders and a 50 pounder. It’s very hard to find a park that will allow three dogs, much less large ones. I also wan5ted a fenced yard, so I didn’t have to always have the dogs on a leash. The other thing is I have two campers, and wanted to have them at home as well as have friends visit in their campers. So, I bought a manufactured home on a cul de sac street with 11 other mobiles. We all have an acre, so yes, we have mowing to do but the dogs now have a fenced yard, my campers are here and my friends can visit. Someday, when my dogs are gone and I’m too old to mow, I will move into a mobile home park, but for now I’m happy in my mobile home community.

    Reply
    • Crystal Adkins

      Hi Hunter! Sounds like you have a great place and made the right decision for your current situation! I hope to move into a park after we retire too. There was some parks in FL that I visited and they were so beautiful – huge ponds with beautiful fountains in the middle and the whole place was landscaped beautifully. It was amazing!

      Reply
      • Hunter Hampton

        Crystal, will you retire to Florida? That’s where I live. I’m on the outskirts of The Villages. I have the advantages of The Villages, the shopping, restaurants and nightly entertainment… as well as drives through beautifully manicured spaces and lakes and golf courses, even polo! I have none of the disadvantages, the cost, the HOAs.

      • Crystal Adkins

        Hi Hunter! We lived in Sarasota for about 3 years – it’s where my daughter was born so FL has been very good to us but I don’t think we’ll make it that far south again. An 18 hour drive is a bit too far for us to be away from WV so I’m thinking the coast of NC or GA will be ideal.

        My husband did a lot of plumbing work in FL parks and when I was his helper I was amazed at how fancy and beautiful those FL parks were! I never knew a community could be that nice!

        I’m so glad you love your home! There’s nothing like being truly content and happy with your surroundings – it makes life even sweeter!

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