With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day, the question of where to spend one’s golden years is a pressing concern for many Americans. Everyone wants to enjoy a relaxed and fulfilling life in an ideal location, but, with limited retirement savings (One-third of people have not saved for retirement), finding an affordable AND satisfying place to live can be a challenge.
Enter mobile home parks. Offering beautiful surroundings, amenities, and community, they are becoming an increasingly popular choice among retirees, particularly in desirable locations such as Florida. Read on to learn more about retiring in a mobile home park, and whether it might be right for you.
Mobile Home Retirement: An Overview
Mobile home retirement, as its name implies, occurs when someone chooses to spend their retirement years in a mobile home park. Often, these individuals or couples choose to relocate from their previous stick-built home to a manufactured home in a community dedicated to serving the 55+ population.
Mobile home parks are in high demand among all age groups: About 22 million Americans live in a mobile home, and construction of mobile homes accounted for 10 percent of new home construction in 2017.
Among retirees, however, they have a special appeal, thanks to the wealth of advantages they offer older adults who may struggle to find the funding they need to enjoy the retirement life they are dreaming of. These benefits include the following:
Retirees who lack retirement savings must find another way to pay for their golden years. Mobile homes offer an appealing option: Retirees can sell their stick-built homes, purchase a mobile home in their preferred location, make any necessary updates, and still have ample money left over to use toward their retirement.
For example, if they sell their home for $200,000 and spend $45,000 on a mobile home, they have more than $150,000 left to put toward living during retirement.
In addition, lot rents for mobile homes are also often very affordable (Often just a few hundred dollars a month). Our Little Manatee community, for example, charges a lot rent of just $520 a month. That means that an older adult can enjoy a beautiful home in a desirable location for significantly less than they would spend renting an apartment in the same city.
Mobile home parks, especially 55+ communities, offer built-in connections that can be vital to retirees who desire social activities and friendships in their golden years.
55+ communities not only provide affordable housing, but also create an environment where it is easy to create meaningful social connections. Mobile home parks offer the following relationship-building features:
- Proximity to neighbors who can offer support and assistance
- Community centers
- Clubhouses and activities
- Community events
- Dog parks
- And more
Finally, mobile home parks offer an appealing retirement option for older adults because they often exist in some of the country’s most sought-after locations. Want to spend your retirement in warm weather? Sunbathing or fishing on the beach? Near big-city attractions? Mobile home parks exist throughout these areas in the United States, making it possible for retirees to move to their favorite places without breaking their retirement budgets.
Mobile Home Retirement: Locations
Retirees often have very specific ideas about where to spend their post-work years, and it isn’t often in cold Northern states. The South and Southeastern areas of the United States are prime retirement destinations, including the following most popular retirement states:
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
As the second most popular retirement destination, Florida has lots to offer retirees, starting with year-round sun and warm weather, sparkling white beaches, and many outdoor recreational opportunities. Retirees also flock to this state for reasons, including the following:
- Tax breaks
- International travel access
- High-quality healthcare
While in-demand locations are often very expensive, retirees can afford to live in these locations, including areas in Florida near big-city destinations such as Tampa, Clearwater, and Orlando, because of mobile home parks like those offered by Bedrock.
While homes may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (The median home price in Florida is $334,000), mobile homes often cost less than $50,000. Even building a custom manufactured home can be significantly less than purchasing a stick-built residence. That puts a great location, and a great home, within reach for many retirees.
Mobile Park Retirement: How It Works
Practically speaking, mobile home retirement tends to be easy, appealing, and safe. Here is a look at some of the most important elements of retiring in a mobile home park:
Mobile homes, and trailer parks, have long had a bad reputation for a lack of safety and security. However, the reality is that this stigma simply does not apply to many of the thousands of retirement communities, in Florida and throughout the United States.
In some ways, 55+ mobile home communities offer more safety than do traditional neighborhoods because neighbors are closer together and more likely to notice changes in daily routines, strangers in the park, or other warning signs that all is not right.
That can mean that a resident experiencing a health emergency or other problem receives prompt support from their neighbors. In addition, 55+ communities with mobile homes also frequently provide accessibility, such as wheelchair ramps, that make it easier, and safer, for all their residents to get around.
Many mobile home parks also come with safety features such as gated entries and security cameras. Add in the fact that many of these parks, such as Bedrock’s many communities, exist in safe and appealing areas of Florida, and you have a location that will keep you secure throughout your golden years.
Retiring in a mobile home park also means gaining access to numerous amenities that make life more convenient, and more enjoyable.
The specific amenities and services you will enjoy will depend upon the specific park that you choose. However, here at Bedrock, our communities provide some or all of the following:
- Fishing dock
- Heated pool
- Social activities
- Boat ramp
- Pentaque courts
- Onsite restaurant
- And more
For retirees who want to bring their furry companions, all of our parks are also pet-friendly and ready to welcome your best friend.
These amenities make everything from mailing cards to doing laundry, hanging out with friends to pursuing hobbies, easy so you can focus on enjoying your work-free years.
Retirees who are financially strapped to high rent or mortgages often lack the freedom they desire to pursue their hobbies and interests during retirement. Retiring in a mobile home park, however, provides incredible freedom to do all the things you have been dreaming about doing during your work years.
For example, owning your own mobile home, or renting it for an extremely affordable price, frees up money in your budget to travel, golf, fish, boat, shop, visit family, or do any of the things that make your life feel richer and more satisfying. That can make living in a mobile home park the key to a retirement you actually find fulfilling.
Every mobile home community is different. Retirees can choose from basic parks with a few amenities to luxury locations with gated entries and big mobile homes.
Regardless of the type of community you choose, you will want to choose a park that has the following features:
- Amenities that suit your preferred lifestyle
- Safety and security
- A location where you want to live
- Quality homes and lots
- Friendly neighbors
- Lots to do
- Affordable homes and lot rents
Taking your preferences, lifestyle, and retirement goals into consideration will help you to select the mobile home park where you can comfortably enjoy your retirement years.
Renting vs. Buying
When you retire to a mobile home park, you can choose to rent or buy your home. There are pros and cons to both choices, and ultimately, the decision you make will depend upon your preferences, finances, and retirement goals. However, here are a few factors to consider when it comes to renting vs. buying your mobile home:
Retiring to a mobile home park means enjoying maintenance on your property regardless of whether you rent or buy. However, the maintenance and repair of your home itself will be your responsibility if you purchase your home, but the park’s responsibility if you rent.
Purchasing a home will always come with greater upfront costs than renting it, due to down payments and closing costs (and a mortgage if you choose a home loan). However, owning a home that can appreciate in value may be worth it to you, particularly if you wish to leave your investment behind for your family.
If you choose to relocate to a different living situation, renting may be a better option than buying your mobile home because you can more easily move on from a lease.
Your home should reflect your personality and style. Purchasing a mobile home will enable you to create exactly the kind of space you feel most comfortable in. However, renting the right home can give you a beautiful and stylish home without a lot of work on yoru part. When you own your own home, you have the option to make it exactly the way you want. Engage in renovation, updates, and personalization projects that can turn your home into the retirement oasis you have spent your life working toward.