Communities Defy Old ‘Trailer Park’ Stereotype
The terms “trailer park” and “trailer home” carry negative connotations that seem to be hard for us to shake. Those terms elicit images of rundown neighborhoods, dilapidated structures, and sketchy characters.
Fueled by scenes from Hollywood movies and life before regulations were set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these perceptions of mobile home parks have persisted despite the fact that, these days, they’re really not rooted in truth at all.
In fact, life in a modern mobile home community is far from sketchy, scary, or unsafe. Take a stroll through one of the 40,000-plus parks in America. You’re more likely to find delightfully pruned lawns, attractive homes, and friendly neighbors than anything unpleasant. For these reasons and those listed below, residents of manufactured home communities have moved far beyond the poor opinion of “trailer parks”. And we think it’s time for the general public to follow suit!
1. Mobile Home Parks Have Come a Long Way
Today’s mobile home communities are populated by permanent or seasonal residents who take pride in their homes and properties. The best mobile home parks in America look more like condominium communities than trailer parks, with many featuring impressive amenities, such as:
- Clubhouses with pools, community centers, and even tennis courts.
- Organized activities ranging from weekly bingo to fundraising events.
- Access to nature and views – even some communities with oceanfront options!
- A built-in community of like-minded residents and future friends.
- Recreation for the whole family, including parks and playgrounds.
- Included services such as water, electricity, and even lawn care.
2. Mobile Homes Are Regulated by HUD
Since June 15, 1976, manufactured homes have had to follow a stringent set of standards set forth by HUD. These standards ensure that factory-built homes are up to housing codes and that they are healthy, safe, durable, and eco-friendly. Any mobile home built must adhere to specific size standards. It must have ceiling heights of seven or more feet, and a long list of general safety standards. In fact, HUD requires manufactured homes to employ certain fire retardant materials and have smoke alarms installed in all living rooms and bedrooms. In other words, they’re not poorly built or unsafe like at all.
3. Manufacturing Has Drastically Improved
Like many other kinds of housing, mobile homes have improved drastically due to the requirements of HUD, as well as the development of new and efficient manufacturing techniques and equipment. Despite the use of high-quality materials and durable construction practices, larger plants manufacture five to eight new homes in a day, making them a widely available option for many. Some prefabricated homes are made to withstand hurricane winds because special models must be used in high wind zones, according to HUD regulations.
4. Mobile Homes Don’t Move
Images conjured up by the phrase “mobile home” often include trailers that can be moved from site to site as needed. One of the big misconceptions about manufactured homes is that they move. In fact, mobile homes generally only move one time, from the factory to their final destination. Once delivered and set up, they stay permanently on their home site for decades. Though they may technically be “trailers” since they are built with a permanent chassis and wheels, manufactured homes are not RVs. They’re meant to stay put. This means permanent residents and the same settled feel of a traditional neighborhood.
5. They’re Really Nice, Plain and Simple
If you are considering moving from an apartment or a site-built home to a prefabricated home, you’ll be surprised to see how many options are available with regard to design and style. Gone are the days of flat-roofed single-wides. Today, manufactured home dwellers have their pick of finishes, architectural styles, and sizes. So, whether you seek a coastal Cape Cod or a rustic chalet, it’s possible to buy it straight from the factory. There is a lot of variation these days!
Changing the Perception of Mobile Homes
Those of us who have had the great pleasure of living in a mobile home community know that the perception of a rundown trailer park is far from reality. As more and more people realize the many benefits of manufactured housing, we likely will see this outdated perception fade from the consciousness of the general public as a more positive one arises.