When retirees reach their golden years, they prioritize comfort, stability, and cost-efficiency in their housing. One housing solution that offers all of those at once? Moving to a 55+ mobile home community.
Manufactured home retirement communities (also known as senior mobile home parks) are a perennially popular option for people who want to enjoy the good life at an affordable price. Senior mobile home parks offer a variety of valuable benefits to help residents stay physically, financially and socially healthy.
In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why age-restricted mobile home communities are a great choice for so many people. Plus, we’ll drop in for a visit at some of America’s best manufactured home parks so our readers know how good life can be in an “over 55” mobile home community.
Senior Mobile Home Parks: The Basics
Most mobile home communities are family mobile home parks, which are also known as all-ages mobile home parks. These parks allow residents of any age. Many people have great experiences living and growing up in family mobile home parks, but seniors may prefer a different set of neighborhood amenities or a quieter environment.
Senior mobile home parks, by contrast, are communities of manufactured homes where residents must be 55 and over. By focusing on seniors, these manufactured home communities are better able to meet their needs and create accessible facilities. Seniors and their families can rest easy knowing that the community operators have their specific needs in mind.
Every senior mobile home park is different, and each one offers its own approach to the good life for 55+ homeowners. Some parks are simple and quiet communities, while others offer a complete package of resort-style amenities designed to provide all of the fun and social opportunities anyone would want. For residents focused on health and fitness, there are many communities that provide top-notch athletic facilities. Communities offer such a wide range of amenities, you may have a hard time deciding which ones to put on your “must have” list. Figure out what type of lifestyle is most important so you can start your search with those priorities in mind.
Where Can I Find a Senior Mobile Home Park?
Senior mobile home parks are present all across America. However, you’ll find the largest concentrations of senior manufactured home retirement communities in certain areas. Many of these communities are located in popular retirement states that offer warm weather, beautiful scenery, and low tax rates. Most of these states happen to be in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States.
A few of the states that have large numbers of senior mobile home communities include:
For those who intend to buy land along with their manufactured home, these states can also offer the opportunity to enter potentially lucrative real estate markets. With a smart investment in the right land, smart homebuyers can use a manufactured home site as a springboard for growing a real estate portfolio.
What are the Benefits of a 55+ Mobile Home Park?
There are a variety of reasons that 55+ mobile home parks are so popular. Many residents find these standout features to be extremely important:
- Many seniors enjoy living in a peaceful and quiet setting, and 55+ mobile home parks often do a great job of providing such an environment. Many of these communities have noise restrictions that forbid loud sounds at night, motorcycles, and extraneously loud yard work Make sure to check the rules of each park and drop in for a few visits to ensure the atmosphere appeals to you.
- Amenities, such as common areas, are designed specifically for the 55+ age group and often include accessibility features that family mobile home parks may not have. Residents don’t have to worry about old, non-ADA compliant construction in these retirement communities, and it’s typically easier to find a home with features like handicap-accessible showers and kitchens, as well.
- 55+ mobile home parks also offer a way for residents on fixed incomes to get more living space and benefits for their money. Manufactured homes are often substantially less expensive and larger than site-built homes.
- Unlike apartment living, a senior mobile home park gives residents a full-fledged home of their own. Apartments often have noisy shared walls and frequently lack amenities such as designated parking spaces, porches, and gardens. Senior mobile home parks provide plenty of living and community spaces at affordable prices.
- Senior mobile home parks can also offer socialization opportunities. Studies show that loneliness can be a big problem for the 55+ community, and a great antidote for loneliness is living in an environment where it’s easy to make friends. Many senior mobile home parks are designed to be highly walkable so that neighbors are never too far away, and many also offer community amenities and events that give residents a convenient way to socialize.
- Senior mobile home parks often offer vacant lots for custom manufactured homes that meet exact specifications. Check with the park to see if they offer lots for sale and ask if they have any building requirements.
- Another great aspect of senior mobile home parks is their wide distribution across America, which often means that residents can find homes near their loved ones. Having friends and family close by is important for so many people, and the accessibility of these types of communities offers a variety of options.
If you’re considering moving to a senior mobile home park or helping a loved one move to one, it’s a great idea to talk to folks who live in senior mobile home communities to learn what they like about it (and anything they dislike as well).
Financial Considerations of Living in a Senior Mobile Home Park
As previously mentioned, many people choose to live in senior mobile home parks because they offer a comfortable but cost-effective lifestyle. A manufactured home community designed for the needs of retirees addresses common financial needs like ensuring a stable home-life while on a fixed income.
Moving into a senior mobile home park does come with some important financial considerations, including:
- What level of amenities do you want? Some communities simply provide a pleasant and economical place to live. Others, however, offer features such as secure gated entry, elegant landscaping, fitness centers, pools, on-site medical services and more. The more features and amenities, the more you’ll generally pay.
- Familiarize yourself with the basics of mobile home financing before you start house hunting. Manufactured home financing often works differently from financing for a traditional site-built home, particularly if the manufactured home is not attached to a permanent foundation. However, there are many reputable loan options available for manufactured home financing, including loans from the federal government.
- Some senior mobile home parks allow residents to buy the lot on which their home is located. In many other parks, however, residents own their homes, but pay rent on their lot. Anybody considering a manufactured home community with lot rent should figure the rent into their calculations, as well as potential rent increases.
- For those who currently own a site-built home, a senior mobile home park can offer an ideal way to downsize. Selling a site-built home will often provide more than enough cash to purchase a high-quality manufactured home in a good community–sometimes even a custom-built new manufactured home.
- Like any type of home, manufactured homes need to be maintained with regular repairs and maintenance. Include a maintenance budget for your manufactured home in your retirement plans to ensure that repair costs don’t catch you totally unprepared. Also, take note of how much your manufactured home community helps with issues such as drainage and tree maintenance.
Great Senior Mobile Home Parks Across America
Some of America’s best 55+ communities are manufactured home parks. MHVillage, as a one-stop shop for your manufactured home living needs, includes a listing of hundreds of senior mobile home parks on our website.
Here are a few senior mobile home parks to consider for retirement and good living:
- Paradise Island, Largo, FL: Paradise Island, a resident-owned community, is one of the best senior communities in Florida for those who want the financial stability of owning their land and their manufactured home. The community offers amazingly close access to the world-class beaches of the Tampa Bay area, as well as must-have amenities, like a recreation center and a stable of activities from bocce ball to water aerobics to live entertainment.
- ViewPoint Golf Resort, Mesa, AZ: For those who’d like to spend their golden years teeing off, ViewPoint Golf Resort is among America’s best golf course retirement communities. The 18-hole championship golf course is pristinely manicured for a great round of golf, and you’ll never lack for things to do with ViewPoint’s on-site sports bar, swimming pool, banquet hall and a huge range of amenities.
- Pine Ridge at Crestwood, Manchester, NJ: Pine Ridge is bursting with amenities like shuffleboard courts, clubhouses and even daily shuttle services to downtown shopping and restaurant districts. What’s more, the community is just a short drive from the beautiful beaches of the Jersey Shore, making it perfect for those who want a beach getaway within easy reach.
- Scenic Retirement Community, Asheville, NC: If you love great scenery and gentle Southern living, Asheville’s Scenic Retirement Community might be just what you’re looking for. Inside, you’ll find all of the amenities you expect, such as a swimming pool and clubhouse. Then, just a few miles away, you’ll find the awe-inspiring grandeur of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the world-famous Biltmore Estate.
- Holiday Village, Colorado Springs, CO: Scenic living out West is the name of the game at Holiday Village, and those who love a little bit of color and unique decoration will find themselves right at home. With a clubhouse, on-site library, large swimming pool and more, Holiday Village brings all of the right amenities to the table–and the surrounding natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains is the cherry on top.
- Albuquerque Meadows, Albuquerque, NM: One of the Southwest’s premier manufactured home communities for independent and active seniors, Albuquerque Meadows is the complete package. Residents enjoy country club-style amenities just a few miles from shopping and restaurants, and the Sandia Mountains offer outdoor adventure nearby.
These are just a few examples of the vibrant and attractive manufactured home communities you’ll find on MHVillage. For our complete list of senior communities, search for mobile home parks and select “Only 55+ Parks” in the dropdown as shown in the image below.
Finally, remember that there’s more relevant information for the 55+ community on our Buyers Guide, including articles on everything you want to know about mobile home communities and some of the nation’s hottest cities for mobile homes.
MHVillage takes pride in helping manufactured home buyers of any age find the perfect community, so take advantage of our full collection of resources.