Part of living in a mobile home is having a functional plot of land to keep it on. Some mobile home owners may own their own land, but not everyone can afford it. In these cases, homeowners often turn to mobile home parks. But if you’ve never utilized one before (or if you’re new to buying a mobile home in the first place), you may be wondering: “What are mobile home parks, how do they work, and which one is best for me?”
What is a Mobile Home Park?
A mobile home park is a piece of land owned by an individual or entity that houses at least two occupied mobile homes. They can range in size, from a small park with a dozen homes to a massive luxury community of over a hundred.
While owning their own plot of land may grant a homeowner more freedom, there are several perks to living in a mobile home park. They’re usually more affordable than owning land, while also covering utilities such as water, sewage, and garbage pickup. More expensive communities can also feature amenities and services available to the tenants, such as swimming pools. They also tend to have a strong sense of community due to the proximity of the tenants.
Types of Mobile Home Parks
While mobile home parks start out the same, there are many varieties, each made with specific demographics in mind:
This is one of the most common mobile home park varieties. With land-lease parks, the land is owned by an individual or business entity, then leased to tenants. The tenants own their own houses, while the landlord owns the land. They operate on monthly rent payments. The land is often well-suited to mobile homes as well, due to being made specifically for housing them.
Resident-owned communities, or ROCs, are a good alternative to land-leasing. Homeowners come together to form their own business entity, with each homeowner getting a share of the land. The entity, called a cooperative, manages the community together. This gives residents control of rent, maintenance, and amenities.
While most mobile parks are owned independently, many belong to chains. These function similarly to land-leased communities, but with a much larger entity backing them. These homes tend to be highly modular, with residents getting less say in community decisions.
Family Mobile Home Parks
While there are plenty of mobile home parks open to tenants of all ages, family-focused communities take it one step further. Many offer family-specific amenities, such as playgrounds or organized community activities. Some even run background checks on new residents to ensure that children are safe around their neighbors.
Many mobile home owners operate on a tight budget. Budget mobile parks are made with this in mind. While there’s some variation, they tend to only offer the essentials: a plot of land and utility hook-ups. They have very little emphasis on tenant service and few amenities, if any.
Senior Mobile Home Parks
Retirement communities are one of the fastest-growing types of mobile home parks. These communities, common in areas with large amounts of retirees, often have age restrictions of 55 or older. They also tend to feature more community amenities, such as pools or tennis courts.
When many people think of mobile homes, they think of shoddy, mass-manufactured homes crammed in a single park. While this isn’t true even of your average mobile park, it’s even less true of luxury parks. These communities are designed with elegance and comfort in mind, usually on prime plots of land and with amenities ranging from shops to private beaches.
Specialty parks aren’t an individual park class; instead, it’s a blanket term for parks with specific allowances or focuses. For example, a resident-owned community park may allow pets, making it a pet-friendly park. Many retirement communities in Florida are waterfront living communities, using the beach as a selling point.
Finding the Mobile Home Park for You
With so many varieties of mobile park to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which is best for you. When choosing your new home, consider the following:
Just like with renting an apartment, it’s crucial that you understand a mobile park’s rules before committing. Every park has different rules depending on type, location, and the preferences of the park owner. Mobile parks commonly have rules about parking, lawn care, and having guests. Parks may also have rules about modifying your mobile home—be sure to check them over if you plan to make renovations to your house. Ignoring the rules in any mobile park can lead to eviction.
When choosing a mobile park, make sure it’s in a good location. How close is it to your place of work, shops, schools, etc? Is it near a beach or other selling point? Is there nearby traffic that might make noise? A forest that might house pests? Taking note of these factors before you move in will save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
All mobile home parks come at a different price. Budget communities are meant to cater to homeowners with an annual income of less than 30 thousand, while some luxury communities charge over 3 million dollars for a home. Make sure you can comfortably afford the price of living in your new park.
By design, mobile parks tend to be close-knit. You’ll be spending a lot of time interacting with your neighbors, so if you’re hoping for an isolated living experience, a mobile park may not be for you. Even if you’re not looking for isolation, getting a basic idea of what your neighbors are like may help you avoid an uncomfortable living situation in the future.
As mentioned, some mobile home parks offer special accommodations or features for their tenants. Be sure to take into account both what you need and what you want from your new community. If you have a dog or would like to get a dog in the future, for example, then you’ll need to make sure your park is pet-friendly.
Mobile Home Parts with Star Mobile Home Supply
Moving to a new home is stressful enough without a damaged home in the mix. If you’re looking for reliable mobile home parts for repairs or renovations, choose Star Mobile. We offer the highest quality parts, whether they be for your bathroom, kitchen, or even your home’s exterior. Contact us today and let us answer any questions you may have.