Planned Communities

Part I of a two-part contribution to MHVillage by myMHcommunity.com.

A Few Items About Manufactured Home Communities

Community planners analyze data and use a vast array of knowledge and experience to design every detail of a neighborhood. They use intentional design to encourage healthy neighbor interaction while still providing the residents privacy, security and safety.

Village Green in Vero Beach, Fla.

Everything is considered.

Even the curves in the roads are placed intentionally to slow auto traffic.

Planning communities is a centuries old concept. There is evidence of urban planning dating back to the third millennium B.C. Through the years, planners have established several community designs they feel work best. That’s why we see similar community layouts across the nation; designs proven to create a safe neighborhood with good sociability.

In most cases, planners get the same results when they design similar communities. But there’s one thing that has been stumping expert community planners for decades – How to get their gated site-built communities and suburbs to develop the camaraderie and sense of community that seem to occur so naturally within manufactured home communities.

The History of Manufactured Home Communities

While there are successful manufactured home communities that have thrived without the help of professional planning, the largest and most desirable communities are typically planned down to the smallest detail.

One of the first permanent manufactured home communities in the U.S., Trailer Estates, was designed with the help of a professional community planner. The community was developed in 1955 in Bradenton, Fla. and included 1,451 lots on 160 acres.

The owner of Trailer Estates, a lawyer turned land developer, understood that factory-built homes would become a popular permanent housing choice for millions of families nationwide. He wanted to create the ideal permanent neighborhood that worked well for a variety of families, so he reached out to a professional community planner.

The community they created had all the necessities you could want: a post office, commissary, recreational areas, laundry facilities and even its own marina and beach. They had square dancing on Tuesdays, crafts on Thursdays and ballroom dancing on Saturdays.

Many modern manufactured home communities still offer community activities and great amenities, though ballroom dancing probably isn’t one of them.

The community was so well-planned that it was recognized as a model community and the same design and amenities offered are replicated in several communities across the nation to this day.

ELS writer Crystal Adkins has authored more than 500 articles about manufactured housing and has been featured on BobVila.com and USA Today.

California Tiny Homes

The Tiny Home movement has popped up in Palm Springs.

The first 10 “Micro Homes” are available for sale in Palm Springs, Calif., at the Palm Canyon Mobile Club, 1880 S. Palm Canyon Drive, with option between 600 and 800 square feet starting at $126,000.

The median home price for a single-family home in Palm Springs is more than $500,000.

A tiny home at Palm Canyon in Palm Springs, Calif.

About 100 new homes are scheduled to fill the vintage mobile home park in this popular resort community, creating the first neighborhood of its kind in Southern California.

“Palm Springs has a vast collection of architectural and modern homes,” said Paul Kaplan, who heads the agency marketing the homes and community. ” We wanted to do something modern that would fit with the existing homes of the 1960s and 1970s that are in the park.”

These pre-fab style homes are made in a factory with the interiors complete, then delivered to the home site. Once situated, outdoor decks and porches are added. Walkways, driveways, carports, fenced yards and landscaping complete the package.

Designed to avoid being too tiny, the homes are all single level structures, with no ladders or sleeping lofts commonly found in “micro home” designs. The one-bedroom home includes up to 550 square feet of outdoor deck space, that leads to 600-square feet inside with glass walls for plenty of natural light, nine-foot ceilings, sliding glass doors, full-size kitchen appliances and one bath. The 2-bedroom has about 250 square feet of deck space.

Kaplan said he anticipates the community being popular with winter visitors, retirees looking to downsize and some first home buyers. During recent Saturday showings, the community has had about 100 people come through each day.

Placed on a traditional “double wide” mobile home pad, the lot provides room for gardening, grilling, a dog run or other lifestyle amenities rarely found at area condo developments. Kaplan said the deliberately kept the homes slim as a strategy to maximize outdoor space.

The homeowner rents the lot space for $650 per month, about $100 more than the average condo association fee in the area.

Community amenities include paved drives, driveways, walkways and landscaping, clubhouse, pool, grill areas, dog park, gym and common areas.

An added bonus of tiny home living: if you want some new scenery, you can put the wheels back on your home, and tow it to a new locale.

Perfecting Your Home Description!

The description in your listing can make all the difference!

This space is where we invite you to give a detailed description of the home.

Something we see quite a bit on MHVillage is home sellers using the description area to either list additional details (sometimes the same features already selected and listed in the home features section) or enter nothing at all.

We have found that this is simply not as effective as taking the time to give the shopper more information about the home, the community it is within and any other details that might make this home stand out from the crowd.

Here are some examples of actual home descriptions on MHVillage:

Option 1:

    The description has no word limit, yet this seller only included 2 sentences about the home.

Option 2:

 This seller took the time to walk the buyer through the home describing each room!

The difference in these two listings is crystal clear. One of the sellers took the extra steps to really show off what this home has to offer, while the other seems like they tried to list the home as quickly as possible, not really giving much information.

 

It is important to remember, a lot of home buyers are looking at tons of listings and a good number of these buyers are looking at homes in another state. So by giving them more information in your ad, you are setting them up to be interested enough to contact you for a tour, or for even more information. Which is the whole point in advertising in the first place!

 

 

Now, there are plenty of different ways you can use this space from a marketing stand point. You can follow the two examples mentioned in this article or you can write it more in the style of a newspaper article where it’s in paragraph format. Either way you want to be able to give the buyer the experience of walking through the home, noting all of the details that matter to a home owner. We found that the ads where you can tell that the seller took the time to describe the home, keeps buyers interested and eventually gets them to contact the seller.

So, no matter what your style of advertising is, it’s important to share with the buyer why they should consider your home over all of the other options out there. Why not take the time to use this space to your benefit?

We try to give you all of the tools you need to go the extra mile in your advertising, but if you find you have some questions about what features you have on MHVillage, give us a call or an email today! We are happy to help.

 

Looking to Sell Your Mobile Home? We Can Help!

Are you looking to sell your home?

couple-home-for-sale

When it comes to selling your home there are so many checklists and details to go through.

Since we are the number one website for home sellers, professionals, buyers and renters in the manufactured and mobile home industry, (We currently have 27,950 homes available for sale or rent, and more than 50,000 visitors shop at our site every day!) we have a ton of resources that can help you along the way.

Free “For Sale By Owner” Kit

mobile-home-for-saleThis kit includes a “for sale” sign with a spot for your MHV listing number and a packet of useful information for selling your home. The packet will include a detailed breakdown of how our website works and how you can get the best out of your MHVillage listing. It also includes some checklists and useful tips when it comes to selling the home!

 

When you list your home on MHVillage you are sent one via the listing process. If you aren’t ready to list but would like to request a kit ahead of time, you can click here to request one.

Mobile Home Book Value

Not sure what to price your home? We have a product on our site that allows you to enter the basic information about a home and then we have certified appraisers review that information to put together the NADA Book Value. 

Now this valuation option is not the same as a full appraisal, since it can only apply a value to the details entered compared to the current NADA Book. However, it’s a good place to start! It’s simple, easy and you can get the base value for the home in the early stages of the selling process.

We offer the Book Value free with a listing, but we also have this product available for purchase if you are not at the point to list the home yet. Here is a link with more details on this product. 

(We also have a great article from earlier this month, which asks if your home is priced to sell.)

Mobile Home Parts

If you are just getting started, then maybe you have a few repairs you would like to make before listing the home. We have an entire page on our site that can connect you with some companies in your area that can help! Click her for more details about those companies.

Customer Service 

We have a friendly staff that is always happy to help! If you are interested in listing your home for sale or rent on MHVillage and have questions at any point, you can always give us a call or an email and we will be there for you!

email: customerservice@mhvillage.com

Discount Available

Enter this AdCode to receive $5 off your next home listing on MHVillage!

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The Power of Your Sales Caption!

Is your Sales Caption as effective as it could be?

sales-captionMHVillage offers a space for a “Sales Caption” for Featured and Premium Home Listings.

This space will allow you to enter a sentence that will show above your listing in a search result. You want to include an offer or something that is eye-catching, inviting and will get the customer to click on your add from the search result.

Often, I come across Featured and Premium Listings on our site where the seller has entered a caption, but it’s not as effective as it could be.

Actual Sales Caption on MHVillage:

So, while “Best Value”, “In A Great Community” or “Beautiful New Home” as a sales caption sounds okay, it’s not really all that inviting or unique. Plus, you would be surprised how many times I have looked at a search result on our site and seen basically the same simple caption on all of the listings in an area.

Also: If you have one of the more expensive homes in the area, a sales caption can help you explain why. I mean, if your home is priced significantly higher than others in the area, there is probably good reason. However, browsers might skip the most expensive home – unless there is a caption line explaining why the home is more whether, it be on land, newly renovated, fully furnished or the like.

So how do you ensure you are getting the most out of your caption?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Research: You want your home to stand out above the rest in your area. So, do a few searches on MHVillage in your area and make sure you aren’t using the same language another seller is using for their home.
  2. Unique Details: Try to find something unique about your ad that you can highlight in the caption. For example:

“Fully furnished, renovated home, with open floor plan”

  1. Current and Updated: One of the benefits of online advertising is you can update your information at any time. So you can change your caption at any time, based on any incentives you might be willing to offer as the seller.

This feature really can make the difference for your traffic on our site. It can be the detail that turns a shopper into a buyer!

And, if you you would like assistance or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer service.

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

fannie-mae-freddie-macThe Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) recently released proposal on Underserved Markets Plans within the “Duty to Serve” program.

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, speaks in Chicago on affordable housing finance initiatives. From left, Paul Mullings, Sr. VP of Single-Family Strategic Business Initiatives for Freddie Mac; Russ Cross, regional manager for community outreach with Wells Fargo, and Sandra Thompson, deputy director in the Division of Housing Mission and Goals for the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

FHFA, the regulator of Fannie and Freddie tasked with enforcing the “Duty to Serve” provision, issued a final implementation rule on Dec. 13, 2016 mandated by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The statute requires the Enterprises to serve three specified underserved markets – manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation and rural housing in a safe and sound manner for residential properties that serve very low-, low- and moderate-income families.

The rule requires each Enterprise to adopt a three-year Underserved Markets Plan to fulfill this mandate.  FHFA requests public input on the proposed plans through its dedicated web page by July 10, 2017.

It is anticipated that implementation of “Duty to Serve” provisions will create more financing options for potential home buyers, which also would be a benefit for the housing sector, including the manufactured housing industry.

“I strongly encourage stakeholders to submit feedback on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s proposed ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plans,'” said FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt.  “FHFA will evaluate stakeholder input as part of our review process to ensure that the plans help the Enterprises meet their statutory obligations in a safe and sound manner.”

Each Enterprise will update their “Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan” after reviewing public input and FHFA feedback. Each Enterprise’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan must receive a non-objection from FHFA before becoming effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The objectives in the proposed and final plans may be subject to change based on factors including public input, FHFA comments, compliance with the Enterprises’ Charter Acts, safety and soundness considerations, and market or economic conditions.