Finding a Community for Retirement

If you are looking to retire, there are a number of key details that would narrow your search…

search-retirement-communities

 

Location being one of the biggest — A lot of consumers on our site look to move to warmer climates.

We have quite a number of retirement communities in Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada and South Carolina advertising on our site, for instance.

To begin looking for your ideal retirement spot, you might want to start with some state-wide searches on MHVillage and then start to get a feel for the cities that interest you and allow you to narrow your search.

If you go to our home page, get started on your state-wide search via our “Search By State” map.

                 

 

Then we will list to the right all of the home and communities in that state. You also can simply click the area on the map if you know you want to be in a certain part of the State.

 

 

Often times our customers looking to retire will choose the community tab from the top since they are looking for a community that is 55+. The “Showcase” communities on MHVillage have more information included — more photos, more extensive community information and contacts detail.

Each community will list pet restrictions, amenities and activities, and as an option they will provide ways to contact them with more questions. They also will list the homes on MHVillage that are available in their community.

Plus, you can stay posted on homes or communities you like by clicking the “Like” option on the listing. If they update information, photos or lower a home price, you will get an email notification. You also can view your “Liked” listings from your free account on MHVillage.

If you have any questions about shopping for your retirement on MHVillage, let us know!         We would be happy to walk you through the process.

Tiny House versus Park Model

There’s a lot of talk about tiny homes and how they relate to other types of housing.

It can get confusing, we’ve found, to compare and contrast tiny homes versus the park model home, for instance… particularly when you learn that definitions change with how the sun shines, and something to do, too, with grandma’s meatloaf.

Seriously, stick with us here.

 

Park Model

A regulated temporary living space designed for an RV park setting:

  • 399 or fewer square feet of living space (Fla. is 499 sf)
  • If on wheels and a chassis, can be towed on public streets, roads, highways
  • Cannot be bought with mortgage loan
  • Requires registration, tags and insurance like a vehicle
  • Ideal for RV park or blended RV/mobile home park
  • Purchase from maker for ease of registration, travel safety
  • Retail from $20,000 to $140,000 higher end

Curt Yoder is co-owner of Kropf Industries Inc., a Goshen, Ind. company that makes Park Models.

“What we sell is destination camping,” Yoder said. “We do not promote our units in any way to

Island Series Park Model

Kropf Park Model

be lived in. We’re strictly recreational use.”

On the other hand, tiny houses are primarily looked at as residences, even if second residences or guest houses, and are less-so regarded as a getaway property, like the RV or Park Home.

The problem with tiny homes as a primary residence is that many local ordinances and codes prohibit certain sizes and residential placement. If allowed, they’re typically permitted as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) for the rear or side of a property.

A tiny house on rural land most often is less challenging, but requirements exist in all but the rarest scenario.

“This makes some of the tiny home builders want to register as an RV, but then they want to say it’s lived in rather than seasonal, and that becomes the ticking point,” Yoder said.

“Similarly, over the years, we’ve had manufactured home dealers want to sell park models,” he added. “You’re trying to sell a home next to a recreational vehicle, and it doesn’t work out that well.”

Tiny House

A lifestyle concept embodied by a small home that can fit an MH community:

  • 400 to 999 square feet of livable indoor floor space
  • Some can be smaller dependent on siting and local regulations
  • Anything smaller than 200 square feet is a shed
  • Larger tiny home dimensions cannot be towed for recreation on public spaces
  • Larger units can be hauled, if permitting and consumer/public protection is in place
  • If on permanent foundation, can be primary residence
  • Difficult to finance with mortgage loan, but possible
  • No vehicle registration, tags or insurance
  • Can be insured as personal property (chattel)
  • Ideal for private land, back property guest home
  • With the skills, you can build it yourself
  • Cost differs on preference, from $8,000 self-built to the luxurious limit (Think Italian marble everywhere)
Texas Tiny Home

From HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters.

Shawn Fuller is sales manager at Tiny House Outlet, a division of Legacy Housing.

“Our tiny house stuff has just run away. It’s insane. I’ve never been on a wave like I’ve got surging now,” Fuller said.

Fuller has several models of tiny homes, and has developed an app that allows a customer to

choose features and specifications, get financing, and have the home delivered all on the handheld device.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about tiny homes,” Fuller said. “A true tiny home has to be less than 399 square feet. If it’s bigger, you trigger all the federal guidelines on home construction. The biggest difference between a tiny home and true park model… I don’t know any park model manufacturer that’s not building to ANSI code.

“The only manufacturer I know of that’s building a tiny home with no code is Legacy, and that’s our product out of Commerce, Texas,” Fuller said.

Tiny House Show Colorado

Tiny Home Jamboree, Colorado Springs in August 2015.

What’s more

The dividing line in an odd way – because it works in both directions – is 400 square feet. In this sense, the definition changes as much as it does with square footage depending on how the home is being used and where it’s placed.

The “on wheels” consideration for tiny homes is a big divider – a tiny home on wheels (THOW) is typically going to be 399 square feet or less, sometimes much less.

“If you get much bigger than 20-30 feet long, you need a one-ton truck to move it, and not too

Tiny House on private land

“Weelhouse” from Tiny House Northeast.

many people want to do that,” Isa Bauer, owner of Tiny House Northeast, said. “You’re talking about a group of people who want to live in this home year-round for the sake of a smaller carbon footprint, and that doesn’t fit well if you’re using a giant truck to haul the home.”

If a tiny home is fewer than 200 square feet and stays put, which many are, a predominant number of municipalities and other local governments will consider the structure a shed, and therefore unregulated.

This is the backyard grandma house, the meditation hut, the art center, the kid playhouse. You can plug in a TV, radio or computer, run a small AC or heater, and have a desk and bed, but likely will be without plumbing and running water.

The Final Word

Back to the direction of sun and grandma’s meatloaf.

Didn’t think we’d forget, did you?

Yes, Yoder said his designers, builders and inspectors subscribe to what he calls the “only true way to measure a park model”.

“When sun is at high noon, anything that casts a shadow off the home, including overhang and what else, is measured, and those are your dimensions,” Yoder said.

And Fuller, in comparing his tiny homes to the industry – It’s a matter of giving the customer what they want… Price point and a level of quality.

“The start of the whole tiny home thing was like grandma’s meatloaf,” Fuller said. “You don’t know what’s in it, but we know it’s good. We love to eat it. My tiny homes are like the Cracker Barrel meatloaf. It’s good, and we like to eat it, but it’s not really like grandma’s.

“Not everyone can get grandma’s meatloaf,” Fuller said.

“Grandma’s meatloaf” tiny home is available from Fuller at $25,000. The Kropf Island Series Park Model can be purchased for $54,000, depending on the retail outlet, and the “Weelhouse” from Tiny House Northeast is $35,000.

Affordable Housing Update

National Nonprofit partners to expand efforts in Texas

Nonprofit organization Texas Community Builders, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Business and Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas, is demonstrating the potential of delivering affordable, energy-efficient housing in Texas’ rural communities with factory built housing through a partnership with Next Step Homes, LLC and Clayton Homes.

A model home in La Grange, Texas, will serve as an example of what is possible for teachers, first responders, families and individuals of moderate income levels, and more searching for higher value, lower cost homeownership opportunities to promote asset building.

Rosa Ríos Valdez, CEO of Texas Community Builders, said, “We are proud to work with our partners to offer a model for affordable, energy-efficient housing that will be replicable in communities across Texas.”

City officials, economic developers, and members of the public will be invited to an open house and tour of this model home to explore the future of sustainable housing. An open house for home buyers and the public will be held on Saturday, July 8, with a second event for developers, real estate professionals, and officials on Friday, July 21.

Please visit nextstephometour.eventbrite.com to RSVP for the July 21 event, or nextstepopenhouse.eventbrite.com to reserve a spot for the public event.

Pricing for 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes starts from $149,000, including the land. Homes are highly customizable with optional features and a choice of layouts, and are built on a permanent foundation to ENERGY STAR® standards. Homes will be available for purchase or order as early as August 2017.

“This is a great opportunity to show the benefits of factory-built home,” said Stacey Epperson, president and founder of Next Step. “Working with Texas Community Builders, we hope to provide sustainable homeownership opportunities for more hard working Texas families.”

 

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.