Tag Archives: mobile home parks

Information on manufactured home communities.

Planned Communities’ Designed

The second installment in a two-part contribution to MHVillage by Equity Lifestyle Properties.

Stumping the Professionals

With so many advanced mathematical formulas and neat patterns for manufactured home communities, you’d think professional planners in other housing sectors could easily replicate a neighborhood design and get the same results.

They get close, Allan D. Wallis writes in his book “Wheel Estate”, but haven’t figured out how to create the strong neighborhood bonds and sense of community of a well-managed and thriving manufactured home community.

Planner Robert Bair, Jr., one of the authors of “Mobile Home Parks and Comprehensive Community Planning” , stated that mobile home communities might be the last genuine communities in America.

 

Manufactured home communities develop a close-knit neighborliness and camaraderie that is rarely witnessed in gated housing communities and planned suburbs. Simply put, residents in gated communities rarely talk to their neighbors. A third of homeowners say they haven’t met their closest neighbor and 20 percent don’t know their neighbor’s name.

Planners of the modern gated communities, with 4,000 square foot site-built homes, have been trying for decades to get the same results witnessed in manufactured home communities. They have mimicked a manufactured home community’s layout, offered the same amenities, and even used similar lot designs, but still have yet to figure how to foster the social interaction seen in a manufactured home communities.

Hillcrest community Clearwater, Fla.

Of course, community planners can only do so much.

The friendliness and neighborhood cohesiveness that forms so naturally within manufactured home communities says a lot about the people living in factory-built housing.

Popular Manufactured Home Community Designs

Community planners use formulas and algorithms to determine the layout of a manufactured home community. Lot size and home placement is especially important to create a thriving community. Experts have found a few home layouts that work well for manufactured home communities and most of us will recognize them.

Herringbone

The Herringbone design at Island Vista Estates in Fort Myers, Fla.

A community laid out in a herringbone design uses diagonal lots to create a cohesive community that maximizes land use. The herringbone is one of the most popular manufactured home community layouts in the U.S. but it isn’t in the top slot.

Perpendicular

The most common community design is the perpendicular layout. Homes are simply placed side by side. This allows for a front and back yard and allows one end of the home to face the road. The staggered perpendicular layout is similar but the homes are placed on opposite sides of the lots.

Zero-lot Line

The zero-lot line is used less often than herringbone or perpendicular layouts. This design places the home’s backdoor on the very edge of the lot to create a larger front yard, but only a walkway in the back. This design is great for communities that have awesome views such as a pond or beach.

Parallel

A parallel layout places the home’s front facing the road. This placement allows for large lots but requires the most acreage.

The Muramota Cluster

Muramoto Cluster

The Muramoto cluster design is unique. George Muramoto was a popular architect and consultant for manufactured home communities in the 1950s. He created a park design that places four homes within a cluster that share a single driveway. To the unknowing, the community may look scattered and unplanned, but every home is placed with intention. The pattern only reveals itself from above.

 

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

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.

Final Input Sought for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

fannie-mae-freddie-mac

The House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) on June 30 passed language from the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act as a part of its Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Services Appropriations bill.

Last month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final request for input on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s associated 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.

Pack Your Clubs – Buying a Home in 55+ Golf Community

55 Golf CommunitiesRetirement – a time to relax and enjoy the good things in life. If one of your passions is golf, you might want to check out all the amazing amenities offered by senior manufactured home communities. Here’s just a taste of some of the gorgeous 55+ communities across the county that have beautiful homes with golf carts in the driveway!

Fairways Country Club – Orlando, FL: Located in sunny Orlando Florida, Fairways Country Club has an 18-hole golf course, a pro shop, three swimming pools, two tennis courts, a fishing lake and pond, three clubhouses and a fitness center. Of course Orlando is home to a number of theme parks and vacation destinations, so it is an incredibly popular destination for all ages!

Golf Vista Estates

Golf Vista Estates – Monee, IL: While many of the 55+ golf communities are located in Florida and Arizona, wonderful golf locations exist in the Midwest as well. Located in Chicago’s Southland area, Golf Vista has a 9-hole course, pool hall and community center with a fitness room. With home prices ranging between $12,000 and $44,000, this affordable 55+ community has a lot to offer retirees!

Gorgeous location in Casa Grande, AZ

Palm Creek – Casa Grande, AZ: Palm Creek has a renowned Par-3 course for your golfing pleasure. They also offer more than 165 activities per week – so you are sure to stay busy. They have everything from state-of-the-art pickleball courts to stained glass and painting workshops. Located in Arizona’s “Golden Corridor”, Casa Grande is only 40 minutes south of Phoenix and an hour north of the historic districts in Tucson.

Golf carts in Shalamar Creek

Schalamar Creek – Lakeland FL: Ron Garl designed the 18-hole championship course at Schalamar Creek. They have tournaments year round for fun, trophies and even cash prizes. Schalamar Creek is a great location for golfers and bird watchers alike – this 55+ Golf and Country Club Community is located alongside the 750-acre Saddle Creek Park, a protected bird sanctuary. While playing a round of golf, many interesting birds may be seen. Lakeland Florida has a legendary historic downtown area and is known for antiques, architecture and gardens.

The on-site golf course at ViewPoint

ViewPoint Golf Resort – Mesa, AZ: This beautiful 55+ retirement mobile home community offers you an on-site golf course, shuffleboard and tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a fitness center, billiard facilities, and a community swimming pool! Plus, Mesa is known for its beautiful weather. With better than 300 days of sunshine each year, it is a great place to play year round. Not only is there a golf course on site at ViewPoint Golf Resort, Mesa is home to some of Arizona’s most well known golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye.

Water Oak Course and Restaurant

Water Oak Country Club – Lady Lake FL: This gated community not only only boasts an 18-hole golf course, it also has four tennis courts, bocce, horseshoes and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. The 300 acres of fields, trees, lakes and winding paths are a plus. Lake County also is known for camping, kayaking and wonderful fishing. It’s only an hour north of Orlando, so tourist attractions for the family are close by.

This is just a sample of some of the wonderful opportunities manufactured home communities offer for retirement. Social activities, pools, great locations with beautiful weather, and fabulous courses to practice your swing!

 

Shopping for your home made easy!

Buying a house is simply not a simple task.

But when it comes to shopping, we are here to help!

ideal-search-alertsWe have a great feature on our site where you can enter in the details you are looking for when it comes to your next home. We call it our “Ideal Home Search Alert”.

So how does this work?

Start by select the “Mobile Homes” option from the left side of our site, then select the ” Find Homes for Sale” option. When you use this feature on our site you can type in all of the details you are looking for in a home.

 

From here you will be taken to the page where you can fill in all of your desired home details with a check box at the bottom to set your alert. Once you have created the alert, you will start to receive emails about homes that match what you seek!

You can select everything from bedroom and bathroom count, to the geographic location of the home and even the community type (All Ages, or Retirement, for instance).

You also can remove an alert from your account at any time (by logging into your free MHVillage account) in addition to creating multiple alerts for different home options.

 

The alert email will contain a direct link to homes that match your criteria. It will also include the contact information for the home sellers, so you can contact the seller directly.

This is an excellent tool that will not only email you homes currently on our site that match your criteria, it also will email you whenever a new listing is added that fits what you are looking for!

If you have any questions, or would like one of our customer services representative to help you create an Ideal Home Search Alert, let us know. We are happy to help!