The Advantage to Choosing Manufactured
Buying a home is perhaps the biggest life investment we'll ever make. There is a feeling of pride in walking into your own safe haven knowing this is where memories, and plans for the future will be made. The initial purchase of a house, along with the maintenance comes at a cost that can prevent many from achieving their dream of homeownership. Manufactured homes, can make buying a home an affordable reality for folks who may not be able to afford to buy in a traditional 55+, and active lifestyle community Many manufactured communities provide residents with the same amenities, quality craftsmanship, and features found in site built homes. There are many benefits to owning a manufactured home that go beyond the money saving aspect that makes this a worthy option for baby boomers, and empty nesters.
What Is a Manufactured Home?
According the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the definition of a manufactured home is an entirely factory built home constructed under very strict federal specifications. One great aspect of a factory built home is that it's constructed in a controlled environment protected from the elements that a stick built home is exposed to. The materials used are the same quality as a site built home, and are equally as durable for lasting livability. Another attractive feature of today's manufactured homes is that many are built with Energy Star efficiency that keeps monthly housing costs lower thus freeing up living expenses. At an average of 10-20 percent less per square foot according to the Manufactured Housing Institute, buying a manufactured home is a great way to go particularly within age-targeted or age-restricted communities.
Lower Initial Investment:
Buying a traditional site built home requires a hefty initial down payment that can be difficult if not impossible to come up with especially for retirees on a limited budget. Often when purchasing in a manufactured community you will own your home without the expense of the land it sits on. This type of arrangement is known as a "Land Lease" whereby your basically paying the mortgage on the home itself, and leasing the land which lowers the cost considerably. Depending on the home community, some include exterior home maintenance such as landscaping, and other amenities that are included in the lease payment. The 55+ community of Bon Ayre in Smyrna, Delaware is a beautiful manufactured Land Lease development that gives residents the joy of homeownership without the burden of maintaining the surrounding lot. The wild card aspect to a Land Lease option vs. purchasing the land is the lease will have to be renewed, and the price may fluctuate down the road. Communities offering this arrangement usually have a homeowners association that governs how the neighborhood is run, and can place restrictions on any customization of the home. Even some site built homes operate on an HOA basis, so this concept isn't specific to manufactured homes.
Age-restricted, or age-targeted manufactured communities typically offer the security of a gated entrance, (one way in and out) that gives residence peace of mind allowing them to have guests, without worry of solicitors. Living in a community such as this creates a close knit atmosphere that makes for a built-in neighborhood watch. Another security feature of manufactured homes, is they are built for safety requiring mandatory items according federal law such as smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors, and up to date furnaces, and water heaters. Anyone who's purchased a traditional home knows that escrow can be help up significantly due to any one of these not being installed correctly.
Maintenance & Amenities
Manufactured homes are not what they used to be with some even offering two story styles. These homes feature square footage up to 3,000 ft. depending on the development, and some offer design features as seen in site built homes such as vaulted ceilings, wood burning fireplaces, gourmet style kitchens, and whirlpool tubs. Manufactured homes are durable and are constructed using the same building standards as a traditional house. For retirees seeking community living with the amenities many are known for, choosing manufactured doesn't mean forfeiting your creature comforts. Depending on the community, many are equipped with social gathering areas, club houses, pools, tennis/basketball courts, and more. Arizona's Palmas Del Sol East is a prime example of manufactured living at its best. This stunning 55+ community in Apache Junction, Arizona is a Thessman Community design that features resort style amenities, and beautiful pre-owned homes starting in the $30's. Choosing a manufactured home in a retirement community can mean more money in your pocket, and give you the freedom to enjoy activities, and entertainment in the surrounding area. With locations across the country, many are conveniently situated near shopping, dining, and recreation
Age-Targeted vs. Age-Restricted
Choosing the type of manufactured community to enjoy your active lifestyle is a personal preference. Active adult communities listed as age-restricted are specific to the minimum age of their residents usually 55 and over. Age-targeted communities are those that cater to a certain age group, usually active retirees, but aren't specific to the age of those who take up residency. 55+ and over communities allow for younger visitors such as grandchildren, but some have guidelines in terms of how long they are able to stay. Those who like to have their young families for a long summer for example may prefer an age-targeted community that offers a bit more flexibility, and some even offer amenities for youngsters such as playgrounds.
Whether you choose to buy new, or pre-owned, a manufactured home can provide many years of enjoyment, with the financial benefit of tax deductible interest, and property tax write offs if opting to purchase the land with your home. Living the active lifestyle you dreamed of having in a 55+ or active lifestyle community is an affordable goal if you thought owning your own home was out of reach. Manufactured homes are not what they were back in the day, and have surpassed their traditional counterparts in both style, and quality.