How to Find the Right Mobile Home Park to Live In
Finding the right mobile home park is going to be the right mix of cost, location, amenities, rules, and park conditions to meet your needs. Everyone is different, so we will cover some things to think about while looking for a park.
Mobile Home Park Locations
A mobile home park might seem perfect for you, but if it is an hour away from all the places you drive to on a regular basis, you will likely regret your decision. It’s best to start with determining the ideal location and figure out all the parks nearby as a way to start narrowing your search.
Ask yourself how close is it to:
- Family and friends you like to visit often
- Stores you like to go to
Once you figure out the location, think about the benefits or amenities that you really want, and ones that would be nice to have.
Mobile Home Park Amenities and Benefits
Figure out the benefits or amenities offered that you care about. Just because the place has lots of amenities doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. What good is a dog park within the park if you hate dogs? If you will never use the amenity you are basically paying for someone else to use it, so try and target a place with amenities you care about. Here are some common amenities you might find:
- Club house
- Fitness Center
- Basketball or Tennis Courts
Also look out for:
Whether or not you can keep a garden
If they mow your lawn or are willing to mow your lawn for a small fee.
Find out if the vehicle parking side-by-side or a long, thin strip where one car will get stuck behind another. You might not think this is a big deal, but if you have to jockey the cars every day, it gets to be a bit of a pain.
How much open space will you have with your plot and what are you allowed (or not allowed) to do with it.
The Mobile Home Park Needs to be Affordable
This might seem obvious, but the mobile home park you are looking at needs to be affordable. You can’t live in a place you can’t afford for long. Even if you can afford to live somewhere, does that mean you want to?
If you didn’t live in the most expensive park you could afford, you might be able to buy a nicer car or set more money aside for a rainy day. Make sure the cost of the park fits within your goals as you set out your budget.
Know the True Cost of the Mobile Home Park
It is normally easy to find out the monthly rent at a mobile home park, but does it include everything? If you aren’t careful, you might find you owe for the monthly rent on the lot, PLUS an association fee, plus a trash collection fee, plus a pet fee, plus who knows what else?
Remember also, most mobile home parks will also be the provider for your utilities. If the park provides your utilities, make sure you get all the costs associated with the utilities and compare that to what you are paying now. On the flip side, some communities include the cost of water and sewer in the monthly rental charges, so be sure not to exclude a mobile home park until you understand all of what is and is not included in the monthly rent.
You should be able to get all the costs by phone, which will help you narrow down your search. Just make sure you are getting all the costs, so you aren’t suckered in with a low lot rental to be hammered with high costs elsewhere on your bill.
Mobile Home Park Rules
We may not like rules, but rules give us guidelines on how to play well with our neighbors. Just about every mobile home park will have some rules, such as how long your lawn can get before you get in trouble, or how late at night you can throw a party.
You will like rules that match your preferences and that protect freedoms you care about, such as quiet times to protect your right to a good night sleep. Bad rules crimp your style, so maybe you won’t like a park with a “no pets” rule. The rules aren’t good or bad until you read the rules to decide if they will help you enjoy living there more or if they will ruin your fun.
Condition of the Park
Make sure you look for signs whether the park is being kept up or that the owners are letting the park run down. Unfortunately, some mobile home park owners are trying to make every penny they can before they sell the park land to a big developer, with no intention of keeping the place maintained.
Common areas should be free of garbage and debris. Common spaces should be mowed regularly. Driving areas should be relatively free from potholes. Buildings and fences should have a good coat of paint on them.
It’s okay to have old buildings on the property, but it is not okay if they look like nobody cares about them. The same should be said for the houses in the park. If it looks like an individual owner does not care about their house and property, you probably don’t want to be next to that house. If every other house looks run-down, find out if those houses are a sign the park is in a decline or if the park is turning around, working on improvements, and is about to bloom back into life again.
What about those rules? Are the rules getting enforced or getting ignored? If you see several people disregarding the rules, don’t expect help from the owner with rule enforcement when you move in.
Stop and talk to a few people and ask how they like living in the community. You would be surprised what people will tell you if you politely ask for their opinion.
Spend Time Looking for the Right Mobile Home Park
The big lesson is to ask lots of questions and don’t rush to sign a lease agreement. An extra hour or two of checking things out could save you from a miserable experience later on. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so take all the time you want to find the right mobile home park for you.