Top 8 Questions to Ask When Renting a Space in a Mobile Home Park
What You Need To Ask Before Deciding on a Manufactured Home Community
The path towards owning a manufactured home can often seem like a very long road which leads to the temptation of making a few quick decisions because you feel like it will be “good enough.” If you try to go for “good enough” with the mobile home park (a.k.a. Manufactured Home Community), you could be up a creek without a paddle.
So, slow down, take a deep breath, and let’s do this right. Lucky for you, you just found our blog with 8 simple questions that should help you whittle down your choices. Once you have your new home chosen, start looking for that perfect place to put your home armed with these questions.
1. What are the requirements for putting a home in this park?
It is easy to get excited about finding the perfect community to put your home and then be blindsided by the expensive requirements to live in the community. Often these additional costs are not something the bank can add to your loan at the last minute, so it is best to find out this information ahead of time. Some parks require hard board skirting, decks on the front and back of the home, or even gardens in yard.
With these additional add-ons, most communities give a timeline for when the work needs to be done. This can range anywhere from 30-120 days.
It is important to find out what the community wants the homes to look like. Do they have requirements on the year the home was built, exterior material, window placement? Find out before you put any money down on a home or waste hours or shopping.
2. What are the promotions you all offer to new residents?
Do you like saving money? We do too! Almost every mobile home community offers some sort of promotion for you to move in; you just need to know what to ask for and get it in writing.
The most popular specials are below.
- Community pays for hooking up your electric, water, sewage, and AC disconnect box.
- Lower lot rent if you sign a longer contract
- Free skirting
- Free stairs or decks
If they don’t offer this work for free ask them who they recommend to do the job. Most parks have seen hundreds of homes moved into their location over the years, and the management likely knows who the best contractors are to do a good job keeping their renters happy.
3. Who takes care of the hook ups?
People are so excited about picking out a new home, choosing their upgrades, and colors that electric, water, and sewage connections are pushed out of their mind. Contractors can take a few weeks to complete this work, and you do not want the home to get delivered with no plans on how for hooking up the utilities to your home.
Communities either do the work themselves, require an approved contractor to handle the job, want the company that sold the mobile home to do it, or leave the decision up to the tenant.
*Make sure to ask the community management if there are any permits you need to take care of in order to get your water and electricity turned on.
4. After I finish the application, how soon does the home need to be moved into the community?
Coordinating the availability of an open space at the community with when the home will be built can sometimes be a difficult task. That is why it is important to find how soon the home must be in the community after you complete the rental application.
If the community will only hold your location for 21 days but the home factory is saying it will take 60 days to have the home built, you need to let the community management know so you all can come up with another plan that works for both of you.
5. What happens when my contract runs out?
You may get an incredible deal for your first year of renting but if you aren’t careful to read the fine print and pay attention, there may be a giant price increase waiting for you that you unknowingly agreed to. It costs a lot to move a home, so ideally, the home will remain in this mobile home community for years or decades.
Be sure to understand what to expect at contract renewal. If you plan to stay in the same community for many years, you can often sign a longer contract to get a discounted monthly rate, or at least to lock in your rate for a longer period of time.
6. Can I take a tour of the pool, playground, and common areas?
We all know that one friend where every time we go to their house the first thing they say is “Sorry for the mess, usually its clean.” It isn’t a coincidence; their house is never clean.
Home communities are the same. If their community and common areas are not taken care of to your standards when you come to view the property, don’t expect there to be any difference when you move in.
You have time to peak in at only one place, take a look at the bathrooms in the common area. Look past any obvious recent mess and check to see if they are in good repair and there is no accumulation of dirt and grime over a longer period of time.
A place that keeps the bathrooms immaculate and up-to-date normally has the same attitude about everywhere else. A place that lets their bathrooms slowly go downhill will likely only go halfway to keeping the rest of the facilities in tip-top condition.
7. Do you all allow pets?
Most communities have restrictions on the number and type of pets you are allowed to bring into the community. Some will only allow pets if they are considered “service animals” and will need documentation to prove this.
Don’t own pets? Ask about the pet policy anyway. Not only might you change your mind about pets down the road, but you will also want to know what your neighbors are allowed to have for their pets. If you hate cats and dogs, but the mobile home park has a very “open” policy toward pets, sooner or later you will have a neighbor who thinks its alright to let their pets roam through your yard.
8. Do you all give referral benefits?
Once you move into your amazing home in your perfect location, there is no doubt that you will have a friend or family member that will want to live in the same community. Be sure to find out what referral benefits the community offers for your referrals coming their way. It is pretty common for you to be offered up to $1,000 for your help.