Home buying process #2 – How to find a mobile home community park
Mousetrap: All right all right, thanks for tuning in to the latest episode of the Double Wide Dude's. In the last episode of the home buying process we talked about the ins and outs of buying a piece of property and knowing what you need to know when you do decide to go that route. If that's not going to be for you and mobile home parks is the route you want to go, this episode is going to be great for you guys. We're going to tell you the ins and outs and what you need to know on choosing the right community for you, but talking about communities AP, we are just about moved in!
AP: Yeah, our buddy Jorge there at Texas Repo Mobile Homes was nice enough to lend us a hand when we were getting our business started and he had purchased a foreclosed condemned manufactured home community right there off Highway 16 heading towards Poteet, and still a little bit of work still left to do but man you remember what this place looked like when we first came out in January, right?
AP: They have done a tremendous amount of work and man I can't even believe this is the same place, but yeah we're all moved in, he was nice enough to let us put some show models here up front and nice enough to give us a space to put our office so, you know the River Walk was nice, definitely going to miss working down there in Geekdom but it's really good to be back here in the country and what do you think about the Medina River park up there right up the road home?
Mousetrap: Oh man, it's incredible. Some nice running trails, some single-track for the mountain bike, you know we had riding our bike down to Geekdom and I just kept telling Jason and Ern where, man this is going to be real nice having this park right next door to our location, during lunch or having a break, you guys would be able to take a small run out there, or go on the mountain bike, it's incredible man I love it.
AP: Yeah, the scenery is absolutely gorgeous, it doesn't take more than a day of being down there to realize why folks make the decision to buy a piece of Texas or move out to a community park out here a little further out of town. There's some beautiful scenery just twenty, thirty minutes outside of here in San Antonio.
Mousetrap: Luckily, it's right next door to our lot.
AP: Yeah, that's my favorite part for sure.
Mousetrap: Yeah, and just thinking of that, today when we were going out to get some coffee the construction was louder than ever today, they were jack hammering the street, and it's a constant hustle there.
Mousetrap: The construction is nonstop and I definitely appreciate moving out to the country and just having that peace and quiet.
AP: It's going to be a nice change I think very everybody, especially the barbecues. Having our own porch there, our own back deck. Jason's an expert on the on the Weber grill there, so I'm really looking forward to buying the food and watching him work his magic.
Mousetrap: Yeah, he keeps telling me man the burgers, the steaks and ribs that he cooks up, so I’m pretty excited about that, you know but talking about the parks, let's give our listeners the ins and outs of what you need to look for when they are considering a mobile home park. First off there's a really good website Mhvillage.com, where you'll be able to put in a zip code of the area that you are thinking about living in. It will essentially populate all the mobile home parks in that area.
Mousetrap: Right, so you can go down just one by one and see the amenities, see the restrictions and a good number to call to get more information. On that note, what are some things these customers need to ask the parks AP, just to make sure it's going to be a residential area that's going to fit for them?
AP: Well that's a great question and the first thing I would do is definitely what you recommend, get on a website like mhvillage and find a list of two or three parks or communities that are in the area you want to live. One of the benefits of these manufactured home communities is you can stay closer to town if there's a particular school district you want to keep your kids in or what not but once you've narrowed it down to two or three communities that are in a location you want to be in the first thing I would do is pick up the phone and find out what promotions or park packages these communities are offering to new residents. A lot of communities will offer to pay for hook ups to your utilities, electric, water, sewer and whatnot, possible lower lot rents in exchange for signing a longer contract, sometimes they offer free skirting or free stairs or free decks or whatnot and all of those things lesson your initial investment into moving into those communities.
Mousetrap: And that's a really big financial advantage about the parks A.P. where that offset the cost of getting it all set up.
Mousetrap: You know in the last episode we also talked about zoning. Is there going to be any type of zoning that you have to watch out for when you're choosing a park AP?
AP: Yeah, yeah absolutely and that's definitely a question you want to ask when you get these parks on the phone, once you've narrowed down your list. What are the requirements for putting a home in this park? A lot of these communities have age ranges where they only allow homes that were built after a certain year, it's not uncommon for some communities to require things like hardboard skirting or decks to be on the front and back of the home and some even require that you have gardens or some kind of landscaping in front of your yard. So you definitely want to get all of that information up front, so you're not surprised by an added cost three, six months down the road.
Mousetrap: And what I'm talking to some of my customers when they're deciding to go the mobile home park route, a lot o them are really excited about the common areas. The playground for the kids or the pool you know something to have in the hot summer days.
AP: Yeah a lot of these communities in and around the San Antonio area offer some great amenities. There are some have some really nice pools and there's some that have some awesome playgrounds out there but with that said there's also some that have really nice pictures of pools online but then you go to see them in person and it's not quite what you saw in the pictures. So it's really important that before you make a final decision on a manufactured home community that you actually drive out there and get to take a look. You know, you really want to make sure you're on hundred percent on that decision to move out to that community before your home comes driving down the road. It's expensive to move these homes if you come to find out that pool wasn't what you thought it was going to be or that playgrounds out of order now and doesn't quite look the way it looked in those pictures, so just like everything we've talked about mousetrap, the home, the financing, the improvements, parks are something you definitely want to do some additional research in as well.
Mousetrap: Yeah you just want to make a checklist on what's going to be important in your community. If you have a bunch of kids and they love to play outside, then that's probably something you want to look into. Cooling off at the pool and just having a common area to maybe have some cookouts for some birthday parties or anything. But another one that I constantly run into is do they allow pets?
AP: Yeah, that's another great question to ask especially here in Texas, I know folks are attached to their animals just like they were their kids, their fur babies right, and it's important to ask those questions because a lot of these communities have restrictions on either the number or the type of pets that you're allowed to bring into the community. Some of them out there will only allow you to bring a dog in for instance if they're considered a service animal, so you definitely want to make sure you do that research ahead of time and again you're not caught off guard when you bring your dog in and think everything's all well and good and come to find out you're forced to get rid of your animal because you've already paid to have your home moved into that community.
Mousetrap: Okay, yeah there is a lot of restrictions and every park varies, so when you kind of determine what you want to spend monthly on a mobile home park just to sum up the things that we talked about, what promotions are they going to have whether it's free skirting, free decks, free hookups, the common areas and the playgrounds and pools and just the amenities that you really want. And lastly that we just touched on was the pets, find out if they allow pets if they don't and things like that. Those are going to be things that you have to look into when choosing a mobile home community park, that'll kind of wrap up this episode on finding a location. When you're making the decision to get into a new home, the next step would be finding a right floor plan for you and your family.
So tune into the next episode we're going to get into that and talk about size, dimensions, and what all goes into the home that's going to be a perfect fit for you guys, so thanks for tuning into this episode and we'll talk to you on the next one.