5 Reasons Manufactured Homes are Better Than Apartments

Today, manufactured homes are built with quality craftsmanship and materials. They are built by professionals in controlled environments, helping them produce excellent products with less waste.

These newer homes often include modern and luxury upgrades like granite counters, stainless steel appliances and garden tubs. They are built using strict guidelines, so in many cases they are just as safe, or safer, than site-built homes.

It’s easier than ever to get financing for a manufactured home, especially for newer homes. That’s why we think purchasing a manufactured home is even better than renting, especially if you’re in an apartment. Here’s just 5 reasons manufactured homes are better than apartments.

Let’s face it, manufactured homes get a bad rap. Even though modern day manufactured homes are totally different than their predecessors, people still can’t get over those old homes. But when it comes to making investments, we think mobile homes are better than apartments. If you’re renting an apartment, it’s a good time to consider purchasing a mobile home.

 

1. Your Own Space

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When you buy a mobile home, it’s yours. You can paint the walls and customize your home any way you like. Plus, you aren’t in close quarters with your neighbors. You learn all too quickly the schedules and habits of your neighbors in an apartment. Buying a manufactured home gives you a space that’s all your own.
2. More Bang for Your Buck

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In most cases, you’ll get more square footage, more storage and more options per dollar on a manufactured home than on an apartment. Today, manufactured homes often have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a storage shed, a patio and large living areas. They feature open floor plans that create light and cheery spaces. Often times, you’ll pay more for rent in an apartment than you would for a mobile home mortgage. You’ll have the added advantage of knowing that your money is going to your home, not to your landlord.
3. A Backyard 
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The backyard on a mobile home located in Rolling Greens.
Not having a backyard is one of the most bothersome aspects of renting an apartment. When you purchase a manufactured home, you’re getting a backyard that you can enjoy. Whether you have dogs or just like to grill out on the weekends, a backyard can make a big difference. When you buy a manufactured home in Florida, you’ll find that you can spend a lot of summer nights enjoy your backyard. Plus, many manufactured homes come with screened in porches that feature ceiling fans, so you can be outside even on hot dogs. Invest in a corn hole game and invite neighbors over for a BBQ!
4. A Sense of Community 
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Residents raising the flag in honor of veterans in their community at Tuskawilla Trails.
Living in an apartment complex can make you feel very isolated. Often times you hardly see your neighbors and chances are you’ll never meet them. In many manufactured home communities, there are events, social activities and a true sense of community. Whether you’re a young family or enjoying retirement, a sense of community can keep you grounded. In Newby Management communities, we strive to create a strong sense of community through social activities. It fosters a family that many people don’t find in other communities.
5. Security and Stability 

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Renting an apartment can be a great option in the short term. It gives you flexibility if you aren’t ready to move to a permanent location. But when you’re ready to make a permanent move for your family or in retirement, buying a mobile home is a great option. It gives you so much value for your money, and you can feel more secure as a homeowner.

5 Ideas to Serve Residents in Your Manufactured Home Community

Serving your residents is important. At Newby Management, it’s one of the most important things we do. If you’re at a loss for how to serve residents in your manufactured home community, here at 5 ways our team members go above and beyond in our communities.

1. Holiday Cheer
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The holidays are fast approaching, and as they do we are gearing up for spreading some holiday cheer to our residents. Each year, we pack food bags full of non-perishable items for the needy families in our communities. It’s a simple act, but it helps alleviate some of the stress that comes with the holidays. We also deliver poinsettias to families who could use a little cheer. These are great ideas to begin implementing in your own communities.

2. Involve Residents
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When things are happening in your community, it can be tempting to limit your resident’s knowledge on the topic. At Newby Management, we encourage resident involvement in community issues and happenings. Not only does it help residents feel at ease when changes are being made, it also helps them feel involved. In one of our communities, Camelot Lakes, the team members held a pre-construction party to help prepare residents for what was to come. It was a great way to answer questions and give residents a good feeling about the future.

3. Consider Your Surroundings
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What do we mean by this? Think of the state in which your communities are built. Does it snow? Does it rain a lot? What unique challenges does your state face? In Florida, our manufactured home communities are susceptible to hurricanes. That’s why Newby Management established the Newby Management Emergency Action Team (NEAT) in 2005 to respond to disasters that may occur in our communities. These disasters include hurricanes, fire, tornadoes, flooding and terrorism. The goal for NEAT at the community level is to equip community management to be prepared to deal with disasters when they happen within their communities in a professional and organized manner, that will help protect people and property. In this way, we are serving the residents and meeting their needs.

4. Establish a Servant Heart
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At Newby Management, we try to encourage all our team members to establish a servant’s heart. This is the most consistent way to serve residents. Having a servant’s heart means serving others without expectations. For example, we don’t serve our residents with the expectation that they never have complaints, refer us new residents or bring baked goods to the office. We do it out of humility, love and respect for those we are called to serve. When you consider serving a blessing, it becomes something you want to do, instead of something you have to do.

5. Do Random Acts of Kindness

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We serve our residents in some many ways every day. Many of them are tangible and business-related. These are expected and required of a management company. What’s unexpected is going above and beyond in service and care. Random acts of kindness are so special because most times they’ll never be traced back to you. When they are, you can remind people to pay it forward. Do you know of a lonely resident’s birthday? Drop a card in their mailbox. See a resident with a really nicely manicured lawn? Stop by a let them know! Have a resident who is always offering to help out? Send them a thank you note. These simple acts are great ways to serve residents, but are also great ways to find yourself doing a lot more smiling.

Give Your Manufacutred Home Curb Appeal in 2018 with These 5 Tips

First impressions are important. So what could be more important than the first impression of your home? This summer we are giving you 5 expert tips to give your home some curb appeal on a budget. Save money and make your home look great. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

1. Start with the Basics
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Okay, this one isn’t very much fun but it’s probably the most important step. Take a weekend to really clean the outside of your home. Power wash your house, mow the low, trim bushes, weed your plants and clean clutter. This gives you a clean space to start your journey.
2. Plant Some Flowers
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A little DIY landscaping won’t cost much and can add some serious curb appeal to your home. This manufactured is livened up with some lovely tropical shrubs and plants. You could even paint the bird bath and plant some flowers in there for some extra character. Pick out flowers that can survive the heat in Florida and make sure they are colorful!
3. Do Quick Updates
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This manufactured home is well-cared for and appealing. The outside of the home is cleaned and repaired. Doing small updates, like repairing any damaged siding, painting, fixing gutters and watering the grass can give a home new life. Try to tackle projects big to small.
4. Paint Shutters & Trim
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This adorable manufactured home features yellow shutters and trim to really give a pop of color to this home. Paint those to suit your own tastes. Choose colors that will complement the flowers you place in the front garden. Another quick tip for this home is to power wash the driveway!
5. Add Character in Fun Ways
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This beautiful home needs no work, but you can add touches of character. Paint the front door a cool color. A nice red would look good on this home and would make everything pop. You can also add some more plants and a few chairs to the front porch. Enjoy the new year, and the new look these simple touches can give your home!

Do You Know These Secrets to Managing Your Manufacutured Home Community’s Finances?

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Everyone knows how difficult it is to keep your finances in order. Sometimes it can feel like all you’re ever doing is waiting for the next bill. In manufactured home and RV communities, you can get overwhelmed and behind before you know it. 

 
The idea of hiring a property management company to handle your finances when they feel threatened might seem daunting. In fact, you might feel like it’s counter intuitive if anything. Handing something over to another company as crucial as your finances is a big step, but it can make a difference in your community. 

Take a moment to look over the questions below to assess whether you should consider hiring a property management company in your community. 

  • Do you have the need for timely, accurate and comprehensive financial reporting?
  • Do you need a more detailed explanation of the financial health of your community?
  • Do you have special reporting needs for partners or lenders that require more than the typical monthly reports?
  • Are collections and resident ledgers a challenge?
  • Would an automatic payment system help your cash flow?
  • Are payables too time consuming?
  • Are you missing out on discounts from vendors and contractors because you are not part of a larger group?
At Newby Management, our accounts will handle your money as if it were their own. They personally invest in the outcome of your financials as they provide excellent customer service and financial reporting. 

When you make your requests know our accounting team will meet them consistently. Our financial service package can be customized to meet the unique needs or your manufactured home or RV community. Unlike other property management companies, you’ll have the comfort of direct access to the account who handles your finances on a day-to-day basis. 

Here are some of the services our accountants provide: 

  • Budgets
  • On-Time Payment Processing
  • Rent Collection
  • Professional Financial Reporting
  • Manage/Reconcile Bank Accounts
Learn more about Newby Management and the manufactured home property management solutions they provide by visiting www.NewbyManagement.com

How to Serve Residents at the Holidays with a Single Bag

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At the holidays especially, we notice the needs of people around us. At Newby Management, the team noticed that some residents were struggling to feed their families, something that becomes especially difficult around Christmas. That was when they started delivering holiday food bags to residents in their communities who needed an extra hand.

This year the corporate office team packed an astounding 1,500 pounds of nonperishable food. It’s the kind of food most people take for granted, like peanut butter and jelly or oatmeal. But for some families, those staple items will go a long way.service, serving christ, christian company,acts of service, property management, property management florida, florida property management company, mobile homes, manufactured homes

138 bags were given away in total. The bags are personally delivered by a corporate team member, so the residents aren’t just getting food, they are getting encouragement too. While some residents need food care packages, others just need a bit of holiday cheer. For residents who had a difficult year, the team delivered fresh poinsettias to their homes. It’s just a simple reminder that they are being thought about during the holidays.

Serving residents in your mobile home community during the holidays can take on many different forms. Whether you do something big or something small, know that it can go a long way to boosting morale in your community. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to meet people where they are and love them.

Merry Christmas, from everyone at Newby Management.

See More Photos from the food drive on our Facebook page!

Quick Pros and Cons to Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Mobile Home

Manufactured home loans, manufactured home financingSelling your home is stressful, but preparing to sell it can be just as challenging. We’ve discussed some ways you can get your home looking great for sale, how to take dazzling pictures and why you need to respond quickly. Now, we’re going to talk about the pros and cons of selling your home without an agent.

PROS TO SELLING YOUR HOME WITHOUT A REALTOR
  • No Commission Fee: Generally there’s an agent commission fee of  about 6%, so a home listed for $250,000 would have a commission of roughly $15,000.
  • You Know Best: Who knows your home better than you? While a realtor may be selling several homes at a time, you are just selling your and you know it best. You’ll be able to point out amenities, features and tell the buyers candidly about the area and neigborhood, something a realtor can’t do.
  • You Are In Control: When you sell your home, you can choose the price, appointment times and how you negotiate with buyers. Realtors generally take control over these things when they become your agent, so if you don’t feel comfortable with that sometimes it’s best to do it yourself.
CONS TO SELLING YOUR HOME WITHOUT A REALTOR
  • What’s it Worth?: When you sell your mobile home yourself, you’re risking selling it for a lot less than it’s worth. In fact, statistics show that homes without an agent sell for about 15% less than homes sold with a realtor.
  • Less Visibility: There are tons of great places to list your home for free these days, but the best and fastest way is through the Multiple Listing Services. This is one of the biggest online tools available to realtors and they have more experience in promoting homes.
  • Time: Researching the process of selling a home, understanding the current marketing, advertising methods and working with potential buyers is all very time consuming. Hiring a realtor who knows this already will get your mobile home sold much faster.
  • Paperwork: Preparing the legal forms is your responsibility, so if you aren’t sure how to do it, you’re risking legal and financial liability. Plus,k you don’t want to rely on the buyers realtor to fill out this information, they have a responsibility to get their buyer the best deal possible.
  • Weeding Out Buyers: There are lots of buyers who aren’t qualified or are just window shopping. One thing realtors do is to make sure they are bringing prepared buyers to see your home who can afford to purchase it.
There are lots of pros and cons to selling your mobile home with a realtor. If you’re ready to take on the task, visit some of our other articles to see how you can best prepare your home for sale. If you’re selling a mobile home in Florida, give us a call at 941-721-0046 so we can see how our dedicated sales team at Newby Realty can help you sell your mobile home fast.

Five Ways to Help Residents Get Involved in Your Manufactured Home Community

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Residents at Rolling Greens, Ocala, staying active.

If you ever talk to someone who loves where they live you’ll often hear the same thing. They love the community! For many people living miles from family, the friends surrounding them become their loved ones.

Fostering this feeling in your manufactured home communities and RV Resorts is so important. These communities aren’t just houses in close proximity, for many they represent home, family and a sense of belonging. But communities like this don’t just happen, they are built over years and become neighborhoods sharing experiences, laughter and love.

At Newby Management, we believe this sense of community is one of the most important aspects of managing manufactured home communities and RV Resorts. As such, we wanted to give you five ways to help your residents get involved in your community.

1. HOST MONTHLY EVENTS
Each month, plan several events that will bring the residents of your community together. Whether it’s something small, like coffee and donuts, or something bigger like a potluck, your residents will enjoy getting to meet each other. Each event will begin to feel more and more like a family reunion.

2. USE SOCIAL MEDIA
Today, communities are built in person and online. If you’re hosting monthly events in your manufactured home community, let people know about it! Get your residents talking on social media, whether you’re asking them to share pictures or use a certain hashtag. Eventually you’ll have a community of people who love promoting you! Plus, if your community caters to snowbirds they can stay involved during the summer months, too.

3. CREATE SOCIAL CLUBS
When people move into your community, screen them for their interests. Create a form that lets people select the type of things they like to do. For example, photography, knitting, running, woodworking, etc. Then you can give your new resident information on others in the community who like the same thing, what time social clubs meet and how to best get involved. Some people are too shy to find people who like the same things they do, so this gives them a head start!

4. CREATE BUZZ
If you’re hosting an event in your community, make sure to create some buzz. Pass out flyers, hang banners and get people talking. When people come into your office remind them about the event and tell them to bring a friend. Use social media to help your cause. If you’re excited about the events going on other people are going to get excited too! Once word gets around you’re more likely to have a full house.

5. ENGAGE THE LONERS
Sometimes people will come to events but will sit by themselves. Engage these people, talk to them about their interests, see if they filled out an interest sheet. If not, have them do one. Introduce them to people at the event with similar interests. Try to help them engage with the community around them. Sometimes shy people just need a little budge to become the social butterfly!

At Newby Management, we believe strongly in the power of community. We strive to promote a sense of fun, friendship and fellowship for all our residents. That’s part of why we host strawberry socials in the spring and chicken BBQs in the summer. We love to see our residents get together and have good times! How do you promote resident involvement in your manufactured home community?

Different Types of Manufactured Home Communities in Florida

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Camelot East, a land-lease community in Sarasota.

When you begin your search for a manufactured home you might start coming across confusing terms. There are several different types of communities, each with their own sets of pros and cons. We are going to discuss the three most common types of manufactured home communities in Florida.

  • Land-Lease Community: When moving into a land lease community, it’s important to realize that you don’t own your land. After you purchase a home, you will pay a monthly land lease payment for the use of the land/lot on which the home is placed and the use of all the facilities and amenities in the community. In Florida, this is the most common type of 55+ housing with about 2,400 of these communities. The primary benefit to this type of ownership is you won’t have to invest additional money in purchasing the land. The average land price starts around $35,000 and goes as high as $75,000. Average monthly land lease payments range from $400 to $900. Typically most land lease communities are run by the land owners or by a professional management company.
  • Land-Owned Subdivision Community: When you purchase the land/lot in this type of community you will be purchasing the land with a specific legal description. The land price can range from $35,000 to $75,000. Monthly maintenance fees range from $100 to $300. Monthly dues are for the use of the facilities, amenities and common area. This option means you will not have to pay a larger monthly lot rent, but your initial costs will be much higher, as you will have to purchase the home and the land. Land-owned communities are a good option for people who have more money to invest. All lots in a Land Owned Subdivision will be owned by individual owners who form a Homeowners Association. The members of the Association elect a board of directors to manage common elements.
  • Resident-Owned or Co-op Community: In a resident-owned/Co-op community, the community is owned by a group of residents, normally 40 to 70% of the total home sites in the community. The residents that formed the Co-op become shareholders and pay a maintenance fee similar to, but generally less than the land-lease price mentioned above. Those Co-op shareholders form a corporation to own and operate the community. Each Co-op shareholder has one membership interest in the corporation. The corporation is managed democratically, with one share equaling one vote. Day-to-day operations in the community are overseen by a member-elected Board of Directors who frequently hires professional management. The non-shareholder lots remain as land lease and pay a monthly land lease payment as outlined in the first option above. There are approximately 700 of these communities in Florida.

 

If you like this material and want to learn more about manufactured home communities in Florida, we encourage you to visit our website to check out our free 55+ Moving Guide E-book.

How to Sell Your Mobile Home Fast

For most the goal when selling a home is to do it quickly and for the highest possible asking price.  While you cannot control the market, you can control some variables that will help you get the best results.
LOOK AT YOUR CURB APPEAL
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The outside of your home is the first impression potential buyers see when considering your home.  A few simple things that can easily boost curb appeal can go a long way in catching a buyer’s eye.   Be sure your welcome mat is welcoming (aka clean, not dingy or faded).   Weed your flower garden, and add fresh mulch or rocks. Consider planting some colorful flowers that will catch a buyer’s eye, or putting some potted plants near your entry way.
Some other things to consider for the outside of your home.  What is the condition of your home’s exterior?  If you have gutters, are they cleaned out?  Do you need to update your paint job or perhaps even just the trim?  Consider power washing the home’s exterior, sidewalks, drive way and decking.  Check the rails leading into your home to make sure they are secure.  A wobbly railing, while it is an easy fix, can be a deterrent or worse harm a potential buyer.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT
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Have a bright, uncluttered entrance way.   Many LED lightbulbs on the market today are not only energy efficient, but also pleasantly bright.  Buyers want the entry area to feel spacious and clean.  Remove unnecessary items such as shoes, jackets, and umbrellas.   Keep the floor swept/vacuumed.  If your home has a tiled floor, be sure to evaluate the grout.  Does it need to be cleaned?   Or repaired?  What is the condition of your carpet?  Countertops?  Appliances?   Repairs can impact your bottom line, but there are some you should consider, because they will make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
Normally, one should want their home to be a reflection of themselves, however when trying to sell your home, you want buyers to be able to imagine the home as their own.   What does this mean for you?  Remove your personal memorabilia.  Pack away your family photos, take the magnets off the front of your refrigerator.  Repaint your interior if you do not already have neutral wall colors.
Consider renting a storage shed to help declutter and neutralize your home.   Excessive furniture can make a home feel cramped.  Clean out your closets, even if it means packing away the majority of your clothing.  The same technique applies to linen and coat closets, your pantry and any other storage areas including often overlooked areas like your kitchen countertops.   When selling a home, less is more.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
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We often do not notice the smell of our own home, because we are used to its fragrance.  Visitors however, notice the smell right away.  Consider having a neutral smelling air freshener to help neutralize the smell of your home.  Another alternative, if you have time before a showing is to drop some slice and bake cookies in your oven.  These will give a pleasant aroma that is not overwhelming for most visitors.  They also would look nice on a decorative plate on your countertop after they are baked.
If you have a cat, be sure the litter box is scooped daily.  Likewise, bathe your pooch often while you are trying to sell your home.   Look closely around your home; you may need to take a lint roller to your furniture to remove pet hair.  You might need to dust more often.
Another consideration for pet owners when selling a home is to make sure they are not out and about during a showing.  Not only is this is for the safety of your pets, but also for the comfort of your potential buyer.  If at all possible, the ideal situation would be to not have any pets home during a showing.
CLOSING THE DEAL
Selling a home can take time, but a little effort can go a long way to getting your home sold.   As you wait for that potential buyer to make an offer, relax and enjoy the work you have put into your home to get it ready for the market.  The right buyer will come along, soon enough.

Just One Word Will Change Your Customer Service

resident relations, property management, property management company, manufactured home, resident services One of the first things we learn as children is our name. It’s our identity. It’s often the first thing someone knows about us. When someone uses our name, we feel connected.

At Newby Management, the first of our Three Steps of Service states: “Always use a warm and sincere greeting. Use a person’s name if and when possible.” We covered the importance of using a warm and sincere greeting, and today we will discuss the importance of using a person’s name.

Imagine you go to a local coffee shop for the first time. The owner introduces himself, chats with you and makes you a latte. The next time you go in, the owner remembers your name and drink order. You’ll likely leave that coffee shop feeling very positive about your experience. You’ll feel appreciated as a person and as a customer.

We train our team members to use people’s names when possible because it not only encourages good customer service, it also encourages compassion. The simple act of using someone’s name can make their entire experience with you more positive. This is especially true if they are coming in to voice a complaint. When you use their name, they will feel as though they are important and that their issue will be addressed.

Remembering resident names may feel like a challenge if you’re bad with names. We have a few tips to help you start getting those names down.

  1. Repeat their name out loud. For example, if they say their name is Jerry you can say “It’s nice to meet you, Jerry.”
  2. Write their name down.
  3. Associate their name with a picture or another person. Have you ever met someone and they said “Well, I won’t forget your name! It’s my dad’s name.” Think of a way to associate their name with something already in your memory.
  4. Stay focused on the person as you interact and continue to use their name throughout the conversation.
  5. Write down a small fact you learned about them next to their name, like “Jerry, from Ohio with two dogs.”

It’s easy to forget the importance of using someone’s name. In fact, it’s one of the most important resident relations tips we can give. If you’ve never been good at remembering names take it one person at a time. You’ll start seeing a difference in the way you interact with people right away!