Can My Children Use my House in a 55+ Community?

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Can my children use my home?

Let’s say you’re going on vacation for a few weeks. You might think it’s a win-win situation to let your children use your home in a 55+ community so they can vacation in Florida. So, is this something that can be done?

First, it’s important to mention that rules and regulations will always vary depending on the community, so it’s best to check with them. However, a general rule is that guests of any age can stay in the home for up to 15 days at a time twice a year.

Technically, this means that your children could come and use your home while you were away, but they likely won’t be able to use any of the community amenities like the swimming pool. Often times, guests must have a resident present with them in order to use the community amenities. It’s usually best to check with your community before having guests stay in home your, whether you will be there or not.

You may also wonder if your children can inherit your home. A federal law governs the age of people living in a 55 plus community. The law states that at least 80 percent of people living in a 55 plus community must be over the age of 55, the other 20 percent can be no younger than the minimum age established for the community. That age is often 45.

That being said, there is no law currently that governs ownership of a home, so your children would be able to own your home no matter their age. Whether or not they would be able to inherit the home and live there is dependent on a few factors including the community and their age.

In general, having your children or grandchildren visit should not be an issue in most communities. If you’re planning on moving to a Florida 55+ community, be sure to ask what their visitation policies are prior to moving in. This will help save you headaches in the future.

Have other questions about moving to a Florida 55+ community? Email sales@NewbyRealty.com to find the perfect home for you! You can also download our free 55+ Moving Guide to find answers to questions like this and many more!

Are You Protecting Your Mobile Home Community’s Assets?

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Camelot East, a 55+ Newby Management Community in Sarasota, Florida.

What’s the best way to protect your community’s assets? Empower your team memebrs!

It’s a mantra you’ll hear countless times at Newby Management. It holds true in a variety of circumstances and often proves to be invaluable in the workplace, especially when it comes to protecting your assets in a manufactured home community or RV resort.

Number 10 in our 10 Basics for all team members states “Protecting the assets of your community is the responsibility of every team member.” Whether it’s the community/resort manager or someone on the maintenance crew, everyone should feel empowered to protect the assets.

Empowering your team members to take responsibility for the community’s assets means first making them feel part of a team. People who feel valued by their employers often take more responsibility and pride in their positions than people who don’t. Invested employees notice cracks in the walls or issues when the checkbook is being balanced.

In essence, these team members feel like the community/resort finances are their own and treat the assets as they would their home. As a management company, it’s why we value every member of our team, treating them all with the respect and dignity they deserve.

You’ll often see that our business philosophy boils down to respect, compassion and care. Successfully managing a community/resort isn’t about the bottom line, it’s about the people. When you find ways to meet the needs of your team members and residents, you’ll see that the bottom line comes up to meet you, rather than you always having to chase it down. As a famous author once said “Profits are a lagging indicator of how well the customer is taken care of”.

There’s so much that goes into protecting your community/resort assets, both the tangible and intangible ones. In the end, your team members play an important and integral role in how well assets are protected. At Newby Management, our accounts payable team member often says that she treats the company’s money like her own. She monitors each dollar that goes out, checks for consistencies and always follows through when something doesn’t seem right.

That kind of dedication and attention to detail comes from team members who feel valued and important. They see themselves as key players on the team and take initiative when problems arise. They are self-starters and ambassadors of their positions. Through them, problems are addressed and solved in a timely manner.

Ask yourself, would a team member in your manufactured home community or RV resort feel the power and responsibility to take action if they noticed an issue with an asset in the community? Would they have the drive and the concern to make the issue known? Would they feel they could handle the issue on their own?

Remember, when you’re managing a mobile home community or RV resort, you should always put people first. The results will always pay off in the end. This is a concept we can say we’ve seen hold true again and again in our business, and it likely will in yours too.

How Do You Handle Natural Disasters in Your Manufactured Home Community?

NEAT or the Newby Emergency Action Team
NEAT or the Newby Emergency Action Team

If you’re in the manufactured home industry in Florida, you know how dangerous hurricanes and other natural disasters can be. What plan of action do you have in place if one strikes?

In August 2004, Hurricane Charley ripped through Southwest Florida and damaged a Newby Management community. It was more than a natural disaster to our team; it was a learning lesson that turned into a staple of our company.

By 2005, our team developed the Newby Emergency Action Team or NEAT. This is a first response team to check on resident safety and property damage after a disaster like weather, fire, flood, terrorism, and violence. Over the past 11 years, the NEAT team has been deployed 14 times to assist our communities across Florida.

While it does not replace state or federal resources like Red Cross, we do understand that during

A mock drill at Sandhill Shores in Fort Pierce.
A mock drill at Sandhill Shores in Fort Pierce.

times of natural disaster, these agencies can get overwhelmed. That’s where NEAT steps in. Our team of trained volunteers is able to provide resources and organization until the appropriate agencies can take over.

Our Response Teams are comprised of the corporate office team, managers, team members, residents from non-impacted communities, family, and friends. The immediate action of the response teams is to be a lifeline to the outside world, clear away debris, and make temporary repairs to homes. NEAT consists of eight teams: Security, Sanitation, Damage Assessment, Damage Repair, Kitchen, Tire Repair, Debris Cleanup and the Information Table.

The Neat Supply Trailer.
The Neat Supply Trailer.

NEAT has two fully stocked emergency trailers. These 6’ X 12’ enclosed trailers are stocked with supplies and tools that make the recovery period easier. They hold everything from generators and air compressors to bug spray and gloves.

Newby Management hosts training classes every other year for our managers, board members, and others who wish to participate. Learn more about how one of our  manufactured home communities hosted a mock hurricane drill.

When a disaster strikes, we deploy an Incident Commander from our corporate office who will receive updates from the community manager and ensure the community is prepared for the hurricane.

Examples of Supplies Needed After a Hurricane.
Examples of Supplies Needed After a Hurricane.

The Incident Commander will arrive onsite at the community shortly after a hurricane hits. We decide how many IC’s we will need depending on the number of community’s effected. Directly following
the hurricane, an Incident Commander is appointed onsite, which is usually the community manager, until one of our corporate IC’s can take over.

Our team also appoints an Information Officer who handles communication between our communities and the corporate office.They communicate with our manufactured home community board members and investors after the storm. They also coordinate relief supplies for our response teams. An onsite Information Officer sits at the information table to help organize volunteers, be the

Team members giving CPR to a dummy during a mock drill.
Team members giving CPR to a dummy during a mock drill.

main point of contact for the chairmen of the 8 committees, and records damage by lot number as reported by the Damage Assessment team.

When disaster strikes, our team is prepared to help our communities, residents and team members recover as quickly as possible. It’s a daunting task, but it’s one that has to be considered and planned for in manufactured home communities. What’s your plan?

To learn more about NEAT and how Newby Management handles natural disasters in their manufactured home communities, please contact us at info@newbymanagement.com.

Do You Need a Property Management Company?

Do you own or invest in a manufactured home or RV community? Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions to determine if you need a property management company.

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FINANCIAL

  • 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?

RESIDENT RELATIONS

  • Is there tension between residents and management or residents and owners?
  • Is it a challenge enforcing the rules and regulations in your community?
  • Is there any past or present litigation involving the residents?
  • Do you understand the state and local laws regarding being a community owner?
  • Do you survey residents annually to assess their satisfaction with living in the community and then act on the results?
  • Does your current management hold social functions throughout the year to show appreciation to the residents?
  • Do your residents have access to a community Chaplain and other outside resources for residents that are hurting?
  • Are your residents screened and background checked by a reliable national service prior to being approved for residency?
  • Are residents given a thorough orientation concerning rules and regulations and given other pertinent information prior to moving in?

PHYSICAL PLANT

  • Is there enough time in your day to evaluate your community and establish the proper operational reserves and capital improvements?
  • Are getting bids for operational and capital improvements too time consuming and/or difficult to get?
  • Does management regularly inspect the entire facility to make sure every home and common area is kept in pristine condition?

SALES & MARKETING

  • Are the number of homes for sale in your community increasing?
  • Are you challenged with the expansive requirements of selling homes within your community?
  • Do you have in-fill needs but don’t know today’s products, manufacturers, and requirements?
  • Do you have an on-site sales program for resales that helps preserve home values and resident relations?
  • Are your homes for sale listed on multiple international web sites specific to the manufactured home buyer?

ADMINISTRATION

  • Do you conduct regular reviews of contracts, insurance, and reserve requirements?
  • Do you have a knowledgeable and articulate representative to attend board and association meetings?
  • Does your current manager have an understanding of all pertinent laws, statutes, and provisions?

HUMAN RESOURCES

  • Would you like someone to handle all of your recruiting (advertising and interviewing) and hiring needs, including background screening, drug testing, administering skills assessments and much more in an effort to hire top quality candidates?
  • Are you in need of a payroll and/or benefits administrator?
  • Are you looking for someone to assist you with labor law compliance as well as implementing a Workplace Safety Program?
  • Do you know that personnel files must be locked in a safe place, contain specific information, and be kept confidential?

Don’t let the stress of owning a manufactured home or RV community weigh you down. Let the professional, full-service staff at Newby Management help make your community the best it can be! Call for a free consultation at 941-721-0046.

Are Mobile Home Communities Good Investments?

mobile home community, mobile home investment, mobile home property managementYou’ve probably heard about Warren Buffett’s success in the mobile home industry. While his prosperity in the industry is a lofty goal, there is still money to be made in manufactured housing. It stems from the high demand for affordable housing in America today. It’s a crisis that this industry is helping to solve, and one that is seriously undervalued at the moment.

In 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were nearly 47 million people living in poverty, which means that many or more are struggling to find homes they can afford. More and more people are turning to mobile homes, from student loan debt riddled millennials to baby boomers looking to downsize. It’s a vast market and one that hasn’t yet been cornered by investors. In fact, Rolfe estimates that of the roughly 50,000 mobile home parks in the country only about 10,000 are professionally owned.

While owning a mobile home community is a good investment, it’s one that requires a great deal of time and knowledge to maintain. That’s why so many owners and investors are turning to professional management companies to help them navigate the industry and make their investment profitable. There are a number of things to consider, from the importance of capital improvements to the removal or updates or old housing.

In Newby Management communities, we ensure that capital improvements are budgeted for each community, that often means making repairs that are long overdue. Sometimes these improvements are grand, other times necessary. In one community, we recently completed a multi-million dollar club house, while in others we are working to repave roads, repair the pool and trim trees. You have to take each community where it is.

We also work to improve the homes. If there are park owned homes that are in good condition, we will rehab them to varying degrees, some are freshened up, others are given a full makeover. When homes are in disrepair we work toward removal, and often times replace them with new manufactured homes from builders like Skyline, Clayton and Homes of Merit. This not only draws in new residents, but also greatly improves the value of the community.

Our real estate team is diligent about getting homes sold, whether they are new or used. Our goal this year has been 100% occupancy in all our communities. This doesn’t happen over night, and  it takes an astounding level of dedication, but our robust team is always looking for new ways to market homes and to encourage buyers to live in Newby Communities. We market on numerous online home sales websites, local newspapers, social media and online advertising to sell homes quickly and for the right price.

From there, we also handle resident relations. This is an often overlooked and  important aspect of owning a mobile home community. Residents want to feel valued, and they are also looking for affordable housing that fits their lifestyle. This is especially true for seniors who are looking for a place to retire. They want to know what kind of activities are happening, what the amenities are and if there are other adults living an active lifestyle in the community.

It’s difficult to be on-site at multiple locations handling the day-to-day issues that arise. Hiring a professional property management company will help you get the most out of your investment. Whether you need help with resident relations, real estate, finances, or marketing, you’ll find that most management companies have the ability to assist with these items. When you don’t have to worry about the daily needs of the community, you’re free to make other investments or spend your time how you’d like.

Learn more about mobile home investments.

Learn more about Newby Management’s property management services.