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.