We’ve been discussing mobile home park investments at length. And maybe you’ve decided that a park is going to be your next investment. Did you know that these communities come in all shapes and sizes? As you move forward, it’s time to consider what kind of mobile home park you want to own. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be doing a series on different mobile home communities. Some of them are pretty unique! Here, in part one, we’re going to look at mobile home retirement parks.
Retirement communities (55+)
These are fairly common communities whose occupants are older, retired couples. Under the “Housing for Older Persons Act” (HOPA), these parks are exempt from the Fair Housing Act and are allowed to refuse admittance to families with minor children. To maintain the exemption, at least 80 percent of the rentals in the park must have at least one occupant who is 55 or older. Some parks will go even further and impose the age requirement on everyone occupying the home.
If you’re thinking about building a 55+ community, then you need to know what prospective tenants are looking for. Here are some of the features you’ll want to consider:
For your sake and your tenants’, consider installing gated security and hiring a security team. While many seniors will take the initiative to get to know each other and look out for each other, you can also establish a neighborhood watch program. Some parks restrict vehicle access, so residents are free to walk or ride their golf carts without fear of being run over.
Because your tenants are more likely to have serious health problems, it’s a good idea to have protocols in place in case of emergencies. First aid kits and emergency equipment should be on-hand. Additionally, consider establishing procedures for neighborhood concerns. For example, if a resident gets lost, it’s helpful if other residents know how to handle the situation.
While the mobile home is usually the concern of the tenant or a third-party who rents it out, you’ll want to make sure all the lots have ample space for wheelchair ramps. Any common areas or facilities should also be handicap accessible.
Activities and entertainment for seniors
Though your park may not be able to boast an 18-hole golf course, you can offer residents a variety of activities to occupy their time. One 55+ community in Napa Valley lists bingo, aqua aerobics, and horseshoes as activities for its residences. Retirees might also appreciate conveniences like a clubhouse, mini market, or a shuttle to nearby places.
More mobile home park communities…
A 55+ mobile home community is a stable investment. Most of your tenants will be on a fixed income. Once they move in, they’ll probably want to stay put for as long as they can. If you’re still not sure if this is the right community development for you, there are plenty of other options. Stay tuned for the next part of our series, Family Parks.