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Checking an area before moving there -
Old 01-10-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
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Checking an area before moving there -

Moving when one retires has been discussed in different threads, and I have an idea I would like other's brutal assessments comments on.

I'm about to be 54.

I notice lots of homes, mfg. homes, and mobile homes in 55+ communities in the Florida area I'm interested in. Cheap. REEEELY cheap.

What would Floridians say to the idea I buy one as a 'disposa-home'? I could live there on vacations, visit in the winter, etc, but I wouldn't be thinking of it as "the house."

What would be the things to watch out for?


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Old 01-10-2009, 09:50 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what the Floridians will say, but I'd strongly advise you to spring for the optional roll bars...
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Old 01-10-2009, 09:52 PM   #3
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That was quick

(I wouldn't plan to be there in hurricane season ... don't want to do a Dorothy, no, no!)

ta,
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:01 PM   #4
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So they do not have the Winter Texan version of the park model in Florida??

Back in the day (1989 - so I'm old) a lot of RV parks in the Rio Grand valley(aka Brownsville to McAllen) had a 'park' section for 'born again Texans' - from er ah like Iowa). They were well built/insulated for the climate and there was an active buy/sell market for those that decided they really liked snow after all. They were roughly 1/2 ? the sq ft of a full size mobile home - but seemed better built.

heh heh heh - couldn't get her interested in Tx at the time after New Orleans. . Plus the RV park would kinda look after them in the off season - I'm sure for a modest fee.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:22 PM   #5
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Watch for the lot rent and association fees. My FIL lived in one of these. We sold it for something like $6000-$8000 when he died, furnished, and the lot rent went up substantially after he died.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:52 AM   #6
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What would be the things to watch out for?


ta,
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1- Sleezy neighborhoods
2- Ever increasing Park rent
3- Your roof flying by when a tropical storm hits
4- Crazy Homeowners associations
5-Lack of privacy
6- Age of other residents ( They tend to attract the real senior citizens )
7- Whether you can get homeowner's insurance for a reasonable price



There are some very nice developments and there are some crummy ones . To get in a decent one you are looking at more than dirt cheap depending on the area with all the condos on sale I'd go with that rather than a mobile home .
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Old 01-11-2009, 09:01 AM   #7
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1- Sleezy neighborhoods
2- Ever increasing Park rent
3- Your roof flying by when a tropical storm hits
4- Crazy Homeowners associations
5-Lack of privacy
6- Age of other residents ( They tend to attract the real senior citizens )
7- Whether you can get homeowner's insurance for a reasonable price



There are some very nice developments and there are some crummy ones . To get in a decent one you are looking at more than dirt cheap depending on the area with all the condos on sale I'd go with that rather than a mobile home .
I agree with the idea of a condo. In addition to the 7 disadvantages listed above, manufactured homes tend to depreciate rapidly, especially new ones. Having owned (and taken a bath) on one, I speak from experience.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:18 AM   #8
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Watch out for your intoxicated gun toting neighbors. I live in St Augustine Florida. All the problems seemed to be confined around the mobile and manufactured home areas. At least the blue collar crime does. Affluent people do not want them in their neighborhoods so they get banished to the poorer areas. There are some exceptions but not many I have seen in my house hunting travels.

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Old 01-12-2009, 11:34 AM   #9
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Watch out for your intoxicated gun toting neighbors.
Agreed, but there is a way to learn about that ahead of time. Call the police and ask them. Speak to several individual officers who actually work in that area and ask them "Would you be comfortable with your mother/sister/daughter living there?"

Hint: It's a good sign if they don't know where it is. That means they never get called there.

Most of the larger departments also have at least one person whose sole job it to track the crime statistics for that jurisdiction. He/she would also be a good person to talk to.

You can also get crime statistics for a zip code from the FBI's web site, but neighborhoods vary wildly and three blocks can make all the difference in the world. That's why I favor talking to the locals.
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
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I have seen upscale motor home parks with a few manufactured "park model" homes on them that looked OK, esp when those homes are just a small proportion of the park. But the places which are mostly mobile or manufactured homes are, well, interesting places from the looks of things.

Watch your step with those places. I think it's a risky idea.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:47 PM   #11
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I see no need to rush to buy now. That RE is not going to rebound quickly. Just after a hurricane misses an area that you have already checked, buy then. That will be in the heat of summer, not during the high season.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:52 PM   #12
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I agree with the idea of a condo. In addition to the 7 disadvantages listed above, manufactured homes tend to depreciate rapidly, especially new ones. Having owned (and taken a bath) on one, I speak from experience.
I would not buy a cheap condo either - for the same reasons listed above. I would only buy a condo that was the same price or more than a SFH in the same area. Owners, therefore, are there because they want to live in a condo, not because they cannot afford anything else.

In a cheap condo, more than likely, you'll find crazy, noisy neighbors who call the police on each other all the time, shoddy, sometimes old, construction requiring frequent increases in common charges and special assessments. Smaller complexes + not so bright owners = potential for thievery by board members and property managers. This is a LBYM experience where you may just have outsmarted yourself. Been there, done that.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:41 PM   #13
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I would not buy a cheap condo either - for the same reasons listed above. I would only buy a condo that was the same price or more than a SFH in the same area.

The thing of it is right now in Florida there is a glut of condos so you can find a well built inexpensive condo pretty easily . When the real estate was peeking a lot of Realtors bought condos to flip and are now unloading then to survive .
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:34 AM   #14
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Good to avoid the white trash (of which Florida has an abundance, as well as other hues )... one suggestion, I have seen it done by relatives of a friend, is that you can do trial stays (vacations if you will) at the retirement communities. I'm not sure, but I think if you bought at one of the 55+ communities, you will avoid a lot of the "trailer trash" problems.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:13 AM   #15
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I'm not sure, but I think if you bought at one of the 55+ communities, you will avoid a lot of the "trailer trash" problems.

You would avoid the trailer trash but you would have tons of people with nothing better to do then watch what you are doing especially if you are single .
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #16
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The thing of it is right now in Florida there is a glut of condos so you can find a well built inexpensive condo pretty easily . When the real estate was peeking a lot of Realtors bought condos to flip and are now unloading then to survive .
The problem with inexpensive is that lots of other people who can't afford anything else will be attracted, those referred to in earlier posts as trailer trash, not-so-bright, crazy, noisy, sleezy, etc. I'm in the northeast and I'm seeing new expensive condos all over the place that are not selling and they are not being reduced in price. I saw this happen in the late '80s - the developers wait and wait and then are forced to auction off the units and people buy in for 10 cents on the dollar. You get enough of those folks buying in, they eventually get on the board of directors, and you can see where that gets you.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:47 PM   #17
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You would avoid the trailer trash but you would have tons of people with nothing better to do then watch what you are doing especially if you are single .
Ah! So that's what those folks in adult community spend their day doing. Men to ogle the single chicks, and the wives to watch their husbands.
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:49 PM   #18
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Ah! So that's what those folks in adult community spend their day doing. Men to ogle the single chicks, and the wives to watch their husbands.

Absolutely , I lived in an older community and the most fun they had was watching who I was dating . At least it got them away from their medical woes for awhile .
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