Hi, kind of messed up the last post...must have hit a button to post before I finished a thought...anyway, point is that if we live 9 months or more in central Florida, we would buy a used, not a new double wide. Used hold value pretty well...a 1995 in good shape will sell for about the same as a 1999. We would look for a resident owned park. They are rare but worth the effort as monthly costs usually are lower, but original price is higher because you by the land. also, taxes are higher. You also own part of the whole park, like a condo, and decisions are made by owners...
I know of parks owned by the landlord that went from $250 to $500/month in 4 years...
We researched a lot of brands and there are about 3 that seem to have the best record of construction and safety. In Florida the big ones are Palm Harbor, Homes of Merit, and Jacobson. A good used one of these, especially first two will be a little more expensive, but the reputation is good.
As for the question about renting...we rent in Central Florida, very close to Disney World and have been able to find great owners direct through sites like ..VRBOŽ is Vacation Rentals by OwnerŽ Vacation Homes Rentals by Owner
who are willing to rent to us for 3 months despite the fact that the home is set up for weekly rentals to Disney area. We pay about $1600/month for a 4 bedroom fully furnished home with heated pool...all utilities included.
Hope that helps...Ted