| Private Property or a Land-Lease Community?|
Fri 05/28/04 10:11:35 pm
Chrissy Jackson Archives
As an owner of a manufactured home, it's inevitable that sooner or later, you will consider the answer to that question. What should you consider if you think you want to live in a land-lease community and pay rent every month? Why should you know if you want to buy private property? With zoning easing up in most areas of the United States, and attractive finance rates for land/home packages, you may be at a loss as to the best choice for you - both in the immediate future as well as long term.
This article will help you weigh the benefits of both, then make the decision based on the areas of greatest importance to you.
- Guidelines - Communities have Guidelines (formerly called rules and regulations) which set parameters for acceptable behavior in close quarters. Private property has none. Your neighbor in private property can blast their stereo in the afternoon and early evening, let their grass grow a foot tall, and your options for help are about nil to nothing. In a community, the manager is on hand to take control and enforce the Guidelines.
- Amenities - Communities generally offer some type of amenities: pool, playground, clubhouse, street lights, paved driveways, tennis courts, shuffleboard, planned activities, and/or professional management. Private property usually comes with none of the above unless the owner installs them at his expense, or unless the private property is located in a subdivision.
- Real Estate Taxes - In a land-lease community, the resident's share of the real estate taxes are included in the monthly rental payments. On private property, they must be paid separately.
- Personal Property Taxes - Generally speaking, personal property taxes are lower in a manufactured home community than they are on private property. However, because schools can impact tax rates significantly, know for sure where the specific community you are considering stands on this issue before assuming a lower rate as a benefit.
- Resident Screening - In a community, there generally is a resident screening process. Private property requires only that the applicant qualify for a bank loan, or pay cash. As the owner of private property, you never know who might move in beside you. In a community, you can rest assured that your neighbors had to meet the same financial criteria, employment verification, landlord reference checks, and sometimes even criminal checks, that you did.
- Utilities - The provision and maintenance of the infrastructure which provides utility service to residents is the responsibility of the community owner. This may or may not include a well, septic tank system, lift station, or waste water treatment plant. On private property, if the sump pump in the well goes out, it is the home owner who has to fork out the money to have it repaired.