Planned neighborhoods replace yesterday’s trailer parks

planned2Turning onto the street, you see brick patios, decks, stone and brick exteriors, biking and walking paths, and golf courses. There’s a luxurious clubhouse surrounded by a pool, tennis courts and a playground area. Sound like an upscale, suburban subdivision or condominium community? Maybe. Or, it could be a new manufactured home community.

That’s what is being developed for manufactured homes purchased today. Residents pay a monthly lot rental fee, which often covers services such as sewers, water, roads, garbage pick-up and snow removal. Lawns and gardens are usually cared for by the homeowner. Most communities now feature recreation areas and open spaces. Everything possible is done to promote the image of a subdivision instead of a “park.”

Community developers relate the term “park” back to the days of trailers and mobile homes that needed a place to be “parked” when not in transit. Today, less than five percent of manufactured homes are ever moved from their original site.

Home placement and lot sizes are also changing. More sites are designed for traditional home frontage: the front elevation of the home, rather than the side, faces the street. In several cases, site development accommodates an attached or detached garage. Communities have fewer homes per acre then in the past 30 years. According to a University of Michigan study, parks averaged 8-12 home sites per acre in the 1960s. In the late 1980s, manufactured home communities averaged 4-6 homes per acre and that figure is getting smaller. With multi-section homes accounting for 67 percent of Ohio sales in 2002, demand for larger sites is increasing. However, demographics do affect demand: young families with children prefer a larger yard, while retirees prefer to care for a smaller lot. Whatever homeowners desire, today’s communities have a lot to offer.

For more information about manufactured homes, visit our web site at or contact the Ohio Manufactured Homes Association, 201 Bradenton Avenue, Suite 100, Dublin, Ohio, 43017-3540; 614.799.2340.

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