Welcome to the first Wordage Wednesday! In this series, we’ll be focusing on various terms and lingo commonly used by people in the manufactured home (also known as mobile home) industry. Our objective is to help you out with these weird words, that way you’ll quickly understand more of what’s happening and how different things can affect you. Understanding these words will make your life easier.
With nothing else to add, let’s begin!
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency defines a manufactured home community as “a parcel (or continuous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale.” It’s important to note that this is private land. Often, communities that lease the land restrict which residents live inside them, be it by family status or by age. Some of the more common restrictions are families only, seniors only, or adults only.
FEMA’s website then goes on to detail certain distinctions.
The difference between a new manufactured home community and an existing manufactured home community is that the new one has yet to receive the services that manufactured home communities get. This not only includes utilities, but the construction of streets and other odds and ends. The point of reference for when it’s considered old or new is the date in which floodplain management regulations are adopted, as these are an important consideration.
Expansions to manufactured home communities are also defined by FEMA, and this just means new sites are being prepared for manufactured homes.
Is that the right word?
Even though the article is titled “Manufactured Home Community”, odds are that’s not the only words you’ve heard used for them. Some of these other terms include “manufactured home developments”, “own-your-own parks”, “mobile home estates”, “mobile home parks”, “manufactured home parks”, and “trailer parks”.
The last term of the previous list, “trailer parks”, is seen with a negative connotation in America. This gives off the image of “trailer trash”, and of people who are seen as inferior because they live in manufactured home communities. Even though there have been huge changes and advancements in manufactured home communities and in the manufactured home industry, these kinds of residences are still associated with a negative stereotype.
This issue is not recent but has existed throughout the country’s history. Most “trailer parks” were usually seen under a bad light by civil servants. Many of them would hear complaints in an area and then ignore them. This was usually justified because the people living in manufactured homes were “trailer trash”, and as such were the ones who caused the problems themselves. This helped problems propagate with ease. If there wasn’t an occasional check-up in the area, no one could help it improve.
Later on, in a time of growth for mobile home parks, various cities would restrict them to the outskirts of town and to industrial areas. Not only this, but most cities would prevent manufactured homes from being installed on city lots. This forced people in these homes to live in exterior areas.
Negative perception has also been helped in recent years by the creation of emergency trailer parks. These were made by FEMA after Hurricane Katrina, in order to relocate the displaced victims. These manufactured homes were usually made of shoddy quality, which created another negative association.
Thankfully this stereotype has begun to disappear, thanks to advancements in manufactured homes and an improvement in legal standards. Manufactured home communities have become a more viable alternative and a growing amount of middle-class Americans are living in them. Other changes in legislation, like the manufactured home HUD laws, have also helped out.
Also, there are certain parts of the U.S. for which manufactured homes don’t have a negative stereotype associated, for example, Michigan. Another state that has helped improve the overall perception of mobile home parks is Florida, where there are many upscale retirement manufactured home communities.
Manufactured home communities outside the U.S.
In Europe, manufactured home communities are less common than they are in the U.S. and don’t have the same stereotypes associated with them.
Some manufactured home communities in Europe, in particular, Spain and Germany, have a similar characterization to American ones in the fact they’re located near urban centers. A key difference is that these people are usually related to an ethnic group, like Romani people or Irish travelers, and don’t live there due to economic reasons.
Certain European countries allow people to establish long-term living in RV parks. The specificity varies by country. For example, some allow people to grow a garden or to even use the place as their address, while others do not. These same caravan parks sometimes have additional spaces reserved for manufactured homes.
A long story
It’s quite clear that manufactured home communities have had quite a long history in the U.S. Still, it’s currently a growing market and many people are looking to sell their manufactured homes in order to take advantages of the features in the newer models. If you’re one of those people, you should consider calling Land Home Buyer. We’re manufactured home experts and you won’t have to worry about any Realtor fees. Call 1-866-652-5263 now to get a quick cash offer on your manufactured home with land.