If you’re looking to move, then you’ve probably chosen what type of housing you’ll end up in. Will it be an apartment, a townhome? A stick-built residence, a condo? This decision usually comes down to what you can afford in your area. Apartment living is definitely the most well known affordable housing option, with over 50 million Americans renting apartments (nmhc.org). But there are more affordable, more spacious alternatives.
20 million Americans live in manufactured homes (US census), with more and more making the move each year. They’re in the minority compared to apartment dwellers, but we think they know something that other people don’t. If you’re on the market for a new place to live, and you’re considering renting an apartment, read on to understand why so many Americans are making the switch from apartments to manufactured homes.
When you pay rent to live in an apartment each month, you’re putting money towards something that you don’t own. Renting seems like the most affordable option at first, but how much of your money are you giving away? When you pay rent, you’ll never see that money again.
But did you know you could purchase a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom manufactured home for a similar cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment? Plus, you can build equity on those monthly payments, without the huge expenses associated with buying a stick-built home. When you buy a manufactured home in a land-lease community, you own the home you live in: which means if you ever want to sell it, you can see some money back from those payments you make every month.
Plus, buying or renting manufactured homes are often as affordable or more affordable than renting apartments in certain areas. So even if you’re not ready to buy a manufactured home, you can save money by renting a manufactured home in a land-lease community, instead of renting a unit in an apartment.
When your home is your own, you can do what you want with it! In most apartments, you’ll be limited when it comes to personalizing your space: no painting the walls or replacing the hardware. Dream on if you’re not crazy about the kitchen in your apartment, because those cabinets and countertops are there to stay.
When you buy a manufactured home, you’re free to customize the home’s interior however you’d like before you even move in. Many land-lease communities have lots available for brand new, made-to-order manufactured homes, which means you can design the home to look just how you want it to.
Speaking of freedom, remember the person who lived in the apartment next to you who always complained about noise? When you’re not sharing walls, you’re free to do what you want, when you want: crank up the volume on your TV, have guests over late, or even play your drum kit in the early hours before work… There’s no one on the other side of the wall to hear you.
Which brings us to: privacy. When your property is truly your own, that privacy goes both ways. Not only will your neighbors not have to hear what you’re up to, but also you won’t have to hear them. No more upstairs neighbor doing burpees and jumping jacks while you’re trying to relax.
Not to mention, at an apartment complex, outside amenities are shared fully amongst residents. If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony, chances are it’s immediately next to, above, or below someone else’s. When you own or rent a manufactured home in a land-lease community, you’ll have a lot all to yourself: so get outside and enjoy your yard without having to cross paths with the neighbors unless they’re invited.
If you’ve ever lived in an apartment or duplex without enough dedicated parking spaces, you’re probably all too familiar with how frustrating that can be. Let’s face it: street parking is never ideal. Your car is at risk of getting dinged up on the street, and there’s always a chance you’ll end up having to walk a block or two (or more) just to get to your home from your car.
At a land-lease community, you’ll have your own driveway, which means you’ll always have spots for you and your guests.
And all that extra space isn’t just for your car. In many cases, your options for manufactured housing will be more affordable and more spacious, especially in urban areas where apartments tend to be tinier and more expensive. Most new manufactured homes come with laundry rooms, walk-in closets, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and open floor plans that give you and your cohabitants space to breathe. Storage is no issue, with plenty of cabinet and closet space inside of the home. Plus, outside most homes come with storage sheds for your tools, bikes and lawn furniture.
Don’t need 3 bedrooms, or a home office? There are smaller manufactured homes available too, but seriously, consider the possibilities of an extra room. It’s a space where your dreams can live. Take up crafting in it. Lay down a mat and throw in some affordable exercise equipment for a home gym. Make it a game room for the kids so their toy mess no longer lives in the living room, or stock it with a bar and a mini fridge for the adults. The possibilities are endless.
“But what about my amenities?” You might say. Nicer apartment complexes sometimes come with fitness centers, recreation areas, a pool, on-site maintenance or clubhouses, and we can understand how those can be hard to give up. The good news is that many manufactured home land-lease communities have those amenities, too.
And aside from just having the impersonal addition of a shared gym or a basketball court, living in a land-lease situation often fosters a strong sense of community amongst residents. Enjoy the perks of living in a neighborhood with regular events like move nights, summer lunch programs for the kids and holiday get-togethers.
What’s more, at every UMH community, UMH understands the importance of investing back in its residents. Our communities set aside budget each year for community upgrades and additions, because we know that our neighborhoods are stronger when we grow and build something together.
Some apartments are modern, new and updated! Usually, those are the expensive ones. Chances are if you’re renting an affordable apartment, it came with a history of countless previous tenants. Many apartments have outdated appliances and fixtures, or worse, old carpet.
If you could have an updated, never-before-lived-in home for the same cost or less, why wouldn’t you? Imagine waking up in the morning and picking out your clothes in your huge walk-in closet, coming home after work and walking across your shiny wood laminate floors, cooking dinner with your brand new energy-certified kitchen appliances, and taking a soak in your porcelain-white garden tub. Everything looks new, smells new, feels new.
Like home manufacturer Clayton says in their video, with your “beautiful, affordable slice of the world to call your own,” you could truly have it made.
It’s time to ditch the shared walls for green grass and privacy. You can have the lifestyle and the home that you’ve dreamt of, without taking on the burden of an expensive land purchase.
To start designing your picture-perfect dream home, visit UMHSalesCenter.com, and find a land-lease community near you with UMH’s community finder. It’s time to create a home to call your own: one with more space, more privacy, and more amenities than the apartment options you’ve been considering.