Manufactured Housing vs. Apartments

Many people who’ve decided not to invest in a site-built home believe their choices are limited to renting a home or living in an apartment.  Not so!  Consider purchasing a manufactured home – either new or pre-loved.  There are so many benefits to living in a manufactured home it will be hard to list them all, but we’ll try: 

  • Parking – Each resident receives two designated spots right outside of their home
  • Your home! – Manufactured homes have many upgraded amenities you won’t find in an apartment.  Homes boast larger living areas, utility areas with a washer and dryer (no more laundromat – Yeah!), dishwashers, upgraded appliances, larger kitchens with more storage and countertop space, etc. 
  • Community Guidelines – Our communities have common sense guidelines to be followed by all residents to ensure a peaceful, safe atmosphere. 
  • Your own yard – Plant flowers, put up a swingset for your kids, have picnics outside, curl up on your deck with a good book, barbeque, etc.  You can’t do these things in an apartment!  
  • Professional Management - In the unlikely event you have any issue with your site, neighbors, the facilities, etc., we have professional managment on staff to assist you.
  • 24-Hour Maintenance – Our maintenance staff is on call 24 hours a day, so if there is an emergency or a utility failure, we’ll be on scene within minutes.     
  • Networking – We are a neighborhood where people help people.  We have lists of other residents willing to babysit, cut grass, shovel snow, etc.
  • Neighbors – Many residents are good friends with their neighbors – they watch out for each other, enjoy cookouts, and share errands or domestic chores.  Of course, you always have the option of remaining anonymous!
  • Equity – By making reasonable monthly installment payments on your home, you will build equity and have something to show for your hard work, instead of making your landlord rich.   

These are among the many advantages to owning a manufactured home.  If you haven’t seen one lately, you haven’t seen one!   Please come visit our community and we’ll be glad to bring you up to speed on the option you may not have considered!

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Purchasing a Used Mobile Home – Checking the Interior

We’ve made an inspection of the home’s exterior and reviewed any possible electrical issues and we’re still loving this home!  Now what do we look for?  Regarding the interior, be sure to check out the following:

1.  Check to make sure the floor feels solid around the windows, toilets, kitchen sink, tubs, and the water heater compartment.  If there has been unrepaired leakage, the floors will feel soft and spongy.  It’s not rocket science to fix, but make sure the leak has been fixed to your satisfaction!    Also – check underneath the kitchen and bathroom sinks for evidence of water line or sewer trap leakage. 

2.  Look up!  Check the ceiling for water stains, cracks, etc.   

3.  Check the water heater – if it’s gas, be sure it has a sticker stating it’s ” for manufactured  home use only”.    

4.   Check all sinks and tubs for cracks.  Is the caulking around the sink, tubs and tub enclosures adequate?  What about backsplashes – are they present and caulked properly? 

5.  Check the faucets – run the water and open the cabinet doors under the kitchen and bath sinks to be sure there isn’t water leaking and/or spraying. 

6.  Check all of the appliances!  For the refrigerator, is it clean and if plugged in, does it feel cold?  Check the freezer – is it freezing?  Does the unit have an ice cube maker?  If not, can you live with that?  If it’s not plugged in, plug it in when you first arrive (providing the electricity’s on), and check it before you leave – then unplug it.  Can you find a sticker letting you know the age of the unit?  They’re not cheap, so if it’s up in years, that may be an additional expense in your not too distant future!

Be sure the water heater is present, rated for a manufactured home if it’s gas, and doesn’t have any apparent leakage.  Check the age, too.

Regarding the furnace, check the service record (which should be on a sticker on the unit itself) and take a look at the cleanliness of the unit.  Do you see merely dust bunnies or a filter that hasn’t been changed since you were in kindergarten?  Verify the age of the unit - is it the original?  Run the furnace if you can to check its operation.  If there’s a central a/c, run that, too! 

As for the stove, is it gas or electric, and can you live with whichever it is?  If you want to switch from one to the other, is the piping to do so present?  Is the unit clean?  Turn the unit on (if the gas or electric is turned on) to see if it heats up – then turn it off once you’ve satisfied yourself it works.  Does it have a window and timer?  Are all the racks inside present?  We often don’t think of these things until it’s time to cook your first pizza.   

7.  Look for the original manufacturer’s sticker, which is usually inside the breaker box, in newer homes or a kitchen cabinet or closet in older homes.  This will verify the year, make, model, and serial number of the home. 

8.  Check the bath exhaust fans – do they work?

9.  Take a good look at the windows – are there storms and screens for all of them?  Are there any cracked windows?  Are there “sealed, insulated” windows with condensation in between?   Hint – if there is condensation, the window’s seal has been compromised.   Check the operation of the windows – are they sliders, or the crank type?  How easy will they be to clean? 

10.  What is the overall cleanliness of the home?  Are there pet odors?  Do you seen any evidence of insect activity? 

11.  Check the floor for squeaks.  These can be fixed, but you should make a note of it. 

Our last entry will involve plumbing issues to look out for.  If the house you’re considering purchasing passes all of the above tests, or you’re willing to deal with any shortcomings, you should be starting to feel pretty good about it! 


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Used Mobile Homes – Maintenance Items to Check / Electrical

You’ve inspected the exterior of the home and the home site and - so far, so good.  Now we move inside and we recommend you look at the following electrical items: 

1.  Are there GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) outlets present and operable in areas near water sources, such as the kitchen and bathroom?    

2.  Check each electrical outlet throughout the home to determine operation, and check all light switches.  You may want to bring a nightlight or something small that plugs in to  immediately determine if an outlet works.   

3.  Pull off the electrical panel and check to see there is no more than one wire to each breaker.  Verify there are no illegal electrical taps (such as the air conditioner feeding off of the house’s main breaker).  

Stay tuned – we will discuss other interior concerns in the days to come.


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Illinois Mobile Home Parks

Maintenance Items to Consider When Purchasing a Used Manufactured Home (Mobile Home) – Home Site and Home Exterior

You’ve done your homework and decided what type of home you need – the size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the floor plan, etc. and you’ve found a home you’re interested in.  Sure, it’s pretty, has what you need, etc., but that “sold as shown without warranty” clause is making you nervous – you don’t want any surprises.  I’ll present a series of articles addressing things we recommend you look for before signing on the dotted line – starting with the exterior of the home. 

1.  Inspect the home site – check the patio, driveway, and sidewalk (where applicable).  Are the surfaces in good condition and even so that there are no trip hazards?  

2.  Check the drainage on the site – are there areas that pool after a rain?  If so, they will pool during the winter too, causing patches of dangerous ice if you’re in a seasonal climate. 

3.  Verify the parking area so that you know exactly what space you have available – is it sufficient and safe?       

4.  Drive by at night and check out the street lights – is the lighting adequate?  What’s the neighborhood like at night and on the weekends – quite and peaceful, or party city? 

5.  Check the perimeter of the skirting – is it tight to the ground all the way around?  If not, animals can access the area underneath the home.

6.  Look underneath the home – check for cracked blocks, and make sure the tie downs are present in sufficient number and installed correctly (these are usually regulated by the local municipality and/ or the state).

7.  If there’s a chance you may want to relocate the home either now or in the future, check for the presence of the axles, tires, and the hitch.  Axles and tires can be installed later, but transportation becomes much more costly. 

8.  Check under the home (the underbelly) to be sure it’s intact – there should be no holes, sags, insulation showing, or evidence of animal activity. 

9.  Verify that the roof is in good condition – for a metal roof, it should be properly seal coated.  A shingled roof should appear flat with no damaged areas – if the shingles are dry rotted and curling, this will cause problems – leakage, interior damage, and the necessity of a new roof – which is big bucks. 

10.  In climates where a heat cable (or heat tape) is required, check that the cabling or tape is wrapped around the water pipe from the water riser (the water pipe connecting the community’s water main to the supply for your home) to your home’s water inlet, which is usually directly below your water heater.  The heat cable or tape should be warm to the touch in temperatures under 38 degrees Fahrenheit.  The main water supply pipe may be not only wrapped with heat tape or cable, but covered with insulated foam pipe wrap for additional protection from the cold.          

Stay tuned for additional articles that will deal with plumbing, electrical, interior and general maintenance items to look for.

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Manufactured Home Living…a Mainstream Option for Reliable Housing

Manufactured Home Living…a Mainstream Option for Reliable Housing

 I’ve been working in management in a manufactured home community for 21 years.  I have a college degree in hospitality management and when I applied to the position of “Property Manager” and later found out it was a “trailer park”, I thought I was far too good to live in such a place.  I had visions of barefoot, half clothed, dirty kids running around unsupervised, cars up on jacks, roosters strutting about, and domestic disturbances aplenty.  Thankfully, I was open minded enough to check it out anyway, and I found I was way off base.

I found a lovely, well maintained community in a great location, helpful staff members, and several new and used homes to look at.  I was shocked when I first entered a “mobile home” as they were called at the time.  It was spacious (way bigger than the crevice I was living in downtown Chicago for three times the money), had awesome amenities such as a washer and dryer (no more laundry in the apartment building dungeon!), a dishwasher, two bathrooms, a sunny kitchen with plenty of cabinetry, and a living room I could actually furnish with more than one thing!  I was also excited about having my own yard – I could grow a garden, plant flowers, and even put up a swing set for my niece if I wanted to!  

I have seen the industry evolve and many homes now include items that homeowners in site built homes wish they had – whirlpool tubs, ceramic tile and backsplashes, sunrooms, built-in storage areas, walk in closets… the list goes on and on.  May I challenge you to open your mind and see what manufactured housing is really like?  It will give you an amazing additional housing option you may not have considered! 



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Illinois Mobile Home Parks – Park City Daily News

Living in a Land Lease Manufactured Home Community vs. Private Property

Issues                                Land Lease Community                      Property

Community Covenants (Rules)                  Yes                                               No

Amenities / Conveniences                           Yes                                              No

Real Estate Taxes                                             No                                        Yes – and High!

Personal Poperty Taxes                            Lower                                          Higher

Resident Screening                                        Yes                                                No

Monthly Cost                                                 Lower                                         Higher

Easier to Purchase                                          Yes                                               No

Security                                                           Better                                         None

Relocation Possible                                       Yes                                                No

Resale                                                               Easier                                         Harder

Maintenance                                                   Less                                            More

Professional Management                           Yes                                           None

Initial Investment                                      Lower                                        Higher

If you never considered living in a manufactured home, think again!  The cost savings, , convenience, and ease of purchase and sale of the home reduce so much stress in your life!  You’ll be saving money, getting your own yard and more square footage than you would in an apartment, have your own designated parking, low maintenance, privacy, and community guidelines that assure you’ll have an enjoyable, safe place to live.      


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Illinois Mobile Home Parks – Park City News

Consider this – you could reside in a 2001 Redman 2 bedroom, 2 bath home in the Gurnee School District for less than $1700 down and $155  per month – only $805 per month total with the site rent.  This beautiful, clean home has a large laundry area with a washer and dryer, lighted ceiling fans, all kitchen appliances including a dishwasher, and plenty of cabinets in the eat-in kitchen.  Come take a look – we’re proud to show you this home!

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Illinois Mobile Home Parks – Park City Daily News

A sturdy, 2 bedroom / 2 bath home with 924 sqare feet of living space in the Gurnee School district is yours for $6,515.00, all inclusive.  This clean, partially furnished home has a washer and dryer, stove and refrigerator, ceiling fans, an eat-in kitchen, linen closet, and walk-in closet in the master bedroom.  Please stop in and take a look at Park City Manufactured Home Community, 3418 Kehm Boulevard, Park City, IL.  If you’d like more information, please phone us at 847-623-7970.

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Illinois Mobile Home Parks – Park City News

Hope After Foreclosure

 Many homeowners have suffered foreclosures due to the deceitful lending practices that took place some years ago.  Banks don’t want to hear tales of woe – they want strong credit, a hefty down payment, and DNA samples these days!  So now what?  These homeowners have resorted to apartment living, or moving in with family members or friends.  Mom always said, “There’s no house big enough for two families!”  Talk about stress!  That’s where we come in…

Manufactured home living is a wonderful alternative for people suffering foreclosures.  The homes are very reasonably priced, and offer most all of the amenities of foundation built housing without many of the accompanying hassles and expenses.  Our residents enjoy their own yard, designated parking, a sense of community, privacy, and peace.  They can get back on their feet financially and provide a safe, comfortable home in the GurneeSchool District for their families. 

If you have suffered a foreclosure and have maintained good credit on accounts other than your mortgage, please contact Park City Manufactured Home Community at (847) 623-7970.   We’ll help get you into a wonderful home you can be proud of – and afford!

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