About Leased Land

The land lease arrangement allows you to own your own home for true privacy and independence while keeping the funds normally spent on the land purchase available for discretionary or emergency purposes. In addition, you have the assurance that community standards will be carefully maintained, you can enjoy the community social and recreational amenities, and you will live in a beautiful setting only minutes from shopping and medical service and area attractions. 

As you reach your retirement years, typically your income is reduced from your peak earning period, and you must seriously consider methods of using your assets to your best advantage.
Whether your money is from a nest egg saved over the years, or profit from wise investments or the sale of your long-time home, is it in your best interest to tie up a substantial portion of it in the purchase of land?

Consider your options. One is to commit a large amount to the purchase of land - an arrangement whose primary beneficiary is the developer. The other is to purchase a less labor-intensive home on leased land that you now qualify for a $25,000 tangible tax home exemption on and keep your funds available for discretionary or emergency purposes.
Some Realtor's and builders still push land purchase, claiming land ownership frees you from additional financial obligations. However, this is not the complete story. Land ownership is an expensive way to live due to high property taxes, maintenance fees and Home owners association fees. In addition, it ties up your funds - money you can utilize only by selling the land or taking out an additional mortgage (and paying substantial interest to use money that was already yours.)

When you're considering a purchase vs. a leased developed lot, look at the entire picture - financial, lifestyle and the business relationship. Be sure you get clear, concise answers to important questions. Are all utilities installed? Are there sewer and water impact fees? What landscaping and plantings are included? Are there parking areas and are they paved?  Is there storage for my RV?  Are there activities for both me and my kids if I have a family?   Is there a monthly maintenance/association fee? Is the association run by nosey neighbors or professionals? Are there additional amenities and recreational facilities, and who maintains and pays for them?Also consider who pays for maintenance such as the clubhouse and pools, trash pickup, street lights, street paving,  tree and shrub trimming, and rubbish removal? Are there effective community standards, pet and noise restrictions and security patrols? And will there be professional management on site to help you in the future?

Property ownership is important to some people. Others enjoy the lifestyle advantages offered by a land lease community with protective standards. Evaluate both options. In the end, we hope you regard our 
Florida Leased Land Communities as a worthy alternative.  Figure in real numbers of communities actual fees vs. outlay of your cold hard cash over a ten year period.
The bottom line is leasing at communities will save you money, it gives you more security, and you have use of your money any time you need it. One final thought' The developer of a leased lot community has the responsibility to fund the community's repairs and maintenance forever. In an owned lot community, the developer will transfer the operational and maintenance responsibilities to the lot owners once the community is built out.
Creating and managing Land-Lease Communities is the communities only business, and history has been to maintain ownership as a long-term investment - not buying and selling properties. This is demonstrated clearly as 98% of clients we work with have already done the research and that 98% of client want and do purchase leased land!  Monthly cost do vary somewhat by the particular amenities and services available in each community.   The fee generally covers leasing the homesite, water, sewer, waste collection, recycling, street lighting, maintenance of all common areas, including roads, free use of recreational facilities and lawn mowings.  It also includes the many amenities of the communities'.the clubhouses, pools, spas,  billard rooms, exercise rooms, bingo, shuffleboard, playgrounds in family communities, RV storage, lakes, canals.  Yes, the monthly fee generally increases annually in small increments not over 10% per year as goverened by the state.  Normally just a few dollars per year.  You would be hard pressed to find a community that does not have annual increases. They aim to keep increases limited to the amount necessary to maintain community standards and services that the residents want and expect. They strive to keep  lease fees in pace with the market, which has helped departing residents realize resale values substancially above market prices.  Although it can vary from year to year, generally an increase can be based on any or all of the following:
Rents in comparable communities.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Controllable costs such as maintenance and payroll
Hard-to-control costs such as utility charges, land taxes, rubbish costs and insurance expenses.

By law, residents receive a letter each year informing them what the increase for that year was based on.  There is a cap on lease fee changes. That fee is 5-10% per year.  However, it is goverened as  mentioned and communities don't want unhappy residents so they keep it as low as possible to keep residents happy, and provide good resale values for residents if and when they decide to relocate, or thier famlies in the event of your passing.  Happy residents also mean referrals and that is what communities want!  They want to grow!  Most communities also have no restrictions on guests other than they are required to abide by the same rules as the residents and they can not stay longer than the perspectus of the community states. Many grandparents say "We love to see our grandchildren come and love to see them go home as well." - a benefit of our "55 and over" communities.  Many residents move to communities because of community standards and the stability the rules create within the community environment. These standards were written based on  experience managing manufactured home communities for over 30 years in 
Florida, and input from past and present residents. It's the community Managers obligation to you to ensure that they are enforced. Also recognizing  that to many people, an animal companion is a loyal and needed friend. In most communities, dogs or cats are permitted.  You may also sell your home independently, or through an agent. A lot of residents and departing residents choose us to sell their home because this is what we do for a living and what we specialize in. In the case of an estate, the inheritor(s) may move into the home provided they meet all the applicable entry requirements or sell the home to another qualified party.
Pamela Shilling Thompson
Pamela Shilling Thompson
Central Florida LAKE WALES FL 33859