Leased vs. Deeded Land Florida Manufactured Homes

The Florida leased land Manufactured Home arrangement allows you to own your own home for true privacy and independence while keeping your hard earned 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 country setting only minutes from shopping and medical service and area attractions. Learn more about leasing versus buying in the article Benefits of leased land.

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 in a leased land Community that you now qualify for a $25,000.00 tangible tax exemption on and keep your funds available for discretionary or emergency purposes. 

Alot of general public 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, Home Owners Association fees and maintenance 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 lot you own 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 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?  Are there high Association dues?  How often are maintenance accessments due and what is an average of those costs? 

Also consider who pays for maintenance, trash pickup, street lights, tree and shrub trimming, and rubbish removal?   Are you going to pay for that?  Are there effective community standards, pet and noise restrictions and security patrols? Is the Community gated?  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 just like so many others! 

The Thompson Team Leased Land vs Deeded Land Cost Comparison Chart table should help you get an idea in real numbers of actual fees vs. outlay of your cold hard cash over a ten year period. 

The bottom line is leasing will save you money, 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. 

What are the assurances that your leased land lot Community owner will not sell the leased land Community to someone else? 

Creating and managing Land-Lease Communities is the history of the Communities The Thompson Team will intorduce you to.  There goal is and has been to maintain ownership as a long-term investment - not buying and selling properties.

 What is lot rent, base rent, special use fees and user fees and what is the difference? 

"Rent" generally has a somewhat different meaning when used in connection with the rental of a manufactured home lot in a leased land communtiy than its more popular meaning or when used in connection with apartment rentals. 

"Lot rental amount" is defined as "all financial obligations, except user fees which are required as a condition of the tenancy."   Fla. Stat. 723.003(3).  Lot rental amount includes base rent, pass on charges, pass thru charges, late fees, pet fees, ect.  Section 23.031(3).  Florida Statutes states that the homeowner shall have no financial obligations to the Community owner as a condition of occupancy, except the lot rental amount. 

“Base rent” is a term commonly used in communities to represent the rent paid for use of the lot and related facilities. Base rent excludes special use fees, governmental and utility charges, and pass-through or pass-on charges, which are often stated seperately. Base rent   generally excludes fees that may not apply to everyone equally, such as pet fees and late fees, which are often identified as special use fees.

Special use fees are, as their name indicates, only charged under certain conditions. Certain fees, such as a fee charged when a check is returned for insufficient funds, apply only under specific circumstances and is not charged to all residents at the same time. Other fees imposed by governments, such as taxes or special assessments and utility charges, are outside the control of the community owner and may be stated and collected sperate from the “base rent” (so long as it is disclosed in the prospectus.) These charges are, however, part of the total financial obligations of the resident to the park owner and are included in the “lot rental amount." 

Section 723.012 sets forth the disclosures regarding increases in the lot rental amount that must be included in a prospectus in more detail, including in pertinent part:  An explanation of the manner in which the lot rental amount will be raised, including but not limited to water, sewer, waste disposal, lawn care, maintenance costs, and any other fees, costs, and/or charges to which the mobile home owner may be subjected. 

Although this varies somewhat by the particular amenities and services available in each community, the lot rent fee in most Communties includes water, sewer, waste collection, recycling, street lighting, maintenance of all common areas, including roads, free use of recreational facilities and lawn mowings. 

Does the monthly lease fee change and by how much?

Yes, the monthly fee generally increases annually in small increments. You would be hard pressed to find a community that does not have annual increases. All Communities aim to keep increases limited to the amount necessary to maintain community standards and services that residents want and expect. Communities strive to keep  lease fees in pace with the market, which has helped departing residents realize resale values substancially above market prices.

 What are fee increases based on?

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.
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.

Is there a cap on increases?

Yes, there is a cap on lease fee changes. This is goverened by the State and as a rule if mimimum wage or social security go up a certain percentage, then your lot rent generally will go up by that same percentage.  The Communities The Thompson Team will show you have kept their lease fees in pace with that of comparable Communities to keep current and incoming 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.

Can our grandchildren stay and visit with us?

Yes, there are 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 30 days without Management approval. Many grandparents say "We love to see our grandchildren come and love to see them go home as well." - a benefit of  "55 and over" communities.

Are  rules actually enforced?

Yes. 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 years in Florida, and input from past and present residents. It's the Communities obligation to you to ensure that they are enforced.

Are house pets allowed?

Yes, in most cases.  Communities recognize that to many people, an animal companion is a loyal and needed friend. In most all communities, small dogs or cats are permitted inside the home.

How do we sell our home if we need or want to?

You may sell your home independently, or hopefully by contacting Central Florida Manufactured Home Sales, The Thompson Team via our website or by phone at 863-221-5664.  Most departing residents choose us to sell their home because  we do specialize in Manufactured Homes in Florida's Polk County leased land Communities.  

Pamela Shilling Thompson
Pamela Shilling Thompson
Central Florida LAKE WALES FL 33859