Letter to the Editor:
Your stories on buying a home in a retirement community all seem to focus on the style and type that are costly, $100,000 on up to $1 million. I would like to downsize into a 55-plus manufactured-home community. However, I see few stories about these places. The Grove in Alabama seems very nice and I know Arizona has a wide area of manufactured-home parks. Could you please expand on this retirement option? Surely I am not the loner in this. I love your magazine.

Editors Response:
We cover communities of all types, from luxury to budget-conscious, as places to retire. Manufactured-home developments are more wallet-friendly choices, yet even prefabricated, or factory-built, models today can run $200,000 or more. While you can find some resale prefab homes for less than $50,000 in established communities, more homes today are selling for $80,000 to $90,000 and up. These communities commonly provide residents with a clubhouse and host of amenities and activities. You buy the home and lease the lot. Normally in such communities, you don't pay property taxes, thus providing more savings. Over the years, we have done features on manufactured-home communities, explaining the option and looking at current trends in styles, floor plans and interior designs. Our most recent was "Today's Fabulous Prefab Homes" in May-June 2012. Copies still are available. See accompanying box for information about ordering.


Photo Credit: Diana Nichols

The Grove in Foley, AL, is among several manufactured-home communities that advertise in our magazine. It's in a beautiful location on the eastern side of Mobile Bay, roughly 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and convenient to both Mobile, FL and Pensacola, FL. The development is building a new 12,000-square-foot clubhouse with activity rooms and an auditorium for entertainment and social events, scheduled to be completed by January 2018. Several sports courts are being added. The community already has a smaller clubhouse, pool and walking/ golf cart paths. The Grove has recently opened Phase II with 130 new home sites. Models range from the mid-$80,000's to $200,000. Resales vary, with current availabilities starting in the low $90,000's. Lot leases run from $380 to $475 a month. For more information: TheFoleyGrove.com.
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