UPDATED: October 13, 2022

When it comes to planning for retirement, one of the most important things to consider is where you'll live. Many people choose to move to a state with great weather like Florida.

Florida is a great place to retire but a lot of times, the expensive housing costs can become prohibitive for those over 55. One option that you might be considering is buying or renting a manufactured home, which is a more affordable housing choice.

You might be wondering if manufactured homes are a good option for retirees. After all, you don't want to spend your golden years stuck in a place that's uncomfortable or difficult to live in. 

The good news is that there are many manufactured home communities available that offer residents affordable and welcoming environments in Florida.

We've done the research for you and listed down some of the best manufactured home communities in the state. Whatever your budget or preference, Florida has a community that's perfect for you!

Manufactured Homes Vs. Mobile Homes Vs. Modular Homes

Before we list down the best manufactured home communities in Florida, it's important to understand what manufactured homes are in the first place.

Perhaps you're wondering how manufactured homes are different from mobile homes. Are these two types of homes the same?

Mobile homes, manufactured homes, and modular homes are all types of prefabricated homes that are built off-site. This means that the structure or parts of it are assembled in a factory before being transported to the final location.

One of the main differences between these three types of homes is that manufactured homes are built to a federal building code, while mobile and modular homes are not.

Below is a further differentiation of these three types.

Manufactured Homes

The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) enforced a policy in 1976 regarding the construction of prefab or offsite homes. These homes should be made of quality materials and follow the federal building code. 

All mobile homes built after 1976 should be referred to as manufactured homes.

Manufactured homes are built offsite in one piece and transported and installed on the lot. Once installed, they’re not usually moved like a trailer and stay on the leased or purchased lot for a longer period.

Mobile Homes

By definition, these are manufactured homes that were built before June 15, 1976, prior to the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policy changes. 

While mobile homes are obsolete and have been replaced by manufactured homes, many Americans still refer to prefab homes as mobile homes until now.

Modular Homes

Instead of being built in one piece offsite, modular homes are built in sections in a factory. 

These sections are then transported to the final location where they will be assembled on a foundation by a licensed contractor. They follow state or local housing codes instead of federal codes.

Two Common Types of Manufactured Home Communities

Before moving to a manufactured home community, it's important to understand what type of 55+ community you’re moving into. In Florida, there are two most common options:

Land-Lease Community

In this type of community, you own the manufactured home but the land is owned by a corporation or an individual who also manages the community. 

You'll have to pay rent for the land every month, along with other amenities and utilities in the community.

Resident-Owned Community or ROC

An ROC is a type of manufactured home community wherein the residents own the land as a cooperative. 

In this type of community, the residents have a say in how the community is run and managed. 

While there are some utility fees, you don’t need to pay lot rent if you own a share of the land where your manufactured home is standing.

Best 55+ Manufactured Home Communities in Florida

Now that we've clarified what manufactured homes are, it's time to take a look at some of the best 55+ communities for manufactured homes in Florida.

1. Bay Aristocrat Village on Tampa Bay

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: $185,000 Median Home Price
  • Amenities:
    • Private launch boat ramp
    • canals and heated pool
    • Jacuzzi
    • shuffleboard courts
    • two fishing piers within the park 
    • clubhouse with scheduled activities
  • Contact: 18675 Highway 19 North Clearwater, Florida 33764 | Phone: 727-531-4906 | Website: www.bayaristocrat.com

The Bay Aristocrat Village is located in Tampa Bay, Florida. It’s a waterfront over-55 community that’s popular with snowbirds and seniors who like boating and fishing. Homes on offer range from single wide to triple wide manufactured homes.

2. Brookridge Retirement Community

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: $152,000 Median Home Price
  • Amenities:
    • large clubhouse
    • monthly social dances
    • heated pool
    • aqua exercise
    • lighted tennis courts
    • shuffleboard courts
    • Pickleball
    • horseshoes & bocce courts
    • Ceramics
    • library and computers
    • exercise room
    • picnic pavilion
    • social clubs
    • events and activities
    • Vegas-style shows from October to April
    • golf course membership available
    • paper bingo every Friday
  • Contact: 7300 Brookridge Central Blvd, Brooksville, FL 34613 | Phone: (352) 596-0696 | Website: https://brookridge.com/

The Brookridge Retirement Community is a gated golf community that has 24/7 security. All the lots in this community are individually owned and the owners are members of the Brookridge Community Home Owners Association.

The site is close to hospitals and shopping areas. This is an ideal community for golfers and seniors who are looking for a community filled with many social activities.

3. Cedar Cove

  • Property Type: Land- Lease Community
  • Average Cost: Lot Rent: $526 per month (2022), Homes from $10,000 to over $100,000 plus fees
  • Amenities: Heated pool
    • a community center with TV
    • business center with Wi-Fi
    • garbage, recycling, and yard waste pickup
    • grass cutting year-round
    • weed eating and edging 3 times per year
    • a fire, stormwater & ambulance assessment
  • Activities:
    • Bingo
    • mah jongg
    • Spinners
    • book club
    • Parties
    • Potlucks
    • dances
    • weekly coffee
    • Shuffleboard
    • flea market
    • Luncheons
    • pancake breakfasts
    • ice cream social
    • pizza parties
  • Contact: 7020 Captain Kidd Avenue – Sarasota, FL 34231 | Phone: 941-921-5042 | Website: https://www.mycedarcove.com/

If you’re looking for an active community for 55+ in Sarasota, Florida, then consider Cedar Cove. 

Operated and owned by the Warrington family for over three generations, this land-lease community only has 73 homes, making it ideal for retirees who prefer a smaller community where you can relax and enjoy resort-style living.

4. Chateau Village

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: $85,000 Median Sale Price
  • Amenities:
    • Clubhouse
    • shuffleboard courts
    • heated pool
    • horseshoe pit
  • Contact: 612 53rd Ave West Bradenton, FL 34207 | Phone: 941-755-1995 | Website: http://www.chateau-village.com/

Chateau Village is an over-55 community that spans over 40 acres in Bradenton, Florida. 

While the community has a small-town feel, it’s located close to state parks, beaches, museums, shopping, and dining centers. It’s also nearby bigger cities like Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Clearwater.

5. Colony Cove

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: Share cost is $45,000 plus $251 per month plus tax. Non-shareholders can lease for $526 per month plus fees & tax. 
  • Amenities:
    • Activities
    • banquet room
    • Billiards
    • boat dock
    • Clubhouse
    • Fishing
    • fitness center
    • game room
  • Contact: 5229 Rubber Tree Cir, New Port Richey, FL 34653 | Phone: (727) 842-9744 | Website: www.colonycove.org

Located along Florida's Gulf Coast, Colony Cove is an affordable over-55 community. Being a waterfront community, you can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming most of the year. 

You can buy or rent a manufactured home in this community. It’s also open for seasonal renters.

6. Crystal Lake Village Florida

  • Property Type: Land-Lease Community
  • Average Cost: New Homes Sales start at $40,000, Lot Rent around $500 per month, Rentals start at $1,200 for 1 bedroom per month, RV Rates start at $330 low season to $742 peak season per month
  • Amenities: 
    • Planned activities
    • heated swimming pool & spa
    • fitness center
    • pool tables
    • Shuffleboard
    • pet friendly
    • nearby golf courses
    • freshwater lakes
  • Contact: 237 Maxwell Dr. Wauchula, FL 33873 | Phone: 1.800.661.3582 | Website: https://crystallake-village.com/

Crystal Lake Village is located in Wauchula, Florida. This gated over 55 land-lease community offers a variety of home options for retirees. There are manufactured homes available that you can buy and then pay a monthly lease for the lot. 

Alternatively, you can also rent a home if you want to try it out first. Those who own RVs or travel trailers can also stay in the RV park for a monthly fee.

7. Hacienda Village

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: $100,000 Median Sale Price
  • Amenities: 
    • Bi-lingual (Spanish) staff
    • social groups & clubs
    • full audio-video in the clubhouse
    • free Wi-Fi in both recreation center and clubhouse
    • worship service
    • pet-friendly (breed & restrictions apply)
    • recently renovated buildings
    • golf cart-friendly
    • pedestrian-friendly
    • recreation center with heated swimming pool, fitness center, etc.
  • Contact: 280 La Vista Drive Winter Springs, FL 32708 | Phone: (407) 327-0051 | Website: https://www.haciendavillage.com/

This community is built within 83 acres of land and has 447 homes sites for manufactured homes. It features nearly 3 miles of roads perfect for seniors who like to walk, bicycle, or use a golf cart around the area. 

The community is also near to Disney and other tourist attractions so families who visit can enjoy these nearby places.

8. Horizon Village Co-Op

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: Shareholder price starts at $120,000, Non-shareholder rates start at $60,000
  • Amenities:
    • Lawn mowing (weeding, edging, and trimming are not included.)
    • trash & horticultural pick-up (twice per week)
    • cable TV, high-speed internet service, and digital phone service
    • heated swimming pool, jacuzzi,
    • lighted & covered shuffleboard courts
    • bocce courts
    • Horseshoe pits
    • clubhouse
  • Contact: 9200 Littleton Rd. N.Ft.Myers, FL 33903 | Phone: 239-997-1140 | Website: https://www.horizonvillagefla.com/

Located in Fort Myers, the main highlight of this over 55 community is the wide array of social activities offered on-site. The 15,000 sq.ft. clubhouse has many facilities that you can enjoy. The community is also located near beaches, shopping areas, and other attractions.

9. La Casa

  • Property Type: Resident-Owned Community
  • Average Cost: Share price starts at $64,800 to $107,000 plus maintenance $140.00 per month
  • Amenities: 
    • Clubhouses
    • activity center
    • heated pools & spas
    • exercise room & aerobics
    • tennis courts
    • pickleball courts
    • Shuffleboard
    • bocce
    • Sauna
    • Billiards
    • Darts
    • weekly coffee hour
    • Bingo
    • computer club and library
    • just minutes to several golf courses 
  • Contact: 300 El Prado North Port, FL 34287 | Website: www.lacasaswfl.com

If you prefer a larger community, La Casa is a community you should consider. It has 974 homes situated around the community's 8 lakes. 

You can purchase a home with a share or also rent one of the available homes as well.

10. Twin Lakes

  • Property Type: Land- Lease Community
  • Average Cost: Lot Rent: around $570 per month, Home Sales start at $159,000
  • Amenities:
    • Heated swimming pool
    • full kitchen
    • Library
    • billiard room, card room, darts, Bingo
    • lighted shuffleboard courts
    • abundant space for walks and biking
    • movie nights
    • potluck dinners and huge holiday events
    • trash pickup, lawn mowing, dumpster use
  • Contact: 2419 Gulf To Bay Blvd – Lot# 208 Clearwater, FL 33765 | Phone: (727) 799-4807 | Website: https://twinlakesinc.org

Twin Lakes is a resort-style over 55 community located in the heart of Clearwater, Florida. It’s near Clearwater Beach so it's ideal for seniors who love the sun and the sand. 

If you want an active social life, this community also offers a variety of events and activities that you can join.

Is It Worth Buying a Manufactured Home in Florida?

Yes, it's worth buying a manufactured or mobile home in Florida, especially if you want to enjoy great weather, resort-style amenities, and an active social life.

Is It Safe to Live in a Manufactured Home in Florida?

Yes, it’s safe to live in a manufactured home in Florida. Many of the manufactured home communities are gated and secured.

Do You Pay Property Taxes on Manufactured Homes in Florida?

Yes, you have to pay property taxes on your manufactured home in Florida. You can check the taxation rules on mobile homes in Florida here: 

Taxation of Mobile Homes in Florida

How Much Does It Cost To Live In A Manufactured Home in Florida?

The cost of living in a manufactured home in Florida varies depending on the community you choose. If you opt for land-lease communities, the upfront cost will be cheaper than living in a resident-owned community.

Conclusion: Are Manufactured Homes Good in Florida?

Manufactured homes are a good option for over 55 seniors looking to retire in Florida. It's the perfect compromise between buying an expensive traditional home and living in a retirement home. With a manufactured home, you'll still have your own space but it's not as expensive and you'll also be able to enjoy the company of your fellow residents.