How Much Will It Cost Me?
(Also see the section on Renting vs Buying)
If you are buying a place you can spend from about $10,000 to over $200,000. If you are renting, you can spend from about $1800 a month to $3,500 per month. The price ranges are a reflection of the unit itself (see: the Park Model section) and the park. (see: the About RV Resort Parks section)
Also, rental prices can be quite different depending on which months you are renting. January to March is the peak season and generally the higher rents. Some good bargains can be had during other winter months.
NOTE: It should be noted that a lot of rentals only end up being rented for 3 months of the year. (Everyone wants Jan-Mar) The annual overhead is often more than the annual revenue.
Until you have some idea what appeals to you your costs are hard to estimate. But ...
... it is Affordable !!!
Any option, whether renting or buying, is more affordable than most alternatives you will find for spending winter time in a RESORT. And the parks are RESORTS!
You are Buying a Lifestyle - Not Just a Park Model
We keep referring to the lifestyle throughout the site. That is because it is exactly that. It is a lifestyle more than a piece of property.
As with other decisions regarding your lifestyle there are choices to make when considering taking up residence in an RV Resort Park. You do need to browse around the site to see what is available and how that fits with what your interests are.
Begin with the assumption that you are buying a lifestyle. No different than reviewing information on a vacation. You begin with your interests to decide where to go before checking out the rates for accomodation. This is really no different.
Of course your budget is important and that needs to be part of any decision. So once you have a good idea what parks and situations appeal to you then you can look at some listings and see what you can afford.
Choices and More Choices
Just like any real estate marketplace the options are wide-ranging and will depend on some key factors and choices.
Renting a park model for the season or part of the season
Buying a park model on a rented lot in a privately owned park
Buying into a resident-owned park and owning a share in the park
Buying a new unit
Park model age, condition, and ammenities
Park facilities, activities, services, and security
Location including location within the park
The park model owners we talk to have quite a range of opinions regarding the best way to approach this lifestyle. From renting every year to investing in a resident-owned park.
Some say they do not want any long-term commitments at this stage of life. Others feel they can only relax if they have the security of ownership ... 'never have rented and never will'.
Renting year after year is not that common. The uncertainty of not knowing where you will be next year is not too comforting. But renting first before buying is common. Trying it out by renting is often how people 'get sold' on the lifestyle.
Because the investment can be so modest (when buying a unit and renting the lot) there are some who feel they hardly have much to lose if values drop. Even then any loss is hardly more than some people spend on a single vacation.
Each Park is it's own 'Miniature Marketplace'
While reviewing park model listings and sales we notice quite a difference in prices from park to park. Similar units would be priced as much as double from one park to the next one down the street. Its like they were in different cities.
What tends to happen is that each park is almost its own marketplace. If there are a lot of units for sale in that park then prices are lower. If few for sale then prices are higher.
What tends to happen is that each park is almost its own marketplace. This happens because of the limitation and expense of moving a unit from one park to another. And of course some parks are just more popular than others ... supply and demand at play.
This Market is Different
The marketplace for park model trailers in RV Resort Parks is 'different' than the traditional real estate market. The owners are far less likely to face financial problems than the general working population and to most of them this is not their primary/permanent home.
They are also not faced with mortgage problems and potential foreclosures. In most cases the motivation to sell their unit has little to do with 'needing the money'. Often the decision to sell is simply health related.
As a result ... prices do not tend to follow the traditional housing market. It is unique to this segment of society.
Alternatives are now Less Affordable
You may be attracted to that nice house or condo ... you have spent your whole life buying and upgrading to a larger and nicer home. But be careful, you may be missing out on the 'lifestyle' ... the very thing the 'resort' parks are all about. And … you need to consider issues like security and a lot more driving.
The real estate market in the Phoenix area has taken off in recent years. There are major housing shortages. As a result the alternatives to buying in a park is much more affordable.
One advantage of the RV Resort market is that it tends to be far more stable. While impacted for sure it is not subject to the same dramatic swings. Again ... the market is different.
Is it the 'Time to Buy'?
In our opinion ... if you like the lifestyle then at least shop around for buying options. Renting year after year can be a lot of hassle.
And ... to Canadians ... remember this is no longer about investment in your home that may pay off in a few years. It is about the lifestyle. If that dollar were to take a quick jump you will see demand for park models go up and that means higher prices. But you are now about to enjoy that retirement. Don't make that decision on what may happen in a few years.