Lifestyle Better Lifestyle Options for Retirement Many people nearing retirement are seeking for ways to live frugally without sacrificing their quality of life. Some seniors choose to downsize to condos, but fear the sense of social isolation and constrained space that comes from living in buildings where neighbours often don’t know neighbours and square-footage is scarce. By Jason Seale January 22, 2019330 views 0 Affordability and the social inclusion are two reasons many seniors or people facing retirement opt for manufactured home communities. Here are some of the benefits: Greater Affordability Because manufactured homes are factory-built in quality-controlled environments, manufacturers don’t have to worry development permits, zones and weather delays, which save costs on the final product. According to the Canadian Manufactured Housing Institute, the cost per square foot for a manufactured home is 10 to 35 percent lower than that of a comparable site-built home, excluding the cost of land. Besides home financing costs, community members pay monthly rent for their space or “pad” — unless they own their own land. This is usually far less expensive than renting. Springwood Park is a 55-plus manufactured home community located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. One of the benefits many people love manufactured home communities like Springwood, near Duncan, British Columbia, is that it’s easier to get to know neighbours than in condo buildings. A Sense of Community For those thinking of retirement, most manufactured housing communities share common features that support healthy aging in place: safe settings, an environment that encourages an active and engaged lifestyle, outdoor spaces for socializing or gardening plus neighbours who keep a helpful eye out for each other. Lower Maintenance Residents don’t have to worry about a lot of maintenance and yard work and can travel without concern about leaving their home unattended. The community provides on-site management and maintenance of common area facilities like pools, spas, clubhouse, kitchens, barbecues, streets and utilities. With this comes specific rules and regulations that everyone agrees to follow that are designed to preserve everyone’s peaceful enjoyment of the community. More Space Downsizing is always a challenge, especially in retirement, but manufactured homes typically offer more space than the average condo. Many have room for porches and storage sheds, and floor plans can range up to 3,000 feet or more, so downsizing is really more like life-sizing. Most home have yard space, so you can get out, enjoy fresh air and outdoor activities and not feel constrained in a boxy condo. You Choose Some manufactured homes are located in 55-plus adult communities, but if you want the diversity of an age-inclusive community for retirement, you can certainly find that as well. And for animal lovers, many communities allow pets. Isn’t it nice to have choices?