Lifestyle

Home Ownership is Attainable for Single Women

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For generations, home ownership has been a dream for most Canadians, but single women have increasingly found themselves left out of the market. High prices for single-family homes are a significant factor, but many women also balk at the idea of apartment living because it lacks a sense of community.

But that is increasingly changing as women learn more about the benefits of manufactured home communities.

“In particular, manufactured home living is a great choice for the single women in their mid-40s because not only do they get their own space and privacy, they can actually own a home rather than rent because it’s affordable, says Margo Mallicoat, president of the Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia.

“We’re seeing many women who are single with good earning power who are looking into manufactured home living,” she adds. “They don’t want a big house they have to maintain. They want to travel and enjoy their lives, and this lifestyle affords them that possibility.”

An Attainable Home at Last

With Canadian single-family home prices expected to remain high, women are finding affordable and stylish options in manufactured homes, which start at approximately $85,000 new before the addition of features such as granite countertops and custom flooring, for example. Today’s manufactured homes feature quality wood-frame construction and are factory-built to exacting Canadian manufacturing standards.

While some owners do buy their own land for their manufactured homes, a majority choose to live in manufactured home communities where they rent their lot or pad. Across British Columbia, there are approximately 1,000 manufactured home communities.

Feeling Connected to Community

“Unlike apartment living, there appears to be more neighbourliness in these communities,” says Mallicoat. “I know people who are developing socials and cocktail hours and walking groups. While everyone has their own home and privacy, there’s also a sense of people looking after one another you don’t often find in apartments.”

And that neighbourliness, she adds, contributes to safety and security.

I think women are more apt to join communities if they feel safe, and by and large people do feel safe in manufactured home communities. Our studies show there is very little [sense of community]  in apartment lifestyle, so we find women approaching middle age are seeking out that security balanced with privacy that comes from home ownership.

For singles, in particular, a sense of community also wards off isolation or loneliness that studies increasingly show is detrimental to both mental and physical health, particularly in older adults. In Canada, studies have found that one in five Canadians identify as being lonely. According to Statistics Canada, 28 per cent of Canadians live alone.

There are many more benefits to manufactured home living. Love to garden? This lifestyle means you can have your own yard. Can’t imagine a home without a dog? Most manufactured home communities welcome pets.

“I hear from women all the time that they have made a great choice that gives them both home ownership and a lifestyle they enjoy,” says Mallicoat. “A manufactured home community offers a more attractive lifestyle with the combination of home ownership and pad rent being much less expensive than condo ownership and strata fees.”

 

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