Retirees are Living Mobile…And Loving it

Not all retirees are moving into condos or retirement residences. The new trend for many aging boomers is living mobile: A manufactured home on the beach, hitting the road in an RV, or globetrotting to bucket-list destinations.

REM online reports that real estate agents are discovering a new niche: Finding appropriate manufactured home developments for active retirees across the country. The trend is particularly strong in B.C., where the buy-in for a new manufactured home within an hour from downtown Vancouver can be under $100,000. In contrast, the price for a typical detached home in Richmond, B.C. – half-an-hour from Vancouver – comes in just under $1 million.

Mobile living is so not about a Trailer Park Boys lifestyle. Many manufactured homes are now prefabricated, and look and feel like regular detached homes, not like trailers. They are typically located on small lots in developments with a strong sense of community, and shared amenities such as swimming pools, recreation facilities, landscaped gardens…even walking trails. Plus, there is often a management team to keep things well maintained and running smoothly.

For seniors, the benefits of living in a manufactured home in such a development are many. Costs and, of course, the time and energy that goes into home maintenance are drastically reduced, and older people are more likely to have an active social life and enjoy plenty of physical activity.

Some retirees are taking the idea of mobile living literally by trading houses for a life spent on the road. These footloose and fancy-free retirees travel in RVs, or enjoy back-to-back-to-back stays in destinations around the world.

A recent article in the New York Times profiled several couples who are doing just that. But it’s not for everyone: In some cases, the duos sold off their homes and donated almost all of their possessions, bringing new meaning to the adage: You can’t go home again.