A slumping housing market, high energy costs, and turbulent financial markets are causing many baby boomers into more prudent choices for their retirement. Today’s retirees consider a longer, more active lifestyle than previous generations, and now, with homes adjusting downward in value, many will have fewer financial resources than previously perceived. There is an answer for many of the upcoming wave of retirees: the new generation of manufactured homes, where quality, safety, comfort, aesthetics and value exist. Many people are turning to the up-scale manufactured home communities. “The benefits are not solely in the home itself. The community offers great benefits and value,” states Lee Meekcoms, President of Parkbridge Capital Group, Inc. (www.parkbridgecapital.com), a privately held real estate investment, acquisition, and brokerage firm. With more than twenty-five years in real estate sales, acquisition, and development and a baby boomer himself, he understands this market well. “The boomers seek a lifestyle that is secure, fulfills needs, and provides enjoyable activities with friends in the retirement years,” says Meekcoms.
Today, many manufactured home communities feature resort-living, sporting everything from gated entrances, to swimming pools, spas, recreational centers, clubhouses, community events, wireless internet, cable TV, activity coordinators, BBQ and dining areas, fitness centers, seasonal events and more. “The people that live in these communities are happy, creative and really enjoy the place and all that it offers,” says Meekcoms, “staying at home is not really an interesting option”.
These 77 million baby boomers, or 35 percent of all U.S. adults, have long known how to flex their real estate muscle. As the top breadwinners in the American economy, baby boomers have a strong relationship to their home and consider housing and real estate to be their best financial investment. Baby boomers also account for roughly 50% of all vacation homes according to the National Association of Realtors.
Trends in both manufactured home communities and RV resorts (which can have the same set of amenities as the manufactured home communities, and often, more amenities) are strong indicators that these properties are a wise investment; the reason why Parkbridge Capital has focused on this market. “We’re confident that buying, upgrading, enhancing operations, and expanding existing properties will result in very good investor returns, while providing Americans with an affordable, or even a quite luxurious way to achieve the lifestyle that they desire.”
One might expect that skyrocketing gas prices would discourage RV traveling or seasonal living elsewhere. However, Parkbridge Capital has found the opposite to be true. “Research indicates that those who own RVs overwhelmingly feel that RV vacations are much less expensive than other travel options,” he says. “Observers of this phenomena note that RV owners are spending less time on the road and more time at their destinations. We’re seeing a lot of growth in the “park-model” (resort cottage) sector of the RV market. The retiree simply drives their smaller RV, their car, or arrives by air travel, and remains for the season at the resort.” Meekcoms expects that this trend will continue for many years.
Because of economic fact, many baby boomers want to enjoy a flexible lifestyle at a cost that isn’t extravagant,” he says. “The properties that we acquire with our partners and clients are a perfect fit for mobile, cost-conscious boomers who want the best of all worlds.”
Parkbridge Capital Group has been involved with the purchase, sale or management of more than 100 properties worth in excess of one billion dollars in current value. More information can be found online at http://www.parkbridgecapital.com.