Types of Housing in Palm Beach County
Photo Courtesy of Phillip Pessar
South Florida offers a wide range of housing options, including apartment buildings, single family homes, townhomes and villas, condominiums, and mobile/manufactured homes.
Townhomes, villas and condominiums are typically built as a smaller village within a larger developed community, sometimes centered around a particular lifestyle like country club or waterfront. Condominiums may be large apartment-like buildings or collections of smaller attached buildings. Buying this form of housing typically means taking on responsibilities as a member of the property owners or homeowners association (POA or HOA), with monthly and/or annual fees that support selected common costs. Common expenses may cover landscaping maintenance, private roads, lighting, cable access, roofs, fences, or other costs. Members of an association are generally expected to participate at some level in the direction of the community, from simply attending meetings to serving on the board of directors. Single family homes may or may not be part of a planned development, and while many are part of a POA/HOA structure within the community, most are simply part of existing towns with no association.
Mobile and manufactured homes are a low-cost alternative extremely popular with retirees. There are 106 mobile/manufactured home communities in Palm Beach County, usually offering amenities like swimming pools, clubhouses, golf courses, horseback trails, exercise clubs and a variety of sports facilities and activities. Mobile home/manufactured housing communities often have a Co-op structure, meaning a resident owns both the home and is a shareholder in the community itself. Some may offer a POA/HOA structure instead. Prices can run anywhere from $50,000 (or less) up to the $200,000 range. Mobile homes have special considerations and require unique maintenance to prevent damage in windstorms and hurricanes. This may include the installation of shutters, tie-downs, and other measures, like maintenance of the foundation or supports in good condition. Many community centers in mobile home communities also function as tornado and hurricane shelters.
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