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Lewes, Delaware
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April 5, 2001     Cape Gazette
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April 5, 2001

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CAPE GAZETTE'S MANUFACTURED HOUSING, SPRING 2001 - 3 packages growing in popularity By Michael Short Bill Beall of Oakwood Homes in Millsboro says manufactured home owners are looking for a home that requires little or no maintenance. The trend toward homes that re- quire little or no upkeep and the movement toward purchasing both homes and land in a land- home package are probably the two biggest trends in the manufac- tured housing industry. Purchasing both the land and the home flies in the face of the usual pattern of paying ground rent. Relaxation of Sussex Coun- ty's zoning code to allow what are often called mobile homes on smaller lots and in more areas of the county have helped drive the land-home purchase trend. Most manufactured housing parks still, however, lease land to tenants on a monthly basis. Vinyl siding, no-wax floors and walls that never need to see anoth- er paintbrush are a few of the fea- tures that homeowners are asking for. Beall said that many new homeowners are tired of painting, waxing, mowing and gardening. "They've been there and done that," he said. "They want to go to the beach or travel. They do not want to worry that when they go home they have to paint the house." He said the idea has nothing to do with growing older or retiring. Dennis Forney photo There are many options for those considering manufactured housing including park set- tings like this home shown in the Sussex East community near Five Points. Homeowners just want to enjoy their leisure time, Beall said. So, that means choices like durable carpet, floors that only need to be mopped, and sheet rock walls which don't need painting be- cause they are covered with vinyl are popular options. Bathrooms are becoming larger and many are so-called glamour baths with Jacuzzi tubs. Bigger bathrooms, custom-built decks, wood burning fireplaces, security systems and top of the line appli- ance packages like Space saver microwaves are popular home op- tions. For many homeowners, there's no need to buy large or ex- pansive homes. Mid-size homes are popular, large enough to pro- vide plenty of room, he said. Both he and Phyllis McKinley point to land and home packages as being very popular. McKinley, who serves as executive director of the First State Manufactured Housing Institute, said in a previ- ous interview that owning a little piece of land "is still the American dream...People want a little piece of property. That has really been driving our sales." "I would say that probably eight out of 10 people that come in here are looking for land and home packages," Beall said. Three years ago, the number may have been four out of ten, he estimated. "It's bigger than ever," he said. DE 19966 "fsr.00