Local manufactured home communities are reporting an early start to seasonal sales for homes and/or lots in North Fort Myers. And that's not only from buyers from the Midwest and North, but from those in the Southwest Florida area including Fort Myers and Cape Coral.
Margaret Black is the marketing and sales associate at Horizon Village Co-op, Inc.
"Our summer was the busiest we've ever had, and I've been since 2008," she said.
Horizon Village is a resident-owned, active 55+ community.
"Our community is resident owned, a cooperative, which has both shareholder and non-shareholder homes, which means the shareholders own the lot," she said.
That's about a 50/50 split, she noted.
"Our annual sales jumped by 30 percent in 2011 and 2012 over the previous years." she said.
Bob Duncan, community manager at nearby Windmill Village, also reports the early and continuous upturn of sales.
"Trends are up," he said of early sales, which are continuing there.
Some are leaving larger homes due to rising expenses, others from foreclosure trends.
"And apartments are more expensive. We are also bringing in some more new homes next month because of the growth. We have homes that we rent and also everything is for sale. People like the location," he said of the North Fort Myers area.
"We have many manufactured home communities in the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and they bear little resemblance to the 'trailer parks' of decades ago," said Christopher O. Jackson, executive director of the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.
"Today's communities are more upscale with larger homes, lots and amenities," he said. "Manufactured homes of years ago were about 12-14 feet wide. Today's homes can be up to 18 feet wide and up to 80 feet long, a far cry from several decades ago.
"Many communities showcase an active lifestyle second to none with Olympic-size, heated swimming pools, hot tubs and spas and recreational clubhouses with planned activities." he continued. "These communities provide a wonderful lifestyle for a vital part of our demographic population here in North Fort Myers."
The two officials from Hori-zon Village and Windmill Village each talked about their draws.
"Shuffleboard is a big activity, along with water aerobics, indoor exercise classes, a hobby club and more," said Duncan of Windmill Village. "It is definitely a friendly atmosphere."
"We are very community-oriented, and our clubhouse is very well maintained by our dedicated maintenance team. Our sales office staff also goes above and beyond to assist residents and customers," said Black of Horizon Village.
Both communities are located in the heart of North Fort Myers, on North Cleveland Avenue.