A Tenant’s Guide to Renting a Mobile Home

Renting a mobile home has many benefits (read about them in our April Blog!) and whether you are considering or have already made the choice to rent a mobile home, there are a few things to consider when going through the decision and lease agreement processes.

During your mobile home rental search process, you will find you will most likely deal with a rental office or company who will tend to your needs rather than working with a private renter. This will help ensure the process is kept professional and by the book in terms of a leasing agreement and structure.

Looking for a Rental Unit

When you launch your search for a mobile home to rent, you want to make sure your choice fits your living requirements, preferences and lifestyle. Along with the amount of space, layout and location, you’ll also want to have a good understanding of the following before signing a lease agreement.

  • Any additional fees associated with the mobile community
  • Services provided to you (maintenance, trash removal, landscaping, etc.)
  • Every term in the lease agreement
  • Rules of the park
  • Handling rent payment, deposits and refunds
  • Weather zone of the park
  • Guest rules

You should have substantial time to go over your lease before signing it and the landlord should be available to answer any questions you may have. If you’re feeling rushed into signing your lease, this could be a red flag with the renter being “too eager”. There may be an underlying reason and you may want to do some additional research on the renter.

Making a Decision

Deciding on a home within your mobile home community of choice can be a struggle if you are unsure of what you want. There are many factors to consider, some people choose a home based on direction because they enjoy the morning sun in their living room or one may need additional bedrooms for children or for guests to visit, while others want to make sure the layout makes sense to their lifestyle. If things seem a little overwhelming, here is a quick list of things to consider based on needs and preferences to get you started.

  • Floor plan layout
  • Number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms  
  • Size of home (single or double wide)
  • Look of interior (granite countertops, wood cabinets, fixtures)
  • Appliances (size, color, types)
  • Direction home faces (north-south, east-west)
  • Location within the park
  • Any available upgrades
  • Yard and garden space
  • Parking options
  • Security
  • Amenities

Before You Move In

It is always important to be a courteous and rule adhering tenant. However, it is just as important for the renter to be as well, after all, this is your investment. Before you move in, make a checklist:

  • The mobile home rental has been checked for health and safety issues
  • You have the keys
  • A property inventory has been created and given to the rental office
  • It’s clean
  • Utilities are in operating order (including the furnace, AC and water heater)
  • Any previous damage is noted

Living in a Mobile Home Park

When it comes to mobile home living, a benefit is that each park is different, offering a variety of choices in your living conditions and people you will be in contract with. Not only that, but mobile home parks are often located in suburban or city outskirt areas, giving rural and country-like vibes. Following this guide will help assist you in a positive mobile home living experience.

There are so many perks to living within a mobile home rental community. Respecting the property as if it was your own is great advice for any renter, as you prepare for home ownership.

Visit Parrish Manor today to schedule a viewing and get started on the search for your new home!

5 Reasons You Should Be Renting a Mobile Home

Renting can be difficult, especially if your family is on the larger side. Existing in close proximity to your neighbors, such as you would in an apartment complex, can get overwhelming quickly. From late night noise to sharing a washer and dryer, you’re probably missing that little bit of quiet that comes with your own space.

A mobile home rental is a great option for any person or family who might be looking for a little more space, peace and privacy. Let’s explore.

Sense of Community

When you choose a mobile home rental, you’ll still feel the comforting closeness of your neighbors, without being right on top of each other. Most mobile home parks have a list of community events and gatherings, ranging from barbeques to volleyball games.

You can enjoy your own personal space with your family and still soak up all those neighborhood vibes. There is always someone close to help in the event of an emergency and kids have constant access to community playgrounds and dozens of friends.

Quality Control

When you move into a mobile home rental, you’ll know that the quality is nothing short of stellar. The development of mobile homes (technically now called manufactured homes), over the years has improved vastly. Each home available for rent or purchase is required to be up to code and that means everything from plumbing and electrical systems, to air purity and fire safety.

Also, the stigma around mobile homes when it comes to weather is actually quite untrue. You will be able to rest easy knowing your mobile home rental is of high standards and quality.


Mobile homes are smaller than your average single family home, but you’ll find yourself with a ton of space, depending on the floor plan you pick. The amount of square footage you’ll receive at such an affordable price point is unbeatable.

Mobile home rentals tend to run less than the national average for renting. With the lower cost of rent, you’ll have a lot more wiggle room financially!


Life in a mobile home rental tends to appeal to minimalists. Without a massive amount of extra space, you can allow yourself to live within your means, spacewise. By choosing a smaller living area, you can avoid the clutter that builds up so effortlessly in our lives. This perk can apply if you’re moving from a single family rental, or even an apartment.

Also, you’ll have more storage space!

Modern Living

The mobile home rentals of today are not what they use to be. With updated, modernized and contemporary floor plans, you are looking at the possibility of luxurious amenities for half of the price. It’s a bit like living in a resort at times and features living perks such as:

  • Off street parking
  • Playground
  • Sports fields and courts
  • Walking trail
  • Fishing pond
  • RV storage area
  • Sidewalks throughout community
  • Designated auto maintenance area
  • Beautiful landscaping
  • Community events and holiday celebrations
  • Outdoor picnic and barbecue spaces

Airy living areas, beautiful laminate flooring and large master bedrooms are commonplace in Parrish Manor. If you’d like to know more, give us a call today at  (919) 661-1234  or visit https://www.parrishmanor.com/schedule-a-visit/ to schedule a tour!

Need Help for Nessie Foundation Bus!

It was 24 years old, had an odometer with mileage deep into six digits and ran without air conditioning. But every day the big white school bus rescued more than 100 children from summertime boredom.

The decommissioned Chevrolet bus, bought from Johnston County for roughly $3,500, carried kids aged 6 to 17 to Boys & Girls Clubs around Raleigh, where they got all-day recreation and free lunch. Most of the kids came from low-income families, and nearly all of them rode from Parrish Manor mobile home park in Southeast Raleigh.

Then the bus quit running – twice in four days, for good the second time in early July.

Its blown engine strands 135 children who would otherwise be finger-painting and practicing free throws.

“They need to be there, not here,” said Charles Parrish, owner of Parrish Manor who runs the nonprofit Nessie Foundation.

N&O Tarheel of the Week

RALEIGH — Early on, Chris Parrish found room for improvement at the Southeast Raleigh mobile home park he runs with his father. Kids were tossing footballs in the 20-foot sliver between trailers or fishing in the park’s pond without knowing how to unhook their catch. Residents were changing the oil in their cars and dumping the used filters on the ground.

So Parrish set about fixing things, and his improvements have snowballed. Parrish Manor, off Jones Sausage Road, now boasts a soccer field, a community garden, playgrounds, free trips to the Boys and Girls Club, and the list goes on. Some solutions he devised himself – he cleared and laid sod on a kudzu-strangled field and added a car maintenance shed, for instance. Others, such as the organic garden overseen by the InterFaith Food Shuttle, he accomplished through grants and partnerships.

Last year, Parrish landed a three-year, $85,000 state grant to get his residents exercising more by adding a walking trail, picnic area and sports programs for kids at the soccer field, part of an effort to stem childhood obesity, which is particularly common in low-income families. Grant coordinator Marjorie Lanier says it’s rare to find a developer so interested in the health of his community – or so prolific in his improvement efforts. “In the public health world, we don’t come across toomany like Chris,” says Lanier, who coordinates the state’s Healthy Places, Active Spaces grant program. “What he’s doing is pretty remarkable.”

Parrish rattles off programs so numerous it’s hard to keep up – visits from mobile petting zoos and dental clinics, a walking program using pedometers, healthy cooking classes – but he punctuates his list with shrugs, as if rounding up such services for his tenants is simple common sense. “We try to put ourselves in their shoes,” says Parrish, 38, who grew up in Smithfield. “You think, ‘How would you want your family to grow up?’ and then you make it happen.”

A Halloween party
Lines of perfect white rectangles wind around the paved streets of Parrish Manor – 280 homes with driveways, sidewalks and tiny, immaculate yards. Landscapers mow the grass and pick up trash.

The 70-acre site was farmland when his grandfather bought it in the 1950s. His father had it zoned for mobile homes, but it took the family until the mid-1990s to get water and sewer service there.

By then, Parrish had earned his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and was considering law school. But he changed plans and earned a master’s in business administration – better preparation for entering
the family business. Parrish’s father, Charles Parrish, had some experience as a developer of stick-built and mobile homes. But Parrish Manor, which opened in 1998, was the family’s largest such undertaking.

At the time, the mobile home industry was suffering a post-bubble decline similar to that of the overall real estate market in recent years. The Parrishes couldn’t sell their mobile homes, so they rented them. They now rent 80 percent of the homes, which range from $695 a month for a two-bedroom to $975 for a four-bedroom. Such a large rental community of mobile homes is rare, considered by many to be too risky and unstable.

The Parrishes counter that risk by keeping close tabs on their tenants, screening them carefully before they move in and evicting people for unruly behavior. “We’re not one of those places where if you pay rent, we look the other way,” Parrish says. They have also tried to keep stable tenants by making the neighborhood a nice place to live. Parrish says they started out by providing a Halloween party and parade.

Then a nearby church offered to bring presents and a visit from Santa Claus at Christmas. When he decided those foundering fishermen needed mentors, transportation was his key problem in getting them to area Boys and Girls Clubs. So he started a nonprofit in 2006 to be able to accept donations toward a used school bus he bought. That year, roughly nine Parrish Manor kids regularly went to the club. Last summer, about 50 went.

‘This place is different’ Parrish says he considers himself the “mayor of a little town” of about 900 residents, nearly half of them children. And he has learned that his town sits in what is known as a “food and recreation desert” –
there is no grocery store nearby, and until he cleared out his field, there were no parks or ball fields. “There was no place to run around,” he says. “And the only food around was all fast food.”

He learned that lots of nonprofits are looking to help the low-income, often minority families in his community. So he calls them up, one by one.

“My whole thing is to try to get people who have the services to come to us,” he says. “We have the population they’re looking for.” The community’s links to a range of services has been a boon for Brenda Grothe and her three sons, ages 6, 14 and 16. Her youngest loves the new after-school sports classes. Her teenagers are working with the county to research recreational activities for a teen-centered website.

“I’ve seen other trailer parks before,” says Grothe, 34. “But this place is different.” For his next project, Parrish has set his sights on a community center that would double as a tornado shelter – making it eligible for FEMA grants that would cover much of the $1.3 million cost. Parrish calls this plan his “craziest idea yet,” but as he talks about the potential of a larger space – moving his Zumba fitness classes from the tiny clubhouse living room, offering English as a Second Language classes – he uses the word “will” more than “might” or “could.”

“We call him the bullet train, because he just has this incredible capacity to get things done at breakneck speed,” says Lanier, the grant coordinator. Lanier would like to see more affordable communities focusing on residents’ health. And Parrish has plugged his nonprofit work at industry meetings – trying to guilt the huge corporations that own most mobile home parks nationwide into action, he says: “If I can do this, anyone can.”

Born: Feb. 6, 1973, in Smithfield
Residence: Raleigh
Career: Co-owner, Parrish Manor; founder and director, The Nessie Foundation; member and past president, N.C. Manufactured and Modular Homebuilders Association; board member, NCMHA Scott Morton Scholarship Committee; member and past chairman, National Communities Division, Manufactured Housing Institute

Honors: Parrish Manor was awarded the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Outstanding Maintained Appearance, 2008, and Community of the Year, Southern Region, Manufactured Housing Institute, 2008 Education: B.A., political science, UNC-Chapel Hill; MBA, Appalachian State University Family: Wife, Colleen, a nurse practitioner; children, Ella, 3; and Keegan, 1

Fun facts: An Olde English theme is omnipresent at Parrish Manor. The playground is called Sherwood Forest and boasts a stone castle with a drawbridge. The numbers on each house are inscribed in a coat of arms. Suits of armor man the office, and a sword stuck in a large stone like King Arthur’s sits out front. Parrish’s nonprofit, the Nessie Foundation, is named after the Loch Ness Monster replica that lives in the community’s fishing pond.

2008 Community of the Year

Raleigh, NC-Parrish Manor, located in Raleigh, NC, has been named as the 2008 Community of the Year (Southern Region).

The Raleigh based community was awarded this honor at an awards luncheon held on April 23, 2008 at the Annual National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing in Las Vegas, Nevada. The National Industry Awards, hosted by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), recognize the highest achievers from all sectors of the manufactured and modular housing industries – communities, retailers, suppliers, lenders, manufacturers, developers and state associations. Parrish Manor is one of 4 communities nationwide to be named as Community of the Year.

“We are extremely proud of these individuals and companies for their vision, dedication and energy in enhancing and moving the manufactured and modular housing industries forward. These prestigious awards represent the highest achievement within the manufactured and modular housing industries and are a testament to the hard work and pride each winner has put into their business,” said MHI President Gail Cardwell.

The winners of the “Community of the Year” submit entries that are judged by an independent panel of professionals made up of representatives from the planning, community development, lending, realtor and homebuilding professions. Awards are given in four regional areas of the country. Entries were judged based on a written statement supplied by the entrant, community aesthetics, marketing materials, site plan of the community, community and industry involvement, and the lease and covenants.

“This is the first time in history that a North Carolina community has been awarded such a high honor,” said Brad Lovin, Executive Director, NCMHA. “This demonstrates that manufactured housing communities can fit into a metropolitan area and provide cities, like Raleigh, with much needed affordable housing.”

Sir Walter Raleigh Award Winner

Parrish Manor has received a 2008 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for MAINTAINED OUTSTANDING APPEARANCE. The Sir Walter Raleigh Awards annually honor projects, groups, and individuals that have made a difference in improving the visual and natural environment of the City of Raleigh. To qualify, each must exhibit exemplary design, environmental stewardship, community involvement, preservation of natural features or historic resources, and/or exceeding city standards and statutes. This is the 26th year of the awards program, which is coordinated by the Raleigh Appearance Commission.