Top Retirement Towns

Finding and Reviewing the Best Places to Retire Since 2006

"Youth is a disease from which we all recover." ~Dorothy Fulheim

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Hobe Sound, Florida In 1696, a ship carrying British Quakers sank off Florida's southeastern coast, and the small religious group was forced ashore. It was the first time that white men had set eyes upon the idyllic area now known as Hobe Sound. Today this waterfront village is considered an exurb of Port St. Lucie and its best feature may be its secret beach, a 5 mile stretch of wild, nearly empty sand.
Boulder, Colorado  Nestled in the shadow of the rugged Rocky Mountain foothills, just 25 minutes northwest of Colorado's capital city of Denver, beautiful Boulder is the home of, and completely defined by, the University of Colorado's flagship campus.   This area was first stumbled upon by gold prospectors in the 1850s but really started to gain traction when state legislators designated it as the site for the new university.
Gilbert, Arizona  Gilbert is a suburb of Phoenix and has been growing rapidly, booming by nearly 75% in just the last decade alone.   It lands on a lot of "best places to live" lists, primarily for its low crime rate, bike-friendliness, good schools, low humidity, award-winning dog park and solid economic base (high tech and renewable energy).
Chapel Hill, North Carolina    Lush and leafy, Chapel Hill is located in north central North Carolina and is a slightly rural college town that grew up around the University of North Carolina, the oldest state-supported university in the U.S.  It is part of the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill "Triangle' and boasts a high quality of life for its residents.

History of the Manufactured House  - A Great Retirement Option

Manufactured homes are those that are either built wholly in a factory or shipped piecemeal to a site and erected there. RVs of all types, mobile homes and modular homes are also called manufactured homes because they fall into the first category. 

The very first manufactured home was shipped from England to the U.S. in 1764. The English, ever on the go and loving something different or quirky, built customized vans in the first part of the 20th century. This is also when an American designed the fifth wheel, which is a style of travel trailer still in heavy use today. 

Mobile homes started coming off the assembly line in New York , during the mid 1920s and were mostly used for going on vacation. In the thirties, campgrounds and other locations where travelers could park their RVs sprouted up. The U.S. government bought a whole lot of manufactured homes for workers during WWII, so they could live near factories involved in the war effort.

During the second half of the 1940s decade, trailers were longer than thirty feet and even sported a small bathroom. People sometimes lived in them fulltime and made gardens and other permanent structures like fences, to enclose them. Mobile homes were split in two by the 1960s, as they got larger and larger. A building code was needed, and the MHCG (mobile home craftsmen guild) devised one. These manufactured homes became very popular in the 1970s. One in three homes were made in a factory.

Manufactured homes have to be made to stringent standards these days. They can be tiny, such as a trailer pulled by a motorcycle or mansion-sized with several flat screen TVs, a king-sized bed, luxurious decor, a fireplace, granite countertops and large bathrooms. And that's only the RVs.  Modular and manufactured homes that look like regular houses and are meant to be stationary and have become those veritable mansions. Still, along with the explosion in size for manufactured homes, there are some that have been downsized.

Concerns over the environment have led some manufacturers to build log cabins on wheels that are only a hundred square feet. They are also off the grid, because they use solar power for all of their energy needs. And talk about recycling - apartments are being made from shipping containers, often stacked on top of each other, or side by side, to create the ultimate in indestructible and practical manufactured homes.  

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