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Solving the Mystery of Land Lease Communities - How do they Work?

Home > Blog > Solving the Mystery of Land Lease Communities - How do they Work?

The decision to buy a home -- whether it's as a first-time buyer, it's time to downsize, or make a move to a retirement community -- is always a big one. The decision can be stressful, making a move is physically exhausting and emotionally draining.  There are options, however, that can save money, time and offer long term benefits. 

Although traditional home ownership usually includes a single deed for both the house and the lot, a budget-worthy option can be to buy a home without actually owning the land that it occupies. It can be a way to maximize your housing dollars and reap lifestyle benefits.

More House, Less Upkeep

Communities that feature land leases typically include an abundance of amenities, with heavy maintenance and upkeep of the land falling under the domain of the landowner. That can be a distinct advantage, freeing buyers from concern over escalating taxes and major repair assessments. Land lease ownership can be structured in a variety of ways, but the essential fact is that by not having to pay for the land upfront or in a mortgage, buyers can usually afford more house with lower monthly costs

If that sounds appealing, also consider these additional benefits:

  • Community standards are defined and generally assured; a professional firm with an onsite manager assures compliance and enforcement of those standards. 

  • Cost increases are more predictable; property taxes can be extremely low or even non-existent, but residential land lease terms and regulation vary by state and specific locale. 

  • Landscaping, tree trimming, street repairs, major utility costs and common amenities fall under the responsibility of the landowner, developer or management company. An annually set fee is paid on a monthly basis to cover those costs and lease the land.

  • Individual homeowners retain control and are responsible for the maintenance over the use of their own homes, but have no responsibilities for the overall operation of the community. The feeling of community is often enhanced in a private community.

Additional Considerations

Land lease communities offer distinct advantages, but if you're considering such a purchase, there are many things that will affect your decision, including the quality of the community, your ability to sell the home or transfer ownership to another person, inheritance considerations, and even the subject of home value, and whether you can expect it to appreciate over time. Ask your land lease representative how these items work.

Buying property, represents a major financial commitment, and the decision should be made only after careful consideration of the pros and cons. A lower-price buy-in to a desirable community may tip the scales.



Posted by Christi Peri on
For your land lease communities what are the range of lease payments are required to live there. What are the amenities included? Thank you.
Posted by kwoodruff on

Thank you for your question, if you can please contact me at 800-458-6832 and just ask for Kim or email me at I would be more than happy to answer your questions in more detail.

Jensen Communities
Posted by paul on
looking for info on the Garden City sc community. thanks
Posted by kwoodruff on
Paul- Christine who is the sales person for our Garden City Beach community can be reached at 800-238-6565 or email: Here is a link to the homes for sale in that community:
Posted by Shelle on
Can the land lease be part of the mortgage.
Thank you
Posted by kwoodruff on
The land lease fee is a separate fee you pay to Jensen’s. It is not payable to the Mortgage company. You can discuss your mortgage options with the bank you choose just make sure they deal with manufactured homes.
Posted by David Illar on
My wife and I are very interested, in the garden City community, however we have requested info on here and left messages by phone. No response as of yet, we have been trying since the 15th. Our main questions are, does Jensons communities offer or help with financing of the homes, and what is the typical lot lease payment and what amenities does that include. These are very simple and basic questions that I see others have asked. Why can't Jensons just post this info on their site or with the sales info of each home advertised.
Posted by kwoodruff on
David-We do have finance companies that we work with. What I can do is forward your questions to Christine who is the sales person for Ocean Pines which is located in Garden City and have her get in touch with you. Can you please email me your contact information at Thank You