I wrote an article about 18 months ago on this very subject and have updated it to suit the current market conditions:
I have spent a fair amount of time chattering on about some of the spectacular places in Southwest Washington that one might choose to retire to. But what about a retiree that doesn't want to sink the whole 401k into a residence? What about retiring on a budget?
That can be achieved and Vancouver, Washington offers several affordable alternatives to high prices. There are several over 55 communities with manufactured homes in Clark County but three of them stand out as a strong value proposition for the discriminating retiree on budget.
Vista Del Rio in Fisher's Landing, Vancouver, Cascade Park Estates in East Vancouver, and Creekside Estates in Evergreen, Vancouver. The former is located adjacent to a very nice neighborhood of upscale homes priced well into the 300s. The park is conveniently located near Fairway Village (see post on Fairway Village here.). It is also quite close to the SR14 freeway, PDX and the amazing 164th Avenue retail and business corridor of the East side of the 'Couv'. This community is built along the gentle slopes at the bottom of Prune Hill. Some of the units offer nice views across the river to Portland and the West Hills. The area is a mix of older 1980s and newer 2000s homes. The park has a nice clubhouse with all the amenities to keep a socialite happy. It also offers a nice pool and indoor recreation as well. Homes in this community can be found between $60,000 and $150,000. Ground lease fees will probably run around $500 per month.
Cascade Park Estates offers less in the way of social and recreational activity and more along the lines of security. It is a gated community. The homes are all newer than 1993 and the place is clean as a whistle. It is also very well located at 164th and SE 1st which is right in the heart of the East side business and retail area. Everything is close, doctor, dentist, shopping the whole bit. Prices here are a touch higher than Vista Del Rio with units running $70,000 to well above $140,000. Space rent running a bit higher as well.
I sold my in-laws a unit in Cascade and they are delighted. They love the location and they love all the extra cash they have for Cruises, Travel, Dining, etc. Their home is gorgeous and the overall cost is low.
Creekside Estates is centrally located in Vancouver close to the SR500/I205 interchange. This is a nice manufactured home community and offers a nice clubhouse and an indoor swimming pool for year round enjoyment. Units here are reasonably priced for the most part running between Creekside Estates in Evergreen$50,000 and $120,000.
A high quality manufactured home in nice community like these can be an excellent way to free up some of the "fixed" income and have some fun. Be sure to be certain that the park rules suit your needs as they tend to be somewhat strict in enforcing them.