A young man making minimum wage was considering buying a mobile home as his first home. But his friends teased him about living in a trailer park. He wanted to know if this negative reputation was deserved or not. The answer: Sometimes yes, but more often no.

Mobile home parks got their start in the 1940s after World War II, as tens of thousands of returning soldiers clambered for affordable housing. There was little oversight for the manufacturing of units, and parks were unregulated. Units were crammed together, sanitation was lax, and conditions tended to worsen rather than improve.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that the mobile home industry was finally regulated by building codes. Today, many mobile home parks are quite desirable compared to yesteryear’s parks. If you’re looking into mobile home living, here are 5 thoughts to consider:

1. The cons. Mobile homes typically do not rise in value, and some parks require a lease that is hard to break if you decide to move. If you can afford it, you’re better off financially in a condo or house that appreciates in value.

2. The pros. Mobile homes are inexpensive, and that can help a family feel secure. If the choice is between a substandard condo complex (because that’s all you can afford) and a nice mobile home park, the mobile home park may offer a better living option.

Many older residents move to age-controlled mobile home parks because they want a quiet, country-club atmosphere without huge expenses. These parks can be a great option for down-sizing seniors. Some of these communities are nicer than condo complexes!

3. Next, determine what global restrictions there are. Are kids allowed? What ages? Are pets allowed? What sizes? Is it a senior community? Can you rent your home to someone else while you travel?

4. Visit at all hours. If you can, drive through. You’ll get a feel for the place. Talk to residents. Notice if the homes are kept up to date in good condition, as that can reflect on your quality of life. Listen. Noise is a common complaint in mobile home parks, and you’ll probably want a park with noise restrictions.

5. Review the HOA or park documentation. Notice if there are any capital improvements being planned that might result in a rise in your space costs. Review the expenses and extra fees carefully.