A park owner asks me whether leasing is really a better choice for the elderly than a short term (month-to-month or 1-12 month rental agreement).
"Leasing is superior, from an economic standpoint and based on non-quantifiable factors: quality of life, stress reduction and longevity."
"Leasing is better than one year or month-to-month because it means security. It relieves the anxiety of about guessing at the rent increase "next year" or "next month" where rent costs are unilaterally controlled and set by the landlord. It brings peace."."
"What I am told is that lessees on long leases (which are transferable, terminable (in a mobilehome park, by law) and assignable by the way, so there is no being trapped like some argue)-- residents make site improvements, plant flowers, become gardeners, and feel more at peace. They know what next year's increase is or at least how it's calculated."
"The prospect of the unknown future, like uncertain weather, engenders stress and anxiety. I recall some studies about suicide rates I looked at when I was a graduate student, testing the hypotheses that dark cold weather makes for higher suicide rates. Not. Nor does nice sunny weather for that matter. No real differences when weather is stable, be it hot, cold or wet. As for weather predictors, to the extent of any correlation at all, it is the areas where weather is turbulent, capricious: causing the disruption or change (cancel, re-route, delay) in one's planned or regular daily routine and movement. The uncertainty can engender disappointment, regret, worry or anger, all stressors that can be tipping points."
"In the same way, a stable situation in residence-shelter with predictable costs is comforting--at least it removes a source of discomfort, stress, anxiety."
This is no joke. According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic stress puts your health at risk. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities.
But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.
The long-term activation of the stress-response system - and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones - can disrupt almost all your body's processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
Memory and concentration impairment
That's why it's so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life. And leasing is one way to eliminate needless and damaging stresses over unknown and incalculable rent adjustments.