Emerald Coast Estates is celebrating its one-year anniversary of new ownership and some upgrades to the housing development.
Roy and Judy Lindsey of San Diego purchased the property in 2010 from the Itzen family and immediately spent $25,000 to seal and stripe all the streets.
Jim Allen, who manages the residential community, said the couple also added equipment such as a recumbent bicycle for the exercise room and paid for the installation of garden plots for residents.
"Now people are trading vegetables," Allen said.
Even more important, he said, the Lindseys have brought a management style that homeowners appreciate. Roy Lindsey travels from his California home to meet with residents at least four times a year, sitting down individually with those who have specific concerns or problems, Allen said.
"The style of management is open," he said. "He has totally turned around the attitudes here."
Roy Lindsey said the personal approach is a natural because he wants to run the park in a way he would appreciate if he were a resident.
"If anyone wants a private audience, they are welcome," he said. "There have been times when I've gone to tenants' homes and met with them privately because they might be hesitant to say something in a community forum."
He said he tries to operate on a "spare no expense" basis because taking care of repairs early saves money in the long run. He said the street sealing is an example. Some people told him it didn't need to be done for another three or four years, but he went ahead with the project soon after purchasing the property.
Lindsey said he was attracted to Emerald Coast Estates the first time he saw it.
"It was probably the most beautiful park I've ever seen," he said. "When I saw what was there, I jumped on it. It was a dream come true."
He was born and raised in California, and says the clean air and relaxed style of life in Brookings appealed to him as much as the housing park.
"I had gotten fed up with congestion and dirty air," Lindsey said. "When you get in the congestion we have these days, people are not the same. They get uptight.
"The pace in Brooking blew me away. People are different there."
The 19-acre development at 98126 W. Benham Lane in Harbor is restricted to those ages 55 and older. The residences are all manufactured homes, which Allen said adhere to stricter building codes than site-built homes.
Every house has energy-efficient features and the average size is 1,700 square feet. There are 56 homes, a community building with indoor swimming pool, and an RV storage space.
The grounds include walking paths, a koi pond and a creek running through attractive vegetation.
However, resident Judy Anderson says there's something even better than those amenities.
"I like the people," she said while working in her garden plot. "I'm really happy I moved in."
Resident Dan Thomson added that he likes having yard care provided.
"It's nice not having to worry about anything when you're gone," he said.
Allen said most residents are retired and have downsized after selling larger homes elsewhere. The homes, which range in price from $129,000 to about $350,000, are fully landscaped and fenced.
More information is available by calling 541-412-8940 or visiting the community's website at www.emeraldcoastestates.net.