Mobile Home Park Drive Through

3 Replies

I have been reading and studying information about mobile home parks.  One of the things that you read is several places is that there is always room for low cost housing (more now than ever).   My wife and I used to live in a mobile home park for about 13 years.  We understand and appreciate the value that type of housing was to us at that time in our lives.  We decided to do a drive through a park near us the other day out of curiosity.    I was surprised to see that probably 25% of the lots were vacant and that another 10-15% had "home for sale"  signs (and it was clear that no one lived there, we found out later these were for sale by the park).

We checked Craigslist and found that lot space rent was $585 (trash/water/sewer) in that park.  Another park (closer to the city and more full)  but in the same area has lots listed at $625/month (trash/water/sewer/basic cable).  In the area you can rent 2 bd apartments for about $800 - $900/month.

What could be going on at the first park?  Have they priced themselves out of the low cost housing market?

Has anyone ran into a situation where the park was charging too much and had to lower rates to fill the park?

When the real estate market crashed a few years back, did any park owners have to lower their lot rates (i.e if house cost are dropping doesn't the bottom have to drop as well)?

Hi @William Stanhope

It could be a number of things, including monthly space rent priced too high.

Some park managers/owners don't get along with the tenants and the tenants move out. They attempt to sell the home but if they can't they may move it out. Most tenants don't, due to cost.

Could be utilities issues. One park in my area, is $80/mo for water alone. While another park is only $30/mo. Another area I've worked, had rust in the water and the city wouldn't force them to fix it so several tenants moved out.

Maybe the age of the homes is such that the mgr/owner wants to update the park and has asked them to upgrade or move the homes out. If that is the case, they may allow a move in incentive. Some parks in my area will pay $5k toward the move cost plus 3-6 months rent after moving. This is usually for homeowners moving in. May not allow it for contractors/investors.

It might be a good idea to meet and interview the park mgr/owner and just innocently ask why so many open spaces? And what they think is going on? If you're conversational and seem curious, they may tell you.

Good luck and happy hunting!

All the parks in our area are basiclly full....except one, thats half empty/many for sale...the manager is so rude.  I'm pretty sure that is the reason.  

Bill gave you a good answer.

In my experience, when a community is in trouble, it always relates back to ownership.

A manufactured housing land-lease community needs a reason or reasons for people to want to live there. The better the reason(s) the more likely it is to be full. Some owners either do not understand that, or lack the skills and expertise to build those reasons.

Lot rents are only too high if the residents think they are not a good value for the money, or if they are out of line with the local market and not enough people can afford to pay whatever the lot rent is even if they want to live there. Sometimes the owner paid too much for the community in the first place and his debt requires higher lot rents than are justified which forces him to charge more than what people perceive the value to be, or what the market can afford. That is still an ownership problem.

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