Lot Rent Comps - GSA Metro


#1

Alright, I’m about to go out of my mind, or I’m in a black hole of an area that defies reality as we know it…

I’m analyzing a deal right now in the Greenville-Anderson-Spartanburg metro of South Carolina. It is the town next to Greenville, and not too bad of an area. I seem to be getting WAY different results when I look at lot rent comps, and if I include apartment rent comps like MHU suggest I’m even more dumbfounded. Below are the apartment rents for that Zip Code. The current lot rents for the park are $210, which I figured I could push up to at least $250 - $300, however the deal does not meet my metrics for syndication at $250, and really only makes sense to pitch at $300. Let’s not worry about expenses for now.

When I compare other lot rents in the area I get a ridiculous mixed bag anywhere from $150 - $350, with most hovering around $200-$250, and I have called a few property managers in the area and they say they hover around the $200-$250 range.

Studio Apartment $540
1 Bedroom Home or Apartment $610
2 Bedroom Home or Apartment $720
3 Bedroom Home or Apartment $960
4 Bedroom Home or Apartment $1,100

With all this being said, can someone help me make sense of this as it would seem like apartment rents would dictate a high lot rent, but I’m not seeing that in the numbers I am getting on craigslist or from the PMs.

Median home value for that zip code is $136,000 in case you wondered.


#2

Great question and I would love to hear some insight on this as well. These kinds of numbers aren’t something that I see often, but from time to time I do and they baffle me as well. I’ve seen an area where the 3 br apt avg was 980 and lot rents were in the 150s. I don’t know if the parks in the area just don’t know what the heck they’re doing or what.


#3

I have been all over South Carolina and evaluated many deals there. Lot rent is $200 - $250 all day long. I have seen very few go into $300 since that in reality is high in many areas of the country.


#4

My first question is why in a syndication model a certain lot rent point doesn’t make sense? It doesn’t seem logical unless I am not understanding. You can get an awesome deal but the lot rents are 200, or a not so good deal, but lot rents happen to be 425.

I don’t know this area but on my experience you want to make sure you really get a good understanding of the market. I have seen some markets were the metrics make it seem like the park should be at 250-300 but then the rents are 150. And all the rents are.

You want to get into the nitty gritty, are they ALL mom and pop parks that are low? Are there any larger operators with parks there, how do those rents stack up ? How is the economic strength and health of the area, how is the vacancy?

I know when I was looking at a park in Myrtle beach , seemed like lots rents should have been 400. Everything seemed to be 200-250. Everything was full, nothing available. Did a test ad and overwhelming response. While I’m not sure you want to be the guy that goes from 250 to 350, it told me the area seemed vibrant, lots of people looking for affordable housing etc. If you think the market should be 350 and its all 175 and no one responds to test ads for a 500 MH with lot rent in that payment and there is a bunch of vacant lots, you might want to consider.

Touring the area would be good if its an option. Sometimes getting into a market and seeing things first hand answers all your questions.


#5

For what it’s worth, Greenville economy is one of the fastest growing in the USA. If I recall correctly.


#6

@Marvel_Equity The reason I say the lot rent matters in this case is because I want the deal to fit certain Cap Rate or Value-Add parameters to Syndicate. Syndicators should strive for great deals, not just ones that make money or are better then OK. The $300 lot rent would be a significant value-add and worth the price.

@Brandon I know, which is why I thought the area would support higher rents. The rents of apartments has increase a good bit over the past ten years, but lot rents has not, so I just don’t get it. I assume it is a lot of older owners who are not pushing rents up and the investors are hurting for it.

@WhiteTrashGator You are correct, and that is what I am noticing more and more.

That is why the confusion, everything in the area would seem to support higher rents except the other parks rental rates…


#7

@zbradigan finding numbers all over the place isn’t uncommon in my opinion. You may be overthinking this. I would be wanting to simplify things. For example, I wouldn’t even be looking at 3 or 4 bd apartments. I would also eliminate a few oddball lot rents (i.e. $150).

Most importantly, I would want to make sure I am comparing apples to apples. A lot rent that may appear to low may be because the tenants pay utilities. A lot rent that may appear to high may provide amenities or perhaps be 50+.

The other thing I would do is call a few of those places you listed and talk to managers, owners, etc. The more you talk to people the more you’ll understand the market.


#8

Raise the rents! If they start leaving then you know you raised them too much. If they stay then you know you didn’t raise them enough.


#9

@zbradigan Got it, you were looking at upside on the delta , i was interpreting it as gross , understand now.


#10

I agree with @Jeros, making sure you are comparing lot rents which include the same thing is helpful. Including trash/water/sewer or not makes a big difference.

A couple of other factors to consider:

  1. What are the lot rents in the area MHPs that are operated by sophisticated owners? By that I mean, a park in your market that is operated by a company that owns a bunch of parks is a better barometer of market lot rents than the local Mom and Pop parks. Mom and Pop may just be way too low on the rents for no real reason.

  2. What is the vacancy like in the area? What are the move in incentives being offered at other parks? This will give you an idea of demand and how desperate your competitors are. If the other MHPs are offering deep discounts for new move-ins, low lot rents, and a better park atmosphere than yours, that would not be good. However, if occupancy is pretty good overall and owners don’t seem desperate for tenants, then that’s a good sign.

  3. Lastly, are you comparing parks that are similar quality to yours? If the lot rent at Park A is $200, but it’s a scary dump, and lot rent at Park B is $300, but it’s safe and clean, then whichever one is most similar to yours is more relevant.

That’s my two cents. Hope it helps. Good luck to you! Please post an update at some point and let us know how this worked out for you.

Thank you,
JW