Mobile Home Park Lot size

How important is the lot size. I am concerned about the future of the park when the older homes are obsolete. I am getting ready to purchase a small park in a great location, but it has older homes.

Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

Of course lot size is important. If your stuck with 50ft and under homes, that is tough. If you can fit 60ft or even small 14x70’s that’s much more doable. The “pros” to the park need to outweigh the “cons” if the price and location of the park is good, that could make it more attractive. If the lot rent is high enough to justify purchasing new homes to put in the park, that will always be an option. On the other hand, finding used homes that are around 60ft long is doable in many areas.

You have to look at the whole picture and see if its worth dealing with the small lot sizes.

Thank-you. I appreciate the input and information.

Lots that will not hold at least a 14’ x 46’ mobile home are really just RV lots, as that’s as small a 2-bedroom as you can buy and bring into a park.

Older homes don’t really get obsolete unless they do not have at least one bedroom capable of holding a king size bed, and are maintained in decent condition. Homes from the 1980s and up are fine. Homes from the 1960s and 1970s normally go forever, but there were some early models that modern tenants simply will not live in because they are too small (8’ and 10’ wides particularly).

But don’t think that older homes eventually die – they do not. As long as they are maintained, they will last as long as a traditional SF home. We have some in our parks that are already over a half-century old and are in fine shape.

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That is great to know thank-you for t he information

My next project to update is a 14x63 2 bedroom. It’s the smallest home, everything else is 70 long. I think that space in front would make either a nice sitting porch or a wheelchair ramp. I envision a lovely older person on a fixed income sitting on that porch or wheeling down the ramp, that’s a lovely older person who would never DREAM of paying their rent late because they just weren’t raised that way…

Some of the best looking homes in many of our parks are the older homes that have been restored. With the right color choice and landscaping, some of these 1960s and 1970s homes can take on some real character.

This is my biggest worry about the business. I have several older late 1970’s homes that are doing well and rented but… I worry that these homes will eventually get too old and will need to be replaced or will lose value of the lot.

Happy to see this is being discussed.
My lot rents are too low for the Cash or legacy program so I have to buy older homes to make it work.I

We target the purchase of the older homes in our community for renovation. What we like the best about the older homes is actually the size. The smaller homes are ideal for one or two older/retired residents looking to settle in a quiet community. No kids/no hassles.
Total reno inside and out including vinyl siding, new porches, decks, and landscaping adds value to the community and makes them very easy to sell to seniors.

Frank,

In one acre, how many of these 14’x46’ mobile homes fit? Also, which vendor sells these smaller homes these days?

Thank you.

I have a small park in which 8 homes are on .69 acres. I can barely get 67ft long homes on the lots. The homes are pretty close together. There is also a small driveway. So my park would be around “12 homes per acre” on a park that’s a pretty tight fit. Parking is tight also!

I would think you could physically fit more 46ft long homes on an acre then 12, but that’s going to be tight!

On the contrary I have a park that’s 30 homes on 8 acres. That’s 3.75 homes per acre. These are 50x100 lots. That is an ideal size.

I would be willing to purchase a “small lot park” if it was in a nice area with good clientele. However if you buy a low end park that also has small lots, it becomes a bad situation quickly. This type of clientele in particular seems to behave better when they have “room to breath” between them and their neighbors.

Remember that some states that license communities sometimes grandfather existing homes on setbacks from the road and distance between homes, but if you pull the grandfathered home they expect you to follow current standards if you place a newer or new home. This is also very often true in major metro areas that have home rule over communities.

Everybody has opinions on what works, and that often changes with the locations. I like every replacement home to be 16 foot wide in 3 star communities, but in some communities they are as small as 16’x50’ - one bedroom with front porch. Everyone has different marketing strengths and weaknesses, and I know mine.

There are several factors, such as the layout of the lots and the width of the streets, but in general, you will start having lot density issues when you hit around 12 to 15 or so per acre. The best density is 7 homes per acre – that will fit just about any home currently made on any lot. But you rarely get that dream. While 7 is perfect, you get danger in about twice that all the way to 20 units per acre. It is rare to find a park with greater than 20 units per acre that works. If you assume 43,560 square feet per acre, and a road represents about 4,000 square feet of ground space (20’ wide by 200’ long), then you have only around 2,000 sq. ft. per lot for 20 lots, with a lot size of around 40’ x 50’ not including easements and setbacks. What’s the highest density I’ve ever seen? A park in Ohio that had about 30 lots crammed in an acre. The homes were so tight together that you could literally walk the park from roof to roof.

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When the mobile homes are so close to one another potentially being a fire hazard, is this covered under grand-fathered law or will this still be subjected to the new fire code of the city and state?

Concern is do we need to move the homes apart due to the new spacing restrictions that the city/state may have?

The fire marshal has the ability to eradicate any dangerous use, regardless of whether that use is grandfathered or not. So yes, the biggest danger from high density is the fire marshal telling you that some of those homes have to come out. In high density parks,we always check with the fire marshal during due diligence to get their input. Of course, you are never 100% protected as the fire marshal can change.

That being said, you would never move the homes unless requested by the fire marshal, assuming everything else is legal and in conformance with your zoning and grandfathered status. But you would always need to be prepared to do it if asked by the fire marshal, and have that built into your budgets as a worst case scenario.

Other than the fire marshal, the spacing of mobile homes is generally not subject to rebuke by the city or state if the park is “legal non-conforming” or “grandfathered”. That doesn’t mean that you won’t get tested from time to time. We get about two cities per year (remember that we have around 160 parks) that try to hassle us when we bring homes into vacant lots. But we have won every case over the past 20 years, without ever having to formally go to court. In fact, many states are now taking up the question of mobile home park grandfathering and declaring it safe forever. Missouri did recently, and now Mississippi in the last few weeks. Here’s a link to that Supreme Court Decision:

Hi Frank! I’m putting together a park and had a few questions. Would if be okay if I gave you a call?