Re: Planning a Business


#1

Ron,

Thanks for all the nice comments about the website and the information on it.

As for your questions, I do not know too many people that are investors in the markets you are speaking of. I have been looking for parks in those hot markets for years to no avail. The people that I do know of do not post on any forums that I am aware of. Possibly look into some local real estate clubs or check your state MH association. Another good way to find out about the laws is talk to some of the mom and pop park owners in your area or find some large parks and go into the office and talk to the managers. They will a ton of information and if you find friendly ones they may even give you a copy of their forms.

I own a park in Ohio and I have seen very few parks in that market that are fully occupied. The market you are in is unlike most markets in the country but there are similar ones (many CA markets, FL markets, CO markets, and other areas. If you are a current owner in these markets you are in a good position and may still be in a Seller’s market. If you are an owner in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, you are in a buyer’s market. The biggest thing I would watch out for in these “hot” markets is that you do not want to overpay for this stability. If the rents are near the top of that market it may be hard to see significant gains in rents. What I would look for in these markets are parks with lower than market rents that can be raised to market thereby making the resulting cap rate attractive.

When you look at parks with really old homes and small spaces you need to really understand the zoning laws and setback requirements in your city or county. If a home is burned down (and if the homes are close together it may have a domino effect), you want to know if you can replace the home, and what size home can you replace it with, and how long do you have to replace it before losing the right to replace that home. I like old parks with older homes but only if you can freely move homes in and out.

Finally, my suggestion if you want to stay close to home would be to look in the Virginias, Carolinas, and possibly Pennsylvania, Ohio, and I have seen some good deals in New York and Maine. However, you should be able to find good parks in almost all 50 states. Maybe focus your attention on one state and figure out what markets you like in that state and pursue those. Also, look on the website and evaluate as many deals as you have time to evaluate. Then you will educate yourself and know when a good deal comes along.

Best of Success,

Dave