The biggest ticket item for MHP expenses is usually the repair & maintenance. What are some thing ms you do that help minimize this part of the expenses?
Preventative maintenance. It is less expensive to do routine maintenance than have to respond to actual repairs and equipment failures.
In addition when ever you can do the work yourself you will save 50% on your costs. Many will suggest this is not cost effective however if you have the time and that time can not be used to generating additional income consider your time is worth that 50% savings.
This is so important, and so hard to manage long distance.
Great points! What are some big ticket preventative maintenance items you’d suggest?
There are obvious ones like water testing and pumping of septics, as well as quarterly inspections of well pumps, etc. as applicable.
For POHs, a yearly tune-up of furnaces saves a lot of emergency calls (northeast parks).
Tree inventory, monitoring, and trimming
Road repairs, A/C filters, loose vinyl, loose shingles, rocks that will kick up, lawn care drainage control, sign painting, decks, painting practically anything wood is good preventative maintenance I expect. Inspections of all mechanical systems in clubhouse/office/POH; POH is a whole ball of wax. If you have POH, annual inspection while changing filters is a good idea, catch problems before move-out.
Do you know the condition of you sewer lines? Have you had them scoped? Are they PVC/ABS/clay/concrete/Orangeburg? It is much easier and cost effective you attach the worst chunk of sewer prior to its collapse. If done annually you can hopefully reduce the number of sewer line that need to be snaked outs which won’t cover the cost but hopefully lesson the pain of replacing the lines. This assumes they are in bad condition from thing like collapsing, major roots, persistent clogging due to low spot, etc. In my opinion any Orangeburg should always be replaced. I have found out that the price is much better when you solicit for a bid for something that needs to be done rather than I need you NOW!
How are your water lines? Are they galvanized/coper/PEX? Do you have unit/master water meters? Have you had a leak detection service check out to your park? As other posts have pointed out a small leak can add up to large costs for the park.
When was the last time your handyman has gone under the trailer to inspect water/sewer lines and heat tape? Better to address them in the summer than in the dead of winter.
Roads? Fixing pot holes and sealing asphalt can extend the life of the road and improve the appearance of the park. We just had a third of our park redone in asphalt for a very reasonable cost. The price of oil/asphalt in low right now. If they are gravel do they need to be graded? Any drainage issues in the park?
Trees? Do you have over grown trees waiting for a wind storm? Are branches touching trailers? I have talked to other park owners and they have the tree guy come out annually for a fix price and he does the most urgent issues he sees until the money runs out. Over a few years the most major issues get fixed at a manageable fixed price.
Gas Lines? Is the gas flex line that attaches to the trailer older than you? We have been working with our plumber to replace the worst in our park when he has time. We have to keep on him to do it but much cheaper than a gas explosion. Easiest way to look is go to the 70s trailer first. They are most likely original.
Fences? Park Sign? Parking pads? Street Lights? Any park owned telephone poles?
Like my home there is always something that needs to be done and never enough money. Just priorities what you want done. I would put water leaks, over grown trees, and sewer lines on the top of the list. This is because of the high cost of emergency repairs that can happen from deferred maintenance.
Thanks for the great answer!