26 Years Old First Time Buyer 13 Site Mobile Home Park, Needs New Sewer system

Looking to purchase my first mobile home park. I’m 26 in Texas. My grandfather built it in the late 70’s as a source of income for when he retired. He has since passed away and it was deeded to my uncle who did not want it so he then he sold it to my mother. She is tired of dealing with all the problems associated with it as since it was built in the 70’s and outside the city limits all of the plumbing and septic is grandfathered in. I would like to buy it and replace all of the septic and plumbing to add value to the park because now its like a slum. The land it sits on is approximately 3.08 acres. I tried to upload a photo of it but it says new users cant do that. I was wondering what type of septic system I should get. We do not own any of the trailers. We are only responsible for trash pick up , water well and mowing the grass, as well as any time the plumbing is messed up which is frequently. Old plumbing and tenants dumping wipes and grease down the drain every day isn’t a good combo. There are 13 trailers and i think the rent is $375 per month. So about $5000 per month in rent or $58,500 per year in revenue. I would like to add 2 additional spots to make 15 total sites if I have enough room to do so but with adding the new septic and requirements I’m not sure. I need advise on what is the best way to go with replacing all this and which sewer system would be the best, maybe aerobic? Trying to get this place from a slum to a fully functional place to live with the least amount of problems possible. Also I wanted to see if there were any of you with a setup similar to this what you charge for rent. Thanks for all the help and advise. Hope to hear from you -Hayden

First off Welcome!

Secondly- don’t panic. I have an older all septic park and occasionally have had issues. Sometimes you have clogged line or a stuck baffle. Sounds like you have been pumping tanks and you facing problems with tenant behaviours. That doesn’t mean you have to replace entire systems just change some behaviors. We pump all our tanks on a 4 year cycle and if we find problem items in the tank we bill the tenant for the pumping per their lease.

Now if you have entire systems failing ie drainfields? You should get with your County Health Dept and schedule a meeting to discuss. Every County is different so it is tough to give you ‘best’ options. They will help you with a solution and possibly help you with some longterm financing options. They will also line you up with a good company to do the work. You shouldn’t have to fix everything at once- you should be able to sneak up on the problem piecemeal. Hopefully anyway.

Despite your initial ‘septic panic’ which we have all experienced it sounds like a great opportunity for you. PS- Add the tank pumping language into the lease, surcharge them for garbage and raise the rents. Their is a new sheriff in town.


Thanks for your reply! We are pumping tanks 2 to 3 times a year at about $1200 each time. I think the leach line field has 30 years of biomat built up that it doesn’t drain properly. If that is the problem I could just put in new leach lines in separate location? Its just I think when you touch one thing you have to bring every thing else up to code. Last thing I want is the health department to shut it down and big fines for something I’m trying to fix. How many spaces do you have and how old is your system?

Replacing all the plumbing doesn’t add value.

If a complete replacement for the plumbing costs you $50,000, the park’s value does not go up by $50,000. For you one, you have to subtract the value of the legacy system since you are trashing it. The legacy system, while old, still has value. Call it $25,000.00

So you spend $50,000 for the new plumbing, but you also throw away $25,000 for the old stuff. So your net is $25,000 in new value. You spent $50K to make $25k (at best). Not a good idea.

I suggest you have a septic company come out and do a load test on each system. They will measure the effluent level in your tank, fill it with a water hose for about 1 hour, and remeasure the levels. If the tank fills up then you have a problem, if the levels stay close the the same then the leach fields are working.

Also, have the septic company inspect each tank. The septic tanks are at the end of their useful life and may need to be replaced. You can expect to pay $3-5K per tank to replace it.

Based on the 3-acre lot size, I find it unlikely that you can expand the park. Depending on your local codes, many jurisdictions require bringing the entire property’s septic system up to today’s standards to expand its use. The issue becomes reserve capacity and leaching times. For instance, you may need 100 feet of leach line per home plus 100% reserve capacity. If you can’t meet that requirement with a traditional system, you will be lured into using an ATS (alternative treatment system). I doubt the financial benefit of adding two spaces will cover the expense of upgrading the whole park to a new ATS.

You should buy the park.

Run it and slowly fix it up. It takes time to change the culture of a park. You are young. You have the time. Give it five years to turn the place around. Raise the rent as you improve the property.

Reach out to us on the forum if you have problems. We are here to help.


Hmmm… if the drain field is no longer draining or if the actual leach lines are clogged they are different issues with different solutions. My park was built in 1992 and we have had two drainfields fail largely due to tenant behaviours. We had enough space on one trailer to run it nearby. The other one we actually ran it across the road into a new area completely. We also had them do a ‘reserve’ drainfield in case of future problems. In both cases the County was very helpful in both solving the problem and keeping the costs down. I also used thier preferred installer which really helped keep things smoothed over.

As a side note I am at my park today working on setting in two long term RV spots and hooking up to that reserve field. Positive thing is with RVs we are being allowed to just install one septic tank with duel inlets.

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Old park here also … Im having to run the line across the road to new leach bed.
I not sure but pumping tanks 2-3 x
a year is crazy…