55+ Parks in FL

Hi All,
Anyone with experience with this type of park in FL? What pitfalls should I be aware of? Thanks again for your time.

As long as your market area can fill the park with 55+, it’s a good deal. If you’re operating under Florida Statute 723, mobile home park lot tenancy, you may, at your discretion, rent 20% of the homes (lots) to under 55, which is convenient if, say, someone is younger than that but on Social Security Disability, or a 55+ spouse dies and you want to permit a younger spouse to remain. Most 55+ parks stipulate a lower limit, also, like spouse 45+, in their park rules.

That was very helpful. Is there lot rent control or is it that you just need to give ample time before the raise?

No rent control, although if the park has an HOA (mine doesn’t), you may have to meet with them and explain/justify a big increase. I have just raised the lot rent $5 or $10 a year with no complaints. And, right, you have to give them 90 days notice.
( If you Google F.S. 723, the entire statute is online, or you can call or email for a paper copy…)

Thank you for your help.

Hi @Lopo1 and @kwm1, I just started exploring 55+ MHPs in Florida as well. I think it’s an interesting solution to the senior affordable housing problem, and it seems that Florida has a large percentage of senior parks nationally for obvious lifestyle reasons. How have your experiences been so far?

I’m not sure what you’re asking, Justin. ???

The market in South Texas, Mission, Harlingen etc. is much more reasonable priced for buyers (than Florida) plus there are parks listed on the MHPS for sale. The going price is from $7,000-$9,000 per space vr. Florida is $18,000-$35,000 per site!!!

Sorry @Lopo1, looking back, my question was a bit vague. I wanted to see how your general experience has been as a 55+ MHP owner in the state of Florida. From tenant quality/management experiences/competitive landscape etc, I was just looking for an overall picture of that market. It seems that demand should be strong in coming years due to the shortage of affordable senior housing, I just wanted to see if the juice might be worth the squeeze in that sector. Thanks!

I think one of the first questions you need to answer for yourself is … Are you looking to operate it as a 55+ park or convert it over to all ages? Operating mode and expenses are very different. My park began as 55+ and I have been doing the conversion process. One other note is a lot of the 55+ parks also have RV spaces for the “Snowbirds” or “Winter Texans” and the rate structure can be very different. FYI… my park is in Brownsville, TX… not FL.

Thanks @Jsmith. I would be looking to operate it as a 55+ park, so I’d like to hear more about why you’re converting to all ages. Did you have problems finding enough 55+ tenants in the Brownsville market?

There are good’s and bad’s to both business models. I just found that I am not a 55+ park type owner for my first park at least. I have definitely learned a LOT through this experience! LOL. Trial by fire so to speak.

Have been involved in both Florida and Texas presently in Ok. we are finding the length of stay of snowbirds is changing from the former 5-6 months in one parks to 1-3 months and traveling around much more which causes a very big problem if your are an owner of a +55 park in either state!!! We have made recent offers in Texas and Fl. and find both +55 parks occupancy going DOWN for RVer’s. The younger ones retiring are changing the roles for +55 parks, but +55 mobile home parks seem to be ok like even Frank from the (MHPS) recently bought a park (MH park) at Brownsville but are recently buying storage units??? There are many +55 parks for sale in the Valley and like Jsmith are being converted to family parks!!!

Was the park they bought a 55+?

J smith–I can name the parks but want to be very careful not to be problematic to any sellers or future buyers. The name is ------- Colony—I believe you can figure that out!!! Notice 4 more new parks listed at Mission and some are really nice–just like Florida–occupancy is falling off!!! Those that have questions on +55 please ask—over 35 years in the business!!!

My experience is that they 55+ parks are really expensive in Florida. Caps are extremely low.

There are a ton of 55+ parks in SW FL, but most of the big ones I see are owned by REITs. Otherwise I would definitely be looking into them. That being said, I’m not sure they’re more profitable than “affordable housing” parks. I would love to see some numbers backing this up though.