Are you ever more conservative than Sperlings/MSA designations?

Does anyone ever second guess the MSA defintions by being MORE conservative?

i.e. I know some would like to think the town they are investigating is part of a metro when it is not defined as such. “But it’s only 25 minutes away…”

I’m in the opposite situation. Looking at a park in a town of only about 4K. Sperling’s says it’s part of a metro where the main town has 32K and the metro has about 150K.

But the town is 72 miles out… this is not a big number in say the Chicagoland area, but seems like it in this rather rural area…


Thanks as always,


Here’s where a “metro area” comes from, straight from Wikipedia:

In the United States, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are neither legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like counties or separate entities such as states. As such, the precise definition of any given metropolitan area can vary with the source. A typical metropolitan area is centered on a single large city that wields substantial influence over the region (e.g., Chicago or Atlanta). However, some metropolitan areas contain more than one large city with no single municipality holding a substantially dominant position (e.g., Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, Riverside–San Bernardino or Minneapolis–Saint Paul).

MSAs are defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and used by the Census Bureau and other federal government agencies for statistical purposes

So who sets the MSA is the OMB at the Federal Government. If they cay it’s the metro, then it’s the metro – I don’t think you have any input into it.

Your test ad should tell you of the demand in your area from this MSA. I would go by that.

Like Frank said, test ad. I almost bought a nice park in a 5k population town that was a nice town with potential. No matter what I did I couldn’t get any test ad responses - nada. Very glad I didn’t follow my emotions on that park and I passed.

I have some horror stories of people who were not as smart as you, and bought the park anyway. They are unable to sell or rent any of the homes, and watch in shock as the park dwindles down to nothing but a scrapyard of abandoned mobile homes – a virtual wild west ghost town. They sit by the phone praying for a call every day, but none come. When they eventually do get a call, it’s a drifter who shacks up in the home for a month and then runs off.

A bad performance on a test ad should be a deal killer for any buyer. You can’t build a business around zero customer demand.