Buying a park out of your area?

Seems like all parks in my area are high priced and can’t seem to find anything close to home. How hard is to manage a park 5 and 6 hours away?

It’s no harder to manage a park 6 hours from home than 6 minutes, if you follow rigid systems and buy the right park. What’s the right park? It’s easier to say what is not the right park for ease of management. A ton of park-owned homes, or private water or sewer, or a weak market, or an exceedingly small park are all going to require much more management effort. What are the systems? You have to track weekly: 1) collections and 2) occupancy. You have to track monthly 1) water billing 2) property condition [via HD video] and 3) a budget/actual/difference report.

The Romans conquered the world through effective systems. Parks are no different.

I would also add that, once you get the hang of it, you can just as easily manage a park that is 16 hours from your house as 6 hours. It all relates to your use of systems.

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Thanks for the input. I’m afraid we can’t handle it from a far because we can’t just go by. Managed 500 rental units in our home town and was always running and checking in on them so that why I’m a little hesitant.

If you don’t own the homes (or many of them) there’s really nothing to check on, even if you lived behind the park. I thought you had to be at your park all day every day for it so succeed, so on my first park, Glenhaven, I officed in the park every day from 9 to 5. After a year of wasting 8 hours a day sitting there, I realized that my presence was not a value add. If you are there doing productive work, then being there is an OK idea. But if you’re just checking to make sure the park is there or that the grass is mowed, then you are wasting time and money and can accomplish that with systems and technology. That being said, it’s really hard to buy your first park when it is not a distance that you can drive to (about 4 to 6 hours each day). It’s something that you realize later.

There is a steep learning curve. If possible think back to your first rental property.
In the beginning it was probably overpowering but once you had more units and enough time under your belt your responsibilities become easier. Managing tenants in this type of community is the same, sort of, if you are familiar with that demographic of tenant. Simply imagine doing it from a distance.
The difficulty enters when you must learn the management of the property and infrastructure on top of managing a manager. Both will involve a learning curve but the managers are often a unique situation due to the pool of candidates you are required to draw from. Trust should be dolled out very sparingly in this business.
Your first community from a distance is doable but in hindsight defiantly not something I would ever tackle.

We are considering buying our 1st park that is 10hr away. It has metered water and sewer and is at 100% current occupancy no park owned homes (we hope to expand by 5 lots or so once we get the hang of it) does this sound like a good idea? I am definately nervous about being so far away… but in an er we could get a 2hr flight also it helps it is about 2hrs from were I grew up so we go to the area about 6 times a year as it is.

Starting out you can expect to possibly be on site about once a month but you have not included enough details about the existing operation to be able to answer with much accuracy.
Investing in a income rental property can at some point be a aim chair investment but certainly not when first starting out.