After attending a boot camp in TX (another website), I thought the “correct” way to fill a park was with vinyl/shingle homes. At an absolute minimum the homes should have pitched roofs. Well, that idea ran up against reality.
A home just came in from a nearby park. It’s 1965 Ritzcraft 12 X 46 and looks like it spent its entire life in a museum. Not a single dent anywhere on the body and everything inside works. The new resident has PERFECT credit and of course there is no lien against the home. The resident has agreed to paint the home within the next 60 days. I’m standing there looking at this home and thinking that with its new paint job and new skirting it should look pretty good. It will never be repossessed and it’s unlikely the rent will ever be late. What would my community be like were it filled up with these types of homes/residents? Would I care if I didn’t have a community full of newer homes? Hell no!
Here is where things get interesting: I just sold an older home I took in exchange for not evicting a resident to a neighbor of the new resident. Single, mom, PERFECT credit, no debt, $1,500 in cash and she lived just few doors down from the new resident in the same nearby park with her abusive boyfriend. I used to look at this particular park as dog meat filled with more of the same. Upon closer inspection I see that while the homes are old and small, many of the homes and yards are spotlessly clean and neat as a pin. I hear through the grapevine the park is being run into the ground and many people want to leave.
The lesson I take away from this and one I would encourage others to consider is that the residents are more important than the age/size of their home. The competition amongst park owners for newer homes is brutal yet no-one seems to want older homes in good condition. They both pay the same lot rent and a paint job does wonders for sprucing up metal siding. If I can “cherry pick” a poorly managed park and pay the residents to move their home, I’m way better off than competing with better capitalized park owners for the limited supply of pretty repos. At the end of the day, my lots are filled with good people who pay their rent on time.
Better late than never but I can’t help but wonder what my financial situation would be like had I taken this approach a couple of years ago vs. doing it now.