Considering buying small park but I have help needed

I have the opportunity to buy a 7 lot park. This is only the land, no homes and renters pay all utilities. Owner is asking $65,000. Lot rent is currently $125 and all are rented. Several spaces have been rented for 15 years. It’s 8 acres total but most is steep hillside and unusable without expensive dirt moving. My biggest concern is there are 5 septic tanks servicing the 7 lots. The owner states they have never been cleaned out in the 10 years he’s owned it and they have never cause any troubles. My concern is septic tank failure where one or more will need repaired or replaced. With the rents so low, replacing a septic tank would wipe out my finances for several years or more. Would septic tanks discourage you? The owner has agreed to have them inspected by the local health department to make sure they are up to code and are working properly. My other concern is there is no room for expansion. The land is basically hillside except the 7 existing lots. Any opinions or suggestions about the septic tanks, expansion issues or anything else please help me out. This is my first time and it’s very affordable. I’d hate to pass this up because I’m being too cautious but the septic tank situation really has me concerned. Thanks in advance.

Brad Bailey, I just posted a question concerning high density and septic systemsMy Husband and I are in South Carolina and have worked with septic systems.Please note that my knowledge is based on septic systems in a flat area.You indicated that this MHP is a hilly area, so I would recommend calling a septic system installer and having them inspect each of the septic systems.Primarily, you will run into two issues:1.)  Septic Tank Is Full:  This is the cheaper of the two issues to resolve2.)  Drain Fields Need To Be Replaced:  This is the more expensive issue.My concerns would be:1.)  5 Septic Systems Servicing 7 Lots:  You should really have a one to one ratio of septic system to house.2.)  Never Cleaned In 10 Years:  The Tanks should be pumped and serviced on a regular schedule. 3.)  Septic System Capacity:  In SC the septic systems configuration is based on the number of bedrooms (more bedrooms = more drain lines or longer drain lines).The septic system is comprised of:1.)  Pipe From Home:  Should not typically cause any issues.  However, if your Tenant has poured grease or flushed tampons/baby wipes, these will potentially clog the pipe requiring a call to your plumber.2.)  Septic Tank:  This holds the wastewater.  This is the cheaper component to address issues with as usually it is just pumping the wastewater out.  As per "Period pumping of the septic tank (to prevent buildup, sludge and floating scum) are the best and cheapest way to keep your septic system in good working order.3.)  Drain Fields:  Drain Field issues are the costly item to address.  Issues with the drain field typically require new drain lines to be installed.  As per"The wastewater exits the septic tank and is discharged into the drainfield for further treatment by the soil. The partially treated wastewater is pushed along into the drainfield for further treatment every time new wastewater enters the tank. If the drainfield is overloaded with too much liquid, it will flood, causing sewage to flow to the ground surface or create backups in plumbing fixtures and prevent treatment of all wastewater."4.)  Soil:  As per"Septic tank wastewater flows to the drainfield, where it percolates into the soil, which provides final treatment by removing harmful bacteria, viruses, and nutrients. Suitable soil is necessary for successful wastewater treatment."We wish you the very best!

Kristin, thanks for your response and I read your post also. I guess it’s a decision only I can make in the end, I’d still like some input from others as to whether this situation would stop you from buying, in other words is the risk (septic system) too great for the rewards? 

The park is two small for any great return–try at least 25 sites and if you do not have the capital SAVE UP so you can. You return per man-hour will be less than working at Wal-Mart.

I agree that the park is too small to make sense unless you live there and enjoy that kind of thing (being the manager & maintenance person).But in the interest of gathering data, is the hillside uphill or downhill from your lots?I would imagine a large down slope area would be an excellent drainfield and the risk of flooding due to back-pressure extremely minimal.  If I had acres of unusable land and a need for a septic system, that is certainly the way I would have constructed it, and that would negate some of the disadvantage of unusable land.  Brandon@Sandell

I know you asked for expert opinions, so forgive me for answering since I’m certainly no expert. I just wanted to add that I’ve lived in a home with septic for 18 years and it’s never needed to be pumped.

Don’t buy that deal – it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. You will pay $65,000, end up pumping another $30,000 into infrastructure and then sell it for $40,000 (as nobody wants private utilities on a park that size). You cannot buy parks that small on anything but city water and sewer, period.