Due diligence tools and equipment

Hi MHU community, I’d like to invest in some tools/equipment for mobile home park due diligence. Among others, Im considering to buy a snake camera to inspect the sewer lines, but it would cost appx $7k. In your opinion, is it worth it to own a sewer camera so that I can do sewer line inspection by myself or just outsource the job to plumbers? I guess the price may be paid off over a long period of time, but I thought DIY may not be a bad idea. Besides snake camera, any other essential tools/equipment that you may find handy file DD? Thanks

You’re better off hiring a plumber. Are you planning on buying many parks in the same area?

My plan is to keep it in truck so I can take it to wherever I want to inspect. It seems to me sewer line condition is one of the most important DD items when buying a park and to have a camera can be handy.

That sounds like a bad idea to me.

  1. It’s going to get stolen
  2. it’s going to get broken
  3. Are you going to pack it in your luggage when you buy a park out of state
  4. Are you an expert plumber? No offense, but I doubt you have the expertise needed to do this type of inspection. Also hiring a licensed professional gives the inspection a lot more credibility when asking for repairs.

This is my favorite tool for MHP inspections.

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Thanks for the comments. All good points some of which I didn’t even think about.

I’m not too worried about the items 1-2 because I’ll keep an eye on it and use it with care. Re #3, I will probably leave it in the truck bed locked. Re #5, I’m not a plumber but like to work on things (have bought many tools over years). I will probably gain expertise if I am willing to spend time and make efforts. Sometimes I found it hard to find reliable contractors, so instead of waiting for the contractor I just go ahead do the work myself. Having said that, I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to invest the time and money to do drain/sewer inspection myself.

Just curious, what do you use the 50 amp surge protector for when you do MHP inspection? I use it when I do RV camping

I think it is a really bad idea. Let’s put it in terms of cost to illustrate this. On a recent acquisition worth $2 million, it cost roughly $1,000 to have a plumber do this work. To justify a $7,000 purchase price I would have to buy 7 parks at this price which would be a $14,000,000 investment. With a portfolio of that size, there would be so many management issues to address like staffing, information systems, marketing, infill, maintenance, acquisition prospecting, etc., that it would be foolish for me to focus on such a small technical aspect so deeply that I loose sight of the big picture.

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you have so many properties in your pipeline that you could justify this purchase, then you should be acting as a CEO managing your portfolio broadly with your employees handling the primary functions.

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Thank you. What you said makes sense to me. I guess I need to think more like a CEO, instead of handyman lol

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@ellison

I use the Surge protector to check the park’s power system.
Check out the functionality. This will basically check for every possible fault in the park’s power system.
All you have to do is plug it in and read the lights.

Also you can probably just rent a Sewer line Camera if you REALLY want to do it yourself.

Home Depot Rents them for $200 a day.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/rental/General-Wire-Spring-Drain-Camera-CGPF-ECAM-ACE/309392482

Thank you for following up. This all makes a lot of sense!

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