I am new to MHP’s, my partner and I are currently investigating a MHP in our local area we would like to purchase. I am wondering where I would be able to locate the information about the actual size of the lots in the park. Do I go to city hall and get a copy of the plat map, will that give me the detailed information I need about the entire tract of land in the park and how its all used, or is that something I need to get from the owner, or other? I do appreciate your feedback and time, thank you.
In a few states that may work, but for most mobile home parks it will not. The lots are usually not legally separated in any form of government record and where one ends and another begins can be arbitrary. You will likely have to measure each lot. For a rough measure, use the measure feature on Google maps. For more precision use a measuring wheel.
I am looking at a park that has supposedly 20 vacant spots. Not all the concrete pads are present and no real defined boundaries that I can tell in some of those areas.
The city is saying it isn’t zoned for MHs and we can’t use the vacant lots. We have spoken with an attorney that says he would take up our cause and doesn’t see any reason we couldn’t use the vacant lots.
If the park isn’t zoned, but we get permission, does the city set the boundaries for what the lots need to be? Are they new or old guidelines? Do we set the lot sizes as we see fit for the total space available as it is just a single parcel with the homes on it? Not sure how we proceed with planning to fill those spaces if we do get permission.
You will need a surveyor to delineate the lots as part of any deal you strike with the city. The “number of lots” you are allowed is going to be dictated by the laws that were in effect when the park was “built.” You are going to have to come up with some good arguments about what delineates the moment when the park was “built” unless you get a green light to go ahead without your lawyer.
After that, you would probably look to the zoning ordinances. “If you get permission,” you will have to look up the current setback, minimum spacing, and minimum square footage ordinances applicable to MHP and then get a (surveyor’s or engineer’s) drawing showing the layout and demonstrating it conforms to whatever the rules are (probably today’s rules if you are going to add water/sewer/electrical capacity). You will have to go through the planning and zoning (maybe with your lawyer) and then through the building/permitting department with the drawings, etc to get the permits to add the utilities.
Its hard to get an accurate size of each lot as many times the prior owner or owners didn’t exactly place the units in the park with much accuracy. You will also notice sometimes that even though the city may state that the park is allowed a certain amount of rentable lots the prior owner has thrown homes around and you would never be able to rent all the lots unless you moved homes around and most people wouldn’t do that. A good rule of thumb is to see the size of the units they currently have in the park and based on that information you can figure out what the size units the other empty lots can fit. Of course you can also measure the other lots and get an idea as well.
Look at historical aerial photographs, from this aptly named website called, “historic aerials” and can see if the lots have been constructed and used in the past, and that data can be a source to triangulate their approximate location alongside the other good advice provided above.
This can also be used with the attorney to further strengthen your case when you have conversations with the city.