Owning an out of state property needing improvements

I am looking at a park that is a few states away from me.  The numbers look good but there are many vacancies due to 40+ newly added lots not being filled yet.  The current owner says he doesn’t have the capital to buy homes for these lots, as adding the lots has drained his financial resources.  So there is tremendous upside here, however it is gonna take some cash and a bit of work to get these lots filled.  How does a person go about doing this when I am 1000 miles away?  The current manager there seems like a decent manager, but I’m unsure of her abilities to manage bringing in homes and doing rehabs on them.I also though about filling the lots with brand new homes, what options do the manufacturers offer on these as far as financing goes?  Do you have contact info for any of these companies?  I’m thinking things could go much smoother with a nice new home rather than a used home that has been rehabbed.  just a thought.  Dealing with the distance is really my biggest question and concern here.

The first question you need to answer is how much is your lot rent going to be?  From there, you can start to put together options that won’t get you in the sort of trouble the previous owner was in.  Also, how well did you test ad pull and was it specific to what you’re trying to do?Also, long before I got onto the park bus, I owned investment property (SFHs) while being out of the country… being out of state isn’t all that scary.  Almost everything can be handled with a phone call, some creativity, and a good attitude.  Don’t let your geography limit you.

I struggle with trusting others with my time and money.  I know owners do well owning property a long distance from their home, so it sure is possible to do, I’m not doubting that.  What I am wondering is, how do you build trust with someone that you barely know, especially when they know that you are benefiting from their labor and management skills.Is it typically easy enough to find this kind of person??   

There are a lot of judgement calls in doing the sorts of things you’re mentioning. How soon to do something; what materials to use; the best way to effect a repair; how to work with local government officials. Do I lay a new water line at 12" or 18"? Should I use gravel or sand to fill in a trench? Should I replace a roof that leaks or attempt to seal it? The best person to make these judgement calls is you.In the absence of that, I think you would need to spend a week or so in the city where the park is located and start interviewing folks. You’ve got to find someone you trust to make those judgement calls. Perhaps a retired contractor, or a very experienced handyman. I have a small park, with relatively few problems, but even so I’ve wasted thousands of dollars trying to fix problems over the phone. If I had been there might I have found a cheaper, better solution? Perhaps. Once a park is “finished”, and it’s up and running, and you only need to fix problems which arise, I think that’s doable. But to do everything you’re thinking about, and the need to address all the myriad issues which will inevitably arise, you’d better be sure you have someone you really trust to make good judgements and decisions in your absence. You’ll effectively be adding him/her to your credit card account.

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