Problems with north parks

We are new to industry and are thinking of purchasing a park in PA.The park has public water and sewer but We live in NC and are concerned about problems that may arise in the winter any thoughts or advice would be welcome.

I’m in a chatty mood so I will give you my thoughts, but I actually have not owned a park so keep this in mind. Freezing water would be the main concern. If there are hose bibs or any other water lines that are exposed they should be winterized or kept warm with heat tape and insulation. I believe this is one of the reasons that skirting is frequently is vinyl soffit material instead of open lattice.

Another concern would be empty homes since nobody is there to alert you to potential problems. A frozen pipe could split open and flood the whole unit.

Snow plows also tend to be rough on older roads.

We have more water lines freeze and break in the south than we do the north. The reason is that the north is always cold, so most tenants have winterized their pipes properly because they know there’s no way they’re going to escape a huge freeze. Southern tenants, however, think that it will never get that cold, so they don’t do hardly any winterization. Then, when there’s a freak cold spell, the pipes freeze like crazy. If you live in Devils Lake, North Dakota, where it gets 40 below zero most of the time, every line is wrapped in insulation and heat tape. But in Oklahoma, where it never gets much colder than 25 degrees and suddenly it drops down to 5 degrees, then everything goes bad quickly.

That makes a lot of sense! I’ve been on an HOA board in NC and we had a bunch of hose bibs bust because people would wash cars and forget to unhook the hose in the winter. We actually installed valves that we can lock up in the winter to prevent usage.

Keep in mind if the homes are resident owned none of the freezing water line issues are the park owners concerns. POAs are a separate business from owning a community and come with all the associated issues of owning and renting buildings.

True, but when the line is hemorrhaging water later and the tenant has no money to pay it, we get stuck paying the bill after they run off. Additionally, we can’t turn the water off to any occupied house as it’s a violation of the health law – so it’s a complete mess when the tenant’s line freezes. We typically proactively get the line fixed and then bill it back to the tenant if the line breaks. If it does not break, then the tenant is responsible to try and thaw it out.

So if the water is submetered and billed back the freezing is a problem for you as the park owner? Do you have a plumber on call for these types of issues? Is is a bad idea to buy a park 9hrs away where freezing may be an issue? So if you are submetering thru a 3rd party they can’t shut the water off for non payment? Sorry for so many questions I am just eager to learn!

When you say pro actively get line fixed I assume you must have the home owners permission and agreement prior to having the work done correct. In the event they do not agree to have line repaired do you simply evict.