Small towns/ small population states

I have a handful of test ads out for parks located in the Southeast to the Northeast, and I’m getting calls on all the parks. However, by far the biggest response I’ve gotten from one park is in a small northeast town in a small northeast state. I have met people who prefer to live in small towns at any cost, but I still worry. This one town with the most calls is the leftover area after the paper mill closed. There is a large , popular state park there, though. The chamber of commerce says the hospital is the largest employer. It all sounds like a sinking ship of a town to me, but I keep getting calls. Almost 40 calls in 7 days. And people are still calling days later.

Thoughts? Thoughts on low population areas in general?

Sounds odd. Even if it is a small town, is it part of any major metro? What is the population within, say, 15 miles of the park?

What did your test ad say? Did you have a ‘real’ downpayment required (like $2,000)? What does Bestplaces show as being the vacancy rate? And what does Rent-O-Meter show for 2BR rents?


The region can be a factor too. A small town in Georgia or Louisiana generally
would be riskier than a small town in Massachusetts or Maine.

We’ve had parks like that. But the magic has been a major metro market nearby. Case in point, our park in Loami, Illinois which gets a ton of calls despite it being a tiny town – but those calls come from folks in Springfield, Illinois (the state capitol about 20 miles away) who are seeking a great school district in a boutique Mayberry RFD town. I don’t think you can score calls at the level you are receiving unless you have a population center of 100,000+ nearby.

Frank, that’s how I feel. I got a lot of calls about that park, but the population is just too small. The knot in my stomach goes away when I stop looking at that park.

Kg2, The park is in Maine, but I’m still scared of the sparse population. There are no major metropolitan areas near by.

Small towns can be okay providing there are plenty of other small towns nearby to draw from. That park in Maine has no other towns of consequence nearby. Another thing to look at is census data. Is the population stable or declining?

Dave and I are huge believers in the power of “gut instinct”. If the park gives you a stomach ache, then I would not go forward. A good deal should give you a positive feeling, not terror. The human brain is capable of processing much more data than we utilize, and a bad gut instinct is a deal killer.