Stubborn land owner

Iam trying to purchase a piece of property that joins my park.Its about a 1/2 to 3/4 acre lot that has a delapated house on it that needs to be torn down. I talked to the lady that owns it and she willing to sell but wont give me a price and the price I offered which was appraised value minus demo of house she refused.I have tried to contact her but she wont return my call.I have talk to the code enforcer and he said she is stubborn and he has been on her about tearing the home down for years he also said he believes shes in bad health.I want this property so I can clean it up and improve the appearance of the park and add 4-5 lots to the park.Iam afraid she will pass and I might not get the property.Has anyone dealt with a stubborn land owner that wont sell if so what advice can you give me on going about this the right way.

I have taken advantage of the bylaw enforcement to pressure the owner to sell.

The interesting thing about bylaw enforcement is that they rarely enforce bylaws unless there is a complaint from tax payers.

I file complaints (one after another) forcing the inspector to actually site the owner for code violations. Your identity is kept private so there is little concern the owner will retaliate but I always make sure my property is up to code.

What will likely happen is the owner in this case will not be in a position to bring the property up to code and will possibly approach you to buy it. In the end it is either brought up to code, hopefully eliminating an eye sore, or it is sold to someone that will do something with it.

If you take this approach I would not contact the owner again unless you see a for sale sign on the property.

Thanks Greg thats the advice I was looking for. I will contact the inspector monday morning,Thanks again!

Just to play devil’s advocate here for a moment, but why do you want to build a new 4 - 5 space park?

It is almost always more financially prudent to purchase existing MHPs, than to develop one from scratch. Isn’t there some small park somewhere within driving distance that could be purchased for less than the expense of acquiring the land adjacent to your current property, tearing down the house, installing the roads and water and sewer and electric and (perhaps) gas, and then purchasing 4 - 5 new(ish) homes, and finally running advertising and filling them…?

Small 4 - 5 space parks trade a quite a discount to 40 - 50 space parks (think 15% - 25% cap rates for small parks). Wouldn’t you rather buy one of those existing MHPs at that kind of valuation, instead of making your own new, small MHP from scratch?

Just a thought,


Please forgive me for butting into someone else’s post.

I think many people have had this idea or desire to buy adjoining property.

It is wonderful to be able to discus this idea with people that have knowledge and experience in this industry.

Is there any difference and maybe cost savings between adding 5 spaces to an existing park and building a new 5 space park?

Reasons why someone may want to do this.

A buffer zone between the park and some undesirable surroundings

like train tracks, a highway or major road, industrial noise or very small lots in the existing park, in this case you would not add developed lots.

You want storage space for your or your tenants large toys.

Your park is on the small side and a larger park would be harder to get zoned out.

I have seen this happen.

The park is full but you want hook ups for your RV when visiting the park.

The park is full and you would like to live in this park and you want a bigger nicer lot for yourself.

Your park is full but you want some expansion room in case something happens

like some tenants come up that you would like to have in your park.

Your aging parents, down on their luck friends or relatives, etc.

You may have visitors from out of town and you don’t want to send them to a hotel.

Go ahead and blast me,

some of these may be very bad ideas…


I have built expansions on existing parks, ranging from 10 lots to 100 lots added. The cost is roughly $10,000 per lot, plus the cost of the land. Since occupied lots are normally worth $20,000 to $40,000 (based on the rents and markets), then economically, adding lots makes sense assuming:

  1. you have demand

  2. you have a rational methodology to bring in the homes for those lots (a dealer sure isn’t going to be filling you up, that’s for sure)

The reason you do not see many expansions to parks is the hostility of city hall to granting the permits to expand a park, as well as the fact that most parks do not have vacant land next to them of sufficient size to add lots, or at a price in which the land makes sense to buy.

I would not do any of the ideas you have proposed, as the only thing a park should focus on is lot rent, and I’ve tried most of those ideas on raw land inside parks, and not of them worked (such as storage). I would definitely never propose that any park owner stay in their park, or live next to their park. You would be the obvious target of every tenant to hit you up for money or concessions. Visit your park, mystery shop your manager, walk around – but go sleep someplace else where nobody can find you.

I cannot begin to describe the level of push-back you will have on your proposal to expand a park. Every homeowner will aggressively speak against you, as will the mayor and the entire planning commission and city council. I have probably tried 20 times and succeeded around 10% of the time. If you are determined to give it a whirl, then here’s a big tip. Don’t go to the council until you know that you already have enough votes to win. Talk to the mayor and council members informally about what it would take to be approved. Sometimes they would approve you if you built a needed buffer between the existing park and the neighbors. Sometimes you can trade them an easement or something the city wants in return. But until you have the votes in your pocket, don’t bother to give it a formal attempt.

I just read the last few post.I work as a lineman and have been very busy the last 4 days restoring power after a my area was hit with a ice storm.I want to clear some things up.First of all this property is the only piece of property that I dont own on the street the park is on.It is already zoned MH and is the only property in the city left that is zoned MH so I wont have any trouble expanding.Second, Iam not building new, all utilities are there to tap so I dont see the cost of bringing in new.Third I want the property so I will have control of who occupies the property.Iam afraid someone will buy and wont take care of it and will make and eyesore for the park.Did I mention this property is at the entrance of the park.Iam really not wanting to add any more spaces to the park anytime soon I really just want ownership to control the the integrity of the park. I hope I cleared things up a bit.