The Future for Parks with Small Lots

I’m curious to get the 2019 updated version of how park owners are feeling in regard to being able to operate parks with small lots for the foreseeable future? I’m defining small as 50 - 65 feet length in this case. It seems these parks are typically deemed legal non-conforming, and usually have a 20-30 year grandfathering window applied. So that tells you their viability may be limited to 20-30 years down the road.

In terms of market demand, anyone have input on what they’ve been seeing in major metro areas? I’m eyeing a park in a Top 20 metro that has a max of 70 ft lots and a min of 50 ft. That’s getting into RV territory almost, but I have seen some really innovative 2 bedroom mobile home products coming out from manufacturers in recent years which seem like they’d still be attractive to people looking to live centrally in a major metro for much less than apartment rent.

Anyone have recent success stories here or thoughts on how the future might look for these types of parks?

We own a bunch of these type of properties. As long as the lot will hold about a 14’ wide by 48’ home, you can handle a new 2/1 and will have no trouble selling that to the right user. On lots that are no greater than 36’ long, you can still install new 1/1 units but those are not nearly as easy to sell, as well as park models.

The strength of these old parks is typically the location – in many cases a place that has banned new mobile home parks since the 1960s.

The bigger question on the incredibly-well located parks with smaller lots is if there is a product in the future that will replace the current mobile home. I can see some of these changing to upscale two-story parks at some point 50 years from now (there are already some of these in California). But to make the numbers work to revamp these into ultra upscale properties you’ll have to see considerably higher lot rents like they have in California ($1,000 to $2000+ per month).

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