Re: Am I buying a Mobile Home Park or a J.O.B. ? - Posted by Lonnie
Posted by Lonnie on April 30, 1999 at 07:29:29:
If I were looking for a park to buy, I would look for the exact type sellers you mentioned…the ones with the horror stories, no management skills and who never should have bought a park to begin with. You should be able to “steal” the park from someone like that. It takes a lot more than a factory worker with handyman experience to be able to run a business.
Like all businesses, a mobile home park is a “people business” If you can?t manage people, you can?t manage any business successfully. I don?t know of any business I would rather own and manage more than a MH park. A park will produce more income, with less hassle and problems than any business I know of, IF you have management skills and know what you?re doing. If not, then you will be another park owner with horror stories.
Lets do some “supposing”. Suppose you bought a 100 unit park. The tenants own the MH?s, so you have no management or maintenance problems concerning the homes. If the pipes freeze, or the appliances die , it?s the tenants problem, not yours. You rent the dirt space to the tenant. How much trouble can dirt cause?
If you have a tenant who doesn?t pay the rent, or causes problems, evict them. When they move, they have to take their home with them. If they trash the home, so what, it?s their home. You have total control over that tenant. Now you have a vacant lot that you can place a nice used home on, sell the home and create a note. Now you have two checks coming in…one from the MH and one from the dirt. And you?ve eliminated at least 95% of the landlord problems you have with typical rental properties.
I would find the most reliable and worthy tenant I could and give them a break on the rent, or pay them a salary to oversee the park, do odd jobs and keep me advised of any problems. The rents would be mailed to my PO Box, not collected by any manager. I would have an unlisted phone # and the only way the tenants would be able to contact me would be through my manager, or a letter to my PO Box . I would have the park in a Corp, LLC or whatever, and the tenants would not even know I was the owner. If a tenant saw me in the park, I would simply be the hired help checking out a problem.
It may take some time to get a park up and running like you want, but once you do, and you have good tenants, you should not have to spend a lot of time, or have a lot of problems with the park. But again, you must be able to manage people and manage your business. If you?re not willing to learn how to do that, my advice is stay away from buying a park, or any business. Before you undertake buying and operating a park, study some good books/material on property management, dealing with tenants etc. You?ll be glad you did.
Mobile home parks are “gold mines” if you know how to extract the gold. Otherwise, you only wind up with the dirt, a tired back, and horror stories.