Author Topic: Does anyone own a trailer park?  (Read 6227 times)

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Does anyone own a trailer park?
« on: February 09, 2014, 07:58:36 AM »
Pros? Cons? Horror stories?

I figure if everything is paid for in cash, then you have a pretty good stream of income every month.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28023
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 09:43:18 AM »
That's a fuckin job.

The personalities you'll be dealing with...

Best case scenario you do one targeted at the 55 and up crowd, but still.

You ever evicted a mobile home?  ;)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2014, 10:09:35 AM »
Lmao.

What if I own all the trailers? And have super duper awesome screenings for the tenants?

I know when you hear "trailer park" you see "white trash, cars on blocks, etc". I'd like to imagine mine would be a little more classy (haha!).

AlexK

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Sparks, NV
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2014, 10:40:01 AM »
I was looking at one for sale about a month back. On paper it looked pretty good. In person it looked terrible. I had a long conversation with the manager and that made it clearly a bad investment. She told me the tenants don't pay their electric bill and they can't be evicted for that, the park has to pay and the bill was 8k in December. My favorite quote from her was "you wouldn't buy this place to make a profit, you'd do it because you like helping people".

Also MH parks are having a hard time because of dodd-frank. It is now a complicated and expensive proposition to finance a mobile home. Usually the people living there don't have the cash to buy outright.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5079
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 10:50:51 AM »
You don't evict a mobile home.  You evict a tenant.  In California, the tenant has a period of time to recover the mobile home, which is considered personal property.  After that, it becomes the park owner's property as I understand the process.  It costs a fortune to move these, often more than the trailer is worth.  Many parks have homes as well as lots for rent.  The trailers are often either inherited by eviction or bought for pennies on the dollar by the park owner. However, if the owner ends up with a trailer that is at the end of its life, then they have to pay to have it removed.  So eviction can be a positive or a negative event.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28023
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2014, 11:17:22 AM »
You don't evict a mobile home.  You evict a tenant. 

I was hoping the wink-face emoticon I used would make my tongue-in-cheek comment obvious, but I guess it was still too subtle.  :)

My biggest issue wi a MHP is that it is a full time job.  Which means you do it yourself, or you have to find a really good manager.  Let me know when you figure out how to do that reliably.  ;)

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5079
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 01:09:52 PM »
Most of the bigger parks have on-site, live-in managers.  Kind of like large apartment buildings/complexes.  There is a great deal of management involved.  Usually you are dealing with over 55 or low income tenants.  Both groups have more management required than average.  In addition, you usually don't own the trailer.  Getting folks without a lot of money to maintain their homes can be a chore.

Actually, you pointed out a general misunderstanding about trailer parks with your tongue in cheek comment.  If you evict someone from your apartment building, there is the chance you will end up with the odd sofa or mattress.  No big deal.  When you evict someone from a trailer park, you have to consider what's going to happen to the trailer.  The rules vary, but in many jurisdictions you may end up with the trailer.  It's important to understand what the rules are so you can account for the costs and lost rent you will incur with an eviction.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 02:12:03 PM »
Thanks to everyone that has replied!

What if I own all the trailers? Then, if someone needed to be evicted, then they get evicted and I keep my trailer. And with the electricity bill....if they are responsible for it and don't pay, won't they just get their power shut off? I shouldn't be responsible for that if it's in their name.

Lots to think about.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5079
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2014, 03:11:57 PM »
Why not just buy apartments?  Less hassle, easier to rent, a broader range of tenant types to pick from.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2014, 03:32:32 PM »
Why not just buy apartments?  Less hassle, easier to rent, a broader range of tenant types to pick from.

B/c I was going to do the trailer park thing in slowly in cash. We have low incomes and I'm trying to think of something we can do to up it so we can start really building our staches. I'll look into apartments though and see what I find.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28023
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2014, 03:44:53 PM »
I'm not sure how you'd "slowly" buy a whole mobile home park any more than you could an apartment (have the seller owner finance it, pay it off over time).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4610
  • Age: 11
  • Location: USA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2014, 03:51:04 PM »
She told me the tenants don't pay their electric bill and they can't be evicted for that, the park has to pay and the bill was 8k in December.
How does that work, don't individual lots have their own utilities meters?

This sounds like a great idea for a reality TV show, though.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2014, 04:09:23 PM »
I was just thinking more of, buy some land, save up again, buy a trailer or two, get them set up, etc.

Maybe it's not a good idea. I don't know.

Another Reader

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5079
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2014, 04:17:25 PM »
It sounds like the OP wants to build one from scratch, bringing in trailers as she gets more money.  I do not know the zoning rules where you are, but you will have to start with a relatively flat piece of land with all utilities to the site.  Then, after you get final zoning, you will have to install utilities to the individual sites.  The building department could require you to do them all at once or in phases.  The property will have to be fenced and you will need to pave the interior streets.  If you have common improvements, such as a tot lot, picnic area, clubhouse or pool, those cost a lot.  All those things will likely have to be done before you can move the first trailer onto the property.

Out here in the Bay Area, I can't recall any new parks since the 60's or 70's.  Land is too expensive and the up front costs are too high.  What we do see in the more rural suburbs is people placing trailers at the back of larger parcels and adding septic capacity (or in some cases hooking them up illegally to existing septic systems).  For years the counties turned a blind eye to this, but now it would be close to impossible to get away with it.

Not sure exactly where you are, but you might be better off looking at an existing duplex in your price range as a start.  The other possibility is to look for a small, failing mobile home park and see if you can get owner financing.  Turning these around can be challenging, because it's so hard to get rid of the junk trailers and bring in better ones.  Finally, if you own and the zoning allows it, look at adding a second unit to your property.  If you can do a lot of the work yourself, that could produce some nice extra income.


Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4841
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2014, 04:48:32 PM »
Everything Another Reader says is undoubtedly true for the Bay Area, and it may be true where you are, too, but you should call up the code department of your county to find out. In my county, there would be some difficulties, but nothing like what AR describes. In the next county south, there would be a single soil survey by the health department prior to putting in septic, and that would only happen once regardless of how may trailers/ when. It varies wildly, and if you're rural SC, while it probably won't be quite as simple as the county south of me, it's likely to be closer to that than to the Bay Area.

While you're talking to them, find out if there are age restrictions on placing new trailers. Existing ones are (almost always) grandfathered in, but sometimes there are limits on the age that can be put into service. Some of these laws are being struck down by courts in the South, but that's not a battle you want to fight.

One last thing that you probably already know: don't put the trailer park next to your house. You'd never get any peace.

AlexK

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 327
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Sparks, NV
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2014, 04:53:52 PM »
The ideal situation would be to have the tenants own the trailers because that way you aren't responsible for the maintenance. If you own the trailers the tenants will trash them and trailers don't hold up well to that kind of abuse. One business model in the past was to evict a tenant that doesn't pay, and then finance the trailer to a new tenant. Now with Dodd-Frank in effect you can't do that easily and nobody can afford to buy the trailers, unless you give them away but with no money on the line they will get trashed.

The NIMBY's will to shoot down any attempt to build a new trailer park, as least that is what I heard, I haven't tried.

I like the idea of a tumbleweed house park with MMM types living there.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28023
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2014, 05:01:36 PM »
I like the idea of a tumbleweed house park with MMM types living there.

That would be neat.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2014, 05:44:04 PM »
I like the idea of a tumbleweed house park with MMM types living there.

That would be neat.

I've seen a Craigslist post about one of these parks/communities being built near me! I thought it was wicked cool. They're going to have a communal garden, a business center, and a church.


Workinghard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2014, 06:34:04 PM »
I was just thinking more of, buy some land, save up again, buy a trailer or two, get them set up, etc.

Maybe it's not a good idea. I don't know.

Zoe, it's not that simple. My first husband built a trailer park near Round Mountain, NV in another lifetime. You have to put in a sewer system, water, and electric. I know each space had its own meter. He was the type of guy that could do anything, but there's still the zoning, permits, and inspections. We ended up with over 100 spaces which were rented.  We did NOT get into trailer rentals.  We just rented the lots. We also filled/sold small propane tanks, and we furnished trash service.  I still remember tossing round, metal trash cans on to a pickup bed.   Managing it was a 24/7 job. And don't forget road maintenance if it's not paved.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #19 on: February 09, 2014, 07:00:54 PM »
I was just thinking more of, buy some land, save up again, buy a trailer or two, get them set up, etc.

Maybe it's not a good idea. I don't know.

Zoe, it's not that simple. My first husband built a trailer park near Round Mountain, NV in another lifetime. You have to put in a sewer system, water, and electric. I know each space had its own meter. He was the type of guy that could do anything, but there's still the zoning, permits, and inspections. We ended up with over 100 spaces which were rented.  We did NOT get into trailer rentals.  We just rented the lots. We also filled/sold small propane tanks, and we furnished trash service.  I still remember tossing round, metal trash cans on to a pickup bed.   Managing it was a 24/7 job. And don't forget road maintenance if it's not paved.

Yeah, I initially didn't think about sewer, water, electric, etc.

Maybe an apartment complex/duplex will be simpler to do. It's just going to take us forever to save up a down payment.

Thanks for all the insight y'all!! It was very helpful :)

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28023
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 07:15:53 PM »
Maybe an apartment complex/duplex will be simpler to do. It's just going to take us forever to save up a down payment.

...maybe. Maybe not.

You could have enough in your change drawer right now for a down payment. Or it could take you 100 years. It all depends on the terms you negotiate.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Does anyone own a trailer park?
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 09:13:21 PM »
Maybe an apartment complex/duplex will be simpler to do. It's just going to take us forever to save up a down payment.

...maybe. Maybe not.

You could have enough in your change drawer right now for a down payment. Or it could take you 100 years. It all depends on the terms you negotiate.

Thank you :)