As your mobile home park is growing its tenant base, it is important to consider what improvements will keep driving new renters to your mobile home park. These features can provide added convenience, comfort, and enjoyment for not only new renters but current Residents!
New or Used Homes
The quality of the homes are one of the very first things a prospective tenant will notice. So, the better the home looks, the better first impression the would-be tenant will have. In parks with a lot of older used homes this can be a challenge but it’s not impossible. In fact, older park owned homes can be a very attractive option considering the price point on purchase or as a rental. Things like disorderly or damaged siding, roof stains, broken skirting, busted porches or stairs stick out like a sore thumb. These are fairly inexpensive things to fix.
Even if your park is primarily an older tenant owned home park, the homes still need to be updated and cared for so the age of the home isn’t as obvious. If the homes are new and park owned, they should be already clean and tidy, but you might want to focus on the landscaping elements and other outside features that may have been damaged during the setup of the new home. A covered porch goes a long way with tenants and is not extremely expensive to add.
Abandoned Park Owned Homes
Sometimes owners need to consider what to do with abandoned homes or park owned homes that are very old or ugly. These homes may be repairable but the cost of repairs may be too much to be viable. Many owners have sold these ugly homes as “handy-man specials”, but this strategy is not always effective and can discourage other prospective tenants from wanting to live here since it may appear that the park is dilapidated and worry if the management isn’t keeping up with repairs.
On the flip side, it can be a great way to occupy and bring revenue into an older park quickly, but you as the owner should be aware of the trade-offs and risks. One more option is to wholesale off the ugly homes to a MH dealer at no cost or for a fractional amount just to have them removed from the park to make way from newer homes. Just make sure the wholesaler doesn’t leave a mess to deal with afterwards. Moving homes can be a messy endeavor.
Each tenant deserves to feel like they have a safe, clean, and affordable place to call home. So, while amenities are nice, the actual homes are the first thing you as a mobile home park owner or the seller should focus on.
Let’s start from the beginning. Your entrance. The entrance to your park is the first thing that future residents will see, so let’s make a good first impression. This does not always mean you have to have the fanciest entry. However, a nice sign with good lighting and decent landscaping can go a long way.
The second most important thing to focus on is your roads. Whether they are paved or gravel, they should be in good order. This includes the primary and secondary roads throughout the park and including the driveways and common areas. Fix the potholes and large cracks. Re-top the road if necessary.
Landscaping is often overlooked as an important improvement. That said, it is one of the easier and less expensive improvements that a park owner can do. If done correctly it will be low maintenance with a low cost of annual upkeep and add a huge amount of curb appeal. It doesn’t need to be fancy, remove any dead or fallen trees, add mulch around the bushes and trees, add a few well-located perennial blooming bushes and flowering plants, put a bench or two in the common areas, clean up any overgrown hedges, etc.
Take pride in your mobile home park. If you care, it shows. It will lead to longer term tenants, stronger collections and higher revenues. We are not saying that you have to check on everything daily, but a monthly walk through of maintenance upkeep is a simple and affordable way to keep your mobile home park in peak condition.
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