Converting MHP To Condo - Posted by Sam

Posted by Marc in Portland on February 04, 2002 at 12:00:27:

I’ve been thinking about the same things as Sam, particularly in light of the tight mobile home market. (See my other post regarding a broker’s comments on the market.) I don’t own a park, but am thinking that this might be the way to own one and make good money: Sell it to the tenants (on contract, of course). However, I’m thinking a CO-OP or land trust might work better and be easier to set up than condo. Each state has fairly strict condo rules. I asked a broker if he knew of anyone who had converted an MH Park, and he hadn’t heard of any, but felt that it was doable.

I posted a message similar to Sam’s a month ago, and no one responded.


Converting MHP To Condo - Posted by Sam

Posted by Sam on February 04, 2002 at 09:10:45:

Need some advice. I own a 57 space MHP. When I purchased the park 4 yrs. ago,it was 95% occupied 50% by dead-beat renters. Most of the rental homes were not worth keeping so I removed them from the park and converted some into contract sales. I also set up a dealership to sell new homes but the in-fill has been slow. As it stands now I have 5 new homes in park,8 contract sales,18 tenant owned homes, and 26 vacant lots. My question is how can I convert the park to a condo park? What are the legalities? This is a hot area with a great rental market.

Thanks, Sam

Re: Converting MHP To Condo - Posted by dandrews

Posted by dandrews on February 04, 2002 at 16:32:54:

As with most things at CREOL, this depends on your location. I assume you are in Portland, OR. If you were in Portland, ME, I could give you a really definitive answer.

Around here, (Maine) a group made a major push to re-do some parks this way. The sponsors were just running the paper pushing end of it. REnts had gotten high and they were looking out for the poor and downtrodden of the earth. While they had met with modest success in converting parks to cooperatives in places with very high rent and heavily populated, they totally flopped in Maine.

I never pursued it since it did not seem to fit any of my particular parks. Mine are very much blue collar Joe Lunchbox. A friend of mine went through the expensive approval process and afterward found the tenants were not particularly interested.

I have always thought it was an idea that should go. But in my humble opnion, I think you need a unique combination of situations.

First and foremost, as always, location. Second, people who want to be there long-term, ie., if you have a transient park, it will be very much an uphill battle. Third, high rent and high SFR prices in the immediate area.

Who lives in the typical blue-collar park? People who feel lucky to own a home at all. When they get a little money and equity together, they will buy their own land–a few acres, not a 50x100 lot. Around here, mhp’s are almost always rural and land fairly cheap. Why buy in the park if they can get out on their own for a few more bucks a month?

Condo’s in general (or coops) I maintain need to be in heavily populated, expensive areas.

The exception to the above, I believe, is when the park offers something they could not afford on their own. Ie., water frontage, recreation facilities, etc.

Just my experiences and opinions.