Is Your City Or Community
PATH of PROGRESS Or CONDEMNATION?
This post was inspired by a question I answered on Bigger Pockets; another RE social media platform I contribute to. It was about the acquisition of an old half empty or half full (depending on how you interpret your glass of ice cold brew) Mobilehome Community in Florida.
Not all Mobile/Manufactured Home Communities are bad investments. In fact most are actually very good investments with great cash flow, NOI, ROI and CR and there's plenty of gazillionaires around that would be more than happy to brag about their "TRAILER TREASURES" if you afforded them the time.
So please take a few moments to indulge me if you wish.
Having been beckoned In 2004 to Florida by a FEMA contractor in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley and his 3 pals, whence they ravaged a good part of the State, I had first hand experience with a number of Mobile/Manufactured Home Communities in particular that had become the victims of condemnation and a product of imminent domain issues that so often result after major disasters be they natural, man made or both.
Upon arriving with crews, tools, equipment and supplies at hand I was immediately commissioned to demolish several Mobile/Manufactured Home Communities that were partially if not totally destroyed.
In one instance I cleared and cleaned a condemned Senior Mobile/Manufactured Home Community on the Caloosahatchee River in fort Meyers that was rezoned and redevelopoed in the blink of an eye only to be replaced with a hi end high rise condo-hotel; HIGHER & BETTER USE in its purest form leaving hundreds of former homeowners in a panic to find replacement housing if they were ever so fortunate.
The major factor dictating the fate of not just Manufactured Home Communities but entire cities is whether that community is in the PATH of PROGRESS or in a blighted and declining area that populations are avoiding and/or leaving.
This is a phenomenon that seems to be happening throughout the Country in many areas. Just take Flint, Michigan for example. I call them dead zones.
In some areas entire towns and communities have been reduced to ghost towns. What's becoming even more pervasive is every so often an entire town pops up for sale; jail, bank, post office, grocery stores and even the town cemetery come with the deal.
Areas around old worn out and/or abandoned industrial, agricultural and/or popular tourist vacation destinations and even residential communities that have seen their day and are starting to turn to rubble and deteriorate have become prime targets for abandonment in lieu of gentrification and redevelopment.
I remember all to well with great fondness and many wonderful memories one place in particular I used to spend many vacations as a young water skier and boating enthusiast in the 60's and 70's. It had a huge lake filled with delicious Corvina, myriad assortments of sea life, fishing boats, ski boats, shore lined marinas, restaurants, hotels, upscale waterfront residences with private docks, mobilehome parks et. all. It was truly one of the most favorite vacation destinations in SoCal.
When the lake became flooded by record breaking rainy seasons of biblical proportions in the '70's all while the farmers in and around Imperial Valley continued dumping their chemical laden irrigation wastes combined with the salt water level mixed with the chemicals intensified until it killed off all the sea life and slowly ate away at paint, metal, wood or anything else in its way.
Thus the Great Salton Sea became an abandoned and ravaged ghost town.
It remains today a not so safe haven for motorcycle gangs, drug traffickers, fugitives, illegals, recluses and just about any/all anti-social undesirables that choose to eek out an existence to try to survive there.
The message here is not to discourage anyone from exploring highly speculative inexpensive or low cost buying opportunities. Fortunately these exceptions are by no means the rule. They are only meant to inform you that if it sounds too good to be true it most generally is.
Just remember that age ole adage "One Man's Trash Could very well be Be Another Man's Treasure." Whether or not some of these areas ever rebound or old worn out neighborhoods ever gentrify and reinvent themselves is an ongoing question.
So before you separate yourself from your hard earned cash on something that sounds too good to be true the best thing you can do is to pay a personal visit the local jurisdictions, and thoroughly evaluate their
- population trends
- past and present employment/unemployment statistics
- income or lack thereof
- number of social security, Medicare, Medicaid and entitlement recipients, etc. vs. productive work force
- average age of past and present population
- past and present attrition rate
- condidtion and existance of community amenities
- features & attractions, etc.
This will give you a general sense of what direction the area in currently in or could be heading in.
And don't always judge everything by what it looks like today either. Yes, there are many cities and communities that look on the verge of failure and are very run down and neglected.
However, they could be just starting on the road to rejuvenation and replenishment. There could be new trade and commerce about to embark. A new manufacturing hub may be on the horizon in the near future, etc. Once again it's all about DUE DILIGENCE. DUE DILIGENCE & MORE