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Old 04 May 2015, 04:20 PM
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Default America's trailer parks: the residents may be poor but the owners are getting rich

The number one rule is stated twice, once in the classroom and once on the bus: “Don’t make fun of the residents.” Welcome to Mobile Home University, a three-day, $2,000 “boot camp” that teaches people from across the US how to make a fortune by buying up trailer parks.

Trailer parks are big and profitable business – particularly after hundreds of thousands of Americans who lost their homes in the financial crisis created a huge demand for affordable housing. According to US Census figures, more than 20 million people, or 6% of the population, live in trailer parks.

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...ity-investment

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  #2  
Old 04 May 2015, 05:33 PM
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The TL;DR summary, there's great money to be had in squeezing blood from those who have no choices.
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  #3  
Old 04 May 2015, 05:46 PM
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So it's a PORTABLE slum, then.
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Old 04 May 2015, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by she-geek View Post
So it's a PORTABLE slum, then.
It can be. I've lived in some nice ones.

But, as with any rental, it depends upon the landlord.
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Old 04 May 2015, 05:58 PM
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Most 'trailers' aren't portable. There are some very nice trailer parks, including the one my mother lives in on Sanibel Island.
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Old 04 May 2015, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UEL View Post
It can be. I've lived in some nice ones.

But, as with any rental, it depends upon the landlord.
True dat. There are some VERY nice mobile homes out there. But the angle of this story suggests that the park in question was attracting "the wrong sort of people" (i.e., poor), and that "tours" were being conducted as part of explaining how YOU, TOO can be the proud owner of such an investment. That kinda crap tends to be slumlord-speak.

Last edited by she-geek; 04 May 2015 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04 May 2015, 06:16 PM
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You are right, of course she-geek. I could not open the OP article on my work computer, so I was just commenting in general.

I do look forward to reading the full article when I get back home.
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  #8  
Old 04 May 2015, 06:22 PM
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It's even better than being a slumlord, you don't have to worry that a surprise inspection will force you to make repairs.

UEL, an quote from one of the trailer park landlords:
Quote:
"If you don’t like this [the rent being more than doubled] or you think you can do better, here’s a list of all the other parks in Grapevine and a list of the owners," he said in the letter. "Go ahead, call them if you want to move. How many customers do you think we lost? Zero. Where were they going to go?"
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  #9  
Old 04 May 2015, 06:31 PM
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There's nothing inherently wrong with living in a mobile home. I've lived in trailers through the years, mostly on private land, and they were as nice as any rental house I'd lived in, and usually roomier, too. The problem is with upkeep; if your landlord is gouging you for rent on the concrete slab, it can be hard to find the money to put into home repairs.

It's a shame that class bigotry is keeping many cities from allowing more trailer parks. More parks would give people more options, and perhaps help with the gouging.

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  #10  
Old 04 May 2015, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Horse Chestnut View Post
It's a shame that class bigotry is keeping many cities from allowing more trailer parks. More parks would give people more options, and perhaps help with the gouging.
It seems to me that this is the underlying problem, not greedy businessmen. Artificially constrained supply will inevitably drive up the price.
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Old 04 May 2015, 07:46 PM
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Unfortunately, many think that trailer parks are trashy and so fight against them being allowed in. We had a client who wanted to put in a trailer park, and even though there was a need, and the property was zoned for it, he ended up giving up the fight after the local government fought him, and the neighbors fought him. He ended up putting in more single family houses, which are too expensive for many of the people who need housing.
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Old 04 May 2015, 08:00 PM
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Unfortunately, many think that trailer parks are trashy and so fight against them being allowed in.
You let in a few too many trailer parks and suddenly your community will have a severe tornado problem.
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  #13  
Old 04 May 2015, 08:14 PM
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I was waiting for the tornado joke.
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Old 04 May 2015, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jahungo View Post
It seems to me that this is the underlying problem, not greedy businessmen. Artificially constrained supply will inevitably drive up the price.
The rent being driven up can be a result of greedy businessmen, no matter what means allows that price to be driven up. Obviously, YMMV on what constitutes "greedy", but at some point the reasonable profit above costs is no longer reasonable. Artificially constrained supply allows greedy businessmen to indulge their greed, but the high rents require both.
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  #15  
Old 05 May 2015, 03:33 AM
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I was wondering if this article is a repeat of an issue Fred Clark aka Slacktivist had brought up on his blog. Frequently with trailer parks, the residents own the trailers but not the land beneath them, so if the person who does own the land, decides to jack up the price...yeah, said trailer park residents have very little recourse. He also mentioned, for all those who are like "why don't they move their trailers to some other cheaper land," that modern trailers are more like prefabricated homes in that they often have ingrown septic systems and all the comforts of regular homes, which makes moving somewhat difficult.
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Old 05 May 2015, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
... modern trailers are more like prefabricated homes....
As in they are prefabricated homes. There are prefabricated homes that aren't 'trailers', but trailers are prefabricated homes.
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  #17  
Old 05 May 2015, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
I Frequently with trailer parks, the residents own the trailers but not the land beneath them, so if the person who does own the land, decides to jack up the price...yeah, said trailer park residents have very little recourse. He also mentioned, for all those who are like "why don't they move their trailers to some other cheaper land," that modern trailers are more like prefabricated homes in that they often have ingrown septic systems and all the comforts of regular homes, which makes moving somewhat difficult.
Regarding owning the trailer, but not the land: that's what I always thought. You can own the trailer and pay it off, but you'll pay for the land forever. I also could never understand why people think that moving is easy--the trailers I've seen look pretty darn secure. I'm sure there's a non-tornadic way to move them, but I imagine it involves a crane and a flatbed tractor trailer.
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Old 05 May 2015, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
Regarding owning the trailer, but not the land: that's what I always thought. You can own the trailer and pay it off, but you'll pay for the land forever. I also could never understand why people think that moving is easy--the trailers I've seen look pretty darn secure. I'm sure there's a non-tornadic way to move them, but I imagine it involves a crane and a flatbed tractor trailer.
It depends. Some trailer houses are more or less permanently put in place: The hitch and axles are removed, and the foundation is achored to concrete underpinning. In addition, double and triple-wides take some "Putting together" once they arrive on site.

Others are strap anchored to the ground, and the axles and hitch are still in place.--those are easier to move.

In either case, plumbing is usually 2 pvc pipes: fresh water and waste water.

But to your point, moving one is an involved process. It isn't like moving a travel trailer.
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  #19  
Old 05 May 2015, 03:33 PM
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And the older the mobile home, the less likely it is to be movable without significant damage or much more preparation.
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  #20  
Old 07 May 2015, 07:46 PM
FullMetal FullMetal is offline
 
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I lived in a trailerpark for 7 years (moved out last year) It was cheap when we moved in, we only had to pay about $240 a month for lot rent when we moved in. (equivalent to Condo fees in our area, and the trailer was nicer than the townhomes we looked at). within 4 years we were paying close to $700 a month for lot rent. We considered all the options, moving the trailer? while possible it's not very feasable, most of the acrages that would allow a trailer to be moved on were a long way out of town, you lose a lot of features of being in a city, (city water, sewer, high speed internet, etc). there are no lots in town that would allow that either, the only other trailer park had a requirement of only 2005 and newer trailers were allowed on the property, ours was a 1974. Also as 50% of our square footage was "extension" we'd lose all of that as well, which was 2 bedrooms, a living room and office space. we couldn't afford to lose that on the move so we sold. the fact that the lot rent was approaching double our mortgage payments on the trailer... it became unfeasable to stay. especially when the services that they provided were going downhill fast. the roads were getting rutted, and when we moved in were plowed at least once a week if it snowed. were now once every two months... the park was torn down to make more lots. all-in-all it became unbearable to live there. a lot of people got booted out too, mostly older people who had paid off their trailer. and were forced with a 30,000 bill to bring it up to code if they sold, most of them sold it to the park for $2000, and the park just brought in a backhoe and hauled it away in a dump truck. ours was thankfully up to code when we sold. The stupid thing is we had a damage deposit on the land, and apparently they got to keep it because of "reasons"... it wasn't worth fighting over though. we were just glad to get out of there. tripling rent in 7 years is ridiculous. That's how you get rich with a trailerpark. $700 X 200 units per month? good racket to get into.

as for how secure they are? they do require a lot of work to get ready to move. in the time I lived there I never saw one moved out, I saw a bunch moved in, but never out, except via the back-hoe method. i seem to recall it costing something like $20000 to move it, plus mileage. my trailer (the base not the extension) had the axle still under it, the wheels and tires had been removed, as had the hitch. but the hitch was under the trailer. it was all very rusty as it has been in the elements for a very long time I doubt the axle would have turned.
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