Over in Callaway, Florida, city commissioners are grappling with a decision that could affect mobile home investors. On the table for discussion is an ordinance “that would not allow mobile homes older than five years to move into the City of Callaway.”
There is much to consider as to whether or not passing the ordinance is a good idea.
Ordinances that restrict mobile homes older than 5 years
The city will host a hearing to involve citizens on the matter. Instating ordinances that prohibit mobile homes from entering a city is not something new. Similar ordinances are in other localities.
In Grovetown, Georgia, one mobile home park owner found himself disgruntled by an ordinance that was passed in a similar vein. In this case, the town restricted mobile homes older than ten years old.
There are pros and cons behind such an ordinance
There’s definitely the good and bad in this. And as a mobile home investor, it’s important that you understand the various angles of such an ordinance. It could come to a city near you and you ought to be prepared to voice your thoughts on the matter.
A good move for the city
For the city, the ordinance could be seen as a good decision. (Although, later on, we’ll explain how the ordinance might affect the people and thus make it a bad idea for the city.)
An ordinance that restricts mobile homes older than five years old is in place to keep the city looking clean and to keep people safe. It’s based on the home’s life expectancy and the mobile home’s propensity for becoming dilapidated and shabby. Making this ordinance a reality would ensure that only newer mobile homes grace the landscape.
However, the problem here lies in the fact that the city is expecting mobile homes to become disheveled in a short amount of time. And that is simply not so, as the Georgia mobile home park owner argues.
Randy Gilbert, the owner of Creekside Estates at the time the article was written, says he is able to find a 20-year-old mobile home in prime condition. He says he’s also found five-year-old homes that are dump material. He says it’s all about how the homes are cared for.
Not surprisingly, the move is a disappointment for mobile home investors who take older homes and fix them up to look like new.
A challenge for mobile home investors and owners
Therein is the challenge for mobile home investors and park owners. Under this ordinance, mobile home park owners are no longer able to fill an empty lot with a bargain, used mobile home.
And mobile home park investors are notorious for taking something old and fixing it up to flip or rent out to a tenant. But now, they’ll have to look for new homes which means a higher cost investment. This doesn’t mean the death of mobile home investments. But it does make for a bigger hurdle for mobile home investors to climb.
A (possible) problem for house-hunters
For affordable housing, this ordinance is not a good call. It restricts mobile homes that are older and more affordable. Many Americans flock to mobile homes as an affordable housing option. While a new mobile home is still a better deal than a new, stick-built home, it’s also a significant financial outlay for many.
Under this ordinance, old stick built homes would be available for purchase. However, old mobile homes would not. This seems like a great disservice to home buyers in the area who would like the choice of an affordable mobile home.
Propose an alternative
An alternative solution to the municipality’s concern for being home to dilapidated trailers is to pass a different type of ordinance. This ordinance might demand that mobile homeowners keep their homes at a certain level of upkeep. Rather than insisting on a particular age, the ordinance can insist on a particular quality. After a set amount of time in neglect, the ordinance could require owners to remove and dispose of the mobile home.
More mobile home news
For more on what can be learned from the news, check out some examples of zoning gone wrong. Zoning can play a big part in affecting the way your mobile home park operates.
We hope you find our conversations on mobile home news helpful as you navigate the waters of mobile home investing. Remember, you don’t have to go at it alone. We’re here to shine a little light along the way, hoping you’ll find yourself a little wiser for it.