COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOUR VERY OWN INNER LOOP TRAILER PARK, FOR FUN AND PROPERTY TAX CONTROL “Are there typically HOA restrictions against mobile homes inside the Loop? Like if someone’s sitting on a cleared-off lot and not wanting to build, could they just pull in 2 mobile homes and start renting out? Or would the neighborhood/city be pounding on the doors? Not sure such a thing is feasible with $400k lots, but if you had to demo a multifamily and still wanted to hold onto the property, sounds like [that] could potentially keep the tax value low while still bringing in rental income.” [joel, commenting on All That’s Left of the Heights Trailer Park Behind Eight Row Flint] Photo of cleared mobile home park on W. 11th St.: Swamplot inbox
There’s a City ordinance against manufactured homes on lots, except in trailer parks or a “manufactured home subdivision.”
Deed restrictions and covenants against mobile homes are enforced by the City and HOAs. Where there is no deed restriction, you have to comply with chap 29 of the Houston Code of Ordinances. You either have to get a license to operate a mobile home park or get at least 4 acres and plat it as a manufactured home subdivision.
There is actually a pretty big mobile home park industry out there. Sam Zell and Warren Buffet used to dominate the mobile home and manufactured housing industry, but since the 2008 crash, a lot of smaller investors have moved in to buy up mobile home parks and spruce them up. They are probably not the best idea to generate rental income while waiting to redevelop a lot because you have tenants that may not leave when you want them to go and you have a pretty heavy load of upkeep and management responsibilities. You really either go long with a mobile home park or just let the weeds grow on the property.
Besides deed restrictions, there are permitting issues, etc. On a bigger picture, trailer parks are a crummy business, besides the fact that mobile homes drop in value like used cars, you are dealing with scum of the earth tenants, the turnover is ridiculously high and eviction costs are through the leaky roof. A friend of mine owns a coupe of trailer parks in Pasadena and I hear nothing but horror stories that will make our favorite beloved slumlord Cody thank his lucky stars.
Sounds like a little spin is in order, right on cue:
Thanks for the details all. I guess my hopes of squeezing in a well outfitted 2k sq ft double wide next to a $MM lot filler is over. I’m sure those trailers can be really nice these days though and certainly beat the hell out of new multi-family residences.
I wonder if the license to operate this as a mobile home park could be grandfathered in (if there was one in the first place?). I’m surprised it’s not seen as an opportunity to use the lot as a “tiny house park” instead. It has a more hipster vibe to it but it’s essentially the same thing, right? Pre-fab home that you can take with you when you leave.
There are at least one “upscale” mobile home parks out by Tomball. Landscaping, play areas for the kids, what appears to be a “standard” for parking, and other things that create what seems to be a stable environment. I was told that there is a demand because of the lower cost and ease of moving in and out. Gotta admit, it was kinda strange being there.
@commonsense – the “manufactured housing community” business can actually be quite lucrative if you’re in the business of leasing pads and not the homes themselves. Maintenance is comparatively light and many tenants pay in cash.
As long as you own the lot & mobile home outright with no restrictions through either city ordinance or HOA; once you elect the manufactured housing as real estate with the Texas Dept of Housing & Community Affairs, you can do whatever you want with it. Granted the city boundaries cover the entire inner loop.