ANOTHER LOST OPPORTUNITY
It doesn’t come along very often – the opportunity for mobile home park residents to purchase their park.
Today’s message is pretty BLUNT, but it’s important that you ‘get it’.
The process of the resident group buying their park is delicate and complex.
When the idea of the purchase becomes ‘public’, the typical reaction by the park group is to be scared spitless, followed by confusion, bickering, rumors (for and against), innuendo, accusations, dissemination of wrong information and, possibly, personal attacks on the ‘messengers’. All that can be accompanied by general lack of interest – “it’s never gona’ happen”; “I can’t possibly participate”; “you guys are crazy”.
You get the picture.
Unfortunately, all that can be pretty normal.
To avoid that and have a chance for success, it takes LEADERSHIP.
And leadership is NOT necessarily the HOA or the park Board. Many times it is a small group of committed folks who see the benefits and positive potential of resident group ownership. Often, it is that small group sitting around a kitchen table saying, “Dagnabbit, we ought to be able to do it.”
If your small group gets that far, DON’T TELL ANYONE. KEEP IT CONFIDENTIAL.
You are NOT trying to keep secrets. You are ONLY trying to avoid all the confusion (see comments above) until you know more and determine that the owner might actually be willing to sell your group the park.
Why is confidentiality important?
A park on the Central California Coast got a letter in February from an attorney representing someone (the owner maybe?) telling the group that the old park management no longer represented the park or the owner and that residents were to send their rent to a new person.
THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY!
ANY TIME there is confusion and transition on the part of the park owners, there is an opportunity for the group to make contact and offer to purchase the park. The resident group doesn’t know what is going on or why it is going on, but it doesn’t matter. It cannot hurt to make contact with the new person and get your interest in front of them.
So the Board, interested in exploring buying the park, reached out to Dave Loop, GSMOL VP for Resident Owned Parks for guidance. Dave and I prepared letters to the new owner for the group to send in response.
Meanwhile, there was a lot of activity in the park (see comments above). Bottom line, because of internal turmoil and confusion, the letters never got sent. The HOA fell apart, there was no interest by anyone in being a LEADER on a new Board and the initiative died.
Then, in July, the group got word that the park was in escrow and about to be sold.
A MISSED OPPORTUNITY!
It never hurts to form a small Park Purchase Committee (PPC) to think about buying the park.
It never hurts for the PPC to contact Dave Loop and ask for guidance and assistance.
It never hurts for the PPC to contact the owner and let him know the group wants to buy the park.
It is seldom necessary to have park wide meetings, since NO ONE can possibly know if there is a ‘real’ deal unless and until the owner is engaged in the process.
ANY deal MUST be acceptable to enough folks (60%-80%) in the park to be successful. For EACH participating resident, the rent after the purchase has to be reasonable and the down payment small enough for that resident to ‘buy in’.
So if YOU think you want more information, contact Dave (831-688-1293, firstname.lastname@example.org).
DON’T MISS AN OPPORTUNITY!
PMC Financial Services
3165 Chandler Egan Drive
Medford, OR 97504
Deane Sargent and PMC Financial Services have been helping mobile home park resident groups and cooperatives to organize and find financing to buy their parks for over 20 years.