When it comes to manufactured housing (MH) parks or communities, the Real Projectives® team specializes in evaluating the existing state of amenities, planning and budgeting for appropriate renovations and additions, and managing that work to completion.
There are many potential elements to consider when enhancing MH communities that are decades old and here are seven examples:
1. Renovate clubhouses
Clubhouses are generally the heart of each MH community but many of them were first built decades ago and should be modernized. Typically, we’ll first assess if the current size of the clubhouse is sufficient for the community’s activities and needs. We engage an architect or designer to review if the clubhouse space is being utilized to the best of its abilities, and if it’s not possible to meet all the needs within the given space, we may look to expand or create another structure. With other experts we also assess the condition of the interior and exterior spaces and systems to understand what must be upgraded to satisfy code, meet accessibility requirements, and be modernized and refreshed. This process is carried out for the different rooms, including: kitchen, lobby, ballroom, library, billiard room, fitness center, sales/leasing, storage, and even the exterior of the clubhouse itself.
2. Improve sports courts and facilities
Outdoor activities, especially in warmer climates, are also very important. We develop and improve pools and spas along with courts and fields for sports such as shuffleboard, pickle ball, tennis, petanque, and bocce ball, among others. Of course, we begin with evaluating the current quantity and state of the pools and sports courts and determine whether there’s any repairs or replacements that need to be made. This can include repairing cracked courts, repaving pool decks, or replacing outdated shade structures.
3. Pet amenities
Often residents in MH communities have pets so providing amenities that cater to the furry friends becomes important. Accordingly, we assess and plan for enhancing pet-friendly amenities such as dog parks, dog and cat wash stations, and set ups for dog waste bags. If there is an existing dog park, we will evaluate the size, the fencing structures, lighting structures and shade structures to see if anything needs to be adjusted or replaced.
4. Repair and replace parking lots and roads
Since the park owner is usually responsible, rather than the municipality, for the roadways within the community, we investigate the age and condition of crushed stone, asphalt, and concrete surfaces to determine both short- and long-term alternatives. Any maintenance that needs to be done to roads and parking lots will be evaluated by our team. Some things we can repair and replace include: any cracks in roads or parking lots, lighting fixtures, repainting, signage, etc. We’ll also outline the plan to overlay or repave the community over 10 years.
5. Repair and replace water and sewer infrastructure
This topic can be tricky because portions of utilities are often owned by the municipality or utility company while other portions are the responsibility of the park owner. Therefore, our first steps are focused on understanding the demarcation points and then the capacity and condition of the segments of concern. Like for parking lots and road needs, we engage engineers and video/testing firms to evaluate the state of the domestic water and sanitary sewer infrastructure in the community as well. Significant in understanding is whether the pipes are older metallic (ductile iron, galvanized, lead, etc.) or newer plastic (PVC, HDPE, PB, etc). Any pipes that are found to have cracks, blockages or significant corrosion can be replaced, valves replaced or added, and meters/submeters added for better measuring and allocating usage. In some cases, there are even private water and/or sewer treatment plants that require thorough study.
6. Dress up landscaping
Nice landscaping at the entry and throughout really makes a difference to having a quality community feel. We focus on enhancing key visual locations in the community: entrance, path to sales office, clubhouse, and around all outdoor amenities. We make sure trees are trimmed and that pathways are lit and accessible. We can also add special finishes like sundecks and gazebos. And we won’t forget that targeted irrigation is often necessary.
7. Add additional homesites
Sometimes there is opportunity to optimize the quantity and/or layout of the MH sites/lots within the existing property or adjacent land. We engage land planners, civil engineers and other consultants to find ways to add homesites within allowable zoning and infrastructure capacity. Frequently the approval process takes a year or more and then we’ll hire a contractor to modify the land and install utilities and other site preparations to be ready to set homes. IN parallel with that work, we will work with the property and leasing teams to select and order new homes.
If you have, own, or are thinking about purchasing or enhancing a manufactured housing community, please give us a call as we have experience diligencing acquisitions, strategic capital planning, and managing salient improvements to dozens of MH communities throughout the U.S. Contact us today or call us at 888.357.7342 to discuss how leveraging our knowledge, expertise, and ambition could drive your next project or portfolio to success.
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