By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Living on a low income certainly limits housing choices, especially in South Florida’s pricey Miami metropolitan area. With rents starting at $1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment, owning a mobile home in Sunny Gardens Mobile Home park seems like an affordable dream.
For less than $50,000, a buyer gets A home with much more space, and a bit of control over decoration and improvements.
But, mobile home owners are learning that, unless you happen to own a parcel of land, you’ll have to “park” that mobile home on land that someone else owns.
That’s a huge disadvantage.
At Sunny Gardens, monthly rent is around $630. That’s on top of property tax on the value of the mobile home, plus hook up fees to access basic utilities such as water, sewer, and electricity.
As is the case with most privately owned, for profit mobile home communities, rent increases annually. And those increases can be substantial. Over time, land rent forces many mobile home tenants to move elsewhere.
And if the rent increases don’t drive out residents, investors do.
According to several local reports, Hialeah Pura Vida Commercial LLC and Hialeah Pura Vida Apartments LLC recently purchased a 40/60 interest in 10-acres of land that sits beneath the mobile homes at Sunny Gardens. The sale price — $12 million. The new owners intend to request a change in zoning for the parcel, most likely for commercial and apartment buildings.
Located near the Miami International Airport and Hialeah Race Track and Casino, the parcel promises to generate millions of dollars in future rent for the landowners. It also promises to generate a substantial increase in property tax and sales tax revenue.
The only losers in this high stakes land deal are the owners of mobile homes in Sunny Gardens.
Owners and residents were handed their 6-month eviction notice in April. According to a report in the Miami Herald, Pura Vida has offered a few thousand dollars for each trailer home.
The park’s new owners are offering the owners of trailer homes on single lots $5,000 if they move out before June 30. The offer drops to $3,000 if they leave by Sept. 30 and $2,000 by Nov. 30, the final deadline. Read more here: www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/hialeah/article209275669.html#storylink=cpy
Of course, that’s nowhere near enough money to rent an apartment in the area. The small cash offer might barely cover a rent deposit and immediate moving expenses.
Why can’t owners simply relocate their homes?
Unfortunately, moving a mobile home to a new location is out of the question for most owners. For starter, moving a trailer home even a few miles can cost thousands of dollars. The cost of a long-distance move can exceed $10,000. And that assumes that the owner can locate a suitable piece of land, zoned for a mobile home, with access to utilities, and affordable rent.
Except for a small number of mobile home parks owned by non-profit agencies and housing authorities, most are privately owned. So moving to another park would create the same risks for owners — high rent payments, and the likelihood of a buyout from another real estate investor.
So most owners will be forced to walk away from their mobile homes, with no compensation, even if they’ve spent tens of thousands on purchase and improvements.
Meanwhile, the new landowners can decide what to do with the mobile homes — resell them, move them to another rental park they own, or simply dispose of them to make room for new development.
Sunny Gardens owners must now compete for a short supply of affordable senior housing or rent-subsidized apartments, or, if possible, move in with family members.
Residents of Hialeah trailer park are being forced to move
Many angry after new owners give longtime homeowners six months to pack up
HIALEAH, Fla. – Residents of a Hialeah mobile home park said they are angry, scared and upset that they’re being forced to move.
Residents of the Sunny Gardens mobile home park received a letter Monday, stating the roughly 10-arce property off Okeechobee Road and West 16th Street is now under the management of Pura Vida Apartments, and that residents must find a new place to live within six months.
Read more (Video):
They have paid off their homes, and may soon be homeless | Miami Herald
The longtime owner of Sunny Gardens Mobile Home Park sold the trailer park’s 10 acres of land for $12 million. On April 2, the new owners sent a notice to the 96 families who live in the park, giving them until Nov. 30 to move out. The families, many of them elderly, say they will be left homeless.
— Read on www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/hialeah/article209275669.html
Mobile home park in Hialeah sells for $12MParks spans nearly 10 acres, trade breaks down to about $30 psf
A nearly 10-acre mobile home park in Hialeah just traded hands for $12 million.
The Sunny Gardens Mobile Home Park at 2901 West 16th Avenue, was sold by a Miramar-based company, led by Michael Kemp, for about $30 per square foot, property records show. The five-parcel sale included properties at 1571 West 29 Street and 3099 West 16 Avenue.
The buyers are two Delaware LLCs, both led by attorney Mark Meland of Meland, Russin & Budwick. Meland declined to comment. The land falls under multifamily and industrial zonings, records show.
Hialeah Pura Vida Commercial LLC bought a 40 percent interest in the property and Hialeah Pura Vida Apartments LLC bought the remaining 60 percent. The seller provided $9 million of financing to the buyers, records show.