The thrill of acquiring an RV park brings both a sense of fulfillment and an equal measure of nervous anticipation. As you navigate the unfamiliar terrain of owning such a property, you might worry about overlooking some crucial steps. This article offers invaluable advice to help your transition into ownership be as seamless as possible and set you on the path to success.

Review Your Survey and Title Thoroughly

It's essential to verify that what you're purchasing aligns with your expectations. Ensure the land's footprint as shown on the survey matches your assumptions. Look out for any potential easements that may restrict the park's use or future development. Confirm that your title's legal description corresponds with the survey. If you're uncertain about this, hiring a licensed real estate attorney to assist might be a wise investment.

Scrutinize the Closing Statement

Although they are generally reliable, title companies can occasionally make mistakes on the closing statement. These errors typically involve wrongly assigning costs between buyer and seller, arithmetic mistakes such as incorrect property tax amounts, or miscalculations arising from using an inaccurate date for prorations. Be vigilant and double-check these details.

Prepare Your Manager

Unless you intend to manage the RV park personally, it's crucial to recruit, onboard, and train a manager before closing. Owning a property without a designated manager is risky; you need someone to oversee daily operations from the moment the property becomes yours.

Establish Your Payment System

On the day of the closing, you will have customers ready to transact. Ensure you're set up to accept payments, whether credit cards or cash. Failing to prepare for this could disrupt your business and cost you valuable revenue.

Obtain Necessary Operating Permits

In certain jurisdictions, you'll need to secure an operating license for the RV park once you take ownership. Make sure to prepare all required documentation so you can apply for these permits immediately. Operating without the necessary paperwork can lead to serious legal issues.

Ready Your Utility Deposits and Account Information

When closing day arrives, aim to transfer utilities like water, sewer, electricity, gas, and trash services into your name. Be prepared with the necessary deposits and account information to facilitate this.

Organize Your Accounting and Bookkeeping

Starting from day one, you'll be handling incoming revenue and expenses. Having a competent bookkeeper or accountant, as well as efficient financial software, will help you manage these transactions effectively and keep your financial records in good shape.

Prepare Your Marketing Materials

Just like a sprinter on the starting blocks, be ready to distribute your marketing materials from day one. Have print materials, your website, and contact lists ready to go. The faster you can increase revenue, the better.

Announce New Ownership

If the RV park's reputation is less than stellar, consider advertising the change in ownership and possibly a new name. Ensure all signage is prepared for immediate display after closing.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

Just like the British mantra during WWII, "Keep Calm and Carry On," keep a cool head in the initial weeks of ownership. You'll likely face minor challenges, but remember there's always a learning curve in any new venture. Patience and persistence will see you through to a smoother operation.

In conclusion, acquiring an RV park can be a lucrative investment and a rewarding lifestyle choice. However, it's crucial to start on the right foot. By adhering to these guidelines, you can navigate the transition with confidence and set the stage for a successful and enjoyable venture!

By Frank Rolfe

Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors.