Mobile Home Park “Star” Ratings: Fact or Illusion?
The quirky practice in grading mobile home parks with a “star” rating (usually one to five stars) exists for no other type of commercial real estate.
What makes this interesting is that almost no one who uses the rating knows what it means or where it comes from. I get a calls every now and then from park owners wanting to know who to call to have their parks rated and how it works.
And they aren’t the only ones; ask a broker, lender, or even large corporate operators what the difference is between a three-star and a five-star park, and you will likely get a muddled response referring to amenities, paved streets, or swimming pools, but no hard data about how the stars are assigned or who does it.
Yet it sounds so real, so authoritative, that one believes there must be some person or entity somewhere that issues these “stars.”
The history behind mobile home park star ratings
The history behind this practice is interesting, and unknown to most in the business. The reference to star ratings for mobile home parks is a holdover from a directory of mobile home parks published in the fifties, sixties, and seventies by Woodall Publishing of Chicago, Illinois.