Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deal or No Deal: 3/2 Singlewide Mobile Home In a Park (Free Mobile Home)

Since I've received a lot of requests for more case studies, I thought I'd make up another post for "Deal or No Deal."

This one is for an early 1980s, 14x76 singlewide mobile home in one of the parks I like to work in. This opportunity actually found me while I had taken a trip to visit the park.

So, I was cruising the park just checking out the latest activity when I spotted the park manager walking around. He noticed me, I waved back, and said "Hey, what's going on?"

We chit chatted for awhile. And, we went for a walk around the park.

In any case, we talked about a lot of things. And, in conversation the park manager told me about a home the park had taken back. I learned this home had been vacant for months. And, the park just didn't want to fix it up and deal with it. He told me to take a look at it. And, if I were interested - the park would give it to me for free (based on his recommendation).

(Note: This is the power of networking and really having a strong team).

Now, I know there are folks out there who have heard of free mobile homes. And, I'm here to tell you - the term "You get what you pay for" usually holds true in these type situations.

The first thing I asked the park manager was, "Be straight with me. How much work does this thing really need?"

And, with that the park manager just smiled at me and said "I'll let you decide. Just take a look."

Once I heard that, I knew this probably needed a lot of work (aka a junker). I just knew it. But, I decided to go check it out anyways. And, here's what I found.

As soon as I pulled up to the home, I had a really bad feeling (through my "Does it Look Like a Deal" analysis).

Outside of home

Mold and flashing issues near top

Back of home with wood board covering up area of home (possible damage to paneling)

Hornet's nest near water heater panel

(Note: This is one sign the home is older (i.e. 1980s) when the water heater panel is accessible from the outside of the home. In most newer homes, the water heater panel is accessible on the inside (usually near the utility room or in the master bedroom).

Inside of home

Living room area

Ceiling (water) damage

Bucket of water underneath ceiling damage

(Note: I ran into the bucket while looking up at the ceiling and almost tipped it over - it was filled to the brim with water!)

Inside bedroom closet ceiling damage and mold issues

Bathroom floorwork needed

Insulation in tub

After viewing the home, the park manager asked what I thought. I said, "Seriously, did you think I'd even want this with all the work it needs? Even if you paid me, I wouldn't even want this!"

And, with that the park manager laughed. He told me he knew I wouldn't take it. But, just wanted to get my reaction. And, told me "Yeah, we all know that things that are free and cheap are not all what they turn out to be. We'll probably just sell it to an investor for a couple thousand dollars and they'll think it's a deal." And that was that.

I hope you enjoyed reading this case study of "Deal or No Deal." I hope it will help you to better understand the thought process when evaluating potential mobile home investments.

If you would like to share a story on a home you've recently passed on or pursued (aka "deal or no deal"), I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.

His comment, "Yeah, we all know that things that are free and cheap are not all what they turn out to be. We'll probably just sell it to an investor for a couple thousand dollars and they'll think it's a deal." seems strange to me, especially if he could not give this unit away in the first place.

Jerry said...

Great post! I really enjoy your blog. There are so many details that I don't even think about. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Jerry, glad you enjoyed the post - thanks for stopping by!