Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Terminology Tuesday (Tricks of the Trade) - Covering Up a Hitch

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

**** Tricks of the Trade is a new series I have started that will be included with "Terminology Tuesday" posts. The goal of this series is to share with you the "tricks of the trade" I have learned in the mobile home business.

Recently, I've had to deal with an issue on this deal - covering up a hitch.

Since I only deal with high end parks now due to this experience, the majority of these parks have strict regulations regarding hitches - they are prohibited from being seen. Usually, in the more low end parks - hitches are allowed to be in plain view. And, in most cases - there are many hitches to be seen in these type parks.

In all honesty, I think it is more an aesthetic issue than anything. Having the hitches not in view just makes the park and the overall community look nicer (in my opinion). So, I can see why hitches are prohibited from being seen in most high end parks.

Since I have a good relationship with the park manager for this deal, I was allowed to cover the hitch. Now, the park manager did tell me in their rules and regulations that it states all hitches in the parks must be removed and placed underneath the homes. Though, the park manager told me I wouldn't be made to do this as it costs quite a bit of money just to raise the home and remove the hitch. This is the power of building strong relationships.

So, you may be asking yourself - why do I have to deal with this issue and not the previous owner?

Well, when I negotiated this deal with the previous owner the hitch was actually covered. Awhile back, the previous management had planted bushes in the park which had covered up the hitch. Though, this bush really grew out of control. And, I didn't like it one bit. Here's a snapshot:

(Note: In addition, I had to also find someone to cut this bush down. (Talk about major stress issues!) Went through a bit of drama interviewing and getting bids from a few contractors but finally found a guy who could do it. And, he did a great job!)

Once the bushes were removed and cut down, then the hitch was exposed and the home looked like this:

Once the hitch was exposed, I took some measurements. I measured 12 inches off the ground (which was great as it wasn't too high) and 50 inches across for the sides and height of the hitch.

(Note: For those who are new to the mobile home business, in most cases the length of the hitch is standard - usually 4 feet long. And, this 4 feet gets added to the overall length of the home. For example, a 16x76 foot long home with a hitch would actually be 16x80 foot long (if you count the hitch).

In any case, I asked the park manager for a few ideas to cover the hitch. The park manager told me there are several things that I could do, but all that mattered was that it looked nice. Ok, but that is so subjective! Something that looks nice to one person may not look nice to another. I was really stressing about this!

Though, the park manager assured me this was not a big issue. The park manager told me to go around the park and get ideas by looking at what others have done. A few suggestions were to cover up the hitch in lattice, build a box around it, or use some bricks to cover it up. So, I went around the park to get a few ideas. (Talk about ridiculous!)

Here's what I found:



Not that great

After checking out what others had done in the park, I took a trip to the local hardware store (aka Home Depot and Lowe's). And, after much deliberation came up with this:

Now, here's what the home looks like with the newly covered hitch:

After I completed the project, I was really relieved just to get it done. Now, the hitch is covered (per park regulations). And, I can honestly say this has definitely been another new and educational learning experience for me.

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use - it definitely has for me.

Happy investing!

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


Mobile Mike said...

Thanks for the ideas. Most of the park around here require us to remove the tongue 100% when the mobile home is being installed. I have never seen a tongue on the ground like some of them in your pictures either.

Take Care, Mobile Mike

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Mobile Mike, glad you enjoyed the post!