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We Doubled our Money on 4 Mobile Home Deals

by Tom (Rochester, NY)   

Just wanted to post a success story. We just completed our fourth mobile home deal in the last eight months. Here's how it went: My wife and I were out riding the speed bumps when we spotted a 14x70, 1986 2-bedroom/1-bath mobile home in our favorite park. It was listed by a Realtor we know, so we called and found out the asking price was $8,900.

The vacant home had belonged to a recently deceased man and was being sold by his estate. We arranged to tour the home with the Realtor and found that it needed some minor trim and woodwork repairs, paint, carpeting, and a general cleanup.

Otherwise, the home was in good condition with new washer & dryer, nice island kitchen, peaked shingled roof, new furnace, and excellent vinyl siding and skirting.

Based on our experiences and knowledge of values in that park, we decided to offer $3,000 cash on the spot. The Realtor said, "They'll never accept this; they already turned down a higher offer." It turned out that "they" were the owner's three surviving sons. They had received a higher offer than ours when they first listed the home three months earlier, but they had turned that offer down.

We told the Realtor to just go ahead and present the offer. Our thinking was that they probably wished by now, after paying three months of lot rent, that they had accepted that other offer. We figured at least one of the brothers, and maybe all three, should be properly motivated by now.

It turned out we were right. Our offer was accepted as is the next day, and we became owners of a bouncing baby mobile home at $3,000. Our exit strategy was to fix the home up and offer it for sale with owner financing and flexible terms at $11,900. Over the next three weeks we invested another $2,200 for repairs, paint, all new carpet, general cleanup, one month's lot rent, and a Pennysaver ad.

We scheduled an open house and worked furiously to get the house ready to go. Two nights before the open house, we received a phone call from a woman in the park who asked if her friend could view the home before the open house. She said her friend, Mary, was disabled and on oxygen and needed to move out of her home, and would like to be in the same park.

I said of course they could come over early. The two women showed up on time, two hours before our open house was scheduled. They toured the home, and they were both obviously pleased with what they saw. Mary asked if we would accept $10,000 cash for the home.

I thought for a moment and replied, "I really don't think I can go that low, since we haven't even had our open house yet. Is that the best you can do?" She said she would have to think about paying more, and I said I didn't think the home would still be available after the open house because we had gotten a lot of phone calls.

Mary said she understood, and with that the women left, and my wife and I went to get some lunch before the open house. While we were at lunch, my cell phone rang. It was Mary calling back, and she asked if we'd be willing to take $11,000 cash!

Remembering that pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered, I said, "That sounds good to me, Mary, but to be fair, we have to at least let the open house run it's course and see if anyone wants to make a higher offer. If no one offers more before the open house ends, the house is yours." She replied, "Oh, I hope I get it!" My wife and I did, too.

We had some interest at the open house, but everybody there wanted to know what terms we were offering, and how much down payment they would need. In my mind cash is king, so we called back Mary at the end of the day and congratulated her on her new home.

Mary's friend came right over with a deposit, and we finalized the deal that day. In our minds, this deal was definitely "Good Enough!" This is just one example of the deals we've been able to do since buying Deals on Wheels and Making Money with Mobile Homes by Lonnie Scruggs.

The techniques in those books have worked for us just like Lonnie says, with one exception. Instead of having to hold the notes on the homes we've sold, our last three deals have all sold for CASH. And we've at least doubled our investment on every home we've sold! Darn it, I'm going to have to re-read those books to see what we're doing wrong!

 
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