My First Mobile Home Deal: 88% Yield

After reading Lonnie’s two books three times [Deals on Wheels and Making Money with Mobile Homes], I was really anxious to try my first “Lonnie Deal.” I traveled around a couple of mobile home parks in May, and finally spotted a run down, overgrown 1968 12 X 56 Liberty mobile home in the third park.This is a nice park in a small town about 10 minutes from a good size city.

I found out from a neighbor that the park owner now owned the mobile home, and it hadn’t been lived in for five years. So I looked up the owner. He said he wanted $2,000 for it, and that there was $1,383 in back taxes due, and I was welcome to look at it as it was unlocked. The ceilings and floors were good, it was on a nice lot and had a pitched metal roof.

I told him I would give him $800, would pay the back taxes, (a total investment of $2,186.53), and did not want to pay lot rent until August 1. He agreed in a heartbeat.

I hired a high school kid to paint the outside and remove a falling-down shed at $6/hour. I had the toilet replaced; installed a new screen door; hired a plumber to replace some split pipes; and replaced the water heater. For curb appeal, I covered the tongue with layers of plastic scroll things that people run material through to make valances for windows.

I wove artificial flowers through the scroll work.( I got the plastic scroll things at a yard sale 10 for $1.00). I also took a pair of them, painted them black and put them on the front window for shutters. (a 20 cent investment and they look like wrought iron!)

I bought four 3 ft. sections of small white plastic fencing for $1.00 each at a dollar store and put them across the front.The repairs took only one week, and cost $914.48.

My total investment to this point including repairs was $3,101. I put a “for sale” sign on it, put an ad in a free ad book we have here in Maine, plus two small ads in throw-aways. I knew I wanted at least $6,900 for it. Instead, I sold it within one week for $7,950, $500 down, no interest. I am getting $206.94 a month for the next 36 months: a 69.5% yield! [Editor’s Note: Good news, Barbara, your yield is actually 88%.]

A young couple with a baby who live with her parents are thrilled with it. So simple, I couldn’t believe it! The former tenants also had left two large sofas and an entertainment center, so I gave these to my son who is furnishing a large house.

Lonnie’s info was invaluable and, as he told me on the Main Real Estate Forum, “Now on to the next one.” (I have an appointment to see one this afternoon!) I have had 35 calls as a result of my ads! The owner financing creates a wonderful market! In Maine only a bill of sale is required to sell a mobile home, and there is no sales tax.

The new owner procured his own insurance policy with me as loss payee, and tomorrow I am going to the courthouse to record my lien. He also went to the park owner himself and was approved. The park owner is receiving his lot rent a month earlier than expected, so everyone is happy–especially me!