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You CAN Do Mobile Home Deals in a Hot Market

by Steven Hilbon   

The prices of mobile homes in Riverside County, California are ranging from $20,000 on up, so I haven't done any deals in parks lately; instead I've been doing land/home deals. Before Christmas, I was with my daughter buying some equestrian stuff. We had some time, and I decided to go through this park I knew nearby, just for kicks.

Lo and behold, there was this small black and red "For Sale by Owner" sign on this old, junky one-bedroom single wide. The neighbor across the street showed it to me. He told me that the owner died, and his brother, who lives in Arizona, is selling it to settle the estate. He wanted $7,500 for the home.

Of course, I asked how much for all cash. The best he could do is $5,000. I said, "Okay, let me talk to the park managers." They were jerks and asked if I have a dealer's license. I said "no," so they said I couldn't buy it. As far as I was concerned the deal was dead.

Fast forward a month: The seller called me to say that he has contacted the management company (the park manager's boss) and is dealing with them. If I was still interested to call "Dave" and talk to him. He turned out to be a really, nice guy and said I could buy it if I qualified for the park like anyone else.

I have good credit, so I knew I'd qualify. The owner came in from Arizona. He titled the home to me on February 2, and he paid the February rent! (As an aside, the park managers got fired over this whole deal!)

This is a family park, and the house across the street just sold for $87,000 a few months ago. Dealers are putting new homes in the park and asking $100,000+. Don't know if they're selling for that, but that is the market this home is in. Space rent is about $550.

Surprise, surprise! On February 27, I sold it for $13,300, with $2,300 down, and $223.04 for 60 months. And she paid the March rent! My costs were $90 for an ad, $100 to the guy across the street (He was super and showed it for me; I live in Orange County fifty miles away.), $100 to Dave, and $110 to title it to the new owner.

About $400 in costs and no fix-up. I sold it absolutely "as-is." As best I can figure, that's about an 85% yield. And as Lonnie Scruggs says "good enough."

I started with mobile homes in parks but do mostly land/home home deals now. The money is just too great. A heartfelt "thank you" to Lonnie Scruggs, who got me going investing in mobile homes!

 
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