I made a mistake and am sick (long and humbling) - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Nancy Dallas on May 18, 2006 at 09:09:43:

Thank for your feed back!!! I appreciate it!


I made a mistake and am sick (long and humbling) - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Briton (IN) on May 10, 2006 at 19:13:30:


I made a mistake yesterday. One that is literally making me sick to my stomach.

I paid too much for a mobile home in my park. I paid 5k for a 1987 14x70. To give you some backround I own the park and it is a nice park. Most of the homes are vinal sided. I have 2 empty lots. The problem is I let my fears take ahold of my judgement. The tenant had a $4,700 offer from a man who was going to move the home out of the park. So instead of letting this older crappy looking home go, I told the tenant I would give her 5k.

This brings me to another problem I have been having and thats filling my lots with vinal sided homes. I have been looking almost every day for nice homes to put on my empty lots. I have found a couple since I bought the park, but it seems that everyone I talk to wants too much for their nicer mobile homes. I leave my number with everyone I talk to but have not had any luck getting motivated sellers calling me.

The inside of the home is in decent shape. It included a washer/dryer, fridge, stove and C/A.

Its the outside of the home that is pretty bad. It is metal siding and its one of those homes that has like 3 colors. The top has a big brown stripe, then there is about 4 feet of tan, and then there is a couple feet of nasty darker tan. The skirting is brown with pieces of skirting that are darker than others. All in all its ugly. It does have a nice metal shed. I have moved 2 older homes in the park out since I bought the park, and this one is prolly the ugliest one in there right now. Yet somehow I had a bad day and paid to much for it.

I literally could not eat my wifes dinner tonight. I am amazed I did something this dumb. It retrospect I would of rather had the home move out. But I did not so now I have to move forward. (crying)

Moving forward…

I am not handy at all and put too much into the home to put much hired labor into it. I am going to paint the deck and am cosidering painting the outside. To those that know the type of siding I am talking about with stripes of different colored paint. Is painting the outside a realistic option?

To be honest I think I can get $8500 out of this thing as-is on contract, I am just worried that the type of person that would buy this mobile home is not goin to be a person I would like in my nice mobile home community.

I have bought and sold many mobile homes and always done very well. To be honest I am prolly over reacting also. I have the type of personality where I worry alot. Being a worry wort is alot of what has made me successful in the first place. But this time I let it influence me in a bad way.

I dont really know why I am posting my mistake. I am still in shock I did it. I know there are people out there who have been in my boat. It would be nice to hear from some of them. Any comments on what I could do to make this thing look nicer would be awsome as well.

Briton (IN)

Always consider selling to your competitor - Posted by JBarnes

Posted by JBarnes on May 14, 2006 at 08:59:15:

In the future, when you have a ‘known’ entity wanting to buy this home for $4700, and you blurt out “$5k”, and then get as upset as you became, always remember the $300 solution.

Call the other bidder, and tell him the home is his for $4700 cash today, TADA!!! You are out in 24-48 hours, your seller is happy, your buyer is happy, and you are relieved!!! You lost a whopping $300 on a ‘bad’ decision, and you are the envy of the community of LD people who have made bad MH decisions, because yours only cost $300, and a few hours/days to resolve.

Re: I made a mistake and am sick (long and - Posted by Eddie-Mi

Posted by Eddie-Mi on May 12, 2006 at 17:07:28:

I am guilty of overpaying for a home several times (most people in here probably have). It has to do with being a motivated buyer. You were scared the home was going to move out so you became a motivated buyer. I am guilty of the same thing you did, but you can’t change the past.

I would have told him to take the 4700 from this other man and run. Chances are that other buyer was imaginary or was not going to go perform and a month or 2 of paying lot rent his price would have went down.

If this buyer thinks it is worthwhile to buy a 1987 (that looks bad from outside) by paying 4700 + another 2 or 3 thousand in moving and setup costs- good luck to him.

I have had one home move out of my park- it was a lady in here 80s who had some land next to a SFH she sold 10 years ago. She was going to be moving out of area and decided to put the home on her own land so the home could be ‘worth something to her nephew when she passes’. Well, after probably 10,000+ in a new septic and transport/settup she has a 1995 singlewide on property. She should have just sold the home where it was and got some money- but I was not going to become a motivated buyer to prevent a moveout.

As Ray Alcorn puts it in his book- the home is captive to the park due to the high costs of moving and zoning restrictions.

I agree with Anne about vinyl siding the home- it probably will cost a thousand bucks- but since you already got 5k in it you might as well do it or require a buyer to do it. I’ve vinyl sided a few homes and they turned out very good.

Re: Side it - Posted by JeffB (MI)

Posted by JeffB (MI) on May 11, 2006 at 08:14:37:

Echo what Anne_ND said about siding… definitely not a difficult thing to do, and it makes such a difference in the appearance of the home.

We don’t do the insulation when we put siding on (not sure why, just never thought of it). It costs us around $900-$1000 for materials to do a 14x70 and I’ve got a guy who does all the labor for $600. Since he is paid by the job he’s motivated to get it done quickly, usually in just a couple days. Quotes for similar work from siding companies have varied from $2500-$6000 (including materials). The $6000 guy lives across the street from me, but he must have been smoking something.

Side it - Posted by Anne_ND

Posted by Anne_ND on May 11, 2006 at 07:03:32:

Hi Briton,

Since your primary concern is to upgrade the overall appearance of your park, I suggest you put vinyl siding on it.

I have had this done- my handyman put up green fan-fold insulation (just nailed it in to the crappy fake-wood siding underneath) and then installed the vinyl. It looks… like an entirely different home! And buyers love it- I’ve sold this home twice and both times it was an easy sell because of the insulation (lower heating/cooling bills) and the nice appearance of the siding.

A couple of things to keep in mind- when putting up the siding, make sure the overlapping edges of the vinyl face AWAY from the street, that will result in a smooth appearance. Also, you may be able to find used shutters at a mobile home parts store or even on ebay.

I have also had several homes painted. Personally I love well-kept older metal MHs. When painting them I usually choose colors that are close to or slightly darker than the colors already there- I don’t want to put up more than one coat. I only have experience painting metal skirting, not vinyl, and that looks really nice too.

I think you did the right thing by keeping the home in your park, especially since the inside will show well.

good luck!


Laying down the bunt - Posted by Karl (Oh)

Posted by Karl (Oh) on May 11, 2006 at 24:20:17:


Many times when talking with other investors we’ll refer to deals using baseball terms. Double, triple, home run, etc. It sounds like you layed down a bunt. But that still gets you on base.

I’m in the middle of a similar deal. I bought an extremely nice '87 2/2 14X66 metal/metal 200 amp home from a FSBO in a disaster park (must be moved) a couple weeks ago. I’m working with another investor who’s buying homes wholesale, and I was sure I was going to sell him this home for a quick flip. But he passed. Now I’ve got to move the home to a friendly park. So I called two different parks that have reimbursed me for moves, but for different reasons neither park could take the home right now. So I moved the home to my pet park at my expense, to the only 200amp lot available which isn’t very nice. I’ll have about $7k into it, and can only sell it for around $12k on a note. Not only did I lay down a bunt, but my shoelaces are tied together!

Anyway, it happens. On aggregate, we do pretty well with these deals. Don’t sweat it if one or two ONLY make you a couple grand.

Here’s a suggestion for filling your nicer park. Call 21st Mortgage and see if they’ll bring in some nice newer repo homes to fill you lots. They move them in, you show them and sell them, you get lot rent and a nice commission from the bank! Here’s their number: 800-955-0021, ask for the remarketing dept. Good luck.

Karl Kleiner

Re: Made a mistake; am sick (long and humbling) - Posted by Michael(KCMO)

Posted by Michael(KCMO) on May 10, 2006 at 22:51:17:

I agree with Barry . . . deep breaths & relax. I also agree that paint will do wonders for the appearance. While I’ve never had to paint any of my own, I’ve seen many that have been painted and look great. One of my favorites was an old, metal-sided home that had been painted a nice beige color with light blue shutters & accents. It looked very nice.

It sounds like you have a very nice looking community and you’re disappointed that this one still isn’t going to be up-to-snuff compared to the other vinyl homes you have. It also seems you’re upset about paying what you did. The first concern I’ve already addressed. As for the 2nd, I’m sure that once you run some numbers on what you would’ve lost on lot rent had you NOT bought the home (especially since you are having such a hard time finding replacements) you’ll find you did ok.

Again, deep breaths . . . relax . . . and pass the mashed potatoes.


Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Tony Colella

Posted by Tony Colella on May 10, 2006 at 21:54:36:

You can officially forgive yourself because this was not a mistake.

In most cases we would view this as a lonnie deal price so let’s go that route for a sec. Let’s say that for a Lonnie deal, you would have paid up to $2k. Move, set up, inspections, etc. is likely to run $3k so in essence you bought a lonnie deal and moved it in.

In my area this would rent for $500 per month so in gross figures we would have all our money back in less than a year. Not much of a problem.

Now, as Barry said you could put some paint on the outside for a few bucks and make this look pretty good from the curb. I have not vinyl sided a home yet but plan to and by all accounts is not rocket science (sure there are a few tips to be learned).

Vinyl sided or painted white with black shutters, you got yourself a winner.


Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Barry (GA)

Posted by Barry (GA) on May 10, 2006 at 21:23:43:


Take a few deep breaths and relax…

In my area I would have bought that one in a hurry for $5k, especially with all of those appliances.

My wife is a professional painter and she said just get some good exterior latex paint and paint the outside. She said that the easiest thing to do is spray it but if you do not have a sprayer you can hand brush it. She even said that you can spray that skirting a different color.

So relax, have some supper and figure out what color paint you are going to buy. After all, tomorrow is another day…

Good investing,

Re: I made a mistake and am sick (long and - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Briton (IN) on May 12, 2006 at 18:41:25:

My handyman said it costs alot to Vinal side a home because you have to get new windows to be flush with the new vinal???

Anyone have thoughts on that?

TX Briton

Re: Made a mistake; am sick (long and humbling) - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Briton (IN) on May 10, 2006 at 23:18:18:

Thanx for the kind words. I need them :slight_smile:

Time for me to get my painting clothes out.

Briton (IN)

Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Briton (IN) on May 10, 2006 at 23:15:03:

Hey Tony,

The true root of my problem is finding nice used mobile homes to move into this park.

In my other park I started with 16/22 lots full 3 years ago and now completly have it full :slight_smile: But I can allow pretty much any age/type of homes to be in there. Because it is not so nice. (Its not as bad as when I bought it, i have done very much to improve it)

In the park I have been talking about I am trying to buy 1990+ and preferably vinal sided depending on age and other factors. But I am having a heck of a time getting it full. Again this is my determined mindset. I feel that I have to be full because when i see the empty lots I see $180/mo that could be on my deposit slips :slight_smile:

I am driving through parks, calling on ads, leaving my number with people, ect, ect. But I feel like I could be doing a better job but I am not sure how. Any comments on finding newer homes at good prices? I am having hard time finding motivated sellers.

The best deal I have found in the last month is $11,000 for a 99 16x80 that is in pretty good shape. If I put $500 on the inside it would be in great shape. But then by the time I move it and set it up I have nearly $15,000 in it. I plan on having some good conversations with people at the bootcamp about finding these killer deals on newer homes I always here about on these forums. I have had some great yields on older homes, but never on newer ones.

I found one that had to be moved a couple months ago. 16x80, vinal, 1996. But the inside needs totally redone. I am talking $5,000-$6,000 in work on the inside to be nice enough to attract the kind of tenant I want. It needed new storm windows, all new flooring, every wall needed paint, ect. The people had 5 kids and 2 dogs in this home. The move would have cost 2K (the home did not have axles either) The setup prolly another $1500. But they wanted 3K for it. So I would have had $12,500 in it. Not to mention the it has been empty for a year the furnace, ect could not work when I get it setup. I also would have had several hours in labor/managing the whole thing. So I left my number and did not hear back from them. But when I read these deals people are finding on CRE I feel like I should keep looking. Mabye I am wrong. Think I should loosen up on the prices I am willing to pay a little? After all I have empty lots!

Also I am officially signed up for the bootcamp. I have self-taught myself everything I know about the mobile home business in the last 3 1/2 years and am ecstatic to finally get the chance to have some good conversations with other park owners. I will be bringing pictures of my parks including before and after shots of my first park where the average age of homes has gone up 15 years in the last 3 1/2 years. I cannot wait to share and get ideas! I cannot wait to see you what you do first hand as well. I have learned alot these last 3 years, but still have so much to learn!

Thanx for your help, Briton (IN)

Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Briton (IN)

Posted by Briton (IN) on May 10, 2006 at 22:21:43:

Thanx for the response Barry.

I have some painting questions for you, your wife, or anyone can help me.

I think I am going to paint the outside. You mentioned using a paint brush. Is their a reason not to use rollers? It seems like that would be much faster than a brush.

Considering this is brown…Tony mentioned painting the thing white. Would this take many coats to get rid of the darkness?

As far as painting the skirting goes. Should I use a different color than I use on the body of the home? As I sit here trying to imagine it, I think if I painted the whole thing white from top to bottom (including skirting) it may look weird. Any color combo suggestions out there? Or am I wrong thinking that white would look odd from top to bottom.

Also would the skirting take the same “good exterior latex paint” as the aluminum siding would?

Thanx again, Briton

Re: I made a mistake and am sick (long and - Posted by Michael(KCMO)

Posted by Michael(KCMO) on May 12, 2006 at 23:09:50:


I haven’t installed siding, but the homes I’ve seen that have had siding put on aftermarket just had “J” channel around the doors, windows, etc. And, no, it wasn’t flush.

Hope that helps,

Re: I made a mistake and am sick (long and - Posted by JeffB (MI)

Posted by JeffB (MI) on May 12, 2006 at 19:14:01:

Your handyman is full of it.

Only materials required are the vinyl siding materials themselves, unless you decide to add insulation as Anne_ND and others have suggested.

Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by bill hicks

Posted by bill hicks on May 14, 2006 at 10:02:57:

Dear Briton,

When faced with a lemon, always try and make lemonade!
I don’t think you made all that bad a deal especially if you finance this home at 12.75% or even higher as interest rates have been moving up.

As for filling up your park I think you have stumbled into the perfect solution.

Find older homes that are super nice inside but cheaper because the outside shows poorly and simply
insulate them and put vinyl siding on them. Then they will look great inside and out and people will be better able to afford your increased lot rents in the future because they will be saving so much money on utilities.(me bad) Heck, I’m going to consider doing this with the land home deals I’ve been doing. Here we need more insulation in the summer for the a/c than in the winter but what the heck, savings are savings. Good luck to you. Oh,
some people say they get good deals on nice homes others are trading in so try this also.
Bill H. (TX)

money is made in “trailer parks” - Posted by jowns(tn)

Posted by jowns(tn) on May 11, 2006 at 19:51:00:

Paint it outside and a year from the time you rent it figure your yeild. It will be a better money maker than the vinyl sided homes. I have a home (wobbley box) that I got a little trigger happy on to fill my last space in one of my parks. I payed to much, had to put to much time in it to fix it up.I have about $6500 in it and I cringe if I have to go in it.I rented it with section 8 $475 a month($160 lot rent).When I did my taxes it was one of the best money makers.I will never like that home, but that big check at the first of each month eases the pain.

Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Barry (GA)

Posted by Barry (GA) on May 12, 2006 at 15:13:25:


Glad to help. I think the reason she mentioned using a brush is because of the shape of the metal siding it would be hard to roll. You could try it with a deep knap roller like Joe mentioned. Yes, the same type of paint for the skirting. Not sure about the color thing. Perhaps you could find a nice beige that would look good and cover well. If you get a good white then it covers better than some of the others-she uses Ace (Hardware) Royal “High Hiding White”. Maybe do a beige body with white trim (and skirting?) and a differnt color for the doors and shutters?

Good investing,

Re: I made a mistake and am sick - Posted by Joe C.(AR)

Posted by Joe C.(AR) on May 10, 2006 at 22:56:42:

I’ve made my share of mistakes too. I’ve always made money on them and you will too. Your biggest concern seems to be the appearance of your park. Like the others said paint will make all the difference. “Deep” rollers will work well, I’ve used 1" with good results. You’ll be suprised how well a good exterior latex will cover. I did a dark one with white, one coat and a few touch-ups the next day. I used Behr Prem. Plus from home depot. 5 gallons should do a 70 footer. With white I would do some trim with a different color. You’ll be pleased with results.

Just so you feel better, my biggest mistake was buying 14x60 mover that needed floor and plumbing work because I had a short lot I wanted to fill and it was cheap. Only after having it moved and set up in my park did I realize it was a 12x60, not 14. Now thats a MISTAKE. I still tripled my money, it just bruised my ego.

Joe C. (AR)