Only Action Generates Progress

Recently, I bought a small (10 units) park including a remnant of one 2bdrms. and four 3bdrms. vacant homes (1980-’84). Knowingly, I overpaid for the property because it was close to, and detracted from, our homes. (We have double-wides only). During an uncharacteristic altruistic weak moment, I offered these single-wides to anybody who wanted one; had made arrangements with a mover for me to contribute $1000.- toward the total moving and set-up cost of $1500.-. per home. I estimated that the material costs would be about $3000.- per home. Further, I had discovered a park with a number of vacant spaces where the owner rents a space for $145.-per month. That park is at a very convenient location. (Secretly, I hope that this 6.5 acres will be for sale some day.)
Also, I imagined that I would meet some enterprising entrepreneurs and young families who could see the blessings of some sweat equity. The experience was surprising. Two families showed up. It didn’t take long for the guys to enthusiastically choose the two best 3 bdrms homes, but their female escorts complained bitterly that the homes were too dirty and required too much work. They left arguing with each other. We instructed the mover to place the 2bdrms as a needed storage unit “down the road” behind the home we occupy and just get rid of the others.
How people expect to improve the quality of their lives without work, devoid of active participation in a worthwhile endeavor, is puzzlement to me unless, of course, they can’t help it, because they are diagnosed as being afflicted by the newly- created self-destructive gene syndrome. There are always people who believe to be entitled to the property of others. Think taxes, welfare, and warfare.

I’ve been doing Lonnie deals since 2005, and in that short time I can say that I’ve seen a drastic shift away from buyer’s willingness to purchase homes that need work, even if the deal (purchase price plus repairs) puts them in a very favorable financial position with respect to home values in the area.

Hard working folks used to love the opportunity to get something for a deal, and do the work themselves. Now they want everything picture-perfect, but they still want that low, low price. Before I pulled all my advertising recently, I was getting a lot of calls asking if I had any 3 bedroom homes for $500-$1000. I would then ask if they were able to make any repairs themselves, to which the reply was usually “No, I want something in good shape”.

What happened in those 7 years, I can only guess… rampant entitlement programs that reward the lazy, maybe the bad economy… who knows? But whatever the case I hate seeing the trend, and hope it changes soon.

When I read the initial story, I had a picture of a couple who were not on the same page. While the guy might want the property, the lady might know if the guy is really going to perform. Some folks sign up for projects and then never finish.

With the latter comments from Jeff I have an idea that the marketing needs to change. Something that is more explicit about saying a handyman special where you better know how to shovel out the crap and you have your own tools. Something to scare off the couch potatoes who want move in ready.

Just impressions I had reading the thread. Stuff that we have in out head does color how we hear things.

Congrats on the new park, Bernd. I presume you will replace those single wides with fewer double wides.

Over the past nine yrs. I have seen very few people come in and fix up fixer-uppers or even take pride and fix up better quality homes. I can only think of 3 people out of the 125+ homes I’ve sold who actually went in and fixed them up nicely. Most of the rest use them as-is and a small percentage abuse them.