Repairs question for the MH pros - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Bill K. - FL on February 02, 2000 at 09:12:33:

If it is over twenty yrs. old I would pass on it. It would be very difficult to resell. Concentrate on 10-20 yr old homes. Would you buy a 30yr old home when there are many newer ones around?

Repairs question for the MH pros - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on February 02, 2000 at 08:59:18:

I would appreciate any and all thoughts regarding a MH I looked at a few days ago. I’m having a hard time deciding whether to pursue it because of the work inside that needs to be done, or whether I should just try to sell “as is.” Here’s the lowdown:

The one in question is a 1969 14xsomething (can’t remember if 60 or 70), 2BR, 1 bath with all appliances staying. Lot rent $250, got park mgr’s OK to keep it there. It has new front door, new skirting, newer carpet and paneling in living room (within last year or so). The furnace has to be converted from fuel to natural gas by September. A kitchen cabinet is cracked and drooping a bit by the frig. Kitchen faucet is being replaced by seller. In 1 BR there’s about a 2x2 foot hole in the paneling where the prior owner’s dog pretended to be a woodchuck and ate it. This room also needs some other paneling replaced too. In addition, the w/d are both along one wall of this room. Is that a negative as a selling feature, having them in a bedroom? Also needs new bathroom door, and the tub is rather ratty. When the living room ceiling was painted, they never put the trim back on, and it’s gone. I think the walls in the other bedroom may need a little work as well.

When I called the first time the ad said “$2,500 firm.” During the first phone call the guy “treed” himself a few times and went down to $2,000. After going through the home and pointing out all the problems, I asked him the classic bottom line question and he immediately said $1,500. Told him I’d have to give it some thought, and left my card with him.

So what do you think? Is this too much work, or is this a potential “Ugly Duckling” type home? I think if I waved $1,000 in cash in front of him he’d take it. I’m the first to admit I’m no handyman, so repairs would take some time. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, ideas, critiques etc.

See y’all in Atlanta!!


Re: Repairs question for the MH pros - Posted by Tony-Va

Posted by Tony-Va on February 02, 2000 at 16:31:05:

Hello Blane,

Check your figures and let the numbers make the decision for you. Although your home is a bit older than my usual home, it is actually in better condition! I have not had any problem selling 14’ wides in “as is” condition.

In regards the repairs. Tell your buyer the truth. Let them know what problems you know of. Explain that if you pay a pro to come in and make the repairs, you will have to charge a lot more for the home. These people ALWAYS say, oh I can fix that. Well, let them! Say “ok, if you were to do the repairs, I could keep the cost down and be more flexible in the terms.” Then go into your lonnie negotiation techniques.

As for the furnace, call and get an estimate. Heck, go out there with the repairman, let the seller see it is going to cost XXXX number of dollars. This will be a bargaining point for you.

I would still do this but if the furnace does not have to be replaced until September, I would sell “As is”. Just let your buyer know the furnace must be changed over, and I would put it into the contract so there would be no questions later. Why replace something now that you don’t have to for another 7 months? Heck if you sold it now, collected 7 payments, you would have all your money back from the deal. If your buyer decided to leave then, rather than replace the darn thing, you have now got yourself a money machine. At that point you could replace it and resell.

Don’t fall into the Single Family Home mentality. I have tried fixing up homes so that they look nice like I would want them too if I were to live in them. For these old banged up Mobile Homes, there is a market for them “As is”. Tap this market for these types of homes.

Use Lonnie’s techniques with the buyer. Use the repair estimates to get the price down. Figure into the deal some carrying cost and the cost of the furnace if you had to replace it. If the deal still yields what you would accept as a worse case scenario, then go for it. If not, pass.

I have found that homes like these, purchased for little money, have given me the greatest education. These homes have helped me work on my negotiating skills, marketing skills and buying skills. Education may cost some if the deal does not sell quickly, but if the numbers are computed as above, I have found both the deal and the education to be well worth it.

Best Wishes for your Success,


Re: Repairs question for the MH pros - Posted by chris_wa

Posted by chris_wa on February 02, 2000 at 11:01:20:

the fix up you describe doesn’t sound like too much to take on. personally i would be interested in something like that, even if it is a sixties model. reason being…i have sold several that are older. i like the fact that it is a 14 wide. in my area, that can make all the difference in the world. however, i don’t like the fact that you would have to upgrade the furnace. personally, i have never had to do that. you may wish to call around and get that kind of thing priced. i bet you may run into a grand in that alone. now if that makes the numbers too high…walk. there are plenty of others that have the minor repairs that you described, and yes, you will be able to sell those “as-is” if this is your first, you may just want to keep looking. find something with enough minor problems that you can “tree” them all day long and get a good deal. they’re out there. good luck.


Re: Repairs question for the MH pros - Posted by GL

Posted by GL on February 02, 2000 at 09:20:04:

The question is, is it worth fixing? What would it be worth fixed up? The things you describe are not difficult or expensive themselves but there are a lot of them, and the total could cost more than the unit if you hire someone to do them.

I fixed up a similar one but that is because of a peculiar situation. In my area there are only 2 MH parks. It is illegal to put a MH on private property. So the parks have a monoply. I paid $17000 for a unit like you describe, fixed it up nice, and sold it for $42000. If it had not been in a park it would not have been worth $1500 because there would have been nothing I could do with it.