The Mobile Home from Hell: Lessons for Lonnie Newbies - Posted by Dan (NC)

Posted by Carol on March 16, 1999 at 05:59:44:

Whew! NTN in Gainesville FL charges $18.50 (including public records). Was yours a typo or should I use the OH office!

The Mobile Home from Hell: Lessons for Lonnie Newbies - Posted by Dan (NC)

Posted by Dan (NC) on March 15, 1999 at 16:33:32:

I am relating this story not to dissuade y’all (that’s southern speak) from MH investing, nor to illustrate how dumb I can be, but rather to offer some lessons learned. This was my second deal, and trust me, I’ve beaten myself up enough, I don’t need anymore.

A local broker offered me an '87 singlewide repo for $3200 but I would have to also pay $1300 in back lot rent. It was in great condition - even had brand new flooring! Pretty weird for a repo, but what the heck, it’s tough to find older homes that can stay in the park in Raleigh. Turns out the previous owners died in the home - a murder/suicide - and that explains the new flooring. The people in the park said the home was cursed, but I’m not superstitious. I had done a couple deals with this broker, so it didn’t concern me when he said the title would arrive in a couple days. I quickly sold the home, and discounted the downpayment to $500 and the buyer would do some fix-up work. The broker took off with the money, leaving me $4500 poorer and without title. I had sold a home that I didn’t own. LESSON ONE: Lonnie’s right, never give a dime until they can give you the title. LESSON TWO: There are a lot of sharks out there. I ended up forking over another $2500 to the bank who actually had the title to cover my backside. About this time my buyer stopped paying the park the lot rent, but kept paying me. The park never notified me of the problem until after they had evicted my buyer. LESSON THREE: Collect the lot rent yourself and pay the park manager. The park then tells me to pay $1000 back lot rent, and move the home because it’s an eyesore. LESSON FOUR: If the buyers are going to fix the place up, do not let them move in until the work is done. I inspect the home and the insides are somewhat trashed, but the blood stains are still covered. I’m sure I can resell it, after paying back lot rent and some fix-up, but what if the darn thing really is cursed? LESSON FIVE: If you’re going to second guess yourself, rather than simply learn from your mistakes, you’ll go crazy. I hope my lessons learned will save you both headaches and money.

Re: The Mobile Home from Hell: Lessons for Lonnie Newbies - Posted by Scott (OR)

Posted by Scott (OR) on March 15, 1999 at 23:26:13:

Hi Dan-
That sounds like the mobile home from hell. However, I will promise you that the mistakes that were made will never be duplicated on your part. I just want to suggest that you or any other newbies check out the potential buyers with both a credit check and rental history. This will cut down on these types of incidents. National Tenant Network will do both of these for $8.50 a piece at 503-635-1118. Another aspect is to keep in constant contact with your buyers and the park managers. This will keep you informed with any problems the managers are coming up with for you to work through. Anyway, I think I agree with not letting the buyers move in until the work is completed or simply doing it yourself if the managers are going to complain about the appearance. At any rate, a lesson learned for everyone. Thanks for sharing,