How do you handle clean up? - Posted by Marco

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on December 02, 2000 at 08:19:35:

Cost on pre-1985 homes before fix-up- average $1700, anywhere from $500 to $2200. Repair cost, typically @$1300 (I repair about 2/3 of homes I buy, zero cost on others, so weighted average is about $950), generally no rent on these in my current parks- I rarely buy these in other parks. Non-income taxes are usually @ $120/year on these older homes. These homes tend to sell @600 down on 3 to 5 year note (average, 50 months) at 14% interest w/ principal of @$8700. I have two rules of thumb with these homes- I want @65% after-tax return and I generally sell for ((investment minus down) times three).

Post 85 homes- generally 3BR’s only, @$3000/home, $2000 move, $2000 repair, no lot rent. Park gives me $1500 for each one I move in, $1500 down, $15,000 note over 6 years at 14%.

These numbers are averages…I sometimes do better, and sometimes do worse. For homes outside of my mian parks, I adjust price downwards for lot rent. My best deals are when I pay above purchase price on homes that are in good shape and hence avoid the repair costs altogether.


Electric checked- usually @ $50. Getting it fixed (I avoid MH’s that appear to have electrical problems) is always alot more- $300 to $500.

All other jobs- materials + $10/hour (used to pay more). $1500 generally gets:

cleaning, new subfloors, carpet and linoleum tile laid in the whole thing, roof sealed, total re-paint, all misc fixtures replaced (door handles, vents, etc.), ceiling spots kilzed and painted and pipes looked at and fixed.

John Hyre

John Hyre

How do you handle clean up? - Posted by Marco

Posted by Marco on November 25, 2000 at 12:37:38:

Hi -

I have a rather trivial question. How do you handle
cleaning up a Mobile home after you have bought it?

I have done some research on the web and found out that
some MH oweners leave the MH like a Pig Stye, with dirt
grime and junk everywhere. If possible I would prefer to
not have to deal with that aspect of the business…:slight_smile:
Can anyone shed some light on this detail is handled?

Thank you!

All business is a sell job, and time is money - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on November 28, 2000 at 11:22:21:

Basically you will want your mobile home in the best selling position with the least amount of time/work/money.
I have a good crew that I use. It’s has taken me a while to put them together, but once I had it made all the difference in the world. One of the biggest things that I like in a person working for me, is the ability to take the initiative and solve problems without calling me up every two seconds with minutia. If you are going to use independent contractors, Bill Broncheck has a great Free independent contractor agreement over on his site. Basically it penalizes the contractor if they don’t x done by what they agreed to.
I’m with JHyre you want to make the mobile (your product) as sellable as possible. Remember, clean white and bright.
Your not selling just a mobile home, your selling someone (most often) their first HOME! This is good for them and for you.
I also do not like cleaning and fixing things.
I often sell for three times what my investment is. so let me ask you this if I said to you hey hosing down this mobile home and slapping some turtle wax on it, I’ll give you 6 grand, would you do it? Or let me say this, would you pay someone a hundred bucks to do it?
You get the idea.
If you get creative, you can find all sorts of things around cheap. For example, we put in good quality used carpet in a lot of our homes. I found a guy who gets carpet out of trade shows and sells it to me for pennies on the dollar. I also have a list of professional carpet installers who like earning a little money on the side in the evenings and weekends.
One time at a swap meet I bought enough skirting to skirt four mobiles for 50 bucks.
You just have to look around, network and think creatively.
Hope this helps

Re: How do you handle clean up? - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on November 26, 2000 at 11:20:03:

My experience has been consistent- decent homes attract better buyers. The cheapest & easiest thing to do is clean-up. While some of my (ex!) handymen have messed up repairs and cost me money, it’s hard for them to foul up a cleaning job. While some people may be willing to paint, fix floors & replace furnaces, few are interested in a filthy home, particularly if a female is present. I’ve done a fair amount of experiementing with similar houses in varying degrees of cleanliness- decent customers (i.e.- higher down and/or better credit) generally walk away from filth. Furthermore, the people who will accept filth make poor customers more often than not…gross living habits are often accompanied by bad payment habits & eventual repossession…this is why I almost always have the houses cleaned. The only reasn I won’t have a house cleaned is that I get an “as is” offer before I clean AND am convinced that the buyer will actually clean & repair AND actually does any exterior work BEFORE moving in. More often than not, I’ll also:

  1. Have the electric checked- no point in losing a good payor over something like that, plus you don’t want unqualified people messing with the juice;
  2. Paint the place;
  3. Seal the roof;
  4. Reskirt if necessary (the park LOVES that- it’s worth the brownie points I get);
  5. Put in carpet and limoleum if pets have stunk the place up AFTER bleaching and kilzing the sub-floor.

I do other repairs, depending on the price of the house…I’m generally willing to spend on cheap houses IF the numbers are right…I shoot for 70% after-tax return on my houses. Sometimes I get an “as is” deal, and that’s always nice…after I make sure that the customer has the resources to perform needed work. The people who don’t have the money, skills or connections to do the work generally do not last long…goes back to the point that if someone is willing to live in squalor (or worse), they probably have other bad habits. I’ve learned this the hard way!

John Hyre

Re: Clean up? A different perspective. - Posted by PaulNM

Posted by PaulNM on November 25, 2000 at 18:02:09:

Dirt, trash and bugs are simply an unavoidable aspect of the business. Why do you think no one else will buy it and you got such a deal?

Secondly, get inside the mind of your customer. If they thought the way you do they would have a job, credit and money to invest too. If the children have been falling into holes in the floor a house with sound floors is a step up, even if the carpet is worn out. If they treasure their cats it doesn’t matter if it already smells like cat.

I can say this because I spent thousands of $ over-improving homes even though I have a First Edition Deals on Wheels where Lonnie specifically says not to bother fixing up.

My last house was a repo purchased a week ago Monday from a finance company. It was filthy, full of trash, and had lots of those “little brown bugs” crawling around. A friend has some low income apartments and one of the guys he evicted some time ago is still his “buddy”. Like many, Tony is actually a competent handyman when he has been away from the drugs/alcohol, so I had Tony come down to clean. There is a “rule” in the handyman trade that handy men always travel in pairs. So, Tony showed up with Maxine. Maxine it turned out had worked at some point for a house cleaning company and was a real ball of fire. In six hours we loaded a truck full of trash, vacuumed the whole house, got the grease off the stove and counters, rebuilt the water heater floor and cleaned up the yard.

Notice I said “We” cleaned … One thing Tony doesn’t have is good judgement. Demolition is so much fun. If I had not been there to supervise the carpets would have all been pulled up and thrown away, floors would have been pulled open to “get rid of the bad spots”, the water heater door would have been taken off etc.

Was it worth it? We paid $1,200, Tony and Maxine were happy with $100. This afternoon the second guy I showed it to said “If we got together Monday and I brought 26 hundred dollar bills and we agreed on As-is (even if the furnace doesn’t work when the power is turned on) would you be interested?”. I feel better about having it cleaned up but I am not sure it made any difference.

All this is a long winded way of saying that assumptions about what is proper and necessary can really sneak up on you and lead you into some serious errors of judgement.


Re: How do you handle clean up? - Posted by little joe

Posted by little joe on November 25, 2000 at 14:58:15:

when renting a nice up to date(1985-1999)mobile home,have the home cleaned all the way down to the carpets shampooed,and on your lease or agreement make sure you first of all DONOT allow pets of any kind.including birds,fish,worms ,anything…#2 in the agreement let your renters sign off on a section that says home will be left when you move the way you found it.get a deposit of fifty dollars more than the rent payment,up front.A well established person will have this much to move in .check all references on this person ,we require 5 and call each one no matter where they are.Get the renter to get you a copy of his credit history. This will tell you what you want to know, If he pays his bills ,or leaves a trail. A good renter will have a fair to good job,and the courts in your town can help you as a landlord. Here in Ga. it is the magistrate court.Alot of judges own rental property as a side line and as a last resort for a fee .ours is 51.00, can help nyou if you get a bad deal.

Re: How do you handle clean up? - Posted by Dewey

Posted by Dewey on November 25, 2000 at 13:13:23:

When negotiating the purchase of the MH, include in the contract that the mobile home must be clean and vacant before the deal will close. If the home is not clean, do not close the deal.

Re: How do you handle clean up? - Posted by Claire

Posted by Claire on November 26, 2000 at 17:26:34:

About how much does it cost you to do all the repairs you like to do:
"1) Have the electric checked
2) Paint the place;
3) Seal the roof;
4) Reskirt if necessary
5) Put in carpet and limoleum if pets have stunk the
place up AFTER bleaching and kilzing the sub-floor.

I do other repairs, depending on the price of the
house…I’m generally willing to spend on cheap
houses IF the numbers are right…I shoot for 70%
after-tax return on my houses."

What is your MH cost?

  1. Initially before you fix up +
  2. repair cost +
  3. MHP rent +
  4. taxes

Than what do you usually sell them for?


Re: How do you handle clean up? - Posted by little joe

Posted by little joe on November 25, 2000 at 15:02:42:

If you want to buy a mobile home go to the repo lots and name your price in a as is condition and your price will drop enough to hire someone to go in and clean it up. The last one I bought was a 1996 double wide . the tenants had gotten mad and left a chicken,and a cat inside.After extensive cleaning and replacing carpet how does 19000 sound?