Looking to do first MH & Lot deal in MHP

Hello, I was wanting advise on buying a 14x60 2 bed 1 bath 1980 Mobile Home & Lot in a Mobile home park. I haven’t meet the owner but spoke with her on the phone. She inherited the home and lot when her mother passed away, 3 years ago. I ask her to meet me at the property so I could do a walk through. She is out of a car, so she can’t meet me until next week. Her asking price was 9K but lowered it to 8K. What are your thoughts? Please remember this will be my first deal ever and I just finished reading “Deals on Wheels” . Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I also asked her what the condition the home was in and she said it need repairs, soft floors, and tlc she said. But, no roof damage she says. Thanks in advance!

Hi You must mean to say mobile home subdivision rather than park. Are you sure the land is included? How big is the lot and are there any comperable sales in the subdivision?

You need to analyze the expected rent you should get and a pile of other factors including what utilities are present,
can the mh be fixed and at what cost, and do you have the cash necessary to buy and fix it? That said it sounds like you have a motivated seller for sure, and for 8K or hopefully less, it could be a great deal.


advise on buying a 14x60 2 bed 1 bath 1980 Mobile

i have yet to pay more than $2500 for a mobile home. My area and business plan allow that. That is not to say that you can do the same. I have never bought land.

How you approach this this, of course, is your business. However, take a look at the size of your mobile, it is a ‘non-standard’ size as I consider 14x70 to be standard. In other words it is small, only 2bd and it is old. Factors you should consider.



Thanks Ed and Tracy for the advice I’m going to look at this again tomorrow with the owner. I’m just going to stick to what Lonnie script is and just try to get the land at a smoking deal, and haul the trailer off. I think the owner is fairly motivated, but I think the most I would pay is going to be 2K because I still have to remove the trailer. Oh, the tax appraisal is 15K just for the land. So I think there is opportunity. I will post tomorrows out come. Thanks, Again


If you really feel you only want the land, offer her a price for it subject to her moving the home off the land. If she can remove it cleanly for less money than you would have to pay, all the power to her. It would also help her understand the costs you are facing so the reason for the lower price if you do the work. She can choose which works better for her. I would be surprised if she agreed to have home moved prior to selling you the land. Ultimately you do not really care who does the work just as long as you get the land for the price you want to pay.

Walk through update

Thanks John for the reply. Here is how it played out today. I met the owner, did the walk through. She hadn’t been to the property in the past 3 years because she was shocked that the roof fell in. The MH had been broken into and vandalized also. She also said I was the first one to go into the MH, everyone else just called back and said they weren’t interested. I didn’t make her a offer I just left it in her court. I told her I would be interested at a discounted price with the trailer or with her removing the trailer. So I think she has seen the reality that she is facing. The lot is in a great location and I could rent that dirt for the rest of my life. So now I just wait.

Might want to keep tin-can

If you can buy for value of land only, think twice about moving the trailer since it might with slight, inexpensive renovations be livable.

Then think of renting the lot but selling the tin-can on small note…this way buyer has to maintain it and you only have to maintain the lot.

Even if the title to the RE and house have been merged, your county agent can show you how to separate so you own the lot and sell the house.-


This is an exciting prospect. She inherited this MoHo three years ago. Why is she motivated NOW? What changed? Is the subdivision or city on her to clean it up? Does she owe someone money?

You must do some homework. There may be more expenses involved.

As John said, it may be repairable. Did the roof cave in or just the ceiling fall down? Is the floor as sturdy as a piece of toast? How much needs to be repaired or updated throughout the home? It may be cheaper to repair it rather than replace it OR it may indeed be cheaper and better to replace it. Ask me how I know.

But you will also need to know what the rules, licenses, requirements are for replacing the home. Some counties will not let you transport a home older than a certain age across their roads. In our area the Health Department has most of the jurisdiction over MoHos. In other areas it is the Zoning or Planning department. Get as much info as possible on future plans for this place before you bite.

Lastly, you MUST get a feel for comparables. What do these lots rent for? Are most of the neighbors renters or owners? Knock on neighbor’s doors, most will talk to you if you tell them you’re thinking of buying Lot ## or Dottie’s old place, etc. Alternatively, call around to the parks nearby and find out what lot rent they are getting for what quality of park. You’ve got to be armed with information and work the numbers. This looks like a potential good deal. What if you buy it for $2,200 but it costs you $15,000 to $20,000 to upgrade the lot, junk the home, and put a used one on the spot? A $17,200 - $24,200 investment might be a good deal, might not.

This sounds like a lot of stuff to do but I’m guessing you can do most of it in about 6 hours or less during business hours. Maybe 2 hrs for 3 days. Talk to the neighbors in the evening or weekends.

BTW I wouldn’t wait for the owner too long if you figure out a good price for this deal. With land involved there may be more interest than the usual Lonnie Deal. This looks like a great opportunity to do your homework now!


Dr B & John

The owner is motivated because she only has one car, her husband and her have been sharing the same car. She posted in her ad she would trade her land and MH for a car that gets good gas mileage. I have tried to think of away to come up with a car on the cheap and make the deal work. But, I do not have any cars myself that are good on gas mileage or this cheep. I asked her what kinda car she wanted, she said a Honda. So I thought we could go car shopping but, I need this to be a deal. Example, I buy a 2K-3K car and she thinks it is a 8K-9K car. I wish I had a buddy with a car dealers licences because that would be the only way to make that deal happen.

So for the condition of the MH. It needs a lot of work the back bedroom ceiling is sagging. The floor is the back bedroom is like walking on a piece of toast as you say. There is a window A/C unit that is about to fall out of the window because of the rotten wall around the A/C. The back door needs to be replaced, including the frame. The floor at the back door is no longer there. The Bath room is going to need the floor replaced.

The good… The front of the MH is in pretty good shape floors are strong at the base of the windows. The Roof isn’t leaking that I can tell. But I’m sure there will be things come up in the front of the MH that I can see right now.

I spoke with two of the neighbors and one is renting the MH and the land for $475 and it needs work. The other neighbor owns his own home but rents the lot for $225. But most of the HM and lots are just rented out.

I will call the planning dept and do my homework in case I have to move this MH. Thanks for all the incite.

Good ground work so far, Up2me.

She doesn’t seem to have any other prospects right now.

If you rented the ground-only for $225/mo that is $2700/yr. That would pay you back the $8000 in a little less than 3 yrs. plus a free fixer-upper/junker that will cost you money.

Here’s what I would try to do:
Go to a reputable used car dealer. Tell her to pick out a car worth $4500. You know she will love the one for $5000. Agree to buy the land and home for $7000 with $2000 down and whatever the monthly payment is on that car. But you take no ownership or responsibility for that car itself. Too much liability, you don’t know how she drives or if she’ll keep up her insurance.

If the mobile home has a title separate from the land, I would have her carry a lien on the mobile for $5000 and make those monthly payments ($235?) to her. It is up to her to make her car payments. That way you get the land free and clear for $2000 and a $5000 lien on a crummy mobile. So your risk is you lose the mobile if you don’t pay (not suggesting that) while having a paid-for lot.

Otherwise just have her carry a $5,000 mortgage on the land. But she gets the down payment and loan documents at closing only or you may lose your $2K

Depending on your state you will have to get a real estate lawyer or title company to close the deal. Be sure to get buyer’s title insurance to protect yourself, it is ultimately cheap insurance.



I will knock that idea around, like you said the is some liability there to think about. Just not sure I want to go down that road with someone I don’t know. But that is definitely creative!! I will give her another week and call her back and see if she will take 2K cash for all of it. The way I look at it is, that will be the best offer she has ever had so what can it hurt. So in the mean time I will be doing my homework on the property. I will keep everyone updated as this progress. Thanks again, Up2me

You would have NO LIABILITY for the car if you just match the down payment and monthly payments to that of the MoHO and land. It is up to her to get the car and pay for it with your down payment and monthly payments.

e.g. Car is $6000; $1500 down and $252.90/ mo. for 36 mos., 10% int.

You make a deal that you will pay HER $6000 for the MOHO and land, she holds a note with the same terms: $1500 down and $252.90/ mo. for 36 mos., 10% int.

She can buy a car with your money, or not. This way you do not have to come up with all cash. If you rent that place soon, it will make the payments for you.


up2me. what i am afraid of here is that she is going to get tired of dealing with you and another offer is going to come along. Did she say she would take 4500 and do you have 4500? If the mobile can stay and the utilities check out i would not hesitate a second.

Remember 3d party here

Any deal in a MHP is a 3 party deal because the MHP is a very real interested party and its help or hindrance can make or break your success on any deal you’d otherwise make there.

So I’d stop by MHP Mgr’s office and introduce yourself and see if that mgr is going to be asset or liability…I’ve had some that were great helps, others which were big bothers and no Lonnie dealer should near that MHP.

While a MHP really has no legal right to interfere with a MH’s sale or purchase by non-resident it can poison the water in ways unseen so as to ruin your deal.

John, Just to clarify: It is not in a MHP.

Dr B

I see what you are saying now, sorry I really missed that. That is definitely a option if she is stuck on the 8K price. I know its is worth the 8K but, I am new at this, so I need my first one to be home run.

The owner and I have kept in contact and she is getting all the paper work together (title and deed) she lost the deed, so it is taking sometime for her to get a copy she says. I have already checked at the courthouse, the MH and property was left to her 3 years ago, all taxes are paid and are up to date. She hasn’t re-listed it on Craigslist so I think she is going to take whatever I offer her. Like I said before, she said I was the only one to go in the MH in the past 3 years. Also, she now knows the real condition of the MH, because she went in with me. I am going to wait this one out and see what happens.

I am looking at another one around the corner from this one that is a 1997 Model 3 bed 2 Bath Single Wide with the land for 15K that is for sale by owner. So as the saying goes “You make your profit when you buy” so I have to get these at a smoking deal because they both need a lot of work. I will keep everyone updated as things progress.

Again thanks for all the great input and ideas, this site is the great!!

BTW, Up2me,
Excellent homework so far. Still need to check about replacing the home for when the time comes.

BTW, when you are ready to repair that ceiling and “trusses” get back to me and I will give you an easy fix approved by the county engineers. Not that you should get the county involved AT ALL if you can help it.


Thanks Dr B

I am going tomorrow to both MH’s again but this time I am taking my uncle to look at these HM’s. He has owned his own construction company for several years. But he has never remodeled a MH, I thought it would be a good idea just to get him to look at it also. Make a list of everything that we can see and get a idea of how much it is going to cost to remodel. I have already told him these will be rentals for now, so the MH’s need to be clean and livable. So nothing fancy just affordable for me and my renters.

I will definitely get with you on the ceiling repairs because I don’t want to reinvent the wheel so to speak. I like tried a true methods of doing things. I will find out what our laws are about moving MH’s. Thanks again, Up2me


Just got back from getting a price list together on the MH’s.

The 1980 2 bed 1 bath model we are looking at about 5K to remodel. Single lady owner since new, pasted away. Left MH and lot to daughter, she is asking 8K for MH and lot.

The 1997 3 bed 2 bath we are looking at 15K to remodel. Was a rental unit its whole life. Very rough condition. Seller is asking 15K for MH and lot.

These prices are on the high side because we don’t know the real condition of the plumbing or electricity.

Dr B, I am curious about the way to repair the ceiling, because that is a big chunk of the remodel cost on the 1980 MH. I also have contacted some moving companies to give me a quote on moving both of these MH’s. Just to give me a better idea of that cost, if it ever needs to happen.


I presume your trusses got (or are getting) wet, sagging and cracking/breaking, soaked insulation, fallen ceiling board.

There are at least two ways to fix this. Naturally pull down the whole room’s worth of ceiling board, letting all the insulation fall down with it. This is a mess and you’ll want to wear a dust mask. Sweep it all up and discard. You now should be able to see up through the trusses to the roof. Often there is a layer of insulation and cardboard right up against the roof. If this is wrecked, pull it down too and discard.

Replace insulation against roof with that thin Styrofoam (same as used under exterior siding). Be sure to glue it up there with Styrofoam glue or the glue will just melt the Styrofoam and it will fall off. The purpose of this insulation is to limit the sweating of the metal when the outside is cold and inside is hot or vice-versa.

Depending on the condition of the trusses, you can cut out 3/8" plywood and glue and screw, or glue and nail, it to both sides of the truss. You absolutely must use glue along all the surfaces that will touch. Use liquid nails. Be sure not to blindly nail through wires. If the trusses are sagging, make sure you put a support from the floor to bottom of truss. I often run a long 2x4 on bottom of trusses in the middle then put several vertical supports in so the whole ceiling is even looking (not always level, not always same distance from floor). Let the glue dry for a day, take down supports, create nailers around perimeter of room (often there is nothing to nail to). insulate with fiberglass batts, hang 1/4 or 3/8 drywall. Quarter inch is great because it is light BUT you must hang it parallel with the rafters and put a board behind each seam so the seams will be flush with one another. Otherwise you will have one side hang 1/8" or more lower than the other.

I usually use 3/8" and rent a drywall lift. Well worth the $30 even if you only do one ceiling.

The other option is only good for early model non-peak roofs. Buy 14’ long 2 x 10 or 2 x 12s. and cut an arc in them that matches the truss. Believe it or not, this is not as strong as the above method that creates a box beam.

Oh, BTW you can create trusses from new wood by pulling one of the trusses down and reassembling on driveway, measure outside measurements and cut from 1x2s and 2x 2s.

Good Luck.