How I Bought a Mobile with Land for Only $695.00

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Here’s a fun deal I put together for a mobile home attached to land. I purchased the mobile home (a beautiful, free and clear, 1991 single wide with screened porch and carport sitting on ¼ acre) for only $695.00.

I was contacted by a woman (let’s call her Clair) that wanted $35,000 for her mobile home and land. The home is located in a great area of town, and I knew it would sell fast to the right buyer.

I quickly met with the seller and her daughter. The owner, who had lived there since it was new, was ecstatic to talk to someone that actually bought mobile homes. It was clear that I was not the first investor she had called, but I was the first one there that buys mobile homes. What a great business!

The three of us sat down and got to know one another for what seemed like the better part of an hour. Whenever I meet with sellers I always like to chit-chat and make small talk before we dive into numbers. I like to do this especially with older individuals, not only to create a bond, but, also, to try and put myself in the sellers’ shoes. I typically structure some degree of owner financing and it is 100 times easier to structure a win-win deal when you a) understand where the sellers are coming from and what they need and b) the sellers like and trust you.

As we talked, I always comment on the beauty of the home, even if it it looks otherwise. The property will always have more sentimental value to the seller than it will to you, so negatively bashing the condition will not put you in the sellers’ good graces.

After an hour of chit-chatting over sweet tea I asked, “Why are you selling?” Clair replied with a grin saying, “My daughter and grand kids just moved in with me and we are moving to a bigger home.” We talked a little further, and I discovered she was not going to buy a bigger home, but, instead, would rent a home right down the street. My follow up question was, “Well then what will you do with the $35,000 cash? Just put it in the bank?” She then told me about the roughly $35,000 of credit card debt that she had acquired over the past few years.

Creative Real Estate at its Finest

I had a friend at the time who worked for a company that legally removed unsecured debt (credit card debt) from a person’s credit. Not consolidate or reduce, but completely wipe away all unsecured debt. The cost of this program — you guessed it, $695. It turns out there are many companies that specialize in debt removal.

The seller agreed to this process and sold me the home on the condition that her credit debt is completely removed. She moved out within 2 weeks and I found a buyer for the home immediately! The whole debt removal process took about 3 months.

The moral to this story, folks, is that in any deal, there is the buyer and seller; make both parties happy and you have a deal. However, you must truly know and understand what is motivating the other person.

Happy Investing
– J. Fed

About Author

John Fedro

Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.


  1. did the debt go away or did you just remove if from the credit report? If it was just removed but did not actually go away then how did you give the seller what they wanted. Debt payoff, 35K cash to lender. Can the lender sue her and get a judgement for the debt and then put the judgement on her credit report? Does your agreement with the seller say you will pay off the debt or just get it off the credit report? what will happen if your agreement says to pay off the debt and the seller comes back and says you did not do that? What would a judge likely say about your agreement? sounds just a little too far out there in my opinion. There is a huge difference between true cash to creditors and getting a debt removed from the credit report.

    • John Fedro

      Great questions!!! You are completely right, merely getting the debt wiped away from the credit report and having the credit card companies satisfy the debtors outstanding obligation is another entirely.

      The forms for the deal AND what happened reflect this.

      1. I had a guarantee from the company that said if they can not get the credit card debt legally down to zero on such and such credit cards you’ll be refunded all your money. So if it didnt work I was out no money.

      2. On the other side I had my friend meet and explain the whole process to the seller and her family. If it didn’t work as promised and remove all her debt within a six month period from the time of owner transfer I would either come out of pocket to pay the difference or she could take the home back (my choice). We were both hoping the “credit process” would work and reduce to zero; but both of us knew the plan B.

      3. Clauses were written in to my selling agreement when I sold the home that explained what would happen in this situation.

      PLUS: If the seller is unhappy I would have gladly given her the home back. Plus if it didn’t work and only got 50% reduce I was out no money and she got 1/2 her debt cleared for free (that seems fair). Here’s a tip: If you ever go to court assume that you’re going to lose! STAY OUT OF THE COURTS

      Anyway, I knew the guy at the company and have heard him tell me jaw dropping debt discharges that do not show up negatively on your credit rating.

      Honestly I don’t know what any specific judge may say on any given morning. I am curious how they would hold up myself. The aim is to always proactively stay out of courts by proper paperwork and explanations and discloser.

      If you lay your cards out on the table to a seller you’ll usually get the same in return. From there you can make great deals. Most sellers will respect this, plus it takes a huge wait off your shoulders. Most sellers are just happy to have someone else helping them and caring about them. I promise nothing more than I can deliver.

      Great questions. Thanks for reading.

      – John

      p.s. these types of creative deals are the product of wanting to do a deal but not having the credit or money to do so. 🙂
      .-= John Fedro´s last blog ..Answer to Posted Question: What Goes Into an A+ deal? =-.

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