Saw an ad on Craigslist this afternoon: "2 br/1 ba. Needs some work. Set up in park. $2,000."
I called and talked to the owner. Older couple who had been renting it out (I think, will know more tomorrow). Set up an appointment to go look tomorrow at 5. According to wife of owner, the repairs are pretty cosmetic.
Thanks to daylight saving time it was still light so I drove down to look at the home. It's not a pretty one, but it's nowhere near the worst I've seen. Didn't get to see inside, but the outside looked ok. Could definitely use a good pressure wash.
The lot rent in this park, which is a B to B-, is $350 with water included. My concern is how much am I going to be able to charge for rent if the lot rent is already that high? I realize that it depends a lot on what standard is for this area, but I've been to so many parks and the lot rent varies by well over $100 from one park to another. It's hard to know what I can reasonably charge in rent.
So what should my questions be for the owner when I go to look tomorrow? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Check year to see if its moveable most can't so they almost give them away, talk with the park manager about rents and rentals within the park. Search and find out what's be rented and for how much in that area.
It might be a good deal, but brace yourself for the worst. A lot of times the owners will say a home is in good shape, then you get there and it's so bad you wouldn't let your dog live there. Really, I have been utterly shocked a few times.
Then again, maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Before you bother going out, you might want to ask the owners for sure if the park will allow you to rent the home out. Some won't. For rent, you'll want to charge what similar size and age homes are going for in the area.
It's best to look at it as a learning experience. The more homes you see, the better you'll know what you prefer based on your personality. Some are comfortable with "fixer-uppers" while others are not. The same goes with different types of neighborhoods.
Above all else, meeting sellers will help you to read them better. Personally, I only work with folks I can trust. Once we both gain trust for each other, it gets easier and things seem to fall into play.
Hope that helps, good luck!
You could always run a mock ad on craigslist, where you post a picture, brief description, and the target rental price. Sit back and see how many hits you get.
If you decide not to do the deal, you can always contact the people and tell them that that one just got rented but you might have something opening soon. Then ask them what they are looking for. Then go out and find it for them :)
Thank you all for the great advice. I did go see the home, which I found out is owned by the park owner. It did need some work. A window was leaky, so there was a trail of mold from the window all the way to the inevitable soft spot on the floor.
One of the previous tenants had decided to take a wall out and make it a 2 br, but they'd not done anything about fixing the hole in the paneling where the old wall had been.
Most of the electrical outlets in the home were hanging out of the wall.
The water heater had leaked, so more of the floor was rotten. I didn't ask if the water heater had already been replaced or if that was the leaky one.
Most of the inside needed a coat of paint. There was one large, obvious patch in the ceiling that was ugly as sin.
The outside of the home was OK. It's an older home, aluminum siding painted yellow like an Easter egg. It needed to be power-washed, but that's no big deal. Owner said the top needed to be resealed.
He was asking $2000 for it. I told him if think about it.
Got a call the next day saying they'd sold it. I'm not too torn up. It would have been a lot of work to get it fixed up, and give the age of the home combined with relatively high lot rent, I'd only have been able to gross $150 a month. I don't think I could have flipped it for much more than breaking even.
I did learn a lot, though. Good experience. Thanks again for all the great advice. I'm still looking.
Great learning experience. Hope you find another deal soon.
@James Lewis , here in the Southeast, you can find turn key mobile homes every day of the week in the 2-$3,000 range. Hold out for a 2/2 or 3/2. Two bathroom units are much better than one bath units. Find a home in the 3-$4,000(or more) range and offer them $1,000 less. Try to find a park with lot rent in the $250-$270 range, that'll leave more meat on the bone for you!
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