Buying a property and immediately removing a mobile home

11 Replies

Hi All,

I’d love your ideas on this: there’s a mobile home on the lot next to our short term rental (str) property that is long since abandoned. Its a bit of an eyesore (only when driving up the road—thankfully it can’t be seen once at the house). I’d like to buy the lot its on--which i think I can do as it's being foreclosed on for back taxes later this year, and I’m wondering what to do with the mobile home. The price i would offer for the lot would be dependent upon the costs of clearing the lot of the home. Renting it out as-is is not a desirable option (and it's unclear whether its even habitable at this point). The options I’ve identified are:

1) attempt to ‘sell’ the mobile home: I say ‘sell’ because I would sell for $0 if the purchaser would pay moving costs. I don’t expect to make any money off of this, although if I did, great. I considered calling local mobile home parks nearby as part of this plan.

2) Somehow donate it for the write off. I 'm guessing this is only an option if it's habitable. I assume I’d be paying removal costs.

3) have a hauling company take it away. I’ve seen estimates for $2-5k. ( Does that seem accurate?)

4) have the fire department perform a controlled burn for training purposes. I’ve heard of this working for others but I immediately dismissed this option as its a wooded area and I don't want burn scars on the land.

What else could I do? What should I consider regarding the above options? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

2 and 4 don't seem reasonable to me. You would still have costs associated with both of them. 

I would push for 1. Calling local MHPs is your best bet. You could also post it in the Free section on Craigslist. You'd be surprised how fast you can get rid of something on there. 

If that doesn't work for some reason, yes, your estimate for 3 seems right. 

@David J Lepard Definitely try to give it away if it's not habitable and/or need too much fix up work. Either find a mobile home park owner or someone who's looking for a fixer upper for their own piece of land. Have tried going the donation route. Didn't work out and a lot of back and forth with their boards. Took too much time. Good luck! 

Option 3 may be your only choice depending upon the regulations in your state/county. Here in FL you need a permit to move a home and if the home is old and poor condition it will not be allowed to be transported across county lines (or at all if Kt does not meet certain construction requirements). But FL does have some of the strictest regulations in the nation but something to look into before buying.

As others stated option 1 is your best bet if your allowed to move it. Just call local park owners to if there’s interest and post a CL add.

Most likely this is a pre-HUD home and can not be moved. Also-the title to the mobile home itself will not typically come with the purchase so-even if it is movable, you will have to figure out how to come up with a title in order to get anyone to buy the mobile home. You may have some luck offering the unit up for scrap but, you would want to make sure that you are released from liability of anyone working on your property. Most scrappers do not have liability insurance and will leave you with a mess to clean up. Your best bet is to hire someone to demo it on the spot or to haul it to the dump usually. You will have to call around and get estimates on each and see what the situation is there locally. Another option is to rent a huge dumpster and do the work yourself.

I bought a property like this, foreclosed with an old mobile home. I am used to SFH renovations so I started to demo the interior of the mobile home thinking I could rehab it... But I didn't know those things are made out of toothpicks and 1/4" drywall! I was literally just kicking the whole thing apart with steel toe boots at the end. It was a lot less work than I thought, but I did fill up several dumpsters with particle board and soggy drywall. I opted against rehabbing.

Also, a neighbor came by offering to tear it all down and haul the rest away if he can keep the scrap metal.  It might take some asking around but you can definitely get rid of it, just don't bother putting any more money into it than you have to.  Banks hate them on your land anyway, and I was told if I am going to get a mortgage in the future, it needs to be gone. 

you don't want to be a mobile home investor, you want to use the lot for a better purpose. so my recommendation would be to tear that thing down and get it out of there. Two to $5,000 is an accurate estimate. If it's been sitting abandoned, nobody's going to want it period when people call me for this kind of advice I tell them if they want to run an ad, offer to pay a couple of thousand dollars toward moving. Moving setup for a single wide can get expensive, more than buying a home in a park already set up. So if you can offer to pay a little less than it would cost you to tear it down to someone to move it away, that would be your most economical bet. Again, quickest and easiest is to raze it

The only thing that I would add to this advice is to ensure that the property actually owned the home. Sometimes mobile parks own the homes and sometimes, residents own the home. Just because you buy the property, it doesn't mean that you have rights to the home. 

Gail Grenzig that is exactly the situation I wanted to ask about. I am looking at purchasing a property at the tax auction. The property has a mobile home on it that has not attached as real property. I know the mobile home taxes have been paid, there is a mortgage on it. However, if I own the property and they own the mobile home do I do an eviction to get them to take the mobile home off my property? Has anyone dealt with anything like this before?

@David J Lepard I've got a local scrap guy I use for this . I found him on Craigslist . Works great, he keeps money from scrap and throws the rest in a dumpster he provides .

If you go this route . Have them sign a contract . That first of all protects you from the liability of his injuries . Second covers the demo it's self . No scrap metal is allowed to leave the site until all non metal debris is removed . They will just throw all the metal they can take off in and day, which is the shell and leave the rest . Hasn't happened to me but it has the park next to mine .

Wow @Scott Schaar thats a great clause to include in the contract. I had gotten to the point where I was looking for someone to do just that, only the property fell through. I'll keep that in mind for next time!

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