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.
– J. Fed