Buying A Mobile Home In Colorado - DENVER - For decades, mobile homes have been the best place to own a home. They offer the opportunity to own a home at a much lower cost than a traditional single-family home.
The problem for some homeowners has been selling the land under the houses. With mobile homes, sometimes called manufactured homes, the occupants only own the structure, not the land it sits on. The sale of vacant land is a profitable business recently involving large corporations and leaving some residents behind.
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"One in five low-income, first-time homeowners buy a manufactured home," said Esther Sullivan. He is the author of "Insecurity Made: Mobile Home Parks and the American Civil Rights Act" and is a professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver.
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"This is one of the biggest sources of affordable housing at a time when we have a huge affordable housing crisis but we're under all this pressure, and without the support, it's going to go away," Sullivan said.
To understand the pressures he's talking about, we first need to understand the business of owning a mobile home park.
Since Colorado began keeping data on mobile homes three years ago, many parks have been sold.
Some of the investor's suggestions are how the landlord has to do less. Think of it like money: if you don't own the wealth of the world. "Everything that goes into a home is the homeowner's responsibility," Sullivan explained.
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This "cash cow," as some call it, is not a new business; has been around for decades. But Sullivan said it's more of a mom-and-pop type. "What's new is this gold rush of corporate and private investment that we're seeing in real estate," he explained.
The county's mobile home park control program maintains a list of the state's mobile home parks. We analyzed the data and found that large, foreign companies have bought more since the government began recording.
Information shows that Horizon Land Co. Inc. purchased seven parks in 2020. The company's website says it has residents in 20 states. Heritage Heritage, a Florida-based company, has purchased the most housing parks in the news. In total, the park that the company purchased until March 2020 had 773 houses.
While the company's profits may seem sudden, Sullivan said it's been around for years. But it has become popular recently.
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Sullivan thinks we're seeing more competition for existing parks because there's less storage.
"The myth of manufactured homes, so-called mobile homes, is that they move," Sullivan said.
New mobile homes can be removed, but that process can cost anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000, money that most homeowners don't have. Then the problem becomes finding a place to move home. "There's such a high demand for housing in these mobile communities, that it's often impossible to find an open space to move your home to," Sullivan said.
Basically, renters around the world are trapped, and what many big companies have found is that families are willing to do whatever it takes to save their home.
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"A lot of times they're going to put up with rents that are as impressive as 50 percent to 60 percent," Sullivan said. "But if the rent becomes unbearable, it becomes unmanageable for residents. They often move, and are forced out of their homes." Sullivan said that when they do, the mobile home can and often does become the property of the landlord after eviction. of property.
Tawny Peyton is the CEO of the Rocky Mountain Housing Association. He represents real estate, real estate and real estate owners from all over the state.
"There are a lot of things being offered to property owners, they're just not being asked to buy their property," Peyton said.
Colorado has a law that gives residents 120 days on the list to come up with the money to buy parks in their communities. Peyton said the ordinance requires sales and disrupts homeowners.
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"Why would anyone want to sit on a program that requires customers to sign up, get financing, review, etc. if there's money to be made and they can close quickly?" Peyton said. "I think everyone should be put in those shoes to understand what it's like."
Merlin Zimmet has been in those shoes. He owns the Triangle Mobile Home Park in Durango, Colorado and has been talking to the Harmony community about selling it.
Harmony Communities is a large California-based company that acquires mobile home parks across the country.
When Harmony first approached Zimmet, he said the company asked him to sign an "intent to sell" agreement as a matter of urgency.
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"[The circumstances] said if I didn't do it, in other words, if another company stepped up and bought the park under Harmony Investments I would be liable for their 'due diligence,'" Zimmet said. In other words, all the money they spent on researching the sale of my property, I will owe them."
He said that these medical expenses seem to float, that they are constantly changing and at first seem to be unlimited.
"When I was pushed and bullied and sent negative messages about my experience or my park if I didn't sell it, I just decided to draw a line in the sand," Zimmet said.
He ended up making a deal to sell it to a community representative. That means you have to pay Harmony money out of escrow.
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Rocky Mountain PBS obtained a payment agreement showing that two separate payments were made to Harmony. One of the payments was $25,598.57 and the other was a $20,000 high deposit release.
We reached out to Harmony for an answer. The company said the money they received was money they put into escrow, which is a deposit.
"If he is angry, he has only himself to blame," said Antipas. "Lying to the press doesn't help. Our lawyers have spoken to his lawyers about these lies and they've caught them."
For other Colorado truck fleet owners, Zimmet has this message: "Just be aware of the options out there."
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This is a subject Matt Bransfield knows well. He owns four mobile homes and has sold three of them. The last sale was in Leadville.
"We were getting letters in the mail every day with people who had purchases," Bransfield said.
Although the park was very interesting, he said, he immediately decided to sell it to the public. "We see it as a great thing to see that level of affordable housing, especially in the mountain towns of Colorado," Bransfield said. He called it a win-win.
He received the money he asked for, and left work knowing that the families were safe.
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"If [park owners] care so much about the health of the community after the business, I'd say they need to be a little more patient," Bransfield said.
This story is part of a series on mobile homes in Colorado. "Colorado Voices: Sold Out: The World Under the Mobile Home" airs Thursday, July 28 at 7 p.m. on Rocky Mountain PBS. We buy real estate for money in Colorado and have helped thousands of homeowners. The Home Buyers Network™ since 2004. To get started with your free gift today, what is your physical address?
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