What to do with abandoned/uninhabitable homes

I’m looking at a park with about 10 mobile homes that look like they have been completely abandoned for years (no windows, no AC, overgrown, not level, etc.).

What would be the best course of action here?


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Depending on what costs are to rehab it, you might want to consider that. Hauling a mobile home out of the park can be quite expensive, and then you have to find someone to take it or somewhere to dump it.

Are they so bad that it’s not worth fixing them up?

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i would first check with the local gov. to see if you will be allowed to bring in new or used trailers to to replace them if need be . helps if you offer them a plane for the park going forward . if you rehab them you will need to apply for a abandoned title at SOS . check with your attorney

I would first try to contact a local “lonnie” dealer who looks around for units to rehab and rent or put ads on Craigslist for the same. I might even consider depending on the conditions to possibly do min. rehab and rent to own. Trashing them is last resort. Its expensive to do that.

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I really appreciate everyone’s thoughts on this.

@WhiteTrashGator how would I go about finding a lonnie in a given area?
The homes have been empty and without windows for years, I’m guessing I would need a certificate of occupancy and doing a rent to own?

You can go to mobilehomeparkstore.com and there is a list of lonnie people. You can also go on craigslist or facebook ads and see those people that are going around buying MH for cash. That’s where I would start. You can also place your own adds saying that your giving it away to anyone that wants to fix it up and live in the park.


I’ve placed a “Free” mobile home add for one and was able to get rid of it that way.

Sometimes you can find movers who will just hook up to it and drop it off for a pretty cheap price.

We did specify that a licensed mover had to move it off our property to avoid any catastrophes.

If you don’t get any bites, offer to pay for the move. To me that’s better than having someone tear down on-site.

Good luck,

Ken Lavoie


From a risk management standpoint, having abandoned homes in your park isn’t good. They tend to attract children playing in them and vagrants staying in them. And insurance companies will charge extra or not offer terms at all if they know about multiple abandoned and dilapidated homes in your park. Getting rid of them by selling them or repairing them are the best options.


Here’s a problem I see with a Lonnie dealer. What if the “lonnie dealer buys the home, rehabs a bit and rents it to a tenant on a 5 year lease agreement at your MHP . Soon afterwards the " lonnie”. dealer skips town doesn’t pay you the lot rent. Now what do you do. Sue the lonnie dealer? Fine he declares bankruptcy. You can’t evict the tenant for he has a bona fide legal lease agreement with the lonnie dealer. Now what if the 5 year tenant now becomes a high maintenance tenant.



I can definitely understand @KurtKelley & @Mitch’s point. I think @Louvie & @WhiteTrashGator had some great points and ideas as well.

If you feel more comfortable having titles in your name/company, give us a shout. We manage title work for companies, individuals, investors, brokers, etc.

Aaron Chachamovits


We’ve never had luck with Free on ads = zero calls. Make it $200 or $300 and you are in the chips. We have gotten rid of 4 blower-uppers already this year - I just photographed 3 more yesterday, listed one on Facebook and have had 80-100 inquiries (that’s the danger) and a serious buyer going over this morning to get in.

These ads work! Is it faster to get rid of a home with a dumpster and $1500? sometimes. Sometimes these ads will make a house go away in a week or less - and with a little ‘KY bourbon’ money in your pocket.

I hope this helps someone as much as it has helped us.

IMO there are 3 levels of ‘these’ homes:

Level 3 this house needs a dumpster (and I don’t want to pay for it) - it just needs to be pulled off the property (these sell the quickest). $200-$300

Level 2 this house just needs a new home - someone with a strong back and lower expectations. $500-$800

Level 1 that needs 5-10k and I want to keep it in my park - if someone else paid for the repairs. $4000-$6000

Level 3 = Blower-upper, this is the ad:

Title: $200 / 2br Mobile home trailer for sale - Must be moved

Ad: I have an older mobile home that must be moved this week - new home coming in. It needs work, and it is NOT livable - perfect for a hunting cabin, farm, deer camp, lake, etc.

It must be gone - new house being delivered - that why it’s this price. No, it’s not fancy, but it’s a house for that kind of money.

No, I don’t have any more pics. No, you can’t fix it and leave it here. Yes, it must be moved out. Sorry.

First person with the cash and toter to move it gets it. I get 100 calls a day, please text only 859-319-5000

Level 2 = heavy fixer, this is the ad:

Title: Mobile Home trailer for sale must be moved. Perfect for hunting, farm

Ad: I am the manager of a mobile home park - we have a brand new home coming in on this lot - and it needs gone.

With some elbow grease, this is a decent home - but must be moved - that’s why the price.

No, it’s not fancy, but it is a house or even storage — for that kind of money…

The first person with $800 cash and their toter ready gets it. I get 100 calls a day - please text only 859-319-5000.
You can see it at 2319 Greensburg Rd #48 Campbellsville, KY 42718

Level 1 - fixer-upper (not me), here’s the ad:

Title: Casa móvil se vende. Necesita trabajo

Ad: Casa móvil en venta. Por solo $4,000. Necesita reparar el piso, pintura, alfombra, etc. Mas el pago de renta de lote. 859-319-5000


Rehab of such units in my experience unless you were doing all the labor work can be VERY costly. Without trouble if you add heat and air system $3k, new roof 3k, under pinning $1,500, windows, siding, etc $2-4K, interior flooring, Basic kitchen appliance, and miscellaneous bathroom upgrades $2-5k. You can easily have $10,000-$15,000 in repairs with labor and materials if you don’t watch it. If you’re market can hold a high rent for quality homes $700+ a month sometimes moving new homes in can be the easiest option and attract a better long term tenant. The the market rent cannot hold that high your best bet is to find a local mobile home mover they always find good used homes typical price to pay is $5-8k set up and you will spend $3-4K getting it ready (under pinning and new flooring, possibly heat and air). I typically have $10-12k in full set up and move in ready on any used home I move in. The real gage of whether to replace a home or not is to look at the condition of the home and if it has several of the main checks I would avoid doing it unless you are doing a majority of the labor in the home repairs. Always confirm that you can move homes in to replace the existing homes. I try to do this via email so that I have documentation of what your local planning and zoning office tells you. They were not allow you to replace and upgrade (which they should and really are obligated to) you just remodel the homes. You can contact an attorney which I have to resolve issues with local governments but you can easily spend $10,000+ in trying to fight it and creating bad local relationships with your government which is best to avoid at all cause. In my case it cost me much more than that but it was a large community with several demolition homes. Hope this helps, please reach out if you have any questions. One more thing the new home prices are generally 25 to 30k set up ready to roll, several of the manufacturers offer special Park owner financing with good terms. If you can hold a good market rent it’s definitely the easiest and sometimes the most profitable. It also increases the value of your park because having new trailers in a community makes it more desirable. As far as demolition on the old units I typically pay $1,000 for complete removal. Find a local person with a truck and pay them $700 or so and give them the metal from the trailer plus you pay local dump fee. Which a single wide typically is $300 to dump at my local dump. You can also hire a mobile home mover if the homes are in good enough shape and they will take the entire home to the dump. That typically cost $1,500 but is very easy with no hassle on my end. You have to stay on top of the local guy to make sure the home is cleaned up right and in a orderly fashion. Don’t pay until it’s done and make him or her keep the metal there until the job is done.


@Jo , as per your question:

  • “I’m looking at a park with about 10 mobile homes that look like they have been completely abandoned for years…”
  • “What would be the best course of action here?”

About 4 years ago my Husband and I purchased a “Turn Around” Mobile Home Park with 11 Plus Abandoned Mobile Homes in them.

The previous MHP Owners were the children of a Mom & Pop who had created and ran the MHP for decades. Unfortunately, Mom & Pop had passed away and the children did not have the money to maintain the property. Thus, the Abandoned Mobile Homes.

My Husband and I watched this property for approximately 2 years (and put 3 different offers on it during that time frame).

During this 2 year “Watch Period” we watched people dismantle other Mobile Homes; put the debris on the street and have the City pick up the debris.

This looked like a nice, cheap process of removing Abandoned Mobile Homes…so we thought.

Fast forward to us purchasing the MHP.

We had several options concerning the Abandoned Mobile Homes:

  1. Remove: Dismantle MH on site
  2. Remove: Have Mobile Home Mover take to the dump
  3. Renovate: MHP renovate
  4. Renovate: Give away/Sell and have New Owner renovate

The problem with a majority of these Mobile Homes was:

  1. Abandoned: For many years with lots of broken windows causing water damage
  2. Condemned: The City had condemned the Mobile Homes
  3. Contractor: We did not have a reliable and affordable Contractor

Thus, we selected to have all the Mobile Homes removed from the MHP.

After we purchased the MHP the City required the following:

  1. Licensed Contractor: To dismantle MH - (Bye, bye to the idea of cheap labor)
  2. Dumpster: To remove debris - (Bye, bye to the idea of cheap removal)

We did the following with those Abandoned & Condemned Mobile Homes:

  1. Remove: Dismantle MH on site & put debris in dumpster - ($1,500 Per Mobile Home - 3 MHs)
  2. Remove: Have Mobile Home Mover take to the dump - ($1,000 Per Mobile Home - 8 MHs)

Fast forward to the future when we found a reliable and affordable Mobile Home Contractor. After finding a reliable and affordable Mobile Home Contractor we have taken old Mobile Homes and renovated the Mobile Homes.

Yes, I agree with @lukelovell that renovations can be costly.

However, even though renovations can be costly you do not have to pay for removal of old MH and you do not have to pay for moving another MH to your MHP. It just depends on the cost of renovations to see if it works for you.

We wish you the very best!


** Lot #63 - Abandoned & Condemned - Mobile Home **
** BEFORE - Being Dismantled On Site **


** Lot #63 - Abandoned & Condemned - Mobile Home **
** DURING - Being Dismantled On Site **

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** Lot #63 - Abandoned & Condemned - Mobile Home **
** DURING - Being Dismantled On Site **

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** Lot #63 - Abandoned & Condemned - Mobile Home **
** AFTER - Being Dismantled On Site **

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Kristin have missed seeing your comments for a long time. Would you do it all again with all the TIME and EXPENSE input plus all the hassle from the city when your object was to simply improve a disaster!!! Our time has value and maybe we need to figure out that number unless it is right in our neighborhood. My point, when there are that many abandoned homes it might take YEARS to remove that stain (reputation) and maybe time to walk away from that timely and expensive project!! Why are parks having abandoned homes?? Where are the property owners?? We need to take pride in how we operate our parks so they are safe and our residents love being there plus are a plus to the community and the city officials roll a red carpet.


@carl , thank you for your comment.

As per your question:

  • “Would you do it all again with all the time and Expense input plus all the hassle from the city when your object was to simply improve a disaster”

Yes…Yes…Yes…My Husband and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

We actually desired to purchase a Mobile Home Park near our Residence (a little different approach from Frank) as we were going to be very hands-on.

This Turn Around Mobile Home Park is only about 30 minutes from our Residence.

In a little over 4 Years our Turn Around Mobile Home Park has had:

  • Gross Income: Doubled Gross Income
  • Filled Lots: Went From 29 Filled Lots to 46 Filled Lots

One of the above Lots that we filled is our quietest Tenant:

  • Cell Phone Tower :slight_smile:

We are more the “Slow & Steady” Turner-Arounders.

Yes, we could have used the “Cash Program” to bring in New Mobile Homes to sell. However, we selected not to go that route.

Initially, we purchased used Mobile Homes that we renovated and then rented.

Now we have Prospective Tenants (who own their Mobile Homes that desire to bring their Mobile Homes to our Mobile Home Park) who call us.

The Tenant pays for their Mobile Home to be moved to our MHP. In return we help guide the Tenants through the Moving Process (not necessarily an easy process) and give them 2 Free Months Rent.

In fact on this past Saturday (St. Patty’s Day) we had a New Tenant pay to move their 1997 Mobile Home into our Mobile Home Park onto Lot #63 (the Lot in the photos above).

I do not have a picture of Lot #63 from the road, but I will post a picture of the 1997 Mobile Home with the large Cedar Tree behind the Mobile Home. The Mobile Home needs a little TLC (Pressure Wash, Shutter, Underskirting, Stairs)…but the Owner just purchased the Home and just moved it.


** Lot #63 - Just Moved Mobile Home - To MHP **
** NEW TENANT & MH OWNER - As Of 3/17/18 **