21st Mortgage and Cash Program -- Best homes to order

Getting ready to order some homes via the Cash Program and have the choice of three “home lines” offered by Clayton Homes. The lines are: Pulse, Classic, and Fusion. Has anyone seen the three lines up close and have an opinion as to which line is the most appropriate for a blue collar park? Also, would appreciate opinions/ideas as to the impact of having several Cash Program homes in a park at the time of selling the park and/or refinancing a park.

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Looks like we are going to order two “Classic” homes - one single wide and one double wide. That is the mid quality line between the Pulse (low end) and the Fusion (high end) lines. Still looking for ideas/opinions as to how having Cash Program homes in the park (i.e., homes that are “owned” by tenants, yet with the loans guaranteed by the park and its principles) will affect selling the park and/or refinancing the park. Anyone have any opinions or - even better - experience with this issue?

@MHP_John , as per your post:

  • “Looks like we are going to order two ‘Classic’ homes - one single wide and one double wide.”

First of all congratulations on ordering homes via the Cash Program! That is very exciting!

Please keep us updated on your Cash Program progress.

I have a couple of quick questions:

  • “Why did you select to order a double wide and not another single wide?”
  • “Will you be able to sell the double wide as quickly as the single wide?”

We have a Turn-Around MHP with lots of acreage and open spaces.

We have selected to allow only single wides in our MHP. We do have a couple of existing double wides.

However, aesthetically we have found that single wides help the uniformity in our MHP.

We wish you the very best!

MHP John,

Really interested to hear how things go with this program. I am toying with getting approved, but . . . I just have this fear/distrust/intense dislike of banks in general.

As for SW vs. DW, why not go with 16’ wide SWs? The size is plenty big enough and the layout options are numerous. If I do get approved, I think I would do what you are doing and go with the mid-range. Cheapness shows and I don’t think the high-end would sell in my market.


Kristin and Rolf – Thanks for the comments. In our park, we already have a few DW’s and they fill (currently using a “rent credit” program) immediately with higher up front move in costs than SW’s. Our current up front costs to residents are $1200 for single wides and up to $2,000 for DW’s; this includes their 1st month’s rent.

Under the Cash Program, the homes will be sold - not rented. The price for a NEW double wide (DW) after all costs (including shipping, set up, skirting, utilities, decking and stairs, HVAC, etc) will be about $55,000 which allows a 23 year mortgage for the buyer, which the park must guarantee. This translates into a home payment of around $400 to $450 per month (depends on the buyer’s credit and amount of down payment). Thus after lot rent, a buyer will have a payment of $700 to $750 per month, plus utilities. A NEW single wide would be less; yet surprisingly not so much (homes under $50,000 are amortized over 15 years; not 23 years). A buyer with fair credit will be able to secure a NEW DW for around $3,000 to $5,000 down and $750 per month for 23 years, where as a NEW SW for maybe $50 less per month; the buyer may not care of being locked in for 23 years and should like the DW over the SW. So, we are going to order one SW and one DW and see which goes best. With the NEW homes, over our current “renters,” buyers will need to come in with stronger credit, about $3,000+ in down payment, and be able to qualify for higher monthly costs.

If all goes well, the plan is to eventually order up to twenty homes under the Cash Program; these homes would be combined to fill vacant lots as well as to replace old pre-1974 homes. Of course this would update and overall improve the park in a few ways. The concern - and the cause for the original posting - is what happens when it is time to sell the park. Will the “park purchaser” pool be reduced (or the price reduced) because of the requirement to assume the guarantee of the notes for the Cash Program homes? The other issue is what happens when one (or more) of the home buyers default on the home note and/or the lot rent?

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@MHP_John, thank you for your response!

That is very interesting that homes under $50,000 are amortized over 15 years and over $50,000 are amortized over 23 years.

I understand the concern in reference to reselling the MHP with the Cash Program Mobile Homes being guaranteed by the MHP.

When financing a MHP, the Banks that I have dealt with do not want anything to do with the Mobile Homes.

Thus, what happens to these Cash Program Mobile Homes? @MHP_John, great question.

@frankrolfe , have you sold any of your MHPs that have the Cash Program Mobile Homes in them? If yes, how was that MHP sale structured in terms of the Cash Program Mobile Homes.

I just don’t see this working in my area. A $400 home payment, plus lot rent of $250 would equal $650/mo for 15 years. I really do not see people doing this in my area. For that price you can get a pretty decent stick built house.

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MHP John,

Would you mind sharing the cost/configuration of the SWs you are buying? Frank keeps talking about how inexpensive the new homes are, yet your experience seems to contradict what he says.



The pricing below include everything; i.e., “ready for occupancy” costs. These costs are the home, shipping, siting/setting, taxes, decks/stairs, piers, skirting, utility connections, heat tape, Zone III insulation, HVAC systems, appliances, loan costs and points on loan to buyer, 5% “profit” to park, etc. The homes are Clayton’s mid-quality homes known as the CLASSIC.

27 x 52 (3/2): $55,000
16 x 76 (3/2): $47,000

Monthly home costs (assuming a buyer with 5% down and FICO scores around 600; interest rate of 9.75%):

27 x 52: $475/month (5% down = $2,750; 23 yr amortz)
16 x 76: $473/month (5% down = $2,350; 15 yr amortz)

The interest rate the buyer pays is dependent on the amount of down payment and their FICO scores.

Based on the above, my estimate is that double wides are the best way to go since the down payment and monthly are virtually the same. We are going with one SW and one DW to check the market. Our used DW’s when renovated go fast at $1,500 down and $650 per month; for a new product, buyer’s should (be able to) and be “happy” to pay an extra $1000+ down payment plus an extra $100 per month. It may take a little longer to find these types of buyers yet they should be more responsible and reliable.

Does anyone see any problems with the above?


@MHP_John , thank you for sharing your knowledge.

You indicated that these were Clayton homes.

@MHP_John , I have a couple of questions:

  • Are you a Mobile Home Dealer?
  • What about the TRU Mobile Home models?
  • Are you buying these Mobile Homes at Dealer Rates?

Thanks So Very Much!

Wow, yeah, the prices you quote seem high based on what Frank has been posting. Are you getting these homes at dealer price?



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Keep in mind these are folks with credit scores that are usually in the 500-599 range. With this credit score these folks will never qualify for a stick built home but would likely on the CASH program since it is a subprime mortgage backed by the park owner.

Depends one which factory you select. Frank is buying a lot of Clayton Wakarusa which is a mid level home built in Northern Indiana where wages are higher therefore the costs of the homes and freight is higher as well.

If you want the least expensive homes you will want Clayton’s TruMh. He purchases those as well.

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The CASH program does not work in all markets – 21st Mortgage will be the first to tell you that. You need to have high home prices and apartment rents. You are looking at new homes costing, including lot rent, in the $700s to $800s per month in the northern markets. The sale there is not only based on price, but on the benefits of a mobile home over an apartment (such as having a yard and privacy). In some markets, the CASH home will only be $200 or so less than a similar apartment, but the customer is attracted by the fact that they can own it, that it’s new, that it has no neighbors banging on the roof or walls, that they have a yard, and that they can park by their front door. In addition, they are attracted by a great school district (super important in most markets) and competitive pricing that precludes them from living in that desirable area in any other way.

While the TRU product is the cheapest, you need to buy a home that is in-line with your potential customer’s demands. In our northern markets, our customers are much more affluent and demanding, and they’re willing to pay for an upgraded home.

The total cost of the home, transport, set, skirting, stairs, A/C, is easily in the $35,000+ threshold even in Texas where the homes sit on dirt and are only a short distance from the factory. But if you’re in a good market, that works fine all day long.

The CASH program will not work if you do not have 1) decent tenants with cash for a down payment and a steady job 2) a desirable location 3) high SF home prices and apartment rents 4) a manager who has decent people/sales skills and 5) a test ad that pulls at least 30+ calls in a 10 day run. If your park has these qualities, then CASH is a good test of the market. If it works, you get more homes and if it fails then at least you tried and know the truth.

If you are selling only on price, it will never work. Customers who buy on price only will never pass the credit requirement. You are not selling $500 1970’s used cars here, but new cars that demand a more affluent buyer.

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Frank, thank you for sharing your ideas and experience. We are going to go with two mid level homes with a few upgrades. Each home will be a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a monthly cost (lot rent plus mortgage) of about $750 which equals the rent on a 3 bedroom apartment. From what you say, we may have a challenge ahead, yet we will try and see if it works.

Also, Frank, would you please provide some thoughts on how having Cash Program homes in the park (where the park and park owners are guaranteeing the mortgages) affects selling the park?

Great point. Injecting new homes into a park pays huge dividends beyond just filling lots, including:

  1. it improves the appearance which attracts better quality customers and greater current customer retention and satisfaction, as well as promoting greater pride of ownership.

  2. it is an affirmation to future buyers and bankers that the park is capable of receiving new homes going forward.

  3. it impresses appraisers and lowers perceived cap rates for the appraisal.

  4. it makes city hall happier as it upgrades the community’s appearance.

  5. it attracts a more affluent customer base that filters down to used homes, as well. We market our most expensive homes first, and then “down sell” those customers to our used homes and even handymen specials.

In summary, new homes have macro benefits, as well.

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We just got our first tenant buyer approved for a CASH program single wide, TruMH, $22k base, setup includinig AC $8k. After 21st’s fees and AL state tax the selling price is $39k. Yes from $22k to $39k. At their interest rate per the borrowers credit this borrower was offered a $564/mo mortgage, 15 yr. Our lot rent is $395 and are squeezed between existing lot renters at $360. So to bring the total of $964/mo which is UN SALEABLE in our area we can’t drop the lot rent below $360 due to existing tenants.

So now we are working tactics to drop the financed amount, fees and etc to get the $564 to something the buyer will accept. 21sts in house home owner insurance was astronomical. I called around to other retailers and found a great MH insurer for 50%… Ok shaved $50/mo now in order to salvage these 2 homes and 28 more for our empty lots we need to figure out how to come in close to $400 mortgage amount for the home…

I read re Frank saying where CASH works and where it doesn’t. Our beach location is where is SHOULD work.

What have folks done to drop the mortgage amount? This 21st loan is already 15 yr. And We bought the cheapest 3/2 singlewide made, TruMH.

What other programs are you using to be Dodd Frank compliant in that the lender uses their own Licensed Loan Originator to originate to the occupant. This is where Legacy etc fall way way short, leaving the park using the Sun Communities rent credit program which is not case law tested… Which wouldn’t work for a $22k home + 9k setup. IMHO. The lender does need to originate directly to the occupant, not the park. In this aspect 21st Cash is doing it right.


Wow! $22K to $39K is one heck of a jump. Having a little trouble reconciling your real world experience with all the hype that is out there about how wonderful this program is.

I am having similar problems with used homes I’ve brought in requiring way more work than expected. I can sell the home at market pricing, but then I take a loss. What I have done is sell homes at really more than they are worth, but then don’t charge lot rent during the RTO period. The payments are high, but the home is paid off very quickly. This approach has been successful.

Moving, setting/tie down, a/c, deck, skirting, hookups, adds up to a lot compared to the cost of a cheap home. And 10% overhead.

It still doesn’t add up. Moving, tie down, skirting, mh steps at both doors total about $5500 for me. Even if I include covered porches, I still don’t get a $17K difference between the home cost and buyer cost. What the heck does doing business with 21st cost? This concerns me a lot as I am in the process of getting approved through them.