What is the cost to demolish and remove a home? What sort of quotes are you getting in your communities?
First, have you run the math to see if it may make sense to rehab the home, rather than to trash it?
Second, if the home is beyond hope, then you should call around to the used mobile home dealers in your area, and to other park owners, and find out if there is a ‘scrapper’ operating in your area. These are guys that’ll have land on the edge of town (a boneyard) where they pick apart homes and sell them for scrap. You may be able to get one of these guys to come pull out the home for free, depending on the value of the home’s parts. All else equal, homes that are metal/metal have higher scrap value.
Third, if you do actually have to pay to scrap a home, it’ll cost $500 - $1,000 depending on dump fees. But if the home is not moveable (e.g. has burned, or had a tree fall through it), then it’ll generally cost around $2,000 to have it cut up into pieces, thrown in an 16- or 20-yard dumpster, and hauled off that way.
We had a tenant walk away from her good-size single wide several months ago. We walked in and were just blown away. Trash in the living room and the bedrooms literally a foot deep. The kitchen was a disaster, including the dead kitten in front of the sink. Large holes in the drywall and paneling. You could see the ground in several places. Most windows gone. Trusses (roof supports) drooping in the living room. 3 refrigerators and at least 15 tires in the back yard, with a huge pile of trash, and a falling-down fence to attempt to hide it all. We rented a 30-cubic-foot dumpster (big enough for two small cars), and filled it to overflowing with the stuff from inside and outside the home.
We spent almost two months rehabbing it, with up to 3 guys helping at $10/hour. I figure we’re into it about $10k by now, but we’re about 90% of the way there, and we have had a few inquiries about buying it. Thankfully.
We had never rehabbed a home before. This was baptism by fire.
Why did we rehab instead of trashing it like several folks suggested?
Our city requires that any mobile home brought into, or moved within, the city be no older than 15 years. That puts the price at about $15k, roughly.
The nearest likely source of mobiles for me is Tucson, 90 miles away. Costs about $2,000 to get one moved to my park.
My park is in a 100-year flood plain, meaning that every year there’s a 1% chance it’ll flood. Because of this “high” probability, the city requires that any mobiles brought into my park be elevated 36" (yes, three feet) above the ground.
Because it’s mounted so high, reinforcing the skirting is a big deal. For the two mobiles I’ve brought in so far, I had to put 2x4"s into the ground vertically, behind the skirting, every few feet, then connect those boards horizontally with more boards (don’t remember the size), then screw the skirting into the horizontals. It sure worked! Strong and solid as can be. But a huge amount of work, and costly. Wouldn’t care to repeat it.
Since I brought in my two mobiles, the city has determined that ALL work done during the setting up/skirting process needs to be done by licensed contractors, if I intend to sell or rent the home within a year. Licensed contractors make the job exceedingly expensive. $80/hour or so.
So, with all of those restrictions, and their attendant costs, it seemed far less expensive for me to rehab, rather than replace. And I can more easily sell a home that cost me $10k, than one that cost me $25k.
I didn’t want to leave the space vacant, because at $250/month rent, that would decrease the value of the park by $30k, at a 10% cap rate.
Those of you who are considering buying a park, BE SURE to check with the city regarding the requirements for bringing replacement homes into your park. Get it in writing, and, hopefully, get it to say that you’ll be grandfathered into these rules and that they won’t change for you. This was our first park, bought 6 years ago, and we have learned a lot. Probably most important: DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING. Research, do your due diligence, and GET IT IN WRITING. Before I bought this park I got the city to give me a written statement that my park had a right to be there, and that even though the zoning for my land had changed to commercial, I was grandfathered in, and as long as I always kept it as a park, I would never be forced to change its purpose. Get Frank and Dave’s overwhemingly-comprehensive checklist to use during due diligence, and USE IT.
CAVEAT EMPTOR — Buyer Beware. This is a good business to be in, but the more you are in charge of and knowledgeable about the details, the better you’ll be.
And thank goodness for this site. A wealth of experience and lessons learned, hard. Be sure to take advantage of it.
OK…I’ll hop off my soapbox now. Hope I don’t break anything…