Several years ago, we bought a house we intended to retire in. Unfortunately, my husband's job changed and we had to move about 150 miles away. So, we bought another house in the new town and put the old one on the market. That was 2 years ago. Luckily, we were able to rent it, but having a rental house that far away is difficult at best. We decided we liked the idea of having a rental, though, and would like to buy one in the town we currently live in. Which we could do if we ever sold the old house.
But, we have dual problems selling our rental house. One, it's actually a double wide mobile home that has been set on a permanent foundation with additions built on each side, and been completely re-roofed to cover the entire structure. It also has a walk out basement and large deck. The outside has been completely re-sided and it looks like a house. And it is taxed as a regular house, not a mobile home. Inside, though, you can tell part of it was a mobile home because of the 7 foot ceilings, even though the additions are 8 foot.
Problem two is, buyers can't get financing on it. After two years on the market, we finally got a decent offer but the buyer couldn't get a fixed rate loan on the property because the banks consider it a mobile home, even though it's on a permanent foundation with additions. Several banks said the only way they would finance it is with an adjustable rate mortgage, which no one wants these days, with fixed rates so low. So, I called my bank to find out why and was told it had something to do with Fannie Mae rules that govern all banks lending rules. The loan officer told me about a mortgage company that specializes in mobile home financing that still offers fixed rates. I called my realtor and told her about it and she said she would inform the buyer's realtor, but days went on and the contract expired.
We've considered the option of selling to the renters, but they don't want to buy it. We thought about an auction, but, again, financing would be a problem. We thought about financing it ourselves, but nixed that idea for 2 reasons. We are very close to retirement and just don't need the hassle if someone defaults on the loan or whatever nightmare thing might happen. Plus, we really would like to cash out so we can buy a rental property close to home where we can keep an eye on it and keep it up easier.
So, any other ideas from all you realtors out there? I'd ask my own realtor, but considering she didn't even know we'd have a financing problem if it sold, or have any idea where to get financing until I called her about the mobile home financing idea, I don't think she will be a well of information or ideas.
Is our only option to keep this rental until my daughter gets it through her inheritance? Any ideas welcome!
Hi Carol, welcome to the Real Estate Boards but sorry it is about this topic - yes, it is a difficult one as you have discovered. A couple of questions? How old is the mobile home itself? And what do you believe to be the value of the house? the land? and both together?
All are important - individually and as a composite. Additionally, where and what is the size of the land - is it a lot in a park or elsewhere? Post back with more information - I'm sure that you will get some great feed-back here IF we have enough information to answer your questions!
Well, I don't know if I have all the information you asked about. Our realtor originally said the property was worth about $120,000 simply because of the location. It's located on a hill above a creek that runs into a large lake that's a popular destination for boaters and fishing. And there's a boat launch and pier just below the property.
We have lowered the price though because of absolutely no offers and are trying to sell it for at least what we paid for it, $86,500. We have put in quite a few upgrades since we originally planned to retire there, like new counter tops, new kitchen floor, new bathroom, etc. So, we'd be losing money even selling it at that.
The orginal double wide trailer if from the '70's and we have no idea when it was converted to a permanent structure. But it has all new windows, the kind that tilt in for cleaning, so I don't think it was too awful long ago.
I couldn't tell you what the land is worth separately, just what my realtor says the property should be listed at. It is on a double lot, though.
It's not the price that's the problem, I don't think. It's the fact that it's a double wide trailer and financing is hard to get.
That's about all I got, info-wise.
Here's the listing on Trulia if you would like to see the property.
I really hate to say this but.... In that last sentence the period should have gone after the word trailer.
I am one who will not consider a trailer, particularly one of your age. This last winter one house we were going to look at was in a so-so location; better than most but not the best. Once we saw the basis was a trailer (it had additions like you) we did not even look at it. It had nothing to do with financing.
We have become accustomed in the housing boom to trailers increasing in value when historically they decreased in value, regardless as to how they were maintained or added on to. A trailer from the 70's would not even have the current construction that a new one would. And the base on which your whole structure is formed is the older method. Even if we knew the manufacturer(and some are better than others) they just were not built to adequate standards.
So what can you do? Looking in your area there are a lot of homes for sale. If you could trim trees so you at least had a winter view of the lake that would help but I suspect that is Corp land(??).
Until the homes around you sell I think your best bet is to keep renting.
I wasn't going to post because I have nothing good to say but I thought you should know what you are up against. I am sorry.This message has been edited. Last edited by: metwo,
Carol, let me first say that I don't know anything about either the specifics of your local market or the competition in your price range. That information could make a huge difference -
Have to say that I unfortunately had the same reaction to your post as metwo. I don't personally know anyone who would consider a trailer, no matter how nice the location, lot or your upgrades/addition.
Sounds like you have a good tenant. Does the monthly rent cover all of your cash expenses, including property taxes, maintenance, etc.? Receiving at least a small income tax benefit?
Can you wait it out until the market improves, assuming your area is currently a buyers' market? Sorry about your desire to purchase a local rental. I'd suggest another way to do it but don't know if your personal situation warrants the additional risk.
JMHO and best of luck to you.This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
Well, thanks for the replies. I guess I'm going to be a long distance landlord whether I like it or not. I appreciate your time and thoughts on this.
My hubby's mom passed in 2004, and she lived in a lovely double-wide.
We thoroughly cleaned it and did a little staging, and it sold after only 1 month on the market.
It sold for the asking price to a couple with a little girl who were living in a single-wide mobile home.
Soooooo, yes, it can be done - Keep the faith and find a good realtor.
Thanks for a ray of hope!
There's always hope, Carol. Not trying to throw cold water on everything but unfortunately, in general, we're in a vastly different real estate market than 2004.
One thing I forgot to suggest above: I would recommend that you take the home off-market for a good 6 months or more. IIRC, your property's been listed off and on, most of the time, since 2008. Even though you've reduced the price significantly, many if not most potential buyers would notice the stale listing and attempt to low-ball you. If you stay off until early next year, that's probably the beginning of the prime selling season. Just a thought -
Something else to consider - how do your tenants feel about showing the property? Did they request a rent reduction during the selling period? Many tenants actively attempt to discourage sales - for obvious reasons.
Although I certainly don't want you to lose your tenants, it might be easier to stage, maintain and sell vacant, if they happen to move for some reason. In addition, they may be happier/better tenants, if the home isn't listed.
Your home appears very nice in the photos with terrific upgrades and well-maintained. Hoping for the best for you. All of the above is JMHO.
Keep the faith!This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
We've talked about taking it off the market for awhile and putting it back on in March. The listing is up next month. The tenants have given us a little grief when we've had showings. A couple times the lady pointed out every little thing wrong with the place and refuses to leave the house during showings. I think we got the house-bashing taken care of. My husband told her that if it continued, they could find another place to live. They rented the place knowing it was for sale, so they can't complain about that.
My realtor would love to see the tenants gone and have an easier time of showing it. But, I'm not putting them out. Not unless I find out they're sabotaging the sale again just so we end up keeping the house.
I believe we'll take your advise and take it off the market for 6 months.
Something occurred to me that I would like to bring up. If banks consider the house a mobile home, why is it taxed as a regular house? Who did that, I wonder? The person who put the additions on? Would having it taxed as a mobile home be cheaper but make the insurance go sky high?
I wish I could just get RID of it!
After some research, we found that my Mother-in-law's home was "legally" considered a "manufactured home" and not a doublewide.
I don't remember all of the details and facts now, but it made a difference in the loan approval for the couple who bought it.
You might want to review all of the paperwork and how it is recorded at the courthouse (?)
I think the couple who bought the house obtained some type of USDA Rural Loan, by the way.This message has been edited. Last edited by: lavern2,
Fannie Mae has their own guide lines for manufactured / mobile homes perhaps the lender didn't understand them.
Here's a link that may give you some insight and guide you to other sites that will help you understand.
Glad you resolved your issues with the tenant. You're correct, IMHO - if they moved in with the understanding that cooperation with showings would be required, they have nothing to complain about.
WRT the taxes, I'm sure state law controls. In general, my very limited understanding is that a previous owner probably surrendered title of the MH because it's permanently affixed to the real estate. I'm assuming you own the land, BTW. Once they made that change, I suspect it's irrevocable. It's real estate not personal property b/c it's no longer mobile.
Hope that makes sense. All, JMHO. Obviously, you can verify it with your state and/or county.
Best of luck to you -This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
I've gone thru all the paperwork from when we bought the house and there was nothing on any paper that said "mobile home" or any reference to anything regarding special financing needed etc. I have spent some time checking out that link that Lakelark offered on her post and found out financing is available on manufactured homes but nowhere did it say, adjustable rate mortgages only, like the loan officer at the bank told me. It seems that if the manufactured home is on a permanent foundation and the owner has surrendered the title and legally changed the classification to real property, you can get a regular loan. (tsr-res, I think you're right about some previous owner doing that.) I'd put a snippit from what I was reading here, but I don't know if it's allowed.
So, anyway, I printed a bunch of pages and I'm going to go to the bank and have a sit-down with someone and see exactly what can be done about financing on this place.
Thanks to all.
By the way, isn't all this my realtor's job or is it going above and beyond her call of duty???
I would think an "experienced" realtor would do this kind of thing, but I'm not sure.
Either way, Carol, if you have to do the "legwork" and research to sell the place, then do whatever it takes, Girlfriend.
Oh, I am! I let my realtor know that I'm rather unhappy about finding out about financing restrictions on the house this late in the game. I asked her why no one was aware of these restrictions and I told her this problem should have been addressed a long time ago and we should have had a list of lending institutions and loan options available to the buyer.
In the meantime, I'm going to talk to a loan officer at my bank and get all the options I can from him/her, and then go further afield and look at some creative financing.
I'm really disappointed in my realtor. It's like all she did was put the listing on line, in a magazine, and hoped it would sell itself.
In all fairness to the Realtor their job and expertise should be marketing the home and negotiating the contracts.
Here loan officers have to be licensed, finance is very complicated and there are tons of constant changes and programs to keep up with.
The mistake, I think, your agent made was not having a solid enough working relationship with a couple of lenders to be able to pick the phone and question the validity of the rejection.
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