Case study VMT 52 – small 2 bedroom / 1 bath, 624 sq ft ‘trailer’

Park manager referral.

One of our favorite managers to work with, called and said “Hey our company (Cal-Am) just bought another park. And there’s a unit in there you may be interested in.”

Funny sidebar: Dixie and I actually looked at this place a year prior. It was the very 1st one we looked at after moving to Vancouver, WA.

As I drove over, I knew the park but had forgotten the unit number from the year prior. But as I drove up I recognized it. Nice!

It happened to be a 1968 unit. So it indeed was a ‘trailer‘. Very small 2 bedroom / 1 bath – 12×52 = 624 sq ft.

When we looked at it before, the person selling wanted $3500. It needed a LOT of work. I negotiated a bit and ended up telling him $1k was the best we could do. “No way!” he said. So I asked him to call us, if things changed. He never did.

Later he couldn’t pay the rent and gave it to the park.

So we looked at it and saw that a lot of work was needed. He had partially torn out the bathroom so had to finish that.

We picked it up for $500 with 2 months rent included! Nice!

Since it was a 1968 unit, it had Aluminum wiring. The owner apparently didn’t know any better and had changed out the plugs and switches with normal copper rated plugs.

TIP: Aluminum can corrode and short out. One of the plugs in the bedroom did and there was no power in the bedroom. We fixed it with the corrosion proof terminals and aluminum rated plugs where needed.

20141210_103551 20141210_103238

<– This could have caused a fire.

Use aluminum rated plugs and switches from hardware store (Home Depot and Lowe’s carry them) or use this to correct–>


We repaired the bathroom and kitchen. Installed new laminate in kitchen, hall, bedrooms and bath. Carpet in Living Room.

There was a sliding glass door on the creek side which had an awesome view of the creek. So we rebuilt the front porch and added a deck on the creek side of the home to take advantage of the view. Came out awesome!

EVERY time we work on one, neighborhood people will stop by to see what we’re doing and make comments. One guy stopped by and asked what we were going to ask for it. I said probably $15k-$16k.

He got all excited and said “You can’t sell it for that much! People around here can’t afford that.”

I thought a sec and said “We don’t sell to those people. We sell to people who CAN afford it.”

He just shook his head and walked away.

We had $7,500 in it with repairs and 1 mo rent. We put it up for sale and sold it for $17k full price cash. Just like I told that neighbor. Lady was totally loving life when she moved in. Netted $9500 on the project. Pics below.

Bath Before Bath


Bath – before and after. Replaced tub/shower, sink & vanity.




Front Before Front After


Outside – before and after. Pressure washed and repaired left deck.




Deck Area Before Deck Area After


Deck by creek. Left it unstained. Buyer wanted it that way.





Creek View Creek View 1


Creek view off deck. Helped sell the home.





Kitchen Living Room 1


Staged and ready to sell. Laminate floor and carpet.

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