Having been in all phases of mobile and manufactured home business for since 1976, has given me a unique knowledge of the industry.
From 1976 to 1979, I was the sales manager of Pierce Mobile Homes-Moorhead. From 1979 to 1993, I was the owner of K & N Housing (I had a partner for a short time) and Nelson Mobile Homes. We sold listed mobile homes for private owners. We had over 100 listings of used homes the first month of our operation.
The early 1980's were interesting. The interest rates were above 20%. I never thought that I would sell a home at those rates. Turned out that I never sold as many homes. I had dealers who were from Western North Dakota buy 10 to 20 homes at a time from me. They took them out west and re-sell them. Then Western North Dakota went bust. Many of the homes were hauled back to Fargo. I sold them as repossessions for the banks.
In 1986, I bought the assets of ABC Mobile Homes. I got two people with it. A salesman and a serviceman. Thus the birth of the mobile home service business. We began moving and repairing homes. We also sold parts for homes. At one time we had 12 servicemen working for us.
In 1989, I became the Manager of Brookwood Manufactured Home Park. It is a 400 space park. I did this in conjunction with manufactured home sales. It was a good fit as they had not had a new home move into the park in 2 years before I took over. We ending up filling the park.
In 1993, there were no used mobile homes to sell. We had 9 listings. I thought that we had better start selling new homes. We sold new Homark (Detroiter) and Medallion Homes. Then I got the Dutch line of homes. It gave more home for the buck than any home in the market. This in spite of the fact the the freight was a lot more. Dutch was a "package home". (Dutch is no longer a "package home") All the things that you wanted to put on the home but could not because the home would be too expensive were standard on the Dutch. I changed from Nelson Mobile Homes to Greater Dakota Homes - Fargo. I sold out to Ken Adam (an employee) in 2000. Greater Dakota Homes-Fargo went out of business in January, 2008. Ken wanted to move back to Minot where he is from and his family is still there.
I moved to Colorado in 2000 but moved back to North Dakota in 2002. I had family here and missed the simple life of North Dakota. From 2002 to 2014, I had been primarily selling previously-owned mobile and manufactured homes. I estimate that I have sold over 3500 homes in my lifetime.
In 2015, I decided to sell New Dutch Homes again. It was for the same reason as 1993. There just were not many used homes. I had too many people calling me for homes. I really got tired of saying "sorry, but I don't have any and I don't know of any coming". At least I could offer a new home option.
In 2019, all the parks have been sold. I am no longer involved with any parks. I concentrate solely on manufactured homes for individuals. I still have my office in the Brookwood MHC. It is because I like it so much.
People ask me "why don't you have a sales lot with display homes?" I don't have an interest in sitting at a sales lot all the time. i would probably have to hire a sales person and secretary. I choose to keep it simple. I have increased the number that I stock. But no sales lot. I prefer to meet by appointment. I recommend that people spend some time on my website rather than tour a few homes. Frankly, a person generally does not know any more about the homes after they have walked through a bunch of homes. Most of the time it is "how much is it?". That does not tell them what makes up that selling price. I much prefer figuring out exactly what someone wants. I like to keep it simple.
It has been quite a journey in these 45 years. I have made a lot of friends. I could write a book of some of the people that I have met. I hope that we have a chance to meet. I am still wanting to make new friends and help people with their next housing purchase. People have asked me when I am going to retire. The answer is never. I don't know how to fix lawn mowers, build bird house or whittle. I am a lousy golfer. I love getting the right home for the person in need of a home whether it is new or used.
For more discussions about home purchases, you may want to consider reading some of the Frequently Asked Questions. I am very candid in my answers to some of the questions that I hear a lot.
I hope to be visiting with you. I look forward to it.