Having been in all phases of mobile and manufactured home business for 42 years, has given me a unique knowledge of the industry.
From 1977 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 up. I still work with parks to fill their park space.
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 3000 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.
It has been quite a journey in those 42 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.
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.