Mobile homes have long offered workforce housing
March 8, 2017
Mobile home history
• The Sleepy Bear mobile home park, with 54 lots, sold for $2.6 million in June 2011
• Dream Island mobile home park, with more than 80 homes, went under a sale contract to prospective developers in May 2008, but the transaction did not close.
• West Acres mobile home park is more than 30 years old, and home to more than 90 families
• In September 2007, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, with the help of the city of Steamboat Springs, purchased Fish Creek mobile home park for $3.2 million in order to secure the future of the 68 homes in that neighborhood.
• In June 2000, 17 homeowners in a mobile home park on Maple Street, now known as Hilltop Homes, purchased their lots from the park owner with help from the old Regional Affordable Living Foundation and the willingness of several local banks to lend money for the purchase.
• Westland mobile home park, with 39 homes on the east end of Yampa Street in Steamboat Springs, was vacated in September 2006 to make way for a development that has yet to come to fruition.
Steamboat Springs — Mobile home parks, representing the old-school solution to providing workforce housing, haven't won much attention in the current community discussion on how to close the gap between housing supply and demand in Steamboat Springs and Routt County.
Yet, there are an estimated 300-plus households currently occupying mobile home parks in Steamboat.
And one can't say local government and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority are indifferent to trailer parks. With city and county support, the authority owns and operates the Fish Creek mobile home park comprising 68 households.
And there are still opportunities in Routt County to acquire mobile homes at reasonable prices.
Pete Stimmel of rural Steamboat is asking $215,000 for four mobile homes and the land beneath them in the town of Hayden. A former building contractor, Stimmel said he has managed the property for income.
The homes are part of the old Rainbow mobile home park, which is no longer intact, he said. Over the years, Stimmel’s property has been home to permanent residents and also to construction workers spending a season on a project like upgrades to the Hayden Station power plant.
"I bought it 15 years ago as a business investment, where it generates income (about $27,000 annually) through rentals," Stimmel said.
Bought for cash flow
He estimates a new owner could raise the monthly rents by as much as $100 and still be under the market. Or, a purchaser could almost live in one of the homes for free after collecting rent.
The homes are about six blocks from the Kum and Go convenience store in Hayden where the Steamboat Springs Transit regional bus stops on its way between Craig and Steamboat.
The four two-bedroom trailers sit on three platted town lots, but given the pricing of modern building lots in the newer Dry Creek Village and Lake Village subdivisions nearby, Stimmel speculates his property couldn't compete in that market segment. He has no plans to remove the mobile homes.
The homes are served by municipal water and sewer in Hayden, and with his building skills, Stimmel said he has always looked for opportunities to upgrade them. For example, when he has remodeled a home for a client, he has salvaged the kitchen cabinets to upgrade one of his mobile homes.
Unique trailer for sale in Steamboat
Realtor Christian Talli of Re/Max Partners in Steamboat has a rare mobile home listing in the Hilltop Homes neighborhood that includes ownership of the lot. The asking price is $275,000.
Hilltop Homes is a neighborhood where many residents have taken the option to replace original mobile homes with stick-built or modular homes on the lots that were re-platted after the neighborhood was able to purchase the land from the mobile home park. Talli, who formerly lived in the neighborhood, said when you drive through Hilltop you see a wide variety of small footprint homes, from custom timber-frame homes to modest manufactured homes.
The mobile home he is showing has a new rubber roof membrane, but he said the rest of the home needs work. Still, it offers buyers the opportunity to lock up a lot close to schools in Old Town while they save money toward a future permanent home on the site.
A local bank is willing to lend on the purchase, he added.
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