[music playing]
– Frank Rolfe?
– Yes.
– Billy Mintz.
– Hi, Billy.
How are you?
BILLY MINTZ (VOICEOVER):
Frank Rolfe’s company
is the fifth largest
owner of mobile home
parks in the United States.
BILLY MINTZ: Beautiful place.
FRANK ROLFE: Thank
you very much.
BILLY MINTZ: Wow.
Show you in here.
Our motto is kind of we provide
a clean, safe, affordable place
to live, just like it is here.
Micro-housing is hot.
You just have a whole lot
of people who just can’t
afford to buy a house today.
It’s almost
impossible for people.
So we’re like, by far,
the least expensive form
of detached dwelling there is.
I mean, some homes you’ll
see are like $2,000
for the entire home.
BILLY MINTZ (VOICEOVER): Here’s
how Frank’s business works.
He buys old mobile home
parks, makes basic repairs,
gives them a fresh
coat of paint,
and then puts homes
on the market.
Basically, you’re
repositioning properties,
bringing them back to life.
And everybody’s happy.
BILLY MINTZ (VOICEOVER):
He owns the land,
so whether he rents out
the homes or sells them,
residents pay a lot fee of
around $250 to $375 per month,
providing Frank with a
steady stream of revenue.
So this is a unit for sale?
It’s for sale or rent.
Renting this is $550 a month.
But if you want to buy it,
we’ll sell it you for $500.
OK, so hold on a second.
To rent it, it’s $550.
Right.
But to buy it, it’s less.
Yes.
Then how does it work for
you financially, though?
Well, on paper, it looks
pretty stupid, right?
Because I’ve poured thousands of
dollars into the house and I’m
going to take a
loss on this house
of probably $3,000 or $4,000.
But just to have
someone on this lot,
this lot is worth probably
$30,000 with someone in it
and it’s worth nothing
with somebody not in it.
Our big focus is we want
to be in the land business.
Right.
So we’re willing to take
hefty losses on the homes just
to be in the land business.
BILLY MINTZ
(VOICEOVER): It’s not
much different from how the
mobile home business started.
[music playing]
During World War II, a slapdash
prototype of mobile homes
housed soldiers and
factory workers.
After the war ended,
small mom and pop shops
set out to make the rickety
World War II model a more
permanent, affordable housing
alternative, buying cheap land,
installing homes,
and then charging
lot fees to the residents.
But the difference was that
these mostly family-owned parks
usually didn’t raise rents.
But after 2007, the
demand for cheap housing
skyrocketed and people like
Frank saw an opportunity.
Our industry has been a
contrarian bet on a poorer
America, and that
bet’s been paying off
really big the last
eight years, right?
Whereas our customers are the
$10 to $50 per hour folks,
there’s no other options
out there for those people.

The Mobile Home Economics | Explorer
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34 thoughts on “The Mobile Home Economics | Explorer

  • April 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm
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    I'm from VietNam. I watch Nat Geo everyday in my TV.

    Reply
  • April 23, 2017 at 12:03 pm
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    Nat geo is my favourite channel i love u nat geo and the team a fan from NEPAL

    Reply
  • April 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm
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    What a good man 🙂

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm
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    8

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:18 pm
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    UMERICA! The land of the poor

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  • April 23, 2017 at 12:48 pm
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    Don't Read My Name

    .

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  • April 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm
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    this is really sad, these mobile homes are no place to raise children, it's sad that people have to live like this in America

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  • April 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm
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    10-50$ per hour? Is that impossible to buy a home if you make <50$ per hour

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  • April 23, 2017 at 3:18 pm
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    That seems like a good deal for everyone!

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  • April 23, 2017 at 4:47 pm
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    that motherfucker has a HARP!

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  • April 23, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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    space rent here in Oakland is 1100 per mo. and renter must have 3x the space rent per mo. income just to live here

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  • April 23, 2017 at 5:30 pm
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    just like mcdonalds

    Reply
  • April 23, 2017 at 7:49 pm
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    $250 – $300 for a month's lot rent. That sounds too high to me.

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  • April 23, 2017 at 7:50 pm
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    The title should be: "Bankers made a lot of money, banks crashed, normal people had to pay for it, a few rich got richer, many became poor, one rich man saw an opportunity to get some money out of this disaster."
    Nothing against this dude and his ugly villa, but that system is not going to end well. I bet Trump will push the car over the cliff and then we have some kind of revolution going on. Trumps idea to sacrificing the environment to delay the crash a bit will work for a short time, but it is stupid and will only worsen it like taking a loan to pay your debt.
    There are two solutions:
    First find something to make everyone richer (this is not going to happen because you only get a good salary if you are well educated) or second reduce the flow of money from the many to the few, by increasing the taxes for big business and the super rich. Start to invest in the poorest. Free education like Bernie promoted would be a good idea.

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  • April 24, 2017 at 2:29 am
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    Well damn, he still makes his money back one way or the other. But that's a good financial move on his part.

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  • April 24, 2017 at 5:02 am
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    Smart guy. Land is a zero sum game.

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  • April 24, 2017 at 7:16 am
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    nice vid

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  • April 24, 2017 at 7:23 am
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    550 to rent, 500 to buy plus insurance and repairs….still cheaper to rent isn't it? How is that helping anyone?

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  • April 24, 2017 at 7:43 am
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    sus LOL🤔😅

    Reply
  • May 16, 2017 at 2:25 am
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    2:14 grumpy child. 2:20 kids engaging in assault. surely they could have chose a better video clip

    Reply
  • April 2, 2018 at 6:37 pm
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    Brilliant business model Frank!In the land Business!

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  • July 25, 2018 at 11:25 pm
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    You could buy your own cheap piece of property and its yours..

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  • August 20, 2018 at 11:52 am
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    Thank you for sharing

    Reply
  • September 11, 2018 at 1:56 am
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    Mfd homes and MFH parks represent an option for many people. These parks around FL have a few amenities like a pool and jack the price up to $900/mo. just for the lot rent. The old pre-1994 homes aren't too great or well-made but the newer ones can be built relatively sturdy and attractive. Unfortunately, most of the parks have old homes that just get older and uglier and I don't see much rejuvenating. This fellow sounds like a fair-minded businessman, unlike some.

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  • December 5, 2018 at 1:29 am
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    Nice

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  • December 12, 2018 at 7:49 pm
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    Cool.

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  • December 30, 2018 at 10:02 am
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    Nicely decorated

    Reply
  • March 2, 2019 at 9:07 am
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    lot fees are 600-850 a month..

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  • March 31, 2019 at 6:31 am
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    this is best example being jewed

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  • May 6, 2019 at 7:57 pm
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    This guy sounds like a souless scamer.

    Reply
  • May 7, 2019 at 4:46 pm
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    Great documentary! I learned a lot.

    Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 11:44 am
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    Smart

    Reply
  • September 9, 2019 at 9:38 pm
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    He did that in the trailer park where I'm at and the people are pulling out of here because their rents going up and up and you're living almost like in a Gestapo neighborhood with all the rules and regulations.

    Reply
  • November 5, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    Tin City…tornado magnet

    Reply

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