CARS HOMES JOBS

Man hopes to 'flip' former FEMA trailer

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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— A recent posting offering a disaster trailer for sale might represent a new twist on tropical storms Irene and Lee clobbering the region last year — the opportunity to “flip” some property that’s selling cheap at federal government auctions.

The local man, who posted the new FEMA home on Craigslist on Oct. 6, said Thursday he didn’t want his name publicized.

He said he purchased the trailer from the U.S. General Services Administration’s online auction for around $7,000. He’s now offering it for $15,000 and said he tells people it’s a good unit for a camp property.

The temporary housing units auctioned off earlier this month sold for between $6,454 to $7,787.

The man said he’s been looking for a decent deal on a lake front property, but all the sites he’s found are too expensive so he’s looking to sell the THU if possible.

Another Capital Region property owner purchased one of the FEMA trailer and placed it on the former Mohawk Valley Airport and Nest Egg restaurant property off of state Route 5 in Glenville. Efforts to reach that property owner were unsuccessful over the past two weeks.

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The federal government has made progress unloading used and unused disaster trailers since flood victims began moving back to their own houses and returning the THUs.

100 sold

According to FEMA spokesman Donald Caetano, the government has sold 100 Temporary Housing Units since the auctions began earlier this year.

Two dozen were donated to other government agencies, including the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Department and office of the county Fire Coordinator.

Another 46 units that were not used have been returned to a national inventory site for use in other disasters, according to Caetano.

Fifteen of the units were donated to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and will likely be used for housing on reservations.

The auctions for the units, being stored at the former Guilford Mills factory building property in Cobleskill, haven’t drawn a frenzy of buyers.

The local recreational vehicle retailer Alpin Haus took a look at the units and found no interest, company president Andy Heck said last week.

Heck said the units aren’t what Alpin Haus customers are looking for because they are different from the average camping trailer. He said he doesn’t expect the units being offered for sale to impact the recreational vehicle market.

Early after the disaster, FEMA announced the roughly 400 square-foot units were being provided to flood victims if their homes sustained at least $19,000 in damage and they were unable to live in them.

The mobile home users were provided with a general deadline of 18 months, but Caetano said FEMA won’t be evicting flood victims if they’re still getting their homes back together once the 18 months ends.

“We want to help them get back to their new normal,” he said.

U.S. General Services Administration spokeswoman Renee Miscione last week there were no definitive plans for another auction.

 
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