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Residents Purchase Upper Valley Manufactured-Home Parks
Published Thursday, July 13, 2017

From Left: Lakeside Cooperative board members Pauline Gordon and Roland Shattuck with former Daniels Acres Mobile Home Park owners John Wilking and Winston Hart. Photo: NH Community Loan Fund

Manufactured-home owners at Daniels Acres Mobile Home Park in Enfield and Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park in Canaan purchased their parks on June 28, growing the number of resident-owned communities in NH to 123 and to 13 in Grafton County. It was the first time since 1994 that the NH Community Loan Fund, which supplied financing and training to both resident groups, converted two parks to resident-ownership in the same day.

The Pleasant Valley homeowners formed Mascoma Valley Cooperative, in March to investigate buying their 29-unit park. After a meeting with a nearby cooperative convinced the residents that they could and should pursue the purchase, they negotiated with owners John Wilking and Winston Hart and reached a purchase price of $815,000. They finalized the deal with a mortgage from the Community Loan Fund.

“At first, most of the residents and I were frustrated; it seemed like everything had to happen so fast," says Lennie Beliveau, president of Mascoma Valley Cooperative. "It felt like there were too many things to decide, too much information to digest, and everything was just moving too quickly."

But after meeting with Mascoma Meadows Cooperative in Lebanon, Beliveau says “We all felt much better about all of it. We knew it was the right decision and we’ve never looked back. It’s been a really great experience.”

Homeowners in Daniels Acres Mobile Home Park were also planning to buy their 51-unit park. They formed Lakeside Cooperative and reached a $1.7 million price, financing the purchase with the Community Loan Fund.

The former owners, Wilking and Hart, say they're happy the people who lived in their parks now own them. They also say they're impressed with how smoothly the transactions went, given that they needed to close both sales simultaneously.

Now that the two parks are resident-owned, homeowners there are eligible for products and services, like real mortgages, that haven’t been available to them.

The Community Loan Fund helped homeowners in Meredith create NH’s first co-op park in 1984. Today, nearly 7,000 co-op homeowners in every county in the state have access to home financing, as well as an annual leadership training in which they earn college credit, a training conference and management guidance for cooperatives.

A full list of co-op parks in NH is available here.

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