New subdivision, The Oaks of Kokomo, holds open house

Jan. 31—What was once a blighted trailer park is now home to one of Kokomo’s newest subdivisions.

The Oaks of Kokomo, located on 250 East just northeast of Kokomo, had its open house Thursday where the public and local officials were invited to tour one of the models of manufactured homes offered.

The new subdivision used to be the mobile home park Woodland Estates. The mobile home park was blighted with many rundown trailers, had major water and sewer issues and was in the process of being condemned by the state.

In the summer of 2020, business partners Jennifer O’Keefe and Tupper Baker bought the nearly two dozen-acre property after seeing a need for affordable, new construction homes in the Kokomo area. The two spent the next year leveling and cleaning up the property and fixing the water and sewer issues.

Now, the land has subdivided to fit up to 60 separate lots that are for sale. Five lots have already been sold since last summer.

Baker, a resident of Tennessee who has more than three decades in the real estate business, and O’Keefe initially had their first foray in the City of Firsts when they bought the Kokomo Estates mobile home park, selling it a year and half later to focus on The Oaks of Kokomo.

The homes range from 1,000 square feet to 2,300 square feet and from three to five bedrooms. Prices range from $147,00 to $230,200 and come in multiple floorplans. Buyers can design and upgrade some of the home’s features to include everything from the type of flooring, kitchen islands, garages and carports, to walk-in tile showers to soaking tubs to porches and decks.

The company also works with banks that specialize in manufactured housing, offering FHA loans, conventional loans, flexible terms and approvals for those with lower credit scores. Notably, buyers will own both the land and home.

Part of Thursday’s open house was to dispel any possible negative stigma related to manufactured homes of the past. The model showcased Thursday — The Loft — featured an island kitchen, stainless steel appliances, an open concept, a soaking tub in the master bathroom and two living spaces.

“These aren’t your father’s manufactured homes,” said Paul Wyman, managing broker and owner of Wyman Group, which is the primary real estate agent for the subdivision.

“The industry is really evolving,” Baker added. “There was a lot of plastic, but now builders are using metal. … If I took off your blindfold, you won’t know if you’re in a site-built or if you’re in a manufactured home.”

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.

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