Everyone Leaves Sale a Winner

George Nikolakakos

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A fair price, a good feeling, and an affordable neighborhood preserved in a place without many others.

George Nikolakakos sold his 49-site Livingston, Mont., community to the homeowners who live there and said everyone won in the deal.

“This is a win not just between and buyer and seller,” said Nikolakakos, who sold to View Vista Community, Inc. in January 2020. “The community residents long term are going to make out great here, I’ve made out well, I think even the community has maintained a piece of affordable housing somewhere where working people can actually afford to live in a town where they’re losing that.”

close up shot of a manufactured home with an American flag, mountains in the background.
The residents of View Vista Community in Livingston, Montana, purchased their 49-home community for $2.6 million in January 2020.

The now resident-owned community sits near a school complex in Livingston, a hotspot for tourists who flock to the Yellowstone River. The homeowners came together with the help of NeighborWorks® Montana, the ROC USA® Network affiliate there, and paid $2.4 million for the community.

Nikolakakos said it was a tricky deal complicated by some apartments on the property, leaving him concerned about the ability of the residents, ROC USA and NeighborWorks Montana to execute the transaction. But he needn’t have worried.

“It really felt a lot like dealing with a private buyer,” he said, noting one exception. “I think a private buyer probably would have been more difficult to deal with and given me more heartache and quibbled over little things.”

Nikolakakos said he would tell other community owners to expect to walk away from a sale to the residents with a fair price and a little pride.

“It’s just a way to feel good about closing the transaction out in a way that is ethical, and I’d like to think it’s a little bit about leaving a legacy for the residents,” he said. “I can’t wait to go back to Livingston in 10 years and watch that place develop and see what they do with it.”