Microwave fire doused at River Haven

Firefighters extinguished a small fire in the wall behind a microwave oven when called to a home in the 14500 block of Magnolia in the River Haven Mobile Home Park Monday afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Apr 24, 2013



The homeowner, who has been in the house less than a week, called for help at about 3 p.m. when he discovered the fire. He used a small dry chemical extinguisher to try to put out the fire before evacuating his home, said Lt. Matt Schweitzer of the Grand Haven Township Fire Department.

Firefighters had to remove the microwave to get to the fire in the ventilation ductwork and put it out with a small water extinguisher to minimize damage to the home, Schweitzer said.

The cause of the fire and a damage estimate was not available.

Firefighters were on the scene about an hour.



Gotta love River Haven. The building inspector should really do a sweep of their rent-to-own homes. Many of them have building code violations such as inoperative/disconnected smoke detectors that maintenance did not fix in my time living there. Also no GFCI plugs next to the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom; just standard old plugs. There is probably more...

The major issue with River Haven however, is how they draw people in with their 'free rent' deal, and then a few months into the lease, they raise the rent considerably without any notice, and then charge a fee the next month when you suddenly become aware that they raised your rent.

They got one better on my neighbor when I lived there on Wintergreen Dr... I was helping Jason with a project one day when the River Haven office called him. Being busy, he put the phone on speaker and I overheard the whole conversation. They told him that they were raising rent (to a level he could not afford). When he told them it was too high, they gave him two options; pay the higher rate, or they would let him out of his lease penalty-free and give him 30 days to move. He chose the second option.

He soon moved, and about a month after he was gone, a court summons appeared on his door. Turns out River Haven was suing him for breaking the lease. They waited until he was gone so he would not even know they sued him. I always thought they had to personally serve the court papers, but apparently putting them on the door was enough to be considered proper service. I did not have his number, so I could not notify him of this.

Well, I bumped into him a month or so ago at Wal-Mart and when we got to talking, I learned that they had in fact successfully sued him through the Ottawa County Court system when he NEVER received and service of papers, or knew of any court date. He did not even know he had been sued until several months after the court date and default judgement when a debt collector started calling him and he checked his credit report to see that SUN Homes/RiverHaven had absolutely trashed his credit, taking it from a 740 down to a 520 I think he said). By the time he knew about the court case, it was too late for him to appeal the judgment.

I know others in the community who have also had issues with the office.

I moved as soon as my lease was up fearing that I would have the same happen to me at some point. Also, gotta love how if you don't mow your lawn literally every three days, you will receive fines.


My fiancé and I presently rent on Winding Creek in River Haven and even though our problems are not as bad as what you said there definitely are problems with the operators of this park. They have said three times that we did not pay our rent and threatened to evict us. When we brought them the cancelled check showing it was cashed by them they did not care. We have paid nearly $2200 more than we were supposed to do to this in order to keep our house since they said we would be immediately evicted and tossed out and they would make it impossible to rent again. They also charge a large amount in fines if you do not keep your grass at 2". We also have a lot of problems with our house that never get fixed like the heater not working, and the stove top being super hot even when it's off and electrical problems like getting shocked when plugging in hair dryer in a humid bathroom and flickering lights.

Bradman do you rent or own? I think they might be much more accommodating to owners everyone else I know here who rents also has alot of problems with management.


Hey! That's me, Tchambers!

Yes, indeed, I was never served papers or knew about the court case until several months after the default judgement was filed, and after the time I was allowed to appeal expired. Even though I was never served, they told the court I was.

I have also witnessed another home down the street before I moved out with what appeared to be court papers taped to the front door. A few hours later I saw the office worker with the red Grand Prix pull into the driveway and remove it. Maybe this is what they did to me? I find it odd how I was never given notice at all.

My smoke detectors were also not wired properly in the house. I learned this when all the detectors would randomly start going off at 3am for no reason. There were pinched and damaged wires in the junction boxes, and one had a disconnected wire all together. My microwave also occasionally smelled like smoldering wood when being used which freaked me out a bit.

Isn't it funny how there are about 10-12 newer homes on the south side of the trailer park that have a turnover rate of around 6-9 months each?

Possibly these are homes they cannot sell due to problems, and instead rent for a few months before raising the rent, telling the resident they can move without penalty and then stealth-suing once they are gone?

I know that with me they sued for well above what I would have owed if I actually broke the lease. I learned this when I disputed the derogatory mark on my credit report (which dropped my TransUnion score by over 200 points). They got a default judgement for several thousand dollars for three months of rent, and a lawn care charge of like $700 for three months if I recall correctly.

Oh well, it is marked on my report as disputed, and I currently live in a much nicer and higher quality home with a nice yard on the river for half of what I was paying at River Haven. To top it all off I have successfully stopped two separate friends from making the mistake of renting a home in River Haven.

Give me a call sometime Tom!


I lived in River Haven Village Community for over 20 Years and love it.
I am not sure why you would have the issues you do, but I am sure there is more to the story then what is being told.

I will admit that there are some issue that need to be addressed especally with the older home in the park. But like any community you have home that look good and some that don't. You make it sound like this community is not good to live in and you are very wrong about that.

There are lots of good things happening in this community and I am very happy to be part of it.

Come join our community. A Happy and proud resident of River Haven Community.


River Haven is owened by sun homes inc who owen many moble home parks they are on the stock exchang,they have share holders who want profets,the more the better. The manager is given a budget to maintain the park and dose the best he can given what he has to work with. my lot rent has risen to $400.00 a mo,thats just for the lot,my morgage is $350.00,that is $750.00 for a single wide moble home a mo,and the value of the home go's down every mo,it was a stupid investment on my part. Is it a good place to live NO! The maintance people mostly just drive around in their trucks all day watching you,the roads in the winter are plowed but ice build up is so bad you can barley get through,their are so many trees it runes your roof,many vacent lots that the grass is brown in the summer,you have to pay for your owen water so many people cant aford to maintain ther lawn,it's a sad situation out their,sun homes is a slum landloard, I feel sory for the people traped out their,most of them are low income and can't aford to move their home and are at the mercy of sun Homes corp.


I am a proud owner at Riven Haven. I have never had any problems with management. In my experience, the maintenance staff has always done a great job.

Yes, Sun Homes is a for-profit company - most mobile home communities are. Riven Haven is advertised as having "wooded lots". I agree with Bradman49417, there are a lot of good things happening here. Instead of complaining about the bad, try being constructive and maybe volunteer to help those who are having a rough time maintaining their(used incorrectly above, should be "there") lawns. Like it or not, this is OUR community.


I am a proud owner. You know I felt the same way you do about owners and I do about renters. They seem to be less app to keep their property up because they know they don't own it they are renters. With that said I am not indicating that you are that way but there are some.

One thing you all need to know that the laws regarding Moble Home Parks. they are regulated by the State of Michigan and they have rules and regulations they need to follow. You as a owner and renter have rights. I suggest they you visit the State of Michigan Website and become informed on your rights as a mobile home owner and renter.

I am pretty sure they cannot evict you without do process unless you signed papers that say other wise.

I hope this help all home owners and renters. This is really a nice community and I have a hard time with someone bashing it. I don't go around bashing any other community and besides you don't have to stay here this is big beautiful world.


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