Mobile home investing is becoming increasingly popular in the US and worldwide because of its financial benefits.
Did you know that approximately 22 million people are living in mobile homes?
As more people choose to live in mobile homes, it's expected that more real estate investors will opt for mobile home investing.
If you’re looking to get started with mobile home investing, keep reading.
Different Types of Homes
Prefabricated homes are specialized dwelling types of buildings built off-site in advance, usually in conventional components that can be supplied and constructed quickly.
Below are the following types of homes:
A mobile home is a factory-built structure carried to its final location on a permanently attached chassis.
These are built on wheels and can be pulled by a vehicle. They are considered being personal property and licensed by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles.
Any manufactured home built before June 15, 1976, is referred to as a mobile home.
Because of changes in HUD policy in 1976, they are now obsolete. Modern manufactured dwellings have since taken their place.
Rather than the streamlined shape of a travel trailer, a mobile home is usually painted after it’s assembled.
The dwellings were also given a rectangular shape manufactured from pre-painted aluminum panels. Single-wide and double-wide mobile homes are the two most common sizes.
Mobile homes can be much cheaper than other types of homes.
However, they rarely sit on a permanent foundation and might not be as sturdy as other homes. Plus, they might lose value and be harder to refinance in the future.
A manufactured home is a prefabricated dwelling built in factories and then transported to its final destination.
Manufactured homes are built entirely at a factory and then transported to their final location.
They are indistinguishable from site-built homes once they arrive at their destinations; they are rarely moved again.
According to the HUD Code, manufactured houses are built with high-quality materials in climate-controlled production facilities. They’re also available in three different sizes: single, double, and triple sections.
Manufactured homes are built onto steel beams and are transported incomplete sections to the home site, where they are assembled. Wheels, hitch, and axles are removed on-site when the home is placed on a permanent foundation.
Manufactured homes are frequently less expensive than single-family homes, even those of equivalent size and location.
A modular home is constructed in a factory-like environment indoors. The completed goods are wrapped and transferred to their new locations, where a constructor puts them together.
A modular home isn’t the same as a mobile home; it’s a home that’s built off-site.
Some modular homes are nearly finished when they arrive on-site, including siding, kitchen appliances, flooring, and so on; others require a significant amount of work on site.
The fundamental distinction between manufactured and modular homes is that manufactured homes are constructed according to the national HUD code.
In contrast, modular homes are built according to all applicable state and local building codes. It is comparable to how traditional site-built residences are created.
Building a modular home might cost anything from $90 to $120 per square foot.
However, the more complicated your design and plan, the more expensive your modular home may be.
What is Mobile Home Investing?
Mobile homes may be the last thing you think about when you think about investing.
Although mobile homes are cheaper to invest in than traditional real estate homes, you still have to do your due diligence.
The first stage is to research the market, learn about the participants, and network to discover deals.
Mobile homes can be a very profitable investment with the correct technique.
The truth is they have an excellent cap rate compared to most real estate investments. They’re also in high demand, particularly in higher-cost housing markets and places with low incomes.
Despite the high returns, only around 20% of mobile home parks in the United States are held by professionals.
Leaving the rest of the market open to investors wishing to start or diversify their investment portfolio.
Why Tenants Choose To Live in Mobile Homes
Mobile homes are inexpensive.
A mobile home’s average cost is substantially lower than that of a typical home. The average income for a mobile home household is $34,000.
This makes mobile homes enticing for buyers who may not afford a traditional home.
Renting a mobile home may also be less expensive than renting an apartment!
Additionally, mobile housing has been on the rise to satisfy demands for some people.
Such as those not settled in a home and with no desire to commit to spending a large sum of money on housing or otherwise making a living.
Is A Mobile Home A Good Investment?
Mobile homes have become a popular investment during the last few years.
But, is it a good idea to invest in mobile homes?
To answer this, consider the following critical aspects:
Mobile home parks are in high demand.
However, new mobile home parks aren’t being built as frequently as they once were because of government zoning restrictions.
There are approximately 60 million people in the United States with an income of less than $20,000.
Based on the government’s suggested income-to-housing-cost ratio, this large group of people can only afford to pay $500 per month for housing.
It means that as the demand for inexpensive housing grows, the desire for mobile homes in well-managed parks will expand.
Mobile houses are a good answer for the affordable housing shortfall.
Consistency of Tenants
Mobile homeownership has a low resident turnover rate compared to RV parks.
Because it costs tenants thousands of dollars to move their houses out of a mobile home park, turnover is limited.
Most mobile home park residents intend to stay for at least five years. This means a lower turnover rate and less risk.
When tenants decide to leave, they frequently sell their mobile homes, allowing the rent to be increased.
The best-kept secret in the real estate investment sector is mobile home park investing.
It is ideal for investors searching for a good deal who don’t want to compete with a slew of new investors, homeowners, and institutional investors.
Many mobile home park owners don't have a lot of money. Instead, the majority are small business owners who aren’t landlords.
This allows you to buy mobile homes at a reasonable price and add value and improvements to attract long-term tenants.
It’s all about cash flow when it comes to mobile home investing.
When compared to multifamily or commercial buildings, expenses are cheap; therefore, a large portion of your money goes straight to the bottom line.
Most mobile home park owners only own the land, not the units. It indicates that the investment cost is usually much lower when compared to the number of units.
Because you don’t own the actual residences your renters live in, the mobile homeowner, not the landlord, handles the residence’s maintenance, repairs, and improvements.
Mobile home parks offer faster depreciation over traditional real estate.
For example, traditional real estate improvements depreciate over a 27.5-year window, and mobile home parks are depreciated over a 15-year window.
Limited Need for Contractors
Not only are repairs usually affordable but investing in mobile home parks usually requires a low involvement.
One factor that makes mobile homes attractive is that you don’t have to work with contractors.
Dealing with contractors is a daily annoyance while working on single-family houses and multifamily complexes.
The owner of the mobile home, not the landlord, handles maintenance, upgrades, and repairs to their house. Because the landlord does not own the actual residences that your renters live in.
While the care of a mobile home park must be accounted for, it is substantially less than an apartment complex.
Great Financing Options
Mobile home investing offers more creative financing alternatives than all other types of real estate combined.
For example, regular mortgages, such as FHA and VA loans and specialist manufactured home loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, can finance manufactured homes.
You can usually get longer repayment terms with these options. You may, however, pick an unconventional course with a shorter duration, depending on your circumstances. It could include personal or chattel loans.
It allows new investors to enter the business with lower risk and less hassle and seasoned investors to take advantage of some beautiful structures.
Mobile Home Investing 101: How to Make a Profit
Mobile homes have the potential to generate great cash flow when done properly.
Here are some ways to profit from mobile home investing:
Consider Renting Out Entire Mobile Homes or Rooms
After upgrading the unit, investors can explore renting it out and asking for a greater lot rent than was previously charged to renters.
If a mobile home park allows you to rent out your used mobile homes as an investor, consider renting each room separately if it is financially feasible.
Student housing, transient/migrant housing, and oil worker housing are some examples.
One of the most appealing aspects of renting a mobile home is its inexpensive compared to other real estate types. The prospective return on investment is excellent when the initial investment is modest.
Although the buy-to-rent method may not provide immediate returns on investment, it can provide a passive income stream until a buyer is found for the unit.
Add More Homes to Your Park
Many of the mobile home parks you visit will have open spaces or vacancies that may accommodate more mobile homes.
More mobile homes, more profit!
Some mobile home parks will offer “incentive programs” to park-approved homeowners who are willing and able to relocate to a park-approved mobile home. These programs cover the entire expense of moving in and setting up your used mobile home.
A licensed mobile home mover should transport a mobile home when it needs to be removed from its existing location. These local movers can deal directly with the mobile home park of your choice to add/install this used mobile home to their neighborhood.
After all, utilities are safely connected, secured, and approved, the home can be resold or rented for a profit.
Buying and selling a mobile home in a mobile home park, similar to single-family houses, allows you to generate a value between buyers and sellers without actually acquiring the mobile home.
As a savvy mobile home investor, you’ll get a purchase contract on the property and quickly try to resell it to another investor or end-user for a profit.
In this situation, the buyer is paying for your contract to acquire the mobile home rather than the property itself. In most circumstances, wholesaling a mobile home within an existing mobile home park is not very profitable.
Buy Home and Land, then Resell
Investors can flip mobile homes by purchasing low and selling high.
If you invest in a mobile home and sell it, you can gain profit by collecting on the interest from the financing.
There are individual buyers and sellers of mobile homes who work together to achieve a win-win situation. Many of these customers are buying old mobile homes from private sellers with cash or with bank financing.
You’ll want to pay far less than the retail price for any investment home you buy as a mobile home investor.
You can find great deals by clearly understanding your market and frequently making various offers to multiple sellers.
Top Mobile Home Investing Books to Read
Below are a few books that will help you get started with mobile home investing:
Mobile Home Wealth: How to Make Money Buying, Selling and Renting Mobile Homes
Author Zalman Velvel provides both a bird’s-eye and a more detailed look of mobile home investing in Mobile Home Wealth.
The book takes readers to step by step in finding the perfect mobile home, financing it, renting it out, and more.
You’ll also get Velvel’s formulas for success and a customizable roadmap to use in your own investing.
Adventures in Mobile Homes by Rachel Hernandez
This book explains how Rachel Hernandez, aka Mobile Home Gurl, started mobile home investing step by step.
She takes you on a personal real estate investing journey, sharing stories and adventures based on her own experiences—the challenges, the hardships, and finally, the victories.
Trailersteading: How to Find, Buy, Retrofit, and Live Large in a Mobile Home
This book is about trailersteading profiles of thirteen mobile-home dwellers who have used trailers as a stepping stone toward achieving their dreams.
Some have spent the cash saved to expedite renovations involving extra insulation, pitched roofs, classy interiors, and even basements. In contrast, the found money has allowed others to go off the grid.
Many people used a low-cost housing choice to pursue their passions and became full-time homemakers or homesteaders.
How to Invest in a Mobile Home Park: For Business, Money, and Profit
Are you looking for a way to supplement your income by investing in real estate?
This book is ideal for identifying, assessing, and managing your first (or most recent) profitable property.
This practical manual, packed with helpful information for both first-time and seasoned real estate investors, gives you the tools you need to save time and money.
The best part is that the advice mentioned in this book is coming from a mobile home investor who's had success.
Types of Mobile Homes and Their Cost
Single-wide and double-wide mobile homes are the two most common sizes, with varied prices.
But which is better? Let’s find out.
Single Wide Mobile Homes
Small might be subjective when it comes to single-wide homes. The size of a home can range from 600 square feet to 1,300 square feet.
Single wides have a width of 18 feet or less and a length of 90 feet or less. A single-wide residence is typically 72 feet wide by 15 feet wide, with a total area of 1,080 square feet.
Because they are smaller in width, a single-wide home can be shipped on one semi-trailer.
Traditional single-wide homes have fewer room layout options due to their long, narrow shape with only 1-2 bedrooms and bathrooms.
Because the entire home—kitchen, bathrooms, living room—functions in this size, the overall price is less than a double-wide mobile home.
If you buy a new mobile house, it will cost you around $40,000. Single-wide mobile houses range in price from $10,000 to $25,000.
Because they are built and shipped in two portions, double-wide prefabricated homes get their name. These mobile homes are connected and set up on-site seamlessly.
Single-wide homes are narrower, whereas double-wides are larger and shorter, giving them a more site-built appearance. A typical double wide is 26 feet by 56 feet, with a living area ranging from 1,100 to 2,400 square feet.
A double-wide has more room to be configured in ways that mimic the look and feel of a site-built home.
Expect two to three bedrooms and two to three bathrooms, as well as additional plan features such as separate dining rooms you won’t find in single-wide mobile homes.
The greater size also allows for more modification of both the inside and exterior layouts. In August 2020, the typical new double-section prefabricated home cost $109,300, according to the US Census Bureau.
How Do I Start My Own Mobile Business?
Set Expectations and Budget
For you to start this type of business, you need to understand the industry.
Expect a few shocked reactions once you’ve established a mobile home park business and start telling your relatives and friends. Few people consider mobile homes or even mobile home parks to be good financial prospects.
Before you search for mobile homes, you must set a budget. Your budget should not be the maximum amount you can afford to pay for a home; rather, it should be the total amount you can afford to put into a home.
Because mobile homes are affordable, you must be realistic about the profit you intend to make from selling them, even after upgrades.
Research Legal Aspects
Your short- and long-term goals, funding choices, target market, financial forecasts, and marketing approach should all be included in your mobile home park business plan.
Consider the legal implications as well.
Learn about the legal paperwork you’ll need to start this type of business, such as mortgage deeds, property agreements, zoning permits, and licenses.
These specifications differ from one state to the next.
Choose How to Start
Create New Homes
Starting with a blank slate to build your own mobile home neighborhood sounds like a beautiful idea. On the surface, the prerequisites appear straightforward.
You’ll need a large enough plot of land, the necessary permits and licenses from your local authorities, and the necessary initial funds to construct a park and install utilities.
Buy Old Parks
Many mobile home parks are still operated by mom-and-pop businesses that have been in business for decades. Updating the facilities will be an arduous task.
But to new investors, this presents a prime opportunity to buy a park with lots of potential at a low price.
Invest in Mobile Home Parks
You can always become a mobile home park investor if you don’t want to get directly engaged with the management of mobile home parks.
Your task will be to find acceptable mobile home parks to include in your portfolio.
You could either acquire these parks entirely from the proprietors or buy shares in the garden, depending on how much funding you have and how much money you have available.
Finance Mobile Home Project
If you’ve been saving consistently and have enough capital saved up, you can fund all of the majority of your mobile home park.
But, if you don’t have enough money, you can take out a bank or financial organization loan. You may be required to provide bank collateral to secure finance, depending on the bank.
Market Your Mobile Home Park for Tenants
You can begin marketing the mobile home park to potential tenants while it is being constructed.
Advertising in local newspapers and magazines and hanging notices where they shop will be effective ways to contact them.
You’ll be well on your way to filling your mobile home park if you combine this with a solid internet marketing strategy.
How to Find Mobile Homes For Sale
The great thing about online listings is that it is already established that the park is for sale and at what price.
Pocket listings are parks that aren’t on the market publicly but are disclosed to what they consider to be eligible buyers.
Simply calling mom and pop park owners and asking if they want to sell is a frequent lead source.
It’s the same premise as cold-calling; however, you can generate a more significant volume of deals faster because it’s cheaper to scale mail over calling.
You can drive into mobile home parks and speak with the owners personally.
This method should only be used on parks you enjoy and have not responded to your direct mail or cold calls.
Mobile Home Investing Can Bring You Financial Freedom
Mobile home parks may not appear to be an attractive investment to add to your portfolio at first glance.
But, when you consider the stability of tenants and the income you can create, they can potentially generate a high cash flow for you. Now that you know the basics, hopefully, you’ve decided whether or not to pursue mobile home investing.
If you do decide to invest, set your expectations and strategically plan how you’ll invest. Who knows, mobile home investing may help you reach financial freedom faster.