Mobile Home Parks Know They Hold Most The Cards [Part 1 of 2]

by | BiggerPockets.com

This is a Public Service Announcement for anyone considering investing in a lucrative mobile home deal located inside a mobile home park. If you haven’t already heard that mobile homes are cash-cows then consider this your wake-up call.

Mobile homes are categorized in two distinct ways:

  • Those within pre-existing mobile home parks
  • Those located on private land.

    The big difference between the two is if the mobile home owner owns the land the home rests on, or if the mobile home owner pays the land-owner monthly for the right to use their land and utilities.

    If you own your land you are KING — assuming you pay your mortgage, property taxes, and abide by local and state laws. Popular opinion suggests that in many respects a person’s home “should” be his or her castle. This does not hold true for those who live in a mobile home park. You and everyone else living in the community need to realize that the park managers and park owners have the ultimate and final say. In a nutshell, the mobile home park hold most of the preverbal cards…

    As long as you understand the pecking order of this business and your role in it, you and the park can have a very happy and profitable working relationship together.

    What is the “pecking order of the business” and what is “my role in it?”

    As an investor when you purchase a mobile home inside a park you may do so inexpensively, without bank financing, without escrow, without Realtors, without expensive insurances, and can close in just hours or days. The flexibility and affordability of mobile home investing are amazing features that most other traditional investors only dream about. The cost we pay for all these positive investing attributes is that we must abide by any and all of a mobile home park’s seemingly asinine rules and continual lot increases.

    How to fight back?

    I say don’t bother unless you have been severally wronged. If you have aligned yourself with the right mobile home park, there is a slim chance you will need to worry about being taken advantage of or bullied by any park employee. Do remember — park owners and managers are REAL people with their own emotions, troubles, greed, and joys that can transfer over into their professional work. Use this as a barometer or guide for their character, management and accountability standards. Maintain your degree of professionalism even if theirs seems to wane.

    I have heard many times of park residents filing law suits against parks with mixed results. If a park is even moderately well organized, it has likely positioned itself and the existing contracts each resident must sign prior to moving into the park, in a way to give the park owner every advantage possible.

    Clever park owners…

    Don’t fight back, just correct issues, smile, and go on collecting money from your buyers. If you piss off an unstable park manager they are not likely going to hold you in high regards.

    If you are already living in a mobile home park and are being harassed weekly by a dictator-like manager, it may be in your best interest to speak with the owner of the park directly. If this does not help perhaps legal counsel is in order.

    Aligning Yourself with the “Right” Mobile Home Park

    In my next article here on the BiggerPockets Blog I will be discussing the three unique stages of mobile home parks and how to align yourself with the “right” mobile home park for investing purposes (concerning investing in individual mobiles and not the parks themselves).

    Love what you do daily,
    John Fedro

  • About Author

    John Fedro

    Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a 4-bedroom mobile home inside of a pre-existing mobile home park. Over the next 11 months, John added 10 more mobile homes to his cash-flowing portfolio. Since these early years, John has gone on to help 150+ sellers and buyers sell their unwanted mobile homes and obtain a safe and affordable manufactured home of their own. Years later, John keeps to what has been successful—buying, fixing, renting, and reselling affordable housing known as mobile homes. John shares his stories, experiences, lessons, and some of the stories of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channeland has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest here and on other prominent real estate podcasts, authored a highly-rated book aimed at increasing the happiness/satisfaction of average real estate investors, and spoken to national and international audiences concerning the opportunities and practicality of successfully investing in mobile homes.

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