5 Things You Didn’t Know About Mobile Home Investing (Including How The Last One Built Is Over 35 Years Old…)

by | BiggerPockets.com

Welcome back,

In today’s article we’ll explore a small list of some surprising facts about mobile homes and manufactured homes that are not well publicized in the media.

Mobile homes and manufactured homes are often times laughed at by a majority of investors. This seemingly negative stigma gives many mobile home investors a low competitive arena compared to other markets.

1. Did You Know That Properly Installed Manufactured Homes Can Withstand Short Wind Gusts Over 120 Miles Per Hour?

Mobile homes are located in every state in America. Manufactures of factory built housing have increased construction standards and quality material used over the past 4 decades.

Related: How Much Do You Know About Investing In Mobile Homes?

Newer manufacture home buyers that reside in hurricane-prone and tornado-prone states can live in relative safely and affordability compared to the flimsy and unregulated construction practices of the past.

2. Did You Know that Manufactured Homes are Produced In One-Fifth The Time And At Half The Cost Of Site-Built Homes?

Manufactured homes assembled in a controlled, factory environment use fewer materials and generate 35%-40% less waste comparable site-built units. In 2009, the average cost per square foot for a new manufactured home was $41 compared to a cost of $84 for a new site-built home.

Investor reminder: Paying retail to invest in brand new manufactured homes is typically not a profitable strategy and is not in this investor’s business plan. With that said this affordable new model mobile home may become an even more affordable used model I would be happy to purchase in 7+ years.

3. Did You Know The Last Mobile Home Was Made In 1976?

Technically, a mobile home and manufactured home are different homes.

A mobile home is always constructed before June, 1976. Homes constructed after June 1976 are known as manufactured homes. Manufactured homes must meet FHA certification requirements and come with attached metal certification tags on the home’s exterior.

Related: Which Mobile Homes Are The Best For Investing, Reselling, And Profiting?

Investor reminder: While talking to most buyer, sellers, Realtors, investors, etc while in your area’s real estate investing trenches the terms “mobile home” and “manufactured homes” will be used interchangeably.

4. Did You Know The Life Expectancy Of A Modern Manufactured House Is Equivalent To Comparable Site-Built Homes?

Properly installed manufactured housing under HUD’s new construction code is said to be as safe and storm resistant as any other new home.

Manufactured homes sold after 1994 are built to the same HUD standards for construction, strength, fire resistance and wind resistance that are applied to site-built homes. A report published by the state of Florida indicates that no manufactured home built to these standards received any major damage during the severe 2004-2005 hurricane season.

Additionally, a study published by the Foremost Insurance Company found that manufactured homes are less likely to catch fire than site-built homes.

 5. Did You Know You Can Tell A Great Deal By A Mobile Home’s or Manufactured Home’s Roof?

A not-so-commonly known trick is that a mobile home with a pitched roof will be built during the year 1982 or newer.

Flat or curved roofs (or very very slightly pitched roofs) are typically built before 1982. This rule is only for single-wide mobile homes and manufactured homes, almost all double-wide mobile homes have pitched roofs.

Investor reminder: Do not be fooled by a roof-over roof. These are entire metal roofs typically purchased after-market to fix major roof repair issues. A roof-over typically lays “over” or on top of a home’s existing roof to protect it.

In conclusion I hope mobile homes and manufactured homes are starting to surprise you. Mobile homes of the past are not the same manufactured homes built today. Newer and older manufactured homes start to deserve more respect as safe, affordable, and attractive homes.

Love what you do daily,
John Fedro


References used:

  • http://cfed.org/programs/innovations_manufactured_homes/about_manufactured_housing/facts_about_manufactured_housing/
  • www.manufacturedhousing.org
  • http://cfed.org/programs/innovations_manufactured_homes/about_manufactured_housing/facts_about_manufactured_housing/
  • http://homeguides.sfgate.com/manufactured-homes-myths-vs-77519.html

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.


  1. I always thought that mobile homes were homes that had wheels on them – also called trailers. These homes are pulled on to a lot, jacked up and put on blocks, the wheels are removed, utilities hooked up and skirting is installed. I don’t know about other states, but in my state (PA) mobile homes have no deed – they have a title just like an automobile.
    Then there are modular homes, or what are sometimes called pre-fab homes. These homes are built in sections at a factory and then transported to the home site where they are assembled on a foundation or slab.
    I was reading your article and it seems like you are talking about these two totally different types of housing stock as if they were the same. They still make mobile homes (houses on wheels), so your comment about the last one that was built was built in 1976 in not accurate. And there is no relation between mobile homes and modular homes, just like there is no relationship between a mobile home and an RV.

    • Hi Jerry,

      Thanks for commenting and for the kind words.

      In response to your statement type questions mobile homes do not need axles while they are attached to a property whether on rented land or on private land. If moved the axles and wheels can be joined for transport.

      If a mobile home or manufactured home is simply on rented land then most homes have a Title and not a deed, you are right there. However in all states this is not accurate. If however your mobile is attached to real property (I.e. land you own) the VIN/serial/label numbers and mobile home info is likely on the deed due to being legally joined years back. Let me know if this makes sense to you.

      Concerning the names of “mobile home” or “manufactured home” you can choose to believe what you wish and call them anything you wish, either way I hope you are investing in them and helping local buyers and sellers.

      All the best,

    • Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for reading! Whichever path you follow continue investing and helping local sellers of properties you love and know best. All the more “homes with wheels” for us. 😉

      All the best,
      John Fedro

  2. John, Great information. I have been studying the subject . #3 is a little know fact. I have always wondered about but didn’t know. What is your opinion on the roof over? Is it a good idea to do it, if you have one without a pitch?

    • John, Constructing a roof-over on an older home is relative to the current and future value of the home. What is the home worth to YOU? . A roof over adds practical (increased life of the structure, tax deduction, and energy savings.) and cosmetic benefits . Don’t worry about the tax man raising the taxable value… Usually, only the land appreciates.

    • Hi Shelli,

      Thanks for commenting and I am glad this has helped some. Roof-overs are a good idea if the rest of the home is very sound and you are planning to live there for the next 5-10 years. With or without a pitch is fine in my experience. I hope this helps.

      Talk soon,

  3. Thank you for a good explanation John. I have many manufactured and mobile homes in the area where I live. I will be buying your course soon. The reviews are awesome and I don’t want to have to take a long time to get started in this niche. I look forward to working with you in the near future.

    Best to you

    • Hi Melodee,

      Thanks for reading along and the kind words. Email me personally when the times comes and you are ready to run forward. Additionally if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

      Talk soon,

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