Mobile Homes

What You Should Know About Investing in Mobile Homes During Fall & Winter Months

Expertise: Personal Development, Real Estate Investing Basics, Business Management, Mobile Homes, Real Estate News & Commentary, Landlording & Rental Properties, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Marketing
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For many real estate investors, our businesses continue to operate and grow 365 days a year. While some investors do like to take a month off here and there, many prudent mobile home investors are staying active and continuing to grow their word-of-mouth reputation and businesses in their local markets year-round.

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In this article, we will discuss the importance of understanding your local mobile home market, local buyers, and local sellers. By the end of the short list below, you should have a much better understanding of your plan and mindset moving forward into the fall and winter months while investing in mobile homes and manufactured homes inside parks in the US.

Fall Months

Summer breaks are over, kids are back in school, and many of us have sunk back into our regular routines of day-to-day life. Based on experience the fall months tend to slow down slightly with regard to the amount of mobile home sellers and buyers active in the local market. With that said, there are still absolutely buyers and sellers in the market looking for nice, quality homes at a good value.

Winter Months

If experience teaches that the fall months begin to slow down a mobile home investor’s purchases and resales, then the winter months will typically prove to be the slowest months to resell a mobile home investment property. Likewise, many sellers will not even choose to sell unless it is absolutely necessary for them to move during these colder months. With that said, there are still absolutely some buyers and sellers in the market looking for nice quality homes at a good value.

Holiday Weeks

During holiday weeks, you will notice that your normal advertising and marketing strategies may result in a drastic reduction of leads and calls. Specifically during the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, new calls from sellers and walk-throughs with buyers may virtually stop depending on your area. This is normal and to be expected.

Related: Travel Trailers, One-Bedrooms & Other Mobile Homes Investors Should Avoid Buying

Pro Tip: The start of the new year will typically bring more buyers and sellers into the market. Any mobile home you may be holding onto during the previous year will likely be sold in the first few weeks of January.

When Buying

During the fall and winter months, we must compensate for this drop in potential buyers and tenant-buyers looking for a mobile home to purchase during these months. We compensate for this delay when making purchase offers to sellers by factoring an additional two months of lot rent and holding cost that may be paid by you while you are aiming to resell the property.

When Selling

No matter the time of year you are aiming to resell your investment mobile home, it is critical to saturate the local market so that all potential buyers and tenant-buyers that are actively looking to buy will see your advertisement. In addition to making sure that everyone sees the message with your online and off line marketing, it is crucial that your price point and selling terms be attractive to a good majority of the population. Based solely on experience, when selling a mobile home at the correct* and accurate price/term, it should take no more than 20 serious potential buyers walking through your mobile home before one or two will want to purchase it.

*The word “correct” above is used to describe a retail selling price and selling terms that are win-win and satisfactory for both investor and buyer.

Pro Tip: As a mobile home investor, you may always wish to aim to resell any investment mobile home inside of a park in 30 days or less. When purchasing any investment property, it is crucial to know your exit strategy before you offer any purchase prices/terms to your sellers. Due to the fact that you understand the resale market of your area, you should already know what price/terms will allow this mobile home to be sold to a low-risk buyer in 30 days or less.

Winter Destination States

Some states around the country receive a large influx of mobile home buyers and mobile home residents during the winter months. Markets such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, and other Southern states increase their populations during the winter months from Northerners wishing to retreat to warmer states for the winter. Depending on your state and depending on the local area, some cities and towns may actually see more mobile home buyers and sellers during these months. Inside these “winter destination” states, and all states for that matter, it is very important to understand the buying/selling supply and demand for your area during this time.

Related: What Investors Should Know About Mobile Home Pricing & Valuation

Winterization

Winterizing a mobile home is the process in which a mobile home is prepared for sitting vacant during the winter months. It is important that any home you consider purchasing has been properly taken care of and winterized in the past as needed. A thorough inspection of the mobile home, any visible leaks, all water pipes, visual cracks, etc. should be explored before purchasing a mobile home in states with freezing weather.

In conclusion, there is more to mobile home investing than meets the eye. Keep in mind that you must recoup every dollar you spend while purchasing a mobile home, repairing the home, and reselling it before you see any profit. Please heed the above article and warning when purchasing mobile homes during the fall and winter months. Mobile homes can absolutely be very lucrative; however, they should be purchased a bit more conservatively due to the slightly lower resale demand during these months.

Mobile investors: What would you add to this discussion?

Be sure to leave a comment below!

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.

    Daniel Ryu Specialist from Irvine, CA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Thanks John! Great info. As a potential future MHP owner, it’s good to know what the sales cycle for MHs are throughout the year.
    Minh Le Investor from San Jose, CA
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    John, As a California investor, I have no clue about winterization. Thanks for sharing.
    April Cook
    Replied about 3 years ago
    I didn\’t realize that you would need to winterize a mobile home if it is not being lived in. When I am purchasing should I ask for service records to see that this was done in the past? Is there any winterizing that needs to be done if someone is living in the home?
    Dave
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks for the article. As a Florida Mobile Home Dealer, we definitely see the reverse trend you mention in the winter destination sales portion.
    Dave
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Thanks for the article. As a Florida Mobile Home Dealer, we definitely see the reverse trend you mention in the winter destination sales portion.
    Olivia Nelson
    Replied over 2 years ago
    I like your idea on ho you should know the resale value of a property before you rent it. I would imagine that finding a mobile home rental that is going to grow in value can be a safe investment. My husband and I are looking to find a mobile home so we’ll have to find one in an area that keeps growing in value.