Mobile homes offer investors a great deal of flexibility and affordability when it comes to building up profit and value. Below we will be focusing on walking through your local mobile home builders, dealer showrooms, and repo lots to learn more and make you money.
Let us first understand the difference between a mobile home builder, dealer showroom, and mobile home repo lot.
- Dealer showroom: This may be a nationwide company or local mom-and-pop dealer that owns a “lot” with show homes to walk through. These homes may be new from the factory or pre-owned homes. If the mobile homes are used, they are likely there due to trade-in or purchase on a secondary market.
- Mobile home builder: This generally refers to the factory and distribution center for a particular builder of mobile homes. These buildings and showrooms are typically large and only offer one maker of mobile homes. Examples: Clayton, Fleetwood, Redman, Champion, Jacobson, etc.
- Mobile home repo lot: This is likely a local dealer that specializes in selling used mobile homes. Typically, you may find homes with various level of rehab needed. Look for the word “repo” on the entrance sign or business card to identify these dealers.
Pro Tip: Over the past 14+ years investing in mobile homes, I have managed to never purchase from a dealer. Dealers are middlemen between the owner-occupant seller and you, the investor. Dealers can provide you with some help; however, for the best deals, aim to purchase all your mobile homes from owner-occupants or park managers themselves. Exception: HUD and bank owned homes.
Now that we have a better understanding of where we can go to explore and walk-through some mobile homes, let’s discuss what we can accomplish while visiting with our local dealers.
7 Advantages to Working With Mobile Home Builders and Dealers as an Investor
You can network with dealers and ask questions.
While you’re walking through each home, you can ask specific questions from the dealer about each home to better know your product, design, flaws, etc. Whether learning about a builder, local moving laws, price specials, specific home questions, knowledge is power.
You can learn your product.
Know what you sell or will be selling — affordable housing. Although we are not investing in these specific mobile homes, we can learn much from them. Especially if you are newer to manufactured housing, I highly recommend walking through, touching, smelling, and looking inside and out of these new and used mobile homes.
You’ll get excited about the new amenities modern manufactured homes have.
As an investor the average mobile home I invest in is roughly 8-20 years old. While these homes oftentimes have walk-in closets, skylights, kitchen islands, garden tubs, and even his and her bathroom sinks, these decade-old homes pale in comparison to brand new manufactured homes and new features and amenities.
You can get to know local movers.
Dealers know movers. These are recommended movers you can get referrals for when you may need to move a mobile home in the future.
You can sell to them.
Dealers are in a business to buy low and sell high. If you can sell them a mobile home for an attractive price, many dealers will act quickly. While in the office, find out from this dealer what homes they will purchase. Age? Size? Location? Price? Aim to speak with the manager in charge.
You can explore how they can work with you.
Dealers often work with vacant land owners. Whether you have a vacant, unimproved parcel of land or a piece of land that is all-ready for a mobile home, you have a valuable piece of property for the right buyer. Dealers often keep lists of land for sale in case a qualified mobile home buyer needs a vacant lot.
You can ask them to pass your number around.
While I have never purchased a mobile home from a dealer, I have profited from my relationships with dealers simply by being well-known. Build rapport with local dealers and find out if they ever pass on purchasing homes for any reason. If any mobile homes do not fit their purchase criteria, they may fit yours. Encourage all dealers and their salesmen to pass along your name and number to any mobile home seller they are not interested in working with.
Investors: Do you work with builders and dealers of mobile homes? Why or why not?
Leave your comments below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.