7 Advantages to Working With Mobile Home Builders & Dealers as an Investor

by | BiggerPockets.com

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.

Related: 6 Reactions People Have When They Learn I’m a Mobile Home Investor

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.

Related: 6 Ways In-Park Mobile Home Sellers Operate Differently Than Traditional Home Sellers

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!


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. Curt Smith

    hi John I agree with working with large mobile home manufacturers like Clayton.

    today the scarcity of used single wides in the expense of moving and rehabbing being so high the new home manufacturers have completely changed the equation in favor of buying new homes with Century 21 Community cash program financing.

    we went to the Birmingham Alabama Clayton home show last Wednesday amazing the great product that is so cheap these days 19005 a perfectly nice 14 foot 3 bed 2 bath single wide for about 24,000 you get a 16 foot that’s really nice.

    then we talked to the Century 21 Community cash program folks they will finance a hundred percent of the home moving and setup and do the financing to the tenant buyer in the community owner has zero out-of-pocket to add new homes to existing lots. the Century 21 cash program application is as thick and as bad as qualifying for Park financing but after all that’s what they’re doing so once you get through the application process putting new homes at zero cost in your community can happen as fast as the home manufacturer can’t schedule and get them to you.

    Good luck.

    • Curt Smith

      Typo correction: the lender that is working with clayton that will do 100% financing of new clayton homes to be moved into your lot is: 21st Mortgage. The Community CASH program finances new clayton homes for parks.

      Examples: True Home has a 14’x72′ 3/2 basic home for $19k plus hauling, setup and ac putting total cost in a park near a factory at around $25k. Financed to a tenant this might be a $350/mo mortgage plus lot rent is the total a tenant would be paying. We are raising lot rent for the new homes coming in.

      Riverbirtch has a nicer home for $23k plus shipping, setup and act putting total at around $29k with a proportionately larger mortgage.

      Contact Betty: BettyBeeler at 21STMORTGAGE.COM

      We found wholesale HVAC to be cheapest at: http://www.blevinsinc.com they are nationwide. Setup your park’s account and see what discount you get. A 3ton split heat pump 14seer is around $2.2k plus install which they find local installers for often around $700 per.

  2. Hi Curt, Can you expand on the Century 21 Community Cash program? A google search did not show me anything. I have been a SFR investor for 7 years, but now have a couple of lots I would like to develop and a mobile might be the answer for at least one of them. Thanks, Steve

  3. Paul Winka

    John, you mention that older mobile homes pale in comparison to the new ones available at dealerships. What have these newer mobile homes with more features done to the value of older homes? They must have really plummeted.

  4. Curt Smith

    @paul see my reply to my own comment, the 1st comment above.

    It’s simple to buy direct from a MH factory. Each state has licensing to become a MH retailer, and licensing to become a MH salesman. In AL (where our park is) the Retail license was $200/yr plus a security bond policy of $$200/yr plus the salesman license and 1 day training was $200. Now you can buy from the MH factory at wholesale.

    New MHs have droped in price like a rock and quality up.

    – CLayton True Home: 14’x72′ 3 bed/ 2bath = $19k At this price it doesn’t make sense to buy used and haul and rehab. The true home after hauling, setup, HVAC is around $25k in the park ready to move in.

    See above re the 21st Mortgage community cash program that will finance 100% of that $25k. Removing the only limiting factor for a park with empty pads or expansoin space from doing the expansion. Other than roads, septic, water piping, sometimes power lines the park has to front these infrastructure expenses but no longer have to front buying the homes.

    If you want the homes for park owned, 21st mortgage allows that too.

Leave A Reply

Pair a profile with your post!

Create a Free Account


Log In Here