Mobile Homes

6 Ways to Make Money With Mobile Homes on Private Land (an Untapped, Profitable Niche!)

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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Creating value and making money with mobile homes on private land (not inside pre-existing mobile home parks) is not typically a real estate niche that many investors consider pursuing. However, it is for this and other reasons that investing in individual mobile homes attached to private land may be so lucrative. In this blog post we look at six ways to make money with mobile homes on private land.

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Note: This article discusses mobile homes and manufactured homes that are purchased with land. The home(s) and land were likely purchased together as a package. This article does not discuss investing in homes within pre-existing mobile home communities.

1. Buy And Rent Both the Home And Land

First, it is almost always important to purchase most of your investment properties for as far below retail price as possible. Once a mobile home with land has been purchased, the both may be rented out for monthly profit. In most areas of the country, renters are eagerly waiting to rent a quality and safe manufactured home to live in with their families.

Pro Tip: If your goal is cash flow, then purchasing mobile homes with smaller parcels of land (think a quarter acre) will help keep acquisition costs to a minimum.

2. Buy the Home And Land — Then Sell the Home And Rent the Land Indefinitely

Mobile homes attached to private land will likely be considered one of two types: real property or personal property.

Real Property

When the original owner of the mobile home moved the home onto the land, he or she legally joined the two pieces of property (mobile home and land) together as one legal description. In many states the title is then surrendered to the state. Yearly property taxes will change depending on your state.

Personal Property

If a mobile home on top of private land (you own) is considered personal property, it will likely have a title similar to a vehicle. The mobile home and the land will be taxed separately in many states. The mobile home was never legally married (joined) to the land. This process starts by contacting your local tax collector and property appraiser.

If a mobile home is legally joined to a parcel of land, it may be unmarried and separated. This is how people may upgrade their manufactured homes from year to year while keeping their same plot of land. This process of legally separating a mobile home from a parcel of land begins at your local tax collector and property appraiser departments.

Related: 7 Ways to Invest in Mobile Homes With Less Than $25,000

Legally separating the mobile home and land does not mean physically separating the two — the mobile home will remain on the current plot of land. If the mobile home is legally separated from the land, then the mobile home very likely has a title and will be considered (and taxed as) personal property. In this way, you’ll be able to sell the mobile home for cash or payments while retaining ownership of the land for monthly rent.

Pro Tip: If you’re selling a mobile home with the intention of renting the land, take precautions to ensure the home will not be removed from the property for a certain number of years.

3. Buy the Home And Land — Then Resell Both For Cash or Bank Financing

This exit strategy may be what most investors think of when they hear “mobile home investing.” Depending on local supply and demand, your ability to quickly resell or flip mobile homes on private land may or may not be realistic. With that said, your sales asking price should be attractive to many buyers in your local marketplace.

Pro Tip: Be certain you are confident on your exit strategy and realistic sales numbers prior to making any purchase offers. Verify comparable sales figures thoroughly.

4. Add More Homes

Check with your local code department about adding more mobile homes to your existing land. In more rural areas, adding more mobile homes with proper utilities and infrastructure may be possible and financially beneficial. Consider your options, and ask many questions before pulling the trigger and adding more homes to your property.

5. Wholesaling

Wholesaling mobile homes attached to private land is very similar to wholesaling single-family homes. As a wholesaler, it’s important to know if the mobile home is considered personal property or real property. This way, you ensure the seller has the proper title(s) if needed.

When wholesaling mobile homes that are attached to private land, you’ll be selling (assigning) the real estate purchase contract only to another investor or end-user buyer. These buyers will purchase your real estate purchase contract directly from you. Because of this, you will never have to actually own the mobile home in order to profit. Compensation amounts certainly vary depending on the potential deal and equity.

Related: What Does an Ideal Mobile Home Investment Look Like?

6. Something More Unorthodox

Perhaps you’d like to try something a little unorthodox. Depending on your goals, the local zoning of the land, the location, supply and demand, size of the land, and size of the home, you may be able to consider the following:

  • Renting the mobile home out to a business
  • Using the land and mobile home as storage for boats, cars, etc.
  • Subdividing the land and adding more homes — or selling to land buyers

Conclusion

There are a number of ways to create value as an active mobile home investor. Some are more realistic than others. Keep in mind that little happens without serious action and daily commitment on your part. While there are many ways to make money in real estate, there are countless ways to lose profits as well. Have fun and take daily action to reach your financial goals. If you have questions, feel free to ask them below. There are plenty of active investors around to offer help and guidance if you simply ask for it.

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Investing since 2002, John started in real estate accidentally with a four-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 insights of other successful mobile home investors he helps on his blog and YouTube channel and has written over 300 articles concerning mobile homes and mobile home investing for the BiggerPockets Blog. He has also been a featured podcast guest on BiggerPockets and 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.

    Ally Kumar investor from Lutz, FL
    Replied over 1 year ago
    HI John, Great article. I learned many new things. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and helping others learn.
    Charles Morgan investor from El Paso/Socorro, Texas
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Very good. I currently own three mobiles on land. Two are considered real estate (married), one is separate (mobile titled as vehicle). I love them! All three cash flow around $300/month, and one cost as little as $6,000, it has paid for itself a couple of times in the last 4 years. I think I am going to give it to the renter next year when I retire. She has been the only renter, The second has been cash flowing $300 for over 2 years and I owe less than $13,000 at this point. (I put in $6,000 in repairs). The third has been cash flowing $300 for over one year, I owe $18,500. I put about $7,000 in repairs on that one and a down payment of $6,000. It is in a resort town and very popular.
    Cheryl Dekoevend from Tucson, AZ
    Replied 5 months ago
    Hi John. This is a great article. Thank you for posting. I am just getting started and investing in a mobile home seems easier to acquire. I have questions about redoing the plumbing and electrical and estimating the cost. Do you have any resources or suggestions on where to start? I am in Tucson,AZ.