Buying a mobile home in a 55+ community and being "underage."

8 Replies

Hello all,

Looking to start my Real Estate investing career, and it seems the best bet (as far as profit margins go) are in mobile homes.

I have some cash on hand, so I am looking to buy a mobile home for cash in a Mobile Home Park. Put a little lipstick on it, then turn around and either rent it or sell it with owner financing.

As I am searching for mobile homes, I am finding great deals in 55+ communities. I think these would be great to buy with cash, fix up a little, then turn around and sell on owner financing terms. It would be affordable monthly payments to an elderly person who is likely to take good care of it, not flake out and vacate, but can't have rent increases because he/she might be on fixed social security income. Basically, I would be the bank.

My main sticking point is, well, I am not 55 years old. Not even close. I see lots of people in the forums who buy homes in mobile home parks to rent out, rent to own, or sell with owner financing. Assuming you are under age 55, how do you get around the age 55 restrictions as a buyer?

Many MHPs, regardless of whether they are age-restricted or not, place limits on sub-letting.  You best bet is to go to the manager (or better yet, to the park owner) and explain to him/her that you want to improve their park and tenant base by improving one of the mobile homes.  You need to get their approval for what you are wanting to do.  Honesty is the best policy.

Good luck,


Thank you for the reply Jefferson,

What I am interested in doing is not subletting. I would buy the mobile home with cash. Sign a new lease at the mobile home park. Then turn around and sell the mobile home with owner financing options. Washington State (not sure if other states have this law as well) has Chapter 59.20 RCW which allows tenants to assign their lease in a mobile home park if they sell their mobile during the lease. This is clearly written in law.

One issue I just realized is Dodd-Frank. I would have to figure out a way to comply with Dodd-Frank on this transaction.

My main issue here was buying homes in 55+ age restricted communities as stated above.

I just speak with the owner or manager of of the park & tell them that I am not planning to occupy the property.  I just want to fix it up, & provide financing to the a 55+ buyer.

The may ask you to pay rent according to a "warehouse agreement" vs. a "lease to occupy".

Dodd Frank is a big deal with this so I am glad you are aware of that.

Good luck

Ellis San Jose, Real Estate Agent in CA (#BRE01855039)
(805) 852-7418

I don't believe your youth can be held against you. Laws regulating the age of mobile home park residents are just that - they place restrictions on who can actually *live* in the mobile home. You'll not be living in the mobile home, so you are free to purchase it. Heck, once you own it, you could haul it out to some other MHP - or put it on your own land. I do not have exhaustive knowledge of age restrictions in all 50 states, but I do have extensive experience with one of my consulting clients here in California - one of the most regulated states. And the 'only' restrictions are on actual residents of the mobile homes, not the owners.

OK, so that's a long-winded way of saying "just go ahead and buy it, but I still think you'd be better-off being very above-board with the park owner about what you are doing." Who knows, you may find the park owner points you to a few other good deals in the community - or to another community they own with similar homes.

In fact, we would welcome someone like you working in our parks in Kansas and Oklahoma. Let me know if you might like to have a discussion about that.

One other thought: many MHPs that say they are age-restricted, aren't. They are just practicing age discrimination without knowing it. To be a legal 55+ MHP requires certification from HUD. Ask your park for a copy if their certification to be an age-restricted community. If they can't produce it, they are likely not really a seniors park. In which case, you could put anyone of any age in your home. But again, it's best not to ruffle the feathers of the park owner; work with them, not against them.

As regards Dodd Frank and SAFE: I believe everyone is allowed one of these sales per year without being subject to the burden of becoming an official Mortgage Originator. Further, structuring your deal as a Rent Credit agreement (similar to RTO) is generally regarded as being not a mortgage, and hence is not subject to Dodd Frank or SAFE. Finally, HR1779 is making its way through Congress and if passed, it will specifically exempt manufactured housing.

My 2 cents worth, and good luck with your new adventure in mobile home investing,


I haven't read the other replies, but I've only lost money on a few deals and the biggest lost thus far was a mobile home in a senior park. They say the second mouse gets the cheese. Well, I was the first mouse who fell for the trap and my buyer was the second mouse who got a great deal. Don't walk, don't run. Get in your car and speed away.

Hi KC and group,

First off congratulations on being ready to take action and jump into R/E investing. Also, welcome to the BP family.

As always good comments from Jefferson about being transparent with the park managers and owners. However, because this is your first MH deal I would highly advise you being cautious and really consider purchasing in this park. 

I say be cautious because when reselling a mobile home in a senior park you are eliminating much of your buying demographic. Depending on the inventory of the park and other local parks you may have a hard time selling the home versus reselling it in a family park. With that said you could have a easy time selling it too. Make sure there is a strong amount of senior buyers in your area and know what they will pay for a 2 and 3 bedroom Mh in this area. I see you have many senior parks around you perhaps seniors are flocking to this area and a sale will be quick, but make sure you know versus just assuming there is a good demand. It should takes days or weeks to sell, not months. Additionally, senior buyers will have a more difficult time making repairs (if the home needs repairs at the time of sale) AND some senor buyers are just as flaky as their 30 year old counterparts (so do not assume that seniors will always pay on time due to gov't money). 

Mobile homes in senior parks can be profitable and they can often times be purchased for typically a lower price than homes located in family parks. Jefferson was right for sure about you being "allowed" to invest in a senior park "if" the park manager or owners allow it. You may also have to be approved by a park-community-committee of residents, this is not common but it does happen. Additionally a park may not want you to be there even though they know you will not be living there, if this is the case then you don't want to be there either.

You did not mention the size of the home, age condition, lot rent fee, amount you can resell for as a Move-In amount and monthly, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, what else is for sale in the park, local park inventory for sale, etc?

It is my strong opinion that you get to know many local park managers (both family and senior parks) and make your first few mhs purchases in park be clean 3 bedroom mobile homes in family parks that you know you will make your money back within 12 months (max) or less plus 4-9 more years of monthly payments.

I hope this helps and makes sense. If not let me know and we'll get it cleared up.

Talk soon,


If you're looking to get into this market segment, it's best to visit a lot of these types of communities and talk to the park managers/owners. Get to know this particular niche - their needs, wants, etc. Most times, the park managers and/or owners will be a wealth of information. 

I've known others to be successful with this demographic. Where some dare not venture, others find opportunities. Everyone will have a different experience - it's best to see if this is a demographic that will work well with you and your personality. 

Hope that helps! 

In general mobile homes, on rented land, make bad rentals as they can be torn up in a matter of minutes and IF your tenant fails to pay lot rent, you most likely will be on the hook for that.  Also most parks have rules against renting homes.  Even if they are renting units themselves, most do not want you doing it.  The park has the ability to deny your possible tenant because they do not meet the income guidelines needed for your home and, then turn around and sell your potential buyer one of their homes:(  The park can be friendly today, then change hands tomorrow, to a new owner that is anything but friendly.  You loose over half of your market, because your potential buyers or renters have to be over 55 and, you yourself don't even qualify.