1 at a time, buy a lot and put a MH on it and sell

13 Replies

Good morning from Sedona, Arizona home of the most overpriced properties in Arizona.

A manufactured home up here is typically on a 0.25 acre of land and sell for around $105 per square foot for an older model....close to $140 pr sq ft for a newer model.

I am considering buying a lot and putting a newer manufactured home on the property and selling the package.

Just found this forum and am hoping I can find someone who's doing this now or has recently in an expensive area like Sedona and could offer pointers, pro's and con's, and maybe even find me or help me create my own spreadsheet to estimate expenses and track budgeted vs actual expenses.

There are few lots up here that allow manufactured homes, so an option may be to buy one with an older model on it and replace with a newer one.

I hope I can find help here or get some guidance on where to go to connect with like minded individuals.

Would this be considered MH developing?

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions you may offer.

I am doing a version of that, but in a much less expensive area.  Are you looking at improved lots or bare ground?  I have looked at both and am currently in the process of putting two early 2000s doublewides on bare ground.  I may pick up a one acre improved lot soon and put a single or small double on it later if I can swing the cash after I am done putting these in. 

I'll start with the easier and possibly less expensive option first.  That is buying an improved lot.  This will have some type of sanitation either sewer connections or septic system, water well or metered lines, and an electrical drop.  Theoretically all you need to do is move a new MH onto the lot and hook up the utilities.  More than likely you will have some jerry rigging to do because the connections on the new MH will not be in the same place as on the one that used to be there.  Water is easy to reroute and electrical isn't too bad but can get a bit costly since it will be three strands of 2/0 or 3/0 wire at $2.50 to $3.50 a foot.  Sewer can be more of an issue since you have to make sure you have the proper angles for efficient waste flow.  Over all you should be good with a week or so of delays getting everything set up and maybe a thousand or so in costs.  Also figure on skirting for the MH.  I am looking at $1000 or so for metal r-panel for mine since vinyl doesn't last worth %##@. 

Setting up on bare ground is easier in some ways because you can pick the exact spot you want, but can get expensive fast.  You will need to get all utilities installed and hooked up.  Around my area of North Central Texas, a standard tank based septic system is $2500-$3500.  Water taps for the community water system are $1030 to tap the line and install a meter if the line is on your side of the road.  Add another $1000 if they have to bore under the road.  Twenty foot electrical meter pole installed by the Electric Co-op is $245 (bargin) plus any customer cost share for bringing new lines to the property.  These can range up to $7/ft for line and extra poles.  Add another $800 to $1000 or so for materials for the meter loop and service to the MH.  You will probably need an electrician to do that which will run about four hours at your local rate.  Install of the AC compressor is usually extra so add another $400 to 600 or so for that installation since it is specialized.  Skirting will run me $1000 or so but I am sure you can find something cheaper for a flip.

I hired a dozer guy to build two level pads, a central driveway and two parking areas for my new MHs.  It was 4.5 hours at $100/hr plus $490 for two dump truck loads of road base gravel for the drive.  I think I will be ordering another $245 load for the parking areas.  If you build a pad you will also need to do some landscaping and grass establishment to cover the bare dirt.  I will also be putting in fencing around these properties to keep the sheep and cattle off the renters lawns so that will add another couple hundred dollars but it may go on the farm expenses instead of the rental properties.

Welcome to BiggerPockets, Clary. 

How much can you buy the lots for?  The mobile homes?  Cost to move, install septic, water meter, and electric?  Other development costs?

Paul gives good numbers for his area, but it can vary a lot. For example, in my area, aerobic septic is required, starting at about $5K.  I'm not far from him, but the counties vary in their requirements. 


The lots will cost $50K; mobile home 1,500 sq ft new around $50K, about $10K to move and install; septic $10K...H20 and elec unknown today will be researching.

They sell up here on a 0.25 acre for around $105 psf for an older unit and $150 psf for a newer unit.

I would consider an slightly older unit if it were in perfect condition.

Thanks for your response.

Yeah a site that will pass a perc (percolation) test for a standard tank and leach field septic system is a big plus (almost requirement) for me to buy a lot.  Not only are the aerobic (shite sprinkler) systems more expensive to install, many counties require you to have a monthly service contract (reported to them) on them for rental properties.  My parents own two properties that have these, but they were already installed when they picked up the properties.  Luckily my current land is sandy and the two other places I have my eye on already have standard septic systems.  On the cost to move I had forgotten about that since the two MHs I bought were delivered price.  Around here it costs about $2000 to move a singlewide  and $4500 or so to move and install a doublewide.


I haven't shopped around much yet, only one MH dealer who gave me the $10K number to move and level, hook up elec and h20.

My plan is not to hold but to sell as a package...but I may reconsider that after I learn more!

I am also going to check out a neighboring community, Cottonwood, Arizona which is much less expensive.

Clary check into refurbished MHs.  I picked up a 1120sf for $25K and a 1456sf for $29k delivered with new carpet, laminate floors, paint, etc.  You might want to check outside your immediate area because transport would probably be less than the location premium you seem to have.  I had looked at several "fixer upers" that needed to be moved and by the time I factored in materials cost to refurb and moving costs I wasn't going to be paid much for my time refurbing myself verses buying move in ready (house wise) already refurbed MHs.  The place I am getting them from is paying next to nothing for the houses as foreclosures or trade-ins and have a team of contractors working full time refurbing them.

Great advice!

I think our market leans towards the 1,500 sq ft size.  For the new buyer to finance, it will need to be 1979 or newer and have the tie down straps.

I'll google "refurbished MH dealers in Arizona" and see what comes up, thanks again Paul!

You should be able to buy 10-20 year old doublewides in other areas for a lot less than $50K and move them to Sedona.  

I'll look into refurbished ones...

I would check out FHA financing guidelines to make sure the property would qualify for a bank mortgage. Several years ago there was only one company that would loan on mobile homes. They had to never been moved from the original location and tied down. I would also be concerned with the high cost of insurance considering that its not on a foundation, with siding of brick or hardi. The last consideration is the running costs, most are all electricity with high utility bills in the Texas summer or winter. If I were to go this route, I would find out what programs the government offers for down payment assistance and do that. Sandra G

Be SURE that you will be allowed to replace a MH if that is your plan. My city has severely restricted MH permits lately, and in most cases, even if a MH is already on the lot they will not allow the owner to replace it with a newer model, even if it's going on a permanent foundation.

We just arrived friday and stopped by last night to walk the Mystic trail and we saw this 

Houses For Sale in Sedona AZ. I am sure it is very nice and looks expensive. I found it to be quite a contradiction to the Sedona area. The one thing I commented we were first arrived in town was how neat it was that all the buildings, signs, light posts ect... are hidden from your view of the rocks. This area has done a nice job to keep the rocks as the main focus and as a visitor you almost forgot there is a city here. SOmetimes it makes it hard to find the place you are going to though lol.... I just found this house to go against everything else here...

I've been in the used mobile home business for a number of years and I think the best route to take is to find a lot zoned for a mobile home that already has water, sewer and power on the lot. Move a mobile home on the lot...detitle the mobile and sell as a package to a retail buyer. FHA will finance as long as the mobile has been "detitled" and is then considered as "attached to land." There are also some other requirements' you would need; brick underpinning, axels and tongue removed. I focus on singlewides as doublewides are twice the expenditure to transport. I personally wouldn't purchase a lot that needed water/sewer lines and power setups, along with city/county tap fees. Then you are talking about a good sum of money.

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