Buying first mobile home

5 Replies

So I’m new to investing and I’m buying my first mobile home to live in, renovate, then eventually resell (hopefully within a year) what are something’s I should ask before making this purchase?

Hey @Zoie Holley , welcome to the BP community!

A live-in mobile home flip? Very cool! These are the questions that come to my mind..

Do they have title?? Don't purchase your first MH without a title.

Is this in a park or on land? If in a park, how much is lot rent? If on land, are you renting the land or purchasing it? 

Do you have experience with construction or working on MHs? Do you know what it is going to take to fix it up?

How much will you be selling for? Does your market allow for full, cash buyers? Or, will you be financing the home? What level of renovation does your market allow for?

What kind of plumbing is in the home? If it's polybutylene (flexible black stuff), plan to replace all of it before anything else.

How's the roof? If it's shot, this will likely be your second priority, after the poly.

How's the frame of the home? This is something you can't really fix but it's good to know since the home will not be able to be moved if the frame is bent/warped. 

Hope that helps get you started! Please, feel free to reach out anytime if you have other questions or just want to chat!

@Zoie Holley If it's a used mobile home (not a new one), you'll have to be sure to inspect everything. Ask the seller what types of maintenance items (if any) have been done over the years. Things you'll want to get checked include: the roof, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, subfloor (check for soft spots), siding and skirting. 

Apart from the home itself, you'll need to make sure you can get a clear title. Check with the seller to see if there's a mortgage on the home. Ask if taxes are paid up. Usually, they will have a folder for the home with all of the paperwork on it. 

Once you figure out if the home is one you'd like to buy, then it's all a matter of paperwork. You may want to talk to the local government entity in charge of titling and re-titling mobile homes in your area to find out information about the process and what's involved. 

Hope that helps! 

To add to the already excellent suggestions, if the MH is in a park, I'd consider the park as well as the home.  While MH's can certainly be moved to other parks (I guess that's why they call the mobile homes!), the park can be an asset or a liability when trying to resell (or rent out, but many people feel MH's aren't great long-term holds, but I don't really have any experience with that).  Are people fleeing the park?  Does it have a friendly vibe, or is it a war zone (likely iy's somewhere in between those two extremes).  Who would be your target buyer (hard to predict really), and is the park conducive to them?  In any event, what you are doing is awesome -  I have two 20 year old daughters in college and I've been trying to nudge them into these types of things.  As for your other post, about why do most people not do these types of things, in my experience its for a number of reasons:

1. Fear of Financial Failure 2. Fear of looking stupid.  3. Failure to look at the long term and plan for it.  4. "It seems complicated" (it's not).  5.  "I'll do that someday, I'm too busy now (someday usually never comes).  6.  "Only rich people can do that." 7. "I have kids and a mortgage and I cant afford to take chances".   blah blah blah.  Ignore all those types of people (or better yet, provide wonderful rental housing for them to live in and slowly help you move to the future you obviously and wonderfully see for yourself - as an entrepreneur, not an employee.  I think most people don't understand that our system is called capitalism, and not "employee-ism" for a reason!  I wish you the best of luck and strongly encourage you to follow your heart - especially while you are young.  And no reason to wait until you are out of college to start!!!