I'm located in the Central Valley of California and have seen several mobile homes for sale that may have potential for a profit. My problem is I haven't been able to find a system or formula to figure out their potential. I've seen asking prices from $52000 - $120000 in the same park which really makes me wonder of the possibility to turn a profit depending on the risk.
@Bryan Shafer I just sold my first mobile home to a client whose SFR I just sold for her. I'm not the world's foremost expert, but I did learn a few things along the way.
The research I did suggests that a MH has a 30-35 year rated useful life. I know there are many that are much older, but this is how they're rated.
MHs are nearly always in parks where the land isn't owned by the tenant. There's a park fee which covers CAM, trash, water, septic, etc. Septic systems are normally (not always) shared by multiple MHs - and repairs can be very costly.
MHs values also don't appreciate the way an SFR or MFR historically have. They depreciate, because they wear out.
Home inspections are well worth doing. My client had one she REALLY wanted, but the home inspection found so many defects and sub-standard repairs that we backed out and bought a new one. It was only 15 years old and had leaks, faulty wiring, the two halves of the DW were pulling apart, multiple bladder (under the MH) penetrations. It was a mess.
Of course, MHs are not treated as real estate. Rather, they are considered to be personal property. For us real estate geeks, "personalty" as opposed to "realty".
That means that tenants need to get a personal property loan instead of a residential mortgage to buy their MH.
If you can get into a park that is tenant owned and managed (hopefully well managed), it is probably more desirable. One way to tell how well it's managed is to look at the screening process for new tenants. If it's thorough, then well done. If not, expect a lower quality tenant and the problems that come along with them.
55+ parks will tend to be more peaceful, but there are no guarantees.
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