Beware The Notoriously Small Bedroom While Mobile Home Investing

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In today’s article let us discuss a commonly overlooked issue that newer investors of  manufactured housing miss while screening a prospective mobile home deal. This blind spot and the subsequent suggestions made to you below come from a combination of my own mistakes, successes, and advice given weekly to my mobile home investing members.

Perhaps one of the biggest oversights new investors miss is the notorious “small bedroom”. Typically found in singlewide mobile homes that were build between 1960-1985. These small bedrooms will detract significantly from the appeal and resale-ability of your newest mobile home investment.

These very small bedrooms range in size but are roughly 8ft x 6ft or smaller. In these small bedrooms you may be able to spread your arms apart and touch both walls, or at the largest these rooms will hold a full-sized bed and little more. Bottom line is that if you walk into a mobile home bedroom and think to yourself, “this room is way too small” than your prospective tenants and/or buyers will have the same thoughts.

These rooms are a product of the particular mobile home layout. In 2 and 3 bedroom homes the hallway can cut into the width of 1 bedroom in a split-plan mobile home. Here is an example: Imagine a master bedroom on one end of a 12ft x 60ft mobile home. The master bedroom is the complete 12 ft width of the home. Attached to this master bedroom is the living room, then kitchen, then hallway leading to 2 more bedrooms on the opposite side of the home. The hallway which ends at the furthest bedroom means that the this furthest bedroom is the entire width of the home. However because the 3rd bedroom is located next to the furthest bedroom it is shortened by the width of the hallway. Does this make sense?

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How Should You Deal with Mobile Homes with Small Bedrooms

When looking at a mobile home with a notoriously small bedroom to purchase you should reduce the amount of bedrooms in the home mentally by one. Now offer your purchase price or terms based on a mobile home with one less bedroom.

Likewise when you are selling a mobile home with a way too small bedroom you have a few choices. Let us say you are selling a 3 bedroom mobile home with 1 notoriously small bedroom. You can choose to advertise the home as a 3 bedroom or 2 bedroom. If you advertise the mobile home as a 3 bedroom, and price it accordingly you will very likely hear an out-pour of unpleasantly surprised prospective tenants and/or buyers that will tell you their complaint is the too-small bedroom. This can lead to wasted time, confused feelings about mobile home investing, and ultimately no sale.

On the other hand if you advertise your 3 bedroom mobile home as a 2 bedroom, and a price it to match a comparable 2 bedroom then you will find tenants and/or buyers that are very happy to discover a mystery 3rd bedroom. These small bedrooms are better suited as an office, baby’s room, or child’s play room.

Conclusion

In conclusion there is a memorable saying in real estate investing that goes, “Price cures most worries”. With that in mind it is my intention to save you headaches, holding costs, confusion, and dollars when you go to resell your next wonderful mobile home investment. As investors we are in business to provide value and help sellers and buyers, but not to step into a seller’s shoes and take over their problems.

Stay in control. Make sure you are clear on what you are buying and your exit strategy.

Love what you do daily,

John  Fedro
Photo Credit: jurvetson

About Author

John Fedro

John Fedro has been investing in manufactured housing since 2002. John now spends his time continuing to build his cash-flow business in multiple states while helping others enjoy the same freedom he has achieved. Find John here.

7 Comments

  1. Well written. When selling a so-called- 3 bedroom mobile as a 2 bedroom with a “bonus room”, it will sell a lot faster. Most folks don’t know but the interior walls are moveable, they can be redesign. Most older ones have dark paneling, one can redo the walls with 1/4″ pre-finish wall boards quickly and cheaply to brighten it up. Just need a sharp utility knife, hammer and colored paneling nails.

  2. John,
    Great idea on marketing it with one less bedroom. The new tenants will probably see that 3rd mystery bedroom as a sign of good faith. When are you going to do a an article on the Dodd-Frank act how it may potentially effect the MHI market?

    Thanks,
    Ty

    • Thanks for comment Ty. This all comes from experience and making these costly mistakes myself. Glad you have received value from the article.

      Concerning the new Acts I will have something written on them in the coming months or less. After consulting with many states banking regulators, mh divisions, and attorneys there are changes that we are making for sure. However life goes on and we will continue to invest in mhs to help sellers and buyers. Thanks for asking.

      Best,
      John Fedro

  3. I’ve heard this same type of thing before and I know if I were the seller I would be bummed if it was advertised as a third bedroom with one really small one. Oh, wait. I have been that disappointed person who thinks the listing agent doesn’t actually know what a bedroom size should be.

    Could you go into a little bit of detail about how many people may be not interested in a 2 bed? 3/2s are the bread and butter of SFH, is a 2/1 just as good in mobile homes?

    • Hi Steve,

      I regret to hear about your past experience with listing agents. This is common in my opinion as some people are greedy or simply ignorant and would rather over hype a home for a faster sale.

      All areas of the country will vary however in general you will sell a 4 bedroom faster than selling a 3 bedroom, and you will sell a 3 bedroom faster than a 2 bedroom, and you will sell a 2 bedroom faster than you will sell a 1 bedroom. With that said there is a buyer for just about every mobile home and 2 bedrooms are desirable. In addition it seems there are more 2 bedroom mhs in the world from my experience, making 3 bedrooms a little more desirable.

      Talk soon,
      John Fedro

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