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.
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.
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Photo Credit: jurvetson