4 False Stereotypes About Mobile Home Investors, Debunked

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Welcome back,

Most of us know that mobile homes hold a certain negative stigma in our society. In past articles I have addressed this concern and its impact on the mobile home industry as a whole. The obvious debate is that mobile homes are cheap, ugly, worthless, headaches — which couldn’t be further from the real truth.

Much like the mobile homes themselves, investors who identify themselves as mobile home investors can be subject to ridicule or other criticism. When I began investing in real estate, I was literally laughed at by a handful of young and well-known local wholesaler investors at the time. If this has happened to you, then let’s have the last laugh all the way to the bank.

4 False Stereotypes About Mobile Home Investors, Debunked

1. You Are a Slumlord

Reality: Many mobile home investors mainly deal in quality buyers and clean mobile homes.

This is a personal pet-peeve of mine. Ignorant investors, family, and friends can and will laugh at the idea of buying and reselling mobile homes for profit. The truth is, many mobile homes are drop dead gorgeous inside and out. In contrast there are other mobile homes that would make you sick to your stomach if you went inside them.

The owner of a mobile home makes or breaks the condition of the property. The more pride the owner takes in the home, the more well kept the home may remain. As investors, we often believe in the path of least resistance. For your first few deals, make sure you are purchasing attractive mobile homes at attractive prices. Selling good quality homes to good quality buyers is key to avoiding slum-type problems.

2. You Make Repairs All the Time

Reality: Repairs are minimal depending how you buy and resell.

If you have never had the pleasure of rehabbing a mobile home, you are in for a treat. Most mobile homes are only a few layers thick; what you see is typically what you get concerning mobile home construction and repairs.

Related: 4 Widely Believed Mobile Homes Myths (& Other Common Fallacies)

If you are unsure of making repairs, I encourage you to hire a qualified handyman or contractor to make needed repairs prior to reselling. Bring the home to a rent ready condition as soon as possible. This rent ready condition will allow you to attract most local buyers looking for a quality mobile home to own. Consider selling the home for an all-cash price or a payment plan type sale. If you sell the home with monthly payments, many repairs are typically performed by the owner-occupants, making your life much easier as you are typically hands-off for repairs moving forward after sale.

3. Your Profits Are Skinny

Reality: Mobile homes are cash cows.

To be fair, this misconception is very plausible. While investing in mobile homes, it is very easy to accidentally:

  1. Overpay for a mobile home.
  2. Overspend/improve an investment mobile home.
  3. Leave money on the table when you resell.

Therefore, if you succeed at any of the 3 bullets above, then it will likely result in selling the home for little or less profit than you would otherwise. As investors we take risks, and those risks should be accounted for in your profit. Mobile homes purchased correctly can be sold for many times their purchase price. Aim to triple your money at minimum.

4. You Deal With Only Broke Buyers/Tenants

Reality: You work with whomever you approve for your properties.

Some tenants and tenant-buyers are very high-risk with little income, poor credit, and a negative rental history. On the other end of the spectrum, there are perfect tenants and tenants-buyers waiting to move into your quality mobile home for sale if sold correctly. Always make sure to prescreen all your potential tenants and tenant-buyers before putting anyone in any of your properties. While many mobile home buyers are blue collar workers there are a good portion of buyers with good income, good jobs, good savings, good personality, and a good rental history.

Related: 5 Creative, Profitable Ways to Increase a Mobile Home’s Value

In conclusion only you know how much passion and desire you have within yourself for real estate investing. If you know your unmovable goal is to help others, own more real estate, and make a serious profit than investing in mobile homes may be something to consider with pride.

Mobile home investors: Have you run into any of these stereotypes before? And if you haven’t invested in mobile homes, would you consider it — and what questions do you have about this niche of real estate?

Leave me a comment below, and let’s talk!

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.

15 Comments

  1. Paul Ewing

    My #1 False Stereotype About Mobile Home Investors is that reselling them is the best way to make money. As you said they are cash cows. Selling them is like sending that cow to the butcher. Sure you make a lot in one swoop but you don’t have any more milk or future calves. Rent them out and use the cash flow to build your herd of cash cows.

    • Cathy Wells

      Paul, owning one mobile home myself, I have to say that I agree with you. They can be obtained for so very little and are almost straight cashflow indefinitely. I know that they aren’t going to appreciate….I get that. But they are still good for tax write-offs, etc. I’m a cash flow kind of girl so…..

  2. I find that with almost any business or investing endeavor you do, there will always be at least some nay sayers or people who will laugh at you. Great advice to cut though some of the bull plop around mobile home investing. Could you also answer Adam’s question? I am also interested in learning the age ranges of the homes you try to target.

  3. Anthony Aguillard

    There is always complainers or naysayers about anything. Keep specializing in your niche, you will be the expert. I have a meeting Monday morning with a Mobile Home investor. It’s an area I tried to break into in Midland Texas two years ago. I couldn’t get it financed, banks wouldn’t touch it. I wish I had tried owner financing. Thanks for the article.

  4. I had never considered investing in mobile homes until someone who does told me that he calls them ATMs since they are metal boxes that spit out cash. Lol. They are not my area of expertise, but I certainly don’t rule them out.

  5. Leslie A.

    Love the article, John!!! It is so true! But who cares what others think?
    My niche is even more poorly thought of, I imagine (not that I’ve run across anyone else doing what I do). I buy travel trailers and rent them out, making 4-500 each a month after expenses. My renters are wonderful and it’s been a great experience, so far.
    Thanks for keeping up the inspiration and positivity.

      • Leslie A.

        Hey Adam,
        I just saw your post! Sorry! I purchase most from Craigslist. I have them parked in rented RV lots. At the moment I have no insurance but need to get it ASAP. Maintenance is mostly done by my brother-in-law who is my partner. It’s not bad at all, but you do need some skills. I couldn’t do it on my own.
        There are RV techs who will come out and do repairs for you as well.

        • Adam Schneider

          Thanks for the reply, Leslie. Insurance seems like something you’d want to have! I was in the car rental business for a long time–you’ll want to decide what type of C&C (comp and collision) to carry, and what products to sell to the renters (damage waiver with or without deductibles), as well as liability.

    • Steve Richmond

      Leslie,

      I have been putting some thoughts to putting in a nice Mobile Home Park or an RV Park in the Georgetown, Texas area. I haven’t heard of anyone renting out travel trailers before but it sounds like a neat idea. Do you have any additional advice pitfalls to watch out for to offer?

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