5 Ways to Ruin a Mobile Home Investment Deal (& How to Avoid Them)


Welcome back,

Over the past decade investing in mobile homes, I have kicked myself for passing up, delaying, and/or missing opportunities to close easy deals right in front of me. The reasons for these missed opportunities over the years is varied: procrastination, over-analyzing, losing the deal to another buyer, greed, the seller pulling out, cold feet, etc. There were other times I purchased a great deal but over-spent to rehab the home, therefore reducing my profit substantially.

Below is a short list of some of the ways to ruin or spoil a mobile home investment deal. Some of these issues can happen before or after you purchase the property. Be aware of these concerns or risk duplicating the mistakes.

5 Ways To Ruin A Mobile Home Investment Deal

1. Being Too Pushy

Mobile home sellers are regular people who are looking for our help. As investors, it should be our purpose and responsibility to educate sellers and help solve their problems. Throughout the deal making process, it is important to remember to not be pushy towards a seller. Remember, a seller is buying your money with their property, so if they want your money, they will likely follow up with you too.

Example: We can be pushy when negotiating with a seller, or trying to set an appointment, or setting a time to close. Make sure the seller(s) understands how you can help them, but do not be annoying or obnoxious.

2. Being Too Greedy

Mobile home sellers have finely tuned detectors when it comes to manipulation and belittlement. Sellers know if you see them as a friend, a client, a partner, or just a dollar $ign. Being greedy when working with a seller can and likely will push a seller away from working with you. When a seller does not trust you or believe you have their interests at heart, you may often lose the deal.

3. Overpaying

Mobile homes have a finite price when selling. A 1983 3/2 doublewide is only worth so much money. Yes, there are ways to add profit to your mobile home. Also, yes, the price range will depend on the location; however, there is still a finite price for every mobile home.

Next, we must consider the risk we take as investors. With all that said, it is very important to purchase every mobile home with clear vision of the value you will be creating for yourself.

  • Know what your buyers will pay.
  • Know when you’ll break even.
  • Know what you can sell each home for.
  • Know what repairs are needed and not needed.
  • Make sure you are happy with your compensation (aim high).

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

4. Over Repairing

“There is a buyer for every home” is a saying I heard years ago. While I believe this saying is true, I also believe in selling a quality product to a low-risk buyer, tenant-buyer or renter. The level to which you repair each mobile home investment can be based on your particular exit strategy per home.

  • If you are aiming to resell for all-cash or a bank financed sale: Repair and bring to the level of other neighborhood homes. Also consider the maximum this home will be appraised for.
  • If you are aiming to sell for a payment sale or rental only: Repair what is broken, but do not over improve or upgrade the home.

5. Not Following Up

Too many investors I meet believe that hearing a seller’s “no” in response to their purchase offer(s) is a death sentence for the deal. Due to the lack of qualified buyers and competitors in the market, we mobile home investors have the unique luxury of being able to follow up with mobile home sellers well after they declined our original offer(s). A “no” is sometimes just a temporary objection. Following up is key to being remembered and closing deals with consistency.

Related: 4 Compelling Reasons to Always Follow Up With Sellers

It is so important to have a clear plan while investing in any real estate. Mobile homes can be a great opportunity when you understand your market, mobile home buyers, mobile home sellers, and how you fit into this opportunity. There are many great articles on this site about mobile homes and mobile home investing to learn more.

What would you add to my list? What deals have you tanked, and what have you learned from those experiences?

Leave a comment, and let’s discuss!

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.


  1. Hi John, We’ve moved exclusively to buying, rent to own, and Dodd Frank compliantly selling financing double wides on land. I agree with this model and know first hand the much higher cap rates that are possible. Since it’s tax season I’ll mention for others that they need to rent for 12 months before seller financing. Otherwise you’ll be hit with capital gains in the year of sale but you won’t have received the cash till years down the road. Seller financing of an investment (rental) and long term capital gains (12+ months) gets you installment sale treatment of your principal received each year.

    In all real estate negotiations a seller’s No should never be considered end of deal. Call back every month till the home is sold one way or another.

    • Curt Smith

      Hi Fred, There’s a mobile home park forum on BP where this has been answered. In short go to the top park boot camp: mobilehomeunversity.com. They have self study materials. I bought the training and went to the boot camp. TOPS!!

      More important to what in DD to look out for, is what park issues should a new person avoid and not even consider offering on.

      – Avoid parks on their own well. Only consider parks with city water and sewer.
      – Avoid parks with their own sewage plant (call packing plant) only consider city sewer.
      – Avoid parks that own the gas pipes if up north and gas heat is used. Very risky owning any of the pipes for any utility. But often the park owns both the sewer and water pipes to the city hookup. Risks but tolerable. Water leaks are a problem.

      – Look at parks with owner occupied homes, not park owned (rent), city utilities. This is a simple business. Mowing grass, collecting lot rent. City bills all utilities. Hardly needs a park manager.

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