As an active mobile home investor, it is not a question of if you will move a mobile home but rather when you will need/want to move a mobile home. Many mobile homes and manufactured homes can be purchased and remain where they sit without any issues. However, there are unique advantages and disadvantages to transporting a home from one location to another.
Oftentimes you may see mobile homes for sale that are advertised as “must be moved” off of the land where they’re currently situated once you purchase them. In these cases the sellers are looking to bring a newer mobile home on to their land, or perhaps even upgrade and build a site built home where the current mobile home sits. While this reason for moving a mobile home is due to the seller not wanting the home in its present location anymore, there are other reasons that may make financial sense to move a mobile home from one location to another.
6 Things Investors MUST Consider Before Moving A Mobile Home
1. What zoning codes and permits exist?
City and county rules vary from location to location. In some areas you will be able to move a mobile home with very little red tape and very few restrictions. However, in other cities and counties you will need to qualify your home to first be moved. Some cities and counties have an age restriction and size restriction to the mobile homes they will allow in their jurisdiction. As the homeowner or future homeowner, call your local permit office to check for restrictions.
Additionally, call your local zoning department if you will be moving this mobile home to private land that you already own. You will need to make sure that this land is zoned for a mobile home, that the utility infrastructures are in place, and you may even need to provide a survey to show where the home will be set.
2. Does the home really need to be moved?
Moving a mobile home is a fairly easy and straightforward process most of the time. However, if you do not need to pay the thousands of dollars to a mover, then why bother? Make sure that you will be making a good return on your money after the home is moved to its new location.
Over the years I have met a few investors who have transported mobile homes for no good reason. These investors were very analytical about one or two insignificant flaws in the existing mobile home park where the home sat. These investors paid thousands of dollars to have the homes transported and set up in a different mobile home park nearby or across town. Remember that as an investor, you will not be living in this mobile home. Do not make a judgment on your future buyer’s behalf. If a park is willing to work with you and allow you to invest within their walls, keep the home there and aim to keep a friendly relationship with the park management. This will likely lead to more deals within the park.
3. Who will pay for the move?
Remember that somebody has to pay for this move. As mobile home investors, we will certainly make our money in the long run renting, collecting payments or selling the home for all cash. With that said there are typically mobile home parks in almost every county, township, or parish in the United States (excluding Hawaii and Washington DC) that will offer you “move-in incentives” if you move a qualifying mobile home into their community.
This means that if you choose to move a good-looking mobile home into a park and agree to keep the home in this community for “X” number of years, the park will offer you discounted lot rent for a certain period of time, free lot rent for a certain period of time, or even offer to pay for part or your entire mobile home move and set up cost. Make sure you ask around to local parks to find out all move-in incentives and what their restrictions are for new/used homes coming into their community.
4. Did you choose a reputable moving company?
Many moving companies are great. However, some are unlicensed, mismanaged, and full of shysters. Over the years working with a dozen moving companies, my best results have always come from listening to referrals.
Ask around to local mobile home park managers for their recommendations on quality mobile home movers locally. Make sure to call at least three to price shop and get the best offers. Many moving companies will have in-house electricians and plumbers to connect all utilities and even your home’s HVAC system.
5. Is it the right time of the year to move?
For readers located in states with snow and regularly freezing weather, be sure to consider the time of the year when purchasing a mobile home that must be moved. While it is not impossible to move a mobile home in winter, it is ideally best to wait until warmer weather to move the home and set it up in its new location.
Tip: The time of the year will not make or break a sale; however, you will want to alert the seller and negotiate the home to remain in its current location until the weather warms. In situations like this, there should be zero or minimal holding costs negotiated.
6. What park rules exist?
Be aware that when you move a mobile home out of a mobile home park, you will oftentimes be burning bridges with this current park and the park management. Exception: The park wants the home gone.
When you remove a mobile home from its current community, the revenue of that community goes down. As mobile home investors, it is our job to make a park manager’s life easier and increase the revenue of a mobile home park, as this can help ensure future deals and leads in this community.
If you plan to purchase a mobile home in a community only to remove it, make certain you alert the mobile home park manager as soon as possible. In some communities, there is a 30-day or 60-day notice you must submit in writing before the home will be removed. There may also be fines or penalties from the current seller that must be paid prior to moving the home.
In conclusion there can be a lot of value to removing/moving a mobile home. You may move it to a mobile home community that has a much better reputation and value than the previous location. Occasionally you may be moving the mobile home out of a community that is closing down permanently. Additionally, you may be moving the mobile home out of a park and onto your own private land; here there are multiple options for you to resell. Example: (1) Sell the mobile home and rent the land monthly, (2) Rent the mobile home and the land monthly, or (3) Sell the mobile home and sell the land in a package deal.
What a great business that we can pick up complete homes and move them to a desired location we feel is best suited for our needs and the needs of our buyers. Make sure you perform all proper due diligence and ask a professional if you are ever unclear of your options.
Have any questions? Anything to add to my pointers?
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