Around the United States, you cannot drive too far in most areas without spotting an existing mobile home community. Some of these communities are operated by owners with very deep pockets, a large staff, big budget, and the desire to make every mobile home unit a desirable property within a beautiful, safe community. While this definitely does describe some mobile home parks, this is not usually the norm.
There are mobile home parks in almost every area that are mismanaged, underfunded, lacking staff, or simply unknowledgeable or unmotivated to make their community look as nice as possible. For a proactive and ambitious mobile home investor, this represents an opportunity for your educational and financial gain.
5 Solutions Investors Bring to Local Mobile Home Communities
1. They remove unwanted mobile homes.
Removing an unwanted mobile home from a pre-existing mobile home community may be an idea the community owner loves or hates. While many mobile homes will never move from where they are initially placed from the factory, there are variety of reasons why a mobile home buyer or seller may want the home removed after it is purchased.
- Buyer: A mobile home buyer may want to purchase a mobile home and simply have it removed from its current location and placed in a location of the buyers choosing. This buyer may be an end-user who is planning on moving the home to a parcel of land he or she owns. The buyer may also be another mobile home community, mobile home dealer, mobile home mover, or investor. These folks typically have the money and time to pay for mobile homes to be removed, transported, and hooked up to a new location.
- Seller: A mobile home seller may want the mobile home removed from their private parcel of land because he or she is building a single family house or upgrading to a newer manufactured home on the private land. If the mobile home is located inside of a mobile home community, the park itself may be demanding that the mobile home be removed from the community due to its old age or unattractive appearance. In situations like this, it may be beneficial to double-check with the park management if there is anything that may be done to the exterior of the home to keep the home inside of the community.
Pro Tip: When removing a mobile home from a pre-existing park, always make sure to get an approval from the current community manager. There may be fees or back lot rent needing to be paid prior to this home being removed from the community. These fees should ideally be passed to the specific mobile home seller.
2. They add homes to mobile home communities.
Each mobile home added to a mobile home community will increase the revenue for the park owner and/or shareholders. Mobile home park managers and park owners typically love adding new and slightly used mobile homes to their communities. New or used mobile homes are usually pulled into a community and set up by licensed/insured mobile home movers. These movers then work with the manager to position the home in the community, level the home on cinderblocks or peers, and secure the structure to the earth with anchors and/or metal straps. New skirting is often needed, as the old skirting sizes will typically not match up when the home is placed in the new location.
Pro Tip: Check around with local community managers to verify there are vacant pads available within their communities. Also check for required sizes of homes and park move-in incentives for pulling a mobile home into the community. Do this now before you actually need to move a home.
3. They wholesale or sell directly to mobile home communities.
As an active mobile home investor, you will come across opportunities that do not necessarily fit your criteria; however, they may fit a local park’s or dealer’s criteria. For example, if you are aware of a mobile home community or dealer who will pay up to $15,000 for a 10-year-old or newer mobile home, you may be able to wholesale a qualified mobile home to this community or dealer. If you are able to find and negotiate an unwanted mobile home under contract for $10,000, you may sell the home or contract to a community owner/manager for a small profit.
Pro Tip: Check around with local communities before you actually have something to sell. Some communities will be interested in purchasing used homes from you, and others will not have the space or financial capital.
4. They buy and fix mobile homes unwanted by the community.
Around the country, there are mobile home parks that want little to nothing to do with owning park-owned mobile homes. These types of community owners want to simply rent the land and sell every mobile home to low-risk park residents who will keep the home in the community and pay lot rent for years to come. These community owners do not have handy people, a rehab crew, or other investors they are working with currently. It can be the job of a proactive mobile home investor to purchase these unwanted mobile homes from the community, clean them, fix them, and resell them to low-risk park approved buyers. The park wins, we win, and the end-buyers win.
Pro Tip: In parks where you have already proven yourself as a trustworthy and reliable investor, some managers will secretly provide you information on mobile home owners within the park that are past due, late on lot rents, or facing eviction.
5. They broker mobile homes.
Brokering mobile homes means finding a park-approved—and potentially bank-approved—buyer for a new or used mobile home. In most states, only licensed manufactured home brokers can legally negotiate and facilitate a mobile home sale between a seller and buyer. Some mobile home community managers or owners are licensed brokers in their state, but other owners and managers may not be licensed. Additionally, some mobile home communities are actively buying and adding new and used mobile homes to their community daily or weekly. While it is legal for these park owners to purchase these mobile homes, they may be unable to legally sell them if they are not licensed brokers within their state.
In communities where there is no current broker, you may be able to become the park’s de facto licensed broker to sell all new or used manufactured homes the park may bring into the community. This may be more popular in higher demand areas of your investing territory. This brokering arrangement is absolutely worked out with the park owner prior to you brokering on behalf of the park.
Pro Tip: If your state does ask for you to become licensed, it is wise to eventually obtain your mobile home dealer’s, retailer’s, or broker’s license if you plan on continuing forward. Once you are a licensed manufactured home broker, you may then be able to help connect most mobile home buyers with qualified mobile home sellers to create a profit in the middle.
As an active mobile home investor, you truly are a valuable asset to many (but not all) mobile home communities. An active mobile home investor performs vital roles within a mobile home community when there is something lacking concerning the current management, rehab crew, sales person, or sales process within the community. A mobile home investor that knows what he or she is doing can make the life of a park manager much easier, increase foot traffic through the park, help repair damaged mobile homes, add mobile homes, add revenue, and help fill these mobile homes with qualified buyers for the community. It all starts with action.
When you think? Did we miss any benefits to mobile home parks we bring as mobile home investors?