Should I Invest In Mobile Home Singlewides Or Doublewides?

by | BiggerPockets.com

As an active mobile home investor, you will absolutely be talking to motivated mobile home sellers who own all sizes of mobile homes and manufactured homes. Some of these mobile homes will be considered singlewides, and others will be considered doublewides. Whether singlewide or doublewide, both of these sizes of mobile homes may be very profitable and in high demand by local buyers.

Sizes

Singlewide mobile homes are built no bigger than 18 feet wide and 90 feet long, with many singlewides you see running an average of 14′ x 60′. Doublewide mobile homes on average are less than 40 feet wide and less than 90 feet long. Many doublewides you see may have an average dimension of 24′ x 60′.

Supply

Through what research is available online and personally investing in mobile homes around the country, there absolutely seem to be more singlewide mobile homes in existence than doublewide homes — by a ratio of 3:1 in many areas. Likewise, there seem to be more 2-bedroom singlewides compared to 3-bedroom singlewides.

Disclaimer: The terms “mobile home” and “manufactured home” are being used interchangeably in this article. This is common not only throughout this article but throughout the real world with regard to mobile home investing. In reality, the term “manufactured home” is the verbiage used to describe most factory built housing constructed after 1976.

Related: 8 Things to Consider When Investing in Mobile Homes Out of State

Demand

Demand changes as the purchasing opportunity changes. Larger cities may have more buying demand compared to smaller cities simply due to the increased number of people nearby looking for a new/used affordable home. Depending on whether you are selling this investment mobile home to an end user via an all cash sale or via monthly payments, the demand from buyers will change in most areas from singlewide to doublewide. Here’s how.

  • Selling via All-Cash or Bank Financing: When selling a mobile home to an all-cash buyer or a bank financed buyer, you will be competing against many other mobile home sellers in the area also looking for an all-cash sale. If your mobile home is prettier and larger than the competition, your home will typically be purchased first, assuming the price is comparable. When selling for all-cash or bank financing, the bigger and more spacious home typically sells first (assuming the comparable location and park are relatively equal). In short, doublewides are more popular with a cash or bank-financed buyers. Bigger = Better.
  • Selling via Monthly Payments: With regard to selling used mobile homes via monthly payments, there is little difference with the purchasing demand from buyers when you are selling a singlewide mobile home versus a doublewide mobile home. The reason for this is simple — the attractiveness of the seller financing supersedes the need for a slightly more spacious home from buyers. In short, doublewides and singlewides are nearly equally popular when selling via monthly payments.

Repairs

Doublewide manufactured homes typically have double the square feet as compared to singlewide mobile homes. This means that there may be double the amount of rehabs needed with a doublewide mobile home versus a singlewide mobile home. More repairs needed inside the home on the floor, and more repairs needed outside of the home on the roof. The floor and roof of mobile homes are two costly areas to look for water stains, leaks, and damages.

Transporting

Singlewide mobile homes will typically cost less than half the amount to move and set up compared to a doublewide mobile home. Singlewide mobile homes will be moved as one complete unit in most cases, whereas doublewide mobile homes are typically transported in two separate halves once separated. These two halves must then be joined/reconnected at the home’s new location.

Pro Tip: Always, always, always hire a mobile home transporting company that comes with high recommendations and referrals. Aim to asked local mobile home park managers who they refer and trust to move in their mobile homes locally.



Related: 3 Types of Mobile Home Parks That Cause Investors Anxiety, Wasted Time & Lost Profit

Mindset as a Mobile Home Investor

There is nothing inherently good or bad with a singlewide mobile home versus a doublewide mobile home. Both homes/deals may or may not be attractive to purchase. As active mobile home investors, we are looking to be both proactive and reactive to help local mobile home sellers and buyers. Aim to keep an open mind when speaking to local mobile home sellers and create a few offers to help sellers move on with their lives. Take into account all repairs, park approval processes, location, local market conditions, time of the year, age of the home, size, bedrooms, and more before making any purchase offers to any sellers.

Mindset as a Park Owner

From the perspective of a mobile home park owner, your community only has so much land and so many places to put mobile homes. A doublewide mobile home will cost double to purchase and move, plus consume double the amount of land as a singlewide. Still, they only typically generate the same amount in lot rent fees compared to a smaller singlewide. Even worse, a park owner may need to reduce the number of mobile home spaces if doublewides encroach onto their neighbors’ pads. While doublewide mobile homes often may look more similar to single-family homes, there are always positives and negatives when adding larger homes to your community.

In conclusion, there is a buyer for most mobile homes you purchase. However, if you’re not investing correctly, it can be easy to lose money and sacrifice profits. Remember that any mobile home you aim to resell should be attractive to a good section of society, as opposed to only a small handful of buyers, when reselling a mobile home. Before making purchase offers to sellers, know what local buyers will pay for any property you intend to invest in. Always know exactly what you are investing in before you purchase any home, and enter into every real estate transaction with clarity and understanding.

Mobile home investors: Do you buy singlewides or doublewides? Why?

Let me know with a comment!

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.

7 Comments

  1. tim boehm

    John
    Well I’m glad to see you making money in your endeavor. But as a person who does all my own maintenance I do not recommend mobiles of any type. First off banks won’t loan on them after they are 10 years old, second is have you ever tried to repair one? Most are put together by people making minimum wage and there attitude is they simply don’t care about anything but that paycheck. Most of the materials used in them are cheap bottom of the line crap and oddball sizes that you simply can’t run down to your local HD or Lowes and get replacement parts for. I have over the years worked on many of them for clients and know how they are put together and with what they are put together with.

    • Lorin k.

      my mom has a modular. IT is the pretties house on the block. Yard is manicured and it has done well! the garage was stick built. The sad thing is they purchaced late in lives are retired and still paying a mortgage on it.

  2. Paul Ewing

    I invest in both, but slightly prefer double wides. The reason is that I am a buy and hold investor not a flipper so good, long term renters are what I am after. I have found that the double wides attract a slightly more stable family probably because the increased rent pits them above those is the more precarious income situations. Now from a pure ROI point, single wides on small lots really churn out the cash.

  3. we own 52 homes, ( manufactured homes) the federal government in 1976 did away with the term Mobile home for all purposes under the law…..you should have seen the screaming when deed restrictions were overturned here in Texas , the old deeds said no Mobile Homes……we had one overturned ourselves after showing the judge the federal statute, and proved it was a manufactured home……..anyway….the homes we own pay wonderful money, extremely low taxes and our residency average is more than 7 years, we have some tenants now passing 15 years- cant say enough about this …you don’t buy to ever sell these homes…you rent them….period….maybe a loooong term sale to a good tenant…..the market has dried up a lot , its getting very hard to find them at 10-15k with land….renting at 500 a month turns a 30% return….who cares about whether they will ever go up in value….I pray they don’t…annual taxes at less than 300 a year?!…but we do fabulous maintenance and cut grass and pull cans out for our elderly, carpet, paint, insulation upgrades …..tell you what , you guys send everyone you don’t want , singe or double, with land to me….ill take them off your hand.. :> PS repair is so easy, crawl under and fix, patch , paint and roof over with r panel.

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