mobile home park england

The world of manufactured homes and mobile home investing can be a bit confusing for traditional real estate investors.

There are so many unique qualities to watch out for when it comes to mobile home investing.

In this article, we will explore some of these differences and take a bird’s eye view to understand more about how to invest in mobile homes.

Manufactured Homes vs. Mobile Homes

There are some clear and distinct differences between manufactured homes and mobile homes, but the two terms often get used interchangeably.

Society, in general, may even use the word trailer to describe these properties… but no matter what name is used to describe this type of housing, it is always built in a factory and transported down the highway on wheels to its current destination.

half double wide mobile home highway

Factory homes built after June 1976 that adhere to post HUD building codes are considered manufactured homes. Factory homes built before June 1976 are considered mobile homes.

Before June 1976, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) had little rules or oversight when it came to factory-built housing.

Once HUD stepped in, many builders went out of business because it was no longer a profitable venture with the increased building and safety standards. The proactive name-change to manufactured homes was an effort to distance the industry from its current “mobile” reputation. However many people, including this article, still use the term manufactured home and mobile home interchangeably.

Inside Mobile Home Parks vs. Attached to Private Land

As an active mobile home investor, you will find that some mobile homes are located in pre-existing mobile home parks, while others attached to their own private land.

Here are some of the common similarities and differences:

Mobile Homes Located Inside a Mobile Home Park

Mobile home parks are located in all 50 states. Within these communities, the owner of the mobile home typically rents a small piece of land where the mobile home sits.

mobile home park

There is typically a monthly land/lot rent fee that may or may not include water, sewer, and/or trash charges. Inside a mobile home park, a mobile home owner must follow all rules and regulations of the mobile home park or risk being evicted from the community. When purchasing a mobile home inside a pre-existing mobile home park, you will almost always only be purchasing the home, and not the land.

Mobile Homes Attached to Private Land

Mobile homes attached to private land are also located in every state. When a mobile home is legally attached, or “married” to private land, the home’s serial number or VIN will typically be listed on the property’s legal description.

The owner of the mobile home also owns the land and all utilities found on the property. This is considered a home/land deal.

mobile home private land

When purchasing a mobile home attached to private land, you will also very likely be purchasing the private land the home sits on as well.

Disclaimer: There are occasions when a seller simply wants to sell the home and keep their land. In this case you have the option to purchase the mobile home and move it to another location of your choosing.

As an active mobile home investor, you may want to have a combination of mobile home properties on private land as well as located in pre-existing mobile home parks.

Age Restricted Communities vs. Family Communities

All manufactured home communities have rules.

When these communities were created, the owners decided on the age ranges of residents for their community, such as:

  • Residents of all ages
  • Only adults over 18 years old
  • Only adults over 40 years old
  • Only adults greater than 55 years old

These restrictions have likely changed little since creating the park.

Common and not-so-common park restrictions may include:

  • Pet breed restrictions
  • Income restrictions
  • Credit restrictions
  • Rental history restrictions
  • Number of children or adults allowed in the home
  • RVs only
  • Rentals only

Singlewide vs. Doublewide

Manufactured homes and mobile homes are made in factories.

Mobile homes back in the 1950s-1960s were often times only 8-10 feet wide, compared to more modern day 14-16-foot-wide homes.

https://youtu.be/DoXV3wzH6OY

Manufactured homes are produced in sections. Each section will require its own serial number or vehicle identification number.

Each section will typically be moved down the highway as an individual unit. Once at the desired location, the section or sections will be secured and anchored safely to the earth. Many times a mobile home is placed on cinderblocks so as to be elevated safely off the ground.

  • Singlewides (1980s and newer): 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′.
  • Doublewides (1980s and newer): Doublewide mobile homes on average are less than 40 feet wide and less than 90 feet long. Many doublewides you see will have an average dimension of 24′ x 60′.
  • Triplewides: Triplewide mobile homes are three sections of mobile homes join together at the subject location. Triplewide manufactured homes are much less common than singlewides and doublewides.

Local Supply

Through what research is available online plus personally investing in mobile homes around the country, there absolutely seems to be more single wide mobile homes in existence than doublewide homes. Likewise, there seems to be more two-bedroom singlewides compared to three-bedroom singlewides.

Typically, the more mobile homes on private land and the more mobile home parks around in the market where you’re working, the better chances you’ll have for your investing success.

If you’re curious how many mobile home parks are located around you within a 50-mile radius, follow the steps below to discover the nearby inventory.

  1. Click here to visit MHVillage.com (a third-party website).
  2. You should see an area on this page to enter in your location. Enter your location here.
  3. Next, make sure to expand the radius to “Within 50 miles” under the “fine-tune your search” options. Do not select any other options to fine-tune your search.
  4. Now click the green Search
  5. View all of your results within a 50-mile radius of your location. Please keep in mind that this list of mobile home parks will include some senior communities, rental-only parks, and parks with overpriced lot rents. This is also only a partial list and only represents roughly 70% of the parks around you. More than 50 parks in a 50-mile radius is a good inventory.

search for mobile home communityThe more mobile home parks around you, the better. There are likely more parks and mobile home neighborhoods around you than you are aware of.

Every mobile home is a unique property. Every mobile home seller and buyer is typically in a unique situation. There are no cookie-cutter approaches or purchase offers to make with mobile home sellers. It is best to fully understand exactly what you are making an offer on, who you are working with, and the steps needed to safely move forward to create a win-win transaction.

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About the author

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. Learn more about John at MobileHomeInvesting.net.

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  1. Thank You for all the great information!

    1. Thanks for reading Stephanie!

  2. Manufactured house Investing can be an incredible method to begin putting resources into land. Nice Thoughts!

    1. Thanks for reading Steve!

  3. Tim Watts says:

    This is a nice intro… and timely. I would be interested to see more in how to evaluate the value of these homes, and when they are an asset and when they become a liablity. I seem to be running into a lot of the older homes that have been maintained over the years, but may be 50 years old. They are usually on a piece of land and not in a park. I’m finding them when looking into vacant land… as you mentioned, the homes are not tied on to the deed so they don’t show up in the report.

    Again, thanks for the information.

  4. Zager says:

    after knowing about this b;log i really glad to see that there is still a blogger that is doing best with blogging service that is usually not so easy to find on a very hard core topic of real estate and the blog is really quite good enough.

  5. JoAnn H. says:

    I live in Upstate New York and I have a complicated and upsetting situation I could use help with. In April 2016 I provided my long-term boyfriend $17,500 cash to buy a pre-1994 mobile home (located in a mobile home park) for him to live in by himself. He made the purchase in his name, stating he did so because he wanted to benefit from tax breaks (he is a veteran). By Fall 2017 I told him I wanted the mobile home to be put in my name as I wanted to be able to claim ownership if anything happened to him. He dragged his feet but finally in April 2018 he agreed to put it in my name. He said the mobile home had no title. I researched online and saw that in New York, mobile homes made before 1994 don’t have to have a title, just a contract of sale. So I found a mobile home contract of sale form online. We stated on the form that he was transferring the mobile home to me for $1. We both signed the form, but he refused to do this in front of a notary, saying that wasn’t necessary (the contract form did not include a notarization section). Soon after this transaction he broke up with me and said he wanted no contact. I sent him a letter asking if he’d like to purchase the mobile home from me. He said yes, and added stipulations assuming the price would be $17,500 and wanting to deduct any money I owed him, which was about $15,000. He then stated at the end of the letter that he had in his possession a title for the mobile home in his name, and therefore I had best cooperate with him. I wrote back stating that I would not negotiate anything with him until he sent me my rightful title. I gave him a date I wanted him to send it by, but he did not respond. It is now a few days after that deadline. My questions, other than how could I be in a relationship with such a sleazy person: Did he break any criminal or civil law by lying to me that no title existed? What channels do I have to claim my rightful ownership of the mobile home? (My current proof of ownership is the signed contract of sale and a recent dated and signed letter from him that clearly shows he wants to get ownership back from me. Another part of this story: I had expenses I incurred as a direct result of giving him that money, plus there are other recent negative financial impacts he’s had on my life, totaling at least $4000. To make up for some of this this financial impact, my plan was to tell him I would sell the mobile home back to him for somewhere around $21,000. (From my research it seems this is a fair asking price if I were to put it on the market.) I’d appreciate any information and suggestions from you. Thank you!

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