**The land lease (or lot space). That can bump up you total costs to the point that you're not making any money on the rental.
**Park restrictions. Some parks don't permit rentals. Others permit them only with a satisfactory background and credit check.
**People's preferences for apartments versus mobile homes. Lots of people are willing to pay a bit more (10%, 20%, etc.) to have an apartment versus renting a mobile home.
There is a strategy that can work. It's nicknamed a "Lonnie Deal" after an investor named Lonnie Scruggs who developed/refined and popularized the idea. (I'm sure you can look his stuff up online; he's got a couple of self-published books on the strategy.) Basically, it involves an investor buying a mobile home cheap for cash. Then the investor does whatever rehab is needed, then sells it on terms to someone else. Here's a real quick example: You find a mobile home that you can acquire, all cash, for $6,000. You put $2,000 into fixing it up. You find someone who wants to buy it. Your terms: $2,000 down and $180 a month for 7 years.
The buyer pays the lot rent.
Sound reasonable? You, the investor, are into it for $6,000. (You put $2,000 into rehab, but got that back as the downpayment. $180 a month for 7 years repays an $8,000 loan at 20,49%. So the price you've charged the buyer is $10,000, $2,000 down, 20.49% interest. (Watch out for any state usury laws.)
But it gets better (for you). Remember: You're only into the deal for $6,000. But you're getting a return on an $8,000 mortgage. What's your return? You're getting $180 a month for 7 years on a $6,000 investment. That's a 32% return on your $6,000.
What makes the deal work? Lots of folks selling mobile homes will take a deep discount for cash. And lots of buyers can't afford all cash. They're looking for affordable terms. The "sweet spot" is being in the middle. Buy low with cash; sell for more on terms.
And what makes it so attractive for investors? It's not just that you're getting a good return on the sales price, but that your investment (thus, ROI) is less than that sales price.
That's how you make money by purchasing a mobile home.
Hope that helps.
Attorney Ranj Mohip is a Chicago real estate attorney. The information in this answer is general information and is not intended as legal advice. Further, answering this question or otherwise contributing as a member of Trulia.com does not create an attorney-client relationship. Remember--consult the best real estate attorney in Chicago or in your respective area. Contact us at http://www.ranjmohip.com for more information.
If it was such a great deal, everyone would be doing it.
After you are through, you will find that used Mobile Homes are hard to sell.
Good luck and may God bless
Good luck in your endeavor!