You are talking about a recipe for disaster here, and there will be plenty of people to help you get there along the way. Don't buy these properties unless you pay cash. We have all seen the late night infomercials and the flip-this-house type shows on TV where everyone buys a house and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Please understand that these are the exception not the rule. Can it be done...yes, but is it done often....absolutely not.
You're going to be back in here talking about what you should do with a house that you can't sell. Talking about short sales and maybe even foreclosure here in a couple of months if you do this with leverage. Save up some money and do one deal with cash and then take the profits and dump that into the next deal (with cash). If you start small and slow and build this company of yours the old fashioned way, you will have much greater success in the long term. The good news is that you should be able to save $20K-$30K (depending on your financial situation) in a year or two and then you will be off and running. Each house should add profit to your pile and soon enough you could be doing 2-3 houses at a time with cash.
Check out a guy named Dave Ramsey. His story is very telling in real estate. At a very young age he was a multi millionaire in the real estate industry doing exactly what you are talking about doing and he lost it all. Worth your time to check out.
Good luck and please don't leverage up, you'll regret it in the long run.
Wow, great question and you touch on a lot of good points in your question.
You CAN get a loan for a fixxer upper and you CAN also get a loan for land. The fact that a property in unliveable does not mean you can't get a loan to purchase it.
I do not wnat to sound discouraging by any means, but do want to share some of my experience with you.
There are many factors that banks look at when making loans (i.e. location, rural or urban, many banks do not make loans under 50K or 100K, occupancy rate, history of subdivision, borrower ability to pay, etc...) A remodeling loan for under 50K is not easy to get without a large down payement.
I completely understand your rationale as far as a property being sold for less than what it is worth. You have to be very careful with this. These types of loans are what got us in the big economic mess we are in. Property is only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Historically real estate has appreciated, but is not doing so at this time. Purchasing property with the idea that it will be worh more in the future, is really speculating. Banks are very skeptical about lending money fot this type property right now.
If you feel strongly about doing this, you might have to look at Hard Money. You really have to do your math because hard money loans come with a higher interest rates, they are usually short term loans ( 6 months to a year) and there are higher closing costs (it costs more money to get the loan ) in the form of points up front and then points on the back side of the loan (when oyu pay it off). If you are not carefull, the costs of the loan could eat up all your "exptected" profits.
Am not sure if I answered all your questions or not but I hope this helps a little. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience if I can clarify anything or if I can be of further assistance.
Also, I am not a fan of mobile homes that aren't really mobile. They are not permanently attached to the land, and therefore, they are not real estate in the real sense of the word. Real estate, over time, appreciates... things like mobile homes, cars, and boats, DEpreciate (lose value).
You might consider borrowing from your 401k or stock account or your own home equity.
If you want to use hard money you can search on that for Houston area, or try to find a real estate investment club for the area. There are typically hard money lenders around the clubs.