Home Buying in Redlands>Question Details

kee1422, Other/Just Looking in Redlands, CA

Is purchasing a mobile home for a low price a good investment for a single person if the space rent is really low?

Asked by kee1422, Redlands, CA Thu Aug 22, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


I've read all the comments on this thread with some amusement. Having served in this industry as a General and Manufactured Home Contractor, Manufactured Home Dealer & Developer and Real Estate Broker, Investor and Property Manager for the past 3 decades I have to take issue with a few misguided comments from some otherwise very astute and informative RE Professionals.

First, the word "Mobile Home" was used until June 15, 1976 whence the HUD guidelines changed and required that (new word) "Manufactured Homes" be built according to the same standards as a site (stick) built home.

Some answers are more accurate than others, however. A PRE HUD "Trailer" or "Mobile Home" in a rent/lease park/community is probably not a very prudent investment and the chances of you ever getting your original investment back is slim to none unless the park/community is in a very desirable location.

If the "Manufactured Home" is in good condition and in a desirable community it can be a worthy investment. I have bought and sold dozens of Manufactured Homes and have yet to lose money on one. The very thing that got me into this business was realizing that you could make money on them.

It is in fact very important to carefully read he rules and regulations as they tend to vary from community to community. You also want to see if the community is in a rent controlled area. If not you need to know how they adjust their rent/leases. Try to find a park that offers a lease with a rent increase tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). By all means avoid communities with no lease or only a month to month and check with other residents.

There's also the option of purchasing a home in a "Resident Owned" community where you actually own the real estate under the home. There are 4 basic options here. A "condo Conversion", "Sub-Division", "Planned Unit Development (PUD)" and a "Co Op". A Co Op can be a viable option but you would never be able to refinance and/or take equity out as you only own a share of a corporation. Additionally, should you ever want a reverse mortgage they would not be available in a Co Op.

All in all some folks just plain prefer having a little space around them with a yard, a carport and storage shed instead of having to listen to their neighbors flush the toilet and engage in their personal lives that you can hear with a common wall. Personally I would take a Manufactured Home in a nice park/community over a condo or town home any day. But that's just me.

I hope you find this information useful. Please don't be discouraged out of your desire to purchase a Manufactured Home because of a few ignorant remarks or personal opinions. If you need any further information please feel free to contact me anytime. You may call my cell if you wish at 760 815-6977.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
It just may be that lee desires to purchase a Manufacture Home instead of a common walled condo and/or town home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 27, 2013
I believe that if the payment is low and comfortable why not it is still better than paying rent and not owning anything. just don't put too much money into it because they don't appreciate like regular real estate unless it's on permanent foundation, and if it is on permanent foundation you may get a loan on it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 26, 2013
Ditto on the great positive comments here, plus this: Being a mobile home would not solely make this a good or bad investment. price you pay, monthly cost, your return on investment, potential to rent out in future if you should move out.

Also, carefully read the rules of the park/community and make sure that you agree with the rules. Like Bylaws for an association, if you violate there could be penalties, you could be foreced to move the home out of the community.....

The deal needs to be right, the numbers and the condition of the property, age and depreciation, etc. do your due diligence. If your financing and land lease, plus other expenses are significantly less than what ordinary rents are, you might have a good deal. You might have a good positive cashflow property there.

Some agents have an opinion of what a 'good' or 'bad' property is based on if THEY would live there. That bias won't allow them to properly analyze a deal for their customer.

Mobile homes can be extremely effective in providing low cost, high quality housing for people in areas of the country that traditional home construction cost is greater than market values. Prefab, Modular and mobile homes are economical ways to fill this housing space.

I know plenty of mobile home park owners that are millionaires and happy with their properties and the management and maintenance of these sites. They would say that the investment was well worth it. Every deal must be analyzed for its' own merits Kee1422.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 23, 2013
Thank you very much for the feedback!
Flag Fri Aug 23, 2013
I think it's great if you can't afford the payment on a home. Plus they are low maintenance and safe to live in. However if you can afford the payment there are some great first time buyer programs out there with a low down payment. I just closed one a few days ago. Call me if you have any more questions. I'd be happy to help you with your needs in a home. Stacey Martin 909-362-2974.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 23, 2013
Mobile homes Depreciate like a car. They do not appreciate like a home.

J.R. Thrasher
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 22, 2013
No, it is not a good investment in terms of expecting to realize any gain in future value. Mobils are limited by age after 25 years qualifying for refinancing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 22, 2013
Hello Kee,

It is all personal preference and your situation. I agree with Simon. Some mobile home parks are very well kept and sometimes nicer than a house in an area you are searching. Some the space rent is lower than renting in that area as well. Personal preference.

If you are looking in Redlands or anywhere in California I would love to help.

Priscilla Walsh
Coldwell Banker Kivett-Teeters
(909) 894-9221 CELL
BRE Lic. 01936003
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 22, 2013
Thank you Pricilla. The coach is $38,000 in Yucaipa and I was hoping to qualify for a $50,000 loan for upgrades / savings. I know banks don't do "mobile home loans" so I'll have to see what I can qualify for first and then see what's available to purchase.
Flag Thu Aug 22, 2013
Perhaps. It depends on the reason behind the purchase. If you are looking for a cheap place to live that is less than rent - then the purchase of a mobile home could be a wise decision.

If however, you are hoping to own a piece of property that will grow in value and can be sold for more than you purchased - then the purchase of a mobile home is not a good decision. Mobile homes are viewed as personal property, not real estate, and they depreciate like cars and rarely, if ever, increase in value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 22, 2013
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