Mobile homes, manufactured homes

I see a lot of mobile homes for sale at low prices in the area that I’m looking at to invest. But for the same # of bedrooms I don’t know that they command the same rent that standard homes do. And I’m not sure that they appreciate the same either. Any opinions on this?

What about manufactured homes?

Mobile home prices behave more like cars than regular houses. They typically depreciate over time whereas a regular home should basically hold its value over time. For the same number of beds and baths, mobile homes usually won’t command quite the same rent as a regular house. There’s still a little stigma attached to living in a trailer even though some new manufactured homes have custom options. Any type of manufactured home will generally depreciate. The only time I could see the value going up is if the land the home was on appreciated or if you got a great deal on one needing rehabbed and you did a very cost effective rehab.

Very helpful info Justin, thanks very much. As a total beginner I think I’ll stay away from mobile and manufactured homes for now. My plan is to stick to single-family homes or small condos with low HOD in the <100K range for now. Thoughts on that?

Well, there are ways to make money in mobile homes, but I really wanted to address any expectation you had of buying one, holding it, and waiting for it to appreciate over time. There’s a guy named Lonnie Scruggs who wrote a book called “Deals on Wheels” about mobile home investing. I read it. It’s an easy read with several examples of how he did deals. His MO was to find cheap trailers (like a few grand or less), fix them up a bit, and then sell them on a note to people. He would get a decent amount up front for a down payment (often recouping most of the money he had in that deal just from the down payment money) and then finance the rest of the purchase price over a few years. He was creating a stream of cash flow with the trailers and not having to deal with tenant issues from renting them out.
Another way to make money with trailers is to own a mobile home park. Those usually do pretty well too.
Condos have their own issues with fees, special assessments, owners associations, etc. There are a lot of opinions out there about condos as investment property.

My wife and I have a bunch of cheaper sfhs for rentals. Most of them are 25k and cheaper for total investment cost. Rent is generally from $500-650. I like them. There are lots of sfhs for sale all over. You can generally sell a sfh faster than an apartment complex if you decide you don’t want to be a LL any more. It’s also a lot easier to get started buying cheap houses rather than a large building. I understand there’s potentially a lot of money to be made with a complex and I hope to own a large one eventually, but for us the cheap houses have been a good start. If you have more specific questions about renting out houses, just ask.

Ok just got Deals on Wheels, very highly rated book, will let you know what I think, thanks for rec. The model certainly sounds intriguing as a low capital outlay way to create some cash flow, even if modest.

25K sfh’s that rent for $600?? That is outstanding! I haven’t been able to find those kinda #'s where I’m looking so far – I’m seeing 50-70K for 600 rents. But I’ll keep looking, sfh’s with #'s like yours would be awesome.

In general how many places do you analyze, make offers on, and get an offer accepted – i.e. what’s that ratio for you? I think a book I read said something like 30:10:3:1 – analyze:analyze closely:make offers on: have offer accepted

Really appreciate the help Justin,

I’d say our ratio is much lower than that. Keep in mind though that we’ve basically built a system over the years. We know who we use for different things (bank, atty, Realtor, etc). We rule houses out immediately just by address. There are different areas of town I refuse to invest in because of the crime in those areas. So when I scan listings, I rule out some just by location. Then I rule out others because of asking price. If I then see something I’m interested in, I’ll usually drive by it before even contacting our Realtor. If it’s still promising, I’ll get the Realtor to show me the inside. We’ve had some houses slip away over the years, but if we want it - we usually make it happen.
I look for solid deals that will take care of themselves financially. I don’t go around throwing out thirty different 5k offers hoping I’ll snag one. I don’t waste my time or other people’s time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get the best deal I can on a place if it will make us money when it’s all done.
One of our best deals was a little 2/1 on a corner lot. Auctioned off for 10k plus $800 in fees. Spent about $2500-3000 fixing it up. It’s been rented for $500/mo with almost no vacancy over the past 2.5 years.
I’ve found being somewhat reasonable with our purchase prices has helped us grow our portfolio quickly. While someone is waiting for an accepted 5k offer, I’ve bought a few 15k houses during that time.

If I had to guess at a ratio, I’d bet for every two properties where we put in offers - we buy one. It may even be smaller than that.

Outstanding. You really do have it down to a science.

What are your thoughts on online auctions for bank-owned properties on

The expression “online auctions” may refer to different practices not all of which may be defined as genuine auctions.

The main distinctive feature is the role played by the auction house itself: in a genuine auction, the auction house carries out a series of operations for which it takes responsibility, ranging from guaranteeing the procedure is carried out correctly to providing detailed information on the goods at auction.

However, it is not rare for operators of sites where online auctions are held to limit themselves to providing potential buyers with the technological platform and refraining from carrying out any operation regarding the completion of the negotiation process. In other words, in these cases site managers can be compared to service providers and as such, subject to the provisions under Italian Legislative Decree no. 70 of April 9, 2003 which, as is well known, exempt the provider from a general obligation to monitor the information transmitted or stored, or from a preliminary investigation into facts or circumstances pointing to the presence of any illicit activity.


Mobile homes could be a good income generating investment. My in-laws have this business for like a decade and getting their ROI and profits are already given.

This is enlightening: “Why mobile homes and low income houses make massive cash flow”. I found this info at

*don’t know if links are allowed so sorry if it isn’t

I’ve been thinking about investing on mobile homes too but I chose real estate as my first investment. Hopefully next year I could do so.