Which Mobile Homes Should You Allow in Your Park?
Owning a mobile home park is a fantastic investment, but it wouldn’t be a very profitable one if half your park is empty. This is the reason why mobile home community owners try to fill the vacant lots as soon as they can.
Is filling these lots as quickly as possible a good idea? Often, park owners are usually wary about who they let in the park as tenants, but what about the background check on the mobile home itself?
HUD and Regional Approvals
It's highly unlikely that there are a lot of mobile homes around which pre-date the HUD standards.
HUD standards are federal building codes that establish reasonable standards for manufactured housing construction and for the safety of their residents. Mobile homes that comply with HUD standards are safe to transport and install.
You should always check and make sure that the mobile home being moved into your park has a visible HUD compliance tag attached to it.
There are also certain state-regulated laws that a mobile home must adhere to before being moved from one place to another and installed. You should be aware of any of the local government certifications that the mobile home might need before allowing it entry into your park.
Is the Mobile Home Too Old?
Most mobile homes nowadays are very well built. They are made using lasting materials, and following construction regulations that ensure a good, long life.
However, the life of a mobile home depends mostly on the people living in it. If a mobile home isn't installed correctly, isn't prepared well against the winters, or is not adequately taken care of over the years, it won't age well.
If you can’t personally go to check the condition of the house yourself, you can ask for an inspection certificate from the mobile home owner. The certificate is sometimes needed when an old mobile home is being moved, making sure that it isn't too risky to transport.
That certificate should also give you a good idea of the mobile home's condition, and whether or not it should be allowed in your park.
Mobile homes are usually constructed in a few standard sizes: single-wides, double-wides, and not too many other variations.
This is helpful because it makes installing and setting mobile homes in different parks a smooth and uniform process.
That being said, you might encounter specially built mobile homes, much like tiny homes or park models, that are too small to cover the lot or be hooked up to your standard utility outlets.
If you have to spend a lot of money to accommodate a mobile home in your park that will be earning you the same rent, it might not be worth it.
No owner likes an empty lot but letting anyone or any mobile home in isn't the answer either.
Instead, it would help if you focused on developing your park and making it attractive enough so that you have a lot of potential tenants who want to move in. Then you can choose between the tenants and the mobile homes, and pick only those which fit your park the best.
If you are curious about mobile home community management or interested in finding a mobile home community investment that’s the right fit for your portfolio, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, through our contact page, or by calling our office at (208) 932-2821. I’d be happy to help in any way I can.
-Virgil Nethercott, CCIM
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