Are Mobile Homes a Good Investment? Examining the Pros and Cons

Ever considered investing in mobile homes? This article explores this market opportunity, detailing the pros and cons of mobile home ownership. It provides a guide for entering this niche, covering market research, managing assets, and maximizing profits.

Nichole Stohler
Last Updated
June 14, 2024
Are Mobile Homes a Good Investment? Examining the Pros and Cons

Mobile homes represent an under-the-radar investment opportunity with staggering income potential. While many investors chase single-family home deals, the often-overlooked mobile home market provides a low-cost entry point to generating impressive returns. The numbers tell a compelling story: in January 2024, the average sales price of a mobile home was just $78,900. Compare that to the $513,100 average for a traditional site-built home during the same period — that's a difference of 84%!

With such a massive delta in upfront costs, mobile home investors can realize outsized returns from affordable rental rates. This article explores how to capitalize on this profitable niche investment. You'll learn the fundamentals of mobile home investing, from the various property types to the key advantages like high demand for low-cost housing. We also cover the potential pitfalls to watch out for and the steps you can take to invest in this niche.

For investors seeking an alternative pathway to building wealth through real estate, mobile homes could unlock a high-return gold mine.

The basics of mobile homes

A mobile home, sometimes also called a manufactured home, is a prefabricated structure built in a factory and then transported to a site where someone lives. It's different from a traditional home because it's on a permanently attached chassis that can travel if necessary. Even though you can move them, most mobile homes stay in one location permanently.

The construction process of manufactured homes involves standardized designs and materials, which helps to keep costs lower than those of traditional site-built homes.

Once delivered to a location, manufactured homes get installed in mobile home parks or on private land. Like traditional homes, these properties have essential living amenities such as plumbing, heating, and electrical systems.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) governs regulations and standards for mobile homes, making sure that these properties meet specific safety and construction criteria.

Types of mobile homes

Manufactured homes come in several types based on size and structure:

  • Single-wide mobile homes: This is the most basic type, ranging from 600 to 1,300 square feet. Built as a single unit, they are narrow and compact, making them easier to transport and less expensive.
  • Double-wide mobile homes: These homes consist of two sections joined on-site and offer 1,000 to 2,300 square feet of living space.
  • Triple-wide mobile homes: Made up of three sections and exceeding 2,300 square feet, these homes offer even more space and design flexibility. They resemble the layout and feel of site-built homes with multiple bedrooms, larger kitchens, and additional living areas.
  • Park model homes: These tiny homes under 400 square feet are for temporary or seasonal living. Common in RV parks, they are built on a single chassis for easy mobility but offer limited space and amenities.
  • Modular homes: This related category includes modern manufactured homes built in sections in a factory and assembled on-site. They are different from typical mobile homes because they reside on a permanent foundation and must follow local building codes.

The advantages of mobile home investing

Investing in mobile homes offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for many real estate investors:


Mobile homes cost less to purchase than traditional site-built homes. This lower cost of entry makes it easier for investors to start or expand their real estate portfolios. Monthly costs might be just a few hundred dollars compared to a single-family home mortgage payment.

High demand for workforce housing

There is a consistent demand for affordable housing, and mobile homes cater to this market. They provide a viable housing option for people and families with lower incomes. Because of this, mobile homes tend to have a steady pool of potential renters or buyers, which reduces vacancy rates.

High returns

Due to lower purchase prices and consistent rental demand, mobile home investments can yield great returns on investment. For example, say you buy a mobile home for $30,000 and rent it out for $600 per month. This gives you a stable income stream with a 24% annual ROI.


Mobile homes can be moved if needed, which provides flexibility in location and potential market changes. This mobility can be beneficial if an area becomes less desirable or better opportunities arise elsewhere.


Similar to investing in a condo within a community that offers amenities, owning a mobile home in a park allows you to offer these perks to your tenants. Many mobile home parks feature playgrounds, swimming pools, and community centers, which can attract renters and justify higher rental rates.

Less competition

The mobile home investment market often has less competition compared to traditional real estate markets. This can provide investors with more opportunities to find good deals and negotiate favorable terms with sellers.

The disadvantages of mobile home investing

Investing in mobile homes also comes with certain disadvantages that potential investors should consider:


Traditional real estate appreciates over time, but mobile homes tend to do the opposite and depreciate in value, similar to vehicles. Appreciation can significantly contribute to an investor's return, so losing this benefit can reduce overall profitability.

Financing challenges

Getting financing for mobile homes can be more difficult compared to traditional homes. Many lenders view mobile homes as higher-risk investments, which translates to higher interest rates and stricter loan terms. Many mobile home investors use creative financing strategies like lease options or seller financing.

Land and ownership issues

If the investor does not own the mobile home's land, they may face challenges such as:

  • Lease renewal uncertainties: There is a risk of land leases not being renewed, which can disrupt long-term plans and may require you to relocate the mobile home.
  • Rising land rent: Increasing land rent can reduce overall profitability by increasing costs and decreasing net income.
  • Restrictions or rules: Rules and regulations may limit improvements, tenant selection, and other aspects of property management, affecting returns.

Parks may also charge fees for amenities, which can also impact your profits.


Insurance for mobile homes can be more expensive, especially in areas that experience natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. This can increase your overall cost of ownership.

Zoning and regulatory issues

Local zoning laws and regulations may restrict where manufactured homes can reside, limiting investment opportunities. Changes in zoning laws can also impact the value and usability of mobile home properties.

How to invest in mobile homes

Here are the steps you can take to start investing in manufactured homes:

Research the market

To start investing in manufactured homes, assess the situation in your chosen real estate market. Focus on local housing trends, especially the demand for affordable housing and average rental rates.

The data from the Manufactured Housing Institute provides detailed information and industry statistics. In addition, visit local mobile home parks to see conditions firsthand and chat with park managers to learn more about their occupancy rates and community amenities.

Determine your investment strategy

Decide whether you want to invest in individual mobile homes, mobile home parks, or both. Each strategy has its own set of advantages and challenges, including:

Individual manufactured homes

  • Require less capital to purchase.
  • Easier to manage with fewer tenants.
  • Limited income potential from a single unit.
  • Typically depreciate in value over time.

Mobile home parks

  • Requires higher initial investment but potentially higher returns.
  • Income from multiple rental units, reducing risk.
  • Appreciation potential from the land itself.
  • More complex management due to multiple tenants.

Secure financing

Explore your financing options. Traditional mortgages might be challenging, but consider other avenues such as:

  • Seller financing.
  • Partnerships with other investors.
  • Specialized lenders in the mobile home space.
  • HELOC or home equity loans.

Find a property

Look for mobile homes or parks that meet your investment criteria. Work with real estate agents who specialize in mobile homes or search online listings and local classifieds. Try sites like:

  • Craigslist
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • LoopNet (for mobile home parks)
  • Zillow

Conduct due diligence

Perform thorough inspections of the mobile homes and parks you're interested in. Here are some key items to check:

For buying a single mobile home:

  • Structural issues: Verify the mobile home is structurally sound with no significant damage.
  • Repairs: Identify any repairs needed and estimate the costs.
  • Local building codes: Confirm that the property complies with all local regulations and codes.

For buying a mobile home park:

  • Park reputation: Research the reputation of the mobile home park, including any reviews or complaints.
  • Occupancy rate: Confirm that the park has a stable occupancy rate, indicating consistent demand.
  • Rent roll: Analyze the rent roll to evaluate current rents and tenant payment history.
  • Lease terms: Review the terms of existing leases to understand tenant agreements.
  • Utilities and infrastructure: Check the condition and management of utilities and infrastructure, such as water, sewer, and electrical systems.
  • Zoning and land use restrictions: Verify the property is zoned for mobile homes and check for any land use restrictions.
  • Environmental hazards: Research any potential environmental hazards or contamination on the property.
  • Financial records: Review the financial records of the park to understand income, expenses, and profitability.

Market your property

Once you've purchased a property, advertise your mobile home or park to attract tenants. Use online platforms, local classifieds, and signage in the park to reach potential renters.

Tools for managing mobile homes

Once you own a property, using property management software like Azibo can help maximize the profit of your mobile home real estate investments. Here's how:

  • Rental applications: Azibo simplifies rental applications with online forms and automated application tracking. This makes it easier to keep track of statuses and fill vacancies quickly when you have tenant turnover.
  • Tenant screening: The software allows you to order tenant screening and background checks, which can help you find reliable renters and reduce the risk of problematic tenants.
  • State-specific lease agreements: Once you've selected a renter for your mobile home, Azibo's state-specific lease agreements help you comply with local laws. You can be confident that your rental contracts are legally sound and protect your rights as a real estate investor.
  • Rent collection: Azibo allows for easy online rent collection, which increases the chances of timely payments and reduces the hassle of manual collection.
  • Maintenance management: Azibo helps track and manage tenant maintenance requests so you can quickly resolve issues and keep your mobile home in good condition.
  • Financial tracking: To help you get a firm handle on how your business is performing, Azibo's accounting, financial tracking, and reporting helps monitor income and expenses. You can use this data to make investment decisions for your real property.
  • Insurance: Getting landlord insurance helps protect your property. Requiring renter's insurance for your tenants is also a good idea, as it provides coverage for their personal property and liability protection.

Mobile homes: good investment?

Mobile homes present a great opportunity to generate impressive cash flows from a relatively small investment. With the potential for strong returns, flexibility, and high demand, this niche deserves serious consideration.

Do your due diligence on market dynamics and regulations to find the right properties and parks that fit your criteria. With rental rates rising, providing affordable options through mobile home investing can be a win-win, allowing you to make a profit while helping address a major challenge facing communities today.

So, keep an open mind to this overlooked sector. Crunch the numbers and see if mobile homes deserve a place in your portfolio. The upside potential could make venturing off the beaten path worthwhile.

Are mobile homes a good investment? FAQs

Do mobile homes have good resale value?

Mobile homes typically do not have good resale value, as they tend to depreciate over time, similar to vehicles. However, well-maintained homes in desirable locations can retain some value.

Is it possible to increase the value of a mobile home?

Yes, you can increase the value of a mobile home through renovations, regular maintenance, and improvements to its location or surroundings, such as landscaping or amenities.

Are mobile homes a good short-term investment?

Mobile homes can be a good short-term investment due to their lower purchase cost and high demand for affordable housing. They can also provide quick rental income. However, be aware that they typically depreciate in value, which limits resale profits.

Important Note: This post is for informational and educational purposes only. It should not be taken as legal, accounting, or tax advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for such services. Always consult your own legal, accounting, or tax counsel before taking any action based on this information.

Nichole Stohler

Nichole co-founded Gateway Private Equity Group, with a history of investments in single-family and multi-family properties, and now a specialization in hotel real estate investments. She is also the creator of, a blog dedicated to real estate investing.

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