Surely I need to be rich to invest in a Mobile Home Park?
Do you really need to already be rich to invest in mobile home parks? Or are there opportunities for those still building their wealth and income?
Who is Mobile Home Park Investing for?
Today we mostly hear about seriously wealthy and sophisticated investors trending towards mobile homes. Names like multi-billionaire Warren Buffet are instantly associated with it. As are top talent from Wall Street and Silicon Valley who are cashing out of their stressful old lives in favor of this passive income and wealth building vehicle.
This creates an aura and impression that you already have to have a few million in the bank from some big trades, or IPOs to participate in mobile home park investing. It is true that this can be a great place for wealthy global investors to protect their capital, grow what they already have, and achieve attractive yields and cash flow. But it isn’t an exclusive club or prerequisite. At least not yet.
In fact, when surveying the new investment landscape, this is one of the few great investment opportunities that is still open to both accredited, and non-accredited investors. And via direct investment, without all the fees too. The JOBS Act was implemented in 2012 to help widen access to investments to all individuals in America. Yet, sadly at the time of this report the portals and platforms set up to capitalize on this still restrict investment to the same old exclusive club. Mobile home park investing may be the best opportunity for those looking to invest like the pros, without all the junk.
So just how much money do you need to start investing in this niche? How can you find more if you need it?
How Much do Mobile Home Parks Cost?
To really put the debate of how much you need to invest in mobile home parks in perspective it helps to know how much they cost. There are obviously parks selling for several million dollars. But, few might realize that there are mobile home parks for sale for $60,000 or less too. That’s less than the cost of an extra parking space in some cities.
Price ranges for mobile home parks vary widely depending on where they are located, how many sites they have, features, and other factors. So if you live in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Miami, it is important to know that there are some incredibly inexpensive opportunities out there if you look. You may need to look out of your city or state, but there are affordable deals to be had.
For those that want to just dip their toes in and have no credit, or money at all there are even individual lots available for purchase.
How Much Money Does It Take Out Of Pocket?
While financing a mobile home park acquisition isn’t always as simple as getting a regular home loan, where you have endless lenders begging you to fill out a 2 minute application online, there are options. So you don’t even have to pay all cash for these investments.
Some of the better funding sources for this type of real estate may come from:
- Local community banks and credit unions
- Commercial real estate lenders
- Private mortgage lenders
- Crowd and peer to peer funding
Owner financing is also reasonably common and popular when it comes to selling mobile home parks. You may be able to find a park with an acceptable number of units in a good market for as little as $19,000 down, with the balance payable in installments to the previous owner. This helps them sell faster, and may help them minimize their tax liability, while maintaining a stream of income. It’s a win-win. Though do make sure to do all of your due diligence, and ensure you are getting competitive rates and terms, and are not crushing your cash flow.
In addition to down payment, and deposits, there may be closing costs. These can vary widely, but can often be financed in.
No matter what type of real estate you are investing in it pays to have some reserves. Reserves help cover emergencies and vacancies, as well as future maintenance and replacements. Most lenders typically look for borrowers to have 3 to 6 months of operating expenses as reserves. So this is a good benchmark to shoot for. If you don’t have that much, make it a goal to get there as fast as you can by setting aside a portion of the monthly rents.
Note that along with the immediate returns and cash flow from buying a performing income property one of the perks is receiving tenant deposits and prorated rents at closing. You can’t spend the deposits, but they do offer cushion in case any residents do default.
Finding the Money
For those that are still short on the down payment and out of pocket expenses to acquire a mobile home park investment, there are still a variety of sources to be tapped.
- Partnering up
- Co-investing with friends and family
- Unsecured loans and lines of credit
- Asset based lending and bridge loans based upon other investment properties you own
- Rolling over retirement funds to a self-directed IRA
While mobile home park investing is obviously attractive to the uber-wealthy, you don’t have to be on the Forbes’ richest list yet to participate. Most will find that it takes a lot less to invest in this asset class than they thought. It’s really a matter of looking around, and using creativity and know-how to structure deals that create win-win solutions for both buyer and seller.