Buy Homes or Parks?

I have 25 years experience in all forms of real estate, except mobile homes and parks. I have $100k in a SDI-owned LLC and like the potential returns I see in the mobile home industry.

I’m thinking it might be best to buy rehabbed homes to rent out before buying a park. Give me a chance to acquire experience. The main thing is whichever way I go, it has to be passive.

My main goal is to create cash flow to put me in position to retire this year. I want to be cash flowing a minimum of $3,000 a month to add to my pension. I can look anywhere since i work for an airline and can go anywhere, anytime, cheaply.

I would love to hear thoughts or actual investment ideas from the members of this forum.


Jim Williams


If you have the choice, invest in a park.

You can invest and manage a park from afar (with the right systems and onsite management in place). If you invested 100K into say, 10 homes, its going to be way more work and effort than investing in a park with no park owned homes. And if you want a passive investment, then renting mobile homes is not the way to go.


Totally agree. Well said Robbie.:)-D

I too agree with Nate and Rob. And I’d add to more things. 1) Rental manufactured home ownership often offers higher returns, initially, than park ownership. But maintenance and management expenses often grow, and they are certainly more management intensive than park site rental operations. As the homes age, you generally have a diminishing rate of return due to higher maintenance and upkeep costs, as well as lower rents. 2) Before you purchase a portfolio of rental manufactured homes, you need to have a maintenance person/program in place else such expenses will likely exceed your estimates.

I appreciate the responses. I guess my question would be, not withstanding the maintenance issues down the road, can i get the kind of cash flow from a park as i can from a portfolio of units using the amount of cash i’m talking about using?

A couple of the deals i am looking at is to buy rehabbed units, with the party i buy from managing on site. in other words, they own or manage the park and want to fill lot vacancies.

If I bought a park it seems i would have a whole array of issues vs issues with just the individual units. i haven’t seen much in the way of quality parks for sale where i can use my cash to buy one and get a good cash flow along with potential for more. I do see where i would probably have maintenance issues down the road with the individual units, though i could maybe offset this by selling to the tenants.

I have looked at parks for sale on loopnet and mobilehomeparks. anywhere else to look?



In order to find the best mobile home park deal you need to use mulitple sources in addition to loopnet and mobilehomeparkstore. Also try craigslist (I bought a mobile home park while looking for mobile homes on craigslist), direct mail, cold calling, talking to local realtors who specialize in mobile home parks, mobile home dealers and mobile home movers.

The more sources you use, the more leads you’ll get. It’s a numbers game. Sort through all the leads and you’ll find a couple of excellent deals.

Dave Gerlach