What size discount can I get from a used mobile home dealer?

I see lots of dealers with used homes for around $15,000 - $16,000.

I am in a fairly low cost state.

What is a good guess at the expected discount we can get when paying all cash? I know car dealerships you can always negotiate a couple thousand lower. How about mobile home dealers?

Just trying to figure out how much it will cost to fill up my park when I close.

I’ve found the discount dealers (in Oklahoma) tend to offer their best price and refuse to negotiate. So be it. I get much better deals placing ads on CraigsList and dealing directly with homeowners who need to cash and to close quickly.

I’ve recently bought off CL:

  1. 1997 16x80 metal/metal 4BR/2BA for $13.5k in a-m-a-z-i-n-g condition (way upgraded from original - like $300 faucets, etc.), with central heat and air, stove, and dishwasher

  2. 2001 28x60 vinyl/shingle 4BR/2BA for $16.5k in very good condition, with central heat and air, stove, and dishwasher

So I say ‘to heck with the dealers.’

Your mileage may vary,


If I were buying homes all cash- I would approach the manufacture. Most will have a sales person that deals with park owners, and they will have some ‘off the printed page’ options. Dealers sell to consumers- and you are a retailer of sorts- and at the very least your a volume consumer. “Fleet” sales is what it might be called in the auto industry. Buy direct…

True, but this is really a question of budget and business plan (new v. used).

For instance, in my communities the options are:

Purchase used (1997) 4BR for $13.5k, which means all-in costs are $19k delivered and ready-to-rent. Pay cash.

Used 4BR home monthly economics are:

$750 rent (includes lot rent)

-$20 insurance

-$20 taxes

-$125 damage

=$585 gross profit

$585/$19,500 = 3.0% profit/month


Purchase new Legacy (2014) 4BR for $38k all-in delivered and ready-to-rent. Finance w. Legacy ($12,666 [30%] DP, 10% interest, 10 yr. amortization)

New Legacy monthly home economics are:

$900 rent (includes lot rent)

-$30 insurance

-$40 taxes

-$125 damage

-$335 house payment

=$370 gross profit

$370/$12,666 = 2.9% profit/month

So your return is very similar either way. The decision comes down to how comfortable you are with debt, and how nice your park is. Ours are more basic parks, so we don’t want to over-improve them, and bringing in used homes for under $20k is what is right for our community. Plus, we don’t like debt.

Your mileage may vary,


To be clear- I am not advocating the merits of purchasing now homes and renting or selling them, only answering the question.

In some cases- new might be the only option. I am all about finding pre-owned homes. I do not think it is ever a good idea to own a home that has more value than your space is worth. In some markets, it is just the way it is. My park in South Texas is a good example. The homes there go for so much it makes my head spin…

The pre-owned market is harder to find product, but I still butter my bread with the old, not the new…


Were those two examples in parks or on someone’s land?

Randy -

Those are actual deals I’ve done in my parks in the last 6 months.


Do you mean you bought them from your tenants?

I have that situation in one of my parks. Guy is moving out and wants to sell his home. I think I have to buy it just so no one steal it away from the park. But I don’t like the idea. I would rather spend my precious capital filling in my vacant lots rather than protecting my occupied lots.

But we must do what we must do.

Randy -

Those were homes I purchased and moved into my community.

‘Having’ to buy homes already in your park sucks. I’ve had mixed results when I’ve not played ‘defense’ and purchased them. I had a good-quality late-model home that got snapped away from me. It was hauled-out by the bank within a week or two. (That’s the last time I’ll go to Mexico for my 40th birthday and be out-of-touch…!)

I’ve had other, older homes trade hands a few times in my communities, and never had to buy them. The older homes just sit there. Except for one. A 1977 trashed home got snapped up within a month and some guy hauled it off for his mother-in-law to live in…! (Must not have a good relationship with her.) (:P)

So I do now buy the newer homes, as they are more likely to get repoed by a bank, or bought for cash by someone with their own land, and moved out. I’ve purchased several nice ~10 year old homes in my communities for about $13k in-place (with central heat + air, and all kitchen appliances, and not needing much fix-up), and had no difficulty getting $2k down and $550/month for 7 years or so. With a net of just $11k in a house, grossing a 5% monthly return ($550/$11,000), it’s still a profitable investment yielding roughly 40% cash-on-cash returns.

I’d certainly still rather own real estate with that money, but earning 40% for playing ‘defense’ and keeping my occupancy high, and helping a deserving family own a home in 7 years, … is not such a bad alternative.



Do you buy your homes off Craigslist that are in other parks or do you buy homes on private land only? I have bought and moved homes from other parks in the past and try to avoid doing so now. I have mixed feelings moving homes out of other parks and into mine. How do you feel?

Poaching homes from other parks only works in one instance, and that is where your homes are older and you are poaching nicer homes from the other park. You run the risk that that other owner will target your park and start pulling homes from you. The only way they would not do that (unless they were insanely vindictive) is if the homes in your park are too old/bad to be worth anything to that other park.

All of that said, almost everything I see on CL is on land, not in other parks, so this issue rarely comes up.

I did once purchase a home from a park (through a broker). Once the deal was done, I actually called the park owner to find out why they had let me pull the house. They said ‘because we are a huge corporate developer of office buildings and we purchased that MHP to close it down…’ I went to the park the next day and purchased 5 more homes from them…