Yesterday, Today , and Tomorrow

Anyone introduced to the M.H. business immediately realizes the variety of niches of which it is comprised.

Each of these niches serves different goals and requires a separate set of specifically learned skills for their successful application.

The M.H. business, like others, is dynamic; it changes over time and requires the entrepreneur to adjust to new challenges without diminishing the constants of supply and demand, cause and effect, and so on. The economy for the business, as Lonnie says, is fundamentally a local affair, although macro-economic forces do affect all of us, as well as do the opposing forces of the public and political interest of elected leadership.

I understand that, generally, the business has changed over the last 5, 10, 15 years. What is different today? What has changed, and what will it probably be like in 5, 10, 15 years from today? This is a muse worth her weight in gold.


Fantastic Post

I notice too often on this forum that we want to generalize with our business models - one fits all so to speak. I say any form of real estate investing is region specific or as Lonnie says a local affair. Think about it. Why is South Dakota immune from this economic down turn? If I was a real estate investor in South Dakota I am sure my business model would not be the same as it is in CA or NC. I read posts from other NC MHP operators about how they are having occupancy troubles. I am in Burlington NC and operating at 99% occupancy. Is this an example of region specific economy or business model/operator/entrepenuer flexibility?

Do your demographic home work for your area plan for the worst and expect the best.

Oh and speaking of politics and bureaucracy I have been struggling with all of it trying to get 1 simple mobile home dealer licence so I can continue the successful operation of my little business. They love our tax money but first we must pay all the fees and fill out page after page 100+ of documentation ( in our or new GREEN Governmnet )

Great Post Bernd

Stick a fork in it- it


Great contribution, Shawn. I tend to agree; the writing does seem to be on the wall. Though regional, more and more areas are seeing more and more park closings, and more and more empty spaces, if filled, are being filled with NO new models. New models are going onto land parcels. There are some 55+ communities that have 10 year or newer homes, but they are a different animal. Perhaps that is the avenue for one to pursue, for one who is caught in an area where family parks are degrading.

Rentals may be a different story, and that is what I am hoping for. On the other board, someone had asked recently how viable a 40+ year old home was as a LH rental, and the response that stuck with me was Tony’s, in that they are wood and I-beams, and standard plumbing and electrical. AS long as they are maintained, there is no reason to believe that they will ever be NOT rentable.

I think the wise MH investor, in whatever niche, keeps thier eyes open to recognize which way the wind is blowing, and to know WHEN to apply those skills where.

I must be missing something. Is there anything wrong with upgrading a family park with newer homes?

We are going to a new home business model to fill the remaining 60 lots in Burlington. We plan on buying 10 new homes in 2010.

The weather is different everywhere and business is too “obviously”

The sun is shining bright in California and Burlington NC

Rick Ewens

Mobile homes have some fundamental advantages: They will always be cheaper than apartments per square foot. Apartments cost $50,000 per unit. Shared land i.e. a park is less expensive than individual lots so parks have a cost advantage. People want to own and “get ahead”. That is powerful. Mobile homes are the first step away from paying thousands in rent and nothing to show for it. There are entrepreneurs in this country. They will start building mobiles perhaps in their own states when the market demands. A percentage of the new mobiles going on private land will be sold when the owners build a house on the land. I see a fair amount of this presently. No doubt there will be a period of years where there is a shortage of used units but that will change. We are on bottom. There will always be demand. The brightest point is that we have an aging population that doesn’t have retirement income. Mobile home parks are the only place a person on social security can afford to live. No where else can they live where housing (lot rent) is 25% of SS income if they can scrap up $10,000 for a home.