Flipping a mobile home can mean a pretty good paycheck at the end of the day. However, because mobile homes lose value very quickly, it's a higher risk endeavor than flipping nonmanufactured homes. Also, improving the value of a mobile home is significantly harder than improving the value of other homes. Still, by hedging your bets and being systematic rather than hunch-based, you can turn a profit flipping mobile homes.
Get in the habit of reading classified ads for mobile homes in your area. The first step in successfully flipping mobile homes is developing an eye for deals. By routinely reading the going rates for different years and models, you will be better able to spot a bargain when it becomes available.
Establish a relationship with the management of nearby mobile home parks. They'll be in a position to let you know when somebody needs to sell. More important, they'll know when somebody needs to sell in a hurry.
Learn the dates and locations of property auctions in your area. Watch them for mobile homes, but be sure to check the property thoroughly first. Foreclosed and seized mobile homes are notorious for being trashed beyond economical repair.
Generally look at trailers more than five years old. Newer trailers lose value at an astounding rate (worse than cars), but around the five year mark the values start to stabilize.
When buying your trailer, negotiate as good a deal as you possibly can. Find specific flaws with a dollar repair value (especially flaws for which repair will be optional) and point them out.
Consider making quick, inexpensive cosmetic repairs to improve the appeal of the trailer. Washing, repairing siding and either cleaning or replacing carpet are some good examples of this kind of work.
Sell as quickly as you can without being in a hurry to sell. If you're in a hurry, you'll wind up taking the same short deal that you hope to use to get the trailer below market value in the first place.
Make sure you only buy a mobile home you intend to flip with money you can afford to lose. Under no circumstances borrow money to finance the flipping of a mobile home.
- Mike Byers; Real Estate Agent; Corvallis, OR
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images