If you have to rent, at least put yourself in a position to win at it!
Renting mobile homes can be frustrating, risk-taking, managerially horrible and, in a few cases, profitable. If you want to be profitable at doing it, there are some important tricks that you must follow to have any chance at profitability at all.
Remember that if you are trying to make big cash-flow from a park investment from day one, the only option may be to stuff some rentals into it. Putting a rental on a vacant lot and charging $500 per month for it, assuming you only spent $10,000 or less on the home, is a high-cash flow business even for a modest 10 homes that makes out to about $60,000 per year.
Building Your Rental Fortress
So how do you build a rental fortress, ready to go to war, defend and protect your finacial wealth? Here are a the most important things that I did as a Mobile Home Park owner to help me make money and reduce my stress.
Replace the Carpet with Vinyl
Mobile home park carpet and padding was invented to absorb dog pee, or at least that's how it seems. Take out the carpet, and you eliminate having to replace it after every tenant. They can buy their own area rug if they want. Be sure to use Vinyl sold in wide sheets and not press-on squares which never stick to the particle board floors.
Don't Provide Appliances
They never appreciate them, anyway. You'll get appliance repair calls constantly, and normally it's their fault. Make them get their own at the rent-a-center. Then they can steal or damage the rent-a-center appliances when they run off, and not yours.
Remove All Sliding Closet Doors
They'll be calling you daily when the closet doors come off the tracks. So just take them off now, and save yourself the aggravation. Only leave the doors that have hinges and a doorknob. Sure, it's not aesthetically pleasing, but neither is losing money.
Weld The Furnace In
A mobile home furnace is a $2,000 item. Don't let them rip it out and pawn it. It's the first thing they'll do if they can't pay the rent, especially in summer. Make it impossible to get out, with a cage of steel, or a bunch of bolts. At least try to discourage them.
Weld The Outside A/C
Again, it's too easy to steal and pawn. Bolt it to the ground, or weld it to something that attaches to the house. Don't make it easy to take.
Only Use One Paint Color On The Interior
Sure, using a ceiling white, and a different color in several rooms is more glamorous. But the reality is that the tenant will trash the joint, and you will have to always re-paint or touch up the interior before you can re-rent it. So make it easy on yourself, and use just one standard color. That way you never have to worry about matching paint.
Buy Fiberglass Stairs
Wooden stairs are junk. They fall apart. They rot. They look bad. Here's one upgrade for your tenant, that saves you money in the long run, too. Replace your old wood stairs with fiberglass with a metal railing.
Only Buy Metal-On-Metal Mobile Homes For Rentals
Every other wall and roof surface goes bad quickly. Here's one time in which the bottom of the product line is the best for your purposes. Metal lasts forever and is easy to maintain and repair.
Replace Plastic Hardware With Metal
Do you think they use plastic hardware in mobile homes because its better, or cheaper? If you guessed better, you need to go hang out at Home Depot for awhile. Bite the bullet and get rid of the plastic hardware (door knobs, hinges, etc.) early on, and replace with real metal hardware.
Only Buy Two Bedroom Homes For Rentals
It's almost impossible to rent a one bedroom. Even a single guy wants one bedroom to sleep in and one bedroom to (choose one): 1) store his beer 2) store his kidnapped slave 3) store his gun collection 4) all of the above.
Buy Homes with Master Bedroom
Make sure that at least one bedroom can hold a king size bed. They are willing to let the kids sleep in a bureau drawer, but they want a king size bed for the master. Small master bedrooms are hard to rent.
Collect Rent Frequently
Make them pay weekly, or at least twice per month. These folks are the bottom of the food chain, and they can't budget or save. Don't make them do what does not come natural. Get the rent weekly, as they get paid, and they don't have to worry about saving one dime for next week. It really is better for both of you.
If you are determined to be in the mobile home rental business, at least follow this advice to improve your chances of winning. If you follow this advice, and do the repairs yourself, you just might make big cash flow. And if you are trying to replace your day job with mobile home park rental income on day one, rentals are the only game in town.