As published in Scotsman Guide's Commercial Edition, August 2012.
Since the 2008 economic downturn, the housing market has seen significant changes to its makeup. One of these changes has been the number of homeowners who traded in overpriced, upside-down, stick-built homes for a taste of a simpler life in a mobile home. This increased interest in a traditionally overlooked property segment has given rise to numerous mobile-home communities nationwide.
The owners of these mobile homes often are former homeowners who typically take what’s left from their less-than-stellar remaining equity and oftentimes pay cash for an amenity-filled home with no payments — plus a lot rent of typically less than $500 a month.
Commercial mortgage brokers who are looking to diversify their revenue streams should take advantage of the opportunities available in this niche. Mobile-home parks offer lucrative revenue streams not only for those brokers who understand the quirks in their operation but who see beyond the often-misconstrued public opinion of the property type itself.
Mobile-home communities often are preferred by many occupants over the only alternative, an apartment building. A mobile home provides them with independence, a driveway, a yard and most important, a sense of pride in ownership one never has in an apartment complex. That same pride of ownership is a win for the park owner who wants to maintain a certain level of quality for the property. Because tenants own their units, they likely will keep them in good condition and likewise the park they are renting space in.
Mobile-home parks vary significantly in quality. If you still think of them as they often are portrayed on television — with old shopping carts littering dirt roads and single-wide trailers decorated with satellite TV antennas — you may need to get a quick update.
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