There’s Money to be Made in the Mobile Home Market

Multiple factors have combined to make investment in this overlooked market worth consideration.

Mobile homes.

Trailers.

Trailer parks.

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When you see these words, what images come to mind? If it’s a negative one, you shouldn’t feel bad, as the rest of the country feels the same way. So much so, that there seems to be an unofficial agreement amongst the 50 states to ban the construction of future mobile home parks.

By doing that, however, they have unintentionally raised the value of the existing ones. Drastically. And that’s just the mobile home parks. That’s just the tip. Due to circumstances like the pandemic, Hurricane Ida, mental illness, high crime rates, and the need for affordable housing, Louisiana is positioned to become the mobile home industry capital of the United States.

Louisiana is currently home to 690 mobile home parks and 250,000 registered mobile homes. Mobile homes represent 13% of the state’s housing market. With our state’s need for affordable housing, however, it’s far from enough.

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The demand is insanely high, and the supply is steadily shrinking.

I’ve been in mobile home parks where I’ve seen tenants, who were living in the park, chasing after a mobile home mover trying to buy the mobile home off his truck. I’ve heard of individuals breaking into places in the middle of the night to steal mobile homes. One came with a Ford F150 truck, and hauled it off. The demand is insanely high, and the supply is steadily shrinking.

One of the sectors in the industry that’s sinking the most are mobile home movers. When people think about investing in the mobile home industry, they immediately think of purchasing mobile home parks, but the old guard of Louisiana mobile home park owners are selling their parks to private equity firms. The real opportunity today lies in mobile home movers. Nothing moves without them — literally. To move a single-wide mobile home 60 miles or less costs between $5,000 and $8,000. To move a double-wide mobile home the same distance costs between $15,000 and $20,000. Compared to other states, there are not a lot of mobile home movers in Louisiana. They’re in such high demand, in fact, that they commonly turn down work. And then there’s the waiting list. If you can get your mobile home moved in three weeks, you’re lucky; the standard waiting time is two months.

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Another ignored investment vehicle in the mobile home industry is repair and remodeling. A 2024, three-bedroom two-bathroom mobile home is typically priced between $90,000 and $120,000, depending on the manufacturer. A used one with the same specs costs around $70,000. Individuals who use mobile homes as their primary residence often cannot afford these prices, so investors are not going to purchase these models. Instead, wise investors will purchase a $3,000-$10,000 fixer-upper and put $10,000 of work into it. Add in the moving costs ($7,000), and in their eyes they just purchased a $70,000 mobile home for $27,000.

As the economy continues to plummet, the demand for mobile home contractors will skyrocket. I can see it happening now. Fewer residents are selling their mobile homes than they were a year ago, and it’s because they can’t afford to buy another one. And investors aren’t buying any new ones because it doesn’t make financial sense. So, both demographics are opting to fix what they currently have, making a contractor’s services in high demand.

Take a closer look for yourself and you’ll see that the mobile home industry in Louisiana has much to offer a savvy investor.


Eno-Obong Edet is a Louisiana businessman. He is the co-founder of WTA Logistics, a logistics management company that focuses on the transportation of specialized goods. He is also the author of the Runaround Sue Anthologies, a literature series dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs and investors navigate the mobile home industry. He may be reached via email at Eno.Edet@gmail.com.

 

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