Putting a Manufactured Home on Your Vacant Land... Worth the Hassle?

Hey RETipster Forum!

Has anyone here gone through the process of buying a manufactured/mobile home for their vacant land?

I am curious to try this and see if I can use this as a VRBO rental or to add immediate value and sell the land with the home ready to go. I am imagining the hardest part will be getting the utility situation figured out…

Any thoughts are appreciated… Thanks!

@nmcnaughton there is a significant difference between a mobile home and a manufactured home. Mobile homes are basically seen as equipment and they aren’t appraised like a house (because they’re “mobile” and they aren’t affixed to the ground). As such, they don’t hold their value very well (not nearly as well as a house would).

Manufactured homes are appraised just like a site-built home because they are affixed to the ground and they look pretty much the same as a conventional stick-built house in most cases. The only difference is that they’re constructed off-site and transported to the property.

If you’re getting a mobile home, make sure the property is actually zoned for mobile homes. If you’re getting a manufactured home, make sure the property is zoned for SFR.

If you’re just looking for a way to add a little bit of value or appeal, another option might be a tiny house on wheels.

Since it wouldn’t be affixed to the ground, you would eliminate a lot of the red tape of getting permits and approvals from the city or township (because you can just pull the thing on and off the property whenever you want).


@retipsterseth Thanks for the insight! Very Helpful

@nmcnaughton, @retipsterseth
I’ve been working through these same ideas! I think AirBNB/VRBO is a great option if you live in a popular area. You can check out AirDNA.co and get some rough numbers on what an AirBNB could look like in your specific area. And, for $20 (a month) you can get really, really specific data on the past and current performance of the short-term rentals in your area.

Seth is right, you definitely want to check county zoning. That’s basically what I’ve been working through (and financing a tiny home). The good news is, you can get a tiny home that is a certified RV and along with that comes easier financing.

1 Like

@nmcnaughton I looked into this for one of my properties, the most significant hurdle for placing a manufactured home is water and septic. This can get very expensive if public water and sewers are unavailable. My cost to drill a well would have been $7K and the septic system $22K+ PERC test and engineering. I elected to first put in electricity and a gravel pad then place a travel trailer on site with built-in water and sewage holding tanks. After each rental, I bring the trailer to the state park to dump the waste and refill the water for $7. This was a better way for me to start a stationary rental on my vacant land at a much lower price point to start generating revenue.

@nmcnaughton hi! I truly believe in focusing on one thing at a time. That ONE thing for me now is just LAND. Alex Hormozi, who I admire very much as Enterprenuer (@retipsterseth when will he be on the podcast? :grin: ) always suggests to not pursue “cute things” as long as you don’t master the “one thing”. And most recently, Travis king reiterated this same concept on the rei pebble podcast too. I cannot be distracted now: all my focus, energy and time (and a good chunk of money too, of course) goes to buy and sell land, and I tryto do that in the simplest, most effective and most straight forward way.
That said, if I were a skilled land investors with lots of experience and deals under my belt, the thing might be different though: glamping, airbnb, entitlements…there are sooooo many sub-niches that are there for those who can explore them and sure these can be used to scale your business. At the right time though. So, at the end, if you want my opinion, it all comes to your level of expertise.