- Mobile-home-park values are rising faster than any other type of real estate.
- There’s a growing internet obsession with buying the parks for passive income.
- The reality is a lot harder than it might appear on the internet.
In 2014, Ryan Narus had his nose to the grindstone as a student at Wake Forest University’s prestigious MBA program, with a dream of owning his own business. Three years later, he found himself helping people move into RVs and mobile homes in La Costa, a trailer park just south of Atlanta, and collecting rent.
It was all part of a master plan — Narus bought into a general partnership of the park, the revenue from which he was reinvesting in his business. And as the park’s manager living in a no-cost double-wide, he earned another $35,000 a year, enough to satisfy him for about a year as he scaled up his investments.
Five years later, living outside the park with his family and owning equity in 26 properties, Narus is pulling in a six-figure income and helping others follow his path with the tool that helped him get where he is: the internet.
“Like any broke millennial, I had to rub together two pennies to get by,” Narus said of his early years in the business. “I self-educated with whatever resources were available to me, all of which were online.”
Narus has taken that online advice and developed a platform himself. As an influencer, he hosts the popular podcast “Mobile Home Park In Real Life,” which has been downloaded about 100,000 times and has drawn more than 5,000 followers on his LinkedIn page.
There’s been an explosion of internet interest in mobile-home investments, especially during the pandemic as Americans with means seek passive income. Legions of LinkedIn and Facebook users have joined groups aimed at sharing knowledge about success in the industry; tens of thousands of listeners tune into podcasts and YouTube videos on how to get started; and hundreds of thousands more follow Instagram influencers advocating the parks as a path to financial freedom without working too much.
On its face, the mobile-home industry has some favorable tailwinds. Some 22 million Americans, or about 6.5% of the US population, live in mobile homes, according to the Mobile Home Institute, and the value of the properties where the homes are parked is growing faster than any other real-estate asset in the country over the past several years, according to Green Street Advisors. Site rents are rising 3.5% on average each year, the MHI data shows.
The rising interest online for mobile-home parks is coming up against what is an acute problem across all kinds of US real estate: a lack of supply. …….