On-Trend Investing: Affordable Housing

Warren Buffet provides one of the best answers as to whether investing in the mobile home community arena is worthwhile. He bought Clayton Homes more than a decade ago, seeing the housing crisis that was fixing to befall the nation. The foreclosure disaster is still affecting the market and causing former homeowners to scramble in search of affordable housing options.

Roots of the Mobile Home Market

The roots of the affordable housing market

The roots of the affordable housing market

The modern mobile home began as a travel trailer used by wealthy people to live comfortably as they roamed the countryside on family vacations. The military grabbed onto the usefulness by stationing these temporary housing units near factories that were producing products for the troops away in combat. They continued use for GI’s that returned and decided to go to college with their earned benefits. By the 1950’s, mobile housing was finding a permanent spot in the American landscape of affordable housing options.

The mobile homes of today are nearly unrecognizable to the predecessors. Most have pitched roofing, high-levels of insulation and stylish interiors. A few offer built-in storage areas, kitchen islands, fireplaces and garden tubs. They can be moved from one park to another, but it is generally cost-prohibitive to do this. Most tenants look for a great park to call home and stay planted there to avoid a $3,000 or more charge to move.

The popularity of mobile home park living has increased for several reasons. The housing bubble and foreclosure waves left many people with no housing and decimated credit scores. Those on annual fixed incomes can rarely afford the rental prices of traditional homes or apartments. Many people enjoy the feel of community and like the idea that they do not have to deal with lawn care and maintenance. The idea that once the mobile home is paid for, all they are responsible for are lot fees and utilities. This is something that is incredibly appealing for growing families. The 2013 census showed that there were 8.6 million mobile homes scattered in a variety of locations across the United States.

The affordable housing market today

The affordable housing market today

Who Lives in Mobile Home Parks?
Mobile home communities come in many varieties. There are more luxurious areas that offer clubhouses, pools and community centers, while there are also bare-bones parks that have been neglected and remain in poor condition. A well-managed park moves out the older trailers and sets rules and regulations to control disruptive activities or behaviors from tenants.

The primary residents of mobile home communities are those that are at or below the national poverty levels. They are generally the ones that are unable to afford down payments for traditional home ownership. The 2016 U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that 14.8 percent of Americans live at or below the poverty level of $24,300 dollars for a family of four. This translates to 46.7 million people. This leaves a lot of potential growth in the market for affordable housing options.

Benefits of Staying in a Mobile Home Park
The reasons people choose to stay in a mobile home park are individual, but most revolve around housing stability, economic factors and a feeling of community. If an individual or family has sought out affordable housing and found a solution, they are reluctant to try reaching forward to more expensive options right away. Having housing that is affordable and leaves a little money at the end of the month becomes a dependable way of life. Long-term tenancy breeds familiarity. People get to know one another and tend to look out for each other. The sense of community is tight in an enclosed park environment.

 

Growth Potential for the Mobile Home Park Market

affordable housing developments

Growth potential for affordable housing developments

With 8.6 million mobile homes in the U.S. as of 2013 and the estimated 46.7 million people at, or under the poverty level, the potential for continued growth is astounding. As baby boomers continue to age, retirement can mean living on a fixed-income, which is often shockingly low. There are plenty of available mobile home parks that are in desperate need of upgrades, whether it’s in plumbing, interior work or trailer upgrades. Creating a pleasant and affordable housing option will always bring back a great return on your investment.

There is no time like the present to get out there and explore your options in mobile home park ownership. Visit parks that are already functioning well. This will give you an idea of the goal mark to reach when purchasing ones that need a little extra TLC.

Dollar-for-dollar, mobile home parks are one of the easiest real estate housing markets to invest in, offering quick and steady returns. This is an option you should fully explore if you like the idea of a more hands-off approach to tenancy and property upkeep.

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10 Tips for Successful Real Estate Investing in 2017

Profits can always be made with the right balance of discipline during a real estate market slowdown, stagnation or depression. This article shows you the top ten tips that real estate investors apply to ensure success from their investments.

1.  Slow and Steady

Take the necessary time to learn about potential investment properties. Peruse the MLS, speak with realtors that are keen in the area you are interested in, research the comparable properties and prioritize making friends with a realtor that specializes in income properties. Spending time on research can keep you informed and ready for lucrative investment opportunities.

2.  Everything is Negotiable

Remember the age-old adage: “Everything’s negotiable?”  Well, there’s truth in that. Successful negotiating means being assertive enough to go after the deal you want, but insistent enough to always be willing to walk away from the negotiations that aren’t giving you those “warm fuzzies.” Make that sweetheart of a offer that the seller(s) look for in order to secure your deal. If it’s attractive to you, make it just as attractive to the seller and you will seal the deal!

3.  Never Stop Learning

Investment strategies, especially in real estate are ever-changing. Market trends go up and down like a seesaw on steroids. The best way to stay ahead of the game, or at least in the game, is by staying up to date on the newest and latest tactics.

4.  Discipline!

Carve out your budget. And stick to it. No matter what, a strict budget is top of the list in investing. Carefully set your parameters, do the math, research the market and set your budget in stone. Stick to properties that meet your budget and don’t compromise your budget to meet your needs.

5.  Consistent Progressive Cash Flow is the Goal

Despite anyone’s best efforts, an upbeat market can take a downturn just as it did in 2007-2008, leaving an investor drowning in depreciated real estate. In this case, while a loss is inevitable, you can minimize your loss and avoid financial ruins by focusing on investing in properties that maintain a confident cash flow monthly. Optimistic or positive cash flow does not rely on rent income or market values to increase. From the start of a potential deal, if the numbers don’t add up, start subtracting by removing your interest and funds from the table. Invest elsewhere.

6.  Make it Count

Starting off, be discriminating. Until your real estate investment portfolio grows, it may not be practical to purchase the distressed property in the historic area of town. You need time to gain a steady and positive cash flow on your investments. Less is not always more when starting out in real estate investing. That first property might cost a little more than what you imagined.

7.  In the Beginning, One is More than Enough

In the beginning, choose a category of investing and test it for a year.  For example, do you want to flip real estate and sell it? Or would you rather prefer renovating and renting? Once you have mastered that area with expertise, then start looking to take on another.

8.  Don’t Try to Boil the Ocean

Start small. It’s literally an ocean out there and one wrong decision could cause you to drown before you even start to swim. You may even want to start with your primary residence and rent a portion of it in order to get some capital flowing.

9.  Follow the Money

Follow the money trail. If there is a property in an area that can generate cash flow, you should jump on it like bears to honey! Whether your investment volume is big or small, get into sound investing and build your real estate dynasty one property at a time.

10.  Don’t be Shy when it Comes to Taking on New Challenges

If you are already in the real estate investment game, expand your horizon and broaden your territory by taking on new and different investment opportunities. Minimize the risks, but without making any hasty investment decisions. And by all means, go for something new.

The executive team at  RealtyeVest leads a group of expert analysts who acquire, manage, negotiate and purchase real estate acquisitions.

Built on a foundation of complete transparency, honesty and accountability, RealtyeVest delivers results to maintain a steady leading edge in real estate investing that yields profitable results.

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