Eric Siragusa is an expert in mobile home parks and he offers an asset class on the topic. Eric is the Vice President & Partner at MHP Funds, LLC. MHP buys undervalued and/or underperforming parks throughout the US and turns them around to maximize their income. MHP looks for parks that have stable cash flow and a lot of upside, and using a proven system they’ve put in place, they have enjoyed great success using their formula.
Eric shared that the term 'mobile home' is actually a misnomer, because the homes aren't exactly easy to move. It can cost anywhere from $4,000-$10,000 to move a home from one park to another. A common misconception is that the homes are cheap or poorly constructued, but Eric shared that the homes are actually high quality and are constructed using high standards that can last as long as a stick built home. A typical mobile home is 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, up to 1200 sq ft in size. Newer mobile homes, have the same amenities of a traditional home.
Eric started in engineering with no desire to be an entrepreneur; upon completion of his post-graduate degree he began reading up on real estate and attending investment meetings. He had two investment deals that both went south and he said he wouldn’t trade those learning experiences for anything. He and I agree that people who’ve had the opportunity to get crushed and bounce back become stronger, and more reverent. He credits a lot of prayer and hard work to helping him get through those times and that afterward he learned what was necessary to prevent that from happening to him again. A lot of successful people in the industry had something go wrong and they learned from it and became one of the best in the business while others have something go wrong and it takes the wind out of them and they don’t bounce back.
A mobile home park is the land, including the lots, gas, electric, sewer, etc. Some properties are park owned, where that the tenants own the home and they pay the lot rent and if they don’t own, they may be doing a rent to own. Eric says that from an investor standpoint, park owned home and land is one of the worst types because it’s like an apartment model, expect with mobile homes. Because you are renting the land, lot rent isn’t enough to justify the high turnover.
Other properties are private owned or tenant owned homes where the landlord owns the land and the homes and the tenants rent the home. Tenant owned is the best scenario in all of real estate because you have a community of owners who own an asset that’s worth something, and not renters; there is more stable cash flow, and lower expenses because tenants are responsible for their homes. This also reduces turnover because tenants are invested, they don’t just leave on a whim.
From a rehab standpoint everything depends on how well the home has been taken care of, from floors, walls, to bathrooms. When MHP buys a park it will have most of the homes already owned by the tenants in some cases the park owns and they go in and convert to tenant owned. The rehab is tied to the park itself, the roads, the water, sewer, or anything on the land. The other side is the park owned homes rehab means rehabbing a bunch of the homes on the property in order to increase the value of the park. Eric rehabs (brings more value to) mobile home parks (the units on the park) by being able to raise the utilities or turn it over to the tenants and allow them to become owners. “We offer a price point that they can manage and they can own their own home.”
A common mistake people make is not being educated and knowing what you’re getting into. People don’t properly valuate their property, and investors purchase and when they go to sell, they realize it’s overvalued. Eric advised that as an investor make sure you do your due diligence and know what you’re taking on and what is necessary to maintain it.
Eric can be reached at [email protected], 858.598.3734, and his company’s website is mhpfunds.com.