We’re used to hearing news that super-investor, and third-richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, has dropped a billion dollars into the blue chip company of his choice, locking his position in for decades and selling from a position of great profit. Typically, millions of investors follow his lead and can expect double-digit annual returns. So when the Sage of Omaha invested $1.7 billion to buy Clayton Homes, one of the largest manufactured housing companies in the world (after a failed bid to buy a plethora of delinquent mobile home loans from Conseco Inc), people sat up and took notice.
Why was Warren Buffett suddenly so interested in mobile homes?
One thing for certain is that Buffett only invests when he finds great value and, in today’s America, there is a huge discrepancy between supply and demand when it comes to affordable housing. What this Wall Street titan realized is that the foreclosure crisis has created an entire class of people suddenly thrust out onto the streets in search of a place to live. These are not destitute wanderers with no resources or prospects, but rather people who took on too much of a house payment for the amount of money they earn.
This mass group of foreclosed people are looking for places to live. Looking right NOW, which is where the demand is coming from that drives up the value of mobile homes and parks by the week and month rather than year. Buffett has stayed true to formula by latching onto valuable assets, but can expect to profit much quicker than has been his modus operandi in the blue chip world.
Already we’ve heard stories of people selling mobile home parks one or two years after acquiring, doubling their money, and retiring for good. Call yourself the Dirt Millionaire. You can rent the spaces the mobile homes are sitting on, which eliminates the cost and hassle of maintenance and trailer upkeep, and focus on nice monthly cash flow and appreciating land value.
The Commercial Investing Center
Flickr / aka Kath