Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - Amperage

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).

Video Link

Recently, I've had to deal with the issue of amperage on a potential mobile home move.

Basically, the home I was looking at had an electrical maximum amperage (via the breaker box) of 200 amps. So, I was looking at a home that could run 200 amps of electricity (max).

Since I was planning to move the home to another park (as this park was just not my kind of park), I had to pick out a lot that was already set up for 200 amps electrical service (via the feeder box). Ok, so what is a "feeder box?"

Well, basically the feeder box is the main box that supplies electricity to mobile homes in a park. Usually, the main "feeder box" will look like a bunch of small boxes side by side. Each small "feeder box" within the main "feeder box" will usually be labeled as to the lot number and will say how much amperage it can handle.

(Note: Usually, each small "feeder box" will say usually 100amps, 125amps, 150amps, or 200amps. Most of the time, the 100amps/125amps/150amps will be homes that use both electric and gas but not all the time).

To give you an idea of what a main "feeder box" looks like, here's a pic:

Since the home I had in mind had a maximum amperage of 200 amps, I needed to pick out a lot with a "feeder" box that could support 200 amps. Seriously, the last thing I wanted to do was move a home on a lot with a "feeder box" that could only support 100 amps on a 200 amps (max) home - definitely not a good idea.

Ok, so how do you determine how much amperage a "feeder box" can handle? Usually, you can check the "feeder box" that corresponds to the lot number of the lot picked out and just lift up the panel underneath the meter. Here's a pic:

Feeder Box (to view amperage maximum, lift up panel underneath meter)

Panel underneath meter lifted (as noted 200 amps):

So, this is how to check amperage on a home to make sure it's able to work with the appropriate "feeder box" which is especially important when moving homes into a park.

Seriously, it's not a joke - this is important stuff to know. I knew one fellow investor who knew nothing about mobile home parks and bought one that had feeders that only supported 60 amps (max) type homes.

Well, in doing his numbers and calculations in terms of turning the homes around - he thought he would be able to bank on a large sum of money in terms of income from the lots as well as doing "Lonnie" deals (He planned to fill the lots with newer homes).

As it turns out, after he bought the park - he soon found that the park's "feeders" could only support 60 amps (max) for each lot which could basically support older 1960s and 1970s style homes (which are extremely small and also hard to find nevertheless).

But, if he wanted to bring in larger homes - he would need to do an entire electrical upgrade of the entire park of at least 100 amps on the "feeders" and up. Big mistake.

It cost him both time and money. To make a long story short, he ended up doing an entire electrical upgrade of the entire park which costed him well over 6 figures! (ouch!)

So, yes - knowing the amperage of homes and what the lots can handle in the parks is extremely important to know. Without having this knowledge, it's something that can cost both time and money. That is why I have a team to educate me on the specifics and details of what I do not know - it's hard to know everything!

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use.

Happy investing!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!


Jason said...

Nice blog post!

Jennifer said...

Thanks Rachel for all this great information love your blog!

Mobile Home Gurl said...

(Jason) Thanks Jason, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

(Jennifer) Glad to share, Jennifer! Happy to hear you enjoy the blog, thanks for your support! :)