Q: Is buying a mobile home to rent a wise investment today?

A: This can be a wise investment if it's handled properly. The Manufactured Housing Institute (the trade association) predicts that investors may look in the 1980s to manufactured housing in subdivisions and condominium developments. The trade group reports that at the beginning of 1979 there were six manufactured housing subdivisions (not to be equated with mobile home parks) in the United States. At the end of 1979, there were 32.

You should consider several factors:

First, you need a good location close to shopping, recreational, educational and religious facilities. In addition, almost without exception today, these manufactured housing subdivision and condominiums are being located on owned (not rented) land and on permanent (usually concrete) foundations.

Second, you need high-quality houses with conventional style and design. An assurance of high quality is the Department of Housing and Urban Development seal, which is affixed to the rear of manufactured housing. uIt assures that the housing construction met federal standards.

Third, you need to select your tenants wisely. Carefully check the landlord and credit references a prospective tenant gives you.

To get more information on this area of real estate investment, write the public affairs department of the Manufactured Housing Institute, 1745 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 511, Arlington 22202.