Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Tips To Get Started In Mobile Home Investing

How do I get started investing in mobile homes? This is probably the most asked question I get.

So, I've compiled a list of 10 Tips To Get Started In Mobile Home Investing to address this question. Here they are:

1. Get your personal finances in order.

Before you even start investing, the first thing to do is get your personal finances in order and understand how money works. (I posted a list of personal finance books here that have helped me). There have been countless people who go out and invest without even having their own finances in order first. By having your financial house in order, you will know how much money is going in and how much is going out, and what areas you need to work on - this is basic stuff most people don't even know. It's very important so you will be able to see your overall goals.

2. Educate Yourself

If you plan on investing in mobile homes, learn all you can about the business and the system. Many people start off learning one system and then find other systems to learn without even doing one deal. Focus on what you want to do and learn it. If you want to invest in mobile homes, learn the system. (I posted an article here that may help). Apart from learning the system you want to focus on, you will also need to educate yourself on other areas of business skills needed such as sales, negotiation, accounting, etc. Knowledge is power.

3. Get the Experience.

Once you've got the education, then you've got to go out and get the experience. If you are just starting out and have very little experience, the best way to go out and learn with the least amount of risk is to work with an investor(s) and find deals for them. Don't worry about the money - the important thing is you get the experience and learn to spot deals and put them together. If you can learn how to put deals together, you will be way ahead of the game.

4. Find a Mentor.

It's very important for you to have a support network of people you can go to for advice. In the past, I've always had mentors. Find someone in your area who is doing what you want to do and learn from them. (Local real estate investing associations/groups are a good place to start). Offer to take them to lunch and always remember, their time is valuable. Try to create a win/win situation for both of you. Maybe in the beginning, you might offer to find deals for them. Make the relationship work for everyone.

5. Learn Your Market.

Learn the market values of mobile homes in your area. Remember, market values can vary from area to area, from park to park. Figure out what areas you want to work. From there, visit the mobile home dealers and also the parks to start learning market values. Look at all shapes and sizes of mobile home - you might want to write them down including the age, size, square footage, year, etc. You need to be able to know your market so you can spot a deal when it comes. If you don't know your market, you will not be able to see opportunities.

6. Have an Exit Strategy

Before you even start looking, you need to know your exit strategy. What is your plan? Do you need to build up cash? Or, are you planning to buy and hold for cash flow? Remember, this will depend on your situation with your personal finances. (This article may help put your exit strategy more in perspective). If you don't have much money saved, it's best to start off by building up cash and finding deals for other investors. Have an exit strategy in place before you start investing in mobile homes.

7. Have a Marketing Strategy

Once you have an exit strategy in place, you will also need to have a marketing strategy. How will you market for buyers and sellers of mobile homes? How do you plan to find buyers and sellers? There are numerous ways to find buyers and sellers. In the beginning, don't focus on just one strategy. Try a few different strategies and see what works for you. (I wrote an article here on ways to find motivated buyers and sellers).

8. Build Your Team

Build your team and your support network. You will need to have a team in place to help you invest in mobile homes. Some team members include park managers, dealers, contractors, mentor, investors, etc. Start networking and interviewing to build your team. Remember, you don't want to be stuck in a situation without any team members to help you. It's best to start building your team early on in the process.

9. Learn the Laws

Learn the laws in your area. In some areas, you may be required to get a dealers license if you plan on buying and selling mobile homes. Usually, this is handled by a government agency. This is one of the most frequent questions I get. (I will be writing an article in the future to further touch upon this issue). All in all, find out what the requirements are (if any) in your area if you plan to buy and sell mobile homes.

10. Have Fun and Be Persistent

Most importantly, have fun! If you don't like what you do, how can you enjoy life? Keep in mind why you are doing what you are doing. What is the alternative? Also, be persistent. In the beginning, you will have a lot of obstacles. What makes you stronger is getting past those obstacles. (This article may help keep your motivation in perspective). Honestly, I went through the same thing when I first started out. But, I got through them and I learned. And, remember learning by doing is far better than doing nothing at all.

There you have it. 10 Tips to Get Started In Mobile Home Investing.

Happy investing!

Monday, March 30, 2009


How long have you been investing in real estate?
0-1 year
1-2 years
3-4 years
5-6 years
6-7 years
7-8 years
9-10 years
Over 10 years.
None of the above. I'm just starting out.
pollcode.com free polls

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monopoly Man Goes Bankrupt

Funny video about the effects of the recession. Even Monopoly Man gets affected. Check it out!

Posted on College Humor:

"Recessions affect everybody, from Baltic to Broadway."

Video Link

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Recommendations

I've received some requests from people regarding book recommendations.

From time to time, I will continue to do book reviews. If you're looking for some recommendations, a good place to start is on the tool bar to the right labeled "Recommended Reading." I've included my book recommendations there. I will continue to update the "Recommended Reading" section.

Also, you might want to check out this link with my past blog posts on book recommendations. I will continue to post more "lists" and book recommendations in the future.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 10 Ways To Find Motivated Sellers and Buyers

I get a lot of questions from people interested in mobile home investing about the one thing they have problems finding - motivated sellers and buyers.

So, I've decided to make a list of the Top 10 Ways To Find Motivated Sellers and Buyers that have worked for me. Here they are:

1. Park Managers

Get to know the park managers in the parks you want to work with - they will play a key role in the success of your business. Park managers know everything that is going on in the park - they talk to everyone including sellers and buyers. If you get to know the park managers and establish a good relationship, they might just start sending leads your way.

2. Flyers

Post up flyers in the local businesses around the parks you want to work in - find the community bulletin boards. Make sure you are in compliance with the rules posted on the boards - if you're not sure be sure to ask for permission first. Some examples of places that have local bulletin boards include gas stations, laundry mats, car wash, etc.

3. Bandit Signs

Put up some signs around the areas that you work. Be sure to check with your local city ordinances to see where and when your signs can be placed/not placed.

4. Manufactured Home Dealers

Visit a couple Manufactured Home Dealers. Introduce yourself. Tell them that you are looking to buy, sell and finance mobile homes. Leave some flyers with them. Tell them you are looking for motivated sellers and buyers. Keep in contact with them. They might just send some leads your way.

5. Calling On Newspaper Ads

Check out the local paper in your area - keep to small publications such as The Recycler, The Thrifty Nickel, etc. Find ads you see advertising from sellers and buyers for manufactured homes. Call them and find out more information. Keep looking everyday and you may just find some leads this way.

6. Placing Newspaper Ads

Place an ad in your local paper stating that you buy, sell and finance mobile homes. Be sure to include a local number where you can be reached.

7. For Sale By Owner

Drive around the areas you want to invest in and call/visit For Sale By Owner signs for manufactured homes. Find out all the information you can when you call/visit. Be sure to always leave a flyer or business card with each property you visit.

8. Banks

Find out which banks in the area handle manufactured homes in the areas you like to buy. Call on them and ask them if they have any ones for sale.

9. Other Real Estate Investors

Network with other real estate investors. Find out what they do and tell them what you do. Build up a rapport and maintain an ongoing relationship with them. Suggest a reciprocal lead swap should you run across leads for them and vice versa.

10. Contractors

Establish relationships with local contractors, especially those that specifically work on mobile homes. Tell them about your business and what you are looking for.

Also, you want to learn more about their business as you will need some good contractors for future work on your mobile homes. On my team, some of the types contractors I keep handy are an electrician, plumber, air conditioning and heating, cleaning crew, handy man, etc. (I will have a post in the future about the types of contractors you want to have on your team and how to hire contractors).

There you have it. The Top 10 Ways To Find Motivated Sellers and Buyers that have worked for me.

A word of caution: Most people when they start out only focus on one method to find motivated sellers and buyers. Why? They hear from someone else that only one method works the best.

In my own experience, there is no one method that works the best for everyone. You have to do what works for you. What works for one person may not work for someone else.

So, I advise not focusing only on one method to find leads. I suggest trying a number of methods, sticking with them and finding out what works best for you.

As the old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Monday, March 23, 2009


What kind of real estate investing do you do?
Bird dog and/or wholesale.
Buy and hold.
Fix and flip.
I buy and hold some, others I fix and flip.
All of the above - I do it all!
None yet - I'm just starting out.
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, March 20, 2009

Closing Escrow

If you're in the mood for a comedy movie on real estate, definitely check this video out - there's a lot of issues one can relate to. Enjoy!

Video Link

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Q&A: Mailbag

(Note: I've received many questions from people about mobile home and/or real estate investing. From time to time, I will post the ones I find interesting/relevant. If you have a question, feel free to send it in. Thanks!)

Q: Do you buy mobile homes for cash flow or do you flip?

A: Mostly for cash flow. There have been instances where investors want me to wholesale to them - some people don't want to go out and do all the work to go out and look to put the deals together.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Most Important Deal

"You're not in the game until you do your first deal."

In the beginning, I did not understand this statement - they were just words. Though, after I completed my first deal I understood exactly what this statement meant. It was like I was seeing things from a different set of eyes - I no longer was seeing things from the outside, I was inside playing the game. No longer was I on the sidelines.

There are books out there to teach you how the game of investing is played. Though, you will not be in the game until you actually experience it first hand.

A lot of people end up reading a lot of books but never take action - analysis paralysis. Taking action will help you achieve your goals. (If you need some motivation, here's a previous post I made that can help).

If I never took action beyond what I read, I probably would not have come so far. I would be in the same place that I was before - right back where I started. If you continue to do the same thing you did last year as this year, where will you be today?

That's the million dollar question - the question that can get you to your goals or can keep you where you are. It's all about taking action and taking action takes courage.

I remember my first mobile home deal. Though I've had experience investing in real estate in the past, I was extremely terrified. I had already received the "ok" from the park manager to be able to do deals in the park. The sellers called me wanting to bring someone in who would be serious about buying their mobile home so they could move asap.

They told me they wanted to work with someone they can trust and someone serious about really buying their mobile home so they could move on. The sellers informed me that they've talked to investors in the past who just didn't do what they said they were going to do and really did not want to spend the time working with these types of people. Additionally, they did not want to take the time to screen a bunch of buyers and have them go through their home as they were in a time crunch - they needed to sell their home fast so they could move on.

So, I decided to make the appointment to go and see their mobile home. I asked them the basic questions to determine their motivation (I will be writing about this in the future to address how to determine the motivation of sellers).

I also asked them how much they were looking to sell their mobile home for - they told me they did not want to discuss that over the phone until they met me. Ok, seemed fair (Note: Some real estate investors say they do not go out to the home until they discuss price over the phone. I beg to differ. I feel that you should go out and visit every prospect that you feel may be a motivated seller. Just my experience).

Now, before I go on I'd like to tell you upfront that I had already researched the market. I knew exactly what mobile homes could go for in the park the sellers called me on. In addition, I already had the "ok" from the park manager to do deals in the park. This is very important. Knowing the market is very important.

Upon arriving at the mobile home, I introduced myself to the sellers. I found out more about them and they found out more about me - this is very important. People will do business with people they like and trust. It's very important to build rapport and establish a relationship. (I will have a list of books in the future that can help with this concept).

In any case, after talking with the sellers for awhile I let them lead me through the mobile home - I began the inspection process. Everything seemed to be in working order structurally and mechanically. There was an issue with the wood board panels outside as they were wearing down. However, I had a couple contractors look at them and it was just a matter of having them replaced. (I will go into detail with this part of the story in another post).

Since the mobile home seemed to be in good, solid, shape, I decided to go through with the deal. We signed a contract and I left a small deposit to show good faith. It was a 1984 mobile home - 2 bedroom, 1 bath. I paid $3600 for the home. Sold it in 2 weeks with financing - $1000 down, $250 per month for 4.5 years. This deal is here in this video:

Video Link

I went on to do more deals - some much bigger deals, and continued my journey investing in mobile homes. Though, the deal that taught me the most and really has changed my life has been my first mobile home deal - the most important deal of all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


What is your experience level investing in real estate?
I'm a beginner. Still trying to figure it all out.
I'm an intermediate investor - I've done a few deals here and there.
Definitely advanced - I've been investing in real estate for quite some time.
I'm a pro - I've seen it all!
pollcode.com free polls

Monday, March 16, 2009

Interview: Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer

Posted on Entertainment Weekly:

"Jon Stewart takes Jim Cramer apart: getting mad at the 'Mad Money' man"

"What The Daily Show With Jon Stewart billed as "the week-long feud of the century" almost ended in a very funny fizzle: Instead of being his usual feisty self, financial advisor Jim Cramer could not apologize fast enough to Stewart for what he repeatedly called his "shenanigans" as host of CNBC's Mad Money.

Note I said "almost," because something pretty amazing happened. Things got dead-serious as Stewart played 2006 clips of Cramer talking about how to manipulate stocks and create Wall Street rumors during the time he was a hedge-fund manager. You could almost see the blood drain from Cramer's face every time the camera returned to him in the studio with Stewart. Talking about the present-day crisis, Stewart tore into Cramer, saying for doing things like urging his viewers to buy Bear Stearns stock shortly before that investment bank collapsed. "It's not a f------ game," said Stewart, asserting that what Cramer and other financial reporters did could be considered "criminal at worst."'

Right now, there's a lot of blaming and finger pointing going around about the whole financial and economic crisis that we're in. Sure, when times were good - people were happy and were more than willing to take the bank's money. But, now times are bad - people want to blame and be victims of the situation.

While watching this interview, I couldn't help but wonder - this is only one side of the story. The story that is being depicted here is the story of the homeowners and individual workers who have put their financial destiny in someone else's hands. Of course people say, they never knew and no one ever told them the pitfalls of their actions - but who is really to blame? Is it really the financial institutions and the media networks fault for feeding financial information having been alleged to "mislead" the general public? Or, is it the fault of the people themselves who took their advice and/or actions as facts?

Greed and fear are two of the most powerful emotions - they cause people to act/not to act. In this case, people acted out of pure greed and no one person/entity is to blame. This interview only shows one side of the story - the story of the homeowners who are portrayed here as the only victims. It fails to show the other side of the story. How about the people who refinanced their homes and pulled out all their equity to buy more doodads - cars, houses, etc. Didn't they take advantage of the situation as well?

Money is a very powerful force - it controls people. If you let money control you, it will control your life and there will be consequences. It should be the other way around - you should be able to control your money and in turn, you will control your life.

Think most people let money control them - they want to get rich quick. People want the easy route - they want things done for them including putting their finances in someone else's hands.

Knowledge is power - there is a price to pay with ignorance. As long as people continue to live in ignorance and do not put in the time to educate themselves with their finances, there will be those who take advantage of the situation and this type of activity will continue to exist. In this day and age, there are more resources available than ever before to find information and get the knowledge needed to make informed decisions.

Building wealth does not happen overnight - it takes work, hard work, which includes putting in the time to get the knowledge to make it work.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Simpsons Foreclosure Episode - "No Loan Again, Naturally"

Pretty interesting and entertaining Simpsons episode. Here's the video link. Also, you may want to check out the review. Happy investing!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Calculator Tip: How To Figure Out Monthly Payment

In a prior post, I went over different financial calculators which is a necessary tool needed in the world of mobile home investing.

Personally, I use the HP 10B II. I like the long vertical shape as opposed to the HP 12C, which is more of a horizontal shape. Plus, it's less pricey than the HP 12C. If you are just starting out and just need a basic financial calculator, the HP 10B II would be fine.

Back to the financial calculator. When calculating the monthly payment, you will need 4 variables:

1. The present value (PV) - What is the sales price?
2. Interest (I/YR) - How much interest are you charging?
3. Number of Months (N) - How many months?
4. Future Value (FV) - Usually, this is the amount after everything has been paid off, usually "0".

Once you have all the above variables, then you can calculate the monthly payment.

For example, say you have a mobile home you are selling for $10,000 at 12.75% interest for 4 years. Let's plug in the numbers:

PV =10,000
I/YR = 12.75
N = 48
FV= 0

On your financial calculator, make sure everything has been cleared. Then, start punching in the numbers like this:

1. Punch in 10,000 and then the PV button.
2. Plug in 12.75 for I/YR button.
3. For N, I put the number of months. (Remember to make sure your P/YR (payments per year) which is the same button is set to 1 since it's annual interest, not compounded monthly or quarterly).
4. Plug in "0" for FV
5. Then you're ready to figure out the payment. Hit the PMT button to get $267.03.

If you didn't get $267.03 for the PMT, go back and try again. Remember, you should always double check your work - you can always do a financial calculation online or get a financial calculator program for your computer.

Happy calculating!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Top 10 Motivational Books

In my last post, I talked about the importance of believing in yourself and what you are doing to help you push forward with your investing goals. Building confidence is very important and one of the traits of successful people - if you believe in yourself and what you are doing, you can achieve anything.

Some people question why I spend so much time focusing on the mental aspect - it's very important. If you are not prepared mentally, it will be very hard for you to achieve your investing goals. For many people, they think all they have to do is get out there and start doing things.

However, if your heart is not in it and your beliefs are shaky it will be very difficult. Before going forward with any type of investing endeavor, I highly suggest examining yourself and your goals. (Here's a post I made about getting your personal finances in order first before going out and starting to invest). Once you are mentally prepared and have the confidence, you will have the power you need to push forward with your goals for investing.

One of the things I've done to boost my confidence is read motivational books - it has truly been helpful and has contributed to my success investing in mobile homes. I recommend reading books that inspire you and motivate you to be all you can be.

Here is a list of my Top 10 Motivational Books that have helped me. I hope it will help you, too!

1. Awaken the Giant Within
2. Unlimited Power
3. Think and Grow Rich
4. The Magic of Thinking Big
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
6. Who Moved My Cheese
7. Our Iceberg Is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions
8. Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude
9. The Law of Success
10. The Magic of Believing

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do You Believe?

"Whether you think you can or that you can't, you are usually right."

-Henry Ford

Many people have raised the question whether or not mobile home investing works. Some people have raised many "what if" scenarios such as "...what if the buyer defaults," or "what if I can't find a buyer," which instill a great deal of fear in people. Others, have shared their stories of being burned in the business never vowing to invest in mobile homes again.

Folks, like any other business - there are risks in everything. If you're looking for an investment that is risk free, you can always put your money in the bank. Though, even these investments considered once "safe" can be questionable in our economy.

Fear is a very powerful emotion. It can cause us or not cause us to do things. In order to manage fear, you need to know how to manage risk. So, how do you do that?

First, you get the knowledge. Then, you must act. You need both because you can't just learn from books - some things are not written. A lot of things that I've learned in this business have been from my own personal experiences. For example, when I went out to negotiate and make offers.

If you're scared about investing, the best way to get over your fears is education - both through books and experience. If you're interested in learning more about investing in mobile homes, here's an article I wrote awhile back.

Surround yourself with like minded people. Get to know investors who are doing what you want to do and learn from them. Listen to their stories and experiences. You will learn some of the pitfalls and obstacles they had to overcome so you are better prepared to manage risk when the time comes. Equally important, you will also learn of their successes. I've received a lot of great feedback from people who have told me they appreciate reading my stories and adventures because it helps them to see that mobile home investing can work.

By putting the time into education and surrounding yourself with like minded people, this will give you the confidence you need to push forward and move toward your investing goals. If you truly believe in yourself and what you are doing, you can achieve anything.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Do you believe mobile home investing works?
Most definitely. That's why I've come to this site.
Not sure. I'd like to learn more about it.
I'm still a little skeptic. I've heard some horror stories about it.
Still deciding. Heard the returns are great but not sure if it's right for me.
It's just not for me. I've tried it before and have been burned.
pollcode.com free polls

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wall Street

This movie is one of my favorite business movies. Who can forget Gordon Gecko's famous line, "Greed is good." Classic acting and great performances by Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas. In the movie, you learn about the power of money and what it can do to people. Though in the end, you also learn there are still some good guys out there.
Check it out!

Video Link

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How To Get Started Investing In Mobile Homes

I've had a lot of people ask me how to get started investing in mobile homes. Thought I'd make a post to address this question.

Before you even start investing, the first thing to do is get your personal finances in order and understand how money works.

There have been countless people who go out and invest without even having their own finances in order first. By having your financial house in order, you will know how much money is going in and how much is going out, and what areas you need to work on - this is basic stuff most people don't even know. It's very important so you will be able to see your overall goals.

To help you understand the subject of personal finance and money, I highly recommend putting the time to educate yourself. I made a post awhile back on my Top 10 Personal Finance Books. It's a good starting point.

Once you have your personal finances in order, then you can start looking into investing. As an investor, you need to have a plan. Think about your investing goals - what are they? Also, one of the things you'll need to think about is exactly how much time and how much money you want to dedicate to investing - there are many forms of investing.

How involved do you want to be? Is your time limited - would it be better for you to be a passive investor? Or, do you have more time - maybe you can be more involved?

Some people have more time than money, and vise versa. I highly recommend you taking the time to learn about the types of investments you choose.

Personally, I am more involved with my investing activities - I can put deals together because I'm very good at networking and working with people. On the other hand, I know other investors who want to be more "hands off" and would rather work with someone who can find deals for them and lend out the funds for the deals.

It all boils down to personality. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you have? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Take the time to assess yourself and your skills.

If you are further interested in learning about investing in mobile homes, check out this post I made awhile back.

I will continue to address the questions I receive in future posts. Feel free to contact me with your questions.

Happy investing!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Video: Demolishing A Trailer

"You know you've hit bottom when the best way to increase your house value is to tear it down. For years, I have lived in a cabin which was attached to a 12 X 70 mobile home (otherwise known as a trailer). I haven't used the trailer in years because it was falling apart. It leaked. It had toxic mould. Finally, my brother, Dangerous Dan, took the initiative and tore it down. For all we know, the place could actually sell! I bought the place for $99,000 in 2001. It came with five acres around it. Now my brother owns it. I am often asked why I don't tear the whole thing down and build a new house. I've wanted to. For years. But to do so, I would have to pay $15,000 in building taxes. Build a new septic: $15,000. Dig a new well: $10,000 at least."

VIdeo Link

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Which Financial Calculator Is Best For You?

In the world of mobile home investing, a financial calculator is one tool you will definitely need.

When you sell a mobile home on owner financing, you will need to calculate the monthly payment for the end buyer - a financial calculator will help you do this. In addition, it will also help you to figure out the amortization on the notes you create on your deals. So, how will a financial calculator help accomplish this goal?

In order to calculate the monthly payment for your end buyer, you will need to have a 4 variables:

1. Present Value (PV) - What is the sales price?
2. Interest (I/YR) - How much annual interest are you charging?
3. Number of Months (N) - How many months?
4. Future Value (FV) - Usually, this is the amount after everything has been paid off, usually "0"

Once you have all the above variables, then you can calculate the monthly payment (PMT).

If you are trying to determine a different variable above, you can always calculate to find out the 4th variable as long as you have at least 3 variables. I'll be covering exactly how to calculate these variables in a future post. I just wanted to show you how a financial calculator can help you.

Now, you know why you need a financial calculator. So, which one should you choose?

There are an array of financial calculators out there to choose from. It's all a matter of preference. However, I can point out the top two financial calculators most people use. They are the HP 10B II and the HP 12C.

Personally, I use the HP 10B II. I like the long vertical shape as opposed to the HP 12C, which is more of a horizontal shape. Plus, it's less pricey than the HP 12C. If you are just starting out and just need a basic financial calculator, the HP 10B II would be fine. Here is a picture of the HP 10B II:

However, I know of some people who do use the HP 12C who do some more involved calculations especially with commercial real estate transactions. Here's the HP 12C:

I will be posting a review in the future on the HP 10B II and the various calculations you will need to know for the mobile home investing business. In the meantime, if you would like to read more about the calculators I suggest checking out the reviews on the links above to see which one is best for you.

Happy calculating!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Which financial calculator do you use?
I use a regular, good old fashioned calculator.
Definitely an HP 10B II.
Calculator? I write everything on paper.
I prefer the HP 12C.
The Texas Instruments BA II.
I do not use a calculator. All my calculations are done in my head!
Still trying to figure out which one to get. I need help deciding!
pollcode.com free polls