Thursday, February 18, 2010

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: I am really interested in learning about mobile home investing. But, I hear a lot of people saying "Lonnie deals" just do not work because you end up putting too much money into these cheap homes and end up taking back the home over and over again. Do "Lonnie deals" really work?

A: In my opinion, "Lonnie deals" work but not for everyone. Anyone who has been in real estate for awhile has heard the following saying, "You just can't make money in real estate." The people who have said this are people who have not had real estate work for them. On the other hand, there are others who have really been successful in real estate. So, you see there are two sides of the coin.

Honestly, it all boils down to personality and your style. In my own personal experience, being a landlord and dealing with renters just did not work for me. On the other hand, "Lonnie deals" and dealing with homeowners has worked for me. When I go out and look at mobile homes, I ask myself two questions:

1) Would I live in this home?
2) Would I live in this neighborhood?

If the answer to both of these questions is "yes," then I pursue it. On the other hand, if the answer to these questions is "no" then I do not pursue it. When I go into a deal, I look at it first as a homeowner (who I deal with) and then as an investor - not the other way around.

Believe me, I've learned this lesson through experience. I got into a bad deal once where I looked at the home solely as an investor - bad idea. Why? In any business, I believe you have to have a product and/or service that you believe in and that you can stand behind. I don't buy cheap homes in bad neighborhoods - it's just not my style. The only reason I'd possibly look into buying a home in that kind of neighborhood is if I would move it. Otherwise, I just won't go into the deal.

So, you see - "Lonnie deals" work but not for everyone. Here is an article titled "Why Lonnie Deals Don't Work For Me" just to get another perspective. Now, this article sparked much controversy and debate among mobile home investors. Some even got really upset. However, notice the title. It does not say "Why Lonnie Deals Don't Work," it says "Why Lonnie Deals Don't Work For Me." Big difference. In the end, it will be your experience and your experience alone that will determine whether something will work for you.

Happy investing!

p.s. If you would like to learn why "Lonnie deals" work for me, check out this article. Thanks for reading!

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