Thursday, June 24, 2010

Book Review: "Making Money Through Mobile Home Investing"

(Note: Recently, I've had a lot of folks contact me asking what the difference between some of Lonnie's as well as other mobile home investing materials out there and which one I'd recommend the most. So, I've decided to go ahead and start a new series of posts - book reviews).

Recently, I had the opportunity to read this book about mobile home investing.

(Note: This is one of the mobile home investing books several folks had asked me about inquiring if I had read it - many folks had asked what I thought of this one).

The format of the book is more of a Question and Answer (aka Q & A) type format. Basically, it's a book that answers a lot of the most basic and frequently asked questions in the mobile home investing world. There are some pros and cons to the book.

In my opinion, the pro to the book is that it's a very basic book that has a lot of mobile home investing type questions that a lot of folks just starting out usually ask - it's all in one place (in this book). Since it's a Q & A type format, it's a very easy and fast read - the book is divided into 11 Chapters.

(Note: If you would like to see the inside of the book, read the Table of Contents).

What I like about the book is that it's very easy to follow. I also like the fact that the book is divided into chapters based on the different topics involved in mobile home investing. So, if there is a certain question someone had on a certain topic (i.e. marketing, mobile home inspection, etc) then they could just turn to that chapter and read through the Q &A on that specific topic.

Now, I do understand the questions and answers presented in the book are very basic. A lot of these same type questions and answers can be found and/or asked by visiting various real estate forums online such as BiggerPockets, CREOnline, Mobile Home University, etc. So, if money is a bit tight and you would rather go and find the answers - it's available. Though, it will take time to go out and seek this information.

(Note: I've had some folks ask me if I had any material such as this - a basic Q & A type book on mobile home investing. Unfortunately, I do not have any material right now. Though, I am looking to put together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on this blog in the future to address the most common mobile home investing questions that have been asked to me).

But, if you're new to mobile home investing and still have questions (after reading Lonnie's book, "Deals on Wheels,") the pro of this book is that the questions and answers pertaining to mobile home investing are all in one place.

(Note: Personally, I'm one of those people who have to have a hard copy when I'm reading books. To me, it's just not the same. Yes, it's nice some information is out there in electronic format though I prefer hard copy type books. I'm sure there are others who do read material in electronic format out there, though reading a hard copy and having it at hand is just my preference).

As for the cons, there are some grammatical errors in the book (i.e. run on sentences, missing words, syntax errors, etc). For me personally, this is a bit bothersome. It's not every sentence but I do recognize the grammatical errors when they show up in the book.

Another con is that there are some statements made that I just don't agree with. I understand this book is supposed to be based on one individual's experience investing in mobile homes, though I do have a problem when folks (especially real estate investors) are too black and white.

Honestly from my own personal experience, everyone is going to have different experiences and different results - what works for one person in one area but not necessarily work for another person in another area (or the same area) - it's all a matter of preference and personality.

One of the examples involves a question regarding whether or not to invest in 55 and older mobile home type communities. The answer was very black and white.

Basically, investing in senior parks was not recommended. However, I know of some folks who have been very successful investing in senior parks. Some even started out that way because that's all there was in their area. So, you see - it's going to be different for everyone.

Another problem I had with the book was a statement made in the beginning (actually in the Forward). It basically made a statement about an "elderly man" who had written a book and "had been in the used mobile home business for years." (I'm guessing this is Lonnie). And, it further stated that the material in the book was "somewhat limited and dated."

Honestly, Lonnie's material is NOT outdated. There are folks doing exactly what he has taught in his book - those types of deals are out there. Though each area is different and the market values vary, the concept is the same - no matter if you buy at the upper end of the spectrum or the lower end. It doesen't matter - what matters is the concept. And, that is NOT outdated.

(Note: If you're interested in reading more about the concept of mobile home investing, feel free to read this article I wrote).

Furthermore, I know folks who have been very successful in mobile home investing and the only book they used to get started was Lonnie's book. Though there's other material out there, really it's a matter of taking action and having the passion to just go out and do it. Period.

Lastly, near the end there are some "sales type" pitches for other products and services - it showcases some audio courses and seminars as well as a reference to the website.

(Note: I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing - I think it's there for those who may be interested in checking out what else they offer as available in terms of materials and seminars on the subject of mobile home investing).

Overall, I think this book is a good basic type of book for folks who may still have some questions after reading Lonnie's book, which I highly recommend.

Though a lot of the questions and answers can be found through a bit of digging and searching online, the pro to the book is that the Q & A is here all in one place organized and divided according to topic. But, if money is a bit tight and/or you're a bit resourceful you can go out and find these same type questions and answers online.

Again, this book is based on one individual's experience - every person's experience will be different. What works for some may not work for others and vice versa - it's a all a matter of preference and personality. What's important is that the concept is the same. And, the concept is NOT outdated.

I hope you enjoyed reading this book review. With the high amount of requests for my opinions on these, it's something that I've decided to start doing.

I'm going to end this review by sharing with you another one of my favorite Lonnie quotes, "If you look for opportunities, you will find opportunities. If you look for problems, you will find problems. If you look for excuses, you will find excuses. What are you looking for?"

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!


Scott Costello said...

Very nice book review Rachel. I've been sold on Lonnie's books for a while by all the positive reviews so I kind of take it as a cheap shot to sell more books when someone says Lonnie's methods don't work anymore.

On another note, how the heck do you put so many links in your posts? It takes me forever to find internal links to my other posts. Do you have a secret?

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it Scott!

Yes, I hear it a lot. Some folks think his stuff is outdated. When I think about it, a lot of business tactics and methods out there have been around (and in books) for a long time - it's just some people can't see it.

Oh, regarding the links I guess I kind of use the categories on the right side bar. (I think Steph had the categories on her blog too when she was on Blogger).

When I'm writing posts, I just go to the categories and try to find the related posts I'd link that way. Also, the search function at the top works pretty good too. It's kind of a manual system, but it works!

Hope that helps, thanks for stopping by!

Esi said...

Great review gurl. If i ever consider investing in Mobilehomes, I'll definitely buy your book. I hope you are thinking of writing one :)

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Glad you enjoyed the review, Esi! Thanks for the kind words, it has been something that I've been thinking about. Nice to hear from you again, thanks for stopping by!

Marilyna said...

I do like the book reviews. Thanks for doing this one. I've seen that book on Amazon, but figured it wasn't any good, since I'd never heard it recommended on any forum.

I wonder about people who say Lonnie's book is outdated. I think they must not be big readers. I know I am and the first thing I do with most books is look at the copyright date. Then when I see a figure in the book I mentally adjust it considering the date the book was written. So when I read DOW and saw that he buys homes for 2-3K, and that he prefers 14 x 70s I could tell I needed to adjust up. Actually, the date didn't show an early year in my copy, but still I could tell it was older.

One of the best investing books I've read was William Nickersons "How I Turned 1,000 into a Million in Real Estate in my Spare Time". Copyright date? 1959, I believe. Sure the figures are outdated, but the concepts and ideas are timeless, just like Lonnie's books.

I think I'm rambling! :) Enjoyed the post!

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Glad you enjoyed the book review, Marilyn! Yes, I had been receiving requests on my opinion of this book especially so I decided to check it out.

I agree - it's always very interesting to hear when some folks say some material (especially in the real estate investing world) is outdated. Really, a lot of material out there is the same - the concept and ideas (as you stated) do not change. What is different are the stories, the details, and perhaps the presentation.

I remember the book you mention, it's a good read. I read that many years ago.

Thanks for sharing and for stopping by, it's always good to hear from you!