Thursday, September 9, 2010

Investing 101: Is Mobile Home Investing Right For Me?

So, I was all set to write another "Deal or No Deal" case study type post today but then I changed my mind. I'd like to take a moment and get away from the mobile home case study series for this post and write about something that has been on my mind lately.

Recently, there have been folks who have contacted me about their interest in mobile home investing. Many have told me they have heard a lot of stories from other investors about mobile homes being the best type of investment vehicle out there and also the one having the best return on investment.

But, the question that is asked of me is this "Is mobile home investing this great? Can I make a lot of cash flow from investing in mobile homes and have great returns? And, if so do you think it's for me?"

In all honesty, I cannot answer that question. Why?

The reason being is that it's different for everyone. I don't think mobile home investing is the best type of investment vehicle and has the best returns for everyone - it just doesen't work out that way. I've said this before, it's all a matter of personality. What works for one person, may not work for you. And, vice versa.

I'm sure this may seem kind of odd for me to say being that I write a blog about mobile home investing. But, the goal of my blog is not to convince others to invest in mobile homes. The goal of my blog is to share my adventures and stories about my experience investing in mobile homes. That is all.

Personally, I don't think folks out there should base their decision to go into mobile home investing solely on stories they've heard from other investors about all the money they have made and the types of returns they've made from mobile home investing.

Honestly, this business takes work - hard work. And, success doesen't happen overnight. Just like any business, it takes a lot of time and persistence to make it work. But, when it does - it can be worth it.

The important thing is to be mentally prepared and ready. When I first made the decision to go into mobile home investing, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I made many sacrifices, I gave up a lot of things.

(Note: For those interested, feel free to check out this article on why I enjoy investing in mobile homes).

I remember many a nights reading, studying and then taking action on what I had learned. It took time, a lot of time. And, there were moments where I kept asking myself "What in the world am I doing? Is this going to work?" But, I kept pressing on.

I took the time to really learn the ins and outs of the business. And, did what I had to do to get to my first mobile home deal - it took me almost a year. After completing my first deal, I can say I really learned a lot. Though it took a lot of time and hard work, I can honestly say that I found that I did enjoy the business.

And, this is what it's all about. When folks have asked me about whether or not they should pursue mobile home investing, I tell them straight out - try it out and see if you like it. Honestly, not everyone that has tried it has liked it.

I remember one investor in particular who did one "Lonnie Deal" (a fellow rehabber) and told me it just wasn't for him. He told me if he was going to spend all his time on something, it would be doing something that he enjoys - rehabbing properties and selling retail for a lump sum. He just didn't feel that collecting a check for a couple hundred dollars was worth all the time and effort. And, that's ok.

So, for those who are interested in mobile home investing I highly urge you to think about why you are interested in it. If you are interested in this business solely for the money, I urge you to think it through.

Honestly, there are much more easier ways to make a lot of money - it's called having a high paying job. Being an entrepreneur and starting a business takes a lot of work. The rewards can be great but the payoff does not happen overnight.

In Thomas Stanley's book, The Millionaire Next Door, he even states that many millionaires think it much easier for their kids to go to school, become a professional and have a high paying job than to go out and start a business.

If I were interested solely in making a lot of money quicker, I'd go out and do the same thing. Though, I did not.

(Note: Growing up, I was always an entrepreneur at heart. I had many entrepreunerial ventures as a kid and this followed me even as an adult - it's always been a part of me).

This all really comes back to really knowing who you are and what kind of life you want for yourself. For me personally, I know I've always been an entrepreneur. That is why I keep saying for me it's not just about the money. It really isn't.

(Note: For those who are interested in why I went into mobile home investing in the first place, feel free to check out this video).

I had a chance to take the path of the kids of The Millionaire Next Door. As an undergrad, I was chosen for a fellowship in a pre-MBA program at a top tier business school.

Though, my mentor (who was already enrolled and attending the MBA program) told me - I just didn't belong there. She told me this just wasn't for me because she saw the "entrepreneur" inside of me.

(Note: Even as a student with classes and a working job, I still had the time to have my entrepreneurial ventures. And, yes I ran these ventures out of my apt - my roommates thought I was crazy!)

My mentor encouraged me to go out and pursue my entrepreneurial ventures in the real world as business school did not teach this - they taught management. Furthermore, she went on to tell me that business school does not churn out entrepreneurs - they churned out managers, investment bankers and consultants. So, I took her advice to heart. And, here I am.

So, my point is to really take the time to know who you are and why you want to do the things you're interested in. Honestly, it's really easy to get caught up in all the hype of things (especially in real estate investing).

Though, at the end of the day what's important is doing the best thing for you and your family. And remember, the right thing to do can only be decided by one person. And, that is you.

(Note: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Though it seems pretty deep, I felt the need to say these things due to all the inquiries I've received from folks seeking advice on this topic).

I'm going to leave you here with a video from Seth Godin that inspired this post.

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!

Video Link


Esi said...

I love your post Rachael and you are very right. What might work for someone, might not work for someone else. Figure out what you are good at and become an expert in it. Seth is also right about organic chemistry. I went to college to become a doctor and during pre-med, organic chemistry I & II were my least favorite courses though i managed to pass both classes, they did kick my butt. Like you, I have an entreprenaural mind. Throughout elementary school, high school and college i always had a business and even when I went to college to become a doctor, I was thinking of having my own clinic when I graduate and that was my motivation until I found a better career...real estate :)

Mobile Home Gurl said...

Thanks Esi, glad you enjoyed the post!

Yes, it's really true that you just have to find what you like and what you're good at. It's definitely all a learning experience!

Oh, I agree about organic chemistry. Though my focus was not in the sciences (more humanities, surprise surprise!), I did know people who were going the same route. And, I kept hearing about organic chemistry being a really hard subject to master. Most folks just wanted to pass the class and get it over with!

Wow, that's great about you always having a business throughout school starting at an early age! I'm the same way. I can definitely tell you have the entrepreneur spirit, you're a real hustler! (in a good way!) :)

I think it's awesome you got into real estate. Though the healthcare field is definitely a growing industry, there's really a shortage of medical professionals out there. I think it's just the nature of the industry as a whole - it's a really demanding field with really long hours.

As a business, I think it's a really complicated business factoring in insurance being a 3rd party payor and all. Last I heard Medicare has run out of money and is waiting for the next round of funds to be approved by Congress. And, the reimbursement rates are really pitiful (in my opinion). It's really hard to run a business when folks out there may only be compensated 50% or less of what they bill and have to go chase these insurance companies down. It's a really complicated and stressful situation for many folks in the business. Though insurance has its place, it has problems of its own.

Great conversing with you Esi, thanks for stopping by! :)