Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Last Blog Post...



Hi all!

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my blog about my insights and experiences in the world of mobile home investing. I want to thank each and everyone one of you here who has even once read any of my posts - your time and input is well appreciated.

As all good things must come to an end, so must this blog here. And, so - my last blog post.

Here.

On blogspot.

Though, I will continue with the blog - it has just moved. Hooray!!

Blogspot has been a great blogging platform for me - it's served me well. But, I have decided to change platforms (with some encouragement by my good pals Shae and Julie, thanks gals!).

So, without any further adieu - the new site location:

www.adventuresinmobilehomes.com

(Note: For those who are subscribers, no need to do anything. I just need to make the update on my end, thanks for your continued support!)

Hope to see you all there, thanks for reading!

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - Assembling/Disassembling A Storage Shed

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).



Video Link

When out looking at mobile homes, there are times when I have found homes to buy but need to move them. Usually, the main reason I move them are due to location (i.e. less desirable park, out on piece of land, etc).

Right now, I'm working a deal on a mobile home that I need to move - it's in a lower end park. And, I'm planning to move it into a nicer park. I've already checked out the new lot (i.e. electricity, plumbing, size, etc) - the park I'm moving the home to has agreed to pay for my moving costs, which definitely helps.

In any case, in going over the logistics of moving the home - there are a couple of other things I needed to consider in the move. One of them being the outdoor storage shed. Here's a pic:


(Note: When out looking at mobile homes in parks, it's fairly common to see these types of outdoor storage sheds alongside the homes. Sometimes they will be owned by the homeowner yet other times they will be owned by the park. It's always a good idea to ask who owns the storage shed (if any) when looking at and viewing mobile homes).

In determining the logistics of moving the outdoor storage shed, I asked my handyman what he thought it would involve to disassemble and re-assemble the shed at the new location. He told me it would be much more time and cost effective to ask the mover to move the entire shed "as-is" and not disassemble the shed as this would be extremely laborious as there are many bolts and screws on the shed itself. Here's a pic of the back so you can see:



So after getting his opinion, I decided to just have the mover move the shed "as-is" so to save on time. We are trying to get the home moved out as soon as possible to the new location.

When moving mobile homes, there are other things to consider for the move besides the home itself. A few items to consider include the storage shed (if any), porch/deck (need to figure in cost to assemble/re-assemble), skirting (removal and replacement), outside air conditioning unit (usually disconnected by a/c contractor and re-connected at new location), etc.

All in all, it's best to figure in the time and costs necessary to take care of these added items beforehand. That is why it's best to have a team lined up. Honestly, I can say - having good team players has definitely been key to success in this business.

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use.

(Note: The blog will be on hiatus through next week. I've been a bit tied up with other deals and projects but will be back soon. Stay tuned, thanks for reading!)

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!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Investing 101: Does Mobile Home Investing Really Work?


So many times, folks have asked me the question, "Does mobile home investing really work?" Check out the video to find out my answer, thanks for watching!



Video Link

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - Amperage

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).



Video Link

Recently, I've had to deal with the issue of amperage on a potential mobile home move.

Basically, the home I was looking at had an electrical maximum amperage (via the breaker box) of 200 amps. So, I was looking at a home that could run 200 amps of electricity (max).

Since I was planning to move the home to another park (as this park was just not my kind of park), I had to pick out a lot that was already set up for 200 amps electrical service (via the feeder box). Ok, so what is a "feeder box?"

Well, basically the feeder box is the main box that supplies electricity to mobile homes in a park. Usually, the main "feeder box" will look like a bunch of small boxes side by side. Each small "feeder box" within the main "feeder box" will usually be labeled as to the lot number and will say how much amperage it can handle.

(Note: Usually, each small "feeder box" will say usually 100amps, 125amps, 150amps, or 200amps. Most of the time, the 100amps/125amps/150amps will be homes that use both electric and gas but not all the time).

To give you an idea of what a main "feeder box" looks like, here's a pic:



Since the home I had in mind had a maximum amperage of 200 amps, I needed to pick out a lot with a "feeder" box that could support 200 amps. Seriously, the last thing I wanted to do was move a home on a lot with a "feeder box" that could only support 100 amps on a 200 amps (max) home - definitely not a good idea.

Ok, so how do you determine how much amperage a "feeder box" can handle? Usually, you can check the "feeder box" that corresponds to the lot number of the lot picked out and just lift up the panel underneath the meter. Here's a pic:

Feeder Box (to view amperage maximum, lift up panel underneath meter)



Panel underneath meter lifted (as noted 200 amps):



So, this is how to check amperage on a home to make sure it's able to work with the appropriate "feeder box" which is especially important when moving homes into a park.

Seriously, it's not a joke - this is important stuff to know. I knew one fellow investor who knew nothing about mobile home parks and bought one that had feeders that only supported 60 amps (max) type homes.

Well, in doing his numbers and calculations in terms of turning the homes around - he thought he would be able to bank on a large sum of money in terms of income from the lots as well as doing "Lonnie" deals (He planned to fill the lots with newer homes).

As it turns out, after he bought the park - he soon found that the park's "feeders" could only support 60 amps (max) for each lot which could basically support older 1960s and 1970s style homes (which are extremely small and also hard to find nevertheless).

But, if he wanted to bring in larger homes - he would need to do an entire electrical upgrade of the entire park of at least 100 amps on the "feeders" and up. Big mistake.

It cost him both time and money. To make a long story short, he ended up doing an entire electrical upgrade of the entire park which costed him well over 6 figures! (ouch!)

So, yes - knowing the amperage of homes and what the lots can handle in the parks is extremely important to know. Without having this knowledge, it's something that can cost both time and money. That is why I have a team to educate me on the specifics and details of what I do not know - it's hard to know everything!

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use.

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!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Investing 101: What Can A Mentor Do For You?


There are many things a mentor can do for you. And, there are many things a mentor cannot do for you. Check out the video to find out more, thanks for watching!



Video Link

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - Note Buyers

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).



Video Link

During the course of your mobile home investing journey, you may come across other investors who buy notes (aka Note Buyers). Usually, these folks look for notes to buy for cash to derive passive income and cash flow.

So, why would someone buy notes? Well, usually note buyers would rather concentrate their efforts on buying notes for cash flow than go out and do the work to put "Lonnie" deals together - it's more of a time issue than anything else.

(Note: Finding and putting together "Lonnie" deals do take a significant amount of time).

For me personally, I am constantly receiving inquiries from note buyers and fellow investors. Usually, these people will already be familiar with the mobile home business or know someone who is. A couple of park managers I know work with note buyers and usually bring up the issue when I go see them. And, even some park owners have expressed interest.

Though I am not interested in selling my notes at this time, I do know some fellow investors who choose to do so. But, why?

Usually, it's more of a cash issue. When they run low on cash, they usually sell some of their notes (at a discount) because they need the cash for personal reasons or to raise more money for their deals.

(Note: Personally, I do know a fellow investor who sells half of his "Lonnie" deals (aka notes) to raise more money to do more deals and keeps the rest of them in place).

So, how much of a discount do these notes get sold at? Well, it really comes down to negotiation - what the seller is willing to sell for and what they buyer is willing to buy for.

Most times, I see note buyers start their offers at $0.50 on the dollar based on the value of the note. Though, I've heard of some who offer even less. But, then again - there are others who offer more. At times, I've been offered $.70-$0.80 on the dollar for mine. Again, it's all a matter of negotiation.

(Note: For those looking for notes to buy, park owners are a great source. I've had several park owners contact me asking if I'd be interested in buying their mobile home notes. In these cases, they are usually in need of raising money to free up cash. Usually, it's a good idea to see what exactly they're looking for in terms of a price for their notes. Some will tell you (as one park told me they were looking for at least $0.75 on the dollar), though others may just tell you to make an offer).

Now, if you are interested in selling your notes there is another option - selling partial notes. I had no idea this option even existed until a park manager told me some note buyers she works with are willing to buy partial notes. So, how does this work?

As I understand it, a certain part of the note can be sold (at a discount) - either the first half of the note or the second half. Depending on which half you decide to sell, then the buyer will then start receiving benefit from the note (aka the first half or second half of the note).

Personally, I do not look for notes to buy. I prefer to put my own "Lonnie" deals together. Though, others I know who do buy notes tell me it's more of a time issue for them - they would rather just focus on finding and buying notes already put together than going out and putting them together themselves. There's nothing wrong with that - to each his own.

The way I see it, buying and selling notes is just another option to have in your toolbox in the mobile home business. And, having options is always a good thing.

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use.

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!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Investing 101: So You're Interested In Mobile Home Investing But Everyone Thinks You're Crazy



Honestly, what you do does not define who you are - you define who you are. Why? Check out the video to find out, thanks for watching!



Video Link

p.s. Feel free to leave comments on any post either here and/or my Facebook Page. Comments are always welcome, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Terminology Tuesday - Amortization Schedule

(Note: I think it's important to know the terminology and words used when learning any new business including mobile home investing. I came up with 'Terminology Tuesday' as a way to go over the terminology used in the mobile home business. It's important to know the terminology when talking to people in the business so you're all on the same page).



Video Link

When I work with buyers, I always let them know before we close that at any time during the term they can request an amortization schedule. This gives them peace of mind that they can always know how much they have paid.

However, I do make it clear to folks that if they do make a request - it must be done in writing. In the beginning, I did take verbal requests. Though, now I prefer to have everything in writing. I know it sounds meticulous, but that's just my preference.

(Note: Always cater your business to your style of doing things and what you feel comfortable with - everyone has a different style).

One time, a park manager did tell me one of my buyers asked her if she could just get a payoff from me. I told the park manager that the request needs to be in writing. But, the park manager said "Why don't you just tell me the payoff and I can just pass it on to your buyers the next time they are in the office?"

Quite honestly, I did not feel comfortable with this arrangement. Sure, this was a park manager I knew very well and we both got along great. Though, it just was not my comfort level to do business this way. For me, I really needed to stick to my policy of honoring requests in writing.

(Note: Again, you need to do what you feel comfortable with. One of my fellow investors has told me in the past that I can go a bit overboard at times with my policies and procedures. This particular investor does not operate like me - they prefer to do some things verbally which has worked for them. Again, it's all a matter of preference - run your business according to your comfort level and style of doing things).

Sometimes my buyers request amortization schedules, sometimes they just request a payoff. Whatever they request (of course in writing) I always honor their request - it is part of our agreement to let them know what they have paid.

(Note: I've heard of some investors who do not provide this information or withhold it from their customers. I feel this is wrong and unethical).

Lastly, I am always upfront with buyers before we close and let them know that they can always pay more than the monthly payment for a quicker term. At any time during the term, I let them know they can always pay off the balance if they wish.

(Note: Actually, I encourage a quicker payoff. This gets them excited as most like the idea of owning a free and clear home. At times, some do end up paying more than the monthly payment. Though, the majority like the idea of paying extra but really end up paying the monthly payment).

As for obtaining and/or creating an amortization schedule, there are various programs on the Internet. If you do a Google search for "amortization schedule program" you will find many come up in the results.

(Note: If you use "Google Docs," they do have an "amortization schedule" program available. I've used it myself, it works quite well).

Quite honestly, it's important not to get so bogged down in all of the paperwork. In my opinion, it's more important that you learn and create a mutual trust with your buyers.

Sure, there's paperwork involved but what good is that piece of paper without someone's word behind it? Someone can make a promise to you but if there's no trust and that promise is broken, then there really was nothing there to begin with.

I hope this "Terminology Tuesday" post has been helpful and has given you some useful information to use.

(Note: Lately, I've been contacted by many with concerns about the "SAFE Act". My best advice would be to check with the local parks (and "Lonnie" dealers) in your area to see how they are handling it.

In my opinion, I think the parks would be under more scrutiny (since they operate on a bigger scale) than individual "Lonnie" dealers. Again, it's going to boil down to interpretation and enforcement, which can vary from area to area.

For those who are still concerned, I have read this special report which does have some good commentary and points about the Act. Hope that helps!)

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!