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Category Archives: Mobile Homes

What do I do with this Mobile Home? by Jonathan Dugger

Mobile HOmeMobile home investing typically happens one of two ways; you invest in mobile homes attached to your own land OR you invest in mobile homes that are on someone else’s land (typically the land rented in someone else’s mobile home park). Today, let’s talk now about mobile homes located on rented land (in mobile home parks)!

First of all, there are No Closing Costs – In many states owning a mobile home is very similar to owning a car or a truck. For us as investors, that can mean…….No title insurance, no real estate taxes or insurance prorations, no fees, no surveys, no doc stamps or other costs that typically come with home ownership!

Mobile homes that are located on rented land, such as in a mobile home park, do not close at a title company or attorney’s office. You can close “traditionally”, and I even encourage that in some cases, but you can save those dollars once you understand the process for your area. As I mentioned, mobile homes in parks are considered “personal property” and for that reason it may be as simple as buying or selling an automobile, boat or lawnmower.

The second reason to invest in mobile homes is that you have built in Bird Dogs and Lead Generation – At the start of my mobile home investing career I was almost embarrassed to tell people that I was investing in mobile homes for profit. I really thought that my investor friends and colleagues were sure to scoff and think I had lost my mind. What happened? No one scoffed…well maybe a few did at first; but, for the most part, my fellow investors were happy!

They were happy because now they could do something with all the mobile home leads that they had been stacking up over the months; they could bring them to me. I was having new and seasoned investors bringing me finished deals or great new leads on a silver platter every day.

It is still amazing to me that no one seemed to know what to do with “Ready to Go” leads that came in from regular marketing efforts.

The other “built in birddog” resource is the park residents themselves. Once you get out there and start visiting the parks, you will be amazed at the people that will simply strike up a conversation. They will begin telling you not only their business, but everyone else’s as well. If you are willing to take the time to listen and ask good questions, those conversations often lead to additional inventory, information about market needs, and motivated sellers and buyers.

Next reason, Avoid the Crowds – When I started getting leads and looking at ads for homes listed at $1000, $3000 or even FREE…MUST BE MOVED, I really thought that my calls would be answer with… “Well it already sold”. To my delighted surprise 9/10 of the homes hadn’t been sold yet and the desperate sellers were really ready to play “Let’s make a deal”. I remember to this day the voices of desperate mobile home sellers, telling me how other investors wouldn’t even talk to them because they had a mobile home or how interested buyers were asking for owner financing and the seller didn’t understand the concept or didn’t feel equipped to handle that type of situation.

The Next reason is Low Dollar Deals…. REALLY! – It was for this reason that I started buying mobile homes. I didn’t have cash or credit when I started investing. Mobile homes in parks can be VERY inexpensive. I have gotten many complete homes (appliances included) for 100% FREE in terms of purchase price.

With mobile homes, you start with an initial investment capital of hundreds of dollars, NOT thousands. This also helps those of you that are hung up by the “fear of loss” factor. Although none of us like the idea of losing money, making a $1000 uh oh (we call that the cost of real world education) is a lot easier to recover from than that of a $100,000 catastrophe.

The Final reason….Going, Going, Gone! – What’s that you say, “Good luck selling a mobile home and making money in this market!?” Selling a used mobile home in a park for “All Cash” could be difficult in many markets these days. The fact is that not many mobile home end-buyers have $5,000 – $80,000 cash lying around to buy a used mobile home.

But there is a “World Full” of Serious Buyers ready to own their own home. Our target buyers have had some credit challenges in the past and may not be bank approved; but they DO have a clean record, savings account and good job history PLUS they have $2,000-$5,000 CASH for a down payment, and the ability to make monthly payments. In my experience they make the ideal customer and being able to create a home ownership opportunity for someone that thinks they can never own or never own again is AWESOME!

I’ve shown you just a few of the MANY reasons that mobile home investing can be easy and extremely lucrative. I hope to see you all in the 3 day Rich Dad Education Mobile Home Investing course so we can discover more of the profitable approaches for investing in mobile home units and parks and so like I did, you can go from skeptic to motivated!

The Power of a Rich Dad Education Elite Mentor

Do you ever find yourself stalled despite your best efforts to become a successful investor?  Do you ever wonder why: lack of motivation, knowledge, or opportunity?  There’s a lot of money and freedom in investing, so I doubt it’s a lack of motivation.  There’s plenty of education available, so it’s not that. Everywhere you look you see opportunity.  So what is it?  Fear!  That fear causes our brains to unconsciously put up a defense to protect us from the things we fear most.  So often, we think, “If I could just learn this one more thing, I’ll be ready.”  So we learn it – we still don’t feel ready – and then we look for the next piece we need to learn.

Think of your brain as the operating system and techniques for investing as computer programs you are putting into that operating system.   Currently, your operating system is running a virus program to block anything that could cause you harm.  Even though you know consciously that these techniques are for your own good your virus protection unconsciously sees it as a foreign attack.

So how do we change the filter on that virus protection?  That’s where the master technician comes in: your mentor.  The real value of a Rich Dad Education Elite Mentor is that they help you understand the practical application of what you have learned, change your operating system, and apply the new techniques.  Having motivation, knowledge, and opportunity isn’t enough to be successful.  You need to have a mentor to push you out of your own way.

When I first became interested in investing in mobile homes, I had a terrible experience.  I had motivation, knowledge, opportunity, and a really, really uncooperative park manager, and above the park manager was a disinterested owner.  By the time I resolved the situation; many people would have given up on investing in mobile homes.  I loved the idea of a business in mobile homes and parks and the passive income it could provide for building wealth, but still for six months I was paralyzed with fear.  No matter how successful in or new to investing you are, there will always be sticking points.  We should all be continuously developing as investors.

Instead of giving up and staying away I had a Rich Dad Education Elite Mentor come to my local area to help me.  As the mentor worked with me, I gained confidence that I really did learn a lot about investing in mobile homes based on that bad experience.  Equally as important, I was also able to identify where my real weakness was.  I was terrified at the thought that my mentor was going to make me talk to a park manager.  When you have a fear your instinct is to flee, but that’s exactly what you need to work on.  I finally spoke up and said, “If we do nothing else, just help me talk to managers.”  That’s just what we did and as a result I met two wonderful park managers.  From one of those managers I was told about someone the park was about to evict and file for title.  I bought that home, rehabbed it, and sold it to a new homeowner with financing.  The manager also referred me to an excellent attorney who understands mobile homes and a reliable handyman who does wonderful and inexpensive work on mobile homes.  I now find that deals drop in my lap from my network and potential buyers are waiting in line to buy homes from me.

So that’s all I needed right!?!  WRONG!?!  You will always need mentors.  So many times I hear of people delaying to schedule their Rich Dad Education Elite Mentors because they want to wait until they have something going, but then they never seem to get it together.  Your Rich Dad Elite Mentor is the locksmith that can pick the lock on your success, why would you wait when you know the treasure that lies beyond?  When you are making money and growing your business you can always continue to be mentored.  I just asked another one of my mentors to spend a day working with me and as a result I am currently evaluating some specific mobile home parks for purchase.  THAT’S THE POWER OF A MENTOR!

Alecia St. Germain

What is a “Lonnie Deal”?

Often students will come to my Rich Dad Education Elite Training Mobile Home Course having heard about the concept of the “Lonnie Deal” with either no information or the wrong information. Since this is an approach I actually follow in my own business model and teach in my course, I’d like to give you a brief overview.

First of all, the “Lonnie” part of the descriptor is referring to long time mobile home investor, author and trainer, Lonnie Scruggs, who is credited with making this approach more “mainstream” and has been very successful applying it. He also happens to be the individual who completely changed my stubborn stance from “No way would I ever think about owning a mobile home, much less a mobile home park” to “How quickly can I buy my next little metal box that spits out CASH?”

The technique, although quite flexible and applicable in a variety of settings, typically involves purchasing a mobile home in a mobile home park, possibly doing some minor rehab to get it into move-in condition, and then reselling it to an owner occupant that would much rather buy a home to live in than rent. The key to a “Lonnie Deal” is that the seller also finances the purchase of the home. When I say “finance the property,” I mean that the investor will become the bank/lender, and allow the buyer to make monthly payments until the home is paid off.

In my Rich Dad Education Elite Training Course, we will discuss how to turn a little metal box into a box that spits out CASH. We cover what paperwork to utilize, how to secure your interest and protect yourself, how to explain the approach to the buyer and the park management/ownership, what rate and terms make the most sense, and how to create a win/win and often a home ownership opportunity for someone that never thought they would own anything…much less their own home.

Because it can be very difficult to get bank financing on a mobile home, there is a huge demand for sellers who will finance the properties for their buyers. For example, while it may be difficult to sell a particular mobile home for $6000 in cash, it may be relatively easy to sell that exact same mobile home for $10,000 if it is financed. Often, buyers who can’t pay cash for the home don’t seem to have very many options.

A “typical” (if there is such a thing) Lonnie Deal involves buying a mobile home for anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, possibly doing minor rehab (don’t worry, we will cover this in the Mobile Home Course too) and then reselling for often double the total cost to the investor, with owner financing and payments that make it affordable for the buyer and acceptable to the investor. If you run the numbers, you’ll find that Lonnie Deals provide a tremendous return on investment, with yields often over 100%!

For those of you that have never considered mobile home investing as a possibility but are looking for a way to get started in your “cash flow career” for very little capital and incredible returns, consider the Mobile Home Real Estate Course as an option. For those of you that are ready to own a “cash flow business” that can be structured to run itself (i.e. true passive income) consider taking the Rich Dad Education Elite Training Mobile Home Course. And for those of you that are simply curious about the industry or some of what I call my “healthy skeptics” come see me and let’s see if I can be successful at adjusting your mindset, like Lonnie changed mine. I look forward to seeing you in the Rich Dad Education Elite Training Mobile Home course!

Jonathan Dugger
Rich Dad Education Elite Mobile Home Trainer

Mobile Home Parks – The Power of Control

Mobile home parks are often overlooked by many investors. In some cases, it is because of the stereotype that is associated with low-income housing. The reality is that you can have a very nice, clean mobile home park. It is all about how you want to run your business and the quality of housing you want to provide your tenants.

Mobile home parks are unrivaled in their ability to produce positive cash flow and they have a very low cost per unit. Even though these are very attractive aspects of mobile home parks, there is another characteristic that is even more important.

That characteristic is control.

There are many different “control levers” that you can use to improve the value of the park. The reason that we call them control levers is because these are things you can control with some simple changes. Let’s review these different methods of control that will allow you to almost instantly increase the value of the park.

Control Levers

Here are the levers that will be outlined:

  1. Raising lot rent
  2. Increasing income/Decreasing expenses
  3. Utilities
  4. Selling homes

Raising Lot Rent

You will find that many parks have had the same lot rent for years. For whatever reason, the owner did not increase the rent. It could have been that they just forgot to do it, were too lazy to do it, were afraid of having the tenant move out, or any other myriad of reasons. Most of these reasons have no basis though.

Laziness or forgetfulness are things that are quite easy to overcome. The lot rents should be monitored and kept up to pace with the other parks in the area. We are not trying to raise the rents and gouge people. We are being competitive with the rest of the market. That is why it is called “fair market rent.”

The fear of having people move out is really unfounded. If you think about it logically, the rent is the same amount as what they would pay down the street at another park.  If they do not own the home, are they going to go through the time or expense of moving when they are going to pay the same lot rent elsewhere? It wouldn’t make sense.

Since most mobile home parks have leases that are month to month, raising the lot rent is a control lever that you can use almost instantly to increase the value of the park. How? That leads us to the next control lever.

Increasing Income/Decreasing Expenses

Keep in mind that the value of a mobile home park is measured differently than a single family home. With a single family home, the value will be determined by similar homes that have sold recently in the area. These comparable homes establish the value of the home being sold.

With a mobile home park, value is calculated differently. Generally speaking, there are not a lot of mobile home parks in an area that have recently sold to compare values with. Even if there were, usually the parks are so different that you cannot make a direct comparison.

In the case of mobile home parks, the value of the park is based on the income it produces. This is great news for investors. When you can purchase a park that is under-performing because of poor management, high vacancy rates, or exorbitant expenses, you can make some changes and have instant equity. As you are evaluating parks for purchase, you should identify areas that can be changed or improved for an instant profit.

Utilities

Utilities are a good example of how some parks are mismanaged. There are some parks out there that the utilities are paid by the park and are not billed to the individual owners/tenants. This is a huge monthly expense that can easily be fixed.

For a small fee, you can purchase individual meters for each unit and have the utilities billed to the individual owners. At first, it may seem unreasonable to pass the utilities on to the tenants. However, in a single family home, the homeowner will pay all of the utilities as part of owning the home. When you consider it like that, passing the utilities back to the owners/tenants makes sense.

Even though it may cost a little more, we suggest that you check with the county as you make this change. In most cases, you can pay to have their contractors install the units and they will also insure the lines since they did the work. Having them insure the lines to the utilities is a valuable thing to do.

The bottom line is that by removing the utilities expense, you have greatly increased the monthly cash flow, which also increases the value of the park. If you find a park where the utilities are paid by the park, this is a lever you can quickly pull to increase the value of the park.

Selling Homes

Each mobile home park is different, but there are many of them that have homes that are owned by the park and rented to the tenants that live there. At first glance, this may seem like a good situation because you get to collect the lot rent and the rent from the home. However, there are some issues that come with the park owning the home.

First of all, park owned homes require maintenance. This becomes a tenant/landlord relationship and the landlord is responsible for all repairs on the property. This could mean higher expenses with the maintenance factor. The older the homes are, the more this could be an issue.

The other large issue with park owned homes deals with financing. Lenders will only lend based on the lot rent because that is the amount of income generated by the real estate. Even though a park may generate a lot of income from park owned homes, the lender does not count it during the qualification process. This makes selling a park difficult when there is a large percentage of park owned homes.

One easy way to remedy this is to sell the property back to the tenant using seller financing. The tenant is still making you a monthly payment, but now they own the home instead of renting it. Since the person in the home now owns it, they are responsible for all maintenance. That is one less expense for you to deal with and you are still receiving the income from the seller financing.

As part of the seller financing, you could have the seller pay anywhere from $500-1000 dollars as a down payment and make some very quick capital with no expense for generating it. If you have a 50 unit park and you sell them with $500 as a down payment, you just raised an additional $25,000! Everybody wins in this scenario. The tenant gets the opportunity to own a home, and you are able to be more profitable with your mobile home park.

Ideally, these control levers are points that you should keep in mind as you are evaluating mobile home parks. These are the quick methods that you can use to immediately improve the value of the park and make your investment even more profitable.

 

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