Help me escape from J-O-B!

Hi MHU Community,

First off, I want to say thanks to the moderators and the participants. This forum is great!

Secondly, I am very thankful to have a challenging job with a great company. BUT, I know I am pouring my time, energy and talents into making OTHER people wealthy.

However, I am very inspired by the entrepreneurship, initiative and courage demonstrated by many in this forum.

Along those lines, can anyone tell me how tough the MHP industry really is? Do I have to leave California?

Would you be kind enough to share your journey from employee to MHP owner/ manager?

Thanks, Peter (BTW, I attended Bootcamp Fall 2007 and have made about 4 offers on parks!)

I can’t resist answering this one. You and I have talked before but I have some recent revelations and I want to share them with others who are considering the business.

First of all, I am turning around a 42 space park in NE Ohio. I do or have done pretty much everything except that which various laws don’t allow me to do. This includes all aspects of being a landlord, doing infrastructure upgrades and fixing up homes to sell. Me, myself and I are the principles of the business and everything falls on “our” shoulders alone.

Turning a park around is TOUGH! I work 7 days a week and I must be here to do it. This sort of thing cannot be done from afar. I have no life. Be honest with yourself and ask if that is what you want. Luckily, this is a temporary situation. When I go from “turnaround” to “turnkey”, I can manage this place from anywhere in the world. (My goal is to accept a standing job offer in Japan as soon as I am finished here.) There is absolutely no reason to be near your park once it is up and running the way you want. This assumes your park is lot rent only without any home rentals.

There are far too many things I have to do to put in this one posting. If you want more details about anything, feel free to call me.

One way or another, you or your money has to leave CA. Use the Rockies as your dividing line and run your cap rates on potential parks. It’s real easy to see why there are better places than CA or neighboring states to do business.

This is going to rile a few people but I recommend you avoid Lonnie Deals. These can be very profitable and I admire the people who do this for a living but it’s just another J O B. Again, is that what YOU want? Wait, listen. Can you hear the chorus out there yelling there is no other way to fill your spaces? WRONG! I tried something a very smart gentleman by the name of Ryan Needler suggested and it worked. He suggests paying people to move in. I tried it. I went around to the local sales lots and said I would pay $2,000 and maybe even a bit more for the right people if someone moves a home into my park. Days after telling this to a dealer, I got my first home. Good people, too. This amount seems to be what gets people’s attention in this area. Can you do Lonnie Deals from a distance? No way! Can you make this kind of offer to dealers when you are in, oh, let’s say Tokyo? Oh, yeah.

After all is said and done, I don’t for an instant regret getting into this business and I encourage others to do the same. Once I got rid of the scum(a brutal but necessary part of a turnaround park), I do very little actual “landlording.” I LOVE it. I have been a landlord for decades and this is turning out to be the easiest place to manage I have ever owned. The overwhelming majority of my work involves infrastructure upgrades (an expensive but definitely temporary situation) and fixing up Lonnie Deals. If I follow the model so often put forth on this forum, I would be working on these things forever and not be able to go overseas. This is not what I want. Is it what you want?

Hope this answers a few questions. If anyone wants more info, give me a call. I’m on Eastern time and the best time to reach me is 7-11PM. Or, if you think I am full of it, go ahead and tell me. I’m not offended and we may all get some good ideas.

Rolf Jacobs

Wheat Hill Mobile Home Community

(330) 426-9558

My partner and I are doing very well with a 149 space turn around park that is located in Burlington NC we live in CA. Me or my partner have not been to the park in 3 months. We have taken the park from 43 occupied spaces to 70 spaces in 15 months. I also have land home and Lonnie deals and none of them are in CA. It is all about your management plan and then a big leap of faith. If you are the type that thinks you are the only one that can do the job and you have to touch and feel your place everyday then remote ownership wont work for you. I am putting together more deals out of Ca and have no plans to move from Paso Robles CA. You have 2 very different opinions posted here between Rolf and myself. Feel free to call me also if you need help.

Rick Ewens

805 550-9753


Nice talking to you tonight! You make me feel that I’ve made a right decision to go to the upcoming bootcamp. Be ready for more and better questions I will throw out after I get back from San Antonio.