How to talk to park managers

Hi everyone, just found this forum… great educational place!!

im still trying to do my first lonnie deal… i have a couple questions that maybe someone can help me with…

How do you talk to park manager/owner about doing a lonnie deal?!?

Do you tell them that you are buying to fix and sell?

Do you need to get approved by park to buy a mobile home even if your’re gonna sell it?

Do they need to pull a credit report and check your income?

How do ask the manager about buying abandoned/foreclosed homes in his park? Talk as an investor or tenant?

please help me out so i can do my first deal… its a 1982 rex 3/1 14x66 that needs some work(broken window, kitchen need to be fixed, paint,new carpet) the lot rent is $465 and i could prob sell for $250/mo x 30/mo… She just got divorced and kids moved out, she also moved out and needs to sell!! asking price is $2000

what should i do?

Thanks alot guys - John

Each park is different. It’s hard to know what you will have to do without knowing the park’s rules. You might give them a call and ask them over the phone without revealing who you are or which home you are interested in. Make sure you talk to the person in charge.

I made the mistake once of getting an okay from a manager, and getting a call later from the owner, asking just what the hell I thought i was doing?

You might want to try a different route. Ask the divorcee if you can show the home on a Saturday afternoon. Run an ad in the local paper and on Craigslist. Shouldn’t cost you more than 100 bucks total. Talk to those people who call and get them all there at the same time on Saturday. You might get an application on the home before you ever purchase it. I’ve done this many times. If the seller is motivated and it sounds as if she is, then she should have no problem with you showing the home while she is still in there.

If you manage to get it sold before you buy it, that would save you all of this hassle, and it would also save you from paying any lot rent.

Good Luck!


thanks alot for your input… but as i said before, the place needs to be fixed up quite a bit before selling it… im a remodeling contractor, so i will have my crew do all the work… i cant show it till i fix it…


First thing, study Lonnie Scruggs book Deals on Wheels. He gives great tips about this aspect of the biz - Your success is dependent upon how well you deal with park managers/owners.

yes, i have read 2 of lonnie’s books… what im trying to figured out is the approach everyone takes when dealing with managers/owners…

Stress the point that you FINANCE homes, that is the value you offer to the MHP. Beyond that, just work to win them over. Bring them donuts, lunch ect. be generous in compesation for referals to buy and sell.

Referrals and free chow always tends to win PM’s and owners over. I pay one PM $100 for every home she tells me about that I buy and $100 on the back end if she refers a buyer to me.

The absolute most important thing is to convince the PM’s and Owners that you are not renting the homes out. If you have to start paying lot rent to get in the door, it may be worth it in the long run.

If the home truly needs work to get it in peak selling shape, you may have to bite the bullet and pay lot rent from the get go. However, before you do, make sure the park is ok with what you are trying to do. the last thing you want to do is buy the home, fix it up and then have to carry the deal until you find a cash buyer (if they won’t let you carry the paper).

$465 per month will add up quick, so be sure you to know your market before you jump in. Good luck!


All good advice. I wouldn’t jump too quick to the conclusion that you cannot sell the home before fixing it up.

With rehabs, I always start showing the home as soon as I can get access even before the seller moves out. ESPECIALLY if I’m on the hook for lot rent around 465/month.

Run an ad on craigslist that says “Home needs work.” You’d be surprised how many people will come look at a home in it’s current condition. If they say no, they say no…nothing lost, nothing gained. If the person is not handy, you can tell them what work you are planning to do and let them pick out colors of carpets or paints. It gets them emotionally invested into the home. If someone is living in it now, then chances are good that while you are working on it, or before you even start you can show the home and possibly find an as/is buyer.

There is a fear that you might scare away buyers by showing them a home that is not in great shape, but it is unfounded. If you run a handy man special ad, or state that the home is in rough shape, you will get different buyers than the ones you will get when you say “Completely remodeled gorgeous home.”


so here is the update on this unit…

she didnt want to go down on the price and after close inspection i saw alot more problems… i took a piece of sheetrock of under the sink and saw mold and all the floors need to be replaced… so i back off and decided not to go ahead with this deal…

so while i was in the neighborhood i stopped by another mobile home park down the street… i walked in and asked the manager if there are any homes for sale in the park, she showed me some that were already remodeled(not what i want) then i told her that i was looking for something that needs remodeling and cheap… she said that she has a home that has just been abandoned!!

here are the details…

1981 kozy

56x24 1344 sq. ft.

3 bed/2bath

told me i could drive by and take a look… i went over there and it looked good from the outside(new roof), but it was locked… so i found an old chair in the shed and tried the windows… one was open!! i went in and looked around the place…

needs new carpet, new paint, new blinds, new kitchen cabinet doors, new bathroom vanities/sinks… also the neighbor said that the furnace was broken… other than that it looked to be in good condition with no leaking or rotting…

i called the bank and they told me that they are owed $22,000 and asked me what i was looking to pay… i didnt give them an answer…

i have an appointment tomorrow morning to meet with them and look things over and try to negotiate a price…

What do you guys think?

any tips on dealing with banks?

Thanks, John


You will have to let the banker do as much talking as possible to get a feel for their understanding of the MoHo business in 2009. If they are clueless, you can practice telling them about the deplorable condition of the MoHo industry and their home. But don’t get your hopes up beyond looking out of your socks. Most of these folks are expecting the moon, unless they are a MoHo lender. In rare cases, local banks are fearful of MoHos and will dump it at any price.

DON’T sign anything with a bank until you are on firm ground with the manager!

P.S. I always tell PMs I am an investor. Pussyfooting around that you might be buying for yourself will destroy your credibility as a businessman. PMs like to do business with “professionals”. They’ve got a park full of people not in the business.


it is a local bank… should i make an offer? what would you guys offer? i dont want to lose on my first deal!!! help

Post Edited (09-17-09 21:26)

also, how do you think i should structure the note when selling??

I wouldn’t offer them $10k. Most repos can be bought for 25 cents on the dollar (or less), especially older ones. You are a cash buyer who can solve the REO agents problem, so I wouldn’t give away the farm too soon. Find out how long they’ve had it sitting there and go from there. Bring up how much work needs to be done, etc and work the numbers backwards. if it’s going to cost $5k for rehab, and the homes worth $15k retail in the open market, you sure as heck don’t want to pay the bank $10k.

For example, “sorry Mr banker, but the home needs $5k worth of repairs and it’s only really worth $10k fixed up. I’ll give you $4k cash today…”

Also, make sure you get your investment plans approved at the park first, so you don’t buy yourself a double wide and then have to figure out how to pay to move it out of an unfriendly park. Moving doubles costs at least $5k where I live, and you don’t want to move homes unless you have to.

A wise man once said, “you make your money when you buy, not when you sell.” Good Luck!


i took your advise and the banker said 5k… i told him to talk to his supervisor and see if he can come up with a better deal… i am hoping to get it for 4k!!

that would be great!!

ill keep you updated

here is how i want to structure the note

Length of Loan80

Interest Rate0.1199

Sale Price$30,000.00



Other Monthly Charges$15.00


Monthly Payment$543.19

Total Payments$43,455.44

Total Interest$14,455.44

Cash On Cash$7,518.32 93.98%

Loan Total Return$15,455.44 555.69%

Whole Months12.89

Overall Return$35,455.44 443.19%

Annual Return$5,318.32 66.48%

does this look right? let me know if i should change something


I don’t know what part of the country you are in but $30K for a small 28 yr-old DW in a park seems high. If this is your typical market price, go for it.

If you want to move it fast, especially having to pay lot rent, keep the price close to “comps”. Keep the payments + lot rent close to local apartment rates. Are comparable apartments renting for $1000/mo. in your area?

3.3% down on a $30K home just about guarantees you will have problems with the buyer. John, you’ll have a lot of dough in this thing, I’d try to get more of a DP and lower monthly pymts.


so i made a deal with the banker for $4500… it will cost $3500 to fix… so total invested $8000…

i checked tons of mobile homes on craigslist and this size home goes for $30-$35k…

the rent for a 3 bedroom apartment is $1000-$1200… i live in portland oregon… things here are alot more expensive here then florida(i lived there for 3 years)

would i make more money selling as is or should i fix it… my crew will do all the work, so i can get alot done for cheap…

the reason i want only $1000 down, is that i read somewhere that homes will sell faster when the down payment is smaller…


Sounds like you’ve got a winner. If rents in your area are $1000-$1200, do people come up with an equivalent deposit? Maybe you can go between at $1500 down but it also depends on the park’s deposit and 1st mo rent. $1000 down may be your best bet.

No question that homes sell faster with lower DP. However, typically the less skin in the game, the less they care about the place or are likely to pay you. But this is why we do what we do: Take the risk on making good money.


Its been over a month and a half since your purchase. How’s your deal going? Well, I hope. Please keep me posted, as I have not done a deal yet. I’m very interested in hearing your story.

Going back to what Dr. B said about being honest with the PM’s…

I’ve found that PM’s/Owners (the few that I’ve talked to, cause I’m new!) are MUCH more understanding when I say that I want to buy and finance the house, rather than buy it for myself or a random couple. The first time I talked to a PM I said I had “a young couple” that needed financing to buy a MH… Oh, that was so bad! He wanted to know everything about these fictional people, where they worked, how much they made, etc. Let alone how horrible it made me feel for lying straight through my teeth. I mean, I don’t mind bringing coffee and donuts, but straight out fibbing is hard. Nope, if they can’t handle the truth from the get go, they don’t deserve my business I figure.