I’ve been looking for a reasonable buy for about a year in the Pacific Northwest now and was too late getting financing on the only deal I’ve found. I’m not yet sophisticated like you champs yet, so am wary to purchase my first deal out of state. I’d be willing to do it on a killer deal. What is the best method you all use to find those deals? Custom searches on loopnet, or web scraping? Or does most of it come from long term relationships with brokers who provide pocket listings? I’d like to focus on the low hanging fruit. Any input is highly appreciated.
It’s less likely you’ll find a ‘killer’ deal in any sexy market. Basically anything on either coast is ‘sexy.’ We buy in TX, OK, KS, etc. in the midwest where valuations are reasonable (e.g. 10% cap rates on land only). Frank and Dave focus on 10%-cap parks in the greater midwest too.
Pocket listings are good. You might also try mailing post cards and/or making phone calls or driving into the parks and trying to meet the owner (although many parks are managed by a manager and the owner is nowhere to be found). Use a little shoe leather.
To your continued success,
I think great deals are more related to making offers than jumping on the ‘listed’ great deal.
I know a guy that was just making offers at 50% of the listed price off loopnet- and guess what- he got one to say yes. It was a 21 CAP under contract.
You might look just at parks that have been listed for over 180 days- or 270 days etc… these are parks that are begging for an offer. In most cases, if you can really educate a seller in how parks are priced through real income and expense reports, and the correct application of a CAP rate, you will find great deals.
We target areas as well and email agents in the towns within our target area, seeking info on parks that might be for sale.
Remember- and this is not a blanket statement but in general, many parks are priced by less than informed means. Might be someone that says- that park must be worth $500,000- the seller buys the info and with no real data, the price is set. Or, someone that really does not understand how CAP rates are applied. If you come to the table as a educator first you will find you can put parks under contract pretty easy.
A last note- do not get caught on a certain CAP rate… they are important- but not everything.
There are many parks I would buy at a 4 CAP, and many I would not touch at a 20 CAP. Over the last few years I have walked from 2 deals- both over 20 CAPs with non recourse owner financing… and almost no money down as well- like less than 10%… The point is- you need to know the whole deal- CAP is part, Cash on Cash is part, IRR is part… and the bones of the park is the most important part…
another point- most really great deals are NOT nationally listed… they are listed by a friend or relative and probably in the general house section of the local MLS… they are priced funky and you will have to rework most of the thought process that went into putting the park on the market…
Anyway- there are GREAT deals to be had-make offers.
Good luck to ya!
Thanks Jefferson and Jim,
Both were great responses.
I’d love to know some specifics on the high cap rate deals you walked away from. What made the deals bad, and what do good bones in a park look like. Is that specific to the age and condition of the mobile homes?
Loopnet ??? I can’t even understand all I know about what it is that I’m a-doin’ on Loopnet…:S
All kidding aside…I can’t find a mobile home park section on Loopnet, or figure a way to “Search” for MH Parks.
If someone can “clue me in”., my appreciation will be two meters thick.
Loopnet puts MHPs under ‘multifamily’ along with the apartment buildings.
So- the very high CAP deals I walked from… One was in Texas. It was on the coast and on the surface was a pretty nice looking park. Located on a corner, it had septic tanks with sewer 300 yards away on the corner of the MHP property line. In the walkthrough, I noted the leach field lines had been vacated, the sewer pipes out of the septic tank were flowing into a field that was really the back yards of 1/2 of the homes. In another case there was grass chest high along side one of the homes, the culprit was another failed field, in this case they just took the top off the septic tank and let it flow over. As the system was failing the owner directed the tenants to ONLY let black water into the tanks- all grey water lines were cut under the homes and allowed to flow directly onto the ground under the homes. In the process of backing out- I made a comment to the real estate agent (sellers agent) that I did not think I would do the deal if they gave me the park and I only had to make payments… about 1/2 hour after signing the release for the earnest money he called- and asked if I was serious about not taking the park- because the owner was willing to sell it no money down and just carry the note… I would not assume the liability. I am not sure there is enough corporate protection, insurance etc to cover you if someone got sick- and how do you clean up years of this abuse… I would not sleep at night for sure if I bought that one.
The other was in a small town in the mid west. Another owner carry, low down deal. This property is a combination of several things- I will hit a few. This deal had a sellers agent- and when we were negotiating terms he would say things like- Hey, Close the deal and in a year call the seller- tell him he needs to lower the principal and interest or you will not pay- trust me- he will do it…
That was a sign I needed to really watch this deal, the contract, the terms etc…
So the town the park(s) were in was a bedroom community that fed some towns that served the auto industry. The unemployment rate was about 19% (adjusted by adding in union employees that were out of work but receiving benefits. So the unemployment number looked like it was about 9%- but the area only supported jobs at the 19% number.
The seller missed the first closing date- we reset a week later. The day prior to closing Chrysler filed for chapter 11- and announced it was going to shut down some plants. Well, 3 (different names of companies) that were building transmissions for Chrysler were on the list. At first glance I thought, thats ok… well- all 3 had plants in that supporting employment town- new unemployment rate after adding in the union workers that were just laid off- but getting benefits- 48%.
So the economic conditions did not support one of my primary exit options- to hold the property forever. So- I walked (along with an agreeing partner) from the closing… That deal as is cash flowed over 100% cash on cash the first year- and it had good upside, a owner carry non recourse loan.
Many people would have done either of the deals- but for me it is about sleeping well at night…
So- there you have it- the stories are a bit truncated… but you get the gist…
Thanks for sharing that, Jefferson. Much appreciated.