New in Southern CA

Greetings all! This website is very informative and members are very helpful. I would like to say first that I am exploring this opportunity b/c I don’t hear anyone talking about it and the perceptions of people to this niche is not, well shall I say in not such nice words.

I have 7 rentals in Texas that are chugging along, but I really enjoy the finance side of this business it since that is my specialty and what I was in college for. The numbers look more like scenarios we used to work out on our TI calculators. Like a real return!! People buying apartments with 4% caps makes no sense to me. I am no expert by any means, I have a continuing education degree in Hard Knock U. I really like the idea of helping provide affordable housing to good folks. I don’t want to say that it can’t be done in my back yard, because I know someone must be doing it. I have just finished reading Making$inMH (just got it tonight in the mail). I have ordered DOW, any others?

I live in the Western part of Los Angeles County. I have told myself that I will drive 2 hours roundtrip to do deals until I get more experience. This leaves me with all of Ventura County and all of North Los Angeles County. Driving downtown will just take too much time in traffic. I want to get results asap and figure I can cover more parks if I stay out of downtown LA! I have made business cards, driven almost 2 parks a day for the last 4 days. Where I live there are very few parks in the immediate area…but there are plenty within 45-60 minutes of me. From all that I have read so far in the posts, I feel like I may need to go out past Ventura and also look to Kern County. My wife speaks spanish so this will help in areas farther out.

She thought I was nuts at first to consider mh’s since I drag her with me as much as possible when I drive around looking at parks. The first few days I would pick her up from work and drive the area around her job so she could see the places. Tonight, while driving around the parks in my 5 mile radius, she got the wonderful notion that living in a MH community would be great for her mom with the money that we can make. I have learned to let her find her conclusions, so I am not the dreamer, we can do this bit I always pull.

I would really like to keep to my rule of 1 hour driving distance. But, I figure I should ask for feedback to see what others think.

I am starting out soon and plan to go about it like this:

Start doing ads - post them in the news papers or local papers. This will gather prospects for motivated sellers to approach you and motivated buyers to buy from you.

That’s my first phase. Also - check with the DMV because I heard of a state law that says for you to do business with MH’s, you must have a license to do so.

I just got into reading Lonnie’s “Deals On Wheels” book and I’m sticking to what his is suggesting.


I do “Lonnie Deals” for investors in my area as a business and I’ve done about twenty in the past six months. I use a system for selling my homes that helps me leaverage my time greatly. I think you can use a few of these tips to sell a home that is farther from your home than you would like it to be.

First I get a voicemail number from a website like They give you a phone number and a voicemail box for 48 dollars a year.

Next, I buy a lockbox from Home Depot for about 30 bucks and put it on the mobile home front door with a key inside. I put a sign on the door that says “Call this number, and you can view this home right now!!” The sign has my cell phone number.

I then set up the voicemail box I bought with a nice description of the home and directions to get there. Then I leave in the message that if they are interested in viewing the home they just need to drive to the home and call the number on the door. I run an ad in the local paper, the way Lonnie has it written in DOW, and I include the voicemail number. People call the number, get the directions, drive to the home and call your cell phone. Ask them for a driver’s license number or something, and ask for their cell phone number if it did not come up on your phone when they called you. Hang up and call them right back. If they answer and gave you some personal info, give them the lock box code and allow them to walk through on their own. Ask them to please call you back when they are done, just to confirm that they have relocked the home. This also gives you a chance to talk to them and feel them out. Make sure you leave some credit applications on the counter and tell them to fill it out and fax it to you if they are interested. I always end the call by telling them that if they are interested in viewing the home again at a later date, to show a parent or a friend,or just to walk through again, that they have to call me back, as I have someone who changes the lock box code evry morning. So far that little lie has saved me from kids calling and sneaking back in to party on another day. It would also help if you had one of the neighbor’s phone numbers and ask them to keep an eye on it for you. You could have them check onit, every once in a while to make sure no one has done any damage to the home.

This little system has saved me from running to the home every time someone calls and wants to see it.

Anyway, hope it helps a little…


I’ve done about twenty in the past six months.


I am really curious as to how much time do you utilize in finding deals?


Thank you argyre, thank you for replying. I have been gathering the data for the parks in my immediate 30 minutes first. Will take on some more this weekend since I will be out and about downtown that weekend for another seminar. Grading the parks that I have seen and will see. I will keep this post running to see if I can make it in this niche.

I have got to get a dealers license which I am in the process of seeing into some classes the DMV mentioned. 6 hour course. $100 bucks, I am calling DMV in morning, too.

Any other ideas for mobile home advertising. I have limited funds so any mentions of places to advertise (this is probably a dream, right?). I have a few in mind already. I want to ask if you or anyone else has had luck with internet advertising with classified sites like craigslist? I am assuming most mobile home owners don’t use the internet, or that the returns are too miniscule to put up the effort, guess it wouldn’t hurt to try.

Just figured that I want to focus on where a mh seller would look for something like this. I figured like Lonnie says, visit parks, make friendly with the managers. Then perhaps walk the parks and talk to people. Maybe even a flier campaign but would probably need to run this by manager. Or, do direct mail…not likely to do right now because of the high cost.

Thank you for your reply. I will keep this in mind. This can help extend my area out another 100 miles or so. What area are you in? From your reply it sounds like the upper mid western states. Thanks again!

Reply to Beck:

Your lockbox time-leveraging is pretty close to what I do . . . consider this as well:

I got this idea from Dyches Boddiford at MHM5; have the PM do all the work, as though they are a “sales agent” for you. Bottom line for me, is that I show the home like you do, get them to apply with the park, PM faxes me their app, I do the docs, AND THEN have the PM do the close!!!

I may never have to meet anyone! The PM closes the deal, takes their commission/referral fee out of the money collected at closing, and mails me the whole packet back.

Doing the first one of these now, as soon as the buyer ponies up the cash, he will close with the PM. This PM gets $500 per referral, so I’ll hve him earn a little of that by doing the closing too.

Ok you guys!! Good news. I found a lead…possible Lonnie Deal.

Seller has a sw mh. I would need to relocate it, but the looks of it seems to be a trailer so my question is can I possibly save $$ since this looks like a trailer with wheels on it, setting up on a new space entails what? OR I can get a moving company to do the whole . Looks like it will cost ~2500-3000 + $5 a mile. Probably 40-60 miles. I will try to buy for 50% or less. I am thinking if I can locate a park to place it in, do owner financing with 10% down. What should I be watching out for, what pitfalls, I know moving a mh for your first deal is risky, but if the price is right and I find my buyers first, what do you guys think. I would try to place it in a decent family park in the lower end areas around me. HELP ME structure this one!

jt, have you read Deals On Wheels? there’s a reason Lonnie recommends staying away from moving a home for your first few deals.

Because its a pain in the ass.

I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, but its the way it is. There are people who make good money buying and reselling movers, but its not easy, its not for the uninitiated, and it is a REALLY quick way to turn you off on the whole business. AND you make BETTER money buying and selling non-movers.

There have been volumes written on this, and overwhelmingly, people recommend NOT doing it. Its a matter of running before walking.

I, too, recommend against this deal. I get calls asking me to take FREE homes every week, “just move it out of here and it’s yours”. The few I do take and move (a handful a year), I regret every one.

Now, with that said, if it is to fill MY OWN PARK, then that’s a different story. Its a whole new stream of cashflow besides starting up rent on a vacant lot, so with the two incomes together, it is the best way to go.

Truthfully, follow Lonnie’s advice to the letter. Every time you deviate, you learn the hard way why you shouldn’t have.

That is the beauty of these forums; you can learn from others’ mistakes, and you don’t have to make your own (but knuckleheads like me do anyway).

So don’t be a knucklehead like me.

“I have got to get a dealers license which I am in the process of seeing into some classes the DMV mentioned. 6 hour course. $100 bucks, I am calling DMV in morning, too.”

JT - Can you please tell me where did you find this information? I have been trying to look for it today!

Thanks in advance!

Post Edited (03-28-07 12:55)

This link is handy to check the status of dealers. Always know who you are dealing with, eh. To answer your questions, see FAQ on the left side. It will take you to the steps to get your dealers license. Note, this is for California only.

By the way, anyone here do any deals. I am working 2 leads, but I am not in a hurry. Still alot to learn.


Thanks for your help. I also found some useful links for everybody else to see (at least for those who want to do deals in California).

Here is the post:

Oh - and what did you find out from the DMV? When I spoke with them, the lady told me I had to fill out a lot of paper work. So I asked “What about MH’s? Do you know what forms to fill out?”

She replied “All of them.”

Feeling unsure about her reply, “Are you sure?”


“And the fee scheduling as well?” I replied.

“Yes. That too. Its all in the handbook.”

I think that she doesn’t know what is required for our portion of the vehicle dealership industry. However I did speak with one of licensing dealership educator representatives and they will get back to me with the right answer (hopefully). I’ll post the answer once I get a call back.

Post Edited (03-29-07 13:55)