Realistic time needed for due diligence?

I have read all of Lonnie Scruggs Books recently and have devoured much of the MHU website. Obviously, the courses are a must and attending a bootcamp is a no-brainer. I am thoroughly intrigued and would like to pursue this investing strategy idea further. However, due to my unusual work schedule, my question concerns whether I have adequate time available to complete the thorough due diligence required.

Currently, I travel overseas every other month, leaving me with exactly 25 consecutive days off every other month in between to find, lock up, analyze, perform due diligence, decide to move forward and close on any potential MHP deals I encounter.

I must retire in 8 years. I have no plan for retirement other than the realization that this is not a good plan. Owning 300-500 spaces 8 years from now is a better plan.

Is 25 days enough time or am I spinning my wheels to even dare to dream this big?

Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

It’s doable with that limited time.  Get a copy of F&D’s ‘30 Days of Diligence.’  Your best path forward is some combination of:1. Buy a park that has absolutely no park-owned homes2. Get yourself a partner in the deal(s) to help co-fund and co-operate your propertiesI will say you are going to need to have internet access from overseas.Good luck,-jl-

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You can complete the majority of due diligence from your phone and computer (thank heavens for the internet revolution). You only have to physically be at the property, for diligence, for two days at most. Your travel schedule would not preclude doing outstanding due diligence.

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Just got back home in the states, thanks for the encouraging replies. It’s very reassuring to know this business is doable for me. Frank, will contact your office tomorrow regarding materials and bootcamp. Thanks again. Robert

We do most of our due diligence via internet and phone calls. The MHPS due diligence book is a good resource to get the ball rolling, just make sure you are using follow up questions to information that is in any way shape or form questionable. Remember this is not buying a house- so the rule is buyer beware. The disclosure laws that exist for a residence do NOT apply. If you do not know what questions to ask, or what your looking at during a walk-through, hire someone with the right questions and eyes to assist you. I like 2 days, 1 night for my park due diligence IF there are no park owned homes. I add time for each home or structure. I give myself 1 hour for every 4 homes, and I plan in proper breaks and additional time for bad weather. So if there were 40 park owned homes, you would need 8 hours to walk the homes, and an hour for lunch, and I would add 3-4 15 minute bathroom / drink / regroup breaks. Another thing- I use very little paper in a walk-through. A map, a note pad for quick- later that day or trip notes… but I really use the crud out of a voice recorder. (note- you need a good microphone if it is windy at all). I then send my recordings to a transcription person, and in a few days I have pages of notes. I have learned to speak my notes much faster than I could ever write. The recorders have folders- so I switch between them for homes, or general park notes. This is really key for walking homes. I also take photos in a very specific way, and will even use 2 cameras. One for general photos, and even use a small video camera for this, and another for homes. I use cameras that use AA or AAA batteries so I never have to worry about charging. When I come to a home- the first pic is ALWAYS a close up of the house number. I know- that starts the photos of just that home. And I know that runs until I see the next home #. When I am sitting down after a walk-through, I have ‘lot folders’ on my computer. I put all of the photos for each home into each folder. They are shared in a dropbox folder, so if I have partners, or am doing due diligence for someone- we all have the data right away. Back to the photos of the homes. Try to be consistent- well- I try to be at least. The number on the home, then a pic of the front from a 45 degree angle, then the back from a 45 degree angle, the once inside, I take pics from 2 corners at least in each room, using the side walls as edges for each photo. This will give you very full photos of what you have just seen. The homes will all blend together after about the 3rd one, well they do for me. As a side note- if your doing your first deal- spend an extra day. Try to get through things on your first day, but it can be overwhelming. Due diligence is like a line dance- you know right away the people that have done the dance 100 times, and the person that is on the 1st or second try… it is not a case where the moves are not there, they are just not stitched together very well. Slow the song down, and allow for a few missteps. You do not need to be fast- but you MUST get in all the steps…

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Jim, thank you for taking the time to provide me with such a detail-oriented response. This info helps to fill in the blanks.

When I ran apartment deals as an asset manager, I hated writing up my inspections. My deals were 200-500 units, required a 10% walk through, examination of down units, vacant units, and overall physical condition. Juggling the digital cards, pasting and captioning photos in Excel, selecting each of the check boxes, scribbling notes on the back of a pricing sheet, calling the manager for something I forgot. It always took me forever to finish and I never wanted to do it after being on site for 8 hours in the sun. Which meant I forgot things.When I was doing some park diligence work a few months ago, I created an inspection template using Canvas ( to use on my iPhone. Everything stays inside the app and I can log my location with GPS and my photos as I take them. I can bang out a walkthrough in about 15 minutes if everyone is organized. Since it is basically a paper form converted into a digital record, I have the same path each time: exterior shots (each facade plus street context) followed by interior shots (Kit/LR, MBR, BR 1, BR 2, laundry, bathroom) and space for quick notes like ceiling repairs, pets, or smokers. Each home gets its own record and I can then export it to an Excel spreadsheet for further analysis or create a report that has all my notes in it. It’s easy to set up check boxes, note fields, and anything else you might want. The best part is that I’m writing the report as I walk the home, cutting my ‘post processing’ time almost to 0.It wouldn’t take much to turn this into a park inspection file either. Couple of pictures of the entrance, a few street shots, clubhouse, and you’ll have an easy way to remember the fourth park you toured yesterday. You could do the same for your managers if you have POH in the park or if they run across potential repo buys. They have the list of what you want to see and can follow it from start to finish. You could use a cheap Android tablet or just buy them an iPod Touch – it doesn’t need an active cellular connection to work.Inexpensive at about $20/month, create the report as you go, it’s a complete no brainer.Will

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