The Two Roadblocks to Getting Started

Hello All, and thank you for taking the time to host this forum and mentor those of us that seek to know more about the mobile home park business.

Yeah, I know they are referred to as “manufactured homes” nowadays, but I still call them mobile homes and trailer parks. Sorry.

First off, some background on me…

I have a limited background in real estate - I held a Texas Real Estate Salesman’s license for a short period about 14 years ago and I had one rental house that I sold for a profit about ten years ago. Immediate financial needs warranted that I put my real estate goals on hold at the time. I’m currently employed as a full-time computer network administrator for the largest hospital system in East Texas, and have been here over 13 years. But it’s time for a change.

I’ve read the books by Lonnie Scruggs. I’ve read every pertinent article on and competing (complementary?) sites. I’ve read some of Chrissy Jackson’s books, and am currently reading How to Find, Buy, Manage, and Sell a Manufactured Home Community by George Allen. And I’m considering attending the boot camp in June, assuming it hasn’t sold out. I also have other books about mobile home park ownership and management waiting for my study and have attended the state class prerequisite to obtaining a mobile home retailer’s license which is required if a person sells more than one house a year here in Texas. Oh, and I lived in a couple of parks a long time ago.

Being that it takes money to buy a park, and management experience to convince a financier that the person asking for a loan is worthy of managing the park to achieve loan payback, it would seem that this is a catch-22 situation for someone like me. Mainly because a down payment can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I only have tens of thousands, but also because it takes experience to get experience.

When looking for a park to buy I find that the numbers don’t work so well for smallish parks (say, less than 50 homes), so it makes sense to me that ownership of a mid-range park would be best (somewhere between 50 and 150 homes). But, then again, there’s the financing issue. Management skills can be learned, or hired, but money doesn’t materialize that way.

My question is the same that all newbies ask, but that always requires an answer based on current conditions. Please be honest, but not necessarily motivational. I’m already motivated. It’s the details, and personal contacts, that I’m lacking.

Obviously, it takes money to make money. So, what advice would you give to someone like myself who (in my eyes anyway) mainly needs a source of funds and, possibly, a managing partner to assist with the early stages of this endevour?