Tips on Financing my 1st Park

Hey there all you MHP guru’s! My wife & I are attempting to buy our first mobile home park to kick start our portfolio and need some wisdom on obtaining financing with no out of pocket money. ALL of your thoughts, suggestions, tips, etc. are greatly appreciated!

  1. Our train of though is to try and find a medium sized park and negotiate an owner financing deal for 80-90%. However, we will need to obtain the down payment of the remaining 10-20% + all closing costs from a 3rd party investor or hard money lender. Is it possible to structure a deal like this? I did read that Frank bought his first park for $400,000 putting down only $10,000 and the owner carried $390,000 non-recourse. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do. Does this sort of deal still take place?

  2. We live in San Diego and DO NOT want to even attempt to invest in the extremely inflated and over priced SoCal market. Our money & risks are best kept in perhaps Texas, Florida, or South Carolina where we have family and the investments are much more affordable. So my next question is do you guys buy parks outside of your state and monitor them from afar or should we still to our own backyard where we can easily get there?

  3. Lastly, if any of you would like to partner with me or perhaps finance a bridge/closing cost note for one of our deals please email me at

Thank you so much for your responses!!!

Joel & Heather

GOD BLESS!!! John 17:3

Low down deals do still exist, but you are going to find them through mom & pop sellers who like you and bond with you,and want to help you. Be careful of low down deals that have giant capital needs on renovation. You might also consider trying to do Master Lease deals or finding great deals and assigning your contracts for cash. Virtually every park we own is hours by car or plane from our houses. A great deal two thousand miles away is much easier to operate and succeed with than a lousy deal in your backyard. Your best source of capital are friends and family – especially self-directed IRA conversions.

Good luck on your adventure in mobile home parks.

Mr. Rolfe, thank you so much for your response! Only thing is… we don’t have access to funds through friends and family. Would you not recommend getting hard money lenders to cover our 10-20% down + closing costs? If not what are our options (bad credit)?

Thank you very much for your time.

Joel & Heather

The first – and most important building block – is to find a great deal. If you can find those, they can be sold for an assignment fee to another buyer worst case, and possibly made into a master lease deal to give you more time to flip them. I’d focus on finding an insanely great deal and then weigh your options at that point, as opposed to worrying about lining up hard money lenders now.

What’s an insanely great deal? One that has a high cap rate, city water/sewer, no master-metered gas or electric, and a great location. Occupancy is not a component, because as long as you are buying it based on existing occupancy numbers – and the seller is carrying the note – you have the upside in filling it. Otherwise, the occupancy will need to be at least 80%. If you’re going to sell it to us, it needs to be in the Great Plains or Midwest. But there are great deal buyers for all states.

Excellent! Thanks again. I’ve got some that I’m working on in the Houston area. How would you like me to send you the info?

Joel+Heather, great deals are not found, they are created. As Frank points out, you need to get a relationship with a seller - find out what they want and need, then structure a deal around that. My best deals are when I have taken the time to find out what the sellers NEED.

I would also talk to Attorneys, Dentists, Chiropractor - people who have money and touch people who have money - and don’t have the time to invest.

PLEASE, PLEASE don’t buy a park without Frank and Dave’s course, a bootcamp and/or a mentor. You may have your lunch handed to you. :slight_smile: There are many little details that are so obvious and so simple — after they are revealed to you. Best investment you’ll ever make in the park business - a course to show you how to avoid the pitfalls of a $50,000 sewer line blip - or a zoning change - or an electrical upgrade - or the liability of a bad manager, etc, etc.

Good luck, keep us up to date - and go through the forum ---- and of course, ask lots of questions.

Although owner financing is very popular in this business the value of having good credit should never be overlooked. Even mom and pop park owners need to be assured that there money is protected and as such may have a lawyer do a credit search on potential buyers.

If I were to hold a mortgage for someone I would require they had skin in the game in the form of there own money not borrowed money.

You may find it difficult to find the financing you need to get into the game and as such I recommend you start saving money and building your credit score in preparation for that right deal when it does come.

Generally speaking nobody gets into business/property investing for free so you must either bring proven experience/skills or money to the table.