To Lin, Anne, Chris, and all the

other mobile home folks of the feminine persuasion…where are you? LOL This site is seriously laggin and I need help you guys.

There are a t rhetorical questions people…give me some input heah! LOL

Lurkers come out and play,

And how many of you tried a switch to save 100+ per month on water heating? HUH? See what I mean? I told 70 folks in my hometown 5 now have done it and 1 of these I did myslf for and 84 year old lady on SS. My payment some killer apple crisp pie!!!

Everything is in constant change here and I hope we can ALL adapt and prosper!


Never been accused of being feminine, but I’ve been trying hard to continue to network, share ideas, and brainstorm on both sites. It does seem there are so very few of us who even care anymore. I love your WH switch…unfortunately in my market (95%+ natural gas WH) it doesn’t help me. But it’s a great idea nonetheless.

You would think now more than ever that people need the input and advice of their peers as business becomes more and more challenging. Greg, to answer your question, YES, we absolutely need you. You may be struggling now, but you have had GREAT success… I’ve been to your operation to see it first hand. That was not by chance… you worked hard and smart and I have no doubt you will figure out a way to come back out on top.

To answer your other question, I have an idea for making money in MH’s, but it’s not for me. As I mentioned in another thread, with the scarcity of repo’s and new homes, the pre-owned homes are becoming quite high in demand, at least in my area. Parks are paying top dollar to infill and subsidizing dealer sales in their parks just to get rent coming in. Particularly the large, REIT parks. And since most of us know how to buy MH for cheap, it’s simply a matter of finding them and selling. I know with absolute certainty I could make at least $12k a month doing this in my market (avg 3-4 homes per month at $3,500 markup each), but it would require an enormous amount of my time driving around in the car looking at homes. I am not willing OR able to make that time and effort commitment. Why there aren’t more people doing this, I don’t know. It’s a very inefficient market, which leads to big spreads.

I am finding that my biggest challenge is maintaining a positive mental state of mind. It’s all-too-easy to get discouraged by the economy, our government, and other things we can’t control. Staying positive is of paramount importance. Admittedly, I am not always successful in this endeavor. I’m trying to surround myself with successful people who are out there making it happen everyday. I’m very much a follower when it comes to REI vs. a leader. Which is why LD works so well for me.

Optimism and pessimism both are highly contagious. I’m making a very concerted effort to ensure I’m exposed to the right contagions.


what they are. What I find so dicouraging is having killer deals ready to go and no one here is ready to jump into a mobile on land at almost any price.

When our retail lot was open a question I would ask prospective buyers as they left was, “How could I have done a better job serving your needs” and then shut up and listen to response. A real education and I learned a lot about the business, sales, finance and ME!

Today, like a lot of folks I am walking around saying I don’t know (Thanks Tony) and I don’t like it one bit. There is no one to direct me in how I can do abetter job. Like you I can follow directions, improve a niche, and fast track ideas into action in something that works…the problem is that nothing is working here right now.

There are so many things outside my control I can’t predict where rents will be NEXT MONTH.

Everyone agrees that we are in a recession but in a few years when the entire scope of our financial meltdown is finally known I think we’ll finally hear how we just exited our second big Depression.

We’ve gone thru sub prime, prime, and in Jan we in FL will start the Commercial meltdown and it will be HUGE.

the problem I see happening is banks crappy business practices are being financed on the backs of working middle and lower income peeps. Investment funds are still handing out multi-M bonuses and are still dealing in derivitives. Ds got into this mess and BofA made 7B first quarter in the dangerous instruments.

Enough gloom for me for one day. Good to hear from you Jeff,



I always appreciate your honesty. We are a group struggling to make it through this economy and this niche, in particular. Periodic pinging of the troops out here will get intermittent hits. Unless you are under pressure from the site owners, I’d say just use this site as needed.

Almost all business owners are stuck in a “wait and see” mode based on the actions of that tiny district nestled between Maryland and Virginia. Will my tax structure remain the same or go back to pre-Bush tax cuts or go through the roof? Am I (my business) going to be screwed if I don’t comply with health care rules and more regulations? Is the housing/construction industry going to return in 2011?

The few people active on these sites are still interested in this business. I expect no newbies, as risks are more commonly taken when times are good or are so bad, any risk is better than starving. Besides we have not exactly touted the fantastic returns of this business as we once did. There are some, like Rick and Don and Karl who are very busy putting together deals every day. Trying new things with, as yet, unknown results. Little to report at this time. Me, I am chillin’ until an inspiration (or a killer deal) comes at me as I go through my days. I have no interest in wearing myself out paddling upstream. I’m going downstream until I see something interesting enough to pull over for.

Many wealthy people “lost it all” at one time or another but they did not lose the experience and the know how. We cannot drive from Baltimore to San Diego without making a few stops and turns along the way, maybe even getting lost for a while. The road may be long and tiring but we have our idea of what we want and keep the wheels headed in that general direction.

OK, so two transportation analogies, yes we are transporting ourselves through life one NOW moment to the next.


I tell you I am just underwhelmed with the apathy all around me here in FL. Helped a buddy move out of a home he bought in 05 and hes’s missed exactly ONE payment. His Option ARM reset in November (went up 414 per month), he called me and I looked over his paperwork from closing and told him he was denied due process at closing. His mortgage broker substituted an option ARM for a 30 year fixed on HUD closing paper sent to him. told him to copy the file (123 pages) and send to AG in Tallahassee.

He didn’t do this…he didn’t make payment either…he moved out and broke the light on my trailer I loaned him doing it.

When I confronted him on just leaving without a fight I looked in his eyes and he is just…shell shocked. Same job 14 years,laid off in 09 uno payments stopped a month ago and he is just…done.

I go to Home Depot and sos…folks moping around… AND THEY HAVE JOBS!!! OMG we are absolutely deluged with crap news here and I am sick of it. So we are in a recession…let’s have some fun. My family went to the new Harry Potter at Universal and it was way cool. No lines, we had a BLAST.

I don’t really care about the volume of traffic here Steve…neither does Steve Case what I question is are we following our mission statement of helping out with new ideas.

At my very first MOM ernest Tew said…“If I introduce you to another investor and you trade dollar bills you will leave the meeting with a buck each…but if you exchange ideas you each leave with your idea and a new one.” WOW

Are we exchanging ideas? The way I see it is not using these boards during bad times is kinda like not advertising in declinig revenue time.

Thanks for letting me vent Doc!


Here I am!

I am still alive and kicking, and looking for new ideas and opportunities. My apartments have kept me afloat in these crazy times, and I’m grateful, but it’s time to sell them and move on.

My endeavors these days are not mobile home specific. I am building a wholesaling business that caters to landlords. So many landlords are so busy running their business and they have the money, but don’t have time to find good deals. I’m hoping to cash in on that. I’m also working on a retailing business where I find and acquire good cashflow rentals, do some rehab and package them with tenants and management in place for out of area owners. I am also putting a lot of effort into raising private money. So many deals, so little funding!

I attend fewer events, but am an avid reader of blogs and do subscribe to a telephone based mentoring program that I have found very worthwhile. There are an average of 13 calls per week with different experts from different markets and questions are answered live. I have had some great advice and maybe more importantly, great encouragement. I still read lots of books and listen to lots of recordings, too.

I also keep in contact with other investors I’ve met here and on CRE who have managed to keep their chin up and eyes open. It’s critical to keep a positive outlook and surround yourself with people who can keep you motivated and optimistic.

Greg, you are certainly one of those people I consider inspirational. Even when you’re down, you manage to pull it off. Keep posting, and I’ll try to chime in more often, even though I’m not really doing much with mobiles or self storage these days.

I’ve also been building websites, doing blogs, and getting a handle internet marketing. As the MHU website owners well understand, the internet is VERY powerful. So no matter what niche I end up working in, I know that internet marketing has to be a big part of it all.

Here is one of my sites:

And please comment on the blog posts. It helps my Google rankings!


would say I am an inspiration when YOU have always inspired me to try new things LOL. We’ve been to a lot of the same events and i tell you I think we need MORE of them not less.

I also am property managing 17 units (all SFR) for an out of state investor. He is in DFW, TX and working as a jet mechanic there for major bucks. I average 84 bucks per month and 15 units are rented and have another fixed income senior moving in the third of Dec, It is easy to lump his in with mine and it is easy money.

I am also helping folks from this board purchase, breakdown, clear land, and permit mobiles on land…this pays 100 per hour and have done 13 hours in November. One of my folks is in Iraq and I am very happy to be of use.

Lin, there is such an air of…apathy here and I HATE it. There are MILLIONS to be made here in malls, MHPs (huge ones), and strip malls.

The money folks are hanging on waiting for new lows…we are still in free fall here on property prices.

LOVE your blog site…did you desibn and do you host? Viewed source and WOW it’s the real deal and not front page or something…you can write code?


As for myself, I’ve gone FINANCIALLY broke finishing a several year custody battle (FINALLY done! and now trying to formulate a plan of action to pay down debt) and broke in the department of TIME by renovating an old, LARGER house for the family. So we’re finally moved in and I’m catching up with the business during the day and finishing up smaller projects around the house in the evenings.

Between the two, I’ve not been much of a contributor on the boards for a while, which I feel very guilty about, both because I still need advice and ideas, and because the boards helped me so much and I should give back.

So . . . I’ll try to do better.


Steve and All

Yes we (an investment group) put together a deal this year .The only comment I have to post is that profitable cash flow is king.

There are deals to be had for those that have the desire and energy to pursue them (key words = Desire and Energy). I will be the first to admit that the pursuit, analysis and acquisition process these days is very difficult and surely not for all. The rules have changed and can be changed mid-stream while you are putting your deal together. I was personally challenged to the end and then some. I have no desire to purchase large infill projects anymore. I would never buy a profit skinny deal. A 10 cap is not good enough (personal). The 2 properties our investment group purchased broke down as follows = $6.5 mil purchase price, 380 spaces, 75% occupancy, $760k NOI at a 45% operating expense ratio, plus an additional $76k in annual note income, and 17 2002 or newer single and doublewide park owned homes were included. Is this a deal? It looks good for now.

My formula = true passion for the business, persistence, determination, and Great Partners.


I am on the hunt for more.

Rick Ewens


Wow, what a great property! As Corey would aptly put it, “that’s amazing!”

Yes, I agree with you on the infill projects…my days of acquiring those are over. If I can fill the 200+ vacant spaces I have now before I reach 65 life will be good…LOL

However, there are some great deals out there for younger folks with tenacity and energy to fill them up.

Let me know the next time you are in NC and let’s meet for lunch.


I have to be honest. I used to look at this site and CRE several times a day to see if anyone had posted. I look at it maybe once a week or two now, since I can read everything posted in about 5 minutes!

As I have said before, Jim and I are nearing the end of infill in our Alabama park. In fact, Jim is out looking at houses on the list today with the intention of purchasing 2 this month. Looking at the five we deem good enough (1999 and up, all 16 x 80 homes) is taking him on a 5 1/2 hour road trip. Out of the five, he could not find the first two. As anyone knows who has hunted these, the Greentree directions sometimes lack a lot!

We are hoping to bring in 14 homes by June. We have brought in 9 or 10 per year since we bought the park. These two will bring our 2010 acquisitions to 12 - our best year ever. We even took a vacation this year. Our next hurdle is the necessity to re-do our mortgage on the property. It will be five years in July.

We are definitely looking at slowing down. We know we will never do another infill park. Having others do the work has never been an option - it either does not get done in a timely fashion or the work is mediocre. Our worst year for progress in Alabama was the one when we went to Georgia, and that was with Jim spending a week a month in Alabama!

We miss the meetings, no doubt. We do talk on the phone with some of the friends we met over the years, or correspond by email. Kevin Long, a fellow park owner in Montgomery, put us on the trail of a nice home he saw on Craigs List, which we bought last January and immediately sold. Other friends from the group have put their faith in us and lent us IRA money to buy homes. We could never have brought in the number of homes we have, even with the LOC from Clayton Bank without it. All the current and future acquisitions will be purchased by private money. Our first private money note to be repaid has its last payment on January 1.

Jim will be home the Monday or Tuesday before Christmas, but unfortunately has to dig up two water leaks in the next week or so - obviously not bad leaks or they would be done. Our water lines are very deep, so it is never something he wants to jump into (the leak or the hole that is dug…)

Our new homes should come in while Jim is in Florida. We will both head to Alabama after New Years. Our schedule for 2011 is 2 weeks in Alabama, one in Florida. We will get those two homes ready for sale - I am pretty good at skirting! We will both spend a day during that two weeks looking at homes for our January purchase. Even though I have been in Florida for a good portion of this year, I am on the phone almost daily with our Manager. Since I handle that, Jim is free to get the homes up and going or re-fixed when someone leaves.

Last year was the first year we ever had a tax season. We are looking forward to January and selling everything in inventory again this year. We just had two families move in for December 1 and have another moving in for January 1 already. We sell at least one home a month every month. On the flip side, we have done more evictions this year than probably all the others combined. We attribute that to the fact that we flat-out have more homes in the park. Five of our January buyers from last year are still here and still paying, which is major.

I disagree with Greg on one issue. Homes that are over 15 years old have value. Dr. B and I have both talked about the turnover of residents from older homes, but I am talking homes mid-80s and below. Cash flow is still there, the maintenance (both human and home) is higher. Quite honestly, though, if we have a tenant who is high maintenance we know they will not last long. Although we try to filter those out BEFORE we approve them, it unfortunately does not always happen. We have found that it is almost immediately apparent who we will eventually weed out. Our Manager tells everyone that if they pay on time and follow the rules, they won’t see her unless they see her during office hours. We have one who will be seeing her (and Jim) in court tomorrow. Talk about high maintenance! We knew we had a problem when she continued to drive the U-Haul after she moved in. When Jim checked with the local U-Haul people (August) we learned that it had gone out on a 2-day rental in June from upstate New York. Shortly thereafter, they repossessed it…we knew then that this day would come. She, unlike most, has not moved out upon official service by the Sheriff, but will be there until the bitter end.

We are pleased with our Manager. She had never managed a park before, and we have taught her what to do. We hear stories about managers burning out, and hope we keep her happy for a long time. Now - here is a question for you park owners! Who (besides us) is giving your manager a cash Christmas bonus?

I am doing the same as Lin and learning all I can about internet marketing! I started a site at: for offering rent to own houses and mobile homes.

I am in Florida and over the last several months I have picked up about a half dozen mobile home on land deals as sandwich lease options. The owners are from out of state with the property on the MLS for 2 or 3 years with no luck selling. They are willing to let me sandwich lease option or lease and sublease for 200-300 per month below current rental rates. There is a wide open market with these in Florida. I couldn’t ask for more…no banks, motivated sellers, and nice homes.

A major thorn in my side has been the hard money loans on l/h flip deals that became rentals after the financing meltdown. Thankfully I am starting to find people who are willing(?) to make 8.5% on their money instead of 1% from CD’s to refinance the deals.

Lin, if you are looking for comments strictly for rankings do a search for “amazon mechanical turks.” I LOVE this site!

Greg, I plan on meeting up with you in 2011! There is HUGE opportunity ahead…

the fact is I place GREAT value on older homes…when I own em lol. my very best rental is a 1970 Skyline 14 X 66 with a CB (concrete block) 14 X22 front room addition. Bought in 2004 for 21K on 3 acres and have rented for 600 per month with a total of 45 days vacancy in almost 7 years.

When buying or making offers, I deliberately place zero value on older homes because of breakdown, transpo, and reset costs.It is very expensive to insure older homes here…the only game in town is Citizens (a state run high risk pool) that is very, very, expensive.

Over the past 6 years probably half our retail sales have been older homes

and we always got superior returns beacause of low buy prices (0).

Good to hear from you Ellen,


think alike. I have good friend living out of state that has me managing 17 units he owns in FL. are SFR and he has an excellent cash flow machine because there is no underlying mortgages on any of em.

I am negotiating a L/O wrap for all of these and right now I can say it is probably 40/60 that we will do this. His idea is if it works don’t fix it, mine is why hassle with turnover, taxes, escrow accounts for taxes and insurance when I have software for all these things AND LIVE HERE.

We’ll see one advantage for me is he knows I don’t want or need the hassles for 80 bucks per unit per month. His last property managers charged more and had 17% higher vacancy in better times.

He makes over 60 an hour in DFW (jet aviation mech) and does NOT want to move back here but has a 2M investment here to protect.

You de man Cole,



Love the website and glad to hear that you could replace your hard money loans with lower terms. I’ve been doing the same - reducing passive investor expectations or replacing them with cheeper money. Times keep on changing, but if everyone participates there is a lot of lemonade to make right now.

Question - are you selling off the homes Rent to own and keeping the lots land lease? Or selling the land home package Rent to own? I’ve done both and always appreciate the flexibility that subdivisions or land home packages offer. Before buying my 319 unit park I accumulated 150+ units one deal at a time this way. I especially like all the subdivision perks - no common areas or maintenance - tenant pays the city water company direct and park improvements are in the property tax bill :slight_smile:

Maybe you and / or Greg (or anyone else for that fact) might be interested - I have 7 lots (in a subdivision) in Ormond Beach that are land leased to homeowners, just like a park. I’m kicking around selling these remaining lots. There’s an assumable 6% NON RECOURSE seller financing in place (down from 10% like you did with your Hard Money people) and NO CALL. City water sewer including pipes and infrastructure. County paved roads, drainage, and curbside garbage pickup. Ave rent 300 pad and 100% occupied. All resident owned homes and only 2 of them on notes. You could buy the notes at a discount - I’d discount them so you collect 25-30% ROI (face value is 12%) - you borrow at 8.5% from investors and keep the spread. I like to get a true 10 cap on real NOI for them (yes you can pay yourself a management fee before capping the NOI) The lots are 100% occupied and have performed nicely for years, most tenants have lived there since I purchased a large chunk of the subdivision in 2002. I currently manage this, without a person on the street, from Maine =-O You could assume the loan with enough down or we could entertain a lease option style arrangement. Let me know if you’re interested in more info.

I think Greg’s actually set some homes for me in this sub over the years (after 2004 hurricanes?). Nice stable park.


PS - All lots are in separate FL Land Trusts - you can buy the trusts for an additional $100 a piece and tax man and public will never know who you are. In FL I ALWAYS use land trusts :slight_smile:

I love seperating homes from land…saves on property taxes doesn’t it?

To non florida residents if you put a mobile on your own land it immediately becomes real property and is taxes the same as the land (with an RP sticker). BUT if you have different Owners on mobile and land, the land is assessed at raw land with septic and home costs 59 per year for annual Sticker in window…can save 40% on property taxes each year.

Karl, I love your L/H subdivision!

And you know I’ll lease option ANYTHING if it has decent spread. The one thing I hate is this is soooooo close to Daytona Beach…huh, let’s see Daytona 500, Spring Break, 11 miles of white sand beaches, 4 wheelers, para sailing, surfing…a lot to hate, eh?LOL

Ormand Beach is about 8 miles up the coast from Daytona and about thirty miles from Karl’s HUGE Park, Terremar which is the very best MHC I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

Wanna L/O that Karl? LOL

warm regards,



I have been offering them as land/home packages. I also like the idea of separating the home and land but I haven’t come across a deal where that would make sense financially.

I have been sticking to doublewides on land. From what I see, a newer doublewide and land is worth $60k. If I separate the home it’s worth $20k and land is worth $20k. Does separating work best when you have a less valuable home and a lot you want to keep long term?

My goal right now is to increase my cash flow and preserve capital. I look for higher end L/H deals that homeowners can’t sell(because financing is impossible right now). So I get into them for nothing and cash flow around $250 per month. All repairs are passed onto the homeowner as agreed.

I would like to hear more about your deal. My email is

I’m curious to hear what strategy you are using when negotiating a reduction on your private loans like this park here.

I ask because the deals I have with private money have lost value and exit strategies are limited bc they are tough to bank finance to an end buyer. So the last thing my private investors using their Roth’s want is the home.

Your deal above sounds like you worked great terms upfront. There is equity and pads are 100% occupied. I figure if I can pitch my deals the way you did here, I should have no problem restructuring all of them, lol.


for rentals. to save 40% on property taxes. There are also advantages to sell properties this way on Note for eviction versus reposession.

Land trusts are ideal vehicles for holding land here in FL as Karl has stated and 100 per trust is very cheap…it costs me about 300 toform an LLC or a sub s corp here.

The thing I like about dealing with Karl is he never lies period. I know this seems petty when you deal with tenants, etc but he faced a real tense time 4-5 years ago and because of his smarts, attention to detail, rigorous honesty and relentless bulldogness ( is this a word Anne? lol) he “goterdone” and is thriving as expected…Pay down 1M in debt? My hero. The real character thing comes out in tense times not bountiful times have you noticed?

In other words, the deal if it happens for me or you will be win/win (notice the management fee before CAP calculation)

That’s the way he rolls.

I’m close to L/O 17 100K + newer SFR in my area. My client will lose some tax advantages and I’ll gain more resposibilities (financially) but I have a 4 year trach record on these homes. The sticking point is recourse/ non recourse of course (sounds like Dr Seuss lol)

I refuse to EVER guarantee another loan…there are too many deals out there where I don’t have to. My goal for the forseeable future is win/win deals, little or no out of packet and huge cash flow (not volume maybe but ROI) if I can’t find em I’m happy kicking it here in FL.

A very happy Holiday to all and don’t forget who put the Christ in Christmas I’ll be travelling about and will probably not post til after the New Year.

Tony posted a very humble, courageous post on that other site titled


a must read if you have time (and it hasn’t been deleted LOL I can’t help it)



Greg & Cole,

I’ll put something together for us to talk about. In this subdivision the separation of home and land equals a 70% reduction in p. tax and you actually get some services for the lot assessment.

I’ve used county code enforcement for management - they’ll notice the homeowner (and you) for skirting, unlicensed cars, excessive grass, etc. The tax bill also includes curbside garbage pickup and roadwork (the streets are in excellent condition).

Let me get reacquainted with these lots, put some numbers down, and get back with you next week.

Thanks, Karl

Cole, you asked me, "I’m curious to hear what strategy you are using when negotiating a reduction on your private loans like this park here.

I ask because the deals I have with private money have lost value and exit strategies are limited bc they are tough to bank finance to an end buyer. So the last thing my private investors using their Roth’s want is the home."

That (the fact that if you fail they get back the property) is exactly why they should consider reducing their terms and remaining involved. It comes down to rapport and trust, my only strategy is to call on the investors, tell them the truth, and ask them to share in the pain. Most do, some won’t. As you say, the last thing they want is the home back. I think the key is to have the ability to find replacement investors and to be able to feel assured that you can produce money at better terms. Some private investors will simply be reluctant to give up something they feel they deserve. But, if you shoot them straight and they are not willing to “meet the market” its time to procure new money and pay them off. You can and should gently remind them that if you don’t make hard decisions eventually the market will make them for you ~ these risks are real and present and you would not be doing your job if you did not recognize and mitigate it.

I have two investors right now who 1. don’t believe me, or 2. don’t trust me, or 3. think I’m bluffing on $700K of their money. I’ve done my best and worst (and have made numerous mistakes admittedly) to bring them back to market to no avail. At this point they do not even return calls (and yes, we’ve never missed a payment, deadline, or profit projection and will continue to pay as agreed until we eventually replace their money). But, life is what it is, and my only choice is to procure new money at better terms. To me it’s like finding a new $700K deal! I know the project, love the project, and want it to be successful. This is much better then having to find a new deal - cash flow is cash flow - maximize what you already own, then move onto something new.

Bottom line, a strong Cole or Karl can pay his bills. Everyone wins. Those that don’t want to be part of the solution, assuming you can procure replacement money at better terms, need to be replaced. It is your duty to your other investors and the projects at hand to do this. Anyone in your shoes makes these hard choices daily.