Well, it's here

Happy New Year all. I am working on some goals for 2008. The top one (only one so far) is to start treating our rental properties more like a business and less like a hobby.

When I first started in the biz, I would pick up rentals as an aside to my main business…selling repos. I had four or five for awhile and I did not take em very seriously…if they were full and paying, fine, empty> No problem, it was paid for, and i figged better empty until the PERFECT tenant came by.

Well, we have 59 rentals now, and i as type we have 11 empty, or put another way $8,250 not paying this month or even worse, $100,000 not collected this year if we don’t take them seriously. WOW! That is huge money.

What has happened, is the tail of the dog is now wagging the entire dog. Rentals have become our most profitable portion of the business. Sales are off over 54% year to year…profit from sales down 70%+. I stroked some checks to some new advertising venues and am getting ready to offer rentals like this:

“First month free, a last month rent and $500 deposit to move in” special to fill these vacancies and get these empty homes cranking out some rental income.

Until I get 95% occupancy (full for us) I am not taking on any more work at all…

Anyone else have plans made for 2008? I would reallty like to hear them!!



I have been spinning my wheels for a while on these l/h flips and we have a pretty good team now and have started to see a lot more interest in our homes after Christmas.

Looking at the numbers these aren’t bad. But I am seeing a lot of money lost to taxes, gift funds for buyers, and hard money costs.

So, my 2008 goal is to use better/long-term financing and keep at least 5 deals this year as rentals. I would also LOVE to fund a park by the end of this year. I am working more than ever and im having a good time… Happy New Year!

real bargain MHPs for sale this year. some friends of mine just closed on a 400+ park with tons of upside and I feel there is one like this for me and you this year.

Hard money killed me this year. I borrowed 60K in August to buy 4 lots, then in Oct 120K more to buy and place homes. Owe 24k on these loans, and i’ll tell you it was NOT easy to repay that money. We had to sell two of them for cash to pay 2 free and clear

We are kinda in a trifecta here with property taxes, insurance, and financing all getting to be huge problems. I really like your business model Cole…if you can even add three free and clear rentals for the year you have had a bangin’ year. We have enjoyed easy money for over 5 years here. Rentals are hard work, but they are very profitable.

The biggest hit i took last year was an equity hit. Rental properties worth 95K (49K basis) are now worth 78-85…multiply this by 59, soon to be 60 and you will see my point. The Wise Woman says this is money I never had anyway, so stop whining!

Have a great year Cole, say hi to your Pops,




I agree with all of this. My hard money guy is making a killing off of me, $3,000 funding fee 13.25% AND a 3% prepayment penalty in first 6 months!! I have no one else to work with for mobiles. I am really working on building my company credit for some kind of line of credit and always looking for DECENT hard money.

My strategy as of now is to use American General to finance as many of these l/h’s as possible. Just like Tony was saying at the bootcamp. I would like to use my capital to purchase a park and fill it up.

Every home I’m buying is 50% of FMV so I think it makes sense.

I am young and don’t mind holding these properties for a while. I would LOVE to have 60 free and clear rentals!!


Post Edited (01-02-08 09:40)

2008 Goals for my MHP: Sell 6 homes, Move in 4 homes, create 6 notes, reduce current insurance expense by 25% , Sell 4 notes, Attend 3 networking events.

Wow, you guys are motivating me. How about buying another mobile home park with my partner and filling the four remainig slots in our existing park. I think that will keep me busy. It is funny that people are mentioning rentals. A little over half of our park is now rentals. We have been trying to slowly sell the MH’s because of the maintenace issues but they are a great source of income. I go back and forth on this issue. Here’s to a great 2008 for all my trailer buddies!

All of your ideas for your Park sound perfect…and i know I treasure the Notes i have…they actually pay my bills and feed me. I hate it when they refi or cash out.

Shawn, you bring up a great point when you share with us your plan to attend three investing events this year. last year I attended these events:

MHM…it took me a week to get rested up from that event in San Diego last Spring. Seeing Steve, Corey, Fred, Blake, Lonnie, etc. was worth the price of admission…the guest speakers and roundtables were icing on the cake. you put 500 eager investors in one room and the result was…AMAZING.

Tony and Scott’s Bootcamp…WOW. I have read ,“Investing in Mobile Homes with Land” and when I had the chance to go to the Bootcamp I dropped everything and went. It was an amazing event. These two showed us a small portion of their operation and it was an eye opener. I am still pursuing Section 8 rent program for a small amount of my rentals because of things I saw and learned at that bootcamp…and they both live in an absolutely beautiful area (Asheville, NC).

Steve Wiltz’ MHINE meet in Seattle was great. Steve put some great speakers together including one of my favorite investors, John Merchant. it was coldish in seattle, but it was a well run meet…full of info for new folks. always nice to see my homie, steve wiltz also…this was a great meet.

Each of these meets were worth the price to attend many times over…I would like to attend these same meets this year and maybe A self storage Bootcamp Steve and Corey put on. I have heard great things from attendees and this business does interest me a lot.

Which events are you planning to attend this year Shawn? Any of the above?

Have a great New Year,


Post Edited (04-14-11 22:01)

I am looking forward to MHM in April, and MOM in the fall…I really enjoyed the MOM in Troy AL. Beyond those two I am undecided.

Oue goal is to add another 20 rent paying tenants and pass through the water bill in 2008. Last year we added 24 homes but only had a net 16 increase in rent ( 16 notes also). We had to evict 6 and we always have 2 -4 repo homes in the works. Our biggest challenge will be the pass through of the water bill. All our lots have meters so it is just the implementation. The change to the bottom line from the pass through is huge so I will suffer the temporary headache of educating the tenants. We are always looking for other parks and maybe one will meet our criteria this year. If so the trigger will be pulled.

I will attend every MOM and MHM. I always learn something and love to see my fellow investors.

Best of 2008 to All

Rick Ewens

That is quite a feat…bringing in 24 homes in one year WOW!

You did this remotely also, didn’t you? Doubly amazing. hope to see you at MHM


Yes Greg I am in CA. The key to getting this done is my rehab guy, manager and some great sub contractors. The biggest growing experience for me is remote management and the fact I cant go work at the park whenever I want. Greg this turn around park might be a great candidate for a MOM meeting. I will see you at MHM


Greg, I am always refreshed by the direct honesty of your posts. It never fails that something you write sparks a conversation and thought process that Scott and I will discuss for hours.

I have found that real estate investing and landlording both are businesses of peaks and valleys. It is easy to fall into the tunnel vision of finishing one deal or working on the next one. It is easy to self justify that it is more important to make new business while we can however it is equally (if not more) important to analyze and treat our businesses like a business and not like a lemonade stand (as Scott puts it so well).

When we don’t take the time to see what are best profit centers are as well as our biggest money pits, we are basically rowing a leaking boat towards a mirage of promise. We can hope its real, we can hope it is actually there but if we take a moment we might realize our boat won’t make it long enough to find out if we don’t take care of it first.

I am willing to bet that we all can find lost money (and that is net income money) right now in our current business that would more than justify missing another deal or the risk of taking on more than we can handle. If we are not trying address what we now have, we may not be ready for what we are trying to close next.

We may all need reminding (I know I do) that we need to be good stewards of what we now have before we are deserving of more.

Great post and thanks for making us think Greg.


2007 was a great year for us. We converted a sw/lh to a brand new dw, financed it with a “local bank” after the dw was all installed and rented. We bought a 4 lot park, pulled all the homes, cleaned up the piles of debris, installed all new sewer/water, 2 foundations, driveway and 3 mid 90’s homes (all rentals). We do 90% of the work ourselves. Karen is becoming a skirting expert. All while I worked full time most of the year, don’t watch much TV. So this business can be done part time. We are very exited about 2008! We have one more home to buy, install and rent in our micropark. One of my goals is to look at one property or more a month, preferably a park. It seems like most if not all of the parks we look at for sale are run like “lemonade stands”. 30-50% vacant lots, vacant homes everywhere. It’s like they have owned it for a long time and are satisfied with whatever money comes in. BUT it’s priced like a full park with no deferred maintenance.

what brought this whole subject up was looking at year end totals for all phases of our operation.

Sales of used homes were down in revenue and profit. We averaged 21% PBIT on total sales. so when I figgured out lost income in Jan from rentals of over 8K it hit me (slow learner) that I would need to sell 40K of homes PER MONTH to make up this dollar amount. And we already own these rentals and all but one are “rent ready.” Sheesh!

We have lost one and added two tenants this month so far and are comitted to filling up empty homes. One positive result of this comittment has been our willingness to look at all phases of the operation to save some money/ increase profits. As you point out in your post, there is “lost” money in most of our models. With 2 phone calls I saved 155 per month for weekly dumpster service at the Park. We spent over 51K at home Depot last year, almost 4K at Lowes. Monday I will call both stores and see if we can receive even 10% off of these purchases for 2008 because of the amount being spent there. Same with carpet and vinyl vendors. We’re on a mission, but the one area we will not try to reduce cost is with our labor crews. The success of our model is predicated on finding and keeping well trained labor. We have given increases on hourly and piece meal labor and increased gas allowance for work away from the lot. Everyone feels the squeeze, but we won’t attempt to increase profits on the backs of our crews…they are integral to our success.

This will be a challenging and exciting 2008 for us, I hope you and Scott have a great year also Tony,


2008 is flying by for me, as we are almost halfway thru, I wanted to see how many goals were being reached/exceeded/not met. As for my MHP goals: As of today-9 homes sold, 4 homes moved into park, 7 notes created.

MHP/Rental Homes/ open lot/self storage Insurance expense reduced from$12572 to $5229 58% reduction! Yipee!