Where did you start?

As one that has been in this industry for 38 years and now wanting to get into park ownership I am curious where you all started?  What size park did you buy?  How run down was it?  What prior experience did you have about mobile homes/parks before “jumping” into this business? 

Before getting into this business, I:* attended Bootcamp (a MUST!)* read every book I could find on MHPs (everything on this website, ‘Deals on Wheels’ by Lonnie Scruggs and ‘How to Find, Buy, Manage, and Sell a Manufactured Home Community’ by George Allen, etc.)* networked through friends, bankers, my church, at cocktail parties, Bootcamp, and more to find approximately 10 MHP owners who became my ‘Unofficial Advisory Board.’  I bounced deals off them for about a year to get their input.  All but one were willing to help me for free.  But even the guy who charged me as a consultant was worth every penny.* went on-site at a few MHPs for sale and got free ‘bootcamps’ from the owners (including one overnight in a mobile home!  Woo hoo!).  Obviously the sellers were somewhat biased as they were selling, but they were very helpful to me when I showed the interest to take the time/money to travel to visit their properties.  (I do not do this now, but it was a very helpful thing for me to do when I was getting into the business.)Then I jumped-in and bought a 66-space park with no POHs.  Not run down, but not well-managed either.  Plenty of upside in rents and occupancy.  Easy to manage at first.  I then started buying and bringing in POHs.  The business grew in complexity/time and in profits(!) as I managed it to be.  The more I put into it, the more I got out of it.Good luck!-jl-

My first park was 83 lots that I bought for $400,000 with $10,000 down payment and the seller carried the balance. It had everything in the world wrong with it – that’s where all my stupid tenant stories come from mostly – but despite losing my natural gas for a month, having my power lines light on fire, and battling being in the worst part of town, it sold for around $1,500,000 about a decade later. 

Thanks Jefferson.  The Boot Camp is out of reach this year but I am giving myself an early birthday present by buying the home investor course very soon.  In the Chicagoland area I haven’t found any parks ready to do Lonnie deals.  The big problem there is subleasing and even if I bought a home to rebuild I would have a tough time selling it.  They will push their own homes first and drag their heels on getting “my” potential tenant cleared for ownership. 

We have two parks in Chicagoland and are open to Lonnie deals.

I started with one 60 lot park in a different state. I was nervous at first and have had my share of problems butv

Continuation (typing on mobile phone)
The toughest is the first few weeks but then it settles in. On a day to day basis very little happens. You may get occasional calls such as sewer line is clogged or tenant has police at the house but its usually nonsense. I could probablly manage 500 lots lets say in ten different parks with just my wife all offsite and visit every three months.

Jefferson i paid a consultant i wonder if its the same person.

wcjansma, private message sent.

Brian -PM me with your consultant’s name.-jl-