Mobile Home Park Dreamin'

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend.  I spent my weekend at a three day boot camp learning how to purchase mobile home parks.  I have received a lot of raised eyebrows from friends and family when they learn that I am interested in purchasing mobile home parks (understandably) and I wanted to take a minute to answer some of the most commonly asked questions for the skeptics. :)

"Why do you want to buy a mobile home park?!"

Of course, this is always the first question! My strategy has morphed these last few months as I continue to research, listen to podcasts and chat with friends already in the industry. Six months ago I was focused on single family investment properties, then I moved on to multi-family and now I have settled on mobile home parks!  If you find the right deal and manage mobile home parks correctly, there are opportunities for major cash flow and less hassle of managing renters in single and multi-family homes.

Right now there is an affordable housing crisis in America and mobile homes are a great solution for those who have low annual income. More and more Baby Boomers are retiring every day and will need affordable housing when they are on a set income. I love the idea of focusing on this asset class and putting all of my energy towards creating a beautiful community where people are proud to live.

"OK...and you are going to purchase these parks by yourself?"

Of course not! I have the lovely Kate Stephens as my partner!

When I started my blog almost two years ago, Kate and I realized that we had a common interest in real estate and have been chatting ever since about real estate podcasts and all of our #girlboss dreams. Last summer Kate quit her corporate job and jumped head first into real estate investing with the goal of financial freedom and flexibility with her family (great minds think alike).  A few months ago Kate called me about the latest Bigger Pockets podcast focused on buying mobile home parks and told me I HAD to listen in.  We were both so inspired by this strategy and have been planning our world domination ever since!

Hi Kate!

"So what do you want to do with these parks?"

Our vision is to create homes, not houses. We want to change the perception of “trailer parks” and build exceptional communities for our tenants to exceed their life goals.  Also, the real estate market is dominated by men. I love men, I'm married to one, however I think the lack of female presence in this space gives us a unique perspective.  We are two moms who want to create safe, beautiful spaces for families and hard working individuals. 

"And you learned all of this at a 3 day 'boot camp'??"

Yes, ma'am! It was my duty to go to Newport Beach and take this course...part of the gig I guess. ;P

The course was held by Mobile Home University and run by Frank Rolfe and Dave Reynolds.  Combined, they own over 300 mobile home parks, so if I was going to learn something, it was going to be from the experts!  Here were some of the main topics we covered:

  • How to find a mobile home park to buy
  • How to evaluate a mobile home park
  • How to negotiate
  • Due diligence when evaluating a park
  • Financing
  • How to operate a mobile home park

At the course I was able to spend more quality time with Kate to discuss next steps  and we got to hang out with 100 other people who share the same interest!

Class Photo! This was taken in front of a mobile home installation at a Huntington Beach Park.

On Saturday we visited multiple mobile home parks and while it was really helpful to see each park up close, I know the ones we will be buying will not look anything like the ones in Orange County.  Most of them didn’t even look like mobile homes!  

Believe it or not, this is a mobile home in a Huntington Beach mobile home park.

Another 21 space park across from Disneyland.

"Now that you are an expert from the boot camp, what are your next steps?"

Find our first deal!

At this time we are scouring mobilehomeparkstore.com, Craigslist and Loopnet.com. There are quite a few for sale, but it takes some time to find the right deal that fits our criteria.  While there are places to find deals online, most of the deals are found through cold calling and sending out postcards and flyers.  There are over 45K parks in America so we are working on narrowing our focus so that we can begin calling and sending direct mail. 

So what do you think? Am I crazy for wanting to invest in these parks?