Unlike a lot of my mobile home deals nowadays that come from networking with park managers, this one was different. Believe it or not, this lead came from an ad on Craigslist.
Typically, I don't use Craigslist for finding sellers or buyers. Though, I do visit the site occasionally for fun to see what has been posted. To my surprise, I found the ad for this deal which happened to be in one of my favorite parks.
(Note: This is why it’s so important to learn your market and focus on building relationships with the parks you want to do business with beforehand. Should an opportunity come up, it’s best to already have an established relationship with the park manager and/or owner so you can focus on the deal instead.)
Once I saw the ad, I contacted the seller. Turned out the home was a bit overpriced. At the time, it did not seem like the seller was motivated. So, I decided to pass and hold off on making the appointment to see the home.
(Note: For folks that are new, I recommend to visit all sellers in the beginning. It will give you experience and teach you how to inspect homes while at the same time forming relationships. At its core, mobile home investing is a people business.)
Though, I did visit the park manager where the home was located. (Remember, it was in one of my favorite parks!) We talked for a bit before I brought up the home for sale. Turned out, the park manager had been so busy and forgot to call me about it!
Apparently, the park manager knew about the home for sale. The seller had come to the office a few weeks ago. At their meeting, the seller told the park manager to let them know if anyone comes into the office looking for a home to buy. After telling me the story, the park manager apologized and asked about the home. I told the park manager it was a bit overpriced but I would continue to watch it.The park manager told me they would do the same and let me know if anything changes.
(Note: Having a good relationship with the park manager is invaluable when it comes to investing in mobile homes. Most times, park managers know the residents and are the first ones aware when someone is selling a home and/or moving out. Apart from their knowledge, park managers may also be a good influence on sellers and/or buyers.)
After a few weeks, I contacted the seller again. They explain to me the price is the same but they are flexible at this point due to a job relocation. The seller goes on to tell me that they need to move out on a certain date whether they sell the home or not. Once I heard that, I immediately made the appointment!
(Note: When talking with sellers, there are certain indicators and phrases they use to show their motivation. I talk more about this topic in my book.)
When I arrived at the mobile home property, I started to build rapport and got to know the seller much better. As it turned out, the seller needed to sell due to the job relocation. After some time, I inspected the home asking questions as I usually do. The seller was very honest and upfront about the condition of the home. There were a few questions the seller did not know the answer to which was a green light.
Here are a few pictures from my first inspection/walk thru of the mobile home deal
(Note: Many times, I need to be able to trust the seller in order to work with them. Without trust, I rarely move forward on a deal — it’s just the way I operate.)
After inspecting the home, I told the seller I’d look at the pictures I took and check them again before coming back to make an offer. At this point, it seemed like the seller was flexible but still fielding other offers. The seller agreed and told me to give them a call.
Before I set up the next meeting, I updated the park manager on my progress. The park manager told me they would contact the seller and “put in a good word for me.” To say the least, this helps tremendously!
Upon my next meeting with seller, I tell them my offer. The seller is a bit taken back. They tell me it’s a little lower than what they had been hoping for. So, the seller asked if I could come up a bit higher.
(Note: Usually, when I make offers I try to come a little below my target price. This way there is some wiggle room when negotiating.)
At this point, I ask the seller what figure would work for them. The seller came up a bit higher than my figure. I then gave the seller two options: I’d stick with their price but they had to give me their cat (like my humor?) or we could meet halfway. The seller laughed and agreed to the deal: the second option, of course.
Though, there was just one catch. The seller had to check with their family member in another city to see if it was OK. Apparently, the title was in the family member’s name who had bought the home for the seller many years ago. At the initial meeting, I had brought this up through my research and the seller confirmed it.
(Note: Again, trust and honesty is one of the most important traits for me when doing business. Honest people will avoid having problems down the road where dishonest ones will not.)
Being it was a Sunday, the seller's family member did not pick up the phone when they called. Apparently, they must have been in church according to the seller. The seller asked if I wanted to wait or if they could call me later in the day. At this point, I saw this as an opportunity to further build rapport. So, I decided to wait — it took a little over an hour. Though, it was worth it!
Once the seller got in touch with their family member, they agreed it was fine. I had the deal under contract that day. We arranged a time for the seller’s family member to come into town and complete the paperwork for the closing this deal.
The seller moved out all their items before we closed. Come closing day, I met with the seller and their family member. I got to know them even more and the closing went smoothly. Another happy seller and done deal!
Some more pictures from my inspection/walk thru of the mobile home deal
All in all, I spent $15k on the home including the stove, refrigerator and storage shed. I found a nice family for it — I received $1500 upon move in and it cash flows in the $450/month range for 15 years. It made for a nice and relaxing cashflow payday for many years to come.