Mobile Home Park Investing Newsletter

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April 1st, 2013

Memo From Frank & Dave

Is your year half empty or half full? July 1st marks the start of the second half of the year. This means you can look back on the first half and say “well done” or “bad start”. It’s also a perfect time for a comeback. As much as we try not to, we make mistakes like anyone else, and have parks that won’t turn around as fast as we’d like. Rather than get disgusted when this happens, the key is to re-group and attack again. And July 1st is a great date to start the fresh attack. Remember that persistence is often 90% of the battle. If your phone is not ringing, try a new advertising method. We often can get our vacancy issues resolved with direct mail to apartment complexes, showing the benefits of mobile homes over apartments (it’s not a hard sell). If your phone is ringing, but nothing is selling or renting, time to mystery shop the manager and (based on the outcome) get a new one. Don’t forget the old adage “it’s easier to change people than to change people”. Whatever your problem is, take a fresh approach, monitor the results, and adjust accordingly. Sam Walton used to respond to his employee’s suggestions with “do it, try it, fix it”, which meant that no idea is so stupid that it should not be given a respectful test. In one case, an employee suggested that Walmart paint their walls a more colorful color. Walton let the manager try it, and then see if the store results improved. They didn’t. But rather than chastise the manager, he just chalked it up to a lesson learned and had the manager paint them back to the old color (maybe that’s why Walmart walls are still muted colors). The bottom line is that July is here, the first half is done and, unless you’re doing perfect in every area, it’s time to try and test something new.

The Importance Of “Recession-Resistant” Employers When Evaluating A Market To Buy A Mobile Home Park In

Not all employers are created equal. Despite having a diverse employment base, it is equally important to take a closer look at what those employers actually do and how resistant they are to economic recessions and changes in consumer demand. We have found that the best markets to buy mobile home parks in have a strong employment base that is resistant to the inherent risks in a free-market economy, and the fads of the buying public. Here are our favorite types of employers:

County Seats

We have a huge number of markets in our portfolio in which that town or city is the county seat, and has a prominent county courthouse and government buildings – sometimes right in the middle of town. We like being the county seat for many reasons. First of all, those jobs are permanent and can’t be cut to any significant degree by economic recession. Another reason is that county seats, when push comes to shove, get all the funding and, as a result, are just stronger economically than the rest of the county.


It does not matter if they are giant state universities, small private colleges, or junior colleges, we love colleges as an economic driver. Not only are colleges beyond the reach of economic cycles (except in rare cases), but the students are huge consumers, which are supported by their parents and are not subject to obtaining or retaining employment. In addition, colleges receive a huge amount of federal aid, which keeps them in top physical condition and with frequent new buildings under construction.


As the U.S. population continues to age, the demand for healthcare is soaring. As a result, hospitals are hiring and new construction is endless. You cannot cut back on hospitals during recessions or depressions, as their funding is paid by state and federal coffers traditionally. If we had to choose a single employer in a town, a giant hospital – such as the Mayo Clinic – would be on the top of our list.

School Districts

Just like colleges, elementary, middle and high schools are not subject to the whims of the economy. Even if the entire town goes bankrupt, the schools must remain open and in business. As a result, the portion of the employment base that is dedicated to the school district is very solid indeed. Some of these districts are much larger than you think. For example, in Killeen, Texas, the school district employs 6,000 people. We are huge fans of markets that have heavy employment in education.


It’s sad but a giant percentage of the U.S. population is in prison – we have the highest percentage, by far, in the world. Nearly 1% of the U.S. population – nearly 2,300,000 people – are incarcerated, which is more than 25% of the total of everyone in the world that is in jail. Why do we put more people in jail than any other country? That’s not important to us. What’s important to us is that jails and prisons make for very stable employers. Over $60 billion per year is spent on running prisons in the U.S. And that is off-limits to any cutback, regardless of how the economy fares.

Tourist Destinations

We’re not talking about Hurricane Harbor here. We’re talking about significant tourist attractions with substantial pull. For example, our park in Charleston, South Carolina gets a boost from over 4 million tourists a year visiting the area. With an aging population, and 10,000 baby boomers per day retiring, the demand for recreation and travel is increasing, and much of this new demand is going to be focused on those prime tourist areas of the U.S. While this factor is more reliant on the health of the economy than any of these other sectors, there is no holding people back from that annual vacation and trip to the Grand Canyon, or Yosemite, or Vegas, using what money they have left.


The #1 product in the U.S. is food. It is our largest economic engine. America is the breadbasket to the world and, as other countries become more affluent, their first priority is to buy more American food. We are also the most efficient growers of crops and livestock, and can make more money per acre than any other farmers in the world. As a result, there is no great strategy to avoid recession-prone business than to invest in agricultural areas. Case in point, most of our markets enjoy unemployment rates of only 3% to 6% vs. the U.S. average of 8.6%. Why? Because we buy in the Great Plains and Midwest ; the agricultural hub of our nation. Until people decide collectively to suspend eating, there is little risk of losing employment when you create food.


If you want to stay out of trouble in our declining U.S. economy, the first step is to stay clear of markets that are heavy in employment risk. It’s not that hard to succeed – regardless of recession and depression – when you are exempt from layoffs and cutbacks. By sticking with diversified economies that are recession resistant, you are able to maintain stable revenues and even growing rents during terrible economic times for the nation as a whole.

How Refuse Specialists Has Saved Us Thousands Of Dollars, And Why You Are Crazy If You Do Not Get A Free Consultation On Their Services

We got a call from a guy named Jack Johnson about six months ago. He was pitching a new concept to us: a company that would re-negotiate our trash contracts for a part of the amount saved. We are suckers for 100% performance driven concepts, so we gave them our blessing, assuming that it probably would not amount to much. To date, this relationship has saves us tens of thousands of dollars, and resulted in ten times more in additional property value. How do they accomplish this? We still don’t have a clue, other than they really know trash well. If you want them to look at your park or parks, give Jack a call at (817) 525-3241. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And it paid off big in our case. Check out this video about their services.

The True Meaning Of Trailer Park

Trailer Park

While the industry likes to argue over whether the name should be “trailer park”, “mobile home park”, “manufactured home community” or “land-lease community”, this photo can only be described in one way. There’s no other way you can spin it. If there’s a bird in that tree, then it would have to be known as “trailer park resident”.

New Parks for Sale on

Renz And Associates Has Become Our Official Phase 1 Expert

We have used many different Phase I providers over the years. But some recent events have changed our opinion on who the best Phase I provider is, and we want to spotlight some “beyond the call of duty assignments” that have saved the day on some deals recently. One of the most important occurred on a property we were buying in Indiana. The park already had a Phase I that had been done when the owner purchased it and financed it with a well-known bank. However, at the final hours when the deal was to close and be financed by a new lender, a Phase I issue popped up that we had never seen before. A disgruntled former manager of the park had called the EPA and claimed that the park was operating an illegal landfill, in which entire trailers were demolished and buried near a barn. Although the report was suspicious, it had to be substantiated before the deal could close. So Mike Renz immediately went to the subject area and, using a device that he developed, was able to do immediate boring and testing to prove that the claim was a lie. There’s probably no other Phase I provider in America who could do that work, or do it that fast, or do such a good job of it. As a result, we are now using Renz and Associates as our exclusive Phase I provider, and we suggest you look into using them, as well. You can contact Renz at (614) 538-0451.

Legacy Housing Just Released New Triple Wide Plans

Most mobile home park operators have vacant lots to fill in their parks. We are one of Legacy's biggest customers for a reason and then never seem to dissappoint especially with these new 14 wide models.

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Security Mortgage Group Is Our Banking VIP

We did a lot of conduit loans -- and regular bank loans -- in 2013. A common feature of those loans was Security Mortgage Group. If you are buying or financing a mobile home park, let Security Mortgage Group get you the loan. They'll get you better terms than you'll ever be able to find on your own. That's why the win the industry mortgage broker award virtually every year from MHI. If you have any loans you need help on, you can reach Anthony or Gerry at (585) 423-0230.

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