by Stu Silver/Zalman Velvel
So I’m sitting outside the Kangaroo Convenience Store in Ocala, Florida, in July, sipping coffee and nibbling on a cheese muffin. (Never had one before, so I had to try it.) It was a quarter to six in the morning, in July, and all the gas pumps were filled with vans and pickup trucks. At 5:45 AM, they were crowded!
I’m wondering, who are these people? The sun isn’t even up yet, and they’re here filling up on gasoline and caffeine. They looked familiar, and then I realized why. They are my customers, the buyers and renters of mobile homes, the most affordable housing in America.
These are the people that come to fix your roof when it leaks, your faucet when it won’t turn off, and your wiring when your circuit breaker keeps tripping and you don’t know why. These are the people that take your orders at the restaurant, help you when you go to Walmart, and answer the phone when you have a medical problem. They are the working men and women of this country, and some of them have to get up at 4 AM, to be at the gas pump at 5:45, so they can drive to their jobs, arrive at 7AM, and start their working day so they can take care of themselves and their families.
Who am I? I’m the guy who sells, or rents them a home, a mobile home, so they can have an affordable place to live.
Go ahead, ask me.
I’m selling used mobile homes for $3,000, with $390 down, and payments of $95 per month for 3 years. The $95 payment is in additional to the lot rent of $295 per month, so they’re monthly housing “nut” is $390. What does one look like? Look at the picture to the right of this paragraph. This is an average looking mobile home we sell. It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and a porch. Some have carports (which by themselves cost almost $3,000 new to install.) We add the flowering bushes for free.
What happens at the end of the three years? I sign over the mobile home title to them, and they own it. Simple as that. If they want to move, they can sell the mobile home to someone else, and get back their $3,000. I have some families living in my mobile home parks, where the husbands have moved a thousand miles away, in order to find work. They send back their monthly payments so their families can continue living in their homes. Why don’t they all move together and leave? Because the mobile home is the only thing of lasting value they own and they want to hang onto it.
Now, if a family wanted to rent the same mobile home from us, we would get a $390 security deposit, and then charge them $390 per month for rent, which is the exact same amount of money as $295 for lot rent and $95 for the mobile home payment. However, at the end of three years of committing to renting the mobile home, all they have is rent receipts. At the end of three years of committing to buy the mobile home, and making payments to us, they own the home. THEY OWN THEIR OWN HOME! Same money, different outcome.
So I sat there outside the Kangaroo convenience store, watching the sun come up, sipping coffee and enjoying a cheese muffin, and I felt a sense of fulfillment with my life. My family business makes it possible for some of the working people of this country to own their own home. These are the people who hold the country together, fix things when they break, help us out when we have problems, and are raising the next generation of Americans. They get up at 4 AM, fill up at 5:45 AM, and make it into work by 7.
If you think providing safe, healthy, affordable housing to these same people is doing something worthwhile with YOUR life, and you want to make a good living while doing it, then join us in a great business.
** This article is dedicated to my friend, Dovie.
Author and trainer Stu Silver, CCIM, is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Mobile Home Dealer. He has 30 years of experience in Real Estate investment, 28 years as a Realtor, and 18 of those years specializing in mobile home investment. His family has real estate holdings that include 600 rental units, comprised of 12 mobile home parks, warehouses, mini-warehouses, outdoor storage, offices, single family homes, duplexes, and motels. He has conducted 3-day live trainings and Internet Distance Learning on Mobile Homes and other Real Estate Investments to over 5,000 enthusiastic clients all over the country. His books, which he writes under his pen name, Zalman Velvel, are Mobile Home Wealth and Mobile Home Wealth Part 2: Mobile Home Parks, are available on www.MobileHome.com .