Why I Love Mobile Homes
by Stu Silver/Zalman Velvel
When you are fortunate to live a half a century or more, you have a long gray beard, and you have a few bucks, sometimes people younger than a half a century, with no beard, and less money, ask you for advice. (I’m not sure if it’s the beard, or the bucks, that is the key ingredient, but it’s probably the bucks.)
Two of the questions I am most frequently asked are:
1-What career should I choose?
2-If I choose a career in real estate, what should I invest in?
Whenever I answer, I try to imagine the person asking is a member of my family, and the answer will set an important milestone for the rest of their life. Then I answer like my Dad. He told me, “You’re going to spend a lot of time working, so you might as well enjoy it. Pick something you like doing, which will probably be something you have talent in, and chances are you will be successful. Don’t choose something where the only reward is the money, not the steps that lead to it.”
What my Dad didn’t say, but I then add, is that every career has its ups and downs, and days when you want to say, “Who needs this aggravation?” Every career is like that, from what I’ve seen after living more than a half century, even that of a super-star. What separates success and failure is the ability to persevere, and it’s easier to persist in that which you enjoy, and easy to quit something that only frustrates you, and whose only reward is money, like the bill on my left.
That being said, when the second question is asked, “If I choose a career in real estate, what should I invest in?” I answer the same, “Pick an investment you like, because you are going to spend a lot of time on it, and you might as well enjoy it.”
If you like working with business people, invest in commercial property – offices, stores, warehouses, etc. If you like raw land, invest in farms, develop residential subdivisions and/or industrial parks, etc. If you like working with the elderly, invest in ACLF’s, health care facilities, nursing homes, and the like. If you like houses, then own houses. If you love apartments, then buy duplexes, triplexes, and apartment buildings. The real estate investment field is rich in its diversity, and will make you rich if you choose wisely. Yes, you must choose wisely, with your heart and with your pocketbook. No matter how much you love an investment, it’s just no fun going broke or working for free, so make sure before you invest that you are going to make a profit, and are aware of all the risks.
I own warehouses, mini-warehouses, single family houses, duplexes, a motel, an outdoor storage yard, offices, stores, etc., but I specialize in my favorite investment, mobile homes and mobile home parks. Why? Because I love ‘em. I love the new ones, straight out of the factory, which are now built better and cheaper than site built homes (I.M.H.O.). Look at the home pictured on the left and tell me it isn’t beautiful.
I also love the older ones, which I can buy for less than $10,000 on a leased lot, and they still provide a safe, healthy home for people, with lots of cash flow.
I love the feeling of empowerment I get from moving a mobile home onto a vacant lot, which only eats money (taxes, insurance, and interest), and converting it to an income earning resource that provides shelter for a family. The home pictured on the left was the first mobile home I ever set up on a vacant lot, with the chickens and the BMW of the physician’s assistant who bought it from me.
And yes, I love the “mobile” in mobile home, having the flexibility to move it from one place to another, if the need arises. I don’t need to call them manufactured homes so I will respect them more. I love and respect them plenty already.
Recently, I was training a group of future mobile home investors, and while the class was out at lunch break, I bought a mobile home. It cost $11,000 with the lot. It came with an excellent rent-paying tenant and will earn 25% a year after all expenses. When the class returned from lunch, they were surprised to see me signing a contract with the broker and handing over an escrow deposit.
When I started the class again, I said, “Hi, my name is Stu, and I am a mobile home addict.” The class answered, like a true 12 step group, “Hi, Stu!” Then I added, “I have to come realize I am powerless over my addiction to cash flow.”
I could give you many more reasons while I love mobile homes, but I will stop here. In my next article, I will talk about my love for mobile home parks, which just means buying them in bunches, instead of one at a time. I love a mobile home as an individual, and I also love them in groups.
Before I close, let me add what my Dad also told me about selecting a career. He said, “If you’re lucky, you will get to work at something that helps people, because in the end, all we really have is each other.”
When you choose a career in mobile homes, which are the most affordable housing we have, you will get that chance.
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Author and trainer Zalman Velvel, CCIM, is a Licensed Real Estate Broker and Mobile Home Dealer. He has 28 years of experience in Real Estate investment, 28 years as a Realtor, and 17 of those years in manufactured home investment. He has conducted 3-day live trainings and Internet Distance Learning on Mobile Homes and Real Estate Investments to over 5,000 enthusiastic clients all over the country. His books, Mobile Home Wealth and Mobile Home Wealth Part 2: Mobile Home Parks, are available on www.MobileHome.com .
Stu Silver is a real estate investor, writer, speaker and trainer who deals with the lucrative, but often overlooked, subject of Mobil Home and Mobile Home Park investment. Mr. Silver and his family have real estate holdings that include 600 rental units, comprised of 12 mobile home parks, warehouses, mini-warehouses, offices, single family homes, duplexes, and motels. Under the pen-name of Zalman Velvel, he has written two well-received books: Mobile Home Wealth and Mobile Home Wealth Part 2: Mobile Home Parks.
Mr. Silver has been a full time investor for more than 28 years. He holds the coveted CCIM designation, and is licensed as a real estate broker, mortgage broker, auctioneer, mobile home dealer, and former real estate appraiser. As a licensed real estate trainer, Mr. Silver has trained more than 5,000 people in real estate investing, in 3-day bootcamps and live on the internet.