From the Desk of Monica Main
Wednesday, 4:47 PM Pacific Time
Dear Real Estate Investor,
I've been holding out on you...but not on purpose! You see, any of you who know my real estate investing methods know that I've never been a big fan of MHP (mobile home park) investing for one reason only: NO FINANCING AVAILABLE!
But all that changed early last year!
MHP lenders and brokers are now abundant in supply when as little as a year ago, they hardly existed at all. As you know, making big cash flows in real estate investments solely depends on you using other people's money (OPM). When it doesn't exist, you can't work a real estate deal unless you are going in with 100% cash. And that's never a smart way to leverage your money.
The reason MHP funding was so hard to come by was because a commercial property is appraised using these elements: (1) land value, (2) building value, and (3) cash flow. Since MHPs don't have any permanent structures, there is no building value to appraise and this would dramatically lower the value of a property despite the cash flow. So, when a MHP owner decided to sell, he or she would sell based on cash flow but the property wouldn't appraise at the asking price (in many cases) because the property was treated as "raw land," or essentially worthless.
Now lenders have come to understand that MHPs are a viable investment with solid cash flows and aren't just a chunk of raw land with a bunch of slabs of cement (or "pads" as they are called).
And now the sky is the limit for these types of passive income properties!
Much Higher Cash Flow Potential...As Much as TRIPLE of an Apartment Building!
Your average apartment building will offer a CAP rate of anywhere from 6% to 9%, depending on where the property is located. If you are trying to pull of a no-cash-no-credit deal, you need to be over 9.5% or 10% in order to make the deal work financially otherwise you will barely be breaking even (if you're lucky)!
This makes the pickings far and few between when looking for deals and starting with no money! It means you have to scour through listing after listing trying to find a deal that meets the CAP rate criteria or slash the property asking price down as much as 50% (in some cases) in order to see a cash flow.
And that just isn't realistic!
With MHPs, it's the "norm" to see your average CAP rate anywhere from 12% to 16%, and even then that can be considered kind of low depending on where you are in the country. If you were to find an apartment building boasting a CAP rate of 12% to 16%, chances are the numbers are based on proforma (future projections) or they are greatly exaggerated (and cannot be backed up).
With MHPs, you are looking at a LOW CAP RATE of 12% in most areas of the country and an AVERAGE CAP RATE of about 16%. I've seen CAP rates as high as 25% in some areas of the country.
And this is simply UNHEARD OF with ALL other commercial property deals!
As you know, the higher your CAP rate, the higher your cash flow income. And if you can barely find commercial property deals that ever exceed 8% (on average) then you will find yourself spinning your wheels for nothing!
Quick Comparison: See the Power of Mobile Home Park Investing Firsthand!
While typing this up, I went over to LoopNet.com and checked out a very small city in northern Florida for an example of how powerful MHP investing is.
I saw a MHP listed for $99,000. It has only 7 "pads" or lot spaces. The CAP rate is listed at a whopping 21% and the occupancy is 100%. Expenses on gross income is about 20% vs. your average apartment building where it is 40% to 60%. The monthly cash flow (after all expenses paid) on this deal is an amazing $2,000 a month or $24,000 a year!!
Meanwhile, there is an 8-unit apartment building listed right down the street for $499,000 having a CAP rate of 7%, an occupancy level of only 75%, and even at 100% occupancy, this deal wouldn't make you but about $500 per month after all expenses and debt service (mortgage). And that's ONLY if you are able to put 20% cash down on the deal. If you went in with no cash down, you would LOSE MONEY every month!
And this is just ONE example of the thousands of MHP deals I've come across in the past few months!
More Cash Flow, Fewer Expenses, Cheaper Investments...And No"Tenants"!
Wait a minute! How can this be? When there are people living in the park, aren't those tenants?
Yes and no.
All you are doing is leasing them a "space" or "pad" which is, essentially, a slab of cement with utility hookups. Your tenant brings in his or her own mobile home, secures it to the slab, and they pay you a monthly fee to park their home there.
If their toilet breaks, they fix it. If their air conditioning goes out, they pay for it. If a neighbor kid breaks out a window, they are responsible for replacing it.
AND YOU FIX NOTHING!
All you are responsible for is landscaping, common area utilities (including electricity), and maintaining the operations of the park.
And that's it!
Your tenants on the property are responsible for their own homes. You aren't!
This is why it's so cheap to run a park and make huge monthly incomes...because there aren't many expenses.
Your average apartment building costs about 45% to 65% of the GOI (gross operating income) in expenses to run. This means that if you get annual rental receipts from your tenants of $100,000 per year, you are giving back $450,000 to $650,000 per year just in property expenses.
And that sucks!
What many of my students don't understand is that the larger the apartment building (or complex), the LARGER THE EXPENSES. I've seen 500+ unit buildings (especially those in the north where it's cold) eat up 85% in expenses on the GOI.
And who can afford to operate a building like that?? (This is why I tell my students that it's better to get a bunch of very small apartment buildings to keep the expenses down to 25% to 35% rather than jumping at the large buildings.)
With a MHP, your average expenses are between 15% to 20% of the GOI. I have seen a few deals where the expenses have been 25%, but that's not the "norm." As you know, fewer expenses means more money in your pocket.
One of the biggest problems with apartment building investing, especially in lower-middle class areas, is the tenant quality. Many of your tenants simply don't care about your building or the unit you are renting to them.
They don't care about abusing your property including grinding up an entire Thanksgiving turkey in the garbage disposal (knowing you'll fix it) or flushing a crack pipe down the toilet (knowing your plumber will fish it out). They don't care about breaking out screens or ruining the carpet. It's not their problem because the property isn't theirs. It's your problem. And they know it!
With MHP tenants, they are renting the slab of cement that their home sits on. But it's theirhome! They not only take care of their home (because they are responsible for their own repairs) but the quality of tenant is different because they are "homeowners" and not wreckless, careless tenants.
So, even going into your lower-middle class areas that can be challenging as an apartment building owner, it's a different story with MHP tenants because there is that sense of "pride of ownership." This means that you don't have to worry much about graffiti sprayed on the fences outside or someone ripping the landscaping apart with motorcycles. Since the park is made up of "homeowners" they mostly take pride in their homes and where their mobile home is "parked." You'll have less riff-raff and problems with tenants which ultimately lowers your operating costs and puts more cash in your pocket.
Lots of Financing Available! Plus, Sellers Will Finance 25% to 50% AUTOMATICALLY!
Most of the MHP owners out there are old-timers who have owned their property for decades. They also don't know that there is a lot of MHP financing available now. Every MHP owner knows that getting financing is next to impossible...or so they still think!
Most MHP listings will clearly state that the owner is willing to carry back or finance part of the deal. Many times they will carry back 50% of the purchase price. I've seen sellers carry back 90%! This is NORMAL in MHPs.
Now that there is financing available, you can get a seller to help out with the financing on a seller carry back (private mortgage contract) while having a lender come in and take a first-position loan. Since most of these MHP sellers have owned their properties forever, there is boatloads of equity to allow them the option of offering a private mortgage contract.
Most MHP sellers AUTOMATICALLY offer seller carry-back because they think they still have to! AND they have tons of equity to support holding paper on your deal!
The property does NOT have to be owned free and clear. Many times these parks are owned outright but they don't have to be for a seller to offer a seller carry on the deal.
And some of my lenders allow for partial seller carry-back...which is RARE and notsomething you can get for other commercial property loans!
The Secret Isn't Out...Yet! This Means There's VirtuallyNO COMPETITION for the New Investor!
For awhile many real estate investors were playing it safe and not investing in anything in their "watch and wait" mode. They wanted to see which direction the economy was going to take.
They've stopped waiting and started picking up properties left and right...by the MASSES...because just about every investor I know thinks the real estate market has already hit rock bottom.
This makes it very difficult now for a new investor to get a foot in the door when large investment groups are swooping down on all the deals out there.
Here's the good news...
They aren't focused on MHP deals...not yet anyway. They haven't seen the potential in the large cash flows because they are too busy picking up bank-owned foreclosures from financially devastated banks.
But they will "clue in" very soon on this incredible MHP opportunity...eventually. I would speculate that by the end of this year they will be on board with acquiring MHP deals just as they are with other commercial properties.
When this happens, you'll be out of luck!
If you think you may have missed the boat with apartment buildings or foreclosures -- or if you don't like dealing with tenants -- then mobile home parks is your best real estate investing opportunity!
And you can't miss out, otherwise you'll be left out in the cold!
Incredible Monthly Cash Flow Opportunity!
My biggest pet peeve is when I have students on the phone who ask me how many "units" they need to get a $10,000 per month cash flow.
My answer: I DON'T KNOW!
Why? Because cash flows VARY GREATLY by region, state, county, and even by city (in the same county). After all, don't you think you'll have a different cash flow on a 10-unit in Malibu, California vs. a 10-unit in Compton, California?
But I will tell you this...
"Pad" or space rentals vary by $350 on the "low" side to $750 in the "high" range. Yes, pad rents can even go higher....and they usually do!
If you are at $350 a month per pad and have 50 pads in a park, you are grossing $17,500 per month or $210,000 per year. If your expenses are a HIGH 20% (when they are usually about 12% to 15%), you are still pocketing $168,000. If you financed your park and each lot/space cost $15,000 each (average) then your total acquisition would be $750,000. The debt service (morgage) would be $52,522 per year leaving you with a $115,478 annual or $9,623 monthly cash flow.
And you would have next to nothing in taxes because a county assessor assesses a building on land AND building value...and there are NO BUILDINGS thus LESS IN TAXES!!
The deal I outlined above would be enough to allow many people to quit their jobs and live off the income WITHOUT WORKING!
And, remember, your income typically will DOUBLE EVERY 15 YEARS. So, in 15 years from now, you'll be making $19,246 per month. If you were smart and paid off your loan early, add another $4,377 per month, bringing you up to a $23,623 monthly income!!