Finding the motivated MH seller - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on February 08, 2000 at 08:18:35:

I have seriously considered doing Lonnie deals around Muskegon too since that’s where I grew up and the whole “fam damily” is still there. Where at outside Muskegon? I grew up in Holton on a 300-acre farm, and don’t get up there enough to satisfy me or my kids (my wife is a city girl so she don’t much care for the place). I drove through Timberline Estates off M-120 back in December, and there was a ton of homes for sale. If you’re near there, that might be a good place to start. Oh heck, competition now!! :slight_smile:

Is your 5 unit in Muskegon or the Heights, or out of town? Would like to know more. If you already have a 5-unit, you’ve got a good start. If you do MH’s, get both of Lonnie’s books, they’re well worth it.

Good luck and keep us posted on your efforts.


Finding the motivated MH seller - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on February 07, 2000 at 13:56:03:

I was curious about how often you MH pros actually run across truly motivated MH sellers. Do they come and go in waves, a couple a week, at least one a day, or “it depends”? Despite running an ad, many phone calls, driving the parks etc. the last month or so, I have only come across 2, maybe 3 motivated enough to negotiate price. For quite a few sellers paying lot rent for a year or so on a home they don’t live in anymore hasn’t been motivation enough to drop their prices below $8K-$10K.

I’m aware that I’m probably doing a few things wrong too (maybe my ad needs rewording, maybe not asking the right questions, maybe looking in the wrong parks etc.) but I though for sure I’d run into a lot more than I have. Very few individuals in my area advertise MH’s for sale. In any given week out of 100 or so ads no more than 4 or 5 are individuals, and those are usually for double-wides. They must be out there. At the risk of jinxing it, I may be closing on one this week. I’m just a little stumped as to where, or maybe I have to go farther from home to find them.

Any tips, critiques etc. as usual are greatly appreciated.


Blane (MI)

Re: Finding the motivated MH seller - Posted by Tony-VA

Posted by Tony-VA on February 07, 2000 at 16:45:38:

Hi Blane,

I have found that the Park Manager is the most important resource in my lonnie business. The PM’s and their assistant have given me leads on most of my deals before the homes had For Sale signs in them. They also give away a fair number of my business cards to potential buyers and sellers (God Bless the Finder’s Fee).

I have had very little luck with newspaper adds for this particular park. Another investor (SL-VA) does lonnie deals in a park northwest of mine and has had excellent newspaper add responses. Our adds are very similar, but because mine are in the southern county, I just don’t catch the interest of the target market that newspaper reaches. Conversly, I have excellent success with my “For Sale, Will Finance” signs in the windows. SL-VA has told me that he has had little or no luck with the signs.

He too has had great success by working closely with the PM to find buyers and sellers. Each park may take a different marketing flavor. Marketing is a never ending process of trial and tweaking. Dirk is very gifted in marketing. I am not so, but I have realized through my conversations with Dirk that marketing is only limited to my imagination and that it can become a game. Keep thinking creatively and your niche will come to you.

But think PM, PM, PM…that is where to start. They are in the gossip loop. They see the late fees stacking up. The talk to the Sheriff before he posts the eviction notices. They now who has liens on the homes and who does not. These people are a “gold mine” of information and a potential “gold mine” waiting for you to tap.

Best Wishes For Your Success,


What I have found - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on February 07, 2000 at 14:37:01:

Hi Blane.
A few things that I LOVE to see are Hand written For Sale Signs. If the look messy all the better.
Another great trick that I have done, many, many times, is look for eviction notices taped to the doors of homes. Once I find and eviction notice, I tape one of my business cards (that have my name, number and “Problem Solver” printed on them) on top of the eviction notice. So when these folks come home and see that they have a problem taped to their door, they also find that they have a solution also taped there. I have bought a lot of MH’s that didn’t even have a For Slae sign on them, that way.
Lonnie has some great ideas in his book Deals on Wheels for finding homes too. I have used the wrong address scenerio many times too.

I have bought a few MH’s from newspaper ads, (maybe 5% of all the MH’s I have done), and I even one time bought one from an internet ad. Actually my mom came across it and called me up to tell me about it. Anyway I still gave her a finders fee.
However the majority of MH’s that I do is from simply being out in the parks (around 85% of the deals that I have done). Also I get turned onto deals because I have many Park Managers in my corner too.
In the beginning I did run ads saying that I BUY MH’s, however I mostly got a bunch of “upside down” folks calling. Even had a guy call from an oil platform one time off of New Orleans. However I rarely made any money on these deals, and basically wasted a bunch of time. Time I could have been using more effectively.
So my advice would be to get in good with some PM’s (park managers). And get out into the parks.
In one of your previous posts you stated that you where hitting Oakland County. I would try Macomb (Mt Clemens etc. Up in that area) and even Wayne. Down in Westland, the down river area etc) I feel there are probably a ton of deals.
These areas are notorious for having a transitory population. What that means, is folks tend to move a lot. Probably some motivated sellers down there.
The parks in the Madison heights/ Centerline area (if my memory serves me right) tend to be rental parks, and I would stay out of those.
Although back in the day, when I thought all of this Creative stuff was akin to Amway, my now wife Jeanne did find a couple of MH’s selling for as little as $50.00 bucks. (She had read Lonnie’s books, been to a convention, in Las Vegas, and was trying to get me interested, of course I was too busy working a job, to be bothered; Boy was I dumb). So there are deals around, you just have to look in the right areas.
Anyhow good luck, and get out into the trenches.

Park managers have been helpful - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on February 08, 2000 at 10:21:57:

Thanks much for you advice. I’m currently working on two parks down in Monroe County (I live Downriver in Gibraltar) where the park managers have been helpful. They’ve provided a few leads on repos and people possibly anxious to sell. One thing that threw me though is that when I used some version of “I pay referrals” they both declined to go that route. Apparently all the dealers in the area use the same pitch, and they’ve both decided that to be impartial they’re not going to send park applicants to anyone specific. Kind of threw me a bit. Other than that they’ve been helpful and pleasant.

My only other problem is allowing life to get in the way. Was never very good at juggling things anyway, and with family, kids, church, hockey and this JOB that won’t change soon, so those excuses don’t work anymore. I do have the wife on board now with Lonnie deals now, and as I mentioned in another post will likely close this week, with the goal being to have it sold before the convention. So things are progressing. All the help I get here is greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the tips and see you in Atlanta!!


I thought you were in San Diego, Dirk (nt) - Posted by N Carson

Posted by N Carson on February 07, 2000 at 20:34:44:


Re: What I have found - Posted by Andy - MI

Posted by Andy - MI on February 07, 2000 at 19:56:57:

Hello, fellow Michiganders! I’m a newbie to REI, and now have a 5-unit building, a SFR, and a single-wide MH that I used to live in on an acre in Timbuktu. I keep reading the posts on Lonnie’s courses and the like, and then I see your guys’ posts that I have some fellow state people. I think I can feel myself starting to drool again. I live just outside of Muskegon. What do you think my prospects would look like on the West side of our state?


Re: What I have found - Posted by Bill K. _ FL

Posted by Bill K. _ FL on February 07, 2000 at 14:50:33:

I’ll bet those eviction/late notices come out the same time each month. Probably at the beginning of the second week of each month.

We are. - Posted by Jeanne

Posted by Jeanne on February 07, 2000 at 22:11:20:

We moved here about a year and a half ago.