Help, Lonnie! - Posted by Thane

Posted by Ernest Tew on June 13, 2000 at 07:29:45:

If you have a local “Shopper” magazine, you might try advertising in it. Use a large heading, such as “Rent-To-Own,” “Seller Financing,” “Handyman Special,” or “Looking For A Bargain?” In the ad, refer to “low down payment” and mention the low monthly payments.

You will probably need to accept a low down payment and low monthly payments to sell it. However, that’s not all bad because it will result in an income for a long time.

More importantly, view your purchase as a good seminar and learn from your mistakes. It was probably a mistake to invest in a bad park with a bad reputation. You can change and improve the home but you can’t change the park without buying it. Unless you know there is a market for small (14 x 60 foot) mobile homes, especially one that is thirty years old, avoid getting involved.

Help, Lonnie! - Posted by Thane

Posted by Thane on June 12, 2000 at 20:41:09:

Two months ago I began my very first Lonnie Deal. It was a 1970 2 bed 1 bath with central air and all appliances included. He was asking $3,500. I negotiated the purchase price down to $1,600. It has now been two months and no sale. I would appreciate any critique of my situation from Lonnie and anyone else who know more that I do. I have ran four separate newspaper adds. Each time I run an add I get about 3 to four calls. I have set up four appointments to meet with a potential buyer. Each of these have resulted in a ?no-show?. This seems a bit odd to me. Does this sound typical?

In addition to the newspaper adds, we went into eleven grocery stores in neighborhoods that potential buyers would shop and hung signs. Our add and signs read, ?Will Finance. Used 14 x 60 mobile home. 2 bed 1 bath. Central air. All appliances. Flexible Terms. Easy Payments. No Banks. Call xxx-xxxx.? We have only received 2 calls so far from the grocery store adds.

The park is a pretty bad park. All of the homes are around 30 years old. As we talk to the other residents, they tell us how terrible of a park it is and how bad the neighbors are. What advertising tactics can we try? Are we missing something, or is it just a matter of time? Any guidance from someone who?s been there will be very much appreciated.

Re: Help, Lonnie! - Posted by SL-PA

Posted by SL-PA on June 13, 2000 at 23:33:08:

I have just moved into a new city. With little knowledge of the market here, I don’t plan on doing any mh deals without first running dummy ads so that I have some idea of the demands for mhs.

You probably should do the same before your next deal. Find mh parks that you want to do deals in. Run dummy ads and see what the response is like. Then buy mhs in the park with the most number of response.

Ah yes, the tuition home - Posted by Blane (MI)

Posted by Blane (MI) on June 13, 2000 at 09:45:34:

Hi Eric,

Sorry to hear of your plight. Saw your ads in the Free Press, would like to help you out if you don’t mind. What park are you in? As Lonnie said, emphasize the referral fee with neighbors. Have you tried one of the Observer/Eccentric papers in the area? Last week for example, for the heck of it I ran an ad in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti papers, ended up getting 5-6 calls a day. Is the PM any help? As Dirk has said, if you want to catch a rabbit, you’ve got to think like one.

I had the same problem with my first home: park not so great, no buyers. It worked out ok, and learned a lot. Trust me, the next one will be easier, as you’ll know better where to look. Keep coming here for advice and encouragement.

Keep your chin up,


Re: Help, Lonnie! - Posted by Lonnie

Posted by Lonnie on June 13, 2000 at 07:55:28:

Hi Thane,

Sometimes it seems like nothing works and you can’t give a home away. We’ve all had this happen. Have patience. There’s a buyer for every product if the price/terms are right. This is one you will probably have to offer a small down payment and low payments to sell.

If it’s a bad park, that’s probably most of your problem. It’s better to buy the worst home in a good park, than the best home in the worst park. You can improve the home, but not the park. That’s why I keep hounding away the importance of knowing your market, and your product. A ride through a park will usually give you a good indication of what the park and the people are like, and what to expect if you do business in that park.

Most likely, the person that buys your home will have to be the same caliber person as the one’s living in the park. So talk to all the park residents and ask if they know anyone that wants to buy your home. Offer a good referral fee, or whatever it takes to get some leads coming in. Same with the park manager.

To minimize the no-shows, I tell the people that call to ride through the park, look at the home, and if they like what they see, call me for an appointment. Once an appointment is made, I tell them I’m in the first stages of Alzheimer’s, so they should be sure to call me 30-60 minutes before the appointment to verify they will be there. Otherwise, I don’t show up. This eliminates all but the serious people, and assures less no-shows. Also, I schedule the appointment for my convenience, not theirs.

Hope this help, and good luck,