Once Upon A Time - Posted by Lonnie

Posted by JPiper on January 03, 1999 at 12:22:33:


I agree with your post…lawyers are an indispensable part of the investors team.

Speaking for myself, I spend alot of money every year on lawyers. I like to have certain kinds of deals closed by an attorney. I like getting forms reviewed. Periodically I run across a situation that requires a new form. I pay lawyers to find out specifics on the state laws at times…it’s cheap. And unfortunately, at times I have paid to defend myself in a lawsuit.

In general, a good real estate attorney is on my list of “must-haves”. On the other hand, I don’t believe anyone getting into this business needs to spend $500 getting a contract reviewed, or should this be the reason they don’t get started in this business.

If I were getting started I would get a contract from Lonnie’s book, have it reviewed by a local attorney in my state for compliance for local law (cost should be $100 or under). What I wouldn’t do is use this as an excuse not to get started.


Once Upon A Time - Posted by Lonnie

Posted by Lonnie on January 02, 1999 at 16:08:07:

For one reason or another, it seems there?s always a number of folks that won?t take that first step and get started making money. You wouldn?t believe all the excuses I?ve heard over the years. The reasons are numerous…“Can?t do it where I live.” “Can?t find any cheap MH?s where I live, the prices are too high.”. “Can?t do it without having a dealer license” (Dealer license seems to be the number one hang-up.) " The paper is full of MH ads with small payments, too much competition". And the reasons go on and on.
I wrote this article some time back and kept it to run occasionally. This seems to be the appropriate time to run it again. Recognize anybody?

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there were two men named John and Charlie. Both men had finished school after getting a “good education” and was now working a “job”. The problem was, they both worked a job they didn?t like, that paid just enough to live on. But that “job” provided “security and good benefits”.
These two men kept hearing about how you could make a lot of money buying and selling mobile homes, so they decided they wanted to give it a try. So they both bought a book that explained exactly how to do this.
John was the type of man that was more concerned about details and paper work and making sure everything was exactly proper and right, rather than just doing a deal. And John also listened a lot to what “they said”.
When “they” told him that this mobile home business couldn?t be done where he lives, John believed them. When “they” told him he couldn?t buy cheap mobile homes where he lived, he believed them. When "they? told him that he would have all kinds of problems with licenses, paper work contracts, John believed them. When “they” told of cases where the buyers stopped paying and left the home vacant, John was terrified.
So John checked with a lawyer that charged him $500 to review his contracts and advise him what to do. (His lawyer knew nothing about mobile homes, but was willing to do all the research necessary for only $150 an hour so John wouldn?t get in trouble). Finally John decided this mobile home business was much too risky and expensive, so he decided to keep working his job. After all, he was now making $8.00 an hour and was due for another 50 cents an hour raise next year if his company was still in business. So John kept doing the same thing he had been doing, and kept getting the same results he had always gotten.
Charlie, on the other hand didn?t know he couldn?t do these mobile home deals. “They” didn?t tell him it couldn?t be done where he lives, or that he needed a lawyer, or that his buyer wouldn?t pay and all the other war stories that “they” like to tell. So being a little dumb, Charlie just started doing it. After 3 years, Charlie had bought and sold a lot of mobile homes, had created $300,000 of mobile home notes and was getting checks dropped in his mail box almost every day.
Then Charlie decided to do something totally unthinkable…he quit his job!! And all his friends and family tried to tell him what a horrible mistake he was making. How could he give up a steady paying job with good “benefits” and even a “retirement” plan when he reached 65? But Charlie was bull headed and refused to t listen to any of them. So he quit that job that he hated and was now full time in the mobile home business. Charlie was a now a man without a job. What kind of a future could he expect with no job, no guaranteed benefits and not even a retirement plan.
Then a terrible thing happened…a man from DMV called and told Charlie he couldn?t buy and sell mobile homes without a license. Charlie said, “I didn?t know that, nobody told me I needed a license. My goodness, what do I have to do to get a license”? The DMV man said, “You have to come in, fill out an application and pay $1,000.” Charlie said, “OK, I?ll be right down, after all I sure don?t want to get in trouble.” So Charlie got a license and now he can buy and sell all the mobile homes he wants without worrying about getting in trouble with that bad DMV man. And Charlie and his family lived happily ever after. (I never heard anymore about John, wonder what happened to him? Probably still working that good “job” unless he?s been “downsized”)

Best wishes,


Re: Once Upon A Time - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on January 03, 1999 at 03:47:03:

Great Post Lonnie,
You have stated what needed to be stated.
I agree with JHyre, competent legal council seems to be worth it’s weight in gold.
However my car comes to mind. One of the things which I have always hated doing is automobile
repair, maintenance, and upkeep. When I was a kid my father would always want me to help him, so
that I could learn about cars. And I always told him the same thing “No thanks when I have car I’ll
just pay someone to do all of that”. A few years later when money was very tight I had Car
problems. I had no money to pay anyone anything. So after three days in my local library reading
and learning everything I could about the internal combustion engine and how a car works I went out
and scraped my knuckles up and repaired the problems. I actually fixed my car. It should have been
a great feeling, it wasn’t I hated doing it, but at least it was done.
A year later I was in a better finacial position. I had car problems again and took the car into the
shop. Now a strange thing happened I knew what the mechanic was talking about. I knew what was
involved in fixing this particular problem. I really had no idea what a reasonable price for the repair
should be, but my stance was such that the mechanic didn’t know that I didn’t know that.
Needless-to-say I didn’t get ripped off.
Back to the point of lawyers. I’m not saying that anyone should go out and give their attorney the
boot. What I am saying that anyone who is serious in regards to mobile homes, should go out and
learn as much as they possibly can. We all know that driving the parks are paramount, but I say that if
someone is going to make a business out of this, learn what the state requirements are and what they
Research, Research, Research are the keys to these Lonnie deals. Research in regards to market
and research in regard to how you plan to do this.
My motto is what one man (I should say person) can do, I can do!
People are doing these Lonnie deals and making money doing them.
As far as people running into all these obstacles, why didn’t they stop the people who are making
Think about it.
Anyhow it’s great to read another of your posts Lonnie, as always it is very motivational.

Dirk Roach

Re: Once Upon A Time - Posted by Paul(OK)

Posted by Paul(OK) on January 02, 1999 at 23:44:56:

tears have welled up in my eyes after reading this post
it seems this is a perfect time to reflect on a year gone by. my first full year in real estate investing. My friends and relatives don’t want to hear me talk about REI, not boasting just talking about anything related. My children try to point out a for sale by owner sign before I do. I got a course and started studying Dec 5, 1997. May of 98 found creonline and started a real mega education. I wanted to get online to prove to the icons how much I “knew”? They tollerated me and didn’t burn me down to the ground. when I figured out how much I didn’t know I realized that I have one mouth two ears for a reason (10 fingers verses 2 ears logic would have been confusing). I am truly thankful for the wonderful year of knowledge you all have given me and the wonderful things that I will be able to do in the future for my family. Many of you have either given me direct answers or have asked the right question to help. It seems that there is a mood in all of the posts of, “lookout world you ain’t seen nothing yet” to see the people at this sight that I look up to striving for a faster pace gets me fired up. I am grateful for two individuals in the chat room 1/1/99 that were patient with me. I know this is long, but am very grateful for the foresight of the Vaughn’s. a very deep and heartfelt thanks to all my friends and friends to be on this sight.

Re: Lonnie, thanks for the reminder… - Posted by Steve (GA)

Posted by Steve (GA) on January 02, 1999 at 18:53:48:

…concerning the over analysis we all do sometimes. There is a fine line between due diligence and the fear of getting started. Everyone places that line in a different place but the important thing is “place the line somewhere” so you can get started.
I also want to relate to you how purchasing your books helped me personally. I had a time share condo in Destin Fl. I was trying to sell. A family friend wanted to purchase it but did not have the cash. So taking my cue from you I created a note and sold the condo and created an income stream for the next 54 months. Time shares are not easy to sell but using your advice I was able to move it.
Thanks Lonnie for sharing your knowledge and posting on this wonderful site.

Steve (GA)

Re: P.S…, - Posted by DJ

Posted by DJ on January 02, 1999 at 17:57:33:

I did recognize one of the characters in your story!
How appropriate to name him John! Hee Haw!

Re: Amen!!! - Posted by DJ

Posted by DJ on January 02, 1999 at 17:44:24:

Thank You Lonnie for putting this in Layman’s terms.
I hope everyone who is interested in MH Investing reads
this post. Glad to See you on the site Lonnie!

Re: Once Upon A Time - Posted by JHyre in Ohio

Posted by JHyre in Ohio on January 02, 1999 at 17:07:11:


I recently read and and enjoyed your books, which shall pay for themselves quite handily. Anal attorney that I am, I will still go out and do it.

One word to others: I respect Lonnie’s advice and acheivements greatly. Lots of people have benefited from it. BUT BE VERY CAREFUL IF YOU AVOID ATTORNEYS. Lonnie is right- there are many useless attorneys who overcharge for very little in the way of value. Like anything else in life, you must exercize good judgment in selecting an advisor. The people on this site can help in that regard. Given my profession, I have seen plenty of people get in trouble by NOT using a professional when needed. Combine Lonnie’s go for the throat agressiveness with just a LITTLE caution. One good contract for $500 pays for itself EACH time it is used. There are many obstacles to stop the faint of heart and at least as many ways around them. A GOOD attorney is one of those ways. Hark Kiyosaki’s advice- PAY FOR GOOD PROFESSIONALS.

Please let me reiterate, I have tremendous respect for Lonnie, even without having ever met him. I just thought to HUMBLY add my two cents.

John Hyre

Re: Once Upon A Time - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 02, 1999 at 17:02:54:

So true. I think the cool 90’s hip to call it is “paralysis by analysis” or something like that. I am getting too old to be cool.

Re: Once Upon A Time - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on January 03, 1999 at 12:26:00:

Good advice. In my case, I may not know how to hold the hammer, file the lawsuit, or fill in the tax return. But I sure know alot about how they’re supposeed to do it. It helps, as you’ve pointed out.