Many people live out their lives without really enjoying their work. Then they retire and try to enjoy their final years, but really spend all their time fretting if their retirement savings will hold out. What if you could combine investing your savings with having the time of your life? Well, you can. And here’s how to do it.
Analyze how much working capital you have.
The first step to taking control of your life is to know what you have to work with. Take an inventory of all your assets. If you buy an RV park, you will live inside the park, so you can include the equity in your home in your calculations. Of this amount, you need to hold back a healthy portion for security – never put all your money into a down payment, as you need elbow room for emergencies and just peace of mind. If you have $100,000 in liquid assets, then you will only want to use maybe $50,000 of that as a down payment.
Learn everything you can about the RV park business.
Take a course through a website such as ours. Read everything available on the internet, including the many articles published on www.arvc.org — the national association or RV parks. Drive through the RV parks in your area and get a good feel as to if that type of thing interests you or not.
Start hitting RV park deals for sale and get familiar with the numbers.
You can find hundreds of RV parks for sale on such sites as www. Loopnet.com and www.RVParkStore.com. Take advantage of that, and become an expert on what the market rates are for return levels and price per lot. You will immediately note, through occupancy, what the “hot” and “cold” areas are for RV parks. You will also learn the difference from a “seasonal” RV park and a year-round RV park, and what a “destination” RV park is. Once you can guess at the value of a park through nothing more than its location and amenities, then you are ready to start making offers.
Make offers on many parks.
Buying an RV park is a volume business – you will have to make many offers. The point is to get a great buy, and you can’t buy low unless you ask for a low price. Don’t be afraid to have multiple deals going at one time. That’s what the experts do. When you find a deal that you feel very excited about and want to go forward, then you are ready to go to the contract phase.
Tie up the park under contract.
Don’t freak out when you put an RV park under contract. If you have used the right contract form (such as the one provided by www.RVParkStore.com), you will have the ability to cancel the deal for any reason during due diligence. You may put many parks under contract and drop them over time. This is perfectly natural. But you have to get off dead center and start tying them up to learn how to do it.
Perform great due diligence.
Great deals are made at the front end – if you buy it right, it will always be a winner. So make sure to analyze every inch of the deal. You will want to re-build your proposed income and expense statement yourself, without relying on the seller’s version. You can’t be too careful – there are plenty of unscrupulous sellers out there.
Obtaining financing can b e a challenge in today’s world. That’s why RV parks are so good – many sellers will offer to carry the financing for you, so you don’t have to make application to a bank. Just make sure that the length of the note is long – 7 to 10 years – so that you have time to find a real bank down the road.
Close on the deal and change your life.
Owning an RV park can be a great way to change your life for the better. Many people love to be their own boss, set their own schedule, and have many different things to do all day. And, as an RV park owner, you will find that you wear many hats. One of the key things that people enjoy about owning RV parks is getting to meet so many different people. If you like people, you’ll love RV parks. Every day are new guests, as well as fun current residents to talk to. And the more you like them, the more they feel that “love” and will want to return.
Sure, it’s hard to break out of your comfort zone. But would you rather stay miserable? At least look into owning an RV park as a way to get you the quality of life you want. And when you buy one, be sure to invite all your miserable friends to come visit you – if they can ever get away from their boring 9 to 5 jobs!
Frank Rolfe has been an active investor in RV parks for nearly two decades. As a result of his large collection of RV and mobile home parks, he has amassed a virtual reference book of knowledge on what makes for a successful RV park investment, as well as the potential pitfalls that destroy many investors. www.RVParkUniversity.com.