Over a decade ago, I made the decision to become a full-time real estate investor by reading the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Inspired by the material, I learned the importance of passive income to achieve financial independence. Upon finishing the book, I decided real estate would be my path to get there. My plan was to build enough cash to eventually buy and hold properties for cash flow. Little did I know what lay ahead — the road was bumpy and I was not prepared for what came next.
Rachel Hernandez is the author of the book, Adventures in Mobile Homes: How I Got Started in Mobile Home Investing and How You Can Too!. Rachel, also known as Mobile Home Gurl, writes and produces videos regularly about her stories and adventures in mobile home investing. You can visit her Website, check out her Book, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.
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The Early Years
In the beginning, I found deals for other investors. Being that I had a background as a business-to-business sales executive for a Fortune 500 company, finding opportunities and negotiating contracts came naturally. During one of my earliest deals, I made a whole year’s salary. It was amazing! I continued to build up cash until I eventually started to buy and hold single-family homes for cash flow.
Life as a landlord.
Upon building up my cash reserves, I was able to acquire a small portfolio of rental properties. Though, I have to be honest – life as a landlord was not the rosy picture I imagined. What I thought would be a walk in the park turned out to be a nightmare. I became overwhelmed by the sheer administrative side of the real estate business. There was always something to be fixed; I would always receive phone calls sometimes even late at night. At one point, I went ahead and hired property managers. Though, I still had to manage the managers. Life was miserable.
An eviction leads me to the tipping point.
Years later, I was a burned-out landlord constantly dealing with the hassles of landlording. I was going through an eviction which took eight months and involved going through the court system. I even brought in a property management company to help with the eviction case. On the day of the eviction, my property manager called me telling me my renters wanted to make payment arrangements for the past due rent. I told him no arrangements, I just wanted to get this over and done with. So the eviction continued. Once the eviction was over, I made the decision that I was through with landlording and decided to cash out on my entire real estate portfolio.
The course that changed my life.
As I contemplated my future, my attention turned towards my bookshelf. There were countless real estate books and courses on every subject you can think of. Though, one course stood out to me — a little green one. I picked it up and dusted it. It was a course (now a book) on mobile home investing, “Deals on Wheels,” by Lonnie Scruggs. I began to read it. This course sat on my shelf for five years before I did anything with it.
With experience, my perspective changed.
After I read the course, I knew now what I had to do. Life was not only about making money; it was about being free from money. Sure, I had read this before in Kiyosaki’s book. Though, it was only through experience that I could see now what I did not see before. At this point, I made the decision to learn the ins and outs of mobile home investing to achieve a life where I could do the things I want to do, not have to do. And, the rest is history.
Life as a mobile home investor.
At first, things were hectic. I made many mistakes. Though, I learned along the way. With each deal and property I acquired came a stream of cash flow that lasted for years. No longer was I tied to the restraints of money. I bought every home entirely with cash owning them all free and clear so I did not have a mortgage looming over my head. Giving prospective residents an opportunity to call a place their own is much more fulfilling. Choosing residents for the homes was a learning experience. I made some bad decisions but some good ones as well. I learned what I had to do to free up my most valuable asset: my time.
Nowadays, life is much slower. I have the time to do the things I want to do, not have to do. I can breathe and take the time to enjoy life. I like what I do. Through mobile home investing, I have found a sense of community with the residents and neighborhoods I work in. Business is done the old-fashioned way with a smile and a firm handshake. Since I work with people with a homeowner mentality, no longer do I get disturbed on a regular basis. Sure, I get calls every once in a while to put out a fire or two. But, it’s rare.
Sometimes life can throw you a curve ball. One day you think your life is going one way when all of a sudden you’re going in another. Clearly, this was not my chosen path. But, it was the one that worked for me.