I'm excited to introduce myself, and I'm looking forward to discussing RE with all of you in the future. I am a beginner investor in Gillette, WY area. I have studied RE for some time by reading books, attending free seminars (sales pitches), reading and listening to material here on BP.
My investing journey began last year. I've been wanting to invest for many years but had the common analysis paralysis and just fear of failure or success (haven't figured out which one). I finally made the leap and paid my "tuition to the school of hard knocks" last year when I purchased a singlewide mobile home to repair and rent. It was quite the adventure but I'm so glad I finally just did something...its changed my life.
Details on first deal:
Bought an older 1970's single wide mobile home for cash for $6K (asking price was $9K) I was proud of myself for negotiating $3K off price but looking back I should have negotiated more, even though I never lost money on this deal in the end. The MH needed some repairs although some of it had already been renovated. I put about $2K into repairs and got it rented within a couple weeks. I rented for $950/mo and lot rent was $350. This was way more than I thought a MH would or should rent for, but through my research that was going rate for single-wides in the area. I learned a lot and made plenty of mistakes (mostly in tenant choice) early on and ended up having to evict my first tenant after 3rd month. Luckily she moved out without destroying the place or without fight. The property was still in bad shape after my minimal repairs and was about an hour from where I live so after my experience with bad tenant, I decided to cut my losses (even though technically I didn't have any) and sell it. I sold it shortly after for $9K. I knew it was only a short amount of time before this place was going to cost me an amount more than I was willing to spend on it. I replaced it with another singlewide MH close to where I lived which was in much better shape and rent it for similar numbers.
Mobile homes might not have best reputation among investors but I have to give them credit where credit is due. I probably wouldn't have made the first step into REI without the cheap mobile home, it gave me a "baby step" that I felt comfortable with for my first deal. I don't know if I could have talked myself out of my fear if my first deal would have been much bigger. It worked out as a great way to get me started.
Since then I have bought a foreclosure (not MH), repaired it and moved into it with built in equity....bonus (upgraded from my first home) and rented my old house. I've felt lucky that all of my RE ventures thus far have gone somewhat well ( I went in expecting nightmares but was willing to give it a try anyways) and changed my financial outlook and attitude in life. I enjoy being creative in RE transactions and solving problems as they come up. I'm looking forward to many more deals in my future. I appreciate the info I've found on BP and look forward to associating with all of you.
I feel fairly comfortable in the mobile home strategy in my area at this point, but look to expand into different areas in RE as I diversify my portfolio in the near future.
@Thomas Bybee , Welcome to BP Bud. I am over in Thermopolis, but have friends in Gillette. The first step is the hardest. Keep at it. Let me know if you need help on something.
Hey @Thomas Bybee welcome to the site! It's great to have you here!
Wlecome to Biggerpockets! Great to have you here.Good Luck!
Locate and attend 3 different local REIA club meetings great place to meet people gather resources and info. Here you will meet wholesalers who provide deals and rehabbers (cash buyers). Find them through Google and meetup.com
Two Great reads, I bought both J. Scott The Book on Flipping Houses, The Book on Estimating ReHab Costs http://www.biggerpockets.com/flippingbook
Download BP’s newest book here some good due diligence in Chapter 10. Real Estate Rewind Starting over
Welcome aboard, being in Montana and Wyoming, feels like we are neighbors!
Welcome. There is no shame in mobile homes. I grew up in one, and I know there's a big market for them. Good luck!
Welcome to BP @Thomas Bybee
@Thomas Bybee welcome. I grew up in SE Wyoming and made a few trips to your area for sports. It's good to see some success stories.
Great job on the MH and getting in and out. Tenant selection is the most critical aspect of landlording. Work at getting better at that and the rest of your investing life will get easier.
Thanks all for the encouragement and welcomes. @Bill S. you are exactly right about tenant selection, I've already made some improvements and developed some better systems that have helped with this, and it's made a huge difference.
@Mike Baker definitely agree "no shame in mobile homes" especially in my market...its a huge play here, that I'll be pursuing further (along with some other things too).
Account Closed True about first step. Good to see another Wyoming investor on here, and appreciate the offer for help. I saw your email, are you an attorney? I've been looking for experienced REI attorney (local or at least within state) to have as an option to go to for consulting when/if time comes.
Yes @Thomas Bybee , that is my day job. By night I am a real estate professional. It is nice to get home tonight before dark and being so tired I fall asleep at the computer. I should have run over to Worland to work on a new purchase I am renting out. I do a lot of real estate contract work, but I am not up as much as I want to be on the Dodd frank Act. Gillette has a pretty good economy, but I have heard that one of the bigger coal mines may be closing, not sure if that is just a rumor or not. It has historically had boom bust cycles but the coal industry has helped ease those as it is more steady. Rentals always seem to be in demand.
@Paul Timmins , I am only aware of one town in Wyoming with an REI meeting, that is Cheyenne which is probably at least 3 hours each way from Gillette.
The railroads have just reported earnings. Hauling coal is off 30%. Cheap natural gas will decimate coal use over some period.
Have you noticed how fast LED bulbs have replaced small incandecent bulbs? In the span of 3 yrs every bulb in a new car is LED. What happened to all those factories making bulbs? Like buggy whips, coal may take a fast fall or at least trail off over years.
Meaning rentals in coal towns may be short lived. What about all those multi families in ND/SD for the fracking business? Easy come easy go.
Just saying think about the risks. I'm not predicting doom, just that we have to think. Who would have guessed a barrel of oil would be in the $40's?
@Curt Smith , thanks for the info. I do not invest in Gillette myself. it also has methane gas and some oil and gas wells I think. We are also fighting the current administration in Washington D.C. over being able to haul coal into ports for shipping coal to China. it is hard to imagine the government fighting an export to a country we have such a horrible trade imbalance with. The days of China not having enough money to buy wheat to feed their people seem to be over.
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