CI 32 – How To Save On Life’s Largest Expense with Diane Kennedy, CPA

Most of us spend lots of time shopping around for the best deal on the things we buy while spending more money on taxes than anything else. Why not “shop around” to save money on life’s single largest expense? Join Jason as he talks with famed CPA, Diane Kennedy, about the tax strategies of wealthy real estate investors and business people. Diane Kennedy, a preeminent tax strategist, is the founder of USTaxAid Services, a leading tax firm that works with clients throughout the U.S. and founder of TaxLoopholes, an award-winning online tax education site. Diane is the author of The Wall Street Journal and Business Week bestsellers, Loopholes of the Rich and Real Estate Loopholes, and co-author of The Insider’s Guide To Real Estate Investing Loopholes, The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in Real Estate, The Insider’s Guide to Tax Free Real Estate Investing and Tax Loopholes for eBay® Sellers.

CIS 31 – An Action Plan for Mobile Home Wealth

Join Jason Hartman as he interviews Stu Silver, The Mobile Home Man, regarding his mobile home and mobile home park investing strategies.  Learn the do’s and don’ts about investing, how to protect yourself from being taken advantage of, to know when you’re getting a good deal, and even how to inspect your mobile home to make sure you don’t find any unwanted surprises.  Stu says there are over eight million mobile home parks in the United States and you can get a good deal on a mobile home, or even possibly get one for free.  Stu’s first rule of investing is, “Protect yourself at all times!”  For more details, listen at

Stu Silver has been investing in real estate for 30 years and has specialized in mobile homes for the last 18 years.  He is known as The Mobile Home Man or Uncle Zally, and has authored three books (under the penname Zalman Velvel), Mobile Home Wealth, Mobile Home Wealth Part 2, and How to Get a Good Deal on a Mobile Home or Even Get One For Free!. He also features his Mobile Home Wealth Systems on CD’s and does live Mobile Home and Real Estate Training.  Additionally, Stu writes a mobile home blog called “Kangaroo Kronicles.”  He holds the CCIM designation and is a licensed real estate broker, mortgage broker, auctioneer, mobile home dealer, and former real estate appraiser.  He has trained more than 5,000 people in real estate investing in his 3-day bootcamps and live on the internet.

CI 30 – “The Longevity Project” with Howard S Friedman

Do you want to know the secrets of living longer?  Join Jason Hartman on this episode of Holistic Survival as he interviews Leslie Martin, Ph.D. and Howard Friedman, Ph.D., authors of “The Longevity Project.”  Find out who lives longest and why.  The answers may surprise you! Visit:

HOWARD S. FRIEDMAN is Distinguished Professor at the University of California in Riverside. LESLIE R. MARTIN is Professor of Psychology at La Sierra University, and Research Psychologist at UC Riverside. They met when Leslie began graduate study in 1991 at UC Riverside, where she became a key and continuing associate in Howard’s then-launching lifespan longevity studies. Here are some facts about their work, their interests, and their qualifications.

Their scientific research on health and longevity has been published in over 150 influential and often-cited scientific articles and chapters in leading books and scientific journals. In addition, Professor Friedman has authored or edited ten academic books about health and one prior trade book, The Self-Healing Personality. His textbook on Personality is now in its 5th edition. He served as Editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia of Mental Health, which received recognition as a “Best Reference Source of 1998” from Library Journal. His edited book, Foundations of Health Psychology was named a CHOICE Magazine Outstanding Academic Title. Professor Martin’s books include Health Behavior Change And Treatment Adherence, and a textbook in health psychology.  Leslie and Howard have spent 20 years collaborating on the research described in The Longevity Project.  The study tracks the loves and lives of 1,500 Americans from childhood to death.

Putting the research findings into practice, Leslie is passionate about adventure travel that stretches her past achievements. She climbed Kilimanjaro (to the summit), and she recently completed the Marathon des Sables. This ultra-marathon is a 151-mile self-sustaining endurance race across the Moroccan Sahara, in which runners must carry all food and clothing for the entire marathon (in their backpacks). (See picture.) Always interested in a challenge, in her early 30’s Leslie became a champion for her age group in high-jumping. When she is not in the lab or writing about health, she is planning which mountains she will next climb.
Less extreme in his physical adventures, Howard prefers swimming, hiking, and cultural travel. In addition to his research and teaching, he writes every day, including a “My Turn” column published in Newsweek, and a new blog.

Dr. Friedman is the recipient of two major career awards for his health psychology research. In 1999, he received the Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology Award from the American Psychological Association; and in 2008, he was honored with the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award from the Association for Psychological Science (APS), an international award and the most prestigious in his field of applied research. See:

A graduate of Yale University (magna cum laude with Honors in psychology), Dr. Friedman was awarded a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship for his doctoral study at Harvard University. He is a thrice-elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association (in Personality and Social Psychology, Health Psychology, and in Media Psychology) and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Martin graduated summa cum laude from the California State University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California in Riverside. She has received the Distinguished Researcher Award, and the Anderson Award for Excellence in Teaching, both at La Sierra University. Former department chair, Dr. Martin has also received awards for outstanding advising and for service learning. In addition to her research on pathways to health and longevity, she studies physician-patient communication and its relationship to medical outcomes and has lectured widely on these topics.

CI 29 – Mobile Home Millions

Jason welcomes his friend and mobile home investing guru, Corey, to this episode of The Commercial Investing Show. Visit: Adding another entry to our favorite success stories, Corey started his real estate investing career in 1993 by selling his jet ski to raise enough money for a down payment on his first deal. Since then, he went on to build a sizable portfolio of real estate, including apartments, single family homes, self-storage facilities and mobile home parks. Over the past several years he has focused primarily on mobile home parks and self-storage facilities. Corey regularly shares his expert knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry at real estate clubs, national seminars and universities about investing in his favorite avenues of real estate investing: mobile homes, mobile home parks and self-storage units.

4 Reasons Mobile Home Park Investing is Sneaky Smart

Sure, you can buy a mobile home or you can buy land, but when you put the two of them together in a land/home deal, then, friend, you’re talking about serious investing. This hybrid investment takes two types of investment properties, puts them together, and creates value that wasn’t there before. The deal can go down a few different ways:

1. Buy a mobile home and put it on land you already have
2. Buy land and bring in a mobile home you already own
3. Buy them both individually and stick them together
4. Buy them as a package already together

Here are some of the reasons we love to create mobile home parks with land/home deals.

1. Mobile home investing is a still relatively undiscovered type of real estate investing. You won’t be competing with the “I Buy Ugly Houses” crowd or the “No Money Down” investors fresh off their late night infomercial training. With less direct competition, you won’t have to fight so hard for the sweet deals that pop up.

2. You have less money at risk with mobile home investing. Most mortgage payments will land somewhere in the $200 to $400 a month range, which is a far cry from the $700 and on up numbers you typically find in traditional income property deals involving a residential home. Your cash flow on a mobile home is going to be about the same as with a single family home, so why take on the extra risk?

3. We appreciate appreciation. We got into this business for cash flow and refinancing possibilities. As with all correctly executed real estate investment strategies, any appreciation in the value of the property that happens along the way is simply icing on the cake. Our experience has been that double-wide land/home properties tend to appreciate at the same rate as traditionally built homes. Bonus for the mobile home investor!

4. Demand is good. Let’s face it. Mobile home properties are usually considered the target market for lower and lower/middle incomes. Good housing market or bad, the demand for these rentals stays consistent. Consider the recent recession. While some of the luxury and high-end places might have a heck of a time staying rented, the same is not true for mobile homes. They stay rented just fine and expect to do even better the longer the present financial crunch continues.

The Commercial Investing Center Team

Commercial Investing Show

(Flickr / mansionwb)

CI 22 – Intro to Commercial Real Estate and Getting Your Spouse Into Investing

Jason talks with commercial real estate expert Tolliver Morris and one of Platinum’s clients turned Investment Counselor, Dave Toombs. Visit:

Commercial real estate: A review of product types and their corresponding tenant profiles. What is best for you and what are the management responsibilities of; apartments, retail, office, industrial, triple net NNN properties, medical properties, mobile home parks or self-storage?

Client and Investment Counselor, Dave Toombs, talks about maintaining marital bliss while investing and helping his kids buy their own rental properties.

Mobile Home Investing Offers Incredible Tax Benefits

mobile home investingReal estate as as investment class, in general, comes with certain tax benefits that are found nowhere else, but some would say that mobile home investing is the best of the best when it comes to tax favored status with the IRS. The not-so-secret word we are concerned with today is “depreciation,” a poorly understood and often underused strategy to reduce your Federal tax burden. When you are able to depreciate part of an asset, that number directly reduces the amount of income you must state on your tax return which, in turn, also directly reduces the amount of income tax you’re required to pay.

Tax law allows residential real estate to be depreciated over the course of 27.5 years, except for commercial property, which must be depreciated over 39 years. This is where too many rental property owners’ knowledge stops and causes them to miss big chunks of expenses that could be depreciated over a shorter term, usually 15 years, by being categorized as land improvements or operating expenses.

Items that can add up to a considerable expense, like roads, water lines, sewer lines, and electric poles are not a capital expense but rather a land improvement. Nothing sneaky about it. The IRS allows land improvement expenses to be depreciated over the shorter term of 15 years rather than the traditional 39 often associated with mobile home investing. Let’s say you spent $50,000 on land improvements. Credited over the course of 39 years yields a depreciation of $1,283 a year. Take the same amount and depreciate it over 15 years and you have a much more impressive annual deduction of $3,333.

A good tax consultant can also help a mobile home park owner properly categorize expenses as either capital expenditures or operating expenses. Think of an operating expense as something that does not extend the life of the asset but helps to maintain it in operational condition. For example, say a motel owner discovers that 20% of his building has a problem with rotten wood that threatens structural stability. Unless he wants to lose the business entirely to a collapse, he needs to replace the rotten wood and repaint the entire motel to match again. This expense did not extend the life of the motel. It only returned it to the condition necessary to keep it operational.

As you might guess, these differentiations can be quite technical in nature, thus the necessity of having a taxt professional look over your general ledger and help with the categorization of expenses. This might seem like unnecessary expense and effort but, trust us, it can worth the effort in tax savings. Some estimates say the proper categorization of expenses can increase depreciation claims by 50% to 100% during the first five years of ownership.

The MHP Listings Team

Flickr / IRS EIN

Mobile Home Investing The Right Way

mobile home investingWhen it comes to financing your mobile home investing portfolio, there’s a right way and wrong way to proceed. Even if you happen to have a nice chunk of change burning a hole in your pocket, it does not make economic sense to go that route. You’re going to have to stifle that generations old belief that all debt is bad debt. In our humble opinion at MHP Listings, all debt is not created equal. Some debt is actually constructive debt which can help you build wealth even in these troubled economic times.

Depending upon the park you’re interested in and your personal situation, a lender like a bank might require you to put down 20% or even 25% of the cash price before issuing a loan. There’s really no way around that. You’ll just have to pony up the money. As far as terms of the loan, you’re looking to get a fixed-rate, low-interest mortgage for as long term as they will go for. 30 years would be good; 40 is better. The reason for this ties into our discussion of inflation.

All currency based assets like cash, savings, certificates of deposit, stocks, and even bonds deteriorate in purchasing power in the face of inflation. What many people don’t know is that you come out ahead, even in inflationary times, when your mobile home investing is financed properly. We could embark upon a long, tedious discussion but, to cut to the chase, it works like this. Over time, the purchasing power of money declines, thus anyone who holds a debt for someone else will see the value paid back less than what they planned on.

Here’s an example. Say you take out a $1 million dollar loan at your local bank. Assuming a realistic inflation rate of 10% annually is like knocking $1,000 off the loan because, one year down the road, the dollar will lose approximately 10% of it’s value. Your goal should be to pay only interest for as long as possible while the value of that big, old principal is whittled down to size by inflation.

That’s how you make money investing in inflationary times.

The MHP Listings Team

Flickr / llamnudds

Mobile Home Investing – Don’t Fall for the Pretty Loser

mobile home investingThe prettiest parks are best for mobile home investing, right? Come on, you should know a loaded question by now. The truth is that superficial appearance is one of the last things you should be concerned about. Since mobile home parks are rated by the star system, an unsuspecting investor might automatically think the 5 star park a superior investment to a 1 star park. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.

To find out you’ll have to dig deeper. In the mobile home investing game, the only thing you, as an investor, should be concerned about is cash flow. Parks that make money are beautiful – those that don’t are dogs. The rest is just window dressing. In our experience, the mobile home parks with the dandified entrances are harder to make money with. Here’s why:

1. They cost too much to buy compared to the cash flow they generate.

2. More repossessions: Newer (nicer) parks come with tenants paying both space rental and a mortgage on the mobile home, amounts which might add up to $700 – $800 monthly or more. In this foreclosure climate, expect a significantly higher number of defaults when compared to older parks with tend to not have home mortgages – only space rent.

3. They’re already at full market rent: When you’re at the top of what the market will bear, what can you do to increase cash flow? Can’t raise rents.

4. Cost more to maintain: Think maintenance fees take much away from the bottom line? Don’t find out the error of your thinking the hard way.

This is not to say pretty parks are a bad deal. They’re a great deal for the guy who bought them twenty years ago and is able to sell them to some sucker today for CD type returns. This is not the smart way to do real estate. The bottom line is that, when it comes to mobile home investing, keep your eye on the bottom line and not the tree line.

The Mobile Home Park Listings Team

Flickr / tibchris