As a child, I was always fascinated with magic. I was enthralled by the mystery and thrill of the event.  There was always a build-up and then an unbelievable outcome. When I was younger—as many of us do—I even went through a phase of trying to perform the typical magic tricks myself.

Obviously, I was never good enough at them to make them my career, thus I ended up investing in real estate instead of performing in Las Vegas shows. Still, anyone who has been involved in a real estate deal that turned out to have a phenomenal return might actually say that it was an almost-magical experience.

Have you experienced one of these types of deals? Well, I did more than 10 years ago and I have been addicted ever since! I had been investing in the traditional residential site-built home market for 10 years but wanted to diversify my portfolio and gain cash flow quite a bit faster. Also, I was looking for a small investment that could be returned to me as quickly as possible. I looked at quite a few opportunities before I decided to jump into the mobile home investing arena.  

Yes, you heard me correctly! Oh, and these were located on leased land, too, not even collateralized by real estate. It was only personal property. You might be thinking, “Wow, she must have suffered a concussion or something” during this period of time. Nope, I assure you I had all my wits about me.  

Let me outline what I saw and why I loved this investment vehicle. I could get into these assets for $10,000 or less. Yes, that is all-in—acquisition, repairs and holding costs. I could then sell them or rent them out, which gave them a value two to three times my all-in number. In cases where I sold them, I got a hefty down payment and monthly payment, too.  

So I tried it out, and it was such an amazing outcome that 10 years later, I am still doing it. Unbelievable as it may sound, my ROI has been 36 percent to more than 600 percent! Yes, those are magical numbers!

I know some of you are probably very skeptical with those numbers. I don’t blame you. When I first looked at my returns on these little mobile-home “ATMs,” I didn’t believe it either. I had come from the traditional residential investing world and I never saw returns even close to that.

The $5,000 I put into my first deal was paid in full within six months, and I was still netting $300 a month cash flow for the next six years. It truly felt like magic. I was off to my next deal!

The best part about mobile home investing is that you don’t need deep pockets to start investing.  Also, you can start netting a nice monthly income and get a very nice return on a different type of entry-level house.  

Not many people are aware of how to make this niche work for them the way I do, so there is not much competition. Now I get leads on a regular basis from my referrals. I don’t have to do the leg work anymore.  Also, unlike in traditional residential real estate, I don’t have to pay high bird dog or wholesaler fees, either. In fact, most of my leads come into me for free.

Are you ready to try some magic? It’s there, if you can look past the stigmas and the stereotypes and consider mobile homes as a worthy investment vehicle.

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  • Dawn Erling

    Dawn Erling has been in the real estate industry for 20-plus years, investing in mobile homes for more than 10 years. She is a nationwide professional speaker and trainer and co-founder of, which offers a variety of training programs and tools for anyone interested in investing in mobile homes on leased land, purchased land or entire mobile home parks. For more details, go to

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