7 Ways Mobile Home Investing Has Prepared Me For Traveling Abroad

Welcome back,

While growing up, the notion of traveling and seeing the world was never talked about or even considered as an option in my family. Not until taking the time to build my real estate portfolio and making the time to take trips was it possible to comfortably and extensively travel.

Over the past few years traveling, I have been pleasantly surprised that my chosen career of real estate investing seems to be aiding me while seeing new cultures and meeting strangers on a daily basis. Below are some of these reciprocal skills between real estate investing and traveling.

7 Ways Real Estate Investing Has Prepared Me for Traveling the World

bangkok landscape

1. Being Open-Minded

When I started my career as a mobile home investor, I was not a “people person” and to put it mildly, I wasn’t very friendly. Over the next decade, I noticed my shortcomings and started really caring for sellers, buyers, and all people in general. This fondness for people and my current career of helping people (mobile home buyers and sellers) has fueled my passion for seeing other countries and lifestyles all over the globe.

How we see others is how we may view the world. Do you like meeting new people? Do you get annoyed easily? If you are the type of person who enjoys meeting new people, trying new foods, and experiencing new cultures that are different than your own, traveling may already be a good fit for you.

pai food street

2. Ability to Change Plans at a Moment’s Notice

While in the country of Laos in the Winter of 2013, the electricity went out in a very small village I was trekking through at the time. The translator I was with relayed the message that the power would be out until new supplies could be delivered from town, a one day boat ride away and back.

The next day’s plans were supposed to be caring for elephants and visiting a nearby waterfall; however, instead of hanging around the town with the pre-programmed tour I took the opportunity to travel with three tribes-people to find and buy the broken generator parts. That boat trip ended up being a once in a lifetime adventure through a jungle river that I would have missed if I was busy being upset, short-tempered, or mad that the power was out and plans were changing.

thai boat river

3. Creative Problem Solving Skills

While in Pai, a city in northern Thailand, I was invited over a local’s house to celebrate his son’s 9th birthday with a few dozen family friends, a full-sized roasted pig, and too much food and liquor.

At the party everyone more or less got to know each other, and I was one of the only new faces in the group. While making conversation and having drinks, I began listening to a real estate investment negotiation between two of the local guests. Uri, the host of the party, told some of the locals that I invest in real estate back in the States, so they wanted to see if I had any suggestions on the situation.

In short: Ben Buyer wanted to buy Roy Seller’s land and take over his farm. Ben Buyer and Roy Seller had already decided that Ben would make Roy monthly payments for the property and agreed to the amount per month. The only stopping block seemed to be the down payment amount Roy was demanding from Ben. Ben of course wanted to pay as little as possible, as there was more work, and expenses would need to go into the farm after closing. On the other side, Roy wanted as much as possible down, but would not take any lower than 150,000 baht (roughly $4,500) down as security.

After considering the situation, I proposed something that had worked for me many times in my own real estate history. My suggestion was for Ben Buyer to pay the 150,000 baht at closing, and for Roy Seller to consider this money as prepaid monthly payments for the next few months. This way, Ben would not have to make a scheduled monthly payment to Roy for almost 7 months. This would allow Ben to generate income and make repairs instead of paying the note monthly for the first 7 months.

To my surprise, the compromise was agreed to. The rest of the night we danced, laughed, ate and drank. Win-win-win.

Related article: John Fedro In Bangkok-Day 2

rice fields

4. Budgeting Savvy

As real estate investors, we budget for repairs, holding cost, time, financing costs, transfer fees, Realtor fees, and much more. A large expense (10%-20%) many investors budget for are miscellaneous fees in case of incidentals and unforeseen expenses that appear without notice. You need money in the budget or you’ll run out of capital to complete your rehab and/or resale.

Depending on the countries you decide to venture to, the art of budgeting will be a smaller or larger item to consider. It is all too common to underestimate the amount of money you’ll need to when traveling abroad. Much like traveling, when rehabbing and reselling an investment property, there are unforeseen expenses and costs of doing business.

Disclaimer: Especially while starting out as a newbie investor or traveler, it is impulsive to believe you can account for every expense along the way. A travel tour guide (when traveling) or a seasoned mentor/investor on your side can oftentimes help greatly.


5. Ability to Embrace Delayed Gratification

In my personal real estate investing business, the art of the follow-up with previous sellers is a healthy portion of my business. This group consists of sellers who have previously said “no” to my purchase offer(s) and over time have changed their minds to a “yes” answer for me purchasing their properties. This natural follow-up waiting game can take weeks or months with proper effort.

In late 2014 while trekking in northern Vietnam, the jungle often gets so thick and dense that you can’t see more than 5 feet in front of you. After hiking for several hours, every tree, rock, and small river starts to look the same. After hiking in what seemed liked circles all day, my trekking party made it to our campsite on the edge of an incredibly large rice-terrace cliff. The trip and struggle was well worth the wait and effort.

Some of the best people, places, deals, and sights take the most patience and time to develop.

buddha bangkok

6. The Practice of Patience

While real estate investing, your patience will naturally be tested and stretched. This stretching is a very good thing for other aspects of your life. Whether it is a seller who hasn’t called you back after two days or a tenant who is late on their monthly payment again, this patience practicing will help grow your patience not only in your business life but also your personal life, too.

While traveling in Costa Rica, Key West, or Puerto Rico, I can almost always expect to run into “island time” when dealing with locals. On many islands and in coastal towns, a slower-paced lifestyle is typical. Whether I’m ordering food, waiting for locals, waiting in line, waiting for whatever else, or just being helped at some sort of business, I know that the quick-service I am used to in America may not be what I get while traveling. Growing your patience may help your ability to accept and adapt to changes in your perceived delays and expectations.


7. Knowing How to Set Expectations

One of my favorite things about real estate investing is that each day typically brings something new and different. Whether I receive a new property for sale or speak with an eager buyer with cash, I am almost always eager to get my day started. My happiness level was not always this high and consistent. Over the years real estate investing, I began understanding that our expectations can oftentimes lead us to unhappiness rather than success.

Related article: Don’t Let Your Expectations Cause You Suffering

It wasn’t until I understood which expectations I should consider realistic as a real estate investor that my stress level went way down and my happiness soared.

In conclusion: Whether you realize it or not, life is happening all around you. The daily habits, traits and qualities you are using, practicing, and conditioning throughout your day will grow and develop within you naturally. Start being aware of which particular traits you are conditioning within yourself throughout your daily routine.

As always, love what you do daily,
John Fedro

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand 2014 – John Fedro

Welcome back,

It’s towards the end of the 2014 year and I’ve decided to take my yearly trip. Before we get into the fun stuff I’d like to just say how thankful and filled with gratitude I am at the last 13 years investing in real estate. Without these experiences, both great and bad, I would not be where I am today… which is currently writing this article in the Phi Phi Islands (pronounced Pee Pee) sipping a fruity drink and in awe of the huge limestone cliffs I’m staring at.

my view ko phi phi beach long beach

Last year I came to Thailand to get away from the United States culture, a recently ended S/O relationship which I took hard, and to explore this huge rock we all live on together. It was during that short 2 month trip that I discovered I knew nothing about the world outside of my safe bubble of America. Now, I’m back and going to seek out the places I really loved and the cities/countries I missed last year.

south east asia 2014

My trip this year started in Bangkok, Thailand. Bangkok is the south Thai huge metropolitan hub that rivals most American cities in technology, public transportation, skyscrapers, temples, amenities, and some normal-ness that I was not expecting from a supposedly 3rd world country. In fact Bangkok is very modern and home to Thailand’s cultural hub.

BTW skytrian bangkok


breakfast sunrise

soho haha

BKK trainstation


After only a few nights in Bangkok I scheduled an overnight train cabin to head North to my favorite Thai city yet, Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai (meaning Old City) sits next to a mountain range, home to hill tribes of now friendly villages which can be visited and cater to tourists passing through.

moat chiange mai

In the city itself you’ll find a few sky scrapers, business centers, temples, museums, and even a moat with partial castle wall. One of Thailand’s oldest cities has a rich history with a mainly Buddhist population and some of the nicest folks in Thailand.

overlooking chiang mai

Chiang Mai is definitely on the typical backpacker route so you are never in search of someone English speaking to meet and exchange stories with over a local beer or cocktail.

friends phi phi

Did you know Thailand is Kingdom. Thais love their king, and after being here for only a short period of time the affection is real and apply deserved. The King, now in his 80’s, has ruled fairly and justly compared to past Kings – as told to me by a few local Thais. On December 5th was the Kings’s birthday, and subsequently the nation’s Father’s day celebration. In Chiang Mai, the counties 2nd biggest city, the celebration was a large one. Lights, camera, performers, fireworks, food, and dancing we all on the day’s agenda.

fathers day

kings birthday

Sadly my time in Chiang Mai has come to an end just 2 weeks after I got there, seems like only a few days. My network of worldwide friends and future people I will be revisiting in their home countries has exploded. This is just one of the perks of world travel, most of the people I meet are not Americans, so visiting them in their homes abroad gives me a firsthand translator and tour guide when I’m in London, Belfast, Perth, Sydney, Lisbon, and too many other places to remember at this time.

chiang main airport

Ko Phi Phi and Maya Bay here I come! If you have ever seen the movie The Beach with Leonardo DeCaprio you’re well aware of the beauty of this place.

leo the beach movie

Ko Phi Phi

long boat ko phi phi

maya bay phi phi

The pictures I have below cannot do justice to the 1.) clarity of the water 2.) stunning-ness of the limestone cliffs and 3.) smell of the sweet sea air. While charting a private boat out with some friends we got a chance to snorkel and scuba dive. There is much more variety, size, and shear number of sea life here than in any other spot I have dove before (I need to buy an underwater camera).

diving ko phi phi

At night there are fire-shows, open bars, and socializing with locals and travelers alike. Everyone here has the island lifestyle down.

fire show show

I really read to relax a bit from the go-go-go of the past 2 cities. Kicking back and putting my feet up has given me time to accomplish many things on my to-do list…

  • Lining up 2 potential park deals to look at promptly when I return.
  • Working with members of the Mobile Home Formula to close over 6+ properties in November 2014 alone.
  • Still be available for current tenant-buyers, new sellers, and members.
  • Record some awesome “view mail” videos – coming soon mobile home investing youtube channel.
  • Practice my Thai language. Sa-wat-dee-krap

Conclusion: This is not the end, not in the slightest. My next stops are Vietnam (about 5 stops throughout the entire country north to south) and Manila in the Philippines. I’ll be back updating my journey and the fun along the way. While in Vietnam I really want to learn much more about the Vietnam War and how Vietnam has recovered.

villa ko phi phi

If you are reading this post and thinking you’d love to join me or be able to travel more yourself, it is 100% possible for you to be able to do so unless deathly-ill or behind prison bar (in both cases thanks extra for reading). I am not special, if I can become successful investing in mobile homes and real estate you absolutely can too. Real estate investing is not a lonely wolf activity, if you want or need help starting to sprint forward towards building your own cash-flow producing mobile home portfolio I am only an email away and very happy to help any way I can.

Love what you do daily,
John Fedro

Day 2 In Bangkok, Thailand – John Fedro

Almost through with my 2nd day in Thailand and oh the sights I’ve seen. Some things our brains just can’t imagine if we didn’t see them ourselves. Strangers helping strangers up stairs with a piggy-back, food cart owners handing small bowls of food to beggars on the street (real beggar with few limbs, if any, lying face down on the sidewalks), and monks and prostitutes laughing together on the same street corner.

I started today aiming to see the famous golden reclining Buddha temple (approx 7km away) and then wanting to meetup with a friend I have been talking to on FB that lives here to learn to play rugby with a few of his friends. I showered, answered a few emails, packed my backpack and said goodbye to my hostel.

ride in truck john fedro

My 1st stop was to the closest shopping mall. On my way there I picked up a few delightful treats to eat (fruits and meat pastries) and of course a bottle of drinking water at the nearest 7/11. During my 2km walk to the mall I passed 7 small and peaceful outdoor golden shines that adorned local business with offerings of incense and fruit, 4 outdoor street markets, multiple animal shaped bushes, got caught in Thailand’s famous rain storms (lasting only minutes before the sun was back), and too many tuk-tuks (motorized pedi-cabs) to count.

snake farmer
Apparently I stick out like a ghost because everyone keeps asking me, “Where are you going? Where can I take you? Let me take you somewhere.” No, no I’ll keep walking this way. Kap Kum Krap! (thank you)

Before I arrived to the mall I couldn’t resist a sign that read “Snake Farm and Milking”. My brain immediately steered me into the building as if on auto-pilot. The $3 fee was well worth the 3 floors of live snakes, exhibitions, venom milking, snake handling fun that I saw. Even witnessed a man charm a Cobra, no flute needed.

small prayer offerings john fedro
An hour later I walked next door to the mall and was surprised to see stores similar to what we have in the US. However this mall was 5 stories tall, round as a beer can, and of course rocked a large golden shine in the middle. Never once during this trip have I felt unsafe, I believe it is due to the majority of peaceful Buddhists here.

Not finding a cell phone that I liked in the mall I decided to make my way to the Golden Buddha temple I had started my day in search of. My written directions in hand of how to get there I proceed down Silom Street heading NW. I made my first turn correctly then got super-lost in China Town.

China town is hugeeee here, comprising of what seems like 5-6 square km of repeating knick-knack shops, herbal remedy stores (drank goat-lip tea for health), tire shops, pictures of the king and queen, and stands selling fresh fruits, juices, meats, and nuts.

Traversing China town my memorable moments were seeing almost no white-people, seeing many women that reminded me of another Asian I knew, the relaxed nature of Asian-culture with beds in their shops – just laying around seemingly doing nothing (likely due to the summer heat) and the smiles on almost everyone’s faces. However my search for the golden Buddha was becoming a real challenge with the 30lb bag on my back now beginning to feel like 80lbs, my light blue shirt turning a deep-sea-blue from excess sweat, and my smile slowing turning into a look of pain from my slightly sore feet.

china town john fedro
After a good walk-workout that I was happy with I hailed a taxi and ask him to “please take me to the Grand Palace”. With a look of complete confusion he said he didn’t know and we looked at each other in odd silence. I then did my best charades-game to mime “Grand Palace” to no avail. I figured I would look up the translation later (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang) and instead would head to my friend Ivo’s home as it was already getting close to 2pm and rugby started at 4pm. I gave him the address I wrote down on a piece of paper of Ivo’s home in the city. He looked at the paper, looked at me, looked at the paper, looked at me, and said he did not know this place either. Feeling a little worn down I thought quickly and produced my ticket from the Snake farm and ask him to take me back there.

We arrived at the farm minutes later. It is amazing with all the people here, with all the moped, all the cars, and all the taxis in the mix there are little if any accidents. More surprising still almost no horns blowing, when I did here a horn it was a friendly “toot toot” and not an overbearing long-lasting honk.

From the snake farm I headed SE back to the hostel I just checked out hours before in hopes they still had vacancies. On the way I passed 2 English friends I met earlier in the day. We stopped to have a drink and of course get a foot/thai massage after this long sight-seeing day. The Thais know how to treat a fella, and ladies too.

After arriving back at the hostel I purchased a bed for the night, showered, started a load of clothes and popped out to grab a bite to eat. I decided to play it safe and ordered the Pad Thai with a Shingha beer. Perhaps this was the best part of my day so far – a beer in one hand and a good book in the other (The Paradox of Choice) watching the oranges and magentas of the setting sun beaming off the downtown Bangkok buildings as I watched watching cars, moped, and bicycles weave their way perfectly in front of me while eating outside with my just-massaged feet propped up. Best Pad Thai ever btw!

Lastly, before writing this post back in my hostel I walked passed a beautifully ornamented castle of a temple. This temple is located caddy-corner to my hostel and has been pleasantly waking me up every morning around 8am with music I can only describe as slow-Indian-type music, likely a mixture of bells, angelic voices, soft drums, and crystal-wine-glass music combined.

Noticing the mass of people, shoes lined up outside, and louder music than normal I stopped to observe the rituals happening inside. Before I saw him approach a Monk ushered me inside and I sat for 20 minutes until the prayer was over. Even now I can here the music from my hostel’s great room.

Looking forward to tomorrow and what surprises are in store. It’s Friday night here and my 2 English chaps are asking me to join them out for the night. Should I go… I think I will. 

Miss everyone back home. Thanks for reading.

John Fedro