Here’s My FHFA & GSEs-hosted Listening Session Presentation

November 12th, 2019

2019; copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info.

INTRODUCTION. Have you wondered what a formal presentation, at an FHFA & GSE-hosted Listening Session, reads like? Well here’s what I’ll be presenting, in your behalf, at the St. Louis, MO. Listening Session on Tuesday, 19 November.

And, for those of you reading this, and attending MHI’s NCC Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago this week – with this blog in hand, ask staff what they will be saying, in your behalf, at the upcoming Listening Sessions in St. Louis and or Washington, DC. As a member, you have a right to know.

Here goes:

Two+ Decades of Manufactured Housing Shipment & Finance Turmoil
(1998 – 2020)
Can End with Help from FHFA & GSEs!

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
‘Input for FHFA & GSEs-hosted 2019 Listening Sessions’

See Enclosure: ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh’ Formulae worksheet; EducateMHC., Franklin, IN., 2008

Setting the stage. During year 1998, 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes were shipped nationwide; but from there onward, it was downhill till nadir year 2009, when only 48,789+/- new homes were shipped.*1 At the dawn of the 21st century, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), more than 10,000 ‘ independent (street) MHRetailers’ closed their doors; and new HUD-Code homes, particularly Community Series Homes, began to be shipped directly into land lease communities, ‘for sale’ & seller-financing, as well as rental units.*2 And that’s where we are today. How do Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac fit into this two decades long paradigm shift scenario? As an industry, manufactured housing is surviving, albeit recovering slowly, from 48,789+/- new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2009, up to 96,555 new homes shipped throughout year 2018, but still sorely in need of reasonable access to chattel capital for home-only loans in land lease communities, large and small, coast to coast!

***
I was present at the historic meeting, during early 2010 in Elkhart, IN, when the FHFA & GSEs informed HUD-Code housing manufacturers, that going forward, the industry would be on its own, where housing finance support was concerned, i.e. end of easy access to chattel capital to finance new home-only loan transactions within land lease communities nationwide! Why?

While naive at the time, about housing finance and the GSEs, I understood Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac’s angst with the manufactured housing industry. A decade earlier, I had penned an expose’ titled, ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park’, first published in Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. It detailed widespread financial shenanigans and predatory lending practices – and consequences, that’d hurt and haunt the industry during the decade ahead – as described in the previous paragraph.

Fast forward a few years, to the International Networking Roundtable held in Peachtree City, GA. That event marked the return of the FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to meet and talk firsthand with manufactured housing industry businessmen and women most affected by the their departure a few years earlier; specifically, the owners/operators of land lease communities, now routinely selling and seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site. We learned a lot from each other during the two day event; but most important of all, was the obvious pent-up optimism, and belief we could forge a new housing finance way forward together!

How so? Well this was nigh the time of Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) planning at Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Manufactured housing aficionados, and land lease community owners/operators, were invited to participate in open discussion sessions at GSE headquarters, as well as during formal Listening Sessions around the U.S.

Results? That’s been a decidedly mixed bag; complicated by whatever perspective is being espoused by whoever is speaking, about what, at the time. In summary; here’s how I see it:

Relative to DTS focus on manufactured housing, there’s been limited progress in the real estate-secured lending arena, speaking specifically of Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage and Freddie Mac’s CHOICEHomes programs. In my opinion, the programs are welcome and needed, but are too confusingly similar in terms of seller concessions, down payment minimums, transaction type, terms, and more. Of particular ‘rub’ are distinct differences in housing valuation methodology. And a further tripping point is MHI’s ‘new type’ of HUD-Code manufactured home, designed for underserved markets. To date, even after several years, there’s no consensus name for this ‘more expensive’ manufactured home design that qualifies for both GSE home loan programs. Bottom line? How’s a prospective homebuyer to know what (no name) manufactured home design to consider buying, and which of the two near-twin GSE loan programs to use?

Even more ‘telling’ – some would say ‘appalling’, relative to DTS focus on manufactured housing, there’s been NO progress towards a new or renewed chattel lending product program! And while volume estimates vary, the vast majority of manufactured housing finance, these days, is needed for chattel, or home-only, transactions occurring on-site in 50,000+/- land lease communities located throughout the U.S.! To date, land lease community owners/operators have exhibited an admirable degree of creativity, initiative, and chutzpah – even in the face of increased state and federal financial oversight, to consummate new home-only sales transactions on-site. We still sorely need reasonable access to chattel capital, other than via one independent third party firm that, reportedly, corners 70+ percent of the national market share of this type lending. Furthermore, we continue to need a viable secondary market for selling seasoned manufactured housing financing products!

Now, it would be easy to stop here and feel ‘I’ve done my part’ at this Listening Session – but I can’t do that. A sentence in this recent Press Release (10/28/19): ‘FHFA Releases New Strategic Plan & Scorecard for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac’ hooked me with the following statement:

“…solving our nation’s critical housing affordability challenges will require looking beyond the secondary mortgage market and addressing the true cause of this crisis: namely, the significant shortage of housing supply.”

Here I am, a businessman with 40 years experience in a housing arena capable of shipping 579,940 new ‘mobile homes’ during year 1973, and 372,943+/- ‘manufactured homes’ in 1998; but today, year to date through September 2019, we’ve shipped only 70,497 new homes! Why? Simply because we don’t have the chattel capital financing needed for home-only loans effected within land lease communities! And we don’t have ‘that’ because no one (Think FHFA, GSEs, et. al.) trusts our integrity to lend these monies wisely and securely! But the truth of the matter is, we can do both – and more! Here’s how to increase the supply of HUD-Code manufactured home to address this nation’s affordable housing crisis…

The manufactured housing industry routinely makes home loans, in land lease communities, giving the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’) lip service, by including only PITI (loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and rental homesite fee in monthly mortgage payments!*3 What’s missing is household expenses (e.g. electricity, heat, water, sewer) – all which must be paid each month, but separate from the ‘mortgage payment’. Consequences? 1) A riskier loan, where homeowners/site lessee can ‘buy more home’ yes, but 2) generally pay considerably more than the prudent 30% HEF. Here are results of both calculations*4:

Given: $51,229 Area Median Income (‘AMI’) per local housing market’s postal zip code via zipwho.com, &/or Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) per homebuying prospect or household. Also 30% HEF; $333 monthly site rent; and loan terms of 9.5% & 20 years.

Risky home-only loan. $51,229 AGI X .3HEF X 100% applied to monthly PITI & rent, divided by 12 months, less $333 site rent = $948/month PITI & rent payment. When loan terms applied = $101,702 max loan amount. Risky, because household expenses, when paid in addition to mortgage & rent, force homeowner/site lessee beyond the 30% HEF goal. So, consider changing this routine practice to what follows:

Affordable home-only loan. $51,229 AGI X .3HEF X 75% applied to monthly PITI & rent (with 25% kept out of 30% HEF for household expenses), divided by 12 months, less $333 site rent = $628/month PITI & rent. Loan terms applied = $67,372 max loan amount. Far less risky an investment, but also less home purchased.

Point? If home-only loans were effected in accords with the ‘affordable’ perspective, it’s logical there’d be fewer defaults as homeowners/site lessees lived within their means. Perhaps this is one of the long sought keys to improving the security of chattel capital loans on homes sited in land lease communities.

And there are additional measures to consider. One would be to enforce strict screening of loan applicants. Also consider a measure of property owner recourse on home-only loans effected within their owned properties.

Finally; consider applying HUD’s recently published Fair Market Rents (‘FMR’) for year 2020, as a guide to ‘check & ensure’ land lease community site rents are in accords with the traditional 3:1 ratio, e.g. $999/month @ 3BR2B conventional apartment (per FMR) = $333/month site rent in a land lease community in the same local housing market. *5

This concludes my remarks and recommendations relative to this Listening Session.

EducateMHC
Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

End Notes.

1. (+/-) qualifier following manufactured housing industry annual shipment totals, until 2012, accounts for different totals published by MHARR & MHI. Since 2013 an official total, based on unadulterated data from the Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), HUD’s contractor, is published by MHARR, NAMHCO, HUD, & EducateMHC

2. Year 2009 = 24% of new HUD Code homes (i.e. 12,000+/-) were shipped into land lease communities; by year end 2015, that percentage increased to 40%, or 28,000 new homes – and that percentage will continue to rise with access to chattel capital.

3. Housing Expense Factor or HEF @ 30 percent. One of at least six measures of housing affordability; other measures being: Housing Opportunity Index or HOI; Housing Wage or HW; Workforce Housing or WFH; Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR; and, ‘one who believes’ he/she has consummated an affordable home transaction.

4. Reference: ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formulae’ estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or ‘home-only’ on leased land – as in a land lease community. Form available via www.educatemhc.com

5. For FMR, google ‘Fair Market Rents 2020’ to research state and city fair market rates.

Visit www.educatemhc.com for comprehensive array of products (newsletters & books) and services (PM training/certification & Performance Evaluations) tailored for land lease communities large & small, nationwide. The ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park’ expose’, described in this narrative, is featured in SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities and official record of mobile home/manufactured housing annual shipment volumes from 1955 to present day. This text is available for purchase from EducateMHC.

GFA/cc

MHIndustry New Years Resolution for 2020!

November 8th, 2019

8 November 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!’

This blog is the online national advocated, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764/ Also email: gfa7156@aol.comk & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info

INTRODUCTION: Yes, it’s early to announce the traditional New Year Resolution Challenge, but that’s what you’re about to read here. First, how it took 32 long and rocky years to get where we are today. Then a heartfelt challenge to three national MH-related entities to better represent, lobby in behalf of, and serve the product & service needs of land lease community owners/operators, large & small, nationwide! Here goes….

I.

Long & Rocky Road to Land Lease Community Advocacy & Respect!

It’s taken more than a quarter century for owners/operators of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & before that ‘mobile home parks’) to arrive at the point in time (year 2020) when they have and benefit from…

• National advocacy via Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division

• National lobbying via National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’)

• National product & service resourcing (books, newsletters, professional property management training/certification, & consulting) via EducateMHC

But getting to this point in time, of representation, lobbying, and resourcing, has been a long and rocky road, commencing as far back as year 1988. Here’s a summary of key stages along the 32 year journey to land lease community advocacy and respect.

1988. The year Mobile Home Park Management text was published and distributed nationwide. It was the first professional property management text on the property type in two decades.

1989. Marked the debut of the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’), the longest-running (31 years to date) compendium of investment realty statistics and emerging trend documentation, in the history of the manufactured housing industry.

1993. 19 (then) mobile home community owners met in Indianapolis, IN., to form an Industry Steering Group (‘ISG’), taking first steps to improve national advocacy for the property type – before the mini-REIT wave of 1994. Before then, mobile home park matters were handled by a committee of volunteers during MHI national meetings.

1994. J. Wiley & Sons published Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities. Another ‘first text on the subject in 20 years’, that sparked raw land development seminars during the next decade.

1996. MHI embraces the aforementioned ISC and launches the NCC, which remains in place to this day, as a full-fledged division of MHI, but is generally led by senior salaried executives of large property portfolios. Also during 1996, J. Wiley & Sons published How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. This case bound text, as its 1994 predecessor, has long been recognized as a realty asset class primary source of information.

2004. One of the rocks along the road to community advocacy and respect occurred when the Urban Land Institute (‘ULI’) launched the Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’). For slightly more than a decade, this was a quasi Think Tank for the realty asset class, hosting opportunities for open discussion among participants from all segments of the manufactured housing industry.

2008 & 2009. Two years and two National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucuses, in Tampa, FL. & Elkhart, IN. In the first instance, community owners/operators agreed on a Five Step Action Plan, to reinvigorate the industry and asset class. In the second meeting, HUD-Code housing manufacturers & community owners/operators agreed to begin fabricating and buying a new design of manufactured home, the Community Series Home. All this occurring during the industry’s nadir year (lowest shipment volume ever), 2009. These were also the two years during which the term ‘land lease community’ got widespread traction. Why? Because today’s properties site as many as seven types of shelter, no longer just ‘mobile homes’ and manufactured homes of yore.

2011. Unfortunately, but providentially, the year during which the issue of control and scope of MHI’s NCC came to a public and argued climax, i.e. Whether it’d be dominated by, and identified as, a portfolio owners/operators club, or serving communities of all sizes? This identity issue has played out during years 2014, 2018, and 2019.

2014. Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance or COBA7 was launched early in the year, providing tailored products and services to land lease communities, large and small.

2018. NAMHCO stepped forward to lobby, in our nation’s capitol, in behalf of all land lease communities, large and small, throughout the U.S.

2019. EducateMHC absorbed the COBA7 division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to continue that body’s goal to serve the product and service needs of land lease communities, large and small, from coast to coast.

2020. The land lease community real estate asset class has traveled the long and rocky road to advocacy and respect! Let’s identify these benchmark achievements:

• We’re now well-represented in Washington, DC. Add MHARR to the MHI & NAMHCO list

• The Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) now sells Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry to its’ Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members. This is 8th edition of the 1988 Mobile Home Park Management, & basic MHM textbook.

• We read a quality print trade publication (MHInsider), as well as three digital MH business newsletters, and a weekly blog posting.

• Via annual ALLEN REPORT, we know identities of all 500+ portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities throughout the U.S. & Canada.

• All our real estate asset class advocacy, lobbying, and resource needs are now handled by the NCC, NAMHCO & EducateMHC.

Know what? There’s still much more that could, and probably should, be said about land lease communities long and rocky road history. For example, the three – or is it four, consolidation stages we’ve passed through together; the slow growth – but at least there’s growth, of professional property management throughout the realty asset class via MHM and ACM certification programs. And then there’re the paradigm shifts the manufactured housing industry has experienced since 1972, especially the 20 year one we’re in now, i.e. distribution of new HUD-Code homes away from independent (street) MHRetailers, to direct sale of new homes into land lease communities nationwide.

And then there’s still that perennial ‘elephant in the MH room’. Specifically, whether the three identified entities – MHI/NCC, NAMHCO, & EducateMHC, or make it four with addition of MHARR, will work together – or apart, during the months in year 2020, especially considering the new and restructured leadership at the Manufactured Housing Institute. Let’s all watch and see what happens going forward….

If you’d like to read more about land lease community history, purchase a copy of SWAN SONG, via www.educatemhc.com And when you purchase the book, ask for a FREE copy of the booklet titled: ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You!’ The beauty of this offering is it summarizes ten autobiographies authored by industry pioneers to date; and in the end, describes how to pen your memoir and corporate history. Enjoy!

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC
170 Commerce Dr.
Franklin, IN. 46131
(317) 346-7156

Your First VALEDICTION

November 1st, 2019

1 November 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Mot: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info

INTRODUCTION: Now here’s something, about me, about which you knew or know nothing!
My practice of penning ‘valedictions’, or ‘fond farewells’, to friends and relatives when they die. Started doing this in 1996, upon the passing of my father. At the time, I rewrote a birthday gift story about him, into a tribute that was printed, read, and shared during his memorial service. Since then, I’ve continued the practice with individuals I’ve known well enough to have had personal experiences worthy of sharing in this fashion. The valediction included here is for one of the many owners/operators of land lease communities I’ve known well during the past four decades.

I.

A Valediction, a ‘bidding farewell’ to Darrel G. Cohron

I met Darrel Cohron, and his twin Harrel, during the early 1970s, when relocating to Indianapolis from Philadelphia, PA., as part of a plant management team tasked to build a new pre-fab housing plant in Franklin, IN. I’d been told, by local apartment and nursing home developers Frank, Ethan & Rollin Jackson, the Cohron brothers, and a Greenwood businessman – the late Bud Meyer, would be knowledgeable resources about factory-built housing in general; manufactured housing, mobile homes and parks in particular. Well we met, and ‘got a leg up’ on our assignment, learning how doing business in the Midwest would not be wholly akin to what we experienced back East – mainly how union labor was the exception rather than the rule, at the time.

Ten years later, long after the pre-fab plant closed, and shortly after I’d started my own firm;, I sought Darrel’s advice again. This time it had to do with me wanting him to critique my estimated value of the large manufactured home community I was fee-managing in Mooresville, IN> It was in foreclosure and no investor would pay anywhere near the amount of development money the bank had loaned and lost in the project. They asked me if I’d buy it. Well, I had but $10,000 in savings, a wife and two small children, and not desire to lose this fee-management client, so I estimated the 500 rental homesite property, with but 100 homes paying rent, to be worth only $400,000. Asked Darrel to ‘check my numbers’ and advise. Here’s how this part of the story is told in my 2017 book, SWAN SONG, a ‘Semi-autobiography, and history of land lease communities I since 1970’:

‘Darrel agreed with my estimate, and his parting word of wisdom was this: ‘There comes a point in everyone’s life when you decide to stay on the safety of the porch, or go out and run with the big dogs! George, I think this is your safe porch or big dog decision moment in life!’

Took Darrel’s advice, found a partner, along with $400,000 and bought the property. Now that’s the Darrel we remember and appreciate. Certainly for me!

Then there’s the 2010 book, The Trailer Twins, a.k.a. ‘The Harrel & Darrel Cohron Story’. Here are some of my favorite passages from this biography.

Mayor Paul Ricketts recalling “…( a) fond memory of Harrel & Darrel wrasslin’ in the gravel of their sales lot, both dressed in suits. They called such altercations their board meetings’. When they were through , they brushed themselves off, and we all went to dinner.”

And this from Darrel, talking about the manufactured housing business: “We loved it. We still do. You have to. If you’re not in love with what you do, you’re just not ever gonna make it.”

Darrel & Harrel’s business success formula? “First, you never lie to a customer and second, after a sale, you give good customer service and follow up to make sure the customer is satisfied.” Plus this, about working together for life: “We both know we’re dedicated to the business and to each other and our families. If something needs to be done, we will do it. Our motto is ‘get up early, stay late, and tell the truth’.”

Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a local manufactured housing businessman, I’ll miss the friendly camaraderie of those Christmas parties out in the barn in back of the Cohron’s home sales center along Pendleton Pike.

Well Darrel, you’ve lived a long and prosperous life – just look at the legacy you and Harrel leave behind, in family, friends, and fortune. When I get to heaven, I’ll ask St. Peter where to find you, and he’ll likely say the same thing as the folk at the assisted living facility where you lived this past year. “Just walk down that street of gold until you hear country music played loud and bold. That’s where you’ll find Darrel Cohron!” Hope to see you then and there old friend!

George Allen, colleague & fellow RV/MH Hall of Fame member, October 2019.

Want to buy either or both books mentioned in this valediction? SWAN SONG is available via www.educatemhcv.com And The Trailer Twins is available from the RV/MH Hall of Fame store: (574) 293-2344

Hope you liked the valediction to Darrel Cohron. Who knows? Perhaps someday I’ll pen a like tribute to you and your life adventure. GFA

***

Meet FMR (&) News From MHI & IREM

October 24th, 2019

@ 25 October 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Moto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info

INTRODUCTION: I’m almost as pumped about the potential use of Fair Market Rents (‘FMR’), introduced in Part I of this blog posting, as I was when introducing the land lease community Industry Standard Chart of Accounts & Operation Expense Ratios (‘OERs’) in 1992; and the unexplainable but so useful New Rule of 72 formula for estimating capitalized income value of average communities. Let’s see if FMR ‘works’ for you! And then there’s the timely and interesting news about IREM and MHI.

I.

Fair Market Rents. A Tool or Red Herring?

This from a Press Release dated 19 September 2019. “HUD has published the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Fair Market Rents (FMRs), which are now released only on huduser.gov, under a provision of the Housing Opportunities Through Modernization Act of 2016 (HOTMA), enacted July 29, 2016.” Furthermore, “…the FMR for any (geographic) area is the ($) amount… needed to pay the gross rent (shelter rent plus utilities) of privately-owned, decent and safe rental housing of a modest (non-luxury) nature, with suitable amenities.”

The question in this industry observer’s mind is this: ‘Might FMR be the long sought tool to estimate and validate rental homesite rates in land lease communities throughout the U.S.? Or is FMR just another ‘red herring’ that misleads us off the trail to reasonable profitability? Let me walk you through the process, using one of our realty asset class’ Rules of Thumb, so you can make up your own mind. Here’s the drill:

1. Google or search Fair Market Rents 2020.
2. Once ‘there’, access the website subtitled HUD User & left click on Select Geography.
3. Once ‘there’, left click on Statewide FMRs
4. Once ‘there’, left click on city of choice

Now the fun begins.

For this blog posting I chose three MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas): Atlanta, GA., Indianapolis, IN., and Los Angeles, CA. At each MSA, I selected the ‘three bedroom FMR’ – as being equivalent to a manufactured home, then divided by three, to apply the 3:1 Rent Ratio Rule of Thumb, for comparing land lease community site rent rates to conventional apartment 3BR2B unit rates. And then divided the original FMR by two, to see what land lease community site rent rates might be, as result of aggressive increases. Here’re the interesting results:

City FMR 3:1 Ratio 2:1 Ratio

Atlanta, GA. $1,489/unit $496/site $745/site

Indianapolis, IN. $1,256 $419 $628

Los Angeles, CA. $2,514 $871 $1307

How do these rental homesite rents compare to the 2018 JLT Market Report Summary for Institutional Investment Grade Land Lease Communities, published as an integral part of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT? To secure a copy of this Resource Document, visit www.educatemhc.com

Atlanta, GA. $463/site among all-age communities

Indianapolis, IN. $380/site among 55+ communities

Los Angeles, CA. $759/site among 55+ communities

Remember now, these latter rental homesite rates, from the 30th ALLEN REPORT are from two years earlier, while the FMRs in the previous paragraph are estimates going into year 2020.

Obviously this methodology bears further scrutiny. But for the time being, this should be a valid and interesting exercise for you, to compare the rental homesite rents at your land lease communities with the FMRs for 2020 provided by HUD User.

A note of caution. Remember, in the cited Press Release, the HUD made it clear the FMRs, per geographic area, are dollar amounts needed to pay gross rent (shelter rent plus utilities) – not a practice generally characteristic of land lease community rental homesite rates. How to account for the difference? Research what homeowners/site lessees are paying for household utilities, on a monthly basis, and adjust FMRs accordingly – or not.

Also know the 31st ALLEN REPORT will be distributed during January 2020. To ensure you receive a copy, visit www.educatemhc.com

II.

News from IREM & MHI

Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) now stocks and sells the iconic professional property management text Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. First published in 1988 as Mobile Home Park Management, the 250+ pages HOW TO book has gone through eight edition updates and four name changes during the past 40 years. It continues to be the only book in print, teaching what one needs to know about effectively managing land lease communities, large and small. It has also been the core text for the popular Manufactured Housing Manager class since its’ debut a dozen years ago. To date, nearly 1,500 MHMs own and operate land lease communities throughout North America.

To order the book, visit www.educatemhc.com or visit IREM.org. And while at the EducateMHC website, sign up for the next one day MHM class, at the Louisville MHShow in mid-January.

IREM also released its’ annual CPM Profile & Compensation Study (executive summary thereof).

“The average Certified Property Manager is 52 years old, with women comprising 54% of CPM members.” Furthermore, “CPM members (of IREM) earn a median total compensation of $126,000, which includes a base salary and additional real estate income from sales and leasing commissions.”

According to IREM’s membership directory, 147 CPMs claim an affinity for managing manufactured home communities. 14 of these CPMs have cultivated positive national reputations among their land lease community ownership/operations peers. And four of these CPMs have achieved Emeritus status with IREM, while three have been inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN: George Allen, CPM; Brian Fannon, CPM; and Michael Sullivan, MHM.

&

The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) continues to make lobbying headway, in behalf of manufactured housing, by dint of its’ political and regulatory agency relationships with the present administration, HUD, the FHFA, and both GSEs.

At the same time, MHI appears to be undergoing a seismic shift in volunteer and salaried leadership at the top of the organization. Everyone know Dick Jennison will be leaving at the end of this year, but to date, no official (just rumored) word of succession relative to CEO/president and COO positions. And at least two key staffers have left the institute during the past 90 days.

And inquiring minds are sensitive to the present (2020) reality of having four Berkshire-Hathaway corporate executives on MHI’s board going into the New Year, with no representation from Skyline Champion and Cavco Industries.

Maintaining lobbying balance in all this, we have MHARR representing smaller, regional HUD-Code housing manufacturers, and NAMHCO representing land lease communities nationwide.

***

31st ALLEN REPORT, ‘Green Jacket Policy’, & Meet PES!

October 17th, 2019

October 2019; Copyright 20190; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog 7/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.cm & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class info.

INTRODUCTION: Three pretty disparate topics this time around. First; your last opportunity to be written into the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT, due for distribution in early 2020. Second; look to see more ‘green jackets’, worn by RV/MH Hall of Fame inductees, at state and national MH & RV events. And third; a little known but valuable and timely service available to land lease community owners/operators intent on improving their property holdings’ occupancy, profitability, resident relations, value, and other functions.

I.

Will You be in the 31st ALLEN REPORT?

If you, as a sole proprietor, or your partnership, company, or REIT, owns and or fee-manages five or more land lease communities, or 500+ rental homesites in one community, you’re eligible to be listed in the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT as one of the 500 largest property portfolio firms in North America.

Here’s the drill. Request an ALLEN REPORT questionnaire from EducateMHC by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or request it via email from gfa7156@aol.com Complete the questionnaire right away and FAX it to (317) 346-7158 or email it to the same address just cited. We already have many completed questionnaires on hand, as a result of the mailing effected during September. But there’s still room for YOU!

During the month of November we’ll compile the information reported in the completed questionnaires, and begin penning the annual ALLEN REPORT. As you likely know, or maybe don’t, the annual ALLEN REPORT – for the past 30 years, has been and continues to be, the sole compendium of pertinent benchmark statistics (e.g. occupancy, OERs, average site rents & much more), as well as emerging trends, pertaining to land lease communities (i.e. and before that, manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’).

During December we’ll finalize the 31st annual ALLEN REPORT, for printing and distribution to those who’ve paid for it. How so? At present, that means subscribing to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter (i.e. the ALLEN REPORT is but one of a dozen Resource Documents distributed monthly, with that newsletter, throughout the calendar year). To learn more, visit www.educatemhc.com or phone Erin via (317) 738-3434.

You might also be interested to know; the ALLEN REPORT is archived and will, upon my eventual retirement, become part of the libraries at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. So, take steps now to ensure your property portfolio’s continuing legacy into the future. Questions? Phone me at (317) 346-7156. GFA

II.

RV/MH Hall of Fame’s Green Jacket Policy

What follows here pertains to a small, but growing, number of men and women in the manufactured housing industry and land lease community ownership/operations. It’s the recently suggested ‘when and where all RV/MH Hall of Fame inductees should wear their distinctive green jackets.’

Green sports jackets have long been integral to the formal recognition of individuals inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. And heretofore, green jackets have rarely been worn and seen at other than at one RV/MH Hall of Fame event, the annual Induction Banquet, during early August, at the facility.

Here’re the appropriate occasions when the RV/MH Hall of Fame green jackets may be worn:

• At the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

• At all state and national RV or MH annual industry functions

We’ve long encouraged RV/MH Hall of Fame inductees to wear their green jacket at the annual Networking Roundtable. Now it’s officially appropriate to wear it at MHI’s annual meeting, the manufactured housing congress, SECO Symposiums, Rent Manager’s annual soiree, as well as various state and provincial business and social functions.

Have you been in the manufactured housing (&/or recreational vehicle) business for 25 or more years, and know three individuals who’ll pen letters of recommendation describing your contributions to the industry and or realty asset class? Then visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame online, and download the application and instructions there, to be considered for induction. And if you want to recommend someone for induction, follow the same procedure. Ten individuals are inducted every August, five from MH and five from RV industries.

III.

Professional Community Evaluation (‘PCE’) Service Available!

EducateMHC announces its’ Professional Community Evaluation (‘PCE’) service is available for land lease communities nationwide.

During past decades, Mystery Shopping services have been offered by various firms, but no one ever ‘went the extra mile’ to observe, evaluate, and report on entire land lease community operations, to include:

• Telephone sales and leasing performance evaluation via grading and reporting

• On-site sales and leasing performance evaluation via grading and reporting.

• Curb appeal outside, and throughout the targeted land lease community, documented with photographs

• Comparison of operating statements with industry norms, highlighting differences, and suggestions for correction or improvement

• Documentation and evaluation of print and online marketing in light of product, place, price, promotion, people, and process

What does PCE service cost? Each assignment is quoted on an individual basis, considering size and location of the property, scope of evaluation services desired, number of properties to be evaluated, and more. PCE services are appropriate for new acquisitions, as well as mature property and portfolio holdings.

For more information, contact Erin Smith at EducateMHC via (317) 697-1717

There’s Only ONe HUD-Code HOusing Shipment # Each Month (&) ‘State of MHIndustry & LLCommunities!’

October 11th, 2019

October 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is the online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Time for a change! With new leaders coming on board at the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), now is the ideal time to begin reporting monthly new HUD-Code housing shipments in the same manner as IBTS, MHARR, HUD, & EducateMHC! This reporting discrepancy was first reported, in the Allen Letter, during Summer of 2015. Let’s start year 2020 off right! And ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’? I share this message a dozen times each year. Suggest your state MHAssociation invite me to share it with you.

I.

Rely on EducateMHC’s Monthly ‘#s & $s’ Report Documenting New HUD-Code Housing Shipments!

Every month, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), HUD’s contractor for researching and reporting manufactured housing shipments, distributes a statistical report to subscribers. For example, on or about 1 October, the IBTS reported 8,646 new HUD-Code singlesection and multisection homes shipped nationwide during the month of August 2019.

HUD reports the same total: 8,646
MHARR reports the same total: 8,646
NAMHCO reports the same total: 8,646
EducateMHC reports the same total: 8,646

MHI reports 8,631 new HUD-Code homes shipped

What’s wrong – and ‘why’, with this statistical reporting picture? If five out of six reporting entities agree on the monthly shipment volume, ‘why’ the outlier’s different total number?

Has to do with the ‘accounting or not’ of DESTINATION PENDING (‘DP’) units – new HUD-Code homes not scheduled for delivery, to any particular destination, at the time of reporting #s to the IBTS. MHI, for decades, has reduced IBTS’ monthly total (e.g. 8,646 units during August) by that month’s number of DP units (e.g. -24), then added back the number of DP units from the previous month (e.g. +9 from July), to arrive at its’ own reported volume of new HUD-Code homes shipped = 8,631. Rationale for this process? Likely, an attempt to account for eventual distribution of all DESTINATION PENDING units. The ‘problem’ with that thinking however, is IBTS has long known some DP units will almost never be distributed, i.e. unit accounting when a plant closes oft exposes DP units, months and years after their fabrication.

So, what’s the logical resolution to this reporting dilemma that only adds to the consternation, by federal legislators and regulators, over how one industry – the manufactured housing industry, appears to be incapable of agreeing on just how many new HUD-Code homes are shipped monthly throughout the U.S.? The answer, in this industry observer’s opinion, is for all six reporting entities to agree on monthly shipment volume, beginning with IBTS published totals.

So, where can one obtain a copy of the EducateMHC Monthly ‘#s & $s’ Report – showing how all six reporting entities report each month’s shipment volume? Visit www.educatemhc.com

II.

State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunities

This past week saw the 10th anniversary celebration of the SECO Symposium. Held at the Airport Hilton in Atlanta, GA., it was attended by nearly 500 manufactured housing and land lease community businessmen and women. The Big Three C: HUD-Code manufactured housing firms (Clayton Homes, Skyline Champion, & CAVCO Industries), and a hefty number of small to mid-sized land lease community owners/operators, many of whom are ‘new to the business’, characterized the group at large. The only national manufactured housing/land lease community advocate present was the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’) – lobbyist for the real estate asset class in Washington, D.C.

Also interesting to note that all MH trade publications of note were present at SECO:
• MHInsider magazine, a product of MHVillage & DATACOMP in Michigan
• Manufactured Housing Review, a quarterly online publication
• Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Published by at www.educatemhc.com
As has been the case in years past, I was asked to deliver the ‘State of the Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class’ address. But this time around, instead of focusing entirely on statistics and emerging trends, I shared highlights of the past year, in terms of performance and pressing concerns. Here goes:

• 96,555 new HUD-Code homes were shipped during year 2018. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, they were valued (retail) at $6.4billion, or $66,200/manufactured home (close to the $70,000/MH figure oft quoted within the MHIndustry). Production (wholesale) value of the year’s shipments, based on MHI’s research & 2013 baseline, pencils out to be $4.2 billion or $43,126/MH, leaving a $2.2 billion margin or 23,000 per new manufactured home. It’s time for an update to the year 2013 baseline $ factor.

• How many new HUD-Code homes will be shipped by year end 2019? Time will certainly tell, but it’ll likely NOT eclipse the 100,000 ‘goal’ of the past two years. Why? Continuing lack of reasonable access to chattel capital for new HUD-Code home sales transactions on-site in land lease communities! Here we’ve moved up from only 24% of new HUD-Code homes shipped into LLCommunities in 2009, to more than 40% by year end 2015 – and now likely stalled.

• During year 2019 we celebrated the 30th anniversary release of the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’). Now, during October and November we’re researching the data needed for the 31st ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution during January 2020. If you’re a property portfolio owner/operator and have not yet submitted the completed questionnaire used to compile said report, please let me know via gfa7156@aol.com and I’ll send you another blank one. And if you’ve not yet been listed among the ‘known 500 portfolio owners/operators’ – who own and or fee manage five or more communities, and or 500+ rental homesites – whether MH & RV or purely MH, get listed now! Also phone (317) 346-7156.

• Beware national rent control legislation making its’ way through Congress! It’s written to include anyone owning/operating two or more land lease communities. How to fight this? Belong to and support your state manufactured housing association, and encourage staff to keep you informed, and how you can help fight this national plague! How to know if your local housing market is guilty of bringing unwanted landlord/tenant legislation to our doorstep? Use the traditional 3:1 ratio. Market survey the 3BR2B conventional apartments in your area (e.g. $900/month), then divide by ‘3’ to estimate what land lease community rental homesite rent might be (e.g. $300/month). If site rates in your local housing market are at or above a 2:1 ratio (e.g. $450+/month), then it’s possible these rents are part of the focus creating this challenge.

And there was more, but you have the gist of the presentation here.

Be Aware & Beware of ‘Place to Prosper’ Act (&) GASLIGHTING

October 4th, 2019

October 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, researcher, PM education resource & communication media for land lease communities in North America!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Moto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Call for next MHM class.

INTRODUCTION: As an industry, we were ‘asleep at the switch’ when the S.A.F.E. Act was legislated a decade ago. Let’s not be guilty of similar inattention and inaction as national rent control makes its’ way through the halls of Congress! MHI/NCC. When will your ‘research’ translate into action? And, wouldn’t it be helpful to ‘really know’ the $ details about ‘home & land’ finance of manufactured homes, as well as for ‘home only’ loans? Perhaps 21st Mortgage Company will ‘take the lead’ here, and report $ facts and trends relative to the latter type MH lending. Finally; GASLIGHTING. This has been a trade news blemish awaiting attention for a while now. Manufactured housing and land lease community aficionados owe it to themselves, their employees, and customers, to rely solely on reliable trade news reporting of facts and trends, not salacious op/ed posturing by an outlier!

I.

Be Aware of, & Beware, the ‘Place to Prosper’ Act!

“The Place to Prosper Act calls for a cap of 3 percent or the Consumer Price Index (‘CPI’), whichever is greater, for housing markets nationwide. (The rule would apply specifically to landlords with five or more residential properties or TWO OR MORE MANUFACTURED HOUSING PARKS)…” (Emphasis added. GFA) Per AOC, Bernie Sanders, et. al. Will let you know more when we hear and learn more!

II.

INTERESTING MH $$$ NEWS – Revisited

CFPB’s recently-released HMDA Summary description of 99,200 ‘home & land’ mortgages and 51,000 ‘home only’ loans, according to some freelance manufactured housing consultants, understates the real total, given that an unspecified number of independent third party lenders allegedly don’t report this $ data to the CFPB. However, knowing the manufactured housing industry shipped 96,555 new HUD-Code homes during year 2018, the 150,200 total loans underwritten during that same period of time, appears logical when including resale homes in the mix.

III.

GASLIGHTING

…is a psychological tactic, in writing and speaking, used to (attempt to) gain power over someone – or a group, causing them question their perception, reality, sanity, even memory, of how they believe things are and should be. And I suppose, at times, all of us are guilty of this practice, to some degree, as we deign to influence individuals we interact with during business and social intercourse. However, when I (sometimes) read a particular manufactured housing trade publication (Not MHInsider or Manufactured Housing Review), it appears their op/ed penmen go out of their way to gaslight a particular national advocacy entity – one they should be supporting, and various targeted individuals. Point? Be discerning as to what you read, and who you listen to, in today’s fractious world of politics, business, and certainly, manufactured housing. In truth, you’re better off not reading some news tripe, but concentrate on good and uplifting news about the industry and realty asset class we embrace as businessmen and women.

Is there an acid test to discern gaslighting masquerading as journalism? Yes, three principles of journalism posed as questions:

• Is what you read or hear, the reporting of facts – or just the source’s opinion?

• Check writer/speaker’s resources – or is it past commentary used out of context?

• Is read or spoken word easily understood, by dint of plain style communication?

So, next time you read any of the nearly half dozen manufactured housing trade publications afoot these days, ask those three questions as you read, to learn which ones are worth the time and effort, going forward, and which is not. It’s as simple as that. So, ‘Just Do It!’

***

Interesting MH $$$ NEWS (&) New Face of MHI in Year 2020

September 26th, 2019

September 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for land lease communities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Next MHM class 10/7/2019

INTRODUCTION: Yes, we are in the midst of the Fall meeting season. So far, the 28th Networking Roundtable and MHI’s annual meeting are behind us. Yet to come? The rapidly growing and highly popular SECO Conference in Atlanta, GA., @ 8-10 October 2019. Will I see you there? Sure hope so. This is the only regional cum national venue, attracting 500+/- attendees, that’s ‘planned & hosted BY land lease community owners/operators FOR land lease community owners/operators’! For more information, visit 2019 SECO Conference

I.

INTERESTING MH $$$ NEWS

CFPB’s recently-released HMDA Summary tells us: During year 2018, 99,200 manufactured housing loans were secured by ‘home & land’, while 51,000 chattel loans were secured by ‘home only’. And median interest rate for chattel loans was 8.29%, while median rate for non-chattel loans was 5.125%. Also during this time frame, 39.47% of manufactured housing owners were younger than 25 years, and 25.47% were older than 75 years. This is the first HMDA file to distinguish between chattel and real estate-secured manufactured housing loans. Section 6.8, beginning on page # 63, of said report, covers these new data points and more.

Visit: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb-new-revised-data-p;oints-inhmda-report-pdf

II.

MHI’s Annual Meeting in Savannah, GA

Preview: ‘Good-bye’ leaders Stegmayer & Jennison, and ‘Hello’ Berkshire-Hathaway; no name yet for ‘new type’ manufactured homes; research aims to head off national rent control; &, ‘affluence gerrymandering’ alive & well at this national MH venue.

Manufactured housing says affectionate ‘good-byes’ to elected leader, Joe Stegmayer, as his second term as MHI chairman ends; and, salaried MHI exec Richard Jennison, as he retires at year end. No named successor to Dick Jennison at this time.

Three Berkshire-Hathaway-related corporate executives to lead new Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) board in year 2020: Tom Hodges, esquire, of Clayton Homes as board chairman; Eric Hamilton of Vanderbilt Mortgage Finance as treasurer, and Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage as board member. Leo Poggione of Craftsman Homes, and recent RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, becomes vice chairman of the board, and Patrick Waite of Equity Lifestyle Properties (‘ELS, Inc.’ – world’s largest owner/operator of land lease communities) will serve as board secretary. Curious. Was there a formal nominating committee this time around?

Good News/Bad News. Bad News, is the ‘new type’ manufactured home, after several years in production and distribution, continues to be formally unnamed. The Good News, is the ‘next gen’, choice, millennial manufactured housing design is close to formal naming by MHI manufacturer members. Let’s hope they ‘get it right’ the first time around! In today’s world of social and political sensitivity that might be more difficult than expected.

National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division is well aware of negative PR and social, business, political turmoil foisted on the land lease community realty asset class, by private equity firms acquiring such properties, and portfolios thereof, then – in too many instances – ‘jacking’ rental homesite rates to generate income needed to satisfy high debt service (mortgage) and investor ROI (‘returns on & of investment’) demands. Their answer? To research the matter during months ahead, then decide if and how to take action.

I’ve been complaining about affluence gerrymandering (‘National trade advocacy entities patronizing high-priced resort venues, discouraging small-size business owners/operators from participating on a level playing field with larger firms intent on dominating a particular industry’), relative to manufactured housing, for decades! Still no change. In this instance, we have a national advocate boasting more than 600 members (some say 800), with only 135 showing up for this annual meeting. Might be because the hotel room rate was $219/night; guest services @ $25 (shuttle to airport); mandatory resort service fee of $28.25 (For what?); and array of state & city taxes & occupancy fees of $35.97; all for a grand total of $308.22/day (less the $25 shuttle fee). How many more would likely attend if the daily total was closer to $208.22 or less? Just saying….

Did You Know? (&) Finally, a Campaign! (&) Clayton to Dominate MHI?

September 19th, 2019

September 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for all land lease communities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Next MHM class 10/7/19

INTRODUCTION: Part I, a potpourri of interesting MHIndustry information. Part II, preliminary thoughts pursuant to planning, financing, and effecting a national advertising and image improvement campaign, via the land lease community segment of the manufactured housing industry. All that’s needed now is a LEADDER. Manufacturers. You paying attention? And Part III. One might say I know ‘just enough’ to be dangerous, where this succession matter is concerned. My hope is, ‘voting members’ of MHI, which I am not, are paying attention to what’s being done (to them), where salaried and volunteer leadership are concerned.

I.

Did You Know?

The U.S. Median Household Income during Year 2018, was $63,179. How ‘bout your county? Visit www.Zipwho.com And, for a copy of ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet for calculating new & resale housing values based on Area Median Income (‘AMI’), request it via gfa7156@aol.com

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate committee on Tuesday (10/10/19) he wants to reach an agreement quickly with the regulator (Affordable Housing Finance Agency or AHFA) of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to allow the companies to keep their profits to rebuild capital – a first step in privatizing the nation’s largest sources of mortgage financing.” Quoted from the DAILY; source for mortgage & housing industry news.

According to HUD Secretary Carson, “HUD…elevate the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs within HUD and appoint a Deputy Assistant Secretary to lead it.” Something that’s been a (too) longtime coming!

The 28th Networking Roundtable was a complete success, from beginning to end. Highlights? Stirring keynote presentation by Congressman Trey Hollingsworth, who exhibited a deep knowledge of manufactured housing and land lease communities – and the role they should be filling relative to this nation’s affordable housing crisis. Just as illuminating, were very open ‘Here’s how we did it’ presentations by portfolio owners/operators Mike Callaghan (Four Leaf Properties), Jeff Davidson (Meritus Corporation), and Julio Jaramillo of Evergreen Communities)
During the wrap-up session at this year’s Networking Roundtable, a dozen concerned businessmen and women spent 1 ½ hours ‘talking through’ the continuing need for a nationwide marketing and image improvement program for the manufactured housing industry and or the land lease community real estate asset class.*1 A summary of said proceedings, along with questions begging answers, comprise Part II of this blog. This group pretty much decided to focus their attention on the property type rather than entire industry.

End Note.
1. Such initiatives have started and failed over the years. A decade ago, at a Networking Roundtable in Mystic, CT., Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes was encouraged by community owners – willing to donate funds, to take a similar idea to an MHI annual meeting occurring in TX during the next few weeks. When the HUD-Code housing manufacturers caucused in private, they nixed the idea, concerned that non-member firms would benefit from their, and community owners/operators, largesse funding such a marketing and image-improvement campaign.

II.

Community & Lifestyle Campaign

What follows are six foci areas – and there could well be others, for consideration before launching any major campaign to market and improve image of communities & lifestyle:

1. What is nexus of the campaign? The land lease community (or whatever it’s to be labeled) and or the multifamily rental community lifestyle, where everyone lives in and cares for their own home.

2. The scope of this campaign? National or regional, with appropriate characteristics/ foci

3. The cost of such a campaign? To be funded by communities.

4. What are unique selling propositions (‘USP’) associated with communities and or lifestyle, and where/how to best get this message out effectively? What platforms?

5. Who to lead this major effort? A national MH advocacy entity, or a capable, experienced, motivated independent third party.

6. Timeline, budget, performance benchmarks along the way

There was much more discussed, than ‘just this’, at the aforementioned informal meeting.

If you agree this is a serious enough matter to be pursued, let me know ASAP, via gfa7156@aol.com. There are individuals waiting to get started on such a campaign. That’s the ‘first acid test’. Another? MHI’s annual meeting, including its’ National Communities Council division occurs next week (22-24 September) in Savannah, GA. Whether this matter is brought up (not by me) and seriously considered, during the NCC meeting, will be a ‘second acid test’!

Whether this community campaign idea flies or dies, will likely be decided by early October.

So, will manufactured housing history, once again, repeat itself – to no end; or, will our salaried and elected national leaders finally recognize the need, catch this vision, and make plans to nationally/regionally promote manufactured housing &/or land lease communities & lifestyle during year 2020 and beyond? It will be interesting and ‘telling’ to watch and see!

III.

MHI Annual Meeting 2019

Smart Succession or Leadership Swamp?

Was there a nominating committee in place, recommending individuals to fill vacancies on MHI’s executive committee, at the annual meeting next week (23 & 24 September)?

Will there be balance among board members, relative to all ‘Big Three C’ firms (i.e. Clayton Homes, Skyline-Champion, & Cavco Industries), represented on the new board?

Will the new executive director of MHI be selected from within present day staff, or from candidates recruited outside the Washington beltway, maybe even outside the industry?

These are a few of the questions coming across my PC in the form of emails this past week. Certainly not much information forthcoming from MHI about any of these matters. That’s ‘lack of communication’ with members, from my perspective.

Best Kept Secrets…Calm Before the Storm (&) Here Comes Preemption Again!

September 12th, 2019

2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog is sole online national advocate, official ombudsman, asset class historian, research reporter, PM education resource & communication media for all land lease communities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Next MHM class @ 9/11/19

INTRODUCTION: Consider reading this week’s blog posting in reverse order, i.e. Part III, then II, and finally, # I. Why? Because Part III talks of important ‘breaking affordable housing news’ on the national level! Part II is your ‘heads up’ WARNING of MH political and leadership maneuverings in Washington, DC. Part I is important in its’ own right: Trade secrets ready for Change, Embrace, & Practice! Next week? Have already started it, describing the Housing Finance Reform Plan, relative to GSEs, released 5 September 2019.

I.

Best Kept Secrets of Manufactured Housing

As one frequently called upon to introduce individuals and firms to the manufactured housing industry and its’ realty segment, land lease communities, there are perennial anomalies (‘something abnormal or irregular’) ever- clouding our otherwise good affordable housing presence! These are two trade secrets that besmirch us, and two underutilized tools of the trade.

1. Secret sin. Manufactured housing industry reports monthly shipments of new HUD-Code homes as two different totals. For example, last week MHI reported 7,131 new homes shipped during July, while MHARR, HUD, NAMHCO & EducateMHC each reported 7,135 units. The source of this data, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), reported to all subscribers, 7,135 new HUD-Code homes had been shipped during July. So, how the difference? MHI takes IBTS’ official tally of 7,135 units, and subtracts 9 Destination Pending (‘DP’) units from it, then adds back 5 DP units deducted from IBTS’ June tally. Did you follow that? Meanwhile, MHARR, HUD, NAMHCO & EducateMHC make no adjustments to IBTS published data. And the secret sin continues. WHY?

2. Secret sin. Manufactured housing industry, in my opinion and in many instances, routinely sets home-buying customers up for potential failure (loan default)! The most widely used of six measures of affordable housing, the Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’), suggests no more than 30 percent of one’s annual gross income (‘AGI’) be used to pay for total housing costs. With a home sited on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, this means 30% HEF should include PITI (loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and household (utility) expenses. With a home sited in a land lease community the 30% HEF should include PITI, household expenses, and homesite rent. But that’s NOT the way it often works in manufactured housing circles. Rather, the 30% HEF, in both instances, includes PITI, and in the case of the land lease community, site rent. However, household expenses are rarely included! This means a prospective homebuyer, and homeowner/site lessee, can afford to ‘buy more house’ with the 30% HEF allowance, taking on more risk, as household expenses must to be paid ‘in addition to’ the 30% HEF set aside for PITI (& site rent). Consequence? Homeowner winds up paying between 30 & 40% or more HEF for the life of the home loan. So, the secret sin continues. WHY? In this instance, borrower & lender reasons are easy to see….

3. Not a secret sin, but secret nonetheless. How many of you, reading these lines, have heard a ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry’ presentation? Most of us have. But how many of you know there’s a more comprehensive alternative ‘State of the MHIndustry’ presentation that includes statistics and trends characteristic of 50,000 land lease communities spread across this country? The ‘secret’ is well enough known, for this ‘more comprehensive lecture’ to be shared annually at the SECO Conference in Atlanta, sometimes at the annual Networking Roundtable, and almost monthly at one or another state MH association gathering. But never has sit been featured at any MHI or MHARR-hosted national event! WHY? Guess you’ll have to ask them. My guess is, they’re manufacturer-dominated organizations, and land lease communities are little more than a tolerated adjunct.

4. New Rule of 72. This unique mathematical formula has been around for awhile, but is still new – a secret? – to many. What is it? Well, first, understand the original Rule of 72. ‘How long will it take to double one’s income at a set ROI (return on investment)’? E.g. ’72 divided by, say, 20% (or .2) ROI = 3.6 years’. Now, the New Rule of 72. ‘How to estimate the capitalized income value of an ‘average’ land lease community, at 100% and 80% occupancy levels?’ E.g. ’72 X 200 occupied sites X $200/month site rent = $2,880,000.’ & ’72 X 160 occupied sites X $200/month site rent = $2,304,000. These are identical values obtained when using the IRV investment formula, where V = I divided by R or Value = NOI divided by cap rate, e.g. 200 sites X $200 X 12 months X .6 (reciprocal value of 40% industry average Operating Expense Ratio) divided by .1 (10% cap rate for an ‘average’ LLCommunity) = $2,880,000. A useful tool, but only for ‘average’ land lease communities, i.e. using 10 percent income capitalization or ‘cap’ rate.

Know what? There are even more ‘secrets’ not described here. Perhaps in a future blog posting.

II.

A Calm Before The Storm, or Worse?

In the words of Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin.” During 2017 and 2018, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) encouraged anyone who’d listen, or read their press releases, to form a new national advocacy entity to represent ALL non-manufacturing segments of the manufactured housing industry – even though Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) claimed to be doing so at the time. Well, by year end 2018, the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’), was formed in Arizona, with tacit support from Nevada and encouragement from many property owners around the U.S. And in early 2019, the five year old Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (‘COBA7’) was reconfigured as EducateMHC, to be the primary, if not only, for-profit source for all land lease community-focused products (i.e. newsletters, books, forms) and services (e.g. professional property management training & certification, property Performance Evaluations and more).

And now, as year 2020 looms on the industry and real estate asset class’ business horizon, there’s growing concern and rumors about changes in top leadership at one of the forenamed national manufactured housing advocacy entities. At this point in time, details are sketchy, as comments fly and individuals jockey to fill these leadership positions. So, for the time being, the only things penned here are these thoughts:

• Since the manufactured housing industry, and two of its’ national advocacy entities, are dominated financially and leadership-wise by HUD-Code housing manufacturers; and in one case, the three firms controlling 80+/-% of national market (housing shipment) share, is there valid concern said organization might become dominated by one, or another, of the Big Three C firms?*1 Especially, if thru some turn of events, one or another or both other mega-firms no longer sit on the entity’s board of directors?

• It’s well known one national advocacy entity will be in need of a new salaried top executive by year end. What isn’t known, outside the official search committee, is whether this search will extend beyond MHI staff, to the industry at large, or not. There are pros & cons to hiring within either sphere, as well as value of searching for new leadership talent experience, and motivation untainted by past interpersonal relationships. Another concern is whether the new ‘leader’ will continue past practice of parroting board directives, or be strong enough lead in his or her own right?

Enjoy the relative organizational calm in place right now. But know there’re already maneuverings, behind the Washington, DC scene, to fill board seats as well as top salaried and volunteer leadership positions. If you have particular insights into this matter, and are willing to share them with me, in confidence or not, do so via gfa7156@aol.com or phone, the Official MHIndustry hotline: (:877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.
End Note: 1. Big Three C firms: Clayton Homes, Skyline-Champion, & Cavco Industries

IV.

Preemption, again?

In the August 2019 report titled ‘Eliminating Exclusionary Land Use Regulations Should be the Civil Rights Issue of Our Time’, author Michael A. Stegman, on pages # 11 & 12, includes this bold, and surely controversial, solution to solving the title issue:

“A state’s failure to (remove local barriers to affordable housing), or make an inadequate effort (to do so), would result in…loss of its ability to issue tax-exempt bonds for housing and of its authority to allocate housing tax credits.” Goes on to say, how “…preemption is a more direct alternative to conditioning federal grants in aid.” And how Congress might “…act directly to eliminate restrictive suburban land use practices by exercising its own constitutional power to regulate commerce.”

Whew! Did you read what I just read, and reprinted here for you? Manufactured ‘housers’ know all ‘bout preemption, and how this industry made that 1974-76 regulatory ‘lemon’ into sweet lemonade. Will same will occur working with local land planners & zoning boards?

This report is chock full of helpful background information on the timely and troubling topic. It documents five presidential commissions and federal initiatives of the past 50 years. Also lists five bullet points describing how regulatory barriers raise housing prices; plus, how barriers reduce and delay housing development; and finally, how barriers increase income inequality and reduce economic growth. These will be detailed in the October Allen Letter.

This report also, to my surprise, details nearly 40 specific measures designed to address the exclusionary land use problem. The list begins with measures proposed during the Obama administration (a.k.a. Development Toolkit 2016) and going forward to today. These aggressive measures will be replicated in the October’s the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter.

Both newsletters available, via subscription, at www.educatemhc.com

And there’s so much more ‘new news’ coming down the pike, so to speak, about changes to the federal housing scene, e.g. ‘Housing Finance Reform Plan’ for GSEs, pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum Issues March 27, 2019 – and released on 5 September 2019. More on this heady topic, likely in blog posting # 552 next week.