‘We’ve Got A Problem!’

September 18th, 2018

Blog # 503; Copyright @ 16 September 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal for its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve Huskiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: What follows, ‘Says a Lot’ & ‘Does Little’, beyond expressing angst & frustration concerning the state of land lease community investment in the U.S. today.

We’ve Got A Problem!

Consolidation of Land Lease Communities into Property Portfolios,
While a Mature Trend For This Unique Income-producing Property Type – Since Syndication Days of the Late 1970s – Appears to Now Be Out of Control & Reason

The problem? Often, but not always, ‘outside money’ (i.e. foreign investors, hedge funds) coming into this realty asset class,

1) Willing & able to pay ‘whatever it takes’ (i.e. inflated value) to corral one or more ground lease communities from the limited and stagnant national supply;

2) Almost always increasing rental home site rates out of proportion with other forms of rental housing in the same local housing market;

3) Then buying new HUD-Code homes they have no idea or experience ‘how to sell’, let alone ‘how to finance’ – leaving them vacant or pressed into service as desperation rentals.

Consequences? In general, sell-out to next fool willing to part with his/her money;

OR, divide the property portfolio up among disgruntled limited partners;

OR, ‘continue to march’ as if nothing untoward has happened, hoping for some degree of capital recovery upon disposition of the property or properties.

All three consequences are occurring simultaneously, in different regions of the country.

All the while, do these ‘Johnny come lately’ property portfolio builders, including those who’ve been around for awhile (i.e. decades) take active and or leadership roles in state manufactured housing association matters, lobbying, education, and networking? Not usually – unless there’s a landlord/tenant legislation challenge, or threat of regulatory action (e.g. rent control), that directly affects them..

Also (almost) gone are the days when sole proprietors developed raw land into land lease communities! Local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing (Recall the deadly zoning triad: NIMBY, her sister LULU; and of course, BANANA!*1) continue to prevail throughout the U.S., despite federal efforts to the contrary. And have you tried to find development capital of late? Good luck with that. Consequently, land lease communities continue to be a scarce investment opportunities – whether ‘under development’ or as acquisition trophies.

Did you know? There is a published list of the ’10 Good Reasons to Own a Land Lease Community’. It’s Appendix II (page # 151) in the second edition of SWAN SONG, ‘George Allen’s History of the LLCommunity Real Estate Asset Class’ & ‘Official Record of MH Shipments (1955-present day)’; COBA7, Indianapolis, IN. 2018. Available for only $24.95 (post paid) via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

In any event, relative scarcity of the property type is ‘reason # 1’. This followed by 2) low annual turnover @ 5-10 percent per annum; 3) stable, competitive rent (usually, in the past); 4) lower operating expense ratio or OER @ 20-40 percent, compared to conventional apartments @ 50+%.; 5) economy of scale; 6) affordable home ownership & equity; 7) recession proof; 8) more opportunities to ‘add value’ (Think ‘Alternative Income To Rent’ measures proposed by RE consultant Allen Cymrot); 9) more versatility (Contemporary presence of modular homes, Park Model RVs, Vs for a season, ADUs*2 & more…); 10) opportunity to serve society – as low cost housing and prime source of ‘affordable housing’.

So, as a realty asset class, or unique income-producing property type, ‘We have a problem!’. What can be done about it? Not much, unfortunately. This is a Free Enterprise economy, and folk are certainly free to be profligate with their money if they desire to do so – and as we all know, ‘Fools continue to be born every minute’, where buying into the use of OPM (‘Other Peoples Money’) is concerned!

The only hope I see for salvation here; resolving this problem, is for the asset class to ‘grow a resident-focused conscience’ and implement principles of professional property management into all properties, small and large, from top to bottom! Will these two measures occur? Not likely.

It’s just that, after four decades in this business, seeing the same and similar mistakes made time and again, I truly desire to step in ‘more than as a freelance turnaround specialist’; but rather, as a ‘homeowner/site lessee advocate’, to ensure fairness and reasonableness for our customers, clients, residents! Unfortunately, the present day land lease community business model is not structured to function, and self-govern, in such an altruistic (‘benevolent’) fashion.

Bottom line? As long as land lease communities are plagued with profiteering taking priority over resident relations, we’ll not MAKE MANUFACTURED HOUSING GREAT AGAIN! anytime soon.

End Notes

1. NIMBY = Not in My Back Yard; LULU = Locally Unwanted Land Use; &, BANANA = ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone!’
2. ADU = Accessory Dwelling Units, a.k.a. Granny Flats

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024,
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156
***

Post-Musings & State of MHIndustry Trade Press/Media

September 13th, 2018

Blog # 502; Copyright @ 9 September 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunties

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal for its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: Not needed this week. For some, this will be a casual ‘read’; for others, well, let’s just say, a convicting if not motivating one…

I

Moving from Musings (per blog # 501) to Doings!

MH evergreen issues. Matters, concerns perennially fresh, interesting, & challenging!

While outside the purview (‘scope’) of matters to be addressed at this weeks meeting of HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (‘MHCC’), one wonders WHY the following evergreen issues, matters, & concerns aren’t part of this group’s foci.

Following triad has to do with HOW TO ‘Make Manufactured Housing Great Again!’

First priority is to lobby U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’), the federal regulator of manufactured housing, to not only identify our type factory-built housing as being eminently affordable, but forthwith (‘at once’) & henceforth (‘from this time forward’), aggressively PROMOTE it as a significant part of the practical answer to the ‘affordable housing’ crisis evident in the U.S. today!

Furthermore; lobby HUD to ameliorate (‘make more tolerable’) unnecessary and expensive regulations relative to retrofitting existing rental homesites prior to installation of new HUD-Code manufactured homes within said land lease communities. Present ‘state of indecision’ is effectively stifling new HUD-Code housing shipments in 2018!

Once and for all, stop setting our prospective homebuyer/site lessees up for failure! How so? Chattel capital lenders should begin including PITI (mortgage principal & interest, as well as taxes & insurance), AND household utility expenses (electric, gas, water, sewer), within the target 30 percent Household Expense Factor (i.e. One of six measures of affordable housing*1) touted by HUD, regulators, ‘housers’, and others.

II.

A Word, or Two, About the Manufactured Housing Trade Press

The Very Good News is we’re no longer stranded in a desert wasteland of manufactured housing news and journalism! Since DATACOMP’s MHInsider magazine debuted a year or so ago, we’ve enjoyed professional coverage of manufactured housing matters, land lease community news, and the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Patrick Revere, editor, was at the 27th Networking Roundtable last week in Indianapolis, recruiting and teaching would be writers how to prepare manuscripts for publication. We haven’t seen that happen in quite some time!

More Good News is Kurt Kelley continues to publish the credible online ezine, Manufactured Housing Review. He’s developed a broad stable of contributors, and that’s also good. But in this observer’s opinion, should ‘mix it up a little’ and avoid showcasing the same writer or two, issue after issue. There’s plenty of MH news out there to be had, if one goes and looks for it.

The Allen Letter professional journal, a COBA7 affiliate-supported monthly newsletter for land lease community owners/operators, begins its’ 30th year of publication at the end of 2018. And the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! – that high-priced source of ‘confidential MH news before it occurs’, also a COBA7 offering, has been serving LLCommunity folk for more than a dozen years. Taken together, they cover the entire spectrum of news relative to 50,000+/- communities nationwide.

These three print, and one online trade publications, pretty much cover the manufactured housing trade media as it exists today. Sure, there’re online mimes afoot, but this quote from Jane Friedman’s The Business of Being a Writer, aptly describes how

“…there is little barrier to entry and low overhead cost. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can launch an online publication that costs little aside from their time and energy, and can distribute it through the same channels used by established publications. This is at once a blessing and a curse. It allows publications to exist that would’ve never been possible before, and it allows for dramatic failure as people with little to no experience try to gain attention or revenue for their efforts.” p.64

Isn’t that the truth – as we’ve seen, read and suffered now, for more than a decade. How so? Friedman goes on to describe how…

“…it’s easy to end up in a race to the bottom, creating headlines that entice people to click on low-quality content (clickbait), producing stories or slideshows that require visitors to click multiple times, or aggregating content from other sources to increase the number of articles published – and thus traffic.” p.65

So, be vigilant, be selective about what and who you read in support of business decisions. Do you have confidence in the industry knowledge, journalistic talent, and employment history of the person or persons you trust for manufactured housing and land lease community information? If not; in my opinion, move on to someone else..

End Notes:

1. Six Measures of Affordable Housing & Housing Affordability featured in Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, George Allen, PMN Publishing, IN., 2012, p. 38. Specifically: 30% Housing Expense Factor or HEF; Housing Opportunity Index or HOI; Housing Wage or HW; Workforce Housing or WFH; Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR; and, the ‘One Who Believes….

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Musings on Eve of 27th annual Networking Roundtable

September 3rd, 2018

Blog # 501; Copyright @ 2 September 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: And here I thought this would be a brief blog posting. Was I ever wrong. Got to writing in a ‘stream of consciousness’ fashion – something generally foreign to this otherwise left brain (logic) guy; only to see musings pour, it seemed, from my pen (actually, the PC). Had to stop myself where I did, else you’d be reading until well after arriving at the 27th Networking Roundtable Wednesday afternoon.

If you’re reading this, and not present at the networking roundtable event this week, I feel sorry for you. Why? From the MHM class Wednesday, thru the Art of the Deal presentation by top notch RE brokers, onto three superb keynote offerings Thursday morning, there’s – frankly – nowhere else to be in the entire manufactured housing industry that’ll be more intellectually stimulating than this venue! Seriously.

At last count there’re 30+ speakers and panelists coming in from throughout the U.S. to share their knowledge and experiences with august land lease community owners.

Just this afternoon I met with Rick Roethke, head of Barrington Investments. Know what we talked about? The soon coming together of affordable housing supply siders, intent on cross pollinating public and private sector policy and funding sources and experiences, for the greater good of solving the affordable housing crisis in the U.S. today! How can you not want to be part of this conversation and actions going forward? Stay tuned here, during weeks ahead, for more information….I’m pumped! History is about to be made.

Musings on Eve of 27th Networking Roundtable

If products & services of Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, are important to owners/operators of land lease communities nationwide, why is sit so difficult to identify someone to step into the role of leadership: 1) ensuring distribution of the statistically valuable annual ALLEN REPORT beyond 30 years; 2) as well as updating & distributing a dozen other SSRDs; 3) continuation of one, if not both monthly newsletters, featuring community-related news & views, as well as HOW TO information; 4) & 5) gala interpersonal networking & deal-making opportunities; 6) professional property management training & certification via Manufactured Housing Manager program; and, 7) national advocacy, ombudsman & historian services when need be? are you that, as yet, unnamed successor?

Seems everyone talks about the affordable housing crisis afoot in the U.S. today, but few take definitive steps to address the situation with resources already close at hand, e.g. HUD is federal regulator of manufactured housing but does little to promote this type factory-built housing as one ready remedy for said crisis. Here our housing product costs, per square foot, are 50 percent less (not including underlying realty value) than traditional site-built housing, but do you hear or read of HUD ballyhooing this major advantage? No. But maybe HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson will finally get that important message.

One faux trade journalist takes me to task for saying and writing what follows – because he fails to understand how I can be a member of one and fan of the other, but overtly critical of both at the same time. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) evidently satisfy their dominant HUD-Code housing manufacturer members, where lobbying and national advocacy – in their behalf – is concerned. However, it’s no secret at all, having two national trade entities in Washington, DC., representing the same ‘manufactured housing’ industry, seriously lessens their legislative influence and regulatory control clout. I’ve been in Washington meetings and seen it occur first hand. Unless MHAARR & MHI function in concert, where proposed legislation and regulatory overreach are concerned, legislators and regulators simply play one trade body off against the other. Doing so serves no one well at all. This has been going on since 1985 when MHARR was formed.

Has consolidation, among HUD-Code housing manufacturers and land lease community owners/operators, been good or not so good for the industry and realty asset class? Financial fortune-wise, for some if not many, has certainly been the case. In 1977 there were 25 ‘mobile home’ manufacturers, today we generally think of just the Big Three: Clayton Homes, Skyline Champion, & Cavco Industries, plus a few regional firms. A decade later, in 1987, we identified 25 portfolio owners/operators of (then) ‘mobile home’ parks; today – during 2018, we know of 500+/- property portfolios containing an average of 36 land lease communities apiece, with an average community size of 210 rental homesites. Consequences? Since 1994, three real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’), then five, and now, only three. Membership ranks of state MH associations have been decimated as portfolio ‘players’ generally do not encourage support of, or participation in, state and local matters, education, and lobbying.

New (HUD-Code) housing installation. Clearly, in my opinion, a ‘damned if you do (retrofit old rental homesites with expensive new concrete) and (potentially) damned if you don’t – and risk being found out by state or federal regulators – even if properly using the Frost Free Foundation system, originally approved by HUD for this application! This is no way to run a business – except ‘into the ground’!. And this is no way to hold the threat of government intervention (enforcement) over the heads of businessmen and women. What’s the answer? Right now, spend the money, or buy and fix up older manufactured homes to put on existing rental homesites to then sell or rent. Furthermore, HUD’s indecision risks stalling new HUD-Code housing shipment volume, preventing it from keeping pace with the need for new manufactured homes to replace old ‘mobile homes’ While we’ll likely ship more than 100,000 new HUD-Code homes by year (2018) end, it’s estimated the figure would have been closer to 125,000 new homes or higher.

Beware scammers! They’re already here, in the manufactured housing industry and among land lease communities nationwide! How so? In the later instance we have profiteer pitchmen actively soliciting outside naive investors with promises of inflated investment returns, using prospectus documents understating operating expenses and overstating potential income. And where housing is concerned, sad to say, one or more independent third party chattel capital lending firms are no longer checking business bonafides and reality of office locations (i.e. shadow offices, oft in states offering specific corporate identity, as well as legal protections), to ensure they’re not lending to Ponzi Scheme – like operators.

Stop picking on the post-production segment of the manufactured housing industry! The manufactured housing industry cannot ignore its’ post-production segments for decades, then when easy access to chattel capital disappears, as it did during the early 2000s, expect them to quickly rally and become capable, experienced, motivated national advocates for manufactured housing. That’s what these sectors thought their national association dues were going for all along. Yes, there’s ‘work to be done’ in this area, but not the way it’s being proposed from one quarter. In fact, I’ll go so far as to remind: ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re likely part of the problem!’ Point? Instead of chiding various folk to step forward and lead in ways unfamiliar to them, expand your bully pulpit and officially include them into your membership ranks, then lead them into effective national advocacy in favor of manufactured housing and land lease communities.

Yes, there’s an official definition of affordable housing out and about these days. If you’d like a copy of said document, just let me know. In the meantime, however, why do we continue as an industry, lenders, and realty asset class, to NOT include household utility costs (e.g. electricity, heat, water, sewer) in the Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’) measure of affordable housing? In accords with some HUD programs, and most ‘housers’ I know, including this ‘up to’ 25 percent impact $ figure’, in calculating how much house one can afford to purchase or rent to pay (if an apartment dweller or homeowner/site lessee), takes the new home purchase from ‘risky’, over to being truly affordable! Think about it. And if you’d like a FREE copy of the weirdly-named but easily understandable – and convicting, ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, simply ask for it when you phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE; (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Wonder how many reading this have been, unintentionally, setting customers up for failure and not success?

While we’ve had a history-changing paradigm shift in place now, in the manufactured housing industry, since the turn of the century, but especially since our shipment nadir year of 2009 (Recall only 49,789 new homes shipped), I don’t see HUD-Code manufacturers embracing land lease community owners/operators, of all sizes, as their new housing market, replacing independent (street) MHRetailers. Sure, they enjoy selling bulk quantities of new HUD-Code homes to property portfolio firms, but what about sole proprietors of one or two smaller (i.e. less than 100 rental homesites apiece) communities? Yes, there’s some movement in the Midwest, where the IMHA/RVIC, every two years, trains these folk how to buy, sell & seller-finance new homes. But know what? We need more than that to happen! In 2009 , only 24 percent of aforementioned 49,789 new homes went into land lease communities. By year end 2015 that percentage had jumped to more than 40 percent of the 70,544 new homes shipped that year (That works out to be a jump from 11,949 to 28,218 units!) By rights, if HUD-Code housing manufacturers were aggressively selling to this new market, 50 percent of this year’s estimated 100,000 new homes shipped, or 50,000 would be so-destined. Is that happening? No. And even if it was, the shipment volume would still be insufficient to meet the immediate need to replace ‘mobile homes’ being taken out of service.

OK, it’s time to stop musing and get along to Greeting 200+/- land lease community owners/operators soon arriving at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN. Know the closest held SECRET this year? The nature of the FREE gifts given to attendees every year; always valuable; always practical; always with a meaning. All will soon see…

GFA/cc

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

(317) 346-7156 & gfa7156@aol.com

***

George Allen’s 500th Blog Posting Since Year 2008!

August 28th, 2018

Blog # 500; Copyright @ 26 August 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: One’s 500th blog posting deserves, if not requires, a purposeful STOP, & time of REFLECTION, upon

1) Where we’ve been together these past ten years;

2) Where we are today – or ‘think we are’; and,

3) Where we might be headed, individually & collectively, moving into the future.

So, are you ready to be caught up in this manifesto of reflective, timely, forward-looking musings relative to housing, affordability, manufactured housing, and land lease communities, suggesting lines of thought and probable action?

I.

Where We’ve Been…

The previous decade (1998 – 2008), before this one (2008 – 2018), is characterized by the 1994 REIT wavelet, eventually changing the label of manufactured home communities to land lease communities. Also remember acme year 1998, as the short-lived renascence, when 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes were shipped throughout the U.S. That was then…

Next, the decade (2008 – 2018), marked at its beginning, by the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine; followed a year later (2009) by the nadir year of new HUD-Code housing shipments, with only 49,789+/- homes shipped! And in 2010, a Manufactured Housing Finance Roundtable, attended by FHFA & both GSEs, convened in Elkhart, IN., making it clear to the manufactured housing industry, where personal property finance, or chattel capital, was concerned, the industry and realty asset class were on their own! The remainder of this decade has been marked by these ‘fits & starts’:

• 2014. Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, was launched as a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to better serve the research, product, & service needs of land lease community owners/operators, large and small, nationwide.

• 2016. First ever ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ was hosted at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., to teach land lease community owners/operators how to buy new HUD-Code homes, then sell and seller-finance them on-site, to fill vacant rental homesites.

• 2018. Culmination of ‘where we’ve been’ and realization of ‘where we are now’.

Bottom line? Recognition of the decade, and longer, paradigm shift in the manner by which new HUD-Code homes are distributed to would be buyers. Heretofore, this occurred via independent (street) MHRetailers (a.k.a. ‘dealers’) shipping 75+/-% of new homes into land lease communities; today, roughly half the new home shipments are delivered directly into these properties, as they are purchased wholesale, for resale to homebuyer/site lessees.

II.

Where We Are Now…

During year 2018 we’ll likely eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped! That’s significant, considering where we were nine years ago; but still only 27% of the volume shipped 20 years ago! Which, in some minds, begs this question:

‘What is the Sweet Spot, new home shipment wise, where HUD-Code manufactured housing is concerned?’ 100,000; 200,000; or 300,000? Your opinion? Tell me!

The Good News? Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), Fannie Mae, & Freddie Mac, having distanced themselves from ‘us’ in 2010, are ‘back in the picture’ where manufactured housing finance is concerned! They are now reengaged, effecting Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs to facilitate new manufactured housing sales and lending.

For example, on 6 September, at the 27th annual Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., FHFA and both GSEs will man a panel. moderated by Dr. David Funk, manufactured housing’s lead academic and statistician, to describe what’s happening to support HUD-Code manufactured housing finance, via emerging DTS programs. Be there! At The Alexander Hotel at 10:15-11:00AM. Seriously.

The Bad New? In my opinion, national advocacy in behalf of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities, via representation, lobbying, and product/service provision, remains relatively ineffective at best, disparate at worst. How so? As long as two HUD-Code manufacturer-dominated national entities compete for the attention and favor of federal legislators and regulators, relative to manufactured housing, we’ll be ‘played off one against the other’, seriously diluting our efficacy as a housing provider!

And there’s been no really effective national advocacy in behalf of land lease communities since early 1996. So, no surprise a stopgap entity was formed in 2014 (i.e. COBA7); and another is being organized this year, to address continuing and growing lobbying needs of property owners, large and small, coast to coast.

The Improving News? With the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine and The Journal ((2016), manufactured housing endured a trade press wasteland for awhile, served in the interim by two print, subscriber-supported monthly business newsletters (the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!), two ezines (Manufactured Housing Review and MHPro), and 500 blog postings since early 2008.

Fortunately, that trade journalism landscape has changed markedly, and for the better, with the debut, earlier this year, of a robust MHInsider magazine, published by DATACOMP & MHVillage.

A 2018 Sidebar You Need to Read…

Hopeful News or not?

Early in 2018, a proposal was proffered (‘offered’) to one national MH advocacy organization, suggesting the launch of a National Manufactured Housing Resource Center (‘NMHRC’), using existing resources, and vacant office space, at the IMHA/RVIC headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. No response to date!

And a formal textbook proposal was submitted, again during 2018, to J. Wiley & Sons publishing company, to update their ‘manufactured housing community standards of development & operating performance’, first published in 1994 & 1996.*1 Likewise, no response to date.

***

III

Where We’re (Likely) Headed…

ON A VERY PERSONAL NOTE

Since 1980, when we founded GFA Management, Inc., as a fee management firm, professionally managing – as Carolyn was wont to say at the time – ‘Anything that didn’t move!’, we’ve learned, served, and promoted manufactured housing and (what was then) manufactured home communities nationwide and throughout Canada. We’re proud of what we accomplished relative to identifying 500+/- property portfolios in North America, engaging in valuable statistical research (Think 30 annual ALLEN REPORTs by year 2019), resource (‘SSRD’) sharing, print & online communication, national interpersonal networking, income-property deal-making, and professional property management training & certification, via Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program. To date, more than 1,000 MHMs own and operate land lease communities throughout the U.S. & CN..

Next MHM class, is all day, 5 September in Indianapolis, IN. (Only $295.00/MHM candidate). And again, 8 October in Atlanta, GA. Phone (317) 346-7156 for information.

Now, however, time has come for us to move on into other foci, relative to our industry, its’ realty asset class, and broader perspectives of housing at large and affordable housing in particular. How to happen? Maybe…

1) Others step forward to shoulder some, if not most, of the seven activity areas covered by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7*2.

2) I continue to align myself with ‘housers’ of every stripe, defining the broader picture of affordable housing (i.e. Not just ‘low income housing’ as is so oft opined today), then identifying ways to address such needs on local housing market by local housing market basis. Time and effort will ‘tell’ if I’m going to be successful in this new and worthy endeavor.

Bottom line for me? As long as my health allows, I want to invest my 40 years of personal and corporate experience in the present and future of affordable housing, with a manufactured housing flavor and land lease community lifestyle emphasis. Will you continue to support me to this end? I’d sure like to now….

.
End Notes

1. Development, Marketing & Operations of Manufactured Home Communities, Allen, Alley & Hicks; & How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, Allen. Both published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1994 & 1996 respectively. New copies of the former available from COBA7 for $85.00; used copies of the latter, from AMAZON.com for $75.00+/-. However SWAN SONG, for $24.95 (postpaid), is the contemporary book of choice for most MH & LLCommunity businessmen & women. Order via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

2. COBA7. Seven ‘parts’: ongoing statistical research, updating & distribution of 12+ Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs, weekly & monthly print & online communications (newsletters & blog postings), superb networking opportunities, deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification via MHM program, and national advocacy if and when need be, e.g. official ombudsman, and official historian, to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024

George Allen’s 500th Blog Posting Since Year 2008!

August 27th, 2018

Blog # 500; Copyright @ 26 August 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: One’s 500th blog posting deserves, if not requires, a purposeful STOP, & time of REFLECTION, upon

1) Where we’ve been together these past ten years;

2) Where we are today – or ‘think we are’; and,

3) Where we might be headed, individually & collectively, moving into the future.

So, are you ready to be caught up in this manifesto of reflective, timely, forward-looking musings relative to housing, affordability, manufactured housing, and land lease communities, suggesting lines of thought and probable action?

I.

Where We’ve Been…

The previous decade (1998 – 2008), before this one (2008 – 2018), is characterized by the 1994 REIT wavelet, eventually changing the label of manufactured home communities to land lease communities. Also remember acme year 1998, as the short-lived renascence, when 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes were shipped throughout the U.S. That was then…

Next, the decade (2008 – 2018), marked at its beginning, by the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine; followed a year later (2009) by the nadir year of new HUD-Code housing shipments, with only 49,789+/- homes shipped! And in 2010, a Manufactured Housing Finance Roundtable, attended by FHFA & both GSEs, convened in Elkhart, IN., making it clear to the manufactured housing industry, where personal property finance, or chattel capital, was concerned, the industry and realty asset class were on their own! The remainder of this decade has been marked by these ‘fits & starts’:

• 2014. Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, was launched as a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to better serve the research, product, & service needs of land lease community owners/operators, large and small, nationwide.

• 2016. First ever ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ was hosted at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., to teach land lease community owners/operators how to buy new HUD-Code homes, then sell and seller-finance them on-site, to fill vacant rental homesites.

• 2018. Culmination of ‘where we’ve been’ and realization of ‘where we are now’.

Bottom line? Recognition of the decade, and longer, paradigm shift in the manner by which new HUD-Code homes are distributed to would be buyers. Heretofore, this occurred via independent (street) MHRetailers (a.k.a. ‘dealers’) shipping 75+/-% of new homes into land lease communities; today, roughly half the new home shipments are delivered directly into these properties, as they are purchased wholesale, for resale to homebuyer/site lessees.

II.

Where We Are Now…

During year 2018 we’ll likely eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped! That’s significant, considering where we were nine years ago; but still only 27% of the volume shipped 20 years ago! Which, in some minds, begs this question:

‘What is the Sweet Spot, new home shipment wise, where HUD-Code manufactured housing is concerned?’ 100,000; 200,000; or 300,000? Your opinion? Tell me!

The Good News? Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), Fannie Mae, & Freddie Mac, having distanced themselves from ‘us’ in 2010, are ‘back in the picture’ where manufactured housing finance is concerned! They are now reengaged, effecting Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs to facilitate new manufactured housing sales and lending.

For example, on 6 September, at the 27th annual Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., FHFA and both GSEs will man a panel. moderated by Dr. David Funk, manufactured housing’s lead academic and statistician, to describe what’s happening to support HUD-Code manufactured housing finance, via emerging DTS programs. Be there! At The Alexander Hotel at 10:15-11:00AM. Seriously.

The Bad New? In my opinion, national advocacy in behalf of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities, via representation, lobbying, and product/service provision, remains relatively ineffective at best, disparate at worst. How so? As long as two HUD-Code manufacturer-dominated national entities compete for the attention and favor of federal legislators and regulators, relative to manufactured housing, we’ll be ‘played off one against the other’, seriously diluting our efficacy as a housing provider!

And there’s been no really effective national advocacy in behalf of land lease communities since early 1996. So, no surprise a stopgap entity was formed in 2014 (i.e. COBA7); and another is being organized this year, to address continuing and growing lobbying needs of property owners, large and small, coast to coast.

The Improving News? With the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine and The Journal ((2016), manufactured housing endured a trade press wasteland for awhile, served in the interim by two print, subscriber-supported monthly business newsletters (the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!), two ezines (Manufactured Housing Review and MHPro), and 500 blog postings since early 2008.

Fortunately, that trade journalism landscape has changed markedly, and for the better, with the debut, earlier this year, of a robust MHInsider magazine, published by DATACOMP & MHVillage.

A 2018 Sidebar You Need to Read…

Hopeful News or not?

Early in 2018, a proposal was proffered (‘offered’) to one national MH advocacy organization, suggesting the launch of a National Manufactured Housing Resource Center (‘NMHRC’), using existing resources, and vacant office space, at the IMHA/RVIC headquarters in Indianapolis, IN. No response to date!

And a formal textbook proposal was submitted, again during 2018, to J. Wiley & Sons publishing company, to update their ‘manufactured housing community standards of development & operating performance’, first published in 1994 & 1996.*1 Likewise, no response to date.

***

III

Where We’re (Likely) Headed…

ON A VERY PERSONAL NOTE

Since 1980, when we founded GFA Management, Inc., as a fee management firm, professionally managing – as Carolyn was wont to say at the time – ‘Anything that didn’t move!’, we’ve learned, served, and promoted manufactured housing and (what was then) manufactured home communities nationwide and throughout Canada. We’re proud of what we accomplished relative to identifying 500+/- property portfolios in North America, engaging in valuable statistical research (Think 30 annual ALLEN REPORTs by year 2019), resource (‘SSRD’) sharing, print & online communication, national interpersonal networking, income-property deal-making, and professional property management training & certification, via Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program. To date, more than 1,000 MHMs own and operate land lease communities throughout the U.S. & CN..

Next MHM class, is all day, 5 September in Indianapolis, IN. (Only $295.00/MHM candidate). And again, 8 October in Atlanta, GA. Phone (317) 346-7156 for information.

Now, however, time has come for us to move on into other foci, relative to our industry, its’ realty asset class, and broader perspectives of housing at large and affordable housing in particular. How to happen? Maybe…

1) Others step forward to shoulder some, if not most, of the seven activity areas covered by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7*2.

2) I continue to align myself with ‘housers’ of every stripe, defining the broader picture of affordable housing (i.e. Not just ‘low income housing’ as is so oft opined today), then identifying ways to address such needs on local housing market by local housing market basis. Time and effort will ‘tell’ if I’m going to be successful in this new and worthy endeavor.

Bottom line for me? As long as my health allows, I want to invest my 40 years of personal and corporate experience in the present and future of affordable housing, with a manufactured housing flavor and land lease community lifestyle emphasis. Will you continue to support me to this end? I’d sure like to now….

.
End Notes

1. Development, Marketing & Operations of Manufactured Home Communities, Allen, Alley & Hicks; & How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, Allen. Both published by J. Wiley & Sons in 1994 & 1996 respectively. New copies of the former available from COBA7 for $85.00; used copies of the latter, from AMAZON.com for $75.00+/-. However SWAN SONG, for $24.95 (postpaid), is the contemporary book of choice for most MH & LLCommunity businessmen & women. Order via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

2. COBA7. Seven ‘parts’: ongoing statistical research, updating & distribution of 12+ Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs, weekly & monthly print & online communications (newsletters & blog postings), superb networking opportunities, deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification via MHM program, and national advocacy if and when need be, e.g. official ombudsman, and official historian, to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Why Affordable Housing Crisis Remains a Crisis

August 21st, 2018

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommuniities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

Why Affordable Housing Crisis Remains A Crisis

National Association of Home Builders (‘NAHB’) says builders will begin 900,000 new homes during 2018; that’s 400,000 short of what’s needed to keep up with U.S. population growth. And it’s estimated 100,000 of those 900,000 new homes will be of the HUD-Code manufactured housing variety. So, what might it take, over time, to address this 400,000 new housing shortfall in 2019 and beyond?

Leadership & United Perspectives

National Association of Realtors (‘NAR’) University, in Washington, DC., last week hosted a luncheon and lecture featuring Dr. Katrin Anacker, of George Mason University. Dr. Anacker held forth on the ‘Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units (‘ADUs’).’ And my host, Scholastica (Gay) D. Cororaton, CBE, of the NAR staff, had recently prepared a research study titled, the Market for Manufactured Housing. Well, this two hour session, along with conversations before and after the luncheon, reaffirmed observations first realized at, and articulated following, the National Housing conference, also in DC, last Fall. Specifically,

First

As long as government agencies, regulators, and research organizations meet like this – for good reason, but without the balanced presence of, and input from, businessmen and women, and other pertinent (e.g. housing-related) NGOs (non governmental organizations), even national advocates for various types of housing, little to no progress will be made solving this nation’s perennial affordable housing crisis! The ‘problem’ (challenge)? It’s one thing to have knowledge of ‘public policy & funding’ where certain types of (low income) housing are concerned; it can be – and oft is, an altogether different perspective where ‘private sector business model & funding’ is concerned. And never the twain shall meet, unless a purposeful effort is made to address and bring disparate perspectives together in search of practical, workable solutions to the affordable housing crisis! So, in the future, ‘let’s get together to work together’!

Second

Then there’s the question of leadership. I’ve been fussing around this business of affordable housing for more than a decade, penning HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY back in 2008 (now out of print). To this day, if my life depended on it, I could not identify any one or two individuals who truly stand out as leaders of the supposed Solve Affordable Housing Crisis Movement. Oh sure, there’re ‘names’ out there, associated with one or another aspect of affordable housing, even ‘think tanks’ they’ve bankrolled. But nary a leader who inspires, and aspires to bring ‘housers’ together to address this challenge! And until THAT happens, U.S. housing, in my opinion, is ‘dead in the water’!

Third

One thing we did accomplish, kinda, at this NAR University luncheon, was to identify some of the affordable housing variants by type, and not necessarily public funding. I’ve expanded said list since the luncheon, to include:

• Storage buildings or sheds. Think ice fishing villages in northern climes.
• Tiny Houses, the shelter fad of the early 21st Century & ‘bait’ to sell larger homes
• Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, a.k.a cottages, Granny Flats, and more
• Container Homes. Large steel shipping container houses & or duplex apartments
• Park Model RVs less than 400 sq. ft. in size; common in Sunbelt regions
• Recreational Vehicles. Though not intended as housing, certainly used as such
• Modular Homes per local building codes with utility core; simple & sophisticated.
• Manufactured Housing. Singlesection & multisection; Community Series Homes.
• 3D Houses. 409 sq. ft; 24 hour fabrication via software-driven liquid concrete

The point in sharing this ‘Third’ point with you? To demonstrate how little the ‘left hand’ of affordable housing knows about the ‘right hand’. And until we start having public and private sectors of housing supply and finance meet together in search of common ground, goals, and means to achieve same, we will continue to be one big fragmented, inefficient housing supply industry. Expanded list of nine housing types available upon request via gfa7156@aol.com

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

WHAT YOU MISSED!

August 13th, 2018

Blog # 498; Copyright @ 17 August; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of it’s’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: As best I could tell, there were 500 place settings for this year’s RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. And what a gala affair it was! But much of the ‘real action’ occurred earlier in the day when small groups of businessmen and women met in the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s board room for an MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session, and later, a writers’ workshop. Here following are some of those proceedings. However, to make this ‘word picture’ (Part III) complete, you’ll need to read the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Why? Read on…

And Part IV. The 27th Networking Roundtable is only three weeks away. Are YOU registered yet? Sure hope so, as we’re nearing our max registration limit. However, if you read the exciting event plan here, know you can register this week, and maybe even next week, and still be able to attend. See YOU there!

I.

WHAT YOU MISSED, Part I

MHAlive! ‘think tank’ proceedings….

Everyone present received a copy of the recently updated mini-White Paper titled: ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’. Want a FREE copy? Just request it via email: gfa7156@aol.com. Be sure to provide your postal mailing address when you do.

And the new edition of the very popular Community Series Homes information summary. This includes the features of CSH model homes, along with HUD-Code housing manufacturers’ representatives specializing in this specially-designed home, helping to resurrect the manufactured housing industry since year 2009. Also FREE for the asking.

MHAlive! participants identified factors that might be slowing 2018 shipment volume. At end of June 2018 YTD we were 4,295 new HUD-Code homes ahead of where we were during the same period 2017. That’s Great! However, for the month of June 2018 alone, we were only 106 homes ahead of the number shipped during June 2017 . That’s not so great! We might be starting to lag….

The factors? Maybe…

• Unsettled nature and enforcement of new HUD-Code housing installations in land lease communities. Some owners are refusing to buy new homes and having to spend upwards of $5,000/rental homesite in retrofit costs; others are (allegedly) buying and siting homes, ignoring potentially costly consequences

• Reported ‘return to prosperity’ for independent (street) MHRetailers in some local housing markets – mainly in Southern locales, but continued dearth of such sales centers in other regions, e.g. Indianapolis enjoyed 18 in 1998; now the market barely supports two.

• Very few new land lease communities being developed, just about anywhere in the U.S. The two in MI, Oaks at Rockford & Bluffs on Manistee Lake, are doing fine, but both are picking up where past developers failed. And yes, there’re others, but more ‘expansions’ than raw land development, certainly from scratch.

• While many property portfolio owners/operators are routinely engaged in buying, selling, & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site; the vast majority of single property owners continue to struggle to ‘learn that drill’. There’s help on the horizon though, as Four Leaf Properties now teaches their business model.

• With employment rates, throughout the U.S., at near record lows, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep HUD-Code housing factory production lines up and going. While probably a good challenge to resolve, it is – and will continue to affect new home production and shipments, just as we’re recovering our mojo.

• Continued lack of effective national brand advertising by HUD-Code housing manufacturers still afraid their advertising financial largesse will, in some way, benefit their smaller, regional housing manufacturer competitors. That, unfortunately, has been a perennial ‘non starter’ problem for the past two decades.

Now is as good a time as any to introduce a new and appropriate business term to the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class.

EVERGREEN matters, issues, topics themes & factors….

Casual definition? Anything that remains perennially fresh, interesting, enduring.

So there you have it. Six of the evergreen factors holding back the recovery of our industry, in terms of new home shipments, and filing of vacant rental homesites!

II.

WHAT YOU MISSED, Part II

Will Your Personal & Corporate Legacies Continue Beyond Your Demise, or Be Lost Forever?

As I pen in, the beginning of the ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy?’ booklet, “Stories will live forever only if you write them.” So, why not make a personal commitment NOW, to begin recollecting and writing one memoir (‘short story’) per month for the next 12 months? Then decide if it’s worth it to you to, in the words of author William Zinsser, “…to leave a record of what we (you!) did & thought & felt (during) your journey.”

This kinda happened during the writers’ workshop at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on 6 August, in Elkhart, IN. There, two individuals met for the first time, one a writer, and one the son of our industry’s last remaining pioneer community developers of the early 1960s. Watch for a ‘story or two, for the ages’ to materialize from this chance encounter.

Know what’s sad though? During 40 years in this business, I’ve met many an individual with worthwhile if not exciting personal and corporate tales to tell and preserve. But very few of them did so! Look at the In Memoriam list featured in every issue of the Allen Letter. Who wouldn’t have wanted to read more about the business adventures of Ron Richardson (e.g. Origin of ‘ballerina’ names for his properties?), Myles Sampson (a family ‘in the RE business since the Revolutionary War), Bud Zeman, Grayson Schwepfinger, Craig Fulmer (The former banker who ‘wrote the book’ re contract sale financing of MHs), Judy Carr, Maurice Wilder, Tom Horner, Jr.(Former pro football player turned land lease community developer/owner), and most recently, Howard Walker – cited in Sam Zell’s autobiography, Am I Being Too Subtle? See what I mean? Those stories are likely lost to posterity. And I sure don’t have the time to research and pull all that material together.

So, where does this leave us? In a recent blog posting I mentioned my interest in planning and hosting a day long writers’ workshop, again, on this very subject: ‘Preserving Your Personal & or Corporate Legacy via Memoirs & Autobiography.’ Invited response, and so far have received several encouragements to do so. How ’bout you? Is this a project that interests you – as the story teller, maybe even a family member or employee with an interest in preserving someone’s personal or corporate legacy? If so, please let me know. Not asking you to commit at this point; just express a desire to learn more, and possibly attend a one day writers’ workshop, possibly just before or during the Louisville MHShow later this year and early into 2019.

Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; or simply email: gfa7156@aol.com

Something you may not realize, I’ve been down this ‘book writing path’ more than a dozen times now since 1988 – one of those times authoring a semi-autobiographical text.. And have assisted in the editing and pre-press preparation of another’s autobiography. So, what are you waiting for?

Finally. If you’d like a copy of the aforementioned booklet, it’s now FREE. Someone has stepped forward and covered our printing and binding expenses. All we ask of you, is to pay ‘shipping & handling’ for $5.00 when you request it. Just send a personal note & check to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247. Make sure you include your postal mailing address as well.

III.

WHAT YOU MISSED, Part III

One of Best Tributes Ever & ‘MH Trumps RV’

There’re two parts to this Part III of blog posting # 498. First; the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet acceptance address, shared in the delivery by two grandsons of Darrel Cohron, and his identical twin, the late Harrel Cohron, were downright justifiably poignant (‘painfully acute & affecting’) for everyone there who knew – and didn’t know ‘the brothers’. The full text of this fitting tribute will be featured in the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

Now this part takes many of us back two decades, to when the manufactured housing industry fabricated and shipped 372,943 new HUD-Code homes nationwide!

At that time, and as I recall; when in or around the original site of the (now) RV/MH Hall of Fame, in downtown Elkhart, the foundation’s moniker was oft cited as being the MH/RV Hall of Fame. Some would halfway jokingly tell MH neophytes (‘novices’), the letters MH precede RV because manufactured housing is ‘today’ more prosperous than RVs. Well, today, the RV industry is more prosperous than MH; so, RV/MH Hall of Fame!

So, what happened during this year’s (2018) RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet reminiscent of this informal innocuous (‘harmless’) competition for top billing between RV & MH? Well, for the first time in years, the huge projection screen hanging in back of the evening speakers and Hall of Fame inductees featured, at the very top and in large letters: COHRON’S MANUFACTURED HOMES. This accompanied by the firm’s iconic white & black cow logo! Then, below that Diamond sponsorship headline, were several RV firms, always faithful in their ongoing financial support of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation. But for some, if not many of us MH folk, this was the first time in a long time, MH ‘trumped’ RV at the Hall of Fame!

Now, do you suppose this tale is patently (‘obviously’) true, or simply an urban legend?

What You Don’t Want to Miss, Part IV.

27th Networking Roundtable Set to Rock!

If you’re a faithful reader of this ‘almost always’ weekly blog, you read the detailed schedule of events – and who the presenters are this year, in last week’s posting. If you missed it, just scroll back into your PC’s archived messages (blog postings) to pull it up. Then register by visiting www.GetMeRegistered.com/COBA7NRT2018

For some reason, this year’s Networking Roundtable is garnering more national interest than usual! Best I can tell, the curiosity and inquiries are coming from ‘housers’ engaged in solving our nation’s affordable housing crisis. If so, that’s GREAT. Why? Because manufactured housing & land lease communities have long been, and now seem to have been recently discovered as being, if not The Answer, certainly an important and ongoing major part of the needed Solution! So, wouldn’t you want to be present to maybe make manufactured housing industry history?

The FHFA, both GSEs, most HUD-Code manufacturers, MHI, NAMHCO, COBA7, representatives from academia, major lenders, trade publications, and nearly three dozen presenters will be on hand to educate, network, even engage in deal-making as need be.

How can you not want to be present for this superb start to the Fall meeting season?

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Don’t Miss This! It will never be repeated….

August 9th, 2018

Blog # 497; Copyright @ 10 August 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

27 years ago, Carolyn & I planned & hosted the 1st International Networking Roundtable – in Clearwater, Florida. 75 of our (then) mobile home park owner friends joined us for the Thursday, Friday, Saturday venue. And the annual event grew in size from there.

A decade later we convened in Colorado Springs, CO. There we were stranded in a the host hotel thru Sunday, until we dug out of that city’s heaviest pre-season snowfall on record! Lou Vela phoned the hotel’s owner & persuaded him to keep the beer flowing as we watched the baseball world series on TV in the hotel lounge. A legend was born…

The following year everyone opted for a warm Florida locale. As Carolyn & I arrived at East coast Delray Beach, Hurricane Georges slammed the host beachfront hotel. Sure, it cut back on attendance, but not much. Even had stragglers arrive after storm passed.

And the following year, as Carolyn & I prepared to drive from Indianapolis to the Chicago venue, two planes slammed into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City! As you’ll recall, ALL transportation came to a halt. We postponed the event until November – and had a larger audience. That’s when the Thursday morning Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, & Friday morning informal Prayer Meeting began.

Yes, it’s been an exciting run these past 26 years. Every year we wonder if we can ‘top’ the year before? Well we’ve done it this year in spades (‘to the utmost’)! I can’t recall any other national MHIndustry & or LLCommunity venue, during my 40 years in this business, offering more education (30 presenters & panelists!), better interpersonal networking, and deal-making opportunities, than this year’s Networking Roundtable!

Read through this schedule. Then go to GetMeRegistered.com/COBA7NRT2018 to register. We’re almost at our max limit of 200 registrants, so don’t delay doing so!

27th annual International Networking Roundtable

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, September 5

9AM-4PM Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) class
Taught by Katie Hauck, MHM, & Kathy Taylor, MHM
This session requires a separate registration & fee….

4-6PM ‘Art of the Deal’; Marketing Land Lease Communities
Led by Joanne Stevens, CCIM, & Tammy Fonk, CAIC

6-8PM Welcoming Reception for All! Bring business cards.
‘Celebrating National Land Lease Community Week!’

Thursday, September 6

7:30-8:30AM Networking Breakfast for All!
Get name tags & info from Carolyn Allen, PMN Publ.

8:30-9:15AM Welcome & Introduction of Everyone Present!
George Allen, CPM, MHM. Roundtable host.

9:15-10AM Keynote I. Overview of MHIndustry & Hall of Fame
Joe Stegmayer, CAVCO Industries, MHI, RV/MH HOF

10-10:15AM Morning Break at Nourishment Bar in Open Area

10:15-11AM Keynote II. FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Panel
Mike Price from FHFA
Griffin Cotter & Michael Harn from Freddie Mac
Jose Villarreal & Ben Navarro from Fannie Mae

11-11:45AM Keynote III. A Business Model that Works Well!
‘How to Buy, Sell & Seller-finance New Homes’ on-site
Michael Callaghan & Lisa Lane, Four Leaf Properties

11:45-1PM Networking Luncheon for All!

1-1:45PM Attend Either of Two Educational Sessions This Hour:

* How to Develop a New Land Lease Community!
Jamie Dougherty, Community Management Group

* Acquisition $ & Refinancing of LLCommunities
Tony Petosa, Wells Fargo Multifamily Lending

2-2:45PM Attend Either of Two Educational Sessions This Hour:

* Types of MH Today: CSH, ‘new type, RVs, & more
Mark Bowersox, Manufactured Housing Institute

* Using Print, Signage & Gifts to Promote Your Firm
Erin Smith, Spotlight-Strategies

3-3:45Pm Attend Either of Two Educational Sessions This Hour:

* Creating Compliant, Stress Free Environments
Doug Ottersberg

* Building America’s Homes Together!
Mark Yost & Phil Copeland, Skyline Champion

4-4:45PM Attend Either of Two Educational Sessions This Hour:

* Compensation Guidelines for Property Managers
Frank Bowman, MHM, Illinois Mfd. Hsg. Association

* ‘Preserving One’s Personal & Corporate Legacy via
Memoirs & Autobiography’ George Allen, CPM, MHM

4:45-6PM Attend One of Two Meetings, or Relax Until 6PM

* IMHA/RVIC (Indiana) Informal Members Meeting
Ron Breymier & Glen James hosting & leading

* National Association of Manufactured Housing
Communities ‘open meeting’ led by Susan Brenton
* Relax & Enjoy The Alexander Hotel or slip on down
to the nearby Slippery Noodle Inn – oldest bar in IN.

6-8PM RV/MH Hall of Fame Celebration Reception for All
RV/MH Hall of Fame Members encouraged to wear their
distinctive green blazers to this social networking event.

Friday, September 7

7-8AM Informal Prayer Meeting for U.S. & Leaders since 9/11
George & Carolyn Allen, hosts

7:30-8:45AM Networking Breakfast for All!

9-10AM Real Estate Lenders’ Panel/Open Discussion of $ Issues
Panel comprised of Networking Roundtable $$ Sponsors

10-11AM Chattel Capital Lenders Panel/Discussion of $$ Issues
Mix of independent lenders, hybrid & ‘captive finance’

11-12Noon Attend One of Two Educational Sessions This Hour

* How to Find, Value, Buy a Land Lease Community
Michael Power, MHCInvestor

* Writing Basics for Publication. Be a trade writer!
Patrick Revere, MHInsider magazine

12-1Pm Networking Luncheon for All!

1-2PM Attend One of Two Educational Sessions This Hour

* New Technology=Tracking Underground Systems
Brian King, Underground Infrastructure

* Third Party Fee (Property) Management Basics
Maria Horton, MHM, Newport Pacific Family of Co.

2-3PM Open Forum Discussion of MHIndustry Issues
Moderated by George Allen, CPM, MHM

3-4PM 27th Networking Roundtable Wrap-up Session

***

MANUFACTURED HOUSING, a Book Proposal

August 3rd, 2018

Blog # 496; Copyright @ 5 August 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

26 years ago, in 1992, engineer David Alley, consultant Edward Hicks and I, along with our wives, met in a downtown Philadelphia, PA., hotel to plan the book proposal we’d submit to J. Wiley & Sons (New York publisher). I’d been encouraged by the brisk sale of self-published Mobile Home Park Management following its’ release in 1988; and now, the three of us believed there was a ‘window of opportunity’ for new community development, as HUD-Code home shipments numbered 210,787 units that year. Turns out we were right! Shipment volume continued to rise, year by year thru 1998. So, Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities debuted in 1994. It was followed, in 1996, by How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. It too proved highly popular and sold well.

A quarter century has passed, and the manufactured housing industry, along with its’ land lease community segment, is – in my opinion – poised to effectively address our nation’s affordable housing supply crisis! We must educate legislators, regulators, bureaucrats, investors, homebuilders, and prospective homebuyers/site lessees as to the aesthetics, quality, economy, energy efficiency and durability of our type factory-built housing product. That’s where this formal book proposal comes into play.

This formal book proposal has already been submitted to J. Wiley & Sons, in the hope they too will once again ‘catch this vision’, and revisit their ‘setting of the manufactured housing business standards’ effected back in 1994 & 1996. Will they? Too soon to tell, but the offer has been made to, once again, serve our industry and realty asset class by researching and authoring a seminal text needed for these promising times.

And you should hope, for several reasons, this project gets the green light. Not only do we need the text, as a reference and HOW TO guide, but we’ll need at least a dozen ‘duty expert’ writers to pen various parts of the text. Are you qualified, experienced, motivated, and interested? If so, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com.

I.

TO: J. Wiley & Sons Publishers

FROM: George Allen, CPM Emeritus, MHM Master
40 Year Consultant to the Factory-built Housing Industry,

SUBJ: Book Proposal Opportunity for J. Wiley & Sons, to once again,
Publish the ‘Business Standard for all Manufactured Housing’!

In 1994, J. Wiley & Sons published a text ‘setting the business standard’ for raw land development of (then) manufactured home communities throughout North America!*1 Two years later, another J. Wiley & Sons-published text was quickly acclaimed to be
‘the bible’ for acquisition, property management, & disposition of manufactured home communities throughout North America!*2 Two decades have passed. Though long out of print, both case bound books continue to be sell online at $ amounts only slightly less than their respective retail prices in 1994 & 1996. Talk about retaining value!

I co-authored the first text, and was lead author and editor of the second one. See personal vitae enclosed with this book proposal.

Well, it’s high time for a new tome, covering similar subject matter, but in an expanded fashion, featuring today’s trade terminology, appropriate statistics, and business trends.

Not only is historicity and usefulness in play and demand here; know there’s a widely recognized affordable housing supply crisis afoot in our nation today. Only during the past several years have ‘housers’, across housing-type lines, begun to seriously consider the nature, availability, energy efficiency, and pricing viability of HUD-Code manufactured housing, and its’ related land lease community lifestyle, as being – if not ‘the answer’, certainly a significant part of the solution to this worsening national crisis. What the national housing supply audience needs now, is a contemporary text with which to educate themselves and others! And J. Wiley & Sons, by dint of the firm’s 1994 & 1996 enduring textual contributions, is well-positioned to address today’s housing education need.

Since the mid 1990s, I’ve authored a dozen books, mostly having to do with manufactured housing and (now) land lease communities.*3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Additional titles have to do with figurative language & figures of speech, a Chapbook of Business & Management, HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY, a Chapbook of Prayer, and more.

The proposed J. Wiley & Sons book will pick up and update from where the first two ended. The manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class have changed significantly, especially since the turn of this century – when the unique factory-built housing type, thru its’ own missteps, lost easy access to chattel capital needed for home mortgages on new homes sited on leased realty.*10. Today, the industry is on its’ way to recovery. * 11,12

Just what might the Table of Contents, of a new J. Wiley & Sons-published book, on affordable housing, manufactured housing & land lease communities, contain?

• An Introduction to Affordable Housing & overview of this nation’s affordable housing supply crisis….

• Manufactured Housing; one of four types of factory-built housing

• Land Lease Communities; development & operations, including property valuation, acquisition & disposition

• Making the Case for Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities as this Nation’s Most Practical Solution to its’ Affordable Housing Crisis!

Well, there you have it; the makings of a dynamic, hands-on, HOW TO text, relative to ins & outs of factory-built housing in general, manufactured housing in particular; raw land development into land lease communities – or, acquisition, management & sale thereof. And most important of all, how this type housing – costing 50% per square foot less than traditional stick-built housing – and its’ related community lifestyle, are indeed, ‘the answer’ to the affordable housing supply crisis in the U.S. today!

Who will author this text? My plan is to follow the successful pattern used in the J. Wiley & Sons-published text, How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, 1996. Then I identified and recruited 16 contributors to pen various parts of the 508 page text. While few of those individuals remain active in business circles today, I well know more than a dozen other businessmen and women who’ve become ‘duty experts’ in their own right, relative to affordable housing, manufactured housing, and land lease communities. I see my role being as a contributor to, and editor of, the new text.

Possible titles for the new text?

• Manufactured Housing = Affordable Housing

• Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities Today!

• Affordable Housing Supply Crisis Solution? Manufactured Housing!

Is J. Wiley & Sons interested in exploring this book proposal further?

For book marketing purposes, know I pen, publish, and distribute the only two print manufactured housing-related, subscriber-supported, monthly business newsletters: the Allen Letter professional journal ($134.95/year) & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! ($944.95/year). In addition I write for the MHInsider trade (advertising-supported) magazine, and post a weekly blog read by many. Newsletter samples available on request.

Furthermore, since 1989, our firm has grown and maintained an exclusive, confidential data base containing names and contact information of 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators of land lease communities throughout North America! According to the 29th annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’), the average property portfolio today, contains 39 land lease communities, and each property contained therein averages more than 200 rental homesites. We exercise this unique, one of a kind, data base almost monthly, for a $1,000.00 fee, in behalf of lenders, would be investors, product/service suppliers, and portfolios in disposition. This data base is their sole access to all these major players! And it’d certainly be a major marketing avenue for this new J. Wiley & Sons text as well. Sample ALLEN REPORT also available on request.

Looking forward, maybe, to working with J. Wiley & Sons once again.

End Notes to book proposal not included as part of this blog posting..

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

WARNING! Also,’think tank’ & Preserving Your Legacy!

July 30th, 2018

Blog # 495; Copyright @ 29 July 2018; community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________
something we’d all like to ignore; but it’s not going away, so ‘be aware, be careful, and maybe, beware!’

RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction
INTROUDCTION:

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Yes, this is a sincere WARNING about
Banquet, the MHAlive! ‘think tank’, Legacy Writer’s Seminar, & 27th annual International Networking Roundtable, collectively kick off the Fall 2018 meeting schedule. Be there and enjoy the events with your friends!

I.

WARNING!

Your Undocumented Pre-death Press Interview May be Used Gratuitously (‘in an uncalled for fashion’), to Convey a Maybe Different Message Than You Intended, After You Are Gone!

Seriously. To the best of my knowledge this sort of imbroglio (‘perplexing state of affairs’) has not occurred before, to any manufactured housing and or land lease community businessman or woman! But it appears to be occurring now. So, ‘be aware, be careful, and maybe, beware!’

II.

MHAlive! ‘think tank’

At this point I have no idea how many manufactured housing and or land lease community businessmen and women will join us at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, from 9AM to Noon, on 6 August. RSVP deadline isn’t until the day after you likely receive and read this blog # 495 posting (31 July 2018). But frankly, that does not concern me in the least.

Why? In years past, MHAlive!, on RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction (banquet) day, has attracted between a dozen and two dozen folk open and willing to suggest and discuss industry/asset class issues, trends, challenges & opportunities. I’m told, and I believe it, MHAlive! is the sole recurring public opportunity for men and women, like thee and me, to caucus, enjoy camaraderie and engage in healthy interaction. 6 August will be whatever you and others make it to be, or not. Will you be present? I sure hope so.

We’ll either meet in the upstairs board room (capacity 12) at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., or downstairs in the amphitheater (capacity 75). And remember, there’s a $20.00/person fee, to offset meeting and handout material expenses. Last opportunity to RSVP via (317) 346-7156 or via email: gfa7156@aol.com

Plan to be at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening? Then order your tickets NOW via (574) 293-2344. And here’s a special hint. When you see me there, ask: “Hey, you have something special for me?” I will, & I’m sure you’ll like it!

III.

Legacy Writer’s Seminar

To date, throughout the 70 year history of manufactured housing and land lease communities, only ten pioneers and leaders have authored or co-authored personal or corporate autobiographies! Too many grand experiences and adventures of business and personal challenge and success have disappeared unrecorded, upon the demise of their protagonists. That’s sad and so unfortunate – for one’s progeny (‘descendents’), ,mentees, business successors, and friends.

This ‘every other year’ writer’s seminar at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, on Induction (banquet) day, is my way of encouraging peers (You) to begin penning memoirs (‘short stories’), with an eye maybe, to collecting and self-publishing them in autobiographies or corporate histories, some day in the future.

This year is different. How so? Took time to research the eight autobiographies, one semi-autobiographical business text, and one photoautobiography now in print (Actually, Kris Jensen’s delightful book is long ‘out of print’), to compile ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy…as a manufactured housing or community businessperson? Answer: You!’ Yes, an unwieldy title, but clearly ‘splains’ the purpose of this handy HOW TO booklet. It begins by identifying and describing the existing ‘life & business stories’ in print, and in the RV/MH Hall of Fame library; then, recommends five steps to Preserving One’s Personal & Corporate Legacy. Extras? Proofreader’s marks, and a short story of my own, ‘Big George!’ Come and be motivated to preserve your legacy!

The information contained in the last paragraph of Part II (above) applies here as well, as to event location, $20 fee, and need to RSVP ASAP. In this instance however, everyone present will be given a copy of the legacy booklet just described.

IV.

27th Networking Roundtable

This annual event is only a month away. As oft happens this time of year, the Networking Roundtable ‘takes on a life of its’ own’, as presenters confirm their availability at the event, sponsors donate generously to offset event expenses, and frankly, excitement builds!

You’ve likely already studied the Networking Roundtable brochure, so know about the popular ‘Art of the Deal’ program Wednesday afternoon (4-6PM) – and how all day that day, a dozen or more on-site & regional property managers will be trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers, joining 1,000+ MHMs already owning/operating land lease communities throughout North America!

What you don’t know is that, as often occurs, we’ve added Surprise guest speakers and topics to the program. One team will describe how their firm grew a property portfolio two dozen communities strong, by selling & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site; recently selling said portfolio for a record-setting value! Now they’re taking this unique business model ‘on the road’, teaching peers (you & me) how to do likewise with our land lease communities. A don’t want to miss learning opportunity!

And Skyline Champion execs will be on hand to ‘tell their merger story’ for the first time in a public forum. A tale we all need to hear. And yes, there’s yet another surprise guest presenter and topic TBA (to be announced) at the event proper.

Beside all that, Networking Roundtable aficionados know they’ll receive a special commemorative gift when they arrive. This year? A valuable memento designed especially for this event and its’ unique audience! And those who attend the early Friday morning informal prayer meeting (For our nation & its’ leaders ever since 9/11!) know they’ll each be given a book that carries a powerful message.

So, how can you not want to be present, 5-7 September, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN? To register for the MHM class and or Networking Roundtable, go to GetMeRegistered.com/COBA7NRT2018 Have questions? Phone me via (317) 346-7156 or email: gfa7156@aol.com And there’s still some corporate sponsorships available!