Receive your Allen Letter? MH ‘#s & $s’ report shows slide; &, what’s a ZNE home anyway?

January 15th, 2019

Blog # 517; Copyright @ 13 January 2019; www.EducateMHC
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American land lese communities!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ And, goal for online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION: While we, as an industry, finally have reliable reporting of production, in terms of new HUD-Code home shipments, we continue to confuse ourselves and those watching, with purposely differing, and at times inaccurate, based line statistics. This is easy to correct if the commitment is there to do so. You ready for ZNE design and fabricated new homes? That’s Zero Net Energy usage; an increasingly common phenomena in California, and eventually spreading East. And where will you be on Tuesday, 29 January, in Louisville, KY? If a land lease community owner/operator, then at the one day MHM class. OR, in the afternoon, participating in the latest MHAlive! ‘think tank’; four 50 minute sessions from 1 – 5PM.

But First, a Very Special Announcement!

Some reading this blog are subscribed to receive the Allen Letter, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, & or 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT – all of which arrived at your offices digitally, for the first time, earlier this month (January).If you are a paid subscriber and have not seen this email come through, please contact Erin Smith via EducateMHC@gmail.com – to send you another link, ensuring access to this important and timely industry information! And if you are interested in subscribing to any or all these publications, do so at www.EducateMHC.com

I.

Educate MHC’s MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for November 2018

The question no one is asking, so no one is answering: ‘Why is manufactured housing industry off pace to ship 100,000 new HUD-Code homes by year end 2018?’ (It’s now mid-January 2019)

Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) reports 7,760 new HUD-Code homes shipped in November 2018; down from 8,602 homes @ November 2017, & 8,588 homes, October 2018. HUD, MHARR, COBA7, & NAMHCO report unadulterated MH shipment #s as tallied by IBTS!

Makes one wonder, doesn’t it: ‘What’s going on’; OR, ‘not going on’, that’s slowing recovery of HUD-Code manufactured housing from its’ nadir year (2009) of 49,789+/- new homes shipped? One would think the two national advocacy entities dominated by manufacturing members would have, or offer, an answer to this present day mystery. But we continue to await it….

Another mystery. Go to MHI’s website (MHI.org) and learn “90,000 new homes shipped per year = $2.6 billion contribution to the U.S. national economy.” Really? Using MHI consultant Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s ‘production value’ of $43,126 per new HUD-Code home shipped (Based on 2013 base year of 60,288 new homes shipped, valued at $2,600,000,000), the above statement, in my opinion, would be more accurately rendered as ’90,000 new homes shipped per year = $3.9 billion ‘production value’ contribution to the U.S. national economy!’ Three points here:

• ‘Production value’ is one part of the manufactured housing industry’s contribution to U.S. national economy. Value of homes installed on-site, as well as ancillary services?

• Since ‘production value’ is only part of the contribution to U.S. national economy ‘pie’, so to speak; important to ‘get the numbers right’, i.e. $3.9 billion vs. $2.6 billion.

• Probably time to update the base year statistics, from year 2013 to at least year 2017

If you’ve not yet seen or read EducateMHC (formerly COBA7) MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report (for November 2018), obtain a copy of January issues of either the Allen Letter or the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! via www.educatemhc And while at it, if still needing your copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, order it as well. It’s the ‘biggest & best’ edition ever, at 16 pages in length, a 25 percent increase over previous editions! Chock full of interesting & helpful info!

II.

Zero Net Energy Case Study Homes, Vol I.

Get ready to learn and use new trade lingo when it comes to talking about highly energy efficient site-built and factory-built single family and multifamily residential housing. I introduced the manufactured housing industry, and land lease community realty asset class, to this emerging reality trend in past issues of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! and the Allen Letter. Furthermore, we’ve had one of Steve Lefler’s Zero Net Energy (‘ZNE’) homes on display at an International Networking Roundtable in San Diego, a few years ago.

Well, there’s a new ‘almost cocktail table quality’ tome just out, authored by Edward Dean of Bernheim + Dean, Inc., titled, Zero Net Energy Case Study Homes, Volume I., covering no fewer than five ZNE applications or case studies. Early on, the author tells us there’re more than 15,000 ZNE-ish homes in the U.S. and Canada today; and that adoption of ZNE by ‘production home-building industry’ (That’s us!) is an emerging trend in its’ own right. By the way, the book is available for purchase via amazon.com

For an example of ZNE home design and fabrication, hailing from factory-built housing ranks, the author profiles an Oak Haven Modular House in detail. And the price of this book is well worth the technical data one obtains from this specific case study! However, This chapter however, gave me a bit of reviewer heartburn, as the author opted to use archaic terms like ‘trailer park’ (page # 46), to describe where to find an Oak Haven Modular Home. And the author, in my opinion, clearly does not understand the clear differences among the four types of factory-built housing, i.e. 1) production site builders (a.k.a. stick-builders) using pre-hung window & door components, wall panels & roof trusses), 2) panelizers, 3) HUD-Code manufactured housing (Never once mentioned, per se, ‘in the book’) aficionados, and 4) modular housing fans like Steve Lefler of Modular Lifestyles.

More information about this new release (book) will be forthcoming in a future issue of the Allen Letter.

III.

MHM Class & MHAlive! ‘think tank’ on 1/29

This will be my 41st Louisville MHShow! How many folk staying at the Crown Plaza host hotel remember when there was an equally huge hotel directly across the I-65 exit lanes outside the main entrance, and that there were no other hotels along Phillips Lane – where today there are at least eight? Who remembers dodging five lanes of auto traffic on those exit lanes, at night, to get from one hotel to the other and back again – to attend one or more manufacturer-sponsored dinners and exhibitor cocktail receptions? Yes, this manufactured housing show has a history.

And then there’s what oft happens ‘the day before the Louisville MHShow begins’. While exhibitors set up their booths, and manufacturers make last minute adjustments to their new home displays, off-agenda meetings take place at several nearby hotels. Some firms use this time for training sessions for their employees; land lease community owners caucus to discuss industry issues (e.g. representation) and plan for the year ahead; and frankly, many more than one job interview has been conducted somewhere in the host hotel.

This year? Well, at the Hilton Garden Inn – down the street and then some, from the Crown Plaza, two events are scheduled:

• One day Manufactured Housing Manager class, from 9AM to 4:30PM. 20 MHM candidates will spend the day learning and discussing every aspect of land lease community professional property management. No tests, just a lot of knowledge sharing, operational tips, and interpersonal networking. Everyone receives a copy of Landlease Community Management, a monograph of MH ‘readings, MHM certificate, and MHM lapel pin. Still room for more: (317) 346-7156 or inquire via gfa7156@aol.com Cost? Only $295.00 per MHM candidate. To date, nearly 1,500 MHMs in North America!

• Afternoon, from 1 – 5PM there’ll be an informal MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session. These events are held several times each year around the U.S. They’re decidedly informal, low cost ($20.00 at the door, to defray meeting-related expenses), and frankly as enjoyable as they are productive. From a list of seven recommended topics, four appear to be garnering the most attention: ID & parse MHIndustry ‘evergreen issues’ (i.e. ‘always timely’); Making sense of MH national advocacy ‘alphabet soup’ (e.g. MHARR, MHI, NCC, NAMHCO, COBA7 & EducateMHC); the Affordable Housing Crisis & You (i.e. What it is & what you can do about it!); and, the 30th ALLEN REPORT (e.g. new data, emerging trends & more…). If you plan to participate, in part or in full, talk to me ahead of time relative to preparation, etc… (317) 346-7156 or via gfa7156@aol.com

So, there you have it, the perfect mix of MHM training/certification OR participation in a MHAlive! ‘think tank’, where your views could very well affect the future of the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! Then, the next day, attend the Louisville MHShow, inspecting dozens of new homes and visiting dozens of exhibitors!

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC & COBA7
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

MHProsperity Indicator & Hello EducateMHC!

January 10th, 2019

Blog # 516; Copyright @ 6 January 2019; www.EducateMHC

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

This blog posting is sole national advocate, official ombudsman, historian, research reporter, education resource, & online communication media for North American lease communities!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! And, goal for online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. This week? In search of prosperity indicators for manufactured housing & land lease communities. ALSO, the Best Thing That’s Happened to Community Owners Since 1993!

I.

In Search of a Prosperity Indicator for Manufactured Housing

Some would say we already have one. The IBTS tabulates and distributes a monthly report tracking the volume of new singlesection & multisection HUD-Code homes shipped throughout the U.S.!*1 And up until the last quarter 2018, the ‘prosperity’ news had been good. As an industry, we were riding a new home shipment surge that seemed to assure we’d eclipse 100,000 new homes by year end 2018 – a ‘first’ since 2006, when the ‘Katrina factor’ boosted the annual total of new homes shipped, to 117,510+/-.*2 But the last quarter 2018 has been different. New home shipments slipped off the 100,000 pace, ending November 2018 with a YTD (‘year to date’) total of only 90,612 new homes shipped. Will we see 9,388 new homes shipped during December 2018 – the number needed to eclipse 100,000? That’s doubtful, as the number of homes shipped during November was only 7,760 and that down from 8,588 during October. Point? Yes, IBTS reports measure and report manufactured housing prosperity, in terms of ‘new HUD-Code homes shipped’, but can we refine this further?

For a moment, let’s look at the other side of prosperity, i.e. ‘misery’. Ever heard of the Misery Index? It was originated in 1960 by economist Arthur Okun for use by President Johnson. In its’ basic form, a Misery Index is the ‘annual inflation rate’ plus ‘seasonally adjusted unemployment’ rate. Examples. The Misery Index peaked at 21.98 during June of 1980 (That’s super misery!). But nearly 40 years later, during December 2018, the Misery Index was at 5.88, down from 6.22 during October and 5.98 in September. So, the lower the Misery Index number better ‘feelings’ (i.e. less misery) abound. No, the Misery Index is not an appropriate measure of prosperity for the manufactured housing industry.

Maybe it’s not a measure of prosperity, or even misery, we really seek. Perhaps it has more to do with the nature of the new home purchase and finance transaction we make available to prospective homebuyers/site lessees and homebuyers/scattered building site owners. With those two leasehold/owned sites perspectives aside for the moment (i.e. rental homesites in land lease communities & scattered building sites conveyed fee simple), consider whether we’re selling homes onto leased sites in an ‘affordable’ fashion (i.e. total PITI & site rent total $ at the standard 30 percent Housing Expense Factor – ‘HEF’ – or less), OR in an innate ‘risky’ fashion, where PITI accounts for the 30 percent HEF and homebuyer/site lessee or owner must pay household utility expenses in addition to said house payment – upping, upping HEF to between 40 & 50 percent! Hope none of this surprises anyone. To ‘proof’ this to yourself, use the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formulae’ worksheet to do your own calculations within four scenarios: scattered site conveyed fee simple, affordable & risky; rental homesite, affordable & risky. What do those housing price points pencil out to, in that order, beginning with $35,000 Area Median Income (‘AMI’) or Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’)? Simply, and somewhat shockingly, $119,000 & $158,000 in the first (home & site ‘owned’) instance; and $41,000 & $68,000 in the second (home owned & site leased) instance! To obtain your copy of the aforementioned worksheet, visit educatemhc.com and or phone (877) MFD-HSNG. The form is also available within SWAN SONG, the first history of the land lease community real estate asset class. Available from EducateMHC for $34.95 plus shipping & handling.

So, following those brief reviews of IBTS’ HUD-Code housing shipment reports, the Misery Index, and four perspectives of housing price point calculation facilitated by the Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formulae worksheet, does any of them ‘paint the picture’ of where manufactured housing prosperity is at any given point in time? Your idea or suggestions? Please send to gfa7156@aol.com

End Notes.

1. Institute for Building Technology and Science, HUD’s contractor for researching this data.

2. Presence or not of (+/-) qualifier, relative to new HUD-Code housing annual shipment totals. IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & COBA7 – now EducateMHC, report this annual total number in the same fashion. The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) deducts Destination Pending units from any given month’s new home shipment total, and then adds back in the Destination Pending Units from the previous month.

II.

EducateMHC

The Best Thing to Happen to Land Lease Communities Since 1993!

25 ½ years ago, 19 owners/operators of (then) manufactured home communities, convened in Indianapolis, IN., to plan effective national advocacy for the unique, income-producing property type. Why? In 1994, several large portfolio ‘players’ would ‘go public’ (Think MHC, Inc. – now ELS, Inc; Sun Communities, Inc.; & Chateau Communities, Inc. UMH Properties was already, and had been, a real estate investment trust (‘REIT’) since the late 1980s. And American Landlease, along with ARC, would not join those ranks until 1998 & 2004 respectively.

As fate would have it, the Industry Steering Committee (‘ISC’), formed during August 1993, would become the nucleus of MHI’s National Communities Council (converted to ‘division’ status years later) or NCC. For a history of the NCC, read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! – also available for purchase from EducateMHC.

February 2014 saw the debut of the ‘for profit’ national entity, Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Land lease community products & services (e.g. ALLEN REPORT, statistical resources and directories, newsletters, networking venues, professional property management training & certification via Manufactured Housing Manager program) available for the past 30+ years, was now centralized in Indianapolis, IN.

And during year 2018, dissident land lease community owners/operators, in search of effective national lobbying for the real estate asset class, formed the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners, or NAMHCO; headquartered in Arizona.

EducateMHC. Certainly not new to the manufactured housing scene, by dint of community ownership and successful entrepreneur business experience, the principals seek to convert near 100 percent of what owners/operators expected from COBA7, to a digital platform, improving and easing access to all resources, including property management forms, books, article reprints, newsletters, and more. Suggest you visit educatemhc.com; communicate via educatemhc@gmail.com, and or GFA via (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
RV/MH Hall of Fame member
Emeritus member, MHI
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Be Careful What You Read & Believe in 2019!

January 4th, 2019

Blog # 515; Copyright @ 30 December 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
Earlier, ‘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, and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

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

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Adopt the MH ‘media discernment challenge’ as a key business resolution for New Year 2019! Let Steven Brill’s new book, TAILSPIN enlighten you as to how national political & economic affairs relate, in part, to manufactured housing & land lease communities. And decide now whether to participate in the 29 January 2019 afternoon MHAlive! ‘think tank’ the day before the Louisville MHShow begins! A lot to read and absorb in this blog posting!

I.

A Worthwhile New Year’s Resolution:

Do Be Discerning About The MH Media You Read, Believe & Use During 2019!

Yes, this was the gist of Part III of blog posting # 514 last week, and enough of you responded positively to the ‘media discernment challenge’ to make it worthwhile to reiterate here. One veteran state MH association executive had this to say about the matter:

“I am totally on board with your industry New Year’s resolution! Out with the derisive negativity, and in with communicating the positive attributes of manufactured housing and land lease communities.”

How ‘bout you? Ready and willing to focus your manufactured housing trade reading on state MH newsletters, the MHInsider magazine, Manufactured Housing Review online ezine, and the Allen Letter professional journal (transitioning from print to digital format)? Sure hope so. Those four are all you need to stay abreast of trade news throughout the industry and real estate asset class. Contact me via gfa7156@aol.com if you need help contacting these pubs.

As a related aside, I’m working (reading) my way through F.L. Lucas’s classic book, STYLE, ‘The Art of Writing Well’, first published in 1955. It’s chockfull of passages worthy of reflection, retention, and application. Here’re musings appropriate to the ‘media discernment challenge’:

“…the modern world would hardly tolerate in criticism, the vulgar horse-whipping (writing) style of _______. The few 20th century writers who have tried it…have damaged themselves more than their enemies.” P.94. Reputations come and they go.

And this…

“…one of the eternal paradoxes of life and literature – that without passion, little gets done; yet, without control of that passion, its effects are largely ill or null.” P. 116. Amen to that! But I take it a step further and say ‘ill & null’.

And finally…

“…the man who seems trying to deceive others has often first deceived himself.” P.126.

You can look forward to a complete review of STYLE during the weeks ahead. There’s even an apt quote therein, with application to the manufactured housing industry, and our penchant for evolving trade terminology over time. In the meantime, practice media discernment!

II.

A Partial Review of Steven Brill’s book, TAILSPIN.

‘The People & Forces Behind America’s 55 Year Fall –
& those Fighting to Reverse it’

Learned of this 2018 tome from a ‘houser’ at the National Housing conference in Washington, DC. during early December. I have not read the entire 441 page book, just pages I was told spoke about affordable housing-related matters in the U.S. today. Well, it turns out that was not wholly accurate, but I did pick up on enough politically-charged observations and economics commentary to make for an interesting, albeit short ‘read’. Here’re some select comments. The first one, to me, was a shocker.

“After Presidents Kennedy and Johnson began the war on poverty…President Nixon followed up in ways that might shock the next generation of Republicans. Even before he took office in January 1969, Nixon approved a proposal from his transition staff that called for a guaranteed national income – a set amount to be paid to every American, as a floor of available funds to protect them from poverty. He was unable to get Congress to approve it, but he did initiate a variety of other programs.” Pp. 316 & 317. Hmm. Now we maybe know from whence that socialist goal originated.

“The two principal dynamics that will inevitably drive more people into poverty unless they are reversed, are wages and housing costs.” P. 320. And here’s how that pencils out in today’s society…

“Affordable housing is commonly defined as housing requiring rent (or mortgage) payments of no more than 30 percent of a worker’s disposable income. And, “…according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, no worker earning the federal minimum wage in any place in America, can afford to pay the prevailing fair market rental rate in any state where they work. That generalization may not hold for families with two wage earners, but it does summarize the squeeze low-wage earners face.” P.321. And well describes the housing market best served by manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

Want to fix these sorry matters?

“For Americans to come together now to fix their country, they will have to overcome the forces that have broken their country: a meritocracy (‘government by the most talented’) that has become the new aristocracy; the financialization of the economy and resulting dominance of short-termism; hijacking of the First Amendment that allowed money to take over Washington; marginalization of the middle class that would have to rise up and support any resurgence; polarization, entrenched incompetence, and cronyism that have soured most outsiders on the prospect of trying to get Washington to do anything productive…” and the list goes on….P.336. You up to this overcoming task? Who is? Read next paragraph, for one answer.

“What is clear is that in 2016, Donald Trump rode that fever (‘for change’) to the White House; promising Americans they could sit back while he fixed everything.” And “…46 percent of those who voted, figured things were so bad they might as well let him try.” P. 337. That is, except for Never Trumpers, Democrat revenge campaigners, and swamp-dwelling Deep Staters in Washington, DC. Thanks to a liberal-slanted secular press, he continues to fight an uphill battle.

Who else is to blame? “…the new technology that produced targeted digital media, represents one of those apparent breakthroughs during the 50 year tailspin that produced unintended consequences, and a valid excuse for people to remain at each other’s throats or disengage altogether. It polarized the news that people consume, driving them further apart.” For example, precipitous drops in newspaper employment (from 412,000 to 174,000 in 2001), due to loss of advertising revenue (a third of what it was in 2000), allowed “Americans to complain they (are) less armed with the straight-shooting journalism necessary to hold their elected leaders accountable.” P. 338.

What’s next? A revolution? “This will not be a revolution of those on the left against those on the right. It will be about the unprotected, demanding the protected become responsible and accountable, whether they are executives shielded by their corporate structures, their lawyers, their lobbyists, and their financial engineers; civil servants protected by work rules that need to be fixed and by the public’s inattention…” P. 339 And that list too goes on….

“My bet is that Americans will retake their democracy. Things may get worse before they get better, but the odds are that events like these will become trigger points that prompt Americans to reclaim the legacy of their country’s historic resilience.” & “Americans are going to answer the call of a New Frontier. They are going to decide that enough is enough. That it is time to storm the moats.” P. 341

There you have it; what Steven Brill sees having happened in the U.S. during the past 50 years, and what must happen to preserve our constitutional democracy.

FYI. Steven Brill is an investigative journalist who’s written for The New Yorker, Time (the New York Times) magazine, Esquire, and Fortune. He teaches at Yale University and appears as an expert analyst on NBC, CBS, & CNN – but apparently not on the FOX network. So, a conservative he is not.

III.

MHAlive! ‘think tank’ on 29 January 2018

OK, we haven’t mentioned this, in blog postings, since #513, two weeks ago. But NOW is time for YOU, if interested, to plan on participating in this periodic ‘coming together’ of forward-looking manufactured housing and land lease community businessmen and women. The MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session will begin promptly at 1PM, and end at 5PM, at the Hilton Garden Inn (near the Louisville, KY., airport) on Wednesday, 29 January 2019. Cost? Only $20.00 per participant, to pay for the cost of the meeting room and related expenses (i.e. handouts).

What’s the agenda? Not chiseled in stone yet; still up to you! Here’re seven topics already suggested by individuals committed to attend the MHAlive! ‘think tank’ event:

• Preserving One’s Personal or Corporate Legacy via Memoir Writing, Here’s how…

• Evergreen (‘always timely’) manufactured housing issues listed in 30th ALLEN REPORT

• Speaking of ALLEN REPORT. Perhaps time to parse this compendium of asset class data

• You satisfied or dissatisfied with degree & scope of MH national advocacy these days?

• MHTrade media. Selection improved during 2018; still an issue with faux muckraking?

• Want to know more about lease-option & other forms of chattel capital financing?

• Affordable housing crisis. Answer = manufactured housing & land lease communities?

If you’re interested in participating, please contact me at gfa7156@aol.com or (317) 346-7156. DEADLINE for registration is Friday, 18 January 2019. And when signing-up, tell me what four topics (Name new ones if you wish to do so) most interest you. During that afternoon we’ll focus on four topics during four 50 minute sessions. Ask yourself: ‘When and where does this industry offer me this sort of opportunity to meet and ‘talk business’ with my peers?’

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
EducateMHC

George Will, soft side of leadership, & MH media

December 27th, 2018

Blog # 514; Copyright @ 23 December 2018; Community-Investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘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, and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

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

Relationship? ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal of online media? To inform, opine, and help transform and improve manufactured housing and land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. This blog departs from the norm of past postings. Rather than comment on matters manufactured housing and land lease communities, here’s a collection of views penned by columnist George F. Will, and partial book review of The Softer Side of Leadership by Eugene B. Habecker. Maybe next week we’ll get back into the usual swing of things newsy and controversial. In the meantime, here’s hoping you enjoyed a Merry Christmas and your New Year is off to a very Happy and good start!

And please don’t miss Part III, ‘A Final thought for 2018.’ It’s something we all should consider.

I.

George F. Will

No idea how many of you know George F. Will is the famous columnist with libertarian leanings. Over the years I’ve read one or two of his books (i.e. collections of his writings), and columns from time to time. Recently, I was recipient of an eight page, single spaced letter from him. As I perused its’ content I found myself thinking, ‘Here’re thoughts my blog readers might like to experience for themselves.’ So, here follows is a random collection of quotes from George F. Will’s letter….

“In Washington, an ideology is the other guy’s views. You have a ‘philosophy’, while someone else has an ideology.”

“First come rights, then comes government. Rights preexist government.” Do you agree?

“The only path to vigorous growth is to liberate the country from the dead hand of government and get out of the way of the natural wealth-creating aptitudes of the American people.”

“…the welfare state…exists to subsidize two things…protracted retirement and competent medicine.” & “The average length of retirement in America expanded in the 20th century from two years to almost 20 years. Social Security was never designed for this.” & “One-sixth of our economy today is medicine….”

Thirty-seven percent of all deaths in 1900 were from infectious diseases. That’s now down to two percent. Only 18 percent of deaths in 1900 were people over age 65. Today it’s 75 percent.”

“…30 percent of Medicare expenditures go to people in the last six months of life….;”

“A new thing (has) been born – the playground lawsuit. In a district in Florida, after about 157 playground lawsuits in five years, they came to a Solomonic (sic) conclusion – they said they would not ban recess (as many other districts had done), but they wouldn’t allow the kids to run during recess.”

“Forty percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed, or underemployed in jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics says do not require a college education. And one in three is living at home with his parents….”

“…five of the 10 most affluent counties in America surround Washington, D.C.”

Well, that’s it. Hope you enjoyed the statistical run through some of American society, politics, and more.

II.

My Response to ‘The Softer Side of Leadership’ book

The book was a gift. The author, Eugene B. Habecker, is a longtime academic and president/CEO of philanthropic organizations. So surmised going in, his leadership style and experiences would likely differ from mine, being a retired Marine officer and 40 year business entrepreneur.

What’re soft leadership skills? ‘Behaviors, practices & attitudes’, to name a few that generally contribute to leadership effectiveness – helping one “absorb chaos, give calm & provide hope” (p.17). Soft skills tend to be qualitative in nature as opposed to quantitative hard skills.

Dr. Habecker suggested common ground for this review when he allowed “it all depends” upon one’s leadership situation, at the time, as to which soft skills are applied and how. Hence my departure from a thesis where he’d“…no longer separate…feelings from my leadership duties.” (p.21). Me? Harken back 50 years (next month) to a firefight along the Ho Chi Minh trail in South Vietnam. All but lost it emotionally, as I retrieved wounded and dead Marines. My men became concerned about my ability to get them safely back to Dong Ha forward combat base. As soon as I realized that, I seared my emotions, no longer crying aloud, but laughing at the carnage – clearly separating my true emotions from my leadership duties! Disgusting – sure. But doing so reassured my Marines I was in control (of myself) as their leader. So, we survived the battle and its’ trauma. Residual consequences? I was unable to cry, for any reason, during the decade following that incident; and it took yet another decade for me to cease being mirthful during funerals for friends and family members. All is well today. But had I not separated feelings from duty, all those years ago, would I – and they – be here today? (If you’d like to know more of that true story, ask me to send you a copy of ‘PUC Beer’).

A few pages later, the author comments it wasn’t until the 1990s that ‘soft skill literature emerged’. Perhaps. But it was taught in the early 1970s! Following release from active military service, my first civilian employer – after psychological testing pegged me 100 percent authoritarian, hired me as a probationary employee, until I was properly trained (i.e. reprogrammed) in the basics of the emerging participative management and job enrichment movement (i.e. later known as soft skill leadership). Chafed at the experience but benefitted from the education. How so? I not only knew how to lead men into combat (as an authoritarian figure) but how to involve everyone in job planning and decision-making, as long as they weren’t exhausted, starving or severely stressed. Otherwise, it was back to the old authoritative KITA method…’Kick in the A__!’ to get the job done or mission accomplished!

One part of the book that did resonate with me had to do the writer’s encouragement to plan and experience regular ‘sacred space’, whether it be daily quiet time, purposeful meditation, even shutting off one’s phone and PC for awhile. I know my daily half hour of deep reading, personal reflection, and intentional quiet, have been the norm for me for decades. How ‘bout you?

Job interview and hiring practices is another area where we parted company. Habecker states, “Some organizations view academic credentials, skill sets, and organizational experience as places to begin the job interview process.” (p.52) Me? As anyone who’s taken the Manufactured Housing Manager certification class knows, I teach the SUCCESS (equilateral) Triangle approach to this important matter. One side of the triangle is labeled ABILITY (i.e. academic credentials, skill sets), the other equilateral side, EXPERIENCE (i.e. organizational experience); and the all important base, tying the two sides together, as MOTIVATION and or ATTITUDE. As it is, too many undervalue the key role of motivation in today’s hiring process!

There’s more we could talk about here, and maybe should, but this is enough for now.

III.

A Final Thought for Year 2018, but Key for 2019

No names here, but hope you too boycott an ongoing online MH-related news media attempt to denigrate and divide us as an industry and realty asset class!

In my opinion, life is too short to be making crass and obtuse claims of national advocacy conspiracy, corporate antitrust imaginations, and disgusting personal attacks, only befouling internet platforms better used to promote manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle!

Is there anyone who doesn’t see how much of what’s being put forth as industry ‘news’ is little more than thinly-veiled efforts, on the part of one industry advocate, to smear and denigrate another?

If so, join me in 2019, committing to read only print and online trade publications advancing the causes, and improving the image, of HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities! No more caterwauling (‘to fight like cats’) in public and in private. Period.

***

‘Top Ten’ in ALLEN RPT; 1/29/19 = MHAlive!; & LOVE MORE; & Happy Holidays!

December 17th, 2018

Blog # 513; Copyright @ 16 December 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and ‘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 and online communication media for all North American land lease communities.

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; or gfa7156@aol.com

COBA & Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of print & online media? To inform, opine, & help transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Ah, here we are, at the end of year 2018. This may or may not be my last blog posting of the year. In any event, read what follows, ensure your receipt of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT; caucus with our peers on 29 January in Louisville, KY; and, LOVE MORE!

I.

ALLEN REPORT’s ‘Top Ten’ Portfolio Firms

The following paragraph is quoted from a DRAFT copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, scheduled for distribution during January 2019. If you’re a COBA7 affiliate, have you optioned to receive this valuable, seminal Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’)? If so, count on reading much more of this sort of land lease community-related information!

“Of the ‘Top Ten’ or largest reporting land lease community portfolio owners/operators, seven are privately-owned, three are real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’: ELS, Inc., Sun Communities, Inc., & UMH Properties), and one (Newport Pacific Family of Companies) is heavy into professional fee management of the property type! Collectively, the ‘Top Ten’ own and or fee manage 533,117 rental homesites in 1,772 land lease communities, for an average of 300 sites per community, and 177 such properties per portfolio. Furthermore, they own/operate 58 percent of all rental homesites reported in this year’s ALLEN REPORT, and 41 percent of all communities here listed.”

This barely scratches the surface of what readers will find in this year’s ALLEN REPORT. For example, and for the first time in 30 years, the report identifies emerging trends during the past few years, e.g. answering this pithy question: More rental homes or contract sales in communities today? The answer might surprise you.

So, don’t delay. Affiliate with COBA7 before month end, by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Undecided? Request a COBA7 brochure to learn of all products & services the alliance of land lease community businessmen & women brings your way!

II.

29 January 2019

The MHM class is already sold out! But we could add a few more individuals to the mix. Interested? Phone (317) 346-7156 or inquire by email: gfa7156@aol.com. Only $296/MHM candidate, No tests, one day long class, beginning at 9AM at the Hilton Garden Inn in Louisville.

Someone asked me recently if the afternoon program, also on 29 January, at the same hotel, will be anything like the popular MHAlive! ‘think tank’ type gathering held every August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Yes it is. Right now we have four 50 minute blocks of time to work with, from 1-5PM. No set agenda yet, but here’re suggested topics:

• Preserving One’s Personal or Corporate Legacy via Memoir Writing. By the way, if you don’t have a copy of the booklet, ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy….?’. it’s FREE for the asking via (317) 346-7156 or gfa7156@aol.com And It’s a very engaging ‘read’!

• Evergreen Manufactured Housing Issues…introduced in blog # 511, and likely to appear elsewhere in the near future, e.g. written into the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT.

• Given the eclectic nature of this year’s ALLEN REPORT, this might be the perfect firsthand opportunity to ask questions and parse its’ content with the author….

• As a land lease community owner/operator are you satisfied with the nature of national advocacy and quality of lobbying done in your behalf at the federal level these days?

• MHTrade media, for the most part, is improving in coverage and quality, but there continues to be, in my opinion, an ongoing campaign to disparage industry leaders.

• Interested in learning more about lease-option methodology for new HUD-Code homes being marketed on-site in your land lease communities? Ask the ‘duty expert’ for details!

• Everyone knows there’s a national affordable housing crisis. But are you aware of how manufactured housing and the land lease community lifestyle are being considered as practical answers to this shortfall in housing our citizenry?

These seven topics have been recommended for the afternoon long program. We can only accommodate four. Which ones do you favor? Let me know ASAP via gfa7156@aol.com

III.

LOVE MORE

First saw the multicolored LOVE MORE sign in my neighbor’s yard. So, went on line and googled LOVE MORE. Found the website where these signs are sold.

What’s LOVE MORE? Well, it’s “…a community driven message using positive empowerment through inclusion, peace, and kindness.”

Know what? This is a Great Idea for cultivating good resident relations in our land lease communities! Check it out. Might be something well worth doing on-site at all your properties, even at home!

IV.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to You & Yours!

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

FIVE EXCITING NEWS BITES for YOU!

December 10th, 2018

Blog # 512; Copyright @ 9 December 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
‘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 and online communication media for all North American land lease communities.

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; or gfa7156@aol.com

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U! Goal of its’ print & online media? To inform, to opine,
& to help transform & improve manufactured housing & land lease community performance!

INTRODUCTION. Exciting news from COBA7; a new national AMI $ to use for housing price point calculations; one truly unique opportunity for YOU on 29 January in ‘Luavul’, KY; some sound advice for real estate brokers marketing land lease communities; and, don’t forget to ensure YOU receive a copy of 30th annual ALLEN REPORT when it debuts during January 2019!

I.

A Major Change in Trade Media Reporting is Afoot…

Come January 2019, COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, transitions to a 100 percent digital media platform, away from the firm’s 30 year presence as mostly print media. And while this semi-weekly blog posting has been electronic since its’ debut a decade ago, future issues of the Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! (‘TAC!’) will follow suit. This also means future books (e.g. a second edition of HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY), along with some existing titles, will soon be available as e-books.

So, read the next blog posting or two, for more information – including the new name of this exciting online digital platform! All this is being done to better, and more broadly serve YOU, the manufactured housing industry, and land lease community real estate asset class. GFA

II.

You Earning $57,652 per year?

American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (2013-2017) of U.S. economic growth tell

• “Nationally, median household income (a.k.a. Annual Median Income or AMI) increased 1.9 percent, from $56,587 to $57,652 in inflation-adjusted dollars between the two five-year periods, i.e. 2008-2012 & 2013-2017)” And “The percentage of people in poverty decreased from 14.9 percent to 14.6 percent.”

Interestingly, these positive national economic trends were mirrored in all three geographic county groups; specifically,

• “In mostly urban counties, AMI increased 2.3 percent while poverty declined from 14.6 percent to 14.3 percent.”

• “In mostly rural counties, AMI increased 1.4 percent while the poverty rate declined from 16.6 percent to 16.3 percent.”

• ‘For completely rural counties, AMI rose 2.4 percent while the poverty rates declined from 17.7 percent to 17.2 percent.”

Two things. While national AMI hovers around $57,652 know that many, if not most homeowner/site lessees living in land lease communities nationwide, appear to have AGIs (i.e. Annual Gross Incomes) around $36,000. That’s why the oft-used, two-sided ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formula’ worksheet ‘crunches the numbers’ in two siting scenarios (scattered building sites conveyed fee simple & in-community on rental homesites), four ways: two @ ‘affordable’ perspective, and two @ ‘risky’ perspectives; the difference being whether household utility expenses are included (in ‘affordable’ instances) in said calculations, OR NOT, as in ‘risky’ instances scenarios. Accordingly, $36,000 AMI/AGI is featured on one side of the form, and the recent past $51,229 AMI/AGI on the verso side. For a FREE copy of said worksheet, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and request it.

The other thing. Say what you will about President Trump, but the AMI increase, and declining poverty rates, are certainly indicators of his actions to Make America Great Again!

And there’s more from the American Community Survey. “Almost 87 percent of the total U.S. population lived in 1,253 mostly urban counties….Median income in those counties was $59,970 for the most recent five-year period. The poverty rate was 14.3 percent. For individual counties, median income ranged from $20,795 to $129,588 and poverty rates ranged from 2.9 percent to 48.2 percent.”

III.

What Will YOU be Doing 29 January 2019?

29th is a Tuesday, the day before the Louisville MHShow begins at KY State Fairgrounds.

It’s also the day on which a Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification class is planned. If interested in attending the MHM program, from 9AM till 4PM, phone (317) 346-7156 to register. Costs only $295.00 per MHM candidate. No testing. MHMs receive a copy of Landlease Community Management and other training materials, plus their gold MHM lapel pin & official certification document!

There’s also something exciting being planned for the afternoon of 29 January 2019. And frankly, if interested, YOU can have a ‘say’ in what takes place between 1 & 5PM.

During past decades, manufactured housing executives and land lease community owners have oft asked me to plan and host informal but structured gatherings of like-minded businessmen and women. And we’ve done so. These have been private group meetings during MHCongresses in Las Vegas; at Saddlebrook Farms in Grayslake, IL.; during SECO conferences in Atlanta, GA.; on-site in land lease communities in FL, PA, and elsewhere; and most recently, annual MHALive! ‘open discussion’ think tank-like sessions at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. So there’s plenty of precedent for what I’m suggesting here….

We’ve reserved a board room at a popular name brand hotel near the Louisville MHShow venue. What I need NOW is input from YOU, as to what topics you’d like to cover during four 50 minute sessions between 1 & 5PM on 29th of January. We need four stimulating and thought provoking topics. Here’re several possibilities to get YOU thinking and responding:

• Evergreen Manufactured Housing Issues. Re-read blog posting # 512

• Have the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT? Let’s discuss content & trends

• Land lease community lobbying efficacy via MHI’s/NCC div., COBA7, & NAMHCO

• MH trade media reporting: MHInsider, Allen Letter, Mfd. Hsng. Review. etc..

• All you ever wanted to know about lease-option, but didn’t know who to ask!

• MH & LLCommunities. Key parts to solving U.S. affordable housing crisis?

And if YOU have suggestions for additional topics, please let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

Watch here for more details as they become available.
***
IV.

Solicited Advice for Real Estate Brokers Selling Land Lease Communities

When a veteran owner/operator of land lease communities was recently asked if he had advice for real estate brokers specializing in the marketing of this income-producing property type. This is what he penned:

“…tell brokers to stop encouraging sellers to sell for ridiculous prices (Which will eventually hurt the industry anyway); stop telling communities with no ‘sales price tag’ (i.e. ‘Call in with $ offers!’); stop encouraging sellers to accept offers from buyers who haven’t seen or visited the property (Assuming they’ll negotiate during the due diligence period); quit telling buyers, “ALL you have to do to increase cash flow and increase property value is buy new manufactured homes (Takes far more than that!); and, bring back actual 10-12 income capitalization rates.”

Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?

V.

30th anniversary (2019 ALLEN REPORT,
a.k.a.
‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/Operators Throughout North America!’

COBA7 affiliates at the Options II & III levels, as well as land lease community owners/operators who took time to completely fill-in the ALLEN REPORTquestionnaire this past Fall, will receive copies of this seminal document – the longest running statistical compendium published in the manufactured housing industry today!

Don’t wait until January 2019 to order your copy! Phone (317) 346-7156 to affiliate with COBA7 today. You’ll be glad you did. This edition is chock full of timely and interesting information about the realty asset class. For example, 25 portfolio firms have been dropped from this year’s report, for all the usual reasons. And we’ve added more than a dozen ‘new names’ to the 500 list of owners/operators.

***

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

EVERGREEN MANUFACTURED HOUSING ISSUES

December 4th, 2018

Blog # 511; Copyright @ 2 December 2018; community-investor.com

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and ‘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 and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!
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; or gfa7156@aol.com
COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media? To inform, to opine, & help transform & improve manufactured housing & LLCommunity performance!

EVERGREEN ISSUES of MANUFACTURED HOUSING
“Evergreen content is content that is always relevant…like evergreen trees retain their leaves all year. Interesting and relevant content, that does not become dated, is necessary in order to be found online by search engines.” Likewise, evergreen issues are issues always present and relevant, as in the case of manufactured housing & land lease communities, where we have several. The following paragraphs identify a half dozen evergreen issues. If you think there are more, please let us know via gfa7156@aol.com or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Who’s really responsible for the proper, safe, and secure installation of HUD-Code manufactured homes when sited on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and on rental homsites within land lease communities? Depends on who one asks. Installation manuals shipped with every new home, in this industry observer’s opinion, leaves the issue (question) open to interpretation and application, e.g. factory rep, traditional (street) MHRetailer, licensed installer, homeowner installing on scattered site conveyed fee simple, & land lease community owner dealing with his own property.

Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’), the federal agency that regulates manufactured housing, resists overtly promoting this type factory-built housing as the attractive, quality, non-subsidized, energy efficient, transportable, affordable housing it is! On one hand, via its’ plethora of housing support programs (e.g. Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships, Assisted Living Conversion Program, and many temporary programs) HUD is quick to direct taxpayer monies everywhere else, but not towards manufactured housing as affordable housing.

Existing manufactured housing stock is aging faster, in toto, than replacement stock can be fabricated and shipped from more than 100+ factories nationwide. In addition, some estimate there’re 250,000+/- vacant rental homesites in land lease communities able to site new manufactured homes if they – and chattel capital for home loans, were readily available today. Not. So, with each passing month, the ability to refresh and fill land lease communities, as well as scattered building and rental homesites, falls further and further behind.

HUD-Code manufactured homes, as well as modular and park model RV units, sited within land lease communities continue to be ineligible for real estate-secured home financing, forcing said homeowners/site lessees to pay, on the average, three points or more for their home loans, than if same home was sited on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, with the homeowner owning underlying realty. Over the decades, there have been unsuccessful efforts to mitigate this inequity, via long term leases, etc., but nothing, to date, has ameliorated the issue.

Relative to the sale of new and resale manufactured homes, using chattel or realty-secured mortgages, there’s a longstanding practice of selling customers ‘more house than they can afford’, by not including annual household utility expenses in the target 30 percent Housing Expense Factor. Doing this makes for a ‘risky’ transaction. However, when the home mortgage monthly PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance)payment calculation includes household utility expenses in the target 30% HEF, the transaction becomes affordable, as customers buy ‘the house they can truly afford’.

Most enduring evergreen issue afflicting HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities is the oft negative public image of this symbiotic pairing (i.e. roughly half of all new manufactured homes are sited on rental homesties within the unique, income-producing property type). Why negative and enduring? Trailers and mobile homes of the 1950s & 60s are still around. And forget their presence is a reality check as to what the U.S. homeless population would be without them! Plus, there’s a predatory equity play characteristic of investors overpaying for land lease communities, then ‘jacking site rents’ as part of their ‘get rich quick’ scheme. And negative public image continues….

Oh, there are more evergreen issues germane (‘closely associated with’) manufactured housing and land lease communities. Here’re two: absence of a secondary market facilitating the valuation and sale of manufactured home within and outside land lease communities; and, lack of a secondary market facilitating the sale of seasoned chattel loans to free up capital for more new home sales transactions. Then there’s the lack of emphasis on professional property management training and certification throughout the realty asset class! Today, slightly more than 100 Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM) claim an affinity to manage land lease communities. And there’re nearly 1,500 certified Manufactured Housing Managers (MHM), and fewer than 200 Accredited Community Managers (‘ACM’) spread among 50,000+/- properties nationwide! Not nearly enough!

You are invited to participate in this review and conversation of evergreen issues related to the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! See contact information at the beginning of this blog posting.

***

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

MUSINGS you’ll want to read!

November 23rd, 2018

Blog # 510; Copyright @ 23 November 2018; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and
‘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 and online communication media for all North American land lease communities!

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; or email via gfa7156@aol.com

COABA7 Motto: ‘U Support US &WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print & online media = to not only inform & opine, but to transform and improve manufactured housing performance.

INTRODUCTION. A belated Thanksgiving Greeting to All of You! As I edited blog # 510 yesterday morning, I identified a few Blessings for which Carolyn and I are Thankful this year. Besides being appreciative of reasonably good health as great grandparents, we looked forward yesterday, to more than a dozen family members coming to our home to share Thanksgiving dinner with us. And then there’re our family’s business interests; all of which appear to be enjoying prosperity, right along with our improving national ‘Make America Great Again!’ economy. Friends and distant relatives? We have many, and look forward to communicating and visiting with all of them, as often as possible.

Yes, we are indeed a blessed people and nation. So much to be Thankful for this year! GFA

Now, enjoy the blog narrative that follows here.

MUSINGS
The hectic Fall meeting season is finally over. Think Networking Roundtable, MHI’s annual meeting, SECO conference, NCC’s Fall Leadership Forum, & RentManager’s annual soiree. There are more, but you get the idea. The seasonal holiday season is now in full play. Hope you enjoyed a memorable Thanksgiving celebration. We sure did, with more than 15 family members present for dinner at our home on Thursday. Much to be thankful for these days, despite difficult times and circumstances!

This has also been a tumultuous couple weeks for two popular manufactured housing leaders. Joe Stegmayer, is no longer chairman of Cavco Industries, Inc., but now heads another key department in the firm. Joe is also chairman of MHI & the RV/MH Hall of Fame. And Jay Zandman, LLCommunity owner, an insurance agent with Manning & Novick Insurance – recently acquired by Brown & Brown, has retired early. Jay is one of the founders of the rapidly growing SECO conference.

Did you realize the manufactured housing industry has slipped from the ‘new home production pace’ needed to eclipse 100,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped during year 2018? Official new home shipment total for September 2018 was 7,519 units! That’s below September 2017pace of 7,580; and way below the 9,157 units shipped during August. What’s going on? I don’t know, and the two manufacturer-dominated national advocates MHI & MHARR aren’t talking. We should be doing better!

30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT questionnaires are ‘in’, and we’ll compile portfolio data during next couple weeks. That gives me two weeks to pen the narrative, and for pre-press to craft the ranking of 100+ land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled in North America. Report will be enclosed in January’s Allen Letter to Option II & III COBA7 affiliates. Want a copy of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT? Phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Best & Last One?

On 27 November, I’ll be in Washington, DC. Attending the National Housing conference Focus will be on ‘Solving the Affordable Housing Crisis in the U.S. Today’ This is my second visit, and I expect to be frustrated again, as one of the few Free Enterprise businessmen & women in the audience, amongst many public policy ‘housers’. But that’s OK. Why? Because they’re now seriously interested in making manufactured housing & land lease communities part of the affordable housing solution they seek!

Something for you to consider. On Tuesday, 28 January, COBA7 will host the one day Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification class in Louisville, KY. That’s the day before the Louisville MHShow begins. Only $295/MHM candidate. Join nearly 1,500 MHMs already owning and managing land lease communities throughout the U.S. & Canada, by being in this class! To do so, simply phone (317) 346-7156 to register. Best available PM training available today!

While the MHM class is taking place, I plan to meet with manufactured housing & land lease community veterans who realize they have personal and corporate legacies to share! And if they don’t pen their memoirs (i.e. short stories & adventures) now, it’s likely no one else will either. So, if spending a few hours learning the legacy writing basics with me interests you, let me know via email: gfa7156@aol.com Then I’ll send you a free copy of the helpful booklet, ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy? Answer: You!’

Are you reading the Allen Letter professional journal every month? It is the ONLY national print media focused on industry information and practical HOW TO needs of land lease community owners and managers. $134.95 Option I affiliation with COBA7 gets you the newsletter! $544.95 Option II affiliation gets you the newsletter and a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents, e.g. ALLEN REPORT. And $944.95 Option III gets you all this, plus the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! newsletter. Phone (317) 346-7156.

OK, enough musings for one blog posting. So much more to share with you though. Like the increasingly complicated MHIndustry alphabet of MHARR, MHI, COBA7 & NAMHCO. Becoming like FUBAR (‘Fouled up beyond all recognition!’), or SNAFU (‘Situation normal, all fouled-up!’), all on our way to creating a fasgrolia (Huh?). According to ‘Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure & Preposterous Words’ (by Josefa H. Byrne), 1974; a ‘FASt-GROwing’ Language of Initials & Acronyms’. Get it? FASGROLIA. Ha!

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

To Party or Persuade? – MHShipments Flounder – Good bye D&R?

November 9th, 2018

Blog # 509; Copyright @ 11 November 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 MHousing performance!
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION. Much to pay attention to in this week’s blog posting (#509). How I favor representing you to the affordable housing crowd in Washington, DC., rather than networking at MHI’s NCC division/s annual Fall Leadership Forum. Do you realize new HUD-Code housing production, during September, fell well off the pace to shipping 100,000 new homes by year end? And there’s a ‘breaking story’ I can only titillate you with at this time. Finally, a couple responses from last week’s OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry.

I.

To Party or To Persuade?

‘Why I did not participate in MHI’s NCC Division’s Leadership Forum this week.’

The choice has been clear for awhile. It was clear last Fall (2017), when several manufactured housing industry businessmen (Spencer Roane, MHM; Paul Bradley, MHM, & me) attended the National Housing conference in Washington, DC., to input: ‘Solving the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis’. And it’s just as clear this Fall, as I prepare to participate in the 2019 NH conference. Frankly; as a small businessman, I cannot afford a high-priced networking conference in Chicago one week, then participate in an affordable housing solutions conference the next, in Washington, DC. It’s that simple.

Bottom line for me? Far more important to persuade ‘housers’ – including legislators and regulators, of all stripes, how HUD-Code manufactured housing& land lease communities make for the most practical of affordable housing solutions available in the U.S. today! Someone, in my opinion, has to step forward to make the case – and it’s best done by those with ‘skin in the game’, someone not ‘paid’ to do someone else’s bidding.

So, Yes, I missed seeing many friends and colleagues at MHI’s NCC division’s Fall Leadership Forum in Chicago; but it’s money much better spent advancing the cause of manufactured housing – with an eye to further increasing the new home shipment volume we’ve experienced YTD 2018. Anyone disagree with that line of thinking? Didn’t think so.

Speaking of money. The funds used to pay for these trips to Washington, representing manufactured housing & land lease communities among affordable housing ‘housers’ is coming solely from COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. No one else! Point? There needs to be an influx of $, from somewhere, if this good work is to continue. If not; well, our industry & asset class presence & favor, among the affordable housing crowd, will diminish rather than grow. Do we want more new HUD-Code homes shipped than at present? If interested, phone me @ (317) 346-7156.

II.

Are YOU Paying Attention?

– to fluctuating MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ this past Summer headed into the Fall?

If not, you should be, and here’s why. The number of new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2018 was 1,638 fewer than shipped the previous month, i.e. 9,157 (-) 7,519 (=) 1,638. And not only that, this September new home shipment total is also 61 units fewer than shipped during September 2017! What’s happening?

Another way to look at it is this. If we don’t do better than shipping 7,519 during each of the next three months (October, November & December), our possible year end total of new homes shipped 3,000+/- fewer than the 100,000 new HUD-Code homes anticipated during the past several months, i.e. 7,519 (Sept.) X 3 months = 22,557 (+) 74,354 new HUD-Code homes shipped YTD (=) 96,911 or 3,000+/- homes fewer than targeted!

III.

D&R Shipments to End, On-site Inspections to Begin?

HUD-Code Housing Manufacturers to Eschew D&R Shipment Policy of Past 70 Years, in Favor or On-site Inspections of New Home Site Preparation, Home Installation & Setup!

It’s certainly not a ‘done deal’ yet, but the Big 3-C HUD-Code housing manufacturers are talking about how to curtail the astronomical home service and warranty $$$ expenses oft caused by poor to marginal site preparation, home installation and setup.*1

How ‘big’ is the $$$ problem? Informed sources put the total, when talking about the Big 3-C HUD Code housing manufacturers, at hundreds of millions of dollars per year!
So, what’s the solution? That’s the next step. Federal regulation of installations hasn’t worked, and there’s been no real or effective self-policing to date; but there are practical alternatives:

ENDING THIS ‘BREAKING STORY’ HERE, FOR THE TIME BEING. Will likely continue as the lead story in the December issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Now, picking up where this story left off in the previous paragraph…

And there are likely other implementation alternatives not identified here. For the time being, it’s enough information, and to know, this is becoming, if not already, a Major Hot Topic among HUD-Code housing manufacturers…finally.

III.

Responses to ‘An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry’

Relative to leadership of the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class:

“Oh! the community side of the business has a leadership gap? Nope. There are plenty of leaders…(just) in their own businesses. The void really is leaders willing to step onto the national scene to lead the industry as a whole. You named many of them! But where is the next generation?

I think they are there, they just need a push. My solution is simple. Since the industry has rebounded, it’s time for the states to return to sending expense-paid delegates to MHI and other national gatherings. That is where the last generation stepped out of the shadows, both as community and retail leaders.”

These insightful remarks and suggestion offered by a retired state association executive still passionately interested in the healthy future of the industry & property type.

And then there’s this poignant tale from a long retired entrepreneurial business executive.

“Mine was a sudden, and complete break from participation. I was bought out, stayed to help for a couple years, retired to caretake my wife and travel in our RV.

My legacy lies in the products people are still enjoying, the few real friends from the MHIndustry that still call/speak/write to me and in the successes and happiness I see in so many of our former employees.

To you I say, stay or go; and in either case, your curiosity will serve you George. You have your family and your legacy. So, when you see it is time, you will take a walk away, not look back, and go to that which is next. No fear my friend.”

That last line certainly sets the stage for me to say, ‘Now is the time!’ But it isn’t. Geesh; before year end I’ve got to compile and publish the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, attend the National Housing Conference in Washington, DC., representing manufactured housing & land lease communities to the affordable housing ‘housers’ from throughout the US., and more….

Speaking of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT. If you’re reading this and are a property portfolio owner/operator of land lease communities, it’s not too late – just yet – for you to submit your property and rental homesite counts for inclusion in said report. Just do so via gfa7156@aol.com. And if you completely fill out the questionnaire (Ask for it when you email me) and return it, you’ll receive a FREE copy of the ALLEN REPORT when it is distributed during January 2019. That’s an immediate savings of $544.95!

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George Allen, CPM, MHM
COB A7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247

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

An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the MHIndustry

November 3rd, 2018

Blog # 508; Copyright @ 4 November 2018; communiity-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 HOHTLINE: (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 MHousing performance.
_______________________________________________________________________

An OPEN LETTER to My Friends in the Manufactured Housing Industry &
Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class

In 1978 I discovered professional property management (‘PM’) as a career alternative and opportunity, when working for a firm owning/operating apartment communities, mobile home parks, nursing homes, farms and mines. I was not pleased, however, when my boss reassigned my PM responsibilities from apartments to mobile homes. But know what? That marked the beginning of my 40 year experience in land lease community management and ownership, as well as writing and publishing books, newsletters, and this blog.

Now, in 2018, I’m contemplating what to do with the rest of my career and life. I no longer own land lease communities; have relinquished responsibility for teaching the Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) PM training and certification program; and think I might have a home for future Networking Roundtables – or not. So, for the time being, I continue to pen and post a weekly blog, and publish and distribute two COBA7 affiliate-supported monthly business newsletters: the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!. But what about ongoing research required for the annual ALLEN REPORT, National Registry of ALL $ Lenders; and, directories of trade groups, GSEs & NGOs, trade publications, and freelance consultants? It’d be downright wrong to allow 30+ years of such information to disappear overnight, for lack of interest and effort.

While I shared several personal memoirs in SWAN SONG last year, here’re more memories from past decades:*1 Hopefully, these and more stories will eventually find their way into print as a legacy biography or autobiography.

• Returning 350 rental manufactured homes, scattered among four ‘mobile home parks’ in two states to profitability, by changing from monthly to weekly rent collection. And later learning the advantages to collecting site rent by mail.

• Acquiring my first (then) manufactured home community of 500 rental homesites, with only 20% occupied, for $400,000 – then selling it two years later for $2 1/2 million cash. Ah, the reward of risk taking and ‘sweat equity’.

• Penning & self-publishing Mobile Home Park Management in 1988. Now in its 6th edition as Land Lease Community Management, and centerpiece for the popular Manufactured Housing Manager program, with nearly 1500 MHMs trained and certified to date throughout the U.S. and Canada.

• Collecting & continually updating an exclusive, confidential data base identifying 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators in North America; and making said list available for direct mail contact and marketing by lenders, insurers, investors, and more.

• Researching, compiling & publishing the annual ALLEN REPORT (1989-2019), identifying major portfolio ‘players’, along with pertinent benchmark statistics.

• Articulating the asset class’ Industry Standard Chart of Accounts, including 19 Operating Expense Ratios and widely cited Allen Model OERs. This resource compiled while on active duty, as a Marine officer, based in Honduras during Operation Desert Storm.

• Hosting a strategic planning meeting of 19 manufactured home community owners intent on improving realty asset class’ national advocacy and representation, before the mini-REIT wave of 1994 began. Their Industry Steering Committee was the forerunner of MHI’s National Communities Council division.

• Co-authoring Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, with David Alley & Edward Hicks. First such tome in more than 20 years! Still sought and bought, via amazon.com, after more than 25 years.

• Editing How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. First and only comprehensive text on buying, valuing, selling this unique, income-producing property type. Oft referred to as the ‘bible’ of community acquisition. Now out of print, but used copies sometimes available at amazon.com

• Crafting, with daughter Susan McCarty, the ‘Valuation Calculation Worksheet’, or VCW, a do-it-yourself valuation tool for any size and condition land lease community in North America. And later added to this, an ‘ABClassification’ form, for measuring and labeling A, B, C or D quality levels on this income-producing property type. Replaced long defunct Woodall Start System, last updated in 1976.

• Articulating the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, for estimating ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices of new & resale homes, of any type, on building sites conveyed fee simple, and placed within land lease communities on rental homesites.

• Launching of Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, as a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. In reality, a rebranding of heretofore ‘free’ products & services long provided by GFA Management, Inc.

• Creating the ‘New Rule of 72’, to facilitate valuation of ‘average’ land lease communities at100% occupancy (maximum value), OR any lesser percentage of physical occupancy; e.g. 200 sites X $300/month rent X ’72’ = $4,320,000 or $21,600 per occupied rental homesite.

• Defining affordable housing (‘AH’), to include Low Income Housing & Very Low Income Housing, as well as all six measures of AH, being HEF, HOI, HW, WH, IHVR, & ‘One, or anyone, who believes they live in affordable housing’

• Bringing logic to heretofore conflicted annual new HUD-Code manufactured housing shipment volume reporting, using Institute for Business & Technology Safety (‘IBTS’) data – though differences in said public reporting continues via HUD, MHARR & COBA7 versus MHI..

• Documenting of 21st Century paradigm shift in manufactured housing distribution, from independent (street) MHRetailers to in-community home sales & finance.

So, were to go from here?

That’s somewhat ‘up to you’. The following paragraph (actually two) concludes the November 2018 issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. Not asking you to agree with me; just read and ponder what the next decade – and longer, will look like if

1. Our realty asset class remains, again in my opinion, relatively leaderless; and,

2. The research & print resources – and more, just described, ‘simply go away’….

Now, here’s that paragraph, rendered as two:

“I’m concerned…about the dearth of asset class leadership among land lease community owners/operators nationwide. I have never viewed myself as such a leader, rather as a gatherer and purveyor of statistics and information via COBA7….Furthermore, I don’t see LLCommunity representation and advocacy, envisioned by aforementioned 19 owner/operator peers 25 years ago, faring any better! (Their hope) MHI’s NCC division…is insular (‘detached, provincial, narrow-minded’) & .(For proof, read page # 97 in SWAN SONG, to compare NCC’s contemporary presence with their 1993 Mission Statement & Objectives). And MHARR has never figured into this leadership void, as their membership is strictly limited to HUD-Code housing manufacturers. Now NAMHCO appears on the national advocacy (lobbying) scene. Too early to judge their leadership potential.”
&
“As I travel nationwide, I meet and interact with individuals who’re already bona fide leaders in their own right (i.e. entrepreneur owners/operators & some salaried PM executives). But therein lies their constraint: ‘taking care of (their) business first’! Here I’m thinking the likes of Mike Sullivan, CPM; Paul Bradley, MHM; Spencer Roane, MHM; Steve Adler; Stephen Braun; Brian Fannon, CPM; Randy Rowe, Kevin Shaughnessy, et .al. So, there’s talent afoot, and the need is great, but as a realty asset class we continue to be hopelessly (?) adrift.”

Frankly, I hope this blog posting becomes a topic of lively conversation at the upcoming NCC Fall Leadership Forum, 7-9 November, in Chicago, IL. It should be. Why there? I understand that event attracts ‘hundreds’ of participants, while NCC membership meetings, in my experience as a founding board member – just resigning last month, attract maybe a dozen owners/operators, way down from multiple dozens two decades ago. Hey, a leadership renascence,, among land lease community owners/operators, has to begin somewhere….

End Note.

1. To order a copy of SWAN SONG, ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class (1970-present day) & Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments (1955-present day)’, for $34.95 ()postpaid), phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

POSTSCRIPT

If you or your firm owns and or fee manages a minimum of five stand alone land lease communities or 500+ rental homesites (in one or more properties), the portfolio qualifies to be included in the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Owners/operators Throughout North America!’. To input this seminal document, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a copy of the questionnaire used to compile this data. Then complete it in full ASAP, and return via FAX, to (317) 346-7158. Completely filled-in questionnaires get you a FREE copy of the 30th ALLEN REPORT in January when distributed as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter professional journal. Questions? Email: gfa7156@aol.com

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