Archive for June, 2012

200th Blog Posting; ’18 New Pioneers’, & C.A.S.H. Program for YOU!

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Perspective. ‘Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & before that ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’ GFA

I.

200 Consecutive Weekly Blog Postings & Going Strong!

Manufactured housing industry’s first blog posting occurred 27 August 2008, nearly four years ago, as an adjunct to now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. Today, this 200th blog posting, by the same blogger, will be read by 1,000 manufactured housing industry leaders and landlease community owners/operators! So, what was ‘industry and realty asset class news’ as reported in blog # 1 back then?

An account of ‘leaders’ LEAVING, via retirement and otherwise (though some returned), our ‘double dual industry’ (i.e. housing production/distribution & realty development/investment), e.g. Barry McCabe; Brian Fannon, CPM® (returned); John Diffendal, analyst at BB&T; Michael O’Brien, CAE® at MHI’s National Communities Council; Peter Scherer (returned);Alan Goss, analyst at Bond Street Capital; Franz Fisher; Andy Pecqueur; and, Allen Crittenden mothballing his MH newsletter, again.

And a few returnees, to MHIndustry & LLCommunity leadership positions, some temporarily, others still around today. James Ayotte now exec at FMHA in Florida; Jim Grange of ROC & Chateau renown, now with YES! Communities; Craig White, ACM® realty brokering in KS; John Rogosich, CPM® back with Choice for awhile (Since then however, taking over leadership helm at MHPI in Chicago); and a wholly new face, Mary McBrady, MHM® leading the Massachusetts MHAssociation.

Plans were being laid at the time, for a second National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus, to build on what had been accomplished earlier, on 2/27/2008 in Tampa, FL. This time around, however, on 2/27/2009 (then, still six months into the future), the NSAC caucus would become a summit meeting involving 100 HUD Code home manufacturers and landlease community owners/operators, convening at the new RV/MH Heritage Foundation museum, library and Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN.. At that venue, the concepts of specially – designed Community Series Homes (‘CSH’) and specialty Business Development Managers, selling into landlease communities, would be birthed!

Blog # 1 also announced the debut of the book HOUSING AFFORDOGRAPHY, ‘Study of Affordable Housing Formulae & Measures of Housing Affordability’, released by PMN Publishing two months earlier, in June 2008. Destined to be ‘sold out’ before the end of 2008 – and not reprinted to date, the legacy of this book would be the popular – but – strangely – named, ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ it spawned! The worksheet features simple methodology, using starting points of AGI or Annual Gross Income (of a prospective homebuyer or family) and AMI or Annual Median Income, for a local housing market defined by postal zip code, to estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices (i.e. Price Points) for new and resale, privately – owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple along with said home; or on leased ground, as in a landlease community! *1

Well, there’ve been 199 weekly blog postings since then! During the past (nearly) four years, targeted readership has grown, following the demise of aforementioned Merchandiser magazine (during 2009), to 1,000 specific MHIndustry leaders and LLCommunity owners/operators!

II.

Response to Meeting of ’18 New Pioneers’ Continues…

“I really believe George, if your function (‘comprehensive resource servicing’ for landlease communities nationwide) is absorbed by one or another national (trade body), it will disappear.” RH *2

“When are you ‘post production’ (a.k.a. ‘aftermarket’) folk going to finally understand that you’ll only realize effective advocacy in Washington, DC., when you’ve a trade association dedicated to your unique (Presumably realty and chattel finance. GFA) business needs, and not be distracted by the often different agenda, issues and priorities of home manufacturers?”

III.

Here it is! 21st Mortgage Corporation’s C.A.S.H. Program!!!!!!!!

Are YOU familiar with 21st Mortgage Corporation’s C.A.S.H. in – community home finance program? Here’re some highlights from a handout prepared by Spencer Roane, MHM® of Pentagon Properties, that he shared at the aforementioned ’18 New Pioneers’ meeting:

• Designed to be a symbiotic relationship between the chattel finance lender and qualified landlease community owner/operators

• 21st Mortgage Corporation is the buyer and assists the landlease community owner/operator as ‘seller’ of the new manufactured home (only homes from the Clayton family of brands, at this point in time), as well as the lender originating the mortgage with the actual home buyer

• LLCommunity owner/operator is NOT required to hold S.A.F.E. Act licenses

• NO up – front cash outlay by the LLCommunity owner/operator (21st Mortgage Corporation pays for the home and all installation contractors)

• LLCommunity owner/operator pays part of the site rent collected from the new homebuyer, during the first five years. This amount is credited as additional principal payments on the home buyer’s mortgage

• Under this 10 percent/year program (lower interest rate possible with larger down payment and better credit score), the 15 year home mortgage is paid off in less than 10 years

• LLCommunity owner agrees to buy the home, for the amount of the mortgage balance, or assume mortgage, if home buyer defaults.

Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not, as far as I can tell. SO, if you’re interested in filling vacant rental homesites, with New Homes, in your landlease community(ies), and your monthly rental homesite rent is at least $150.00, and you’re willing to participate in helping your home buyer/homesite resident pay off his/her mortgage five years sooner, you might want to contact Lance Hull at 21st Mortgage Corporation, via phone at (800) 955-0021 X 1218 or via email at lancehull@21stmortgage.com. *3

This is not a blanket endorsement of the C.A.S.H. Program; rather, simply letting you know of what appears to be the most creative and helpful chattel finance program to support our industry and asset class in many years.

IV.

21st annual NETWORKING ROUNDTABLE on the horizon!

Not a day passes anymore, that at least one completed registration form, for this year’s International Networking Roundtable, doesn’t arrive at our offices by U.S. mail, fax, email, even delivered ‘in person’. We’re already 25% of the way to our ‘maximum number of participants’ cutoff total; so, if you haven’t yet registered, Do Not Delay Doing So. Either Open and Print off the Roundtable brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) memo that brought this 200th blog anniversary posting to your attention, or phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE and request one (See end note # 1 following).
This year’s Roundtable is being held, once again, at the beautiful Hilton Hotel Resort & Spa on Mission Bay, just North of downtown San Diego, CA., just minutes from the airport. Frankly, I can’t think of a more information – packed, even exciting agenda of manufactured housing and landlease community – related topics offered anywhere, anytime. Can you? There’re at least 21 ‘features’ at this year’s gala event! Not only superb presenters and interesting panels, this year, but a Modular Lifestyle Home on display, and widely known author and humorist Richard Lederer, on hand, to ‘educate & entertain us’ during one luncheon – and maybe even hanging around that evening to teach some of the finer points of poker.

Given the remote chance you’re reading this blog posting, and don’t know what the International Networking Roundtable is all about, let me ‘splain’. From the beginning (1991), this has been the Only National Venue designed exclusively to serve the education, interpersonal networking, and deal – making needs of (then) manufactured home community and (now) landlease community owners/operators nationwide! It’s also the sole national venue where most of the active realty lenders and mortgage brokers rub shoulders with property owners likely in need of acquisition financing and refinancing of existing real estate mortgages. And frankly, as is pointed out year – after – year, ‘anyone who’s anybody, in the landlease community real estate asset class, is present at the Roundtable’. SO, if that describes you, get your registration in today, and travel to San Diego, 12 – 14 September, prepared to learn, network, and negotiate with the very best in the business!

***

End Notes.

1. For a FREE ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet, simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

2. What ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ are we talking about here? In part, the annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’); two subscriber – supported monthly business newsletters; the Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® professional property management training & certification program; annual International Networking Roundtable and periodic FOCUS Group meetings; books, forms, and directory sales; and a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents (e.g. annual National Registry of Lenders, ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2012?’ list of freelance MHIndustry & LLCommunity consultants, and ten more titles.

3. For a copy of the four page handout, from which this material was extracted, phone Spencer Roane, MHM® via (678) 428-0212 or me, via the MHIndustry HOTLINE cited in end note # 1.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247

Landlease Community Owners Meet, Provide Direction for Future

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Perspective. ‘Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’ GFA.

‘Landlease Community Owners Meet, Provide Direction for the Future!’
Special Announcement for LLCommunity Owners/operators Nationwide…

“This time next year, expect to see, hear & network with someone else – or for a short time, someone beside me, where ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ is concerned. And don’t be surprised if there’s a new or existing ‘for profit’ OR ‘not for profit’ entity involved, operating akin to GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing (i.e. publisher of the Allen Letter professional journal, 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT, etc.) today. In any event, there’ll likely be a new face and existing or new national platform, providing ‘all the resources needed and routinely used by LLCommunity owners/operators nationwide’, maybe even including Canada.” GFA

So reads the opening paragraph of the feature story in the July 2012 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, summarizing the 12 June meeting of the ’18 New Pioneers’, at SaddleBrook Farms in Grayslake, IL. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll learn about the perennial resources in play, WHO met and ‘brainstormed’ alternatives affecting 50,000+/- landlease communities nationwide, and HOW all this will likely impact your business future! It’s a story you don’t want to miss. And if you’re not a subscriber, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 (AL = $134.95/year).

With that said, not everyone was pleased with the outcome of this historic meeting. Some expected more, much more, and in a different direction. For example, this communiqué from a participant shortly after the meeting:

“I appreciate your efforts organizing the event held Tuesday at SaddleBrook Farms. Here’s some candid feedback. I was extremely disappointed in the outcome. I envisioned something quite different. Labeled as ‘Pioneers’, I thought we were going to build on the tremendous work you have done for so many years, and begin development of a more comprehensive industry resource – finally, a bona fide analyst firm, or respected Think Tank, providing a unifying factor to a very disparate industry and realty asset class!”

“What we got was a recommendation we need to find a replacement for you. Something we all knew before arriving at SaddleBrook. We could have saved ourselves a lot of time and money.”

“But I’m not writing to pass blame or complain. What occurs to me is that the outcome is somewhat systemic to our industry as a whole. The manufactured housing industry simply doesn’t think ‘outside the box’. It doesn’t take itself seriously. It doesn’t like to break from tradition. My opinion is that the traditions of this industry are not all that glamorous, so let’s get over it. Look folks, we are offering a very valuable product – affordably priced housing. A product that everyone agrees should experience a skyrocketing demand in the near future. If we want to succeed, we need to take ourselves seriously, and provide a layer of sophistication to those watching our industry. Although Tuesday wasn’t ‘the answer’, perhaps it’s the beginning of a ‘call to arms’.”

“I am willing to dedicate some time to this effort, but firmly believe it needs to incorporate an eclectic group of committed individuals, from several key sectors of the industry and asset class, with equity interest in their respective businesses. Not really concerned whether this is a ‘not for profit’ Think Tank entity, or a ‘for profit’ one.”

That being said, those comments and recommendations deserve a thoughtful rejoinder. First off, many of us in the landlease community business agree, ‘analyst’ & Think Tank entities are long long overdue, where HUD Code manufactured housing and our unique type income – producing property type are concerned! Second; a Think Tank – like focus was indeed what some founding members had in mind, when the Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council was formed in 2004. Unfortunately, that goal was never fully realized, though the MHCC continues to convene when the ULI meets semi – annually. And thirdly; as far as the need for an ‘analyst’ entity is concerned, that’s half the reason for founding the Center for Manufactured Housing Studies this year – to engage in ‘research’ & ‘analysis’ of manufactured housing & landlease community statistics & related data! Know what? My guess (hope), is that once the CMHS has its’ director in place, funding is secured, and charter set, IT will become the long – awaited and much needed industry/asset class Think Tank and ‘analyst’ the writer presently and rightly laments!

So, you’ve just read the tantalizing introduction to next month’s feature article in the Allen Letter professional journal; how can you not want to read the rest, and learn ‘how’ you’ll benefit from ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ in the future? Plus, you’ve just read, how as an industry and asset class, we’re finally ‘scratching the surface’ of enabling Think Tank and ‘analyst’ presences, to serve the manufactured housing and landlease communities nationwide! But frankly, none of this will likely and fully occur until YOU are willing to step forward, just as the anonymous writer expresses his interest, and become an integral part of the organizing, participatory, and funding process. If that final statement describes YOU, then let me know by phoning the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or email: gfa7156@aol.com

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

Important YOU Know & Understand What’s Going On!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Perspective: ‘Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’ GFA

It’s Important You Know & Understand What’s Going On!

&

‘Ad & $ Duo’ in Georgia Maybe Precursor for Rest of U.S.

The following paragraphs address ‘national political advocacy’ in behalf of, and ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ for, the owners and operators of an estimated 50,000+/- landlease communities throughout the U.S. today….

&

If you missed the GMHA meeting in Atlanta, on 1 June, then read this….

I.

Will ‘national political advocacy’ and ‘comprehensive resource servicing’, for landlease communities ‘of all sizes’, continue as practiced today; grow in size, scope and influence; or maybe, actually begin to die by the end of year 2012? That is the timely, pithy, and multifaceted question before two bodies today, this week, and during the months ahead. That’s how serious this matter is!

The Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, at its’ annual Legislative Conference, in Arlington, VA., during February of this year, acknowledged, via its’ large property portfolio – dominated executive committee, a far better job must be done, to attract small and mid – sized landlease community owners/operators, to become direct, dues – paying members of the NCC! A likely consequence of NOT growing council membership soon, might be inability to function as an effective, broad – based, national political advocate for 50,000+/- income – producing landlease communities nationwide. To join the NCC, phone Bruce Savage at (703) 558-0666. Tell him, ‘George sent me!’ Seriously.

Then there’s the ’18 New Pioneers’ meeting occurring at SaddleBrook Farms in Grayslake, IL., this week, 11 & 12 June 2012. This timely and pivotal national venue will be attended by nearly 20 successful landlease community ‘owners’ from a dozen states, along with a few key advisors. They’ll focus their attention on ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ of landlease communities nationwide; and, whether the present, perennial, helpful practices should continue in ‘for profit’ fashion, become an altogether new ‘not for profit’ national realty asset class entity – similar to the Institute of Real Estate Management® or IREM®, or craft a unique, practical working combination of both perspectives, including an academic element. By way of review, ‘comprehensive resource servicing’, as it exists today, for landlease community owners/operators includes:

• business statistics gathering & distribution via annual ALLEN REPORT & nearly a dozen additional Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs

• professional property management education & certification, e.g. Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® program, with nearly 1,000 MHM®s to date.

• print & online communication & publishing, including the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletters, textbooks ‘for sale’, and this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com

• national interpersonal peer networking & deal – making at annual International Networking Roundtables, with next one, 12 – 14 September in San Diego, CA.

• an exclusive & confidential contact data base, for research & direct mail access, comprised of 500+/- LLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America

Bottom line, where ‘comprehensive resource servicing’ of 50,000+/- landlease communities nationwide, is concerned, 25 years of dedicated corporate support is likely coming to an end, unless:

A new ‘for profit’ sole proprietor or corporation picks up and continues the bullet point functions described above; or,

A new ‘not for profit’ entity is formed (MHI/NCC negotiated, but passed on an opportunity to acquire and absorb three of five functions, 1 ½ years ago) to take over ‘comprehensive resource servicing’; or,

Possibly a middle ground, comprised of ‘for profit’ & ‘not for profit’ perspectives, including the hinted – at academic presence, where ‘business statistics gathering & distribution’ is concerned.

So, if YOU have immediate personal input on this critical matter, do so today via MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or email: gfa7156@aol.com

For progress report, read next week’s blog posting here, maybe….

II.

I hope many state manufactured housing association executives take serious note of what’s happening in Georgia; then reach out to the folk who’re ‘making it happen’, to learn how to eventually bring this unique and exciting two – pronged ‘Advertising & CASH program’ to their state, to help community owners and home manufacturers alike!

So, what happened last Friday at the GMHA offices? NO, correct that; ‘at a nearby hotel’, since so many landlease community owners/operators and manufactured housing industry aficionados showed up, they couldn’t be accommodated at the association’s office!

Here’re remarks I received, describing the MHIndustry advertising part of the two – pronged program:

• “…community owners and industry related professionals were sitting on the edge of their seats, as Spencer Roane described the general nature of our proposed advertising campaign. Most, feverishly took notes as information was shared. The mood in the room was reminiscent of rare occasions when one is wont to say ‘a breath of fresh air’ is finally blowing in against our tough (economic) times.” Delano Massey, VP of Development & Production for Jacob’s Eye Entertainment

• Two aspects of the proposed ad campaign: Every LLCommunity will undergo a ‘needs analysis’, enabling crafting a course of action that works for their target audience; and, the ad agency will find ways to maximize advertising opportunity economies of scale, for the benefit of all participants!” (Lightly edited. GFA)

Some were overheard saying, as they left the meeting, “If no one else wants to do this ad campaign, I’ll do it alone if I have to!” That’s how enthusiastic and ‘hungry to get started’, everyone was.

Then there’s 21st Mortgage Corporation’s precedent – setting CASH Program, the exciting ‘placement of new manufactured homes into landlease communities chattel finance model’ crafted and promoted, by Lance Hull. This plan puts new HUD Code manufactured homes, at 21st Mortgage’s expense, into small to mid – sized properties that don’t enjoy the economy of scale characteristic of the largest of the 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators. In return, community owners contribute a portion of the site rent generated by new homeowners, directly to 21st, where it’s applied to reduce the principal owed on the home. This builds equity quickly, encouraging the homeowner/site renter to remain in their home throughout the loan term. In turn, the landlease community benefits from having new homes on – site, the site rent generated, and a more stable resident base. Reads like a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN plan to me!

So, want to learn more about ‘What’s going on down in Georgia’, to then maybe emulate the ad program in your state, and invite 21st Mortgage Corporation to ‘splain’ the CASH program to your landlease community owners/operators? Here’re your primary contacts:

Jay Hamilton, Georgia Mfd. Hsng. Assn. (770) 955-4522

Spencer Roane, MHM®, Pentagon Properties. (678) 428-0212

Delano Massey, Jacob’s Eye Entertainment (ad agency) (404) 995-1609

Lance Hull, 21st Mortgage Corporation (800) 955-0021 X 1218

And, if you’re a landlease community owner reading this, suggest you bring this blog posting to the attention of your state’s MHAssociation executive, as well as the association’s board chairman – for consideration and possibly action. If YOU don’t do this, it’s likely no one else will either, and another opportunity will be lost. Your call….

*****

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Reality Check & MHConversation Draw Responses!

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

What The Readers of This Blog Have to Say about….

Carolyn and I’ve been participating in a Christian Writers’ Conference this past week, and pretty much out of touch with daily happenings throughout the MHIndustry. So, I’ve opted to simply share some of the interesting email received from readers of this blog.

Next Sunday’s blog, on 10 June, two days before the long – awaited meeting of the ’18 New Pioneers’, will likely share expectations for the meeting at SaddleBrook Farms in Grayslake, IL.. Even before the event, it’s no exaggeration to say and pen, this singular gathering of 18 landlease community owners, and a few key advisors, from nearly a dozen states, has the potential of charting the very future of statistics gathering and distribution; professional property management education and certification; print and online communication and publishing; national interpersonal networking among peers; even deal – making, for this unique realty asset class, 50,000 properties strong!

I

REALITY CHECK!

“George. You hit it on the head, ALL pre – 1976 (mobile) homes should be going to the dump, or to Mexico (Near this letter writer’s office. GFA), where the poor can use any type housing they can get. In fact, there’re ‘rehab plants’ just across the border in Mexico, where the majority of California’s pre – 1976 homes are going. However, there are still some ‘old school landlease community owners’ who won’t throw anything out, and who continue to spend $20,000 to $40,000 ‘rehabbing’ these older units – that two years from now, will again be in deteriorated shape, if not worse. This is because the applying of roof sealer on the exterior, painting the interior, and adding new flooring, does ‘not for a new home make’! And we wonder why folk still refer to them as ‘trailers’.”

“However, we’re working in a landlease community in Huntington Beach, where Skyline and Karsten homes with new floor plans, and exterior style features that’ll ‘knock your socks off’ – in addition to the new two story Fleetwood home that’s already in place! Once prospective homebuyers see what is now available to them, their whole attitude changes! What’s also interesting, is seeing younger couples, who’ve lost their stick – built homes, now renting our homes, on an interim basis – but have become ‘sold’ on the basic community lifestyle, along with value for the dollar. It now looks like they’ll be routinely buying what they’ve been renting. It doesn’t get much better than that!” (Lightly edited comments and observations from rcb. GFA)

II

Where & How Do YOU Fit Into This MHousing Conversation?

“Thanks for posting the discussion between John (Underwood), Ken (Rishel) and yourself. It underscored the importance of every facet of (HUD Code home manufacturing, MHRetailing by ‘independents’ & ‘company stores’, and landlease community owners/operators) working together, to deliver on the ‘promise’ of quality affordable manufactured housing – and more! The ‘promise’ is exactly what Ken addressed, LIFESTYLE, regardless of the size and nature of the landlease community. And the process begins with the LLCommunity owner/operator who decides just what and how they want to deliver on this lifestyle ‘promise’; then, how to spread the word (i.e. market the property), providing the stimulus, to get home buying prospects to inquire online, via phone, and or on – site visits, generating traffic. But, one MUST also have capable, trained, and motivated people on the ground (i.e. sales/leasing staff in the Information Center) who can do more than provide just a property or house tour. These team members must know the (sales) process of feature and benefit selling (Including the LLCommunity ‘lifestyle’ benefit, for sure); also how to ‘trial close’, encourage visualization on the part of the prospective home buyer; and, effect a final ‘close’ by asking for the down payment, completed application, etc. Any element of this process that does not function properly, in concert with the whole, will produce far less than the desired, let alone optimum results.” (Lightly edited. GFA) And…

“Hope you are well. It seems retirement is nowhere in sight for you.” Chris Nicely

*****

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156