Archive for November 14th, 2014

Exciting & Worrisome News @ MHIndustry!

Friday, November 14th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 323 Copyright @ 16 November 2015

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting ‘is the national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin; fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com website

I.

‘Slow Week for News? No! ‘Carefree Communities, Inc., 26th ALLEN REPORT, NCC’s Leadership Forum, & U.S. Bank announcement, make for exciting & worrisome reading!

II.

‘There’re serious issues brewing across this land’ Here’re ten matters we see week after week after week. The ‘Mr. Obvious question’ being: ‘When will they be addressed?’

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I.

Slow Week for News? No!

Well, it started off a slow news week for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class – except for exciting announcement how Carefree Communities, Inc., officed in Scottsdale, AZ., acquired 18 land-lease-lifestyle communities (containing 4,530 rental homesites) from Vedder Communities in California. The entire property portfolio will be professionally managed by Bessire & Casenhiser, also of California. And that mega-acquisition increases Carefree Communities, Inc. property portfolio to 101 such properties & RV parks, with 27,000 sites! Depending on how the rest of the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT ‘pencils out’ during the next 30 days or so, this could boost Carefree Communities (Think David Nap & Coleen Edwards) to #5 (in size) among their 500+/- portfolio peers in North America.

Then came this stunner. U.S. Bank – Manufactured Home Finance has exited ‘…the Indirect Lending Manufactured Housing business… but will continue to offer manufactured housing loans directly to consumers through U.S. Bank Home Mortgage….’ WOW! Guess that makes the1 ½ decades long collective chattel capital lender sobriquet of the ‘Big Four + One!’, now just the ‘Big Three + One!’(*1). Hmm. This ‘one more firm biting the dust’, so to speak, leaves 50 percent of the independent third party chattel lenders in business today, owned by one firm, Berkshire Hathaway.

And all the while, some folk – leaders of one of three manufactured housing &/or land-lease-lifestyle community national advocacy entities, now talk of, even encourage, the adding of a minimum $2,000.00 to the price of new HUD-Code singlesection manufactured homes, and even higher markup for multisection models! Another WOW! Why? Well, think about it! Higher (home) product prices, plus ‘even less access’ to chattel capital, will likely NOT make for increased shipment volume during year 2015!

Back to the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT. We’ve hinted at this before, but now that we’re ‘crunching the numbers’ we’re more than cautiously optimistic this will be the most statistics-laden ALLEN REPORT published in 26 years! How so? Well, this year, for the first time, we’ve offered a FREE copy of said report to every LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator who completes the entire questionnaire, not just the ‘portfolio size’ portion, as has been the custom of many submissions over the decades. As a result, when the 30 September deadline arrived, we had more than 50 (closer to 70) fully-completed questionnaires on hand (A record and a ‘first’!) from which to cull benchmark statistics (e.g. occupancy, OERs, etc.) sought by owners/operators from coast to coast.

So, if you’re reading this blog, and own or fee manage more than five LLLCommunities OR 500+ rental homesites, and haven’t submitted a questionnaire, to ensure your firm’s inclusion in the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a blank form. Complete it ASAP & fax it to (317) 346-7158. You just might still get in under the wire and have your portfolio included in this seminal annual digest of LLLCommunity stats!

The 26th annual ALLEN REPORT will be distributed as a lagniappe (‘freebie’) in the January 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal going out to Option II & III affiliates (a.ka. ‘MHInsiders’) of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7®. If you’re not yet an affiliate, sign-up when you phone; you’ll be Glad You Did, as you join with more than 200 ‘MHInsiders’ from throughout the U.S. & Canada.

Speaking of COBA7®, here’re some interesting factoids for you. Remember the NCC’s Leadership Forum, last month, in downtown Chicago? Turns out, more than 45 affiliates of COBA7® participated in the event; that’s more than 20 percent of the 201 names on the distributed registration list. Furthermore, 80+/- were LLLCommunity owners/operators, evenly divided between bona fide owners and their property managers or acquisitions staffers. 30+ attendees were from the immediate Chicago area. There were 18+/- HUD-Code home manufacturer reps present from seven or eight different firms, mostly Champion Homes; 13+/- real estate brokers who specializing in ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities – though from only four realty firms. Among the audience were 13+/- chattel capital sources and servicers and 11+/- real estate mortgage originators, from seven+/- lender/brokerage firms. And there were nine+/- freelance consultants, and ‘eight’ unknowns, plus some attorneys, insurance salesmen, and various product/service vendors. Most notable among the absentees was incoming NCC chairman Steve Adler.

II,

Serious issues brewing across this land

Take your pick of the following heady topics of nationwide concern to many of us, passionate about the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and its’ realty component, the land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class:

• Why ongoing disunity & political ineffectiveness at the national advocacy level?

• Is our future better as purveyor of consumer products OR ‘affordable housing’?

• When will we finally define & describe what we mean by ‘affordable housing’?

• Does ‘affordable housing’ apply similarly to mfd. housing & LLLCommunities?

• Revamp chattel capital model with longer terms and more stringent guarantees?

• Begin or end conversation about replacing vehicle titles with long term leases & ?

• Is business model better as federally-regulated housing/product or non-regulated?

• When will be right time, way & $ to effect national brand advertising & image+?

• How to effect representation parity among all LLLCommunities, large & small?

• Time to measure manufactured housing performance via sales & not shipments?

• ‘Elephant in the room’; consistently safe & secure home installation nationwide?

OK, there are just ten of many serious national issues, begging attention and discussion among businessmen and women who make their corporate or entrepreneurial living within the MHIndustry and or LLLCommunity asst class. If YOU are one of them and believe there’re even more such serious concerns, this inquiring mind would like to know – and the sooner the better. Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

A SUGGESTION. Copy down these ten topics, maybe add a few of your own, and post the list next to your wall calendar or on your PC or SmartPhone. Then, ‘wait & see’ if one or another of our national advocacy bodies (i.e. MHI, MHARR, COBA7®*2), take any definitive steps toward addressing these matters as we segue from 2014 into 2015. If NOT, that malaise alone should tell you something significant, and it might just be this:

They’re unwilling to bring members, affiliates, etc., together for serious and sincere conversation, in attempts to better our industry/asset class – even the business environs in which we operate – by strategically planning our collective future!

End Notes:

1. the ‘Big Three Plus One’ = 21st Mortgage Corporation, CU Factory Built Lending, Triad Financial Services, and Vanderbilt Mortgage & Finance, Inc. (latter being Clayton Homes’ inside lender)

2. MHARR = Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (202) 783-4087; MHI = Manufactured Housing Institute ((703) 558-0400; & COBA7® = Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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