Archive for July, 2018

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

Monday, July 30th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction
INTROUDCTION:

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

I.

WARNING!

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

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

II.

MHAlive! ‘think tank’

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

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

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

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

III.

Legacy Writer’s Seminar

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

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

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

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

IV.

27th Networking Roundtable

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going from NIMBY to YIMBY!?

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

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

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

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

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

‘Hang on to your hat!’ Once again HUD goes public about solving this nation’s affordable housing crisis, but ‘miss the answer’ when they avoid mention of the solution there within their regulatory oversight! Geesh! When will they ever get it right? HUD, you listening?

Going from NIMBY to YIMBY. Will it Ever Happen?

Gotta give HUD’s Office of Development & Research some credit though, for once again, laying the groundwork for a marked change in attitude and regulations to occur, if not now, someday in the interim or (Gasp!) distant future. However, don’t hold your breath in anticipation. Here goes…

NIMBY to YIMBY? That’s a play on the acronym, ‘Not In My Back Yard’, suggesting morphing into ‘Yes In My Back Yard’ – where hoped for amelioration of local regulatory barriers to affordable housing need be occur! You know, akin to other zoning bromides, like LULU & BANANA. Huh? New to you? Well, they’re simply deeper, negative sentiments of similar citizenry and city father negative mindsets; specifically: ‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’, & ‘Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody!’ Now you know…

So, what’s it going to take to move from NIMBY to YIMBY anytime soon? Public support that simply isn’t there or here right now! Clear proof of that?

Way back in 1991, President George Bush appointed an Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing, to travel nationwide, and via local ‘listening sessions’, explore all aspects of this insidious and unnecessary restraint on housing supply. I was fortunate to testify during one such session in downtown Chicago. Well, the final presidential commission report, titled ‘Not In My Backyard: Removing Barriers to Affordable Housing’, by Ashley & Kean, was released with considerable fanfare at the time, but it went nowhere – as chock full of good and practical recommendations as it was.

One part I do recall, however, saw the authors hearkening back to yet an even earlier presidential commission, circa 1981 & 1982, on the very same public issue, when similar corrective recommendations were proffered. The main achievement of that 40 year old investigation, was encouragement and dawning of state activism to combat local regulatory barriers to affordable housing. And that continues, to varying degrees, to this day.

Fast forward now to year 2018. The Spring 2018 issue of Evidence Matters, published by HUD, is dedicated entirely to exploring this topic: REGULATORY BARRIERS & AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

The first article in the magazine, begins with sobering, convicting American household statistics:

“…21 million U.S. households are cost burdened – spending more than one-third of household income on housing expenses – and that 11 million of those households are severely cost burdened – spending more than one-half of household income on housing expenses.” p.2

Then goes on to cite: “…one aspect of the problem is an inadequate supply of new affordable housing.” due to, in HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson’s words, “..out of date building codes, time-consuming approval processes, restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances, unnecessary fees or taxes, and excessive land development standards (that) can all contribute to higher housing costs….”

Whoa! Department of Housing & Urban Development, a.k.a. HUD. Isn’t this the regulatory agency tasked with enforcing the performance-based, federally preemptive building code, in place since 1976, updated by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000? Why, Yes it is!

Then, ‘Why No Mention’, in this affordable housing emphasis article, of ‘How HUD-Code manufactured housing, if not transcending local regulatory barriers to affordable housing just cited, oft provides means around them?’ Examples. An ‘out of date building code’, the HUD-Code is not – as it’s under constant review by the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (‘MHCC’). Finished products (e.g. singlesection HUD-Code housing units) are easier to usher through approval processes than factory-built, component-encumbered, site or stick-built homes. Restrictive or exclusionary zoning ordinances are another matter, but can be avoided via state laws prohibiting housing type discrimination – as in Indiana and other states. Same with unnecessary fees and taxes.

Here the HUD writers add ‘insult to injury’. On page # 20 in this issue, they make a case citing California experience, with Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs. -described as being “…an innovative way to increase affordable housing supply in high amenity areas occupied primarily by single-family homes….” Continuing, ADUs are secondary dwelling units, oft referred to as ‘granny flats’ or ‘in-law suites’. They can be “…small studios or one-bedroom units in a detached, attached, or converted space.” But here’s the ‘killer’ comment: “…an ADU is cheaper ($156,000 on average) than a single unit of affordable housing in a new development, averaging $332,000 statewide….” Huh?

While these are California ‘dollars’, who doesn’t know HUD-Code manufactured housing is far more cost effective, more spacious, energy efficient, and certainly design- attractive than any ADU or Tiny House? So HUD, why the wholesale omission of manufactured housing from consideration as the absolute best choice of affordable housing in the U.S. today? Inquiring minds would like to know!

Now back to the title and thesis of this week’s blog posting: ‘Going from NIMBY to YIMBY’ – Will it ever happen?’ My answer? NO! Why? Several real but sorry reasons:

• The HUD-Code manufactured housing industry itself, does a lousy job promoting and selling itself and its product line to prospective homebuyers/site lessees: again, attractive, spacious, quality, energy efficient, truly affordable housing and a desirable lifestyle! When was the last time you saw an ad on prime time TV to either end? Not ever!

• The Department of Housing & Urban Development (‘HUD’), though responsible for enforcement of the 1976 performance-based, federally preemptive building code legislated to control this type factory-built housing, does NOTHING to promote it, and its’ companion lifestyle, the land lease community, as the ‘one-two punch answer’ to our affordable housing crisis in the U.S. today!

• And frankly, as long as we have two, three, and now four, national advocacy entities competing to represent the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class nationwide, we will continue to be a hopelessly fragmented industry, undeserving of recognition and respect from legislators and regulators capable of positioning ‘us’ as this nation’s premier source of affordable housing!*1

Want to change this sorry, perennial counterproductive state of housing and lifestyle affairs? Become actively involved at state and national levels with existent manufactured housing and land lease community-focused organizations. Make your views and voice known, the sooner the better! *2

End Note.

1. Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform; the Manufactured Housing Institute; National Association of Manufactured Home Community Owners; &, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing.

2.. In the very short term, to make your views known, be present at the MHAlive! ‘think tank’, from 9AM-Noon on 6 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. RSVP a MUST, on or before 31 July, via gfa7156@aol.com. Cost? Only $20.00 ‘at the door’, to defray meeting-related costs.

Next? 27th annual International Networking Roundtable, 5-7 September, at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN. 46247. Go to www.getmeregistered.com/COBA7NRT2018

***

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

SHORT & NOT SO SWEET

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Blog # 493; Copyright @ 15 July 2018; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

This Week, a Different Sort of Blog Posting

‘Short & Not So Sweet’

Of the 500 blogs I’ve penned and posted throughout the past decade, none identify more troubling business harbingers than this one! How so?

Since starting in manufactured housing and land lease community management in 1978, I’ve lived and worked with many of you reading these lines – through good and bad times. NOW however, as we recover from our industry’s nadir year 2009, many of us are seeing, with increasing clarity, just how

Tunnel vision consequences (i.e. lack of institutional recognition & collegial respect by federal legislators & regulators) due to continued industry disunity and backbiting among national advocacy entities,.

Perennial corporate consolidation and power plays among far too few elite producers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, along with far too few purveyors of chattel capital,

(&) Heavy-handed land lording practices by some property portfolio owners/operators,

whose actions, taken together, risk derailing manufactured housing and land lease community lifestyle as this nation’s sole best answer to its’ burgeoning affordable housing crisis!

The pivotal question is this: De we care enough about this disquieting present and uncertain future, to

Consolidate all national advocacy entities into one, to effectively lead and better serve every sector of the manufactured housing industry, including land lease communities;

Encourage increased competition among more HUD-Code housing manufacturers, and certainly more independent chattel capital lenders;

(&) Challenge portfolio ‘players’ to focus less on profiteering, more on improving resident relations; and, as Randy Rowe oft said in the past, ensure a fair ‘value proposition’ for homeowners/site lessees, relative to their combined PITI & rental homesite payments.

Well, do we?

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47034
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Postscript.
Two things.

First; it’d help me to know whether you agree or disagree with the harbingers (‘forerunners giving notice of the coming of another’) and recommended actions just described. Do so via email: gfa7156@aol.com or letter to above address.

Second. You owe it to yourself, your business interests, and our industry’s salaried and elected leaders, to let them know your ‘take’ on these important matters. Everywhere I go, folk complain about this tripartite status quo, but rarely do I hear solutions. Yours?

With that in mind, know there’ll be open forums, or likely opportunities, for industry issues discussion, at some or all the following events this Summer and Fall:

MHAlive! ‘think tank’ on 6 August, 9-11AM, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. RSVP a MUST by 31 July. Only $20.00 fee, to defray meeting-related expenses. (317) 346-7156

27th Networking Roundtable, 5-7 September at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN. www.getmeregistered.com/COBA7NRT2018 Attendance limited to 200.

MHI’s annual meeting, 23-25 September, at Huntington Beach, CA. (703) 558-0400

SECO Conference, 9-11 October, in Atlanta, GA. If you’ve not attended before, do so this year! Contact genevieve@secoconference.com

COBA7 ‘gift’; Fannie Mae ‘advice’; &, REALTOR U’s Market Study misses land lease communities….

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Blog # 492; Copyright @ 8 July 2018; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION. Here’s a combo: COBA7, Fannie Me, & REALTOR University.

\Part I. COBA7-distributed American Flag Decals excite MH patriots coast to coast!

Part II. Fannie Mae ‘splains’ distinctions between chattel capital & real property lending

Part III. NAR’s REALTOR University stumbles around unfamiliar MH territory.

I.

American Flag Decals Everywhere!

Just what I hoped would happen, is happening! To date we’ve distributed several hundred of these 3″X4 1/2″ patriotic decals to COBA7 affiliates via the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, as well as enclosures in most correspondence leaving our office during the past couple weeks. Result? Phone and email requests ordering American Flag decals featuring the slogan: I STAND FOR THIS FLAG!

And hey, if you haven’t ordered your supply to distribute to friends, business acquaintances, and family members, it’s not too late to do so! Just phone me @ (317) 346-7156 or email: gfa7156@aol.com Use credit card to order soon.

100 American Flag decals for $150.00 (S & H included). And frankly, if you’d like just one decal for personal use, simply ask for it as well.

II.
A Few Takeaways from Fannie Mae’s

‘Key Legal Distinctions between Manufactured Home Chattel Lending & Real Property Lending’

Distributed by email on June 29, 2018

“The higher Rate Trigger (i.e. $50,000+) for smaller Chattel Loans is recognition that the fixed costs of originating and servicing those loans are the same as larger loans, but a larger proportion of the total loan amount. INDUSTRY ADVOCATES contend all of the Triggers for Chattel Loans should be even higher and apply to Chattel Loans of $75,000 or less. CONSUMER ADVOCATES contend that raising the Triggers, or the loan amount threshold, will erode important consumer protections.” (EMPHASIS added. GFA)

“In 43 states, a manufactured home remains personal property until the manufactured homeowner completes the ‘Conversion Procedure’ – a formal statutory procedure for electing to convey and encumber a manufactured home as real property. In those states, completing the Conversion Procedure legally converts the manufactured home to real property for all purposes. Thus, absent such a process, a manufactured home will not constitute a ‘fixture.'”

Re-Marketing a Repossessed Manufactured Home. “37 states and the District of Columbia allow the secured party to act as retailer for the sale of its’ repossessed manufactured homes without a retailer license. If the manufactured home is in a community, a retailer affiliate of the community may assist with the resale. Typically the secured party and the community will enter into a ‘Park Agreement’ whereby the secured party pays site rent, and refurbishes and maintains the manufactured home until it is sold in place. The cost of moving the home can be as high as $5,000. Thus, the secured party has incentive to enter into the Park Agreement. If the manufactured home is located on private land and the secured party does not have a lien on the land, typically the manufactured home is removed to the sales lot of the retailer that originally sold the home, and consigned for resale. In this situation, the secured party cannot avoid the cost of a move and an investor may be reluctant to purchase chattel loans secured by homes on private land. A prudent lender will get a landlord lien waiver when installing a manufactured home on private land. Finally, many secured parties list the manufactured home for resale on www.mhvillage.com” (lightly edited. GFA)

The final paragraph, in my opinion, raises a few questions:

• The definition of a ‘retailer affiliate’ working within a land lease community? Is this a casual or formal arrangement, job description? Who’s responsible party?

• Do, or must, Park Agreements always require secured parties to pay rental homesite fees or not?

• Is MHVillage the only marketing platform for repossessed manufactured homes?

Just asking…

III.

REALTOR University Looks at ‘Market for Manufactured Housing’ & Misses Key Role of Land Lease Communities!

Something that oft happens, when OUTSIDERS write like INSIDERS

In a recent issue of ‘The Journal of the Center for Real Estate Studies’, at NAR’s REALTOR University, research economist Scholastica (Gay) Cororaton, CBE, penned a 30+ page paper titled ‘The Market for Manufactured Homes.’

On the surface, reading US Census Bureau stats, along with data from the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), one expects a credible ‘run of the MH mill’ report about our industry, albeit penned by an outsider. Not.

Here’re the first two paragraphs from said ‘review & commentary’ I crafted. If you want the entire document, simply request it, providing your postal mailing address, via gfa7156@aol.com. No charge for this service. Here goes….

The good news here is, a researcher/writer describes our industry, and the unique factory-built housing we fabricate (i.e. HUD-Code manufactured homes), as a continuing (since 1960s & 70s) popular form of affordable housing in the U.S.! And she uses pre-publication content reviews by Jenny Hodge of MHI, and Marc Lifset, esquire, to try and get the story right.

The not so good news, however, is the 30+ page report is mute about the important role land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) play in the U.S. affordable housing scenario. This is an especially troubling omission, as the industry and its’ realty sector work their way through an 18 year paradigm shift (i.e. a NEW ERA), characterized by new HUD-Code homes distributed, less by independent (street) MHRetailers, and more via direct factory purchase, siting/sale on-site, and seller-financing of said homes in land lease communities – likely approaching 40 percent by year end 2018.

The stark reality of manufactured housing statistics – well beyond, and certainly no fault of Ms. Cororaton, is U.S.Census Bureau, some other related federally-mined data is, in this industry observer’s opinion, hopelessly flawed up and down the line. How so? Lack of careful definition and clarity relative to matters like:

• Titling. Difficult to tell whether statisticians are talking of vehicle-like (personal property) titling, or realty-secured titling. Manufactured housing, depending on permanence – or not, of installation, easily goes either way. For example the permanent installation of a manufactured home on realty conveyed fee simple ‘might’ well be titled as realty-secured once it goes thru the conversion process; however, it might not. And installation of a manufactured homes on rental homesites in a land lease community is generally, but not always, subject to vehicle-like (personal property) titling. Most, if not all, federal research documents do not clearly define and differentiate among these alternatives.

• Then there’s further confusion re siting manufactured homes on a rental homesites in land lease communities, compared to similar sitings on a scattered building sites owned and leased to the homeowner by another party. Depending on permanence, or not, of installation-and other factors, is titling vehicle-like or realty-secured? Again, this can go either way.

• Community. And there’s ongoing confusion, using 2016 annual data as a baseline, as to whether all manufactured housing placements cited as being ‘in community'(e.g. 34%), relate to land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) alone, versus ‘on private land’ (66%). Would be nice if it did. However, are all homes ‘in community’, subject to vehicle-like titling, or is there a difference within condominium communities, and of late,, resident-owned communities operated by cooperatives? Similar confusion reigns when it’s recognized – again using 2016 annual stats, that 77% of all new manufactured homes are titled as personal property, and only 17% as real estate secured. What’s the titling status of the other 6%?

And the confusion continues, whether outsiders or insiders attempt to sort thru and make sense of the data on hand.

Is there a solution to all this? Sure. But in my opinion, it’d take a massive rethink on this matter, over time, by an elite task force comprised of knowledgeable individuals from the U.S. Census Bureau, HUD, FHFA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, a few NGOs (non-governmental organizations such as manufactured housing advocates), and seasoned executives and freelance consultants with ‘skin in the game’ as entrepreneur businessmen and women. We’d have to literally, ‘start from scratch’ to make this happen.*1

End Note.
1. A year ago, at Fannie Mae headquarters in Washington, DC., I experienced a rare and insightful look into this sort of project. GSE staff agreed with me about the ongoing data confusion, caused by lack of definition and clarity. We openly talked about solutions. Nothing, however, was accomplished as we all soon realized the massive scope of unraveling this confusion of the past, to create a working template for the future..

American Flag; HELP WANTED; & MHARR speaks….

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

Blog # 491; Copyright @ 1 July 2018; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION/ ‘That question’ again, two unique opportunities; and, a contretemps?

“What have you done to MAKE MANUFACTURED HOUSING GREAT AGAIN!?” This is a timely, key question every conscientious businessman and woman, involved in our industry or with land lease communities, should be asking oneself daily! Are you???

Part I. Order American Flag car window decals, for friends & employees, here and now!

Part II. ‘HELP WANTED’ for preparation of the 30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT.

Part III. MHARR throws down the gauntlet, encourages NAMHCO, & imitates….

I.

“Hey, I Like It! Where Can I Get One?”
What?
An American Flag Decal with the Slogan
‘I STAND FOR THIS FLAG!’

Recently mounted one of these 3’X4 1/2″ patriotic decals on the left rear passenger window of my car, right above a VIETNAM VETERAN sticker already there.

After the third person accosted me, while stopped at traffic lights, asking where they could get the same American Flag decal (I gave one to each individual), I decided to share this sourcing with you and others….

Best deal is to order 100 American Flag decals for $150.00 via gfa7156@aol.com Should be easy to distribute patriotic American Flag decals to one’s friends, family members, business associates, and employees! That’s what I’ve done. We’re enclosing an American Flag decal, as a lagniappe, in the July issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. And it’s not just me who’s doing this.

Last week I visited a ‘friend in the MHBusiness’ who’s recovering from an injury, at a local rehab center. When I gave him one of the American Flag decals he immediately asked ordered 200 – to distribute to his friends, family members, business associates, and employees! So, how ’bout you? Got a hankering to encourage fellow American citizens to STAND FOR THIS FLAG! ? Sure hope so…

And there’s historic precedent for this distribution. I vaguely recall, in the 1950s, seeing American Flag decals on just about every automobile on the road. Seems those American Flag decals were distributed by Readers’ Digest back then, though I could be wrong. So, let’s together start a 2018 American Flag decal display movement, first throughout the manufactured housing industry, then among land lease communities, and as widespread as it goes. This is also happening on Facebook!

Order your American Flag decals today! I’ve just repeated my initial order. Want a FREE sample American Flag decal? Simply email your postal mailing address to me via gfa7156@aol.com, and request it.

II.

HELP WANTED

30th anniversary ALLEN REPORT research begins in August;
#s compilation in November; & publication in January 2019

Yes, it takes six months to survey more than 500 land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled throughout North America. Not an easy job. The ‘good news’ is, the ALLEN REPORT, once published, faithfully reflects the annual data response from 25 percent of 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of these unique, income-producing properties! For 29 years, the ALLEN REPORT has been esteemed as the asset class’ longest-running, most comprehensive accurate, and widely-circulated compendium of land lease community benchmark statistics available from anyone, anywhere, anytime!

This 30th year, however, we’re approaching a point where HELP will be needed going forward, by Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, as it prepares for a future when ‘someone else’ will be responsible for research, compilation, and publication of the ALLEN REPORT. Said transition will not be an easy or casual process; in large part, because the time and effort to prepare said report is neither easy or casual. One must have a genuine passion for, and knowledge of, land lease community investment and operations, as well as a bona fide desire to serve one’s peers with timely and accurate property-related information, as well as trend identification and analysis.

Passion (as in attitude & motivation) alone, however, is not enough! One too must have the ability to clearly communicate basic, as well as nuanced data to fellow community owners/operators; and that, in most cases, (again) only comes from firsthand successful experience owning and or operating the property type over time.

So, with all that said, where do we go from here? Fortunately, I’m not pressed by time, or by circumstances, to make a hurried decision on this important matter. But I am open to inquiries and suggestions from friends and associates throughout the realty asset class, who’d like to ‘know more’ about the matter and make their thoughts known..

With that said, here’s how I prefer to proceed. If you’re truly interested in learning more about this opportunity, so you can ascertain how you might fit into the situation, you need to write, via email or formal correspondence – your choice; expressing personal interest, asking questions, via: gfa7156@aol.com or GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

What’s this job pay? Directly, at this point, it doesn’t. Option II & III paid affiliations with COBA7, underwrite expenses involved, from salaries to printing to distribution of the ALLEN REPORT. And it is realized, this is one of those hurdles that’ll have to be resolved during the months and year ahead. Suggestions?

POSTSCRIPT

Know what causes me to lie awake some nights, worrying?

What will happen to the broad array of useful products & services created for, and distributed to, land lease community owners/operators during the past 30 years (Beginning with self-publishing of Mobile Home Park Management text in 1988; now Land Lease Community Management)?

And that’s just the tip of the formidable resource iceberg. The ALLEN REPORT, along with two monthly business newsletters of two decade longevity (i.e. Allen Letter and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!); nearly 500 internet blog postings; and, more than a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs (i.e. Think ”National Registry of ALL Lenders!’ & ‘Who Ya Gonna Call?’ directory of freelance consultants, and many more). And don’t forget the Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training and certification program! Today, more than 1,000 MHMs own and manage land lease communities throughout the U.S. & Canada.

Again; will there be a future researcher, preparer, and purveyor of all this? Or will we regress back to the ‘resource dark days’ of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when there were no such reports, newsletters, blog postings, SSRDs, and professional property management training and certification, let alone networking roundtables for education and deal-making purposes.

That’s why we’ve started looking now, towards how all this will be handled in the future. To date, only the MHM program has been, in part, handed-off to capable, experienced, passionate instructors. And it’s my hope the annual Networking Roundtable isn’t far behind, and, in time, maybe the ALLEN REPORT. But what about the other resources?

No national advocacy entity for manufactured housing or land lease communities, today, comes anywhere near close to researching and purveying what’s described in the previous paragraphs. They’re focused, perhaps as they should be, solely on federal legislation and regulatory matters – not on serving the day to day operational needs of community owners/operators nationwide.

All this is a conundrum (‘a hard question’) of the first degree, for land lease community owners/operators nationwide and throughout Canada..

III.

MHARR REPORT & ANALYSIS, 6/25/2018

Did you see and or read MHARR’s nine page, single-spaced review of seven general topics of interest to manufactured housing aficionados? Well, I did, and what follows here is, 1) a key question it ignored addressing, then 2) abbreviated paraphrases containing particularly pithy, thought-provoking commentary you should read or reread.

First the question: ‘Why no mention of the search for, or naming of, a permanent hire to replace Pam Danner as director of HUD’s manufactured housing program?’ This continues to be a lively political (‘power’) issue, right? Or not?

Now, seriously ponder this. “…untold thousands of consumers are eliminated from the (housing) market due to unnecessarily high interest rates on manufactured homes, and particularly manufactured home chattel loans (due to ongoing refusal by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to provide market-significant securitization and secondary market support for such loans). To make matters worse…the refusal of local communities to permit development of new (land lease) communities, or otherwise permit placement of manufactured homes in vast areas of the U.S., needlessly drives potential homebuyers away from the HUD Code market.” (lightly edited. GFA). OK, that’s 2/3rds of the industry challenge at hand.

There’s yet another aspect of this, some say sordid, tale and it’s explored on a later page in MHARR’s Report & Analysis:

“…industry experts are beginning to question whether the (manufactured housing) industry’s largest lenders and producers are serious about full and robust implementation of the ‘Duty to Serve Underserved Markets’ (‘DTS’). Specifically, what conceivable incentive do those industry dominant(ing) lenders, in particular, have, to demand market-significant securitization support by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), for manufactured home chattel loans – which would likely erode already high interest rates and simultaneously draw additional competing lenders into the HUD Code market – when those current dominant(ing) lenders can still seek statutory Dodd-Frank relief from Congress, to continue making high-cost loans (or charge even higher rates) with no additional liability risk?” (lightly edited. GFA). Perhaps you should read that paragraph again, to fully absorb the writer’s views….

Do you understand what’s being said and implied here? If not, you’re not paying close enough attention, and need to start doing so…In the meantime, and moving on…

MHARR next weighs in on the recent founding of the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners, Inc. (‘NAMHCO’). Now, MHARR postures itself as impetus for this debut, by dint of its’ 2017 Study & Analysis, calling for the “…formation of a new, independent postproduction manufactured housing association”. Be that as it may – or may not be, I’ve long and well-know the founders of NAMHCO. Their immediate concern, focus and scope are not as broad and all-encompassing (i.e. all post production segments of the industry) as MHARR seems to suggest. Frankly, NAMHCO appears to be concerned about the immediate political, regulatory, legislative, lobbying needs of land lease community owners/operators out West, and in time, nationwide.

This industry observer’s view on this timely subject? Leave NAMHCO alone, for the time being, as it ‘gets up & running’! If you want to encourage their leaders, meet and talk with them on 6 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, at one of the meetings scheduled that day. And then again, at the 27th International Networking Roundtable, 5-7 September, in Indianapolis, IN.

MHARR opining, at times, ‘goes off the deep end’ with its’, in my opinion, pontificating (‘assuming an air of infallibility, speak pompously’), risking loss of its’ industry ‘cred’. Here’s one such paragraph, lacking clarity and specificity, therefore lacking usefulness.

“This matter (i.e. post-production representation)…complicated by involvement of self-promoting individuals and/or entities not only hav(ing) difficulty grasping the magnitude of the ongoing failures of the post-production sector – and damage inflicted on the industry and consumers – but also continue to press and advance ostensible remedies (publications, conferences, meetings, etc.) that are overly simplistic, unduly parochial, and simply inadequate to address the much larger and significantly more complex problems underlying this crucial issue.” (lightly edited. GFA).

While the MHARR paragraph says much, it contains little substance, and is of minimal practical value. What or who is being described? And what ostensible (‘appearing outwardly’) remedies, simplistic and otherwise, has MHARR put forth “…to address the much larger and significantly more complex problems underlying this crucial issue”? Answer? Beyond its’ smaller, regional HUD-Code manufacturer membership base, little to NO remedies per se, its’ 2017 Study & Analysis report notwithstanding.

How’s the ditty go? If you’re not part of the solution to a challenge, you’re likely part of the problem!’ Point? Stop ‘talking about everyone else’ MHARR, and open your membership to other sectors of the manufactured housing industry – if you truly believe you can perform and lead better!

***

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