Archive for July, 2018


Monday, July 16th, 2018

Blog # 493; Copyright @ 15 July 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!

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

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: 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. 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

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

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Blog # 492; Copyright @ 8 July 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!

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.


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: 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.

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” (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…


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 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;

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….


“Hey, I Like It! Where Can I Get One?”
An American Flag Decal with the Slogan

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 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, and request it.



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: 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?


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..



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