Archive for July, 2019

Not Everyone Agrees…Level Playing Field for MH $!

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

July 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com & visit www.educatemhc.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Note: MHM class on 7/26!

INTRODUCTION: OK, a relatively brief blog posting this week, but no less timely and important than last week or the week before. Yes, I’m well aware ‘leveling the $ playing field’ for all types of manufactured housing finance is heretical to some, logical and desirable to others. Your view on the matter?

AND, here’s your opportunity to throw ‘your hat into the ring’, or someone else’s, where two top manufactured housing industry executive positions are concerned….

I.

Not Everyone Agrees There Could/Should be a Level Playing Field for All MH Loans!

Gist of the Proposition:

Chattel Capital Loans on New Manufactured Homes, Installed on Rental Homesites within Land Lease Communities, Could/Should Enjoy IDENTICAL LOAN TERMS, Especially Percentage Rates, When Owner of the Income-producing Property Arranges Seller-financing and Personally Guarantees the Homeowner/site lessee’s Personal Property Mortgage!

Rationale:

If the UNDERLYING IMPROVED REALTY, beneath a new HUD-Code home installed on a scattered building site conveyed fee simple, provides loan security lenders require of their real estate-based home loan, then the PERSONAL GUARANTEE of the sole proprietor owner of record, of the land lease community, where new manufactured homes are installed on rental homesites, could/should deserve and receive equal respect, utility, and loan terms! You agree or disagree?

A Contrary View

“Until and unless the owner of the rental homesite can give the lessee ALL the advantages they would have if the home was sited on their own parcel of real estate, there will NEVER be a perfectly level playing field relative to interest rates where personal property and real property loans are concerned. (‘In my former life, I was also a banker, and served on the loan board’…besides being a community owner and independent – street – MHRetailer.)” BB (lightly edited. GFA)

Furthermore, in the opinion of the respondent cited above, “A level playing field would require the land lease community to be owned by the tenants, who’d have ownership to whatever their percent ownership of the entire community amounts to. Similar to a condominium development….” GFA Note. This similar to the mini-trend conversions of for-profit communities into resident-owned communities (i.e. ‘ROCs’), via forming of cooperatives, then securing acquisition-financing via specialty multifamily lenders. GFA)

Rejoinder

50 years ago, a city planner and professor at Missouri University in Columbia, MO., considered by some at the time, to be the ‘Patron Saint of Mobile Homes’, expressed this opinion in private conversation:

“Rental mobile home parks will eventually cease to exist.”

And know what? More and more it appears his prophesy might be fulfilled. How so? Seems more and more folk, within and outside the manufactured housing industry ‘want big pieces of the action’, to the detriment of the business model. Examples:

• Recent private equity consolidators of land lease communities have rewritten the traditional 3:1 Rule of Thumb for estimating rental homesite rates, trending towards a 2:1 Rule; e.g. Local housing market conventional apartment rent @ $1,000/month? Then, 3:1 Rule suggests $333/month rental homesite rate; whereas, 2:1 Rule suggests $500/month; meaning $167/month ‘less house’ homeowners/site lessees can ‘affordably’ purchase in that land lease community with higher site rents.

• Some HUD-Code housing manufacturers appear to be slowing the industry’s heretofore steady return to a 100,0000 units/year shipment volume, by increasing wholesale pricing of their product by 15+/-% every six months or so. Some opine this has to do with awareness of community owners selling new homes at minimal profit margins, to speed filling vacant rental homesites, preferring long range permanence of site rent as annuity income. Think about it.

• Independent third party chattel lenders continue to offer manufactured housing financing, of the conventional real estate type & personal property loans, to would be homebuyers, as well as homebuyer/site lessees. This is where the disparity between lending rates, oft a 3+/-% difference, comes into play. The disparity becomes especially clear when said lenders, besides insisting on higher interest rates for personal property loans, also require personal guarantees of these loans by land lease community owners. Kinda like ‘wanting one’s cake and eating it too’.

• The GSEs (i.e. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) continue to fashion their Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs to support the sale of, and lending on, manufactured homes going onto scattered sites conveyed fee simple, e.g. MH Advantage & Choice programs of late. In the meantime, little to no relief to date, for the chattel capital folk, where lending support is needed most, for new HUD-Code homes installed on rental homesites in land lease communities.

• Local housing market land planning and zoning penchant for regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing, stifle the development of new land lease communities, hence less inventor of truly affordable shelter for area workforce, low income, and very low income citizens. So NIMBY (‘Not in my back yard!’) continues to prevail despite recent nods of support to the fledgling YIMBY (‘Yes, in my back yard!’) movement.

And the list goes on, but surely you get the idea. It’s not at all like land lease communities are on their last legs. Rather, they continue to be grossly underutilized as a primary source of affordable, obtainable housing and lifestyle on one hand, while being sorely abused by others, at the same time.

Bottom line of sorts? As the aforementioned Missouri professor also allegedly proclaimed: “GREED killed more than the Golden Goose!”

II.

Two Key Positions to Be Filled in 2020

• New salaried executive director of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’)
&
• Non-career administrator of the manufactured housing program at HUD

I’ve been asked to recommend candidates for both positions. If you believe you are qualified, experienced and motivated to fill one or the other of these two key national roles, apply directly to MHI & or HUD; or let me know of your interest via gfa7156@aol.com

And or, if you know someone familiar with manufactured housing and land lease communities, who – in your opinion – is qualified, experienced and motivated to take on either of these heady job responsibilities, do likewise! But if you prefer, let me know of names and contact information via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

Why was I asked? Probably because I had been encouraged, from several quarters, if I’d be available for one of the two positions. But I made it clear, relocation to Washington, DC. is not an option for Carolyn and me. However, I do plan to be ‘ready & willing’ to attend meetings and working sessions there, if invited, re manufactured housing & land lease communities, with HUD, FHFA, the GSEs, & DOE, as well as MHI, MHARR, NAMHCO, and other NGOs.

Manufactured housing, as an industry, is on the threshold of doing Great Things in 2020, where affordable obtainable housing is concerned. But it sorely needs capable, experienced, motivated new leaders at MHI and HUD, to ensure this occurs. And this is your opportunity to help make it happen! Have your recommendations to me by the end of July 2019. Thank You.

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC
(317) 346-7156

Postscript:

• 5 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. During the day, meet with Spencer Roane, MHM, and me to discuss ‘evergreen (MH) issues’, the new E-HOP chattel capital program for MHs sited in land lease communities. Let me know of your interest: (317) 346-7156. For RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344

• 8-10 September in Indianapolis. 28th Networking Roundtable. For details and to sign up, visit www.educatemhc.com

MHIndustry Economic Impact Study Needed! (&) Level the Chattel $ Playing Field to Same % as RE-secured Loans!

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

11 July 2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable obtainable housing! Visit www.educatemhc.com

INTRODUCTION: Lotta good stuff here this week.

1. It’s ‘high time’ for the manufactured housing industry to research, publish, & distribute a Manufactured Housing Industry Economic Impact Study to federal lawmakers and regulators – showing them how valuable WE are to the national economy!

2. Hope to see YOU at the 28th Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September in Indianapolis. No other national venue promises such diversity & intensity of topics and speakers!

3. Someone had to say it! Time has come to level the loan playing field for manufactured housing homebuyers/site lessees and homebuyers purchasing product for siting on improved realty conveyed fee simple! Read on!

I.

Manufactured Housing Valuation

‘Comparing Apples & Oranges, Half a Loaf, or Simply Confusion?’

In 1977, according to MERCHANDISER magazine, 186,462 new manufactured homes shipped that year, by the ‘Top 25 Mobile Home Manufacturers’, were valued at $2,026,097,725 or roughly, $10,834 apiece, presumably ‘wholesale’ value out the factory door, as retail value reporting had not been perfected, and an empirical determination of ‘production’ value would not come until post 2003.*1

Two decades later, in 1997, ‘Indiana’s RV & MH Industries’ Economic Impact Study’ estimated 17,300 new manufactured homes shipped from its’ factories that year, were valued at $1,205,000 or roughly, $32,306 apiece; however, not labeled as to whether ‘wholesale’ or ‘retail’ value; and again, the calculation of ‘production’ value was still six years away.*2

The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), soon after the turn of the century, contracted with Dr. Stephen C. Cooke, to ascertain ‘production’ value of a new HUD-Code manufactured home. Dr. Cooke valued the 60,228 new homes shipped during year 2003 as being $2,600,000,000 or roughly $43,126 apiece in production value.*3 And this remains the state of this body of knowledge today. We still don’t know whether ‘production’ value is the same or ‘how different’ from a presumably marked-up ‘wholesale’ value, when a new manufactured home leaves the factory.

There are rumors afoot, that new and or updated empirical studies of manufactured housing value(s) are underway, but nothing substantive has been announced to date. If anyone ‘out there’ knows more about this timely and important subject, please let us know via gfa7156@aol.com Why? Because, knowing the full (not just ‘production’ value) national economic impact of the manufactured housing industry – eventually to include the land lease community real estate asset class – will surely improve our lobbying presence and effectiveness in our nation’s capitol.

Just how startling can this sort of industry knowledge be? Well, here’s an illustrative example from our sister industry, the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) business model.

The recreational vehicle industry runs sophisticated statistical circles around us, as it continues to grow and prosper; all the while ensuring federal and state legislators and regulators know how valuable that industry is to the national economy! And just how valuable is it these days? Well, according to latest (published 2019) data, the industry’s total $ economic impact nationally, is $113 billion in output (i.e. $113,713,039,000); $32 billion in wages (i.e. $32,154,790,200); and provides no fewer than 596,355 jobs! In terms of tax impact, $12 billion in total taxes (i.e. $12,212,324,800); $4 billion in state taxes (i.e. $4,715,737,100); and, $7 billion in federal taxes (i.e. $7,496,587,700)! Impressed yet? You should be! And we, as an industry, should be asking ourselves, ‘Why are we so very far behind the self-knowledge curve that, $ truth be known, we’d command far more respect and cooperation as this nation’s best source of quality, energy efficient, non-subsidized, affordable housing?!’*4

Is anyone out there listening? Sure hope so. Don’t know ‘bout you, but as a businessman, and trade journalist, I’m tired of waiting for salaried and elected industry leaders to research, publish and widely distribute an economic impact report about UD-Code manufactured housing and its’ land lease community component, as this nation’s historic and forward-looking one-two punch affordable housing provider & lifestyle!

End Notes.

1. Data source: SWAN SONG, EducateMHC, 2017, Table # 1
2. Source: Indiana’s Recreational Vehicle and Manufactured Housing Industries, ‘An $8 Billion Building Block for Indiana’s Economic Success’, IMHA/RVIC, Indiana, 1997
3. Manufactured Housing Institute
4. ‘RVs Move America – an American Industry & Economic Engine’, by John Dunham & Associates, in www.rvmoveamerica.org,

II.

Major Great Reasons to Attend Networking Roundtable,
8-10 September, in Indianapolis, Indiana

‘Legislation to Create a Housing Affordability Task Force Introduced in the U.S. Senate’

“A bipartisan group of 13 senators, led by Todd Young (R-IN), reintroduced the ‘Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act’, which aims to better understand and respond to America’s housing affordability shortage. The legislation seeks to bring together a group of experts to evaluate and quantify the effect a lack of affordable housing has on individuals and provide recommendations to Congress about increasing affordable housing options.” Quoted from recent MHI Press Release.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) is the Monday morning, 9 September, keynote speaker at this year’s 28th annual Networking Roundtable, 8-10 September, in Indianapolis, IN. For more information, and to register, go to www.educatemhc.com

What else to experience this year? Three of the most successful land lease community portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. will share their ‘trade secrets’ during two different sessions!

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, maybe along with an FHFA rep, will, in panel discussion format, brief their DTS programs, then describe the new Choice & MH Advantage $ programs, & more.

E-HOP, as you know, is newest and most exciting chattel capital program for communities engaged in on-site home sales & seller-financing. Hear from the creator of the program!

Screening premier of videos filmed on-site in land lease communities around the U.S.!

Special nod to ‘resident relations’ by the very firm that introduced the concept in 1990s!

Special ‘how to’ session on automating your land lease community! Don’t want to miss this!

Register NOW (before 8/31) and benefit from lower Early Bird Rate: www.educatemhc.com

Arrive early, mid-afternoon Sunday, and sit in on a Fireside Chat with me at The Alexander Hotel. This is always one of my favorite activities, talking one on one with other land lease community owners/operators from throughout the U.S. Have some special topics in mind.

And stay a day later, on the 11th, to participate in the day long Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training & certification session. This will be the second class to use the new 8th edition Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry.

III.

A Pipe Dream, or Is Reality But One Key Step Away?

“My conundrum; no ‘my problem’, with the lending segment of the manufactured housing industry? I am a great credit risk, yet when I use industry lenders, I end up paying 8% plus miscellaneous monthly fees for inventory financing. My homebuying customers are charged high rates no matter how good their credit. The best I can do for a retired person with a guaranteed income is 7.49% for a 20 year term loan.” Quoting a veteran land lease community owner selling and seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site.

So, conceptually and practically speaking,

‘Can the Interest Rate Spread, Between Home Mortgages Secured by Underlying Realty Conveyed Fee Simple, & Personal Property Loans (chattel capital) on Manufactured Housing Sited in Land Lease Communities, be Ameliorated to Create a Level Lending Environs?’

Perhaps!? Read what follows & tell us what you think; via gfa7156@aol.com

Do you know? The usual 600 – 800 basis point lower lending rate, typical of home mortgages secured by underlying realty conveyed fee simple, than higher rates charged for manufactured housing sited in land lease communities, easily account for a difference of $90,000 in the amount of new or resale home a prospective ‘land & home’ buyer, versus homebuyer/site lessee, can; afford to buy?

Specifically, in a local housing market where Area Median Income (‘AMI’), &/or prospective homebuyer’s (or household’s) Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) is $36,000; and where realty-secured mortgages are available for 6.5 percent interest; but 9.5 percent for personal property loans – and land lease community monthly homesite rent is $333, respective home prices pencil out to be $158,0000 and $68,000 respectively.*1

Something to be careful about here. Whether annual household expenses (e.g. electric, gas, water – but not CATV & phone) are included in the monthly PITI or PITI/site rent payment – or are paid separately each month.*2 If ‘not included’’, as is the case in the previous paragraph – and apparently among independent third party manufactured housing chattel capital lenders, prospective homebuyers can buy ‘more house’, at increased risk (i.e. housing expense bills paid in addition to 30 percent allocated for PITI or PITI/site rent. However, if said household expenses are included in the PITI & PITI/site rent payments each month (this usually 25+/- percent of the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor or HEF, set aside to pay for one’s mortgage or rent, In this instance the prospective homebuyer affords ‘less house’, e.g. $119,000 instead of $158,000; and, $41,000 instead of $68,000, but is in a less risky, more affordable homebuyer, and homebuyer/site lessee state.

Now, ‘the question’. What would it take to lessen or eliminate altogether, the three to six percent average difference in interest rates between real estate-secured mortgages and personal property (i.e. chattel) loans; in other words, on manufactured homes sited on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and on rental homesites within land lease communities?

Assuming this difference in loan interest rates has mainly, if not wholly, to do with perceived security or risk, and lack thereof, of the loan commitment, where presence or not, of underlying improved realty is concerned, a relatively recent lending trend suggests this practical answer to the question:

In instances where personal property loans originate on new and resale manufactured homes installed, sold, and seller-financed by community owners, on rental homesites within their land lease communities; look to them as guarantors on said loans, to enhance security, and lessen risk, throughout the transaction term. After all, the mortgaged home is sited on the property owner’s realty, and goes nowhere without his/her tacit permission.

Frankly, there’s really nothing new about this suggestion. Land lease community owners/operators have subjected themselves to lender recourse for decades. Perhaps no one has pressed lenders to value said obligations in terms of interest rate reduction. After all, even in a worst case scenario, there will likely be enough value in the underlying real estate (i.e. entire land leases community) to more than cover any losses due to defaults on home loans.

Of course there’s more to this matter than meets the eye, or is described in the preceding paragraphs.*3 What do you see the roadblocks to be? Be sure to read End Note # 3 before replying. Then forward your thoughts on this matter to me as follows: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or via gfa7156@aol.com

End Notes.

1. Using the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ for estimating maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or on leased land, as in a land lease community. Worksheet available via www.educatemhc.com Also know local housing market AMI’s are available, per postal zip codes, from www.zipwho.com

2. PITI = loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance

3. Further Considerations: 1) careful screening of homebuying prospects & counseling thereof, 2) just as careful screening of land lease community owners willing to guarantee homebuyer/site lessee loans, 3) careful management of upfront and back end Debt to Income ratios (‘DTI’), e.g. former @ 30% (with & without household utility expenses included?), and 40% when other outside debts are added to the front end PITI debt payment, & 5) whether this whole issue revolves around independent third party chattel lenders simply preserving a lucrative business model to the detriment of providing truly affordable housing when most needed in the U.S. What do you think?

***
George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

EARLY BLOG: 4th of July Story; Here’s E-HOP! (&) ‘New Ty’e

Monday, July 1st, 2019

July 2019; Copyright; www.educatemhc.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

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

To input this blog &/r affiliate with EducateMHC, formerly COBA7, telephone Official MHIndustry hotline; (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email: gfa7156@aol.com

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: Promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as US source for affordable obtainable housing! Visit www.educatemhc.com

INITRODUCTION: Hang on for a reading ride! A longer a blog than intended, but all four parts are should be important to you, for significantly different reasons.

• How will you celebrate the 4th of July this week? Well, here’s how I did in 1968.
• E-HOP. You’re the first to hear about this exciting new chattel $ program for MHs.
• 5 August & 9 September. Two important days this Summer & Fall. Be there with us!
• ‘New type’ HUD-Code homes: Savior or Nemesis of manufactured housing industry?

I.

Star Spangled Fourths of July, 50 & 200 Years Ago

On the fourth of July, 1969, my combat engineer platoon worked and lived at landing zone Stud, later renamed Vandegrift forward combat base. Stud was located a few miles east of the infamous, only recently vacated Khe Sanh combat base of Vietnam lore.

The day was like any other, for a combat engineer platoon. During daylight hours we cleared roads of landmines, built command bunkers, strengthened the perimeter defense, and helped wherever needed. All hot, dirty work, but what we were there to do.

That night also began like any other. At first, all was quiet and dark, no moon. Above ground light, even candlelight, was prohibited, lest it draw sniper fire from enemy troops in the hills surrounding our position. But around 2200 hours (10PM), someone popped a bright white star cluster pyrotechnic high into the black sky.

Usually, star cluster pyros are launched from hand held devices – hollow aluminum tubes 2” diameter X 12” long, to show helicopter pilots where one’s position is in darkness, identify medical evacuation pickup points, or where to drop needed supplies.

Well, that first star cluster burst was immediately followed by a whole bunch more – of varied colors, accompanied by a host of M16 assault rifles fired on full automatic – adding combat sound effects to the cacophony, along with the distinct odor of burning cordite. Also launched skyward, a couple illumination flares, dangling from mini-parachutes, drifted high above the base, and out over suspected enemy positions. This continued for a few minutes, then stopped as abruptly as it had begun.

In military parlance, tis chain of events is known as a ‘mad moment’, usually occurring in training scenarios to familiarize Marines with the sights, sounds, and smells of combat. And ‘mad moments’ do occasionally occur in combat environs like this, to celebrate a holiday.

Yes, one might view ‘mad moments’ as a waste of ammunition and signaling resources, also compromising one’s position, but know what?

During that ‘mad moment’, on the fourth of July 1968, at LXZ Stud, I envisioned standing next to Francis Scott Key, in 1818, watching the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, and him penning the poem which would later become our nation’s hallowed anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner’.

And today, 200 years later, 50+ for me since 1968, nary a 4th of July holiday occurs, without fondly, sometimes tearfully – but always gratefully, recalling being right there during a very special ‘mad moment’ in my life and that of our nation. God Bless America!

George Allen, lieutenant colonel retired, USMC

II.

E-HOP = Today’s Top Story of MH Finance!

Earnings-based Home Ownership Program (‘E-HOP’) announces recent ‘closing’ of its’ first chattel loan on a new HUD-Code manufactured home sited in a land lease community!.

E-HOP is a new chattel loan program developed, during the last two years, by lenders working closely with a small, select group of land lease community owners (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) desiring to fill vacant rental homesites, to improve occupancy and upgrade their properties. E-HOP loans are guaranteed by land lease community owners and feature some important incentives.

Specifically, Park Lane Finance Solutions, LLC, of Staunton, VA., and Mountain View Estates of Rossville, GA., ‘closed’ the first E-HOP loan on a new multisection Clayton home. Community owners, David and Judy Roden, were excited to have the new homeowners/site lessees (i.e. residents) move into Mountain View Estates, based on their excellent rental history and long employment record.

Everyone benefits from the E-HOP program! It finances manufactured homes in stable, well-managed communities, and directly addresses the growing demand for affordable housing in the U.S. today. Lenders are protected by careful screening of prospective homebuyers, substantial down payments, satisfactory debt-to-income (‘DTI’) ratios, loan guarantees by participating community owners, and substantial reserve accounts designed to cover default-related costs. Home buyers benefit from terms they likely would not be able to obtain elsewhere. For additional information about this exciting, precedent-setting E-HOP program, contact Spencer Roane, MHM, Atlanta, GA: (678) 428-0212 or via spencer@roane.com

III.

Why 5 August & 9 September Rock!

In less than a month, on Monday, 5 August 2019, the crème-de-la-crème of manufactured housing, land lease communities and recreational vehicle pioneers and leaders will journey to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., for the annual Induction Banquet. There they’ll witness 10 RV & MH businessmen and women achieve Free Enterprise immortality, among their peers in these two industries and realty asset class, as members of the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame!

Earlier, that day, Spencer Roane, MHM, and I will be on hand, at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn, or in the boardroom or library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, prepared to meet semi-privately with MH and LLCommunity entrepreneurs desirous to talk about ongoing and emerging trends (e.g. ongoing MHIndustry paradigm shift since year 2000, emerging H-HOP loan program), as well as any other topic(s) of interest, e.g. preserving one’s personal &/or corporate legacy via memoirs. To participate, let me know of your interest during the next week or two, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or via gfa7156@aol.com I’ll likely have copies of Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (8th edition) available for purchase. First published, as Mobile Home Park Management, in 1988, this new, updated and enlarged 22o+/- page text is a major achievement of my 40 year career serving this industry and asset class. Also available for purchase via www.educatemhc.com

And then, in just another month, on 9 September, the first day of the 28th Networking Roundtable, in Indianapolis, IN., major addresses will be delivered by U.S. Senator Todd Young (Who’s sponsoring new affordable housing legislation in the Senate, along with a dozen other senators), The GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) bringing everyone up to date relative to DTS programs (e.g. the former’s Choice Home program & latter’s MH Advantage program). Also major and very successful property portfolio owners/operators will be sharing their trade secrets as to success keeping rental homesite full and profitable. How can you afford not to be present at this seminal venue. For info and to register, visit www.educatemhc.com

IV.

‘New Type’, Next-Generation MHs;
Savior or Nemesis for MHIndustry?

Housing Wire, ‘The Source for Mortgage & Housing Industry News’ tells us, “Median priced homes are too expensive for 74 percent of U.S. market”.

That being the case; on one hand, traditional and upscale HUD-Code manufactured homes are sorely needed in most U.S. local housing markets! But, on the other hand, do not forget the hard and sorry lessons we learned from mistakes in mid to late 1990s, when independent (street) MHRetailers, selling ‘land & home packages’ into traditional site-built housing markets, often erred effecting HUD-Code housing installations, and contracting post-installation services and structures appurtenant. We do not want to ‘go there’ again!

So, what is it we’re now offering the home buying public? First off, believe it or not, ‘it’ does not have an official, or even quasi-official name or moniker – yet. When the concept was ‘birthed’ at a MHI manufacturers’ division meeting in Orlando, FL., during Fall 2017, ‘it’ was simply referred to as a ‘new type’ manufactured housing designed to appeal to underserved markets, like millennials. Since then name suggestions have been made (e.g. millennial housing), but none have been selected or stuck.

Now along comes Freddie Mac, with its’ Choice program, for what they refer to as Next-Generation housing. And Fannie Mae, dealing with 99 percent the same ‘new type’ manufactured housing design, has their MH Advantage program. Both programs feature new HUD-Code multisection homes headed for permanent installation on realty conveyed fee simple, but NOT for new homes going into land lease communities! Confused yet? Again, one ‘new type’ HUD-Code housing design, alternately referred to as Next-Generation housing by one GSE, millennial housing by another, and ‘Who knows what?’ by someone else.

But that’s not really ‘the rub’. Yes ‘mobile homes’ cum ‘manufactured housing’ has made its’ mark on the U.S. housing scene for 75+/- years, primarily as an inexpensive, efficient, transportable housing alternative. And now along comes a significantly more sophisticated and expensive alternative, design packages typified by:

Freddie Mac’s Choice Program
• Higher-pitched (e.g. 5/12) roof line
• Garage or carport
• Permanent foundation to include masonry (non-load bearing perimeter wall)
• Drywall throughout, including closets Energy-efficient features
• Wood cabinetry
Fannie Mae’s MH Advantage Program
• 4/12 or greater roof pitch
• Attached garage/carport, or dormer(s) & covered porch/carport, or covered porch
• Permanent foundation must include masonry (non-lad bearing perimeter wall
• Drywall (tape & texture) throughout the home, including closets; kitchen &U bath cabinets with fronts of solid or veneered wood; and, Fiberglass, solid surface, acrylic, composite, porcelain/enamel-coated steel, or tile for all showers and or tubs.
• One of three energy standards.
• Low-profile finished floor set
• Exterior siding comprised of one or more of fiber cement board, hardwood siding, engineered wood siding, masonry, stone, stucco, or vinyl siding-backed with oriented strand board.
• Eaves six inches or greater
• Paved driveway & sidewalk leading to the home

So far so good. But who is going to prepare the foundations and install these much larger,
heavier, complicated structures? The same (but far fewer) folk who’ve been selling and siting far fewer new HUD-Code homes these past 20 years? What measures are being taken now and in the near future, to ensure we don’t err, once again, and marginalize this ‘new type’ high quality home we’re foisting on the buying public? To date, I’ve heard and read nothing about training, licensing, and certification on a broad and detailed scale to this end.

That brings us back to the title of this part of this blog posting. Will indeed, this ‘new type’ manufactured housing be our long sought market SAVIOR, or will we find it to be another market NEMESIS – compromising the progress we’ve slowly made since recovering from nadir shipment year 2009, when only 49,789 new HUD-Code homes were shipped nationwide? While I sincerely hope it’s the former; unless we take steps now to be far better quality control-minded independent contractors, as well as (street) MHRetailers, we risk seeing the history of two decades ago repeat itself.

And don’t forget, these two much ballyhooed GSE programs (i.e. Choice & MH Advantage) do not apply at all to the 40 percent of manufactured housing shipments presently going directly into land lease communities nationwide. Like DTS programs for personal property (i.e. chattel capital) loans on new HUD-Code homes is what we need NOW, knot another decade down the road! Is anyone at FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac listening? Hope so!

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