Archive for May 1st, 2020

A Sobering & Timely Warning!

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Blog # 583 @ 1 May 2020; Copyright 2020. Educatemhc.com

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

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INTRODUCTION: Prepare to be shocked – if you haven’t already heard and pondered statistics shared in Part I following. And Part II? Well, while not meant to be particularly humorous, there is indeed that overtone among the vignettes shared. Enjoy! GFA

I.

A Sobering & Timely Warning!

Carolyn and I have invested 50 days in self-quarantine, to avoid becoming victims of the coronavirus. So, when I read the following statistics relative to the Spanish Flu of 1917 & 1918, I was reluctant to believe the numbers. Then I checked them via USA Today Fact Check. Learned they are indeed accurate ranges, elevating them as a Sober and Timely Warning to All of Us about Our Future, especially during fall 2020!

First wave of the Spanish Flu, during year 1917, resulted in between three and five million deaths worldwide! Compare that to what’s estimated worldwide during year 2021.

Second wave of the Spanish Flu, during year 1918 and slightly beyond, resulted in between, get this, 20 – 50 million deaths! How can there be such an enormous spread between those two numbers?

In any event; as you – we, plan social and economic activities the next several months, be aware: We do not want a repeat, via coronavirus, of the tenfold increase in Spanish Flu deaths slightly more than 100 years ago!

II.

MH & LLCommunity Trivia

One of the unexpected benefits of being self-quarantined at home, these past 50 days, has been reacquainting myself with books (being read for a second or third time), dusty personal files (of past tales and collected material), as well as trivia from 40+ years as a manufactured housing aficionado and land lease community owner/operator. One archive of MH & LLCommunity trivia is dated year 2000. And much of it is worth sharing here.

Let’s begin with ‘an‘oldie but a goodie’. Why is the front entry door to most HUD-Code singlesection manufactured homes – to this day – on the right side of the home (from the perspective of being in said home and facing forward)? This is a vestigial design practice dating to when ‘mobile homes’ were indeed mobile; and, ingress/egress, for traffic safety reasons, was curbside, i.e. in and out of the right side of the home, away from the traffic lanes of the highway.

Just as REIT name MHC, Inc. evolved to ELS, Inc; ROC Communities (Think, now retired, Gary McDaniel) merged and became Chateau Properties, Inc. in 1997, before being acquired by Hometown America during year 2003. Do you know what the abbreviation ROC represented at that time? No, it wasn’t ‘resident-owned communities’, but rather River Oaks Communities! And how ‘bout REIT Sun Communities? That firm’s ‘early’ name? Some say Sundance Communities. Speaking of REITs, which one’s founder and son are trotter (as in horse racing) fans and use their favorite standard bred steed, The Porter Gray, in their corporate literature? UMH Properties!

Famous and infamous land lease community owners? Let’s see, a former Playboy magazine ‘bunny’ was – and is, as far as I know, still married to a Colorado-based portfolio owner/operator of communities. And at one point in time, late in the last century, a ‘mass murderer’ (i.e. by dint of killing several attorneys and their clients, before committing suicide) in San Francisco, effected his revenge, during a downtown rampage, because a ‘three community deal had gone bad’ a decade earlier. And we’ve had our share – at least two or three I know of – billionaires intimately involved in manufactured housing and communities. If you’d like names, and are willing to dig a bit to get them, read SWAN SONG and ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy?’ booklet – both available from EducateMHC.com

To this day, real estate brokers marketing land lease communities default to the 50 years defunct Woodall Rating System to inform property owners their asset quality is of one to five stars in rankikng. Since year 2001, informed owners/operators have used the ABClassification System, first proposed by the late Tom Horner, Jr., now refined and available in its’ contemporary format via EducateMHC.com

In which state can ‘swamp coolers’ (i.e. evaporators) be routinely seen atop HUD-Code manufactured homes? Colorado.

In which city and state is the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame, Library, and Museum located? Elkhart, Indiana.

In which state does the term ‘Chapter 723’ bespeak landlord tenant legislation? Florida.

In which land lease communities and states did ‘two story’ HUD-Code manufactured homes debut around the turn of the century? Lido Peninsula in Newport Beach, California & New Colony in Maryland. Why didn’t this novel idea flourish? Too much expensive and time-consuming ‘make ready’ work (e.g. assembly and siding) required on-site.

The Hitchball Club, a social organization for manufactured housing industry peers was formed during the 1970s in what state? Indiana

FGFK has been one of the more unusual monikers for a land lease community portfolio, over the years. What is the unabbreviated name of the company? Five Guys From Kansas.

What now deceased land lease community owner named his portfolio in honor of his first wife’s profession (i.e. Ballerina Properties); owned the only known source of flint in the U.S., if not the world; repeatedly attempted to popularize the term Park Homes as alternative to manufactured homes; and, was one of 19 community owners who met in Indianapolis during August 1993, to form what would later become MHI’s National Communities Council division? The late Ron Richardson of Oklahoma and Nevada.

Which John Grisham novel begins in a land lease community? The Client.

In the U.S. we refer to PITI, in real estate transaction circles, as principle, interest, taxes and insurance, when calculating monthly mortgage payments. In Canada, however, they refer to a similar combination of factors as being PITH. What does the H represent? Heating expense, as it’s more an expense factor to contend with there, than insurance premiums.

Name of a bona fide musical set in a land lease community? Premiered in Chicago during early 2001. Name? Lust in Rust!

Name of a country singer duo specializing in land lease community-oriented tunes since mid-1990s? Trailer Park Troubadours.

Ever hear of the large land lease community, located across a major highway from an active USAF base (i.e. at the time, home to Air Force One, the president’s airplane) that was forcibly closed, via eminent domain, out of concern a terrorist might step out on his porch, with a shoulder-fired ground-to-air missile, and shoot down said plane? This occurred in central Indiana, north of Kokomo, two decades or more ago.

Yes, there’s more, much more, we can share with you in the coming weeks. But for now, enjoy these gems. Do you have some trivia to share? Send to gfa7156@aol.com

For that matter, if you enjoy reading history-laced stories from our industry and realty asset class, you should be reading the Allen Legacy column in the very back of every issue of MHInsider magazine. To subscribe, reach out to Patrick Revere via Patrick@mhvillage.com

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC