HUD’s Contretemps; &, Official WHITE PAPER

August 24th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 311 @ 24 August 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

Your Responses to ‘Consequences, Good & Bad, of LLLCommunity Consolidation’. Here’re a few responses to last week’s ‘tell all, true story’ regarding pros & cons of LLLCommunity consolidation during the past four decades. Did I miss anything?

II.

HUD’s Contretemps (‘an embarrassing occurrence’) Hobbles Affordable Housing! The Good News is, ‘all of a sudden’ everyone in MH wants on this bandwagon, even an online commentary heretofore critical of MHARR, still not crediting them in any way!

III.

Official WHITE PAPER is ‘in the mail’ to 23rd Networking Roundtable registrants. Mailed 100 copies the first week! It’s chock full of interesting & useful information.

_______________________________________________________________________

I.

Responses to ‘Consequences, Good & Bad,
of LLLCommunity Consolidation’

“Very powerful George, Nice work.” MH executive

“As usual, I enjoyed flogging your blog this morning. The information on LLLCommunity consolidation was really interesting.” State MHAssociation executive

“As usual, you did a good job of calling our attention to trends that may well shape the future of the (MH) industry:

• Larger (LLLCommunity) operators ducking paying national & state association dues

• National advocacy association paying little attention to anyone but a few of the larger (LLLCommunity) operators

• More and more manufactured homes being bought and rented or sold by smaller (LLLCommunity) operators using creative financing, encouraged by hungry, out-of-the-box-thinking lenders

How long before this combination of trends creates a ‘new & perfect storm’, resulting in smaller (LLLCommunity) operators instructing HUD-Code home manufacturers to relay dues paid on homes these smaller operators buy, to entities who better represent their business interests?” This from veteran MHIndustry entrepreneur businessman

As a related aside; the Official WHITE PAPER being distributed to Networking Roundtable registrants, points out more than once, how land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators are now oft and openly referred to as the ‘new breed of MHRetailer & lender’. The writer of the previous paragraph commentary has not seen or read said WHITE PAPER. So, an interesting confirmation of the latest paradigm shift within the manufactured housing industry and its’ LLLCommunity real estate asset class! GFA

And this from yet another manufactured housing entrepreneur businessman: “The dearth of chattel financing is changing the manufactured home community (‘LLLCommunity’) business model – especially that of the larger, multistate owners/operators. Renting homes on-site has, once again, become commonplace. ‘Park owned homes’ are no longer the bane of (real estate-secured) mortgage lending. Chattel finance default-related costs are now transformed into rental turnover and rehab costs. Property owners/operators no longer have the luxury of raising lot rent without considering the effect on house payments or unit rent. And finally, creative home acquisition financing is providing interesting new (funding) opportunities, especially for the smaller owners/operators of manufactured home communities (‘LLLCommunities’).”

If you missed reading last week’s blog posting, scroll back a week into the blog archives at the (community-investor.com) website and read of other ‘insider’ Lessons Learned. And hey; this is what two National Public Forums, the morning of 9/11, at the Networking Roundtable, are about: What’s happening in the manufactured housing & LLLCommunity arenas, & What can be done to shape our Free Enterprise futures?

II.

HUD’s Contretemps
(‘an embarrassing occurrence’)

WHO recently penned (8/15/2014), and WHERE did they publish, this Challenge Goal for HUD-Code manufactured housing in the U.S. today?

“…ensure the bottom-line cost of manufactured housing is not needlessly increased by make-work regulation that has no place in this unique affordable housing program.”

The possible answers are: MHI in its’ WEEK IN REVIEW online message to members; a Jim Visser editorial in The Journal; a HUD communiqué; MHARR’s ‘Sobering Wake-up Call for HUD-Code (Home) Manufacturers…’; in the Allen Letter professional journal; Ken Rishel’s Manufactured Housing Chattel Finance online newsletter; or, a COBA7® memorandum to affiliates?

The ideal answer: This statement could and should be apropos for ‘all the above’, beginning with Department of Housing & Urban Development’s manufactured housing program administrator! However, that’s NOT where this Challenge Goal originated.

The answer: That statement was the final sentence in a 14 August 2014 memorandum from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s ‘Sobering Wake-up Call for HUD Code Manufacturers on Expansion of Unnecessary and Costly Regulation’.

If YOU haven’t read this three page summary of what appears to be, in this industry observer’s opinion, increasing (voluntary cum mandatory) abuse of the inherent affordable nature of our type factory-built housing, YOU should make it a point to do so! How? Phone (202) 783-4087 and request a copy of the 14 August 2014 memorandum.

Gist of what you’ll read?

1) How HUD is complicating and increasing regulatory compliance costs of programs (e.g. Subpart I) that should be sunsetting, considering “…consumer complaints and referrals to dispute resolution are – and have been – at minimal levels, and the industry is building its’ best homes?”

2) How HUD, to date, has not engaged in an (industry) costs/(homebuyer) benefits study and analysis re: “…massive expansion of in-plant regulation…” – and how it affects, again, the inherent affordable nature of this type factory-built housing!

3) A recitation of 1990s MHIndustry ‘history’ precipitating the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, and how today’s missteps by the MHIndustry & HUD alike, mirror the truth of the sage observation: “Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them!”

4) And finally, of the increase in HUD certification label fee from $39 to $100, a 156% increase in effect by mid-September. It has been simply amazing, to me, there’s not been more of a ‘hue & cry’ from HUD-Code home manufacturers over this matter.

Has anyone else spoken out or written about these timely, salient and troubling matters?

MHI’s WEEK IN REVIEW online message to members, in a passage labeled ‘HUD Issues Final Rule to Increase Label Fees’ plows much of the same ground on this particular topic, pointing out that “HUD said it will consider reducing the label fee if there is an unpredicted increase in production.” Fat chance of that happening until ‘easy to access’ chattel capital returns, if ever, to the HUD-Code home manufacturing scene.

The online message also alerts members that “HUD plans to seek contractual support to assist in the administration of the installation standards program in states that have not established approved programs” & “…the dispute resolution program in states that have not established approved dispute resolution programs.” Here’s yet another bromide that certainly applies: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” So HUD, leave the states alone!

One also wonders, after reading WEEK IN REVIEW, why there’s been NO brouhaha, from MHI’s manufacturer members, about the aforementioned lack of an (industry) costs/(homebuyers) benefits study and analysis by HUD? Perhaps it’s easier for the Big-3C HUD-Code home manufacturers to absorb increased production (inspection & labeling) costs, associated with enhanced regulatory oversight, rather than resist them. Hmm. Is there a history lesson here, say circa 1985? Yes there is….

SO, why is all this labeled as a HUD Contretemps, or ‘an embarrassing occurrence’?

Simple. One would logically think the federal agency known for its’ manifold housing programs, providing shelter to disadvantaged and lower income citizens, at taxpayer expense, would be the government’s leading proponent of ‘affordable housing’! Yet, just the opposite appears to be true, as HUD pushes for the enhancement of unnecessary and costly regulatory measures at a time when, as MHARR so aptly states: “…consumer complaints and referrals to dispute resolution are – and have been – at minimal levels, and the (manufactured housing) industry is building its’ best homes.” One doesn’t get anymore ‘contretemp’ (embarrassed), than when caught between two such opposing views!

‘HUD’, if you’re listening; start PROMOTING manufactured housing, as America’s homegrown type ‘affordable’ factory-built housing, and STOP HOBBLING it with more regulatory oversight and increased production costs!

Know WHERE to effectively ‘draw that much needed line in the sand’? At and during the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. WHY? Because there’ll be more than 200 land-lease-lifestyle community (A.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators, along with HUD-Code home manufacturers and lenders, present to hear and carry such a timely, dual thrust message back to the rest of the manufactured housing industry!

For more information, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

Official WHITE PAPER is ‘in the mail’

It’s 18 pages in length, 8 ½” X 11” in size, and sports a Kelly green plastic cover. The title? ‘Past, Present & Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities in a WHITE PAPER…’an authoritative report giving information on an issue’.’ If you’ve registered for the upcoming (10-12 September 2014) 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, then one is in the mail to you. Only exception is where there’re multiple registrants from the same company. One copy has been sent now, and additional copies will be distributed the morning of 9/11, before we commence the two National Public Forums – for which the WHITE PAPER was penned in the first place.

WHITE PAPER content? Here’s a recitation of the first page of this CONFIDENTIAL document. But first, know this: There’s more information about manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities in this document than in any other previously published reference. It alone is worth the price of attending the networking roundtable! Now…

***
Setting the stage. Here are recent, unsolicited passages characterizing contemporary attitudes and opinions relative to manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities)

Bob Vahsholtz writing in DURELING CURVES, about manufactured housing:

“In the near term (post 2014), our best cost advantage lies with handsome singles, small enough to keep the monthly cost of our homes to the consumer well below the stick competition’s apartments.” P.98
&
“The MH industry needs to think outside the square (box).” P. 109

A veteran LLLCommunity portfolio owner/s view of home manufacturers:

“HUD-Code (home) manufacturers have identified, at mid 2014, two very distinct buyers of their product: ‘Big Box = Big Bucks units’ and ‘lower-priced’ (Community Series) homes.” SR

Point? ?Depending on who one talks to in the MHBusiness; many believe, LLLCommunities need ‘handsome, small (affordable) singlesection homes’ to fill vacant rental homesites; and, home manufacturers, given their choice of models exhibited at regional home shows, prefer ‘big money’ shipping ‘big boxes’ (multisection homes) for placement on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, and into subdivision.

Let’s preview what follows from here:

Part I summarizes past and present manufactured housing & LLLCommunities via a dozen descriptive categories apiece.

Part II imagines the ‘future’ of both business models, in light of past performance, contemporary issues & trends, and probable ‘future ‘prospects.

All of which begs this question: Just what will our individual (business) and collective (industry/realty asset class) ‘futures’ be like, looking to year 2015 and beyond? ‘Answers to that question’ is the anticipated outcome of the two National public Forums scheduled the morning of 9/11/2014! Be there & Be ready!

***

There you have it, the introduction to this fact-filled Official WHITE PAPER describing the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, Past, Present, & yes, Future.

Might as well put our industry’s two national advocacy bodies ‘on notice’ here, as to how they might/should look to the future, once the results of said National Public Forums are published. What follows is from page # 15:

***

Where to go from here? There’re likely several alternatives, but here’s…

One suggestion. MHARR, MHI & COBA7® to jointly announce, plan & host, a National Strategic Planning Session at an easily accessible, reasonably-priced meeting facility, using a capable, experienced, motivated facilitator, to lead a two day brainstorming and planning caucus.

***

And at this point no fewer than three historic examples of past Strategic Planning Sessions, within the MHIndustry/LLLCommunity asset class, are recalled, citing the leadership, proceedings, and wisdom – respectively – of now retired MHI Chairman Barry McCabe, the first National State of the Asset Class caucus, and Randy Rowe.

The Official WHITE PAPER concludes with this suggestion to MHARR, MHI, & COBA7®. That “They Call for a National Strategic Planning Session by the end of 2014 or early during year 2015!”

Want a copy of this Official WHITE PAPER? Then plan on attending the 23rd International Networking Roundtable next month! At present, there are no plans to distribute this document, for sale or for free, beyond this audience. To register, use the program brochure at community-investor.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it. Again, the 18 page, Official WHITE PAPER is FREE to Networking Roundtable registrants, presenters, and guests.

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Consequences of LLLCommunity Consolidation

August 16th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 310 @ 17 August 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

FREDDIE MAC Panel at ROUNDTABLE. 23rd Networking Roundtable shaping up to be Best Ever, in terms of program timeliness and variety! Not too late to register. Just phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633.4764 today.

II.

Consequences of LLLCommunity Consolidation. This is the sort of profound reporting that spawns ‘kudos’ & ‘brickbats’ (i.e. ‘insulting remarks’) from diverse leadership groups. Small businesses generally agree; some big business reps backstab.

III.

Calling All Golfers – Again! Last week we told you about the joint IL/WI Golf Tournament, on 4 September, at the Hawk’s View golf Club in Lake Geneva, WI. This time around, One More Great Reason to attend the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable!

I.

FREDDIE MAC Panel at ROUNDTABLE!

Will be joined by the FHFA, maybe Fannie Mae; &, a HUD rep(?).

Yes, you read that right. Friday morning, 12 September at 11AM, three executives from Freddie Mac’s Production & Sales Multifamily, and Underwriting & Credit Multifamily departments will conduct a panel presentation titled, ‘All You Ever Wanted to Know About Freddie Mac, but Didn’t Know Who to Ask!’ So, if you’re contemplating acquisition financing, for a land-lease-lifestyle community, or refinancing thereof, you’ll be ‘in the room’ during the 23rd International Networking Roundtable that day! To register, use brochure attached to this week’s blog posting or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And that’s not all! COBA7® is in active conversation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, about their attending at this year’s Roundtable – to learn more about our unique, income-producing realty asset class, and to engage in interpersonal networking with the hundreds of owners/operators present at the event. One more reason why the CONFIDENTIAL Official WHITE PAPER (‘Understanding the Manufactured Housing & LLLCommunity Asset Class’) – being distributed to Roundtable registrants, is so timely and useful! This is one manufactured housing industry document you do not want to miss reading from start to finish! In fact, it alone is worth the cost of admission to this stellar annual educational, networking, and deal-making event.

Oh, and lest I forget; we’re also talking to the Atlanta office of Fannie Mae to see which executive there will be in attendance at this year’s Networking Roundtable. And an invitation has been extended to HUD as well…but no word back from that agency. But wouldn’t it be Great though, if a HUD rep attended, and left convinced, to finally promote manufactured housing as the best ‘affordable housing’ resource in the U.S. today?!

Bottom Line? There’s a bunch of em this year! 20 educational seminars & panels; eight social networking meal events; dozens of opportunities for LLLCommunity deal-making; two history-making National Public Forums; and, possible reemergence of Manufactured Housing Executive Women, or MHEW (Several women execs have already phoned, expressing their excitement over this possibility! Hey, Chris, Dee, Ann, Edith, Suzanne, Pam, Jenny, Sharon, Shelia, Joanne, Barbara, Lois & Barbara; are you listening? Come on down!). And now, representation from two GSE’s (Government Sponsored Enterprises) and possibly, other agencies! There’s not another MHIndustry &/or LLLCommunity venue in the U.S. and Canada today, that comes even close to this variety, depth, and timeliness of presentations and number of deal-making opportunities! And lest we forget, we host the annual, early Friday morning informal prayer meeting for Our Nation & Its’ Leaders! How can you not want to be present for all this? See Part III following…

II.

Consequences of LLLCommunity Consolidation

Some Pros & Cons of Consolidating Sole Proprietor-developed Land-lease-lifestyle Communities into 500+/- Property Portfolios

In 1987, Roulac’s Strategic Real Estate newsletter published its’ final list of 25 ‘Largest Mobile Home Park Owners’ in the U.S. Today, 25 years later, we know the names and addresses of no fewer than 500 privately and publicly-owned entities. That’s a 20 fold increase during a relatively short period of time. And like most industry trends, this massive consolidation of sole proprietor-developed LLLCommunities into said 500+/- property portfolios has had consequences, ‘good & not so good’. But first, a short history lesson….

The first wave of (then) ‘mobile home park’ consolidation occurred during the late 1970s and early 1980s, as ‘syndicators’ scoured the countryside, far and wide, forming limited partnerships to acquire thousands of such income-producing properties in foreclosure. This wave, a result of the national and industry finance tribulation, as well as HUD-Code legislation implementation circa 1974 – 1976. Some, though not many, of those partnerships – based on and sold per ‘tax loss advantages’ until the federal law changed in 1986, continue to exist to this day.

That wave was followed by a bit of a wash-out (again), when savings and loans institutions (i.e. ‘S&Ls’) failed across the nation. Then the federally chartered Resolution Trust Commission, or RTC, took on the task of selling-off S&L realty trapped in limbo, facilitating the birth of many more property portfolio firms coast to coast, and enhancing the growth of existing portfolio ‘players’.

And in the early 1990s, 1994 to be precise, a few real estate investment trusts, or REITs, burst onto the scene, taking their privately-owned property portfolios public via IPOs (initial public offerings of stock). That wave was characterized by (then) MHC, Inc. – but today, ELS, Inc. with 28,407 rental homesites; Chateau Communities, Inc. with 15,689 sites; Sun Communities with 13,500 sites; and long time REIT, (then) United Mobile Homes, Inc. with 5,623 sites. Today, those site counts have changed as follows: ELS, Inc. as of 1 January 2014 with 138,869 rental homesites; Sun Communities at 65,500 sites (but with the soon addition of 19,000 Green Courte Partner/American Landlease sites = 84,500 sites total); and, (now) UMH Properties, Inc. at 4,623 plus recent addition of more sites. Chateau Communities, Inc., dropped from the REIT scene in 2003, when acquired by Hometown America. And a short-lived American Landlease REIT existed from 1998 thru 2008; and even shorter-lived ARC (formerly Affordable Residential Communities, then – under new ownership, renamed American Residential Communities – or was it the other way around?), was a REIT in years 2004 & 2005.

The latest ‘wave’ (2004 to date) has been a relatively small one to date, characterized by the equity plays of Randy Rowe, and a few other realty investment pioneers – mostly from outside the manufactured housing industry.

SO, what have been the positive aspects of this widespread consolidation of sole proprietor-developed LLLCommunities into 500+/- property portfolios? Well certainly the creation of wealth via profit, for awhile for many, but not all ‘players’. How so? LLLCommunities have long been considered, by many within and outside the asset class, as being ‘the best kept secret in real estate investing!’. Why? Simple. Here’re ten reasons:

• Relative scarcity! Only 50,000+/- nationwide, with few being developed today. Some existing properties, however, have added new rental homesites. And from time to time, a few – mostly much older LLCommunities, are closed for good.

• Low annual turnover! ( LLLCommunities @ 5-10% on the average, vs. 50+/-% with conventional apartments) This due mostly, to high cost of relocating homes.

• Stable, competitive site rent! – when not abused by property owners. When was the last time you heard/read of a LLLCommunity reducing its site rent rate?

• Lower operating expense ratio! (LLLCommunities @ 40% Allen Model & national average OER, vs. 55+/-% with conventional apartments)

• Economy of scale! Watch OER drop from 40 to 20+/-% & lower, when 200+ sites are occupied and paying site rent, and operating expenses are well-managed.

• Affordable home ownership and equity, when home prices and rental homesite rates (Total Value Proposition or TVP) are in sync with local housing market! How so? One way: Use 3:1 ratio, not 2:1 ratio, relative to 3BR2B apartment rents in same local housing market. For example: $900 apartment rent = $300 LLLCommunity homesite rent; not $450, unless located in a specific local housing market that’ll support the higher rate.

• Recession proof! When all else fails….

• More opportunities to ‘add value’! ‘Alternative Income to Rent’ measures include new & resale home sales on-site, seller-financing of transactions, after-market sale and installation of carports, awnings, and housing parts. There’re more AITR measures with LLLCommunities than with any other income-producing realty!

• More versatility! No longer just pre-1976 ‘mobile homes’ & post-1976 manufactured homes on-site; but now, also modular homes, ‘park model RVs’ (A.k.a. Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, per HUD – even ‘granny flats’; and ideal for installation on functionally obsolete rental homesites), RVs for a season, and stick-built homes constructed on-site (in FL) to look like HUD-Code manufactured homes. This has given rise to the change in realty asset class label, from ‘manufactured home – or housing community’, to finally, ‘land-lease-lifestyle community’ or LLLCommunity.

• Opportunity to serve society! By providing the most ‘affordable’ type of factory-built housing in a generally ‘affordable’ lifestyle multifamily rental community, comprised of the unique homeowner/tenant, or better yet, homeowner/site lessee, enjoying aforementioned TVP..

For more information on these ten factors, read Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts & Camps, & Affordable Housing, PMN Publishing, 2011. Available for purchase via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

What other positive aspects have there been, relative to consolidation? On the national advocacy scene, property portfolio firms desiring to be properly and effectively represented in our nation’s capitol, precipitated the emergence of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council division during January 1996 (A presence originally conceived by 19 LLLCommunity owners/operators on 31 August 1993). For more on this interesting historic topic, read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, 2013.

And for awhile, a couple of the larger property portfolio players financially supported initiatives to bring more sophistication to the realty asset class, via research and reporting of operating statistics, effecting improved communication in print & online, support of national interpersonal and corporate networking venues, showcasing of deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, even sharing of intellectual property resources. Today however, those initiatives continue to be financially supported by a different few large portfolio firms, most of the financial load is borne by small to mid-sized owners/operators, via affiliation with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. In the meantime, the largest property portfolio firms now cultivate some to much of these measures in-house..

SO, what have been the not so positive aspects of consolidation of sole proprietor-developed LLLCommunities into 500+/- property portfolios? Here opinions will vary, depending on one’s perspective.

• State manufactured housing associations in general, and ones comprised mostly of LLLCommunity owners/operators in particular. Overall, association membership numbers and revenues are decidedly ‘down’ from where they were ten years ago. This is due in large part because new HUD-Code home shipments (and hence ‘floor dues’) have slipped from 372,843 units in 1998 to 130,940 five years later in 2003, then 60,228 in 2013 – with but 70,000+/- ‘expected’ during 2014, but there’s ‘more to that story’. We have far fewer independent (street) MHRetailers today than in years past. And, as more and more sole proprietor-developed LLLCommunities were bought/brought into property portfolios, membership dues revenues dropped accordingly – as well as did regional chapter representation. Sole proprietors, as a rule, faithfully supported state MHAssociations; however, many property portfolio firms do not. A few pay for all their properties in a given state, some pay for just one membership in said state, and many others pay nothing at all – sometimes opting to maybe be direct, dues-paying members of MHI’s NCC division – despite bylaws designed to prevent such circumlocution.

• National association participation, in my opinion, has suffered during the past decade, as a few of the largest property portfolio players have maneuvered to control the NCC division, passing executive committee jobs back and forth among themselves. Proof? With 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide; and 500+/- LLLCommunity property portfolios; there’re fewer than 100 members today – and slightly more than half of them as direct, dues-paying (LLLCommunity) members, the remaining serving as Certified (state) Representatives. And there’s hardly ever more than a dozen ‘members’ present at any national meeting of the division – for a variety of other reasons (Affluence gerrymandering anyone?) we’ll omit sharing in detail here today.

• A relatively recent phenomenon or trend has been, figuratively speaking, the ‘trading’ of LLLCommunities, even portfolios back and forth between the largest of the firms, without assistance or involvement of licensed real estate brokers – and hence, sans the outflow of commission dollars to them. While this is perhaps praiseworthy as an operating expense control measure, the practice has the unintended (or intended?) consequence of marginalizing this key real estate investment segment of the manufactured housing industry – as national and regional brokerages struggle with ‘How to add value’ to the remaining services they provide the realty asset class at large.

• Then there’s the issue of rental homesite rates. Back when the ‘REITs were young’, Wall Street analysts treated the firms as, let’s say, ‘growth stocks’, expecting positive, increasing dividends quarter after quarter after quarter. Well, the REITs responded with (operations) cost cutting, increasing site rent rates, and other measures. Since rent rates are local housing market-sensitive, raising rents too much too fast had/has dire consequences, i.e. 1) decreasing occupancy (or increasing vacancy) as ‘homeowner/site lessees’ can no longer afford the high site rent rates and relocate; 2) ‘taking value’ from homes already on-site, &/or 3) limiting what prospective homebuyers can afford to buy – as they’re maneuvered to redirect what would have been PITI (loan principal & interest, as well as tax & insurance escrows) dollars to site rent. While there’s been a shakeout of sorts, during the past five years, and many properties, as well as some portfolios, have gone thru foreclosure, been bought anew, and site rent ‘adjusted’ closer to local housing market parameters, it’s still possible to find privately-owned LLLCommunities ‘across the street’ from some portfolio-owned ones, charging half the rent being expected by the latter. What to do about this? How to set site rent in sync with one’s local housing market? Read chapter 1 of the Book of Formulae, Rules o f Thumb, & Helpful Measures, PMN Publishing, 2012. Also earlier cited ratio in this blog posting.

That’s my ‘take’ on the pros and cons of LLLCommunity consolidation during the past 40 or so years. Have I missed anything? Do you agree or disagree with these observations? As I’ve often penned here before: ‘Inquiring minds would like to know’ – and I’m no exception. Email your responses to gfa7156@aol.com

III.

Calling All Golfers – Again!

Hey, how many blog floggers (readers) will I see and talk to at the first joint Indiana/Wisconsin Golf Tournament, on 4 September, a the Hawk’s View Golf Club in Lake Geneva, WI.? And remember, for non-golfers like myself, there’ll be a two hour Open Discussion of manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community issues, trends, and more, during the afternoon that day, at the clubhouse. Interested in participating? Phone Frank Bowman, IMHA’s exec, via (217) 528-3423 or visit IMHA.org. An added bonus for golfers and non-golf attendees. I plan to bring copies of Bruce Savage’s book, The First 20 Years! to distribute FREE to everyone present who wants a copy! See you in Lake Geneva, WI., on 4 September.

And the following week, at the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable in Peachtree City, GA, 10-12 September, at the DOLCE Conference Center, bring your golf clubs! In the immediate vicinity of the DOLCE are three Cannongate Championship Golf courses offering a challenging experience designed by some of the biggest names in professional golf. ‘Sloping emerald fairways, dazzling water hazards, and acres of thick forests make Peachtree City’s courses some of the finest in the U.S. today!’ The courses are Braelinn @ (770) 487-2101; Flat Creek @ (770) 631-5700; and, Planters Ridge @ (770) 487-2102. When making golf reservations let them know you are a registered guest of the DOLCE Conference Center. The Best Plan? Arrive a day early, on 9 or 10 September, &/or stay a day or two late, on 13 & 14 September, to enjoy these terrific amenities to this year’s networking roundtable event.

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WHITE PAPER, MHEW again, & Golfers!

August 10th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 309 @ 10 August 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘The Anticipation is Palpable & Growing’ as each day passes, bringing us closer to 10-12 September 2014, when 250+/- LLLCommunity owners/operators, and their preferred lenders & vendors gather in Peachtree City, GA., for education, networking, deal-making, and this time around, for two history-making National Public Forums! Once registered, watch mail for your copy of the Official WHITE PAPER to read before event!

II.

‘Manufactured Housing Executive Women’. This is one occasion when it might be high time for history to repeat itself! MHEW was a vibrant, too short lived, reality a decade or so ago. Now there’re more women than ever in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. Imagine what they could do if organized and meeting regularly at industry events!

III.

‘Calling All Golfers & Non-Golfers!’ If you’re in the Midwest and enjoy golf, you’ll want to be in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin on 4 September! If you’re a non-golfer and are frustrated – or enthused, about MHIndustry & LLLCommunity matters, come to the Hawk’s View Golf Club that day, and talk with non-golfing peers between 1 & 4PM.

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I.

The Anticipation is Palpable & Growing!

Even a month out, it’s ‘difficult & exciting’ to believe, manufactured housing and its’ sister business model, land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities), will soon take an historic, long, and much needed first step towards eventual economic recovery! How?

By publicly exploring ‘where we’ve been, where we are, & what we need to do today & during days immediately ahead’, to 1) effect a 1998-like, new home shipment redux (resurgence), without the ‘too easily accessible chattel capital trap’; and, 2) effect a concurrent reduction in the number of vacant rental homesites in properties throughout the U.S.!

To that end, the Official WHITE PAPER is being printed, bound, and will be soon mailed to registrants preparing to participate in the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September, in Peachtree City, GA. Reading, then recording one’s ideas pursuant to reading and studying said WHITE PAPER, will prepare folk to engage in the two National Public Forums scheduled for the morning of 9/11. And at this point in time it’s anticipated there’ll also be representatives present from HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHFA, to round out the collection of MHIndustry leaders and LLLCommunity owners/operators present at this event.

(Interestingly; this is the first networking roundtable in 23 years to attract so much serious attention cum participation by one, let alone several, federal government agencies, all genuinely interested in ‘doing their part’ – whatever that is, to make our unique type ‘affordable housing’ more readily available to prospective homebuyers/site lessees throughout the U.S. No promises, but wouldn’t it be SUPERB if HUD walked away from this gathering, committed to overtly promoting HUD-Code manufactured housing as ‘the practical answer’ to affordable homeownership in the U.S. today? And it wouldn’t cost them a thing to do so!)

So, how will this unique, long-awaited national discussion ‘effect a 1998-like, new home shipment redux’? Well, let’s just say, ‘You’ll have to be present to see how it pencils out’. But here’s a hint for you. The two National Public Forums (i.e. ‘Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’, & Future of LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’) are the ‘first important step’ in the process. Who’ll ‘take the critical second step, hosting a national Strategic Planning gathering this Winter? Well, there will be two national advocacy bodies in play and one alliance of business owners, represented at this year’s roundtable. Be present to observe how this leadership contingent responds – or doesn’t. If nothing else, it’ll help you decide ‘where & why’ your future loyalties will lie.

And of course that’s not all! Read through the colorful brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) that brought you this week’s blog posting. See, then experience more than 20 educational seminar sessions and panels, eight social networking events, more realty deal-making opportunities than available anywhere else all year long, and a collection of Free Enterprise businessmen and women (including YOU) who can, with proper enlightened and committed leadership, make anything (Reread previous five paragraphs!) worthwhile happen – including an MHIndustry economic recovery (of national housing market share) characterized by a 1998-like home shipment redux, without the chattel capital misstep; and significant reduction in the number of vacant rental homesites throughout the U.S. today!

Use attached Networking Roundtable brochure to register This Week, or simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and register over the phone.

By way of reminder. Everyone who attends this year’s Networking Roundtable, whether affiliated with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, will receive FREE copies of the two new Signature Series Resource Documents:

• 1st National Directory of HUD-Code Home Manufacturers (A side note. Home manufacturers are as excited about having their firms listed, as LLLCommunity owners/operators are excited, about knowing ‘From whom to buy new homes?’

• 1st National Directory of Real Estate Brokers Specializing in Marketing ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities Nationwide.

These two new print resources join the previously distributed dozen SSRDs that include such titles as: 25th annual ALLEN REPORT (A.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’), 16th annual National Directory of Real Estate-secured & Chattel Capital Lenders!, and more!

II.

Manufactured Housing Executive Women

A decade ago, several dozen manufactured housing women executives and owners/operators of (then) manufactured home communities met informally at various national venues (e.g. Networking Roundtable & MHCongress), to share information and experiences, as well as to engage in interpersonal networking and encouragement. Unfortunately, that effort waned when one individual attempted to commandeer the fledgling social networking group, and the majority failed to follow or continue the camaraderie.

Well, today is a new day, and may be the opportune time for a new initiative to this same or similar end: sharing information and experiences, and engage in interpersonal networking and encouragement among other women executives and owners/operators of (now) land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide.

Obviously, it’s not apropos for me to organize this informal effort, but we’re certainly open for ‘it’ to happen during the upcoming 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September, in Peachtree City, GA. All it takes is for you, if a woman and registering for said event, to express your interest by stating such when registering (e.g. Pen MHEW somewhere near your name, on the registration form), and we’ll see that you’re made aware of other like-minded women when you arrive at the roundtable event this Fall. Maybe even sit at adjacent tables during one or both luncheons.

What prompted this recollection and suggestion? Recently read a description of The Network for Women Advisors, in a wealth management trade publication. The announcement declared, “We are…a group built by women for women, devoted to helping our peers thrive – both professionally and personally. Our goal is to create an environment that champions excellence by connecting hundreds of women across the country who all want the same thing: to nurture and grow their businesses. We strive to empower and encourage one another – sharing our expertise, expanding our perspectives, and deepening our networks. Together, we uncover opportunities, and we achieve great things.” Pretty impressive, huh? Why shouldn’t the same social networking occur among female MHIndustry executives & LLLCommunity owners/operators? Think about it and decide whether to ‘make a difference’.

III,

Calling All Golfers & Non-Golfers!

Illinois & Wisconsin Manufactured Housing Alliance/Associations’ hosting a ‘first ever’ joint golf tournament at the picturesque Hawk’s View Golf Club in Lake Geneva, WI., on 4 September 2014. And for the non-golfers? An informal afternoon Open Discussion of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity issues, trends, and more, led by George Allen, CPM® & MHM®. Everyone, golfers and non-golfers alike, attending this exciting dual event will be given a copy of Bruce Savage’s popular book, The First 20 Years!…of national advocacy in behalf of land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) by MHI’s National Communities Council division.

For more information, visit imha.org or phone (217) 528-3423. When Frank Bowman, executive director of IMHA answers, tell him: ‘George sent me!’ And if you own a business in Illinois, ask him to send you an IMHA membership application as well.

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On-Site PM Compensation & 2 New SSRDs!

August 2nd, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 308 @ 3 August 2014 Copyright 2015

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4674.

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

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

For the record, there was no blog posting on 27 July 2014. Furthermore, this posting contains more exciting & timely information than most of the 307 blogs posted to date!

Hall of Fame Rocks! Monday, 4 August = memorable day in RV & MH Industry History

Important $ Project ‘in the works’ today. Finally: ‘How to Compute PM Salaries!’

Two New SSRDs Debut at Roundtable! ‘HUD-Code home manufacturers’ & RE brokers

What Do YOU Think? When will MHIndustry stop selling ‘more house than needed’?

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I.

Hall of Fame Rocks!

Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Inductees Attract Largest Banquet Crowd to Date, & RV/MH Authors Meet at Museum for 1st Time!

More than 425 past and present RV/MH Hall of Fame members, their families, close friends, business associates, and honored guests, will be on hand for this year’s Gala Event in Elkhart, IN! Hope YOU are among that august group of RV & MH industry pioneers, association leaders, businessmen and women.

4 August begins with the RV/MH Hall of Fame annual golf tournament. And while this is going on, would-be and published RV/MH authors will convene for the first ever writer’s event – from 9:30AM – Noon. A dozen RV/MH industry authors, active in business, mystery, and history genres, have been invited – and several have already committed to be present among their peers. Hope to make this an annual gathering….

And frankly, ‘Anyone who’s Anybody’ in the RV & MH industries will likely be present at our dual industries’ equivalent to the professional baseball and football halls of fame induction ceremonies! May not be too late for YOU to sign-up, and ‘come on down – or up’ to Elkhart, IN. for the festivities! Phone (547) 293-2344 and talk to Charlene! Truly hope to see YOU there!

II.

Important $ Project ‘in the works’ Today

‘How Do You Decide How Much to Pay Your On-site Property Manager or Team?’ That is ‘the question’ that’s dogged owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) for seven decades! And the formulaic answer just might be on the 23rd International Networking Roundtable horizon, 10-12 September 2014 in Peachtree City, GA!

In general terms, here’s how the Five Step Process is penciling out to date:

1. Just as the ‘3Ls Secret to Real Estate Success’ is considered to be ‘location, location, location’; ‘LHM’ is a leading indicator when computing on-site manager (or team) compensation – LHM being the ‘local housing market’ in which one or more subject LLLCommunities are located. Therefore, identify LHM by its’ four digit postal zip code, then ascertain, via zipskinny.com or other similar website, its’ Annual Median Income level, or AMI. Two examples. National AMI has been stagnant-to-declining during the past several years, as macro economy recovers from recession. It’s now pegged close to $51,000. Whereas a typical suburb of a major Midwestern city (SMSA), during 2013, might be $36,000. AMI.

2. Reference the recently published 2014 Compensation Study, by the Institute of Real Estate Management®, or IREM®, to ascertain benchmark compensation (i.e. average annual income) for Certified Property Managers®, or CPMs®, and Accredited Resident Managers®, or ARMs®…the latter, roughly equivalent to MHEI’s Accredited Community Manager®, or ACM® designation, and PMN Publishing’s Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® designation. Note. Use CPM® data when compensating corporate executive PMs. (312) 329-6000.

3. Estimate subject property’s (i.e. LLLCommunity) Gross Potential Income for the year – or ‘properties’, if an on-site manager or management team is (or is to be) responsible for two or more like properties within the same LHM or one nearby. Be careful to indicate whether calculation is based wholly on present day performance (i.e. physical & economic occupancy) or anticipated improvement to same, during and after a turnaround effort, at the subject property(ies).

4. Using the widely-referenced ‘Allen Model OER (operating expense ratio) Chart’, thoughtfully effect labor expense allocations (from ‘administrative labor’ &/or ‘maintenance labor’ operating expense categories) in dollars. Do this in accords with property size (i.e. number of rent-paying rental homesites), and in light of planned or expected operational improvements – or not, to subject property(ies).

5. Effect reconciliation of accumulated data relative to LHM’s AMI; the IREM® ‘standard’; & allocated OER $s per one, two, or more salaried and hourly employees – again, in accords with 1) property size (i.e. income reality & potential), 2) property condition (present & anticipated occupancy %), 3) marketing/operations expectations; and, 4) employee(s) capability and experience.

This procedure, besides, pegging property manager, and supporting team compensation, also helps demonstrate the importance of keeping separate books, certainly for independent home sales operations on-site, as well as marketing and operation of rental units on-site.

And remember; ‘as a rule’, LLLCommunity management is generally a part time job until physical and economic occupancy exceeds 100 rental homesites, some say 150. (e.g. 100 sites X $300/month X 7.5% combined admin & maint. OER percentages X 12 months = $22,536 in salary alone, not adjusted for on-site housing expenses, etc..

There’s more to come; specifically applied numbers and case studies. The goal is to have this material prepared and ready for distribution at the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014. Have you registered yet? Easy to do so; just telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

Two New SSRDs to Debut at Roundtable!

SSRDs spring from direct inquiries to the ‘ombudsman (press) function’ of COBA7®, e.g.‘Who are the HUD-Code home manufacturers in the U.S.?’ &, ‘What real estate brokerages specialize in marketing land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide?’ What inquiries can COBA7® research for you? Call the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Frankly, we were surprised to learn, while fielding these two inquiries to the ombudsman (press), ‘No such directories exist!’ In the first instance, there’s MHI’s membership directory at MHI.org, but the MHARR keeps their member list confidential.

Well, the HUD-Code home manufacturer directory presently contains contact information for nearly 40 firms domiciled throughout the U.S. And, like the dozen already existing Signature Series Resource Documents, this one too will be updated annually, then distributed to Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance affiliates with a monthly edition of the Allen Letter professional journal. Are YOU affiliated?

And the real estate brokerage directory presently contains contact information of more than a half dozen such firms that list and sell LLLCommunities nationwide. We fully expect this directory to increase in size as more and more real estate brokerages learn of its’ existence and efficacy. Again; for COBA7® affiliates! YOU affiliated?

So, be at the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA., to receive your FREE copies of both directories, as well as the aforementioned Five Step Process for calculating on-site property manager compensation.

But most important, come prepared to participate in the two National Public Forums scheduled for the morning of 9/11/2014! To that end; when you register, you’ll be mailed (mid-August) a WHITE PAPER describing the ‘stats’ and trends characteristic of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. This is designed to ‘ready’ you for said National Public Forums: ‘Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’; and, ‘Future of LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investments’. Be present and Be part of manufactured housing industry history!

IV.

What Do YOU think?

The popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ is at an Impasse (‘deadlock’).

The question is, ‘Whether to continue using the widely known and applied 30% Housing Expense Factor (i.e. income percentage set aside to cover ‘housing costs’) in said worksheet, or increase it to 45% HEF, allowing for the combination of such ‘front end debt’ (i.e. aforementioned 30% HEF) with ‘car loans, child support, alimony, & student loans’ as ‘back end debt’ or DTI (debt-to-income) not to exceed a 45% HEF limit?!’

Most of the material in the previous introductory paragraph is quoted from ‘Contemporary Archetype of Affordable Housing in the U.S.’, published in chapter #6 of Bruce Savage’s book, The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, 2013. This COBA7® resource available via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

The ‘45% max DTI limit’, however, was quoted during a McGlinchey Stafford presentation regarding ‘Ability to Repay’ at MHI’s Summer meeting in Indianapolis, IN., in June 2014. The entire Power Point slide is quoted as follows:

“Underwriting must take into account the consumer’s proposed monthly housing cost: principal, interest, taxes, insurance and mortgage insurance (‘PITI’), credit history, current income, installment debt (such as car loans and credit card debt), alimony and child support, and debt-to-income ratios (‘DTI’) income must be ‘expected income the consumer is reasonably assured of receiving’, verified and documented. DTI must be determined based on a fully amortizing loan.” 15 U.S.C. 1639b

FYI.’ Housing cost’, as described in the previous paragraph includes PITI – and according to presenter, ‘rental homesite rent dollars’, but nothing more! There’s no allowance for ‘household expense’ utilities (e.g. heating fuel, electricity, water, sewer). As ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ users know, these ‘phantom but real’ housing costs when factored into said 30% HEF result in more ‘affordable’ home pricing, but when omitted, are labeled – in the worksheet proper – as being ‘risky’ investments.

So, where to go from here? ‘Leave well enough alone and the unsuspecting public be damned!’; OR, raise the HEF limit from 30 to 45% to include back end DTI; OR, ‘take the guts out of’ the 30% HEF (i.e. household ‘utility’ expense allowance), and commence ‘playing the numbers game like most other mortgage lenders’? Tough choice!

What say YOU? This inquiring mind would like your considered opinion! Mine? Leave the household ‘utility’ expenses intact, and encourage conservative borrowing (i.e. ‘buying less home with less risk’ instead of ‘more home with more risk’) on the part of most, if not all, prospective homebuyers and homebuyers/site lessees.

Know what? This has been a major wakeup call for me, after 35 years in the housing industry. Specifically? Seeing how lenders, up and down the line, apparently prefer to sell more house to individuals than they can affordably handle, because bigger loans mean bigger commissions and greater returns to said lenders.

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‘Adding Value’ & ‘Parsing Paradoxes’

July 19th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 307 @ 20 July 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Value Added to 23rd Networking Roundtable!’ Given it’s already widespread ‘rep’ for educational (20 seminars & panels), networking (eight social meal events) and deal-making opportunities, it’d seem impossible to ‘add (more) value’. But the addition of two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS this year, on 9/11/2014, certainly does so. And the pre-event distribution of a serious Official WHITE PAPER, to all event registrants, is not only unprecedented, but ‘icing on the cake’ of ‘value addition’ for manufactured housing aficionados and LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide!

II.

PARSING PARADOXES. This blogger hasn’t had so much fun penning a blog column, in a long time. Paradoxical statement have long fascinated me. In fact, I read some every day during ‘personal meditation time’, from The Valley of Vision, ‘A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions’, compiled by Arthur Bennett. (717) 249-5747. Enjoy!

III.

REMINDER. Hope some of you join Al Hesselbart and me for the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ 2 ½ hour seminar in Elkhart, IN., on 4 August 2014! DUELING CURVES author Bob Vahsholtz too, will be on hand, to chat with would be writers, answer questions about his latest book, and share in the MH & LLLCommunity experience.

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I.

‘Value Added’ to 23rd Networking Roundtable!

An Official WHITE PAPER describing ‘manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community statistics & trends’, will be distributed during August and early September, to registrants for the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. This Official WHITE PAPER will facilitate personal preparation for two historic NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS scheduled for the morning of September 11, 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. Every business owner, senior salaried executive, and real estate investor, will want a copy of this comprehensive compendium of key industry data and strategic asset class news – past, present, and yes, ‘future’. Why? Because much of the information, frankly, is available from no other source serving the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity real estate asset class!

What’s included in this unique and timely document? Again, past, present, and ‘future’ characteristics of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities, in terms of:

DESCRIPTION (of the unique HUD-Code housing product & property operations)

REGULATIONS thereto pertaining….

DESIGN & SIZES of homes, and income-producing properties per se

SHIPMENTS (of manufactured homes over the decades and into the ‘future’…)

DISTRIBUTION of product, and local housing market demographics, $ & more…

RETAIL FINANCING (emphasis on compliance with regulations, and includes a ten point ‘shopping list’ of self-financing alternatives – never before published!)

REAL ESTATE FINANCING of LLLCommunities; an ever shifting tide….

LIFESTYLE relative to LLLCommunities

INVESTMENT relative to LLLCommunities

TAXATION of realty-secured, fee simple conveyed homes, & within LLLCommunities

SERVICE; as in customer service of new homes, & resident relations, referral, retention

SECONDARY MARKET = perennial missing redoubt of manufactured housing industry

By now, you should be getting the clear and convicting idea this Official WHITE PAPER is indeed ‘something special’, in that it covers not one or the other of these two major industry/asset class topics, but both of them, with equal fervor and appropriate detail!

“The goal of this Official Manufactured Housing Industry WHITE PAPER is to facilitate personal and corporate preparation for the two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS on 9/11/2014. ‘There & then’, 23rd Networking Roundtable attendees will engage in Open Discussion intended to shape the Future of ‘manufactured housing vs. trailers’ and LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’.” Quoted from Official WHITE PAPER.

SPECIAL NOTE. This comprehensive industry & realty asset class WHITE PAPER will NOT be available for purchase before or after the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable. Why? There’re plans already afoot, to incorporate Lessons Learned and Ideas, from aforementioned NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS, into a Preliminary Master Plan Document, available to one, maybe more, national advocacy bodies who accept the challenge to schedule, host and facilitate a National Strategic Planning Session within six months following the two NATIONAL PUBLIC FORUMS in Peachtree City, GA .

And if elected and salaried national advocacy body leaders don’t embrace this challenge to caucus, strategically plan, and effectively lead the manufactured housing industry out of its’ decade long malaise? Then they’ll have no room to criticize, if and when someone else, or a bevy of businessmen and women, step into the leadership void.

For more information about the upcoming 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, and or to ‘register’ for same, use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) accompanying this blog posting, or telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it.

II.

Parsing Paradoxes

Paradox. “A statement that apparently contradicts itself & yet might, or might not, be true”; also “a seemingly absurd but possibly true statement, something self-contradictory”; & “logical paradoxes are invalid arguments that are still valuable.” Huh?

Was playing around with some paradoxes last week, and found it interesting how some appear to ‘play’ to manufactured housing production and customer service; land-lease-lifestyle community acquisition and operations; even pose a couple MH conundrums; highlight Mystery Shopping as a job performance influencer; and even justify the existence of COBA7®!

• The Productive Failure paradox = “Providing less guidance and structure, and thereby causing more failure (on the housing production line), is likely to promote better learning.” Hmm. Think so, or think not? Ah, the paradox.

• The Service Recovery paradox = “Successfully fixing a problem with a defective product (recently delivered housing), may lead to higher consumer satisfaction, than in the case where no problem occurred at all.” Hmm – again. This just might be the sole antithesis to the ol’ bromide: ‘You don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression!’ What do you think?

• The Icarius paradox = “Some businesses bring about their own downfall thru their own successes.” Ah, think of past LLLCommunity portfolio builders who ‘acquired too many LLLCommunities too fast’, and were unable to anticipate or control the unexpected and serious lethal consequences of too rapid growth….

• Jevons paradox = 1st MHIndustry conundrum, i.e. “Increases in efficiency lead to even larger increases in demand.” Hmm. Certainly reads and sounds right and good, but is it just wishful thinking where present day manufactured housing is concerned – thanks to the dearth of easily accessible chattel capital financing. Consider the Lessons Learned from Bob Vahsholtz’s recent tome, DUELING CURVES – compared to the harsh reality of years 2000 to 2014. Book = $35+ S&H, order via (805) 481-2574. Not an easy, but certainly a worthwhile read.

• 2nd MHIndustry conundrum cum truism = “We learn from history that we don’t learn from history.” George Hegel. Proof? Just consider the many $ cycles we’ve experienced throughout manufactured housing industry history!

• The Observer’s paradox = “The outcome of an event or experience is influenced by the presence of the observer.” Ponder that! It’s surely the case when the ‘observer’s identity’ is known; but how ‘bout when a Mystery Shopper shows up?

• The Arrow Information paradox = “To sell information, you need to give it away before the sale.” Reminds one of the ‘loss leader’ concept in retail sales, as well as ‘free gifts to the first 50 customers’. But to ‘give away’ the ALLEN REPORT & a dozen other Signature Series Resource Documents for 30 years before debut of COBA7®? Now that’s a bit extreme. To affiliate with COBA7, simply phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. If not presently reading the Allen Letter professional journal, and dozen(+) SSRDs, you should be!

And so, what is, or what are, your favorite paradox or paradoxes? Inquiring peers would like to know!

III.

REMINDER

The time is drawing nigh, for you to learn how, and become motivated, to research, organize, pen, and publish your personal memoir(s), autobiography (there’s a difference between the two), or your corporate history or marketing story!

On 4 August, at 9:30 AM, Al Hesselbart (RV historian) and I will begin a 2 ½ hour seminar titled, ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ Cost is only $44.95/person – and less, if you’re registered to attend the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that same evening. For more information, about the seminar, and to register, phone (317) 346-7156. For information about the induction banquet honoring the Class of 2014, phone (574) 293-2344. And there might be a brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing the posting of this weekly blog at community-investor.com

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American Dream $ & 14 SSRDs for You!

July 13th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 306 @ 13 July 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

If you missed the ‘American Dream price tag: USA TODAY analysis shows a family of four needs $130,357 a year’ headline story, on 6 July 2014, try to find and read it; OR, read the adaptation that follows, substituting manufactured housing for a McMansion.

I take SSRDs for granted. I’ve been researching, writing, and distributing them for so long – up to 25 years in one case, I forget that folk new to manufactured housing and the LLLCommunity asset class ‘don’t know what they’re missing’. So here’s your summary.

I.

‘American Dream Price Tag: $130,357/yr’,
When American Median Income is only $51,371/yr!

Did you read this story in the 6 July issue of USA Today? The manner in which 15 categories of essential expenses, extras, and taxes/insurance were calculated and presented was nothing short of being simultaneously instructive, discouraging, and convicting. So much so, the final line of this front page article read: “…it’s clear that though the American dream is still alive, fewer and fewer of us can afford to live it.”

Following here, are the expense categories cited in the article. Read thru them twice; first time to see what’s included in the American Dream Price Tag of $130,357 personal income. Then read thru a second time, to see how much less annual income would be required, if paying the median price for a new HUD-Code manufactured home at $61, 900, instead of $275,000 for the site-built home cited in the article.

ESSENTIAL EXPENSES # I.. Median housing @ $17,062/year (10% down payment; financed @ 30 years at 4%, +1% for annual maintenance). Groceries @ $12,659 for family of four. One 4wheel drive SUV @ $11,039/year. Healthcare premium & expenses @ $9,144. Other purchases & extras (including household utilities) totaled $25,596. And taxes @ $32,357 (30% of income). College savings = $5,000/year for two children. Retirement savings = $17,500. Grand total is $130,357. Note. Article wasn’t clear about how ‘property taxes & homeowner’s insurance’ costs, as in the’ T&I’ of housing PITI (‘principal & interest’) were handled.

ESSENTIAL EXPENSES # II. Median housing @ $3,208/year (same terms as #I above), plus $3,996 for rental homesite rent if $333/month. And for the moment, keep remaining categories of essential expenses the same as in #I above. Grand total is $120,499; nearly $10,000 less income required per year.

But if this $61,900 home is sited on realty conveyed fee simple, or rent free on – a relative’s property, that’d be another ‘savings’ of $3,996/year., bringing the American Dream Price Tag down to $116,503. Also, ‘taxes’ computed at being 30% of the $130,357 income level would be less, as the American Dream Price Tag inched closer to $100,000/yr.

But still, even with the significant adjustment for a truly affordable HUD-Code manufactured home, at $61,900, instead of a $275,000 McMansion, the American Dream Price Tag is still roughly at $100,000/yr income, almost double the Area Median Income, or AMI, during year 2012, of $51,371.00. Not an encouraging picture.

II.

Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs

Oldest SSRD will be 26 years in 2015 & two new ones to debut during 2014

When you’re the owner/operator of one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities) it’s a fine line between being ‘in the know’ and unaware of the operating statistics and emerging trends that affect one as an income-producing real estate investor and purveyor of HUD-Code manufactured housing. And that ‘fine line’ is comprised of what, until recently, was a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs, available only from GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing; and now the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Have you ever wondered what comprises the full array of 12 cum 14 SSRDs? Well, here you have the complete list, published publicly for the first time:

• ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land-lease-lifestyle Community Portfolio Owners/Operators Located Throughout North America!’ This is the ‘granddaddy’, so to speak, of SSRDs, having been published continually for 25years, since 1988/89. The 26th annual ALLEN REPORT will be distributed during January 2015. Research for the report begins with a questionnaire circulated to the 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators, During August 2014.

• ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’ outline, supplemented with a comprehensive list of ‘issues’ identified by LLLCommunity owners/operators during research (questionnaires) the previous Fall. Now that this two part outline is updated annually, businessmen and women, as well as association executives, have been using it to brief employees, members, politicians, government officials, and other interested parties. Out in February.

• National Registry of Lenders now includes real estate-secured mortgage originators (for LLLCommunities) as well as chattel capital sources and servicers. While the aforementioned ALLEN REPORT is the most sought after SSRD, the National Registry of Lenders runs a close second place. It is distributed during March.

• ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 201_?!’ This SSRD is the only independently published directory of freelance consultants who serve the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class nationwide. Literally, ‘anyone who’s anybody’ in this ‘double dual industry’ is featured, though not endorsed, in this handy reference that is distributed, like other SSRDs, as a lagniappe in the Allen Letter professional journal – in this case, during April.

• The annual Directory of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Print & Online Trade Media Resources has become the ‘go to’ reference among association executives, as well as businessmen and women, who need to stay informed about industry and realty asset class matters. A recent addition, in the form of a comprehensive Social Media directory, is included in this special SSRD. Out in May.

• Official Lexicon or Glossary of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class has ‘grown legs of its’ own’ since debuting five years ago. Now often included in the back material of books, guides, and pamphlets, to ‘spread the word’ and lessen misunderstanding of various trade terms and definitions. Updated every June.

• Professional Property Management Training & Certification Programs deserve more emphasis throughout the LLLCommunity realty asset class. This particular SSRD is getting us there, as it describes the various professional property management training and certification programs: CPM®, MHM®, ACM®. Look for it in July’s edition of the Allen Letter professional journal.

• The ‘Industry Briefing Sheet’ & ‘Mobile/Manufactured Housing-related Statistics’ SSRDs have been combined in 2014, as one reference document! Frankly, it contains more and various MHindustry & LLLCommunity statistics, including Canadian, than any other such document in existence today! Look for it in August 2014.
• During September, shortly after the annual International Networking Roundtable, the Trade Advocacy Body Directory makes its’ appearance for all to see and use. Like many of the other SSRDs, the information contained herein is not available, in collected fashion, anywhere else, from anyone else.

• Annual Summary of Proceedings from the International Networking Roundtable. Published in narrative form, it describes what took place at the year’s networking roundtable, including topics presented, as well as the names and contact information of all the presenters! What other trade body in MH and LLLCommunities does that for their (often working for free) speakers? No one.

• MHIndustry Paradigm Shifts Timeline has been around ‘for years’ but isn’t as widely known as other SSRDs. Why? Well, it can be a bit controversial, as it contains stats, trends, even quotes, that some individuals would sooner forget than remember. But it ‘tells the story’, over time, of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. Distributed with the November newsletter.

• December of each year generally sees a mish mash of reports and narratives that don’t easily fit elsewhere. Used to be referred to as the National State of the Asset Class, or NSAC caucus report (Recalling the exciting events of 2/27/2008 & 2/27/2009); though supplanted by the Manufactured Housing Initiative® moniker of late. And now with COBA7® on the scene, methinks there’s yet another evolution on the horizon.

Well, there you have it; a summary of the SSRDs that LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘in the know’ have relied on, for much of the past 25 years, to keep them informed. Well, at this year’s 23rd International Networking Roundtable, two additional (new) SSRDs will debut; they are:

• Directory of Real Estate Brokers Who Specialize in Marketing ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities nationwide.
• Directory of HUD-Code Home Manufacturers. This is something ‘left undone’ since John Griffin left the industry a few years ago.

Bottom line. If you’re not presently receiving the dozen, soon to be 14 SSRDs just described, YOU are missing OUT on numbers, trends, advice, and more, that you should be using to improve the profitability of your LLLCommunity-related business interests. What to do about it? Affiliate with COBA7®, the sooner the better! There’re three options:

I = $134.95 for subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal only. No SSRDs
II = $544.95 for Allen Letter subscription and all SSRDs!
III = $944.95 = for Allen Letter subscription, all SSRDs, and subscription to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! – a very special monthly newsletter for CEOs and business owners!

To effect your affiliation with COBA7®, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Is affiliation worthwhile? Well, more than 200 of our peers, since the first of this year, have certainly seemed to think so. Where else are you going to have such access to research, SSRDs, communication via print & online, networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, and national advocacy, e.g. Official ombudsman (press) of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class. And the list of benefits, tangible and otherwise, goes on….

***

Coming: a Manufactured Housing WHITE PAPER

July 6th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 305 @ 6 July 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Two sequential National Public Forums are scheduled for the morning of 9/11, at the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, in Peachtree City, GA. These forums are important and historic (i.e. ‘First such event in 75+ year history of factory-built housing!’) to the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class. So, the WHITE PAPER that’s being prepared, for distribution to registrants before the event, is the sole subject of this week’s blog posting.

WHITE PAPER

‘…an authoritative report giving information on an issue.’

WORKING TITLE: ‘Past, Present & Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities’ in North American Housing Markets.’

A formal WHITE PAPER is being prepared (Following is quoted from said document)

“…to facilitate personal and corporate preparation for two National Public Forums the morning of 11 September, during the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, at the DOLCE Conference Center, in Peachtree City, GA.”

A print copy of said WHITE PAPER will be mailed to individuals upon receipt of their registration to attend what is shaping up to be the Premier International Manufactured Housing Event of Year 2014! How so? While designed and facilitated, during the past 22 years, for owners/operators of LLLCommunities large and small, every segment of the manufactured housing industry, including home manufacturers, and lenders, will be represented at the networking roundtable this year. Many businessmen and women have already registered, as well as ‘first time participants’ from several federal agencies, academia and national realty organizations!

The WHITE PAPER documents Past & Present statistics & trends germane to manufactured housing & LLLCommunities in light of ten or so characteristics apiece, e.g. Description, Design, Regulations, Production, Distribution, Financing, Service, and more. Then the WHITE PAPER addresses the probable Future(s) of manufactured housing & LLLCommunities in light of those same characteristics. Special Attention is expected, during the National Public Forums, regarding manufactured housing’s future as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’; and LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’, large & small, family & adult, urban & rural, public & private.

When WHITE PAPER readers arrive at the Networking Roundtable they will thus be informed and ready to engage with nationally known and respected presenters who’ll address the two National Public Forums from their perspectives, then participate in informed dialog and open discussion regarding the future nature and direction of manufactured housing and LLLCommunities! Strong interest in attending this year’s superb educational, networking, and deal-making event, has already been expressed by industrialists and realty investors from throughout the U.S., Canada, even France.

It is anticipated the professionally printed and bound WHITE PAPER will be ready for distribution to individuals during August 2014. To ensure receiving your WHITE PAPER in sufficient time for study and reflection, before the Networking Roundtable convenes, make your event and hotel reservations soon! Also know, attendance this year is limited to 250 businessmen and women. The copyrighted WHITE PAPER will not be available for purchase before or after the Networking Roundtable and two National Public Forums!

For a descriptive registration brochure, describing the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

Lemons into Lemonade – Again?!

June 29th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 304 @ 29 June 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

We are living in exciting, if not challenging, times! This week, we look at how the manufactured housing industry, beginning in 1976, turned a proverbial regulatory ‘lemon’, during the next 20 years, into business success ‘lemonade’ – and what it’s going to take today to launch a resurgence of prosperity now absent for the past five years!

COBA7 continues to identify and meet the practical business needs of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators coast-to-coast! Last month it was the mantle of Official Ombudsman (press) to the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class. This month it’s the announcement of two new Signature Series Resource Documents long needed, and now formally requested by owners/operators.

_____________________________________________________________________

I.

LEMON INTO LEMONADE–AGAIN?

How the manufactured housing industry turned the sour-tasting, performance-based, HUD-Code building regulation of 1976, into sweet-tasting new home shipment success, when there’s chattel capital to be had for financing home sale transactions on-site in land-lease-lifestyle communities & elsewhere. But can the industry do it again?

The tripartite formula for preserving this unique and valuable source of quality, non-subsidized, truly affordable housing (i.e. ‘half the cost’ of site-built housing, not including underlying developed land), is simple and straightforward:

1. Maintain federal preemption of the HUD-Code relative to manufactured housing. Proof of value? Modular homes are another type, perhaps even more sophisticated form, of factory-built housing, but look how poor-to- marginal their annual production ‘numbers’ are, thanks to the plethora (i.e. ‘superabundance’) of state and local building codes affecting design, construction, and installation of ‘mods’

2. Uniform building standards – that apply nationwide, with variation for snow loads and a very few other performance-related factors.

3. Uniform building standard enforcement – that remains pretty much the same coast to coast.

Today, the only ingredient missing, from making this tripartite work well, is MONEY. Without rehearsing the sordid details, recently outlined in Mark Fogarty’s article titled ‘Manufactured Housing Suffers Worst Decline of Any Mortgage Niche’ in National Mortgage News, the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry continues to suffer dire consequences from the bursting of its’ chattel finance bubble shortly after the turn of the century.

Nearly 15 years following that debacle, when we have creditworthy prospective homebuyers, we rely on the (now) ‘Big Five + One’ independent, third party chattel lenders: 21st Mortgage Corporation; Triad Financial Services, Inc.; CU Factory Built Lending; U.S. Bank- Manufactured Housing; Green Hill Financial; and, Vanderbilt Mortgage (in-house @ Clayton Homes), to underwrite too few transactions.

With that said, the two parallel fallout trends that have emerged, since shortly after year 2000 – as annual new home shipments plummeted from 372,843 in 1998 to 49,789 by 2009, are:

1) Transition from reliance on home sales and placements by independent (street) MHRetailers, TO on-site marketing and sale of same, new and resale, by land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators; and,

2) Transition from reliance on aforementioned independent, third party chattel lenders, TO all manner and degree of self-finance, ‘captive finance’ and otherwise on-site, including rental of property-owned manufactured homes.

Interestingly, writer Fogarty, an ‘editor at large’ at National Mortgage News, believes he knows, and therefore ‘understands’ the “…outlook for a resurgence of this kind of (chattel capital) lending.” He recites six obstacles standing in the way of resurgence; others opine ‘eight’:

1. Competition from distressed sales of site-built single-family loans (homes?)

2. historically low interest rates

3. record affordability for site-built homes (in some local housing markets)

4. limited conventional financing options due to titling of most manufactured homes as personal property

5. underdeveloped secondary market for (new) manufactured home loans

6. pending financial regulations that could further curtail manufactured home lending

———————————————————————————————————–

7. almost nonexistent secondary market for resale home valuation, sales, and lending

8. continued limited access to chattel capital via independent, third party chattel lenders

So, is all this ‘too much’ to overcome during the weeks and months ahead? What do YOU think?

Well, there’s a soon-to-occur event where you’ll be Welcome to make your observations, considered opinions, even helpful suggestions, known to people who ‘make things happen’.

You’re invited to participate in two sequential National Public Forums, on 11 September 2014, during the 23rd International Networking Roundtable, at the DOLCE Conference Center, in Peachtree City, GA. For a descriptive registration brochure, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Attendance at this historic event (First time in manufactured housing industry history that businessmen and women from throughout North America are coming together to collectively plan their Free Enterprise futures!) How can you not want to participate? But remember, attendance is limited to 250, so don’t delay and miss this stellar opportunity!

***

II.

COBA7 Announces Two New SSRDs!

Last month, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, formally took on the mantle of Official Ombudsman (press) to the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. Already, businessmen and women, academics, even federal agencies, from across the U.S. are sending inquiries our way relative to needed statistics, hard to find information, requests for business contacts, and more.

Well, this month, in response to requests from COBA7® affiliates, we’ve started work on compiling two new Signature Series Resource Documents® or SSRDs®.

In the first instance, we’re culling our list of real estate brokers who specialize in the marketing of LLLCommunities, to produce an SSRD that’ll list, this time around, those who generally work nationally. Future editions might expand to include regional representation.

In the second instance, we’re culling our list of HUD-Code home manufacturers, including those affiliated with the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and the Manufactured Housing Association of Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) – the latter being more difficult to obtain as their member list isn’t often made public, as well as ‘non members’ of either body, to create an SSRD that’ll be helpful to everyone in the MHBusiness.

Plan is to have both new SSRDs ready for distribution at the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014, in Peachtree City, GA. Just One More Good Reason for YOU to participate, wouldn’t you say? Hope YOU do so.

.

YOU = ‘Making & Writing MH History!’

June 21st, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 303 @ 22 June 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Nine blogging ‘shorts’! Culled from previous blog postings & anticipating future events

I.

A Final Response, for now, to the ‘MH vs. RV Issue’

This from a longtime blog flogger (reader): “I have to say, I’m enjoying the ‘RV vs. MH argument’, including the irony of ‘MHI & MHARR’ foisting more (building) regulations (on others). Geesch! Having personally opposed the entry of the HUD-Code in 1973, and effected in 1976, I CONTINUE TO FIND THE BEST BUSINESS REGULATOR IS THE MARKET PLACE! Is it not time (for us), to look at the ‘NAHB & RV’ industries’ combined success & market dominance, to see & learn that regulations do not win, and how good quality (shelter) products that meet needs, do?” NB

II.

Nice to be Appreciated from Time to Time…

“Thanks George. You and Carolyn will always be friends I am truly thankful to have. (And) You know how I feel about what you have done in our (MH) industry. You are the glue that keeps us all together as friends. You have made a difference! We have learned a lot and made lifetime friends.” LL

III.

A ‘Freebie’ Worth Requesting & ‘SSRD’ Worth Buying!

Creighton Weber, real estate mortgage originator with Wells Fargo Multi-family Capital Group, offers blog floggers the 32 page booklet, Manufactured Home Community Financing Handbook, ‘for the asking’. Simply phone Creighton via (248) 723-3119. This generous offer serves as an apt reminder of the availability of COBA7® Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD # 3, the ‘16th National Registry of LLLCommunity (real estate mortgage) and chattel capital lenders and servicers’. This seminal, annually updated resource contains $ statistics, names & contact information for no fewer than ‘20 realty lenders & 20 chattel capital sources & loan servicers’! It’s the second most requested SSRD, after the (25th annual) ALLEN REPORT. And it’s available FREE to affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Select Option II @ $544.95 for a one year subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal and 12 timely SSRDs – available nowhere else ‘at any price’!

IV.

You Tell Me: An Anomaly or Re-emerging Trend?

(Anomaly = a deviation from the common rule, or something abnormal or irregular)

Following paragraph is quoted from a ‘new manufactured home Service Request’, sent to the factory, by a land-lease-lifestyle community owner selling homes on-site:

“In the multisection home, the floor at the marriage wall was even, but the ceiling of one room was ¾”-1” higher than the other. Our setup crew said the repair was to open the ceiling or room, jack up the lower ceiling, install lag bolts in the beams where the ceilings fit together, then close the openings in the ceiling or roof. He wasn’t comfortable doing work that extensive. Since factory service personnel were needed to address the issue, we also had them install, tape, mud, and paint two sheetrock panels in the living room, patch cracks in other sheetrock, and install a wider aluminum strip over the marriage wall flooring to cover erratic staples. They also addressed other similar service issues in the singlesection home. Except for the marriage wall ceiling issue, all the service items, in both homes, could/should have been flagged and fixed before the home left the plant.”

“Furthermore, the plant rep phoned to say ‘some items on your list of 71 service issues were excessive’. I didn’t know anything about such a list, so asked to see it. Well, it wasn’t ours. Evidently another buyer of their housing product brand sent in their list – so guess we’re not the only ones who need a significant amount of service after delivery.”

Bottom Line? LLLCommunity owners, who buy from this HUD-Code manufacturer, need to plan on spending at least $1,500.00 more, for inside trim and finish work, than spent with other plants and manufacturers.”

For now, let’s hope this type ‘customer service’ matter – where the LLLCommunity owner/operator is the initial homebuyer, is indeed an anomaly, and NOT a re-emerging trend from years gone by….GFA

V.

Irony of 9/11as ‘National Tragedy’, now a Public Forum!

Longtime supporters of our realty asset class’ annual International Networking Roundtable will recall 9/11/2001. That’s the day of our nation’s tragedy, the terrorist attack on New York City and U.S. Capitol. It was to have been the first day of that year’s Networking Roundtable. But as it turned out, we postponed the event until November 2001, when we enjoyed record high participation – a clear sign of Free Enterprise support for our nation and its’ president at the time!

Well this year, 9/11/2014, not only commemorates the 13th anniversary of that national tragedy, but marks an historic event for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide! That’s the day when back-to-back National Public Forums will be held during the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable at the DOLCE Conference Center in Peachtree City, GA. By now you likely know the two emphasis topics will be:

• Future of manufactured housing as ‘housing’ vs. trailer heritage

• Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investments’

A lineup of nationally known and respected industry leaders and asset class presenters, has been selected to guide these two forums the morning of 9/11/2014. Hopefully YOU will be in the audience, as ‘We make MHistory together!’ To ensure you are, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a Networking Roundtable brochure, or see it online at this website: community-investor.com.

Here’s a related, late-breaking, and exciting extension to what’s expected from these two National Public Forums on 9/11/2014. The strategic thinking and planning, emerging from these sequential events, will be ‘guiding principles cum methodology’, in the new book, How to Market & Sell Homes On-site in Leased Land Communities. SO; wouldn’t YOU like to be an integral part of this anticipated historic paradigm shift re manufactured housing and LLLCommunities nationwide? Thought so. See YOU there!

VI.

COBA7® Affiliates Welcomed MHI to Indianapolis

One of every eight registrants at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s Summer meeting in Indianapolis, IN., during June, were affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®!

Why is this important to know? The presence of so many COBA7® affiliates underscores two separate and distinct realities:

• In the first instance, it’s COBA7®’s tacit recognition and support of the institute’s continuing role, via Manufactured Housing & National Communities Council divisions, as a national advocacy influence, for manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities.

• And second, since COBA7® is NOT a new, national advocacy entity, but an affiliation of businessmen and women with an affinity for land-lease-lifestyle communities, their presence their needs, relative to ongoing statistical research; distribution of valuable resources; weekly & monthly print & online communication means; superb networking & deal-making opportunities; professional property management training & certification, via the Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® program; and, national advocacy when need be (e.g. recent announcement of COBA7® as official ombudsman (press) for the industry and asset class), are being fulfilled by the new business alliance.

So, it’s accurate to say, a NEW ERA has indeed dawned for LLLCommunity owners/operators, of all sizes, nationwide and throughout Canada! Where today, ‘national advocacy’ = MHI. And, ‘everything else’, where LLLCommunities are concerned = COBA7®. To affiliate with COBA7®, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. More than 200 have affiliated since 1 January 2014!

VII.

On-site Property Manager Compensation Study

Gotta be careful here. But it appears the long-awaited, often back-burnered ‘On-site Property Manager Compensation Study’ has experienced a breakthrough.

And the reason for mentioning that here, is because we’ll likely be soliciting volunteer input from blog floggers and or COBA7® affiliates, to test the practicality, accuracy, and applicability of emerging formulae to this end. Interested? Let me know via email: gfa7156@aol.com

Here’re a few hints as to the direction the Compensation Study is going. Emerging methodology, at this point, uses Area Media Income or AMI, per local housing market(s) postal zip code as a base salary starting point; property size (i.e. per rental homesite count); and, efficacy (economic occupancy = # rental homesites occupied & paid!)); and relationship re alternative forms of potential personal income enhancement (e.g. site leasing & or home sales commissions; concessioned rent; housing allowance – if any; utilities; and specialized services (via contract or extra-compensation) such as mowing & snow plowing, potable water testing, wastewater treatment & reporting). Continue to follow this unfolding story here….

VIII.

(&) ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’

This rare opportunity to learn ‘How to Record & Share Your Memoir, autobiography and or Corporate RV or MH Story/History, even LLLCommunity, Campground/RV Park Owner/operator Legacy’, will be here sooner than think!

The morning of 4 August, RV historian Al Hesselbart and I will spend 2 ½ hours sharing the basics, and insights involved in penning and publishing one’s memoirs & autobiography (There is a distinct difference between the two), as well as research and write a firm’s corporate history and or story (for legacy &/or marketing purposes). Hopefully you’ll be there with us!

To register for ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ seminar, phone (317) 346-7156. To register for Class of 2014 Hall of Fame Induction Banquet later the same day, call (574) 293-2344. Basic fee is $44.95; and if you register for the banquet, the seminar fee drops to only $29.95 . What a deal! – especially considering the handouts you’ll receive….

And as we’ve told you before, Bob Vahsholtz, author of the recently released manufactured housing book, DUELING CURVES has committed to make a guest appearance that morning, staying over for lunch to answer queries, sign copies of his book, and add to the value of the 2 ½ hour writing seminar.

Think about it! When and where will the following alignment occur again? Attend this year’s 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable in Peachtree, GA. (10-12 September) and MAKE (industry) HISTORY1 Participate in the ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’ in Elkhart, IN. (4 August), and RECORD (your) HISTORY! Who else in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class offers YOU two such heady personal and corporate opportunities during August and September of this year?
IX.

Camel’s Nose, or ‘Help is on the Way!’?

Once again, good ol MHARR (Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform) let’s us know, before anyone else, what’s afoot ‘inside the capitol beltway’ of Washington, DC.

“…HUD Program administrator, Pamela Danner…announcing the Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc. (formerly known as NAHB Research Center) as the new Administrating Organization (AO) for the HUD program’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).” Online correspondence dated 18 June 2014.

A couple quick thoughts while we await MHI’s ‘take’ on this breaking news, as well as further opining from MHARR:

Given Home Innovation Research Labs, Inc. (‘HIRL’) past and present (?) affiliation with the National Association of Home Builders (Rarely a MHIndustry friend in Washington, DC), does their selection as AO signal allowing the Camel’s Nose* inside the already weakened HUD-Code manufactured housing industry tent?

OR, is it…

‘Help is on the way!’ Hmm. Let’s see; how that pencils out? Since industry representation on the MHCC has been decimated (‘literally, one tenth’) during the past few years, and annual national new home shipment volume has languished at nadir level for the past five years (i.e. between 49,789 in 2009 & 60,228 – per MHARR, in 2013). Maybe it’s time indeed, to ask the NAHB, & RV industries (GASP!), for HELP! (Re-read Part I of this blog posting

As usual, focus your news-sleuthing nose here, Sunday after Sunday, for new information and updates; then read the Allen Letter professional journal for longer treatment of key topics (e.g. June issue’s Case Study expose’ re consequences of ‘too high’ rental homesite rents in LLLCommunities) This is a Must Read for every owner/operator of LLLCommunities! And when you really want to know what’s going on inside this ‘double dual industry’, subscribe to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, like dozens of our COBA7® affiliate peers.

End Note:

* ‘The camel’s nose is a metaphor for a situation when the permitting of a small, seemingly innocuous act will open the door for larger, clearly undesirable action.’

***

‘How to Market & Sell Homes On-site in LLLCommunities’

June 14th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 302 A 15 June 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

Introduction to this weeks’ COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com

‘How to Market & Sell Homes On-Site in Leased Land Communities’ = new book!

‘MH vs. RV Issue’ = Protect housing market share or fill more vacant rental homesites?

‘23rd Networking Roundtable brochures’ = Ready for distribution & registration!

Remember, U & COBA7® = ‘U support US & We serve U!’

I.

How to Market & Sell Homes On-site in
Leased Land Communities!

Gary Pomeroy, of Golden West Homes, was the first and last author to pen a cae bound text on ‘mobile home sales’, and that was way back in 1977. Titled, How to Successfully Sell New & Resale Manufactured Homes, it’s been the MHSales Bible for more than 35 years! The time has come for a total rewrite of this home sales tome, ideally as a HOW TO ‘HOME SALES’ GUIDE, encompassing past and contemporary trends and cycles, even what hasn’t changed, during the past four decades. For example:

• Cyclic homebuyer preferences: In the 1970s, ‘single wides’, then ‘double wides’ cum multisection homes during late 1990s; and since year 2010, a balance of singlesection & modest-sized multisection homes shipped throughout the U.S.
.
• Major shift in reliance on independent (street) ‘dealers’ cum MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ to fill vacant rental homesites, now a prevalence of home sales & self-financing on-site in land-lease-lifestyle communities, pursuant in part to disappearance of most independent third party chattel finance firms since 2000.
• Home placement preference swings from ‘in-park’ placement (1970s), to land & home contracting (1990s); & back again, to installation within LLLCommunities.

• Emergence of Developer Series Homes (i.e. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’) circa 1990s, to Community Series Homes (i.e. CSH Models designed with a WOW! Factor & durability-enhancing features) since 2009. Often marketed by factory-appointed Business Development Mangers. Call for FREE list of BDMs throughout the U.S.

• Contemporary renewal of the ‘park-owned rental home conversion to contract sale dance’ of the late 1970s, to the ‘no rentals & few contract sales’ on-site reality of the 1990s; to today, where almost everyone does ‘whatever it takes’, post 2010, to fill approximately 250,000 vacant rental homesites in leased land communities nationwide – staying in compliance with state and federal $ regs.

• Affordable housing as a housing trade term, though preempted by ‘low cost housing’ aficionados, now has a clear, working definition among serious practitioners: Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income of AMI’, can afford to rent a conventional apartment or buy a home in their local housing market” & not exceed the 30% Housing Expense Factor or HEF. Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb & Helpful Measures, PMN Publishing, 2012, page # 37.

AND, what hasn’t changed!

• Still no secondary market for efficient and effective marketing and resale of manufactured homes, particularly those sited in LLLCommunities. Self-defeating

• Still a stark dichotomy between the upscale home & lifestyle choice, at one end of the manufactured housing and LLLCommunity spectrum; and, trailer/park squalor ever present and far too visible at the other extreme. Again, self-defeating

• Federal manufactured home installation regulations, as over engineered as they are for some locales (e.g. Demand to replace perfectly good, decades-old concrete ribbon foundations with expensive ‘below the frost line’ new ones), are ‘on the books’, but not universally and evenly enforced; in effect, relieving HUD-Code home manufacturers of responsibility for the safe and secure siting of their housing product. Reminiscent of D&R or ‘Drop & Run shipments’ of 1970s

So, what’s this new book describing HOW TO MARKET & SELL HOMES ON-SITE IN LEASED LAND COMMUNITIES going to contain? Here’s the preliminary chapter titles and Appendices for this new work:

Part I.

1. Introduction to Manufactured Housing as a a Type of Factory-built Housing

2. Introduction to Communities

Part II

3. Preparing to Market, Sell & Finance Homes On-site….

4. Using the ‘5 Right Ps of Marketing to Plan, Implement, Evaluate, & adjust Marketing & Sale of Homes On-site.

Part III
5. Selling New Homes On-site

6. Importance of customer Service & Resident Relations

Part IV

7. Financing of Homes Sold On-site

8. Important Role of Compliance in Home Finance Today

Part V.

9 Summary & Conclusions

10. Future of Manufactured Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities in U.S.

Appendices

List of HUD-Code Home Manufacturers, complete with contact information.

12 Signature Series Resource Documents produced by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, e.g. ALLEN REPORT, Lenders’s Registry, Lexicon, etc.

Who’s going to author the new text? Likely, a team of writers. Already have several capable (published), industry and asset class-experienced, motivated individuals in mind; and some have been asked to participate, and they’ve accepted the challenge. Are YOU seriously interested in being considered for this special team? If so, contact me directly via email: gfa7156@aol.com or via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4765.

The chapter I’m most concerned about, at this time, will deal with the critical decision-making involved in ascertaining whether a LLLCommunity, given its’ 1) unique local housing market characteristics, 2) anticipated sales volume (i.e. given number of vacant rental homesites to be filled), and 3) proximity to housing factories fabricating and shipping appropriate sizes and quality of homes, can or should launch an on-site home sales operation! To that end, I’ve asked Business Development Managers, working for HUD-Code home manufacturer around the U.S., to recommend present day, successful on-site home sales managers, who might, with their employer’s permission, want to and be able to participate in this major project for the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class.

There’s more to share with you, but not at this time. Continue to follow this weekly blog posting for further information, as well as other topics of note.

Also know, How to Market & Sell Homes On-site in Leased Land Communities is a project of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®., presently a subsidiary of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, officed in Franklin, Indiana. For more information, use the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. There likely will be a meeting of co-authors, for this book, during the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September 2014.

II.

MH vs. RV Issue

Protect Housing Market Share or Fill More Vacant Rental Homesites?

What’s the RV Industry want? Apparently, total exclusion of recreational vehicles, by definition, from the HUD (housing) Code!

WHY? The answer depends on WHO one asks. But know this, a ‘full blown national trend’ finds more and more recreational vehicles, of various types and sizes, already sited on heretofore vacant rental homesites in land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities), paying rent right along with manufactured and modular homes similarly sited. But that observation doesn’t really answer the WHY question does it? So, let’s try again. The RV Industry evidently desires easier access to LLLCommunities, without the regulatory burden of being subject to the HUD (building) Code.

What’s the MH Industry want? Apparently, for the RV folk to just go away!

WHY? To protect their present miniscule share of the national housing market – even though HUD-Code home manufacturers often fabricate and ship ‘park model RVs’, a.k.a. Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, per HUD; and ‘granny flats’ elsewhere. In any event, many ADUs wind up on rental homesites in LLLCommunities.

So, ‘Where’s the rub’? Again, more RVs sited in LLLCommunities likely means fewer shipments and sales of new HUD-Code homes nationwide! So what! Independent (street) MHRetailers are few and far in between these days, as are ‘company stores’, and the lonely dozen Factory Expo home sales centers adjacent to factories. Consequently, RVs have become, in many local housing markets, a default form of affordable, even desirable shelter.

What are stated or formal positions of two of the three MH-related national advocacy bodies on the ‘MH vs. RV Issue’?

1. Here’s an interesting quote, dated 4 June 2014 PR from the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR: “The intensive ‘scorched-earth’ campaign in Congress by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) for an expanded RV exemption in the federal manufactured housing law with the appropriations process…is rapidly becoming a double-edged sword for that industry, as more and more stakeholder constituencies begin to fully recognize the extremely negative long-term consequences of any such change. This includes 1) consumers – who have always been opposed to an expanded RV/park model exemption, 2) state authorities who would see a proliferation in the misuse of larger RVs and park models as unregulated de facto housing, 3) manufactured housing industry members who would be subjected to unfair competition by such a proliferation of unregulated RVs and park models, and 4) ‘pure’ (i.e. single industry) HUD Code state associations which correctly perceive an expend (sic) RV/park model exemption would lead to major problems affecting zoning, placement, taxation, and a host of other related state and local-level issues.” (Blogger’s note: ‘Numbers’ added for clarity; observe how LLLCommunities are not listed as a fifth stakeholder constituency; and, the four ‘extremely negative long-term consequences’ are simply undocumented assumptions)

2. And this input from the Manufactured Housing Institute minutes, approving a resolution offered by the Manufactured Housing Division, at MHI’s annual meeting on 4 October 2011, more than 2 ½ years ago:

“Whereas the RVIA has asked MHI to support legislative and regulatory changes to amend the (HUD-Code) to allow for the construction of RVs and Park Trailers that are larger than 400 square feet when erected on site;
Whereas the MHCC has considered this issue and opposes such a change;
Whereas such a change would encourage permanent living in recreational vehicles; Whereas the construction standards for RVs are not designed for permanent living; and Whereas such a change would further confuse the market perception of manufactured homes, and is inconsistent with industry efforts to advocate policies designed to treat manufactured homes on a parity basis with other types of single family housing; Therefore be it resolved the MHI opposes changing current size restrictions for RVs and Park Trailers. And further, the MHI supports changing the HUD regulations to clarify the differences between RVs and Park Trailers, and to specify that Park Trailers be constructed to the ANSI A119.5 Standards for Park Trailers.”

And here’s your 10 June 2014 update. At its’ Summer meeting in Indianapolis, IN., the Manufactured Housing Institute, as well as its’ National Communities Council division and Manufactured Housing division, declined to take a formal position on this contentious matter. Following said meeting(s) however, two observations were overheard; and in this industry observer’s opinion, clearly illustrate the inherent dichotomy of the ‘MH vs.RV’ issue:

• “Temporary housing does not sell lifestyle!” a housing executive
&
• “Expensive homes don’t fill vacant sites.” LLLCommunity owner

Hmm. Do you see what’s been happening here, ‘over the years’? These two separate but different, yet related initiatives:

The recreational vehicle industry, being unsuccessful in times past ’to be included within’ the HUD-Code, has now asked ‘to be entirely exempted from it’. Yet parts of the manufactured housing industry continue to oppose RVIA’s initiatives ‘for pretty much the same reasons’, i.e. Protect Housing Market Share. OK, so what’s different today?

RVs are now commonplace within many LLLCommunities, and will likely become even more so, especially if/when RVs are NOT subject to the HUD-Code, i.e. they’re less expensive to fabricate when not encumbered by federal building regulations.

And where MHI’s Manufactured Housing division ‘carried the day’ back in October 2011, effectively protecting its’ housing market share; today, the National Communities Council division has ‘a dog in this fight’, given members’ efforts to fill more of the estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide – many of which are functionally obsolete and can easily site a variety of recreational vehicles 1) seasonally, 2) for construction workers, 3) even opening a new vein of affordable shelter!

Bottom lines? So far, everyone, among the aforesaid national advocacy bodies, is doing what one would expect, but with a twist – in the first instance::

The MHARR, founded to keep ‘regulatory reform’ under reasonable $ control, now foists HUD’s ‘performance-based building code’ onto a sister industry, the RV folk, to protect members from further shipment volume reduction due to housing market share incursion .

And MHI, to date, continues to be quiet on the subject. Why? Methinks, a preference to let someone else (MHARR) carry this fight, so as not to put its’ Manufactured Housing division and National Communities Council divisions at odds with one another. This too again, in fear of fewer, new HUD-Code homes being shipped versus. LLLCommunities’ continued need to fill more vacant rental homesites coast to coast – if need be, with recreational vehicles, of all types and sizes, as affordable shelter alternatives!

So, what do you think? An average of a dozen blog floggers (readers) respond, in writing, each week, to the topics aired here at the community-investor.com web site. So don’t be shy! We’d like to hear from you, via gfa7156@aol.com or the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

23rd annual International Networking Roundtable
Information & Registration Brochures
Now Available Upon Request

Three things YOU may or may not know about the International Networking Roundtable:

1. This is the longest running (23 years) annual trade event planned and hosted to meet the educational (20 sessions), networking (9 social events), & realty deal-making penchant of land-lease-lifestyle community (A.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators, large and small, worldwide.

2. This year’s program features, for the first time in manufactured housing history, two National Public Forums to refocus our ‘double dual industry’ re: ‘Face the Future of Manufactured Housing & the LLLCommunity realty asset class!’ And, ‘Anyone who’s anyone’ in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity business environs, will be present for this stellar event, 10-12 September in Peachtree City, GA!

3. Attendance is limited to 250 participants. We’ll soon distribute descriptive event brochures to 500+/- LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. & Canada; to 200+ COBA7® affiliates; and, individuals who attended last year’s Networking Roundtable in Chicago, IL. So, if interested in attending, but not on one of those three lists, use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to request your brochure. You don’t want to miss this one!

Reps from AHA, MHARR, MHI, Freddie Mac, & Fannie Mae have been invited to attend and or participate in this year’s Networking Roundtable. So far, only one of the five has not responded affirmatively. Also hearing from academics & would be investors