‘Jim Keller, Where Are You?’, HUD-Code Shipment Analysis; &, ‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!’

March 25th, 2017

Blog # 439 Copyright @ 26 March 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION:

We’ve all seen visionaries and activists come and go in the manufactured housing business. Jim Keller was one of those unique personalities. While a staffer at the Indiana MHAssociation, nearly a decade ago, he launched the Super Symposium movement that continues to this day.

Louisiana, Michigan, Florida, Maryland & Indiana ‘lead the way’, 2017 trending wise, when it comes to increasing the number of new HUD-Code homes being shipped in-state.

And, ‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!’ – that ‘line in the sand’ article – for HUD’s The FACTs newsletter, is in the hands of the department’s manufactured housing program staff. Let’s watch to see if/when it gets published under Secretary Dr. Ben Carson’s leadership. That will tell you whether the next four years will be maintenance of status quo – or expect Big Changes to the relationship between the manufactured housing industry and its’ federal regulator (business as usual) and or promoter (badly needed)!

Finally. Read upcoming issues of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, the Allen Letter professional journal, and this weekly blog posting, for changes in how Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance provides products & services to land lease community owners/operators nationwide! It has been pointed out repeatedly, of late, NO OTHER NATIONAL TRADE ADVOCATE or REPRESENTATIVE, other than COBA7, researches; prepares, produces & distributes benchmark statistics, salient reports & directories, asset class-focused news stories; and, professional property management training and certification opportunities in classroom settings. Yes, something special is a-coming….

I.

Jim Keller, Where Are You?

Well, he’s moved onto other challenges, but his idea of planning & hosting manufactured housing state and regional Super Symposiums, continues to thrive in Atlanta, GA., Albany, NY., & Indianapolis, IN.

Nearly a decade ago, while on staff at the IMHA/RVIC in Indianapolis, Jim planned and facilitated the first symposium for land lease community owners/operators. His inaugural event was a complete success for the state MHAssociation. Unfortunately, ‘industry hard times’ prevailed, and Jim found himself without a job. But not before he was invited to Atlanta, GA., where frustrated LLCommunity owners were attempting to rally their number for some sort of training and networking function. There he shared the symposium concept; and a year or so later, what’s known today as SECO was born.

SECO, short for Southeast Community Owners, has grown and grown and grown during the past several years. During 2016, the event attracted m ore than 200 participants, featured a half dozen Community Series Homes on display – and for purchase. Several dozen vendors displayed their wares and explained their wide range of services. The event has become so well-regarded and attended, there’s some discussion about it becoming the East coast equivalent of the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas.

What’s in store this year, for SECO 2017? Bigger than ever before, expecting more than 350 owners/operators of land lease communities to convene at the Hilton Marietta Conference Center. Already 42 vendors and exhibitors committed, along with several Community Series Homes (manufactured homes) on display to buy! Dates? 11 & 12 October 2017, with pre-SECO workshops on the 10th of October. For more information, visit www.SECOConference.com I know I certainly plan to be present for the three day event!

The next region to catch Jim Keller’s vision of Super Symposiums, was the New York Housing Association. Here too, land lease community owners/operators flock to be educated and engage in some serious interpersonal networking. In their case, they attract MHIndustry folk from throughout New England, PA, NJ, NY, MD, & DE. – all coming for the education and networking value, and some years, new HUD-Code homes on display. On 4/11 dozens of LLCommunity managers will be trained and certified as Manufactured Housing Managers, or MHMs. And on the 12th & 13th, they’ll learn Fair Housing from Rick Robinson, esquire, of MHI; industry stats from Dr. David Funk, and the State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class from yours truly. So, plan to be in Albany, NY., 12 & 13. For info, phone (800) 721-HOME & www.nyhousing.org

So, what’s happened in Indianapolis since Jim departed several years ago? Well, the IMHA/RVIC continues to plan and host annual symposiums for their land lease community owners/operators from throughout the Midwest. One will be held this Fall; dates to be announced.

II.

New HUD-Code Home Shipments Trend Analysis 2017

As manufactured housing’s statistician, COBA7 was recently made privy to composite MH shipment data, per state, going back a full decade in time. What this information allows, is for analysts to compare ‘ten year monthly shipment averages per state’, with how many new HUD-Code homes are being shipped per month to date, into the same states.

For example, the state of Nevada = total of 2,248 new HUD-Code homes shipped into the state during the decade (1/1/2007-12/31/2016). Divide this total by ‘10′, to average 225 per year; then divide by 12 months = 19 new homes shipped/month, on the average during that decade. Now, how’s that compare with month ending 12/31/2016? Well, there were 36 new HUD-Code homes shipped that month, so a positive trend of 15 units or homes!

Here’re the Top Ten states, led by a Louisiana anomaly (to be ’splained’ later):

• Louisiana 1458*
• Michigan 228
• Florida 113
• Maryland 66
• Indiana 35
• N. Carolina 23
• Oregon 21
• Rhode Island 19
• Alabama 19
• Nevada 15
• California 11

Here’re the Bottom Ten states, with fewer homes being shipped 2017 YTD
.
• N. Dakota (55)
• Oklahoma (54)
• Virginia (49)
• Texas (44)
• Missouri (39)
• Alaska (38)
• Tennessee (38)
• W. Virginia (35)
• Arkansas (33)
• Illinois (33)

There are surely interesting stories behind each of these ‘jumps & falls in shipments’. Perhaps the most interesting, is the state of Louisiana. Here, the composite 1,458 new homes is double the 749 shown on the IBTS report for January 2017, and slightly fewer than the 1,900 identified by the IBTS during December 2016.. When queried, turns out theses are large numbers of FEMA homes being shipped into the state during December and January.

III.

‘Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!

Well, the manufactured housing-focused article bearing this provocative title, is now in the hands of HUD staff, responsible for compiling the department’s periodic newsletter, The FACTs. Will it get published? Only time will tell. Copies of the manuscript will soon appear within the April issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter.

In the meantime, correspondence continues to arrive at COBA7 offices, expressing opinions, mostly by land lease community owners/operators, as to the gist of the aforementioned article. Here’s latest input:

“I agree wholeheartedly with the response you quoted in this blog posting. I too want to remove all restrictions that impede me from filling vacant rental homesites with quality residents who want our housing product and can afford it!

Regarding the continuation of the HUD-Code, I think this can only be answered by the housing manufacturers. Does it help them sell more houses? Is the cost of complying with the HUD-Code, which allows them to ship new homes anywhere in the USA via preemptive building code, more than the benefit?

Likewise for the community owners. Would the potential increase in cost of losing the preemptive code be too high? The answer would have to come from the manufacturers quantifying the cost of meeting local codes. I certainly have no way of estimating the impact. And I do know I probably do not want to start dealing with local building inspectors. Just a guess.

Thanks George.

***

Difficult Choices; Progress Report; &, Cut Bait or Go for the Big One!

March 16th, 2017

Blog # 438 Copyright @ 19 March 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Hang onto your seats! On the next several pages we’re going to ’step on superman’s cape’, disturb a couple sacred cows, and stimulate thinking-if-not-action about changes to the manufactured housing business plan as we know it today. There’s also ‘good news’ about how keeping score (new MH shipment counts each month) has been usurped by folk committed to getting the data right for present and future research.

I.

Difficult Choices…

Four Manufactured Housing-related Scenarios to Ponder

1.

For owners/operators of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), these are the most challenging and potentially prosperous of times! Most Challenging, in that filling vacant rental homesites today, oft requires owners/operators to buy, sell, and seller-finance new HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site. This increases owner/operator risk and encumbers the income-producing property with home mortgages until paid off, or otherwise – affecting investment value either way. Now, there’s also the disturbing development whereby one or another home manufacturer appears to use marginal quality new homes as ‘loss leaders’, to get their in-house chattel capital finance programs into LLCommunities for the long haul. Potentially Prosperous, in that superfluous investment dollars, wielded by LLCommunity portfolio-builders and naive outsiders, have driven ‘cap rates’ *1 down, down, down, in many parts of the U.S., coincidentally, growing the number of portfolio firms, via consolidation, from 25 in 1988 to more than 500, by year end 2016.
2.

For manufacturers of HUD-Code manufactured homes, mega-prosperous times – measured by ‘hundreds of thousands of new homes shipped’ (372,843 during 1998), not the ‘tens of thousands’ suffered today (81,136 during 2016), continue to be out of reach. Why? Easy access to chattel capital continues to elude the industry, and new home distribution is still adjusting to the loss of more than 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers since the turn of the Century. Fortunately, for manufacturers, LLCommunity owners/operators have picked up some of the slack, since 2009 when 24 percent of new homes went into this property type, to nearly 50 percent by year end 2016. And while some manufacturers now design, build, and ship Community Series Homes (i.e. singlesection & modest-sized multisection homes with durability-enhancing features & more), in my opinion, many resist this emerging trend, by not providing the level of service characteristic of the heretofore MHRetailers. Nor have home manufacturers figured out how to identify and sell new homes to sole proprietors of an estimated 40,000+/- individual LLCommunities nationwide – of the 55,000 total properties.

3.

Is national advocacy and representation, in behalf of manufactured housing, ‘by members’ within a specific national trade entity, or ‘to the business benefit of a few’ at the top of the housing production and chattel finance market shares pyramid? That is the question on more and more minds these days! For example; according to recent communiqués, is it better to expend political capital, on the national scale, ameliorating specific legislation and regs affecting ‘the few’, or realizing securitization of seasoned chattel loans, to free up capital to effect more on-site transactions ‘by the members’ of the national trade entity? At present, in my opinion, it appears these decisions are made at the pinnacle of the national advocacy influence presence, not by dues-paying members – who should be the one’s being served! While industry unity has long been a problem for the manufactured housing industry; the idea is being floated, to soon launch a new national advocacy entity, comprised of post-production segments of the industry, not numbered among the elite presently making decisions for everyone else. It’s also been proposed, floor fees (dues) be redirected to the national entity best representing its’ members across the board.

4.

Then there’s this question. Whether the federal regulator of manufactured housing, the Department of Housing & Urban Development, should/will actively promote the industry’s housing product, as the practical, non-subsidized answer to the U.S’. critical need for affordable housing; OR, after 40 years, sunset the federally preemptive performance building code – given the high quality of today’s manufactured housing – removing this expenditure from the federal budget, as well as freeing up one more area of unnecessary regulatory oversight. In my opinion, the only unanswered question that remains is: Manufactured housing industry ready to enter the national housing market without regulatory protection from competition, on terms akin to site-built housing? A longer treatment of this Difficult Choice is being prepared for HUD’s manufactured housing newsletter. (More of this later in this blog posting!)

So, what say you?

Agree; disagree; angered; pleased to read about what’s really happening, or what? Share your views on these timely matters via gfa7156@aol.com, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

A DRAFT copy of this op/ed piece was circulated to a dozen Serious Thinkers & Contemporary Influencers active in the manufactured housing industry and land lease community realty asset class. Here’s one typical response:

As a LLCommunity owner, my primary interest is in filling vacant rental homesites, to increase cash flow, the value of our properties, and upgrade curb appeal and living environments, with new homes and better clientele. Make our business model better by 1) removing S.A.F.E. Act & Dodd-Frank legislative restrictions on seller-financing new homes in communities; 2) removing the interest rate restrictions on chattel financing so conventional lenders can/will finance homes in our properties; & 3) Accommodate ‘hybrid’ financing whereby conventional lenders and communities, together, mitigate the risks associated with chattel financing (e.g. property owner assists with collections, and guarantees part of the loan, assist with rehab and resale in event of default.

So again; what do you think of these four Difficult Choices? How do they affect you?
End Note.

1. ‘cap rate’ = Income capitalization rate; Rate = NOI divided by Value; e.g. $100,000 NOI, divided by $833,333 asking or selling Price = 12 percent ‘cap rate’ or income capitalization rate.

II.

PROGRESS REPORT: Verifying Accuracy of Annual Manufactured Housing Shipment Totals, Using IBTS Data

Annual new manufactured housing shipment totals for years 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016 have been verified as accurate, using data supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, the research body contracted by HUD to collect and distribute this benchmark information.

Specifically, the year and related new MH shipment totals are as follow:
2013 = 60,228
2014 = 64,331
2015 = 70,544
2016 = 81,136
Don’t let anyone tell you differently. For each of these years, IBTS provided the 12 monthly new MH shipment totals appearing in their records.

What about the years before 2013? Well, that information, for some reason, is not easily available for proofing purposes. But that’s OK. We’ve got four years ‘on the books’ now, and given the statistical turmoil of the past – which some seem to want to continue, COBA7 will continue to ‘crunch the (shipment) numbers’ each month, and provide what’s already widely recognized as being the most accurate ‘#s & $s’ report available anywhere from anyone! And as a reminder, HUD and MHARR respective new MH shipment totals are the same as those calculated by COBA7. The only difference lies in estimating the $ value of any given month’s shipment total.

III.

HUD: It’s Time to Go for the Big One, or Cut Bait!

Executive Summary. After 40 years of manufactured housing oversight, but with little to no overt product support, HUD should enthusiastically climb aboard the industry’s affordable housing promotional bandwagon; OR, let the federally preemptive, performance-based, national building code sunset, freeing-up dollars and other resources, to concentrate on subsidized housing, low income housing tax credits (’LIHTC’), and other social secular housing programs.

So reads the title and executive summary of an article being prepared for HUD’s Manufactured Housing Newsletter, The FACTs. When will it appear? Depends on several factors really: how quickly it can be finished and submitted; the new HUD Secretary’s (Dr. Ben Carson) penchant (or not) for big change in the manufactured housing program at HUD; and, how much of a fuss HUD-Code housing manufacturers make over a four decades change to ‘making lemonade (’protected status’) out of a lemon’ (the HUD Code proper).

If you have views on this controversial topic, and would like to make them known, send same to gfa7156@aol.com or via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247. Or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

Here it is: The Grass Roots National MH Agenda!

March 11th, 2017

Blog # 437 Copyright @ 12 March 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-47674

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

INTRODUCTION: 1) OK, here’s the list of manufactured housing industry national issues YOU recommended. Read & respond – to the national advocate entity to which you belong. 2) And in answer to popular demand – from many of YOU, here’s a primary focus for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable: ‘How to Buy, Sell & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes On-site in Land Lease Communities!’ 3) And, sad to say, we must continue addressing one manufacturer’s ‘less than stellar performance where their new homes going into LLCommunities are concerned’!

I.

MHI & MHARR: Here’s What We Want Done!

Grassroots National Agenda Items Identified by Manufactured Housing Aficionados & Land Lease Community Owners/operators

Well, here it is; the heady list, compiled since the FHFA’s three Listening Sessions in January, and MHI’s Winter meeting during February, comprising the manufactured housing industry’s legislative and regulatory-related agenda during 2017!

In a moment, we’ll list the more than a half dozen agenda items for you. However; first know, COBA7 plans to revisit this list several times during the next ten months, to see just how much our national advocates accomplish in our behalf.*1 So, read this weekly blog at the community-investor.com website, the Allen Letter professional journal, maybe even the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. The initial, online news media is FREE to you at this time; the two newsletters are for affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7.

Ready to dive into this list of agenda items and issues identified by manufactured housing aficionados and land lease community owners/operators, as being Key to Business success during Year 2017? Here goes….

1. Roll back S.A.F.E. Act and Dodd-Frank legislation! These $ regs continue to restrict HUD-Code manufactured housing shipments to a paltry 60,000+/- units/year, when we could be supplying the 120,000+ needed annually, to ameliorate the critical need for affordable housing throughout the U.S. today.

2. Ensure manufactured housing is accepted and respected, right alongside other types of housing, in all federal housing and finance programs! How to do this? After 17 years, realize full implementation of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000, a.k.a. MHIA@2000! Everyone is tired of excuses and inaction!

3. And to that end, see that HUD’s (career) manufactured housing program administrator is replaced with an appropriately-qualified, (non-career) administrator; one who’ll fully implement aforementioned MHIA@2000, and regulatory policies and procedures favored by the Trump administration – ending the overreach we suffer today! *2

4. Press for issuance of a Request for Proposal (’RFP’), by HUD, for HUD’s program monitoring contract. This time around, ensure full and fair competition for said position; and in the process, eliminate ‘make work’ programs, etc., contained in the current contract.

5. Work closely with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (’FHFA’) and GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), to ensure seasoned chattel capital loan securitization, and other secondary market support, so otherwise qualified prospective homebuyer/site lessees will not be excluded from their local housing markets.

6. Insist on immediate withdrawal of U.S. Department of Energy (’DOE’) proposed manufactured housing energy rule from further consideration.

What’s next? That’s up to YOU! If you’re a direct, dues-paying member of either national advocate for manufactured housing, copy this list and send it to them, along with a request for information as to how they plan to address these important matters during 2017. If you don’t do this, YOU have only yourself to blame, if by year end 2017, there’s little to no progress in any or all these matters.

End Notes.

1. MHAlive! (’think tank’) session tentatively planned for morning of 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. To ensure a personal invitation to participate, once the agenda is set, let us know now of your interest, via gfa7156@aol.com

2. Need a far better communicator in that non-career position. Recent 11 page newsletter from the manufactured housing program is likely the longest prepared and distributed to date. Why now? ‘New boss in town’ to impress. And frankly, letters and questions from MH stakeholders, during the past several years, have gone unanswered by the current career administrator.

II

COMING SOON – on 7 September 2017!

‘How to Buy, Sell, & Seller-finance New HUD-Code Homes Within Land Lease Communities!’

Yes, this was the gist of the exciting Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, held during May 2016, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. This time around’ there’ll be no plant tours, simply the four part message teaching how to fill vacant rental homesites in land lease communities. Those four steps?

• GETTING (one’s property) READY! Curb appeal, signage, staffing, & more.

• BUYING HOMES! – from factories able to fulfill one’s housing needs

• SELLING HOMES & LIFESTYLE, via USP*1 & ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’!*2

• FINANCING HOMES! Moving from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’ transactions, via pre-qualification; then cash, lease-option, contract sales, private investments & more!

How is this going to play out at the 26th annual International Networking Roundtable?

Simple. Following a bevy of motivating keynote presenters and their equally stimulating topics, there’ll be parallel tracks of education. One four hour block, on 7 September, will include the four bullet point topics just described. Another four hour block, occurring simultaneously, but in a breakout area, will cover four completely different but equally engaging topics.

This year’s Networking Roundtable is in the planning stage. If you would like to be considered as a named presenter, and or have a topic or two you’d like to see covered – or cover yourself, we need to know ASAP, via (317) 346-7156.

End Notes.

1. UPS = Unique Selling Proposition! Those housing, property, and lifestyle specific qualities that separate one land lease community from another.

2. Right Product, Right Place, Right Price, Right Promotion, Right People, Right Process!

III.

And the ‘Beat Up’ On LLCommunity Customers, by one firm, Continues!

This industry observer is not a fan of HUD’s Dispute Resolution program. However, if the following abuses continue unabated, methinks DR is where one HUD-Code housing manufacturer’s product and post delivery service abuses will land them, us, the manufactured housing industry.

• Poor design & shoddy construction in singlesecton and multisection homes, e.g. walls & ceilings not lining up during installation, water leaks above windows and doors; inadequate space for air conditioning duct crossover; wall board atop light switches, and much more.

• Service management personnel do not return phone calls and reply to email messages; and when they do, give corporate staff half truths, delays, and excuses, about repairing home defects.

• Service personnel who arriving on-site to fix aforementioned problems with homes, do not come when promised, and oft don’t have the materials needed to make needed repairs.

• Senior plant management also engages in delay and stall tactics, demanding additional documentation, after preliminary paperwork has been supplied; then, stonewalling the paying of legitimate repair bills submitted by contractors.

For awhile, the manufactured housing industry, while bouncing along at it’s historic nadir (’low point’) of new home production and shipment, appeared to pay more attention to product design and quality, as well as post-installation customer service. And now that production and shipment are picking up (81,136 new homes shipped during 2016), and with an estimated 50% of new HUD-Code homes going into land lease communities – generally not set up with service personnel like the independent (street) MHRetailrs of yesteryear, this sort of performance shortfall becomes critical and timely for the entire industry, as well as its’ homeowner/site lessees! Will we resolve this challenge within, or rely on federal regulators to do our job for us?

***

First Time Offered! OPPORTUNITY TO INPUT mh AGENDA for 2017

March 3rd, 2017

Blog # 436 Copyright @ 5 March 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

I.

Your Opportunity to Influence Manufactured Housing’s Political & Regulatory Agendas in 2017!

When was the ‘last time anyone’ around Washington, DC., ‘asked for your input’, relative to legislation & regulations ‘to affect & or already affecting’ manufactured housing & land lease communities business models nationwide? Did I just hear you say, “Never!” ? Well, read on, to learn HERE, how to ensure your views & opinions will become known where they will count most!

Subsequent to FHFA’s*1 three recent Listening Sessions, and following MHI’s Winter meeting in San Antonio, TX., COBA7 began receiving letters and emails from businessmen and women from across the U.S., expressing a mix of optimism and frustration. Optimism, in anticipation of a new, presumably business-friendly Trump administration in Washington, DC., but frustration over being ‘taken for granted’ by national advocates for the industry and asset class, when it comes to issues of import, to HUD-Code home manufacturers, financiers, LLCommunity owners/operators, and other post-production segments of the MHIndustry.

So, we began collecting these ‘issues of note’, and will introduce them in next week’s blog posting (#437). That gives YOU just enough time to ponder, then articulate your thoughts on one or more such matters, and let us know, then we can either add them to ‘the list’, or merge your insights in with those already expressed.

Do so via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And remember; I outline blog content on Wednesday, pen it Thursday, edit on Friday, and send to COBA7 affiliates Saturday morning; everyone else, Sunday morning.

FYI: To date, we’ve heard and listed six major issues on this list cum agenda.

What’s next? We have ‘quiet friends’ within MHI & MHARR who’ve requested YOUR INPUT about matters that should be/must be addressed during the weeks and months ahead. It may well be, this list you help formulate, is the first such grassroots effort to profoundly influence national advocates doing our bidding in and around the nation’s capitol.

What are they going to do? Ignore written input from members and constituents, at the risk of losing ground and influence as national advocates? I don’t think so. There’s precious little ‘trade press’ anymore, so everyone pays close attention to the quality journalism that remains, faithfully communicating what’s happening throughout manufactured housing!

Do you want to fumble this unique, ‘first time ever’ opportunity? Didn’t think so. Get busy now, articulating your thoughts. Get them off to us by Wednesday of this week, 6 March 2017.

End Note.

1. Federal Housing Finance Agency, oversight of GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

II.

Caught ‘Between a Rock & a Hard Place!

An Idiom: ‘In difficulty, faced with a choice between two unsatisfactory options!

The Difficulty?

Industry Identities.

1) Torn between decades-long, direct, dues-paying membership and camaraderie in the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’), BUT dismayed with mixed feelings as a non-manufacturer outsider, with no influence whatsoever in institute policies & proceedings.

And,

2) Since early 2014, leading the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing (Awaiting not-for-profit status). Happily; the research, resources, communication, networking, deal-making, & property management training/certification source for 55,000+/- land lease communities nationwide, BUT disturbed at the lack of tangible support, even affiliation, by ‘national advocates’, relative COBA7 and other segments of the post-production manufactured housing business community!

Choices Going Forward?

Between a Rock

Continue ’second class member’ status with MHI, to stay informed about industry matters. Frankly, other than the institute’s national lobbying, in behalf of manufactured housing; and to a lesser extent, land lease communities, there are no tangible products or services coming our corporate way with any regularity.

‘Second class member’? Sure; here’s one example: I’m a four decades land lease community owner/operator; the manufactured housing industry’s most prolific author (10 books); writer (two monthly newsletters & a weekly blog posting); an, member of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, BUT have yet to be invited to address MHI peers on any topic, other than an occasional MHCongress lecture. You can’t be more ’second class’ than that!

and a Hard Place

Deciding whether to follow, in trace of, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (’MHARR’); which, after separating from MHI in 1985, at the behest of regional HUD-Code home manufacturers, went its own way as national advocate and anti-regulatory measures lobbyist for manufactured housing. NOW (perhaps), is time for land lease community owners/operators, large & small, to become masters of their destinies as well – taking their floor dues $ with them, no longer subservient to an MHI division dominated by the largest of property portfolio ‘players’, who control meeting agendas and outlaw proxy voting during annual elections of officers.

Is There a Middle Ground Between ‘a rock & a hard place’?

I used to think so, as one of the founders of the National Communities Council (’NCC’) division, in 1993 & 1996.*1 But not anymore – unless something significant changes greatly and soon.*2

Maybe more, about being ‘caught between ‘a rock & hard place’, in next blog posting.

In the meantime. Your input on this subject? Send it quickly to gfa7156@aol.com, phone (317) 346-7156, or correspond via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

End Notes.

1. Read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, 2013.

2. For a list of specific grievances to this end, request same in writing, via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

III.

All You’ve Wanted to Know, Good & Bad, About Today’s Secular Media, But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

“The news is a relentless 24/7 battle to grab eyeballs and achieve total domination.”

The above & following information is quoted from ‘The News in Crisis’, featured in March 2017 issue of WIRED magazine.

“The New York Times has the greatest combined print and web audience, with 5.4 million readers, followed by USA Today (3.8 billion) and The Washington Post (3.4 billion).”

It really does make for a fascinating ‘read’, if you’re any kind of news junkie. Some is old hat (”…the news media seems to have lost its power to shape public opinion.”), some is nouveaux a la mode since the presidential election (”Politicians no longer need to rely on journalists to reach their audiences but instead can speak to voters directly on Twitter”), and some, well, shocking-but-true (”…the ability to reach a national audience now belongs to everyone (&) the more partisan and enraged someone is, the more likely they are to share political news online.”). See what I mean?

Even teaches how to become an anonymous source, via the web & using a burner phone.

In the latter case, “Buy a burner – a cheap, prepaid Android phone – with cash from a nonchain store in an area you’ve never been to before. Don’t carry your regular phone and the burner at the same time, and never turn on the burner at home or work. Create a Gmail and Google Play account from the burner, then install the encrypted calling and texting app Signal. When you’re done, destroy the burner and ditch its’ copse far from home.” Now you know….

***

National Registry of ALL Lenders, Selling House Trailers, & Predatory Practices….

February 24th, 2017

Blog # 435 Copyright @ 26 February 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION. Very much a mixed bag of industry and asset class news today!

Just like January’s the 28th edition of the ALLEN REPORT, was the ‘biggest & best’ to date (28 years!), similar is the case of the 19th edition, National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLCommunities Nationwide! Nowhere and at any time will you find a more comprehensive description of real estate-secured and chattel capital markets and loan originators than with this document! It also includes timely information about Lease-option methodology.

Guess it was bound to happen. A HUD-Code home manufacturer, selling new Community Series Homes into land lease communities, has stirred up some ire due to product design and quality issues, along with customer service and reimbursement matters. This might be the acid test for a HUD administrator, to see whether timidity or action will prevail.

Finally; have you ever wondered just what makes the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter so valuable to the several dozen executives who read it each month? Well, here’s a late breaking story for you to peruse.

I.

‘19th National Registry of ALL Lenders’, to Rock Communities!

Have you made arrangements to receive your copy of this seminal document? If not, don’t delay doing so, as it will be distributed with the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

So, what’s all the ‘buzz’ about this time around? First off, there’re no fewer than 27 real estate-secured mortgage brokers and lenders listed – that’s a record number in the 19 year history of this Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD. But that’s not all!

The total dollar amount of land lease community acquisition and refinance loans originated during year 2016, exceeds $6,385,700,00.00. Seriously.

And the 2016 ‘record production level’ is UP from $4,175,000,000.00 in year 2015; and, UP from $3,870,500,000.00 the year before (2014). And looking back farther, year 2013 = $2.9 billion; 2012 = $2.3 billion; 2011 = $1.9 billion; and, 2010 = $1.1 billion.

Besides $ origination ’statistics’, the 19th National Registry of ALL Lenders contains the names and telephone numbers of more than 40 mortgage/loan originators working for at least 27 firms! Where else in the manufactured housing industry are you going to find a more comprehensive statistical resource and contact directory than this? You’re not, as it simply does not exist!

To arrange to receive a copy of this SSRD, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and affiliate with COBA7 at the Option II or III level.

NOTE. We’re still working on the chattel capital portion of the National Registry. This segment is different. Polled 40 chattel capital resources but only one responded with loan origination data for year 2016. Interesting. So, the chattel capital portion of this year’s National Registry is be a directory of more than two dozen individuals and firms to contact, when in search of chattel capital for on-site seller-financing of new HUD-Code homes.

II,

Selling Horse Trailers & House Trailers as MHRetailers

In last week’s blog posting (#434) this salient observation was made about an errant HUD-Code home manufacturer:

“One HUD-Code home manufacturer is drawing the ire of some land lease
community customers, for what they describe as ‘major construction defects
in single and multi section homes’, as well as less than marginal customer
service, and slow-to-no payment for repairs after delivery. COBA7 is being
pressed to provide a public forum where business customers can air these
complaints, as apparently no national advocate of the manufactured housing
industry will do so at this time. Geesh! And just when we’re, as an industry,
starting to recover!”

Well, here’s a response we received from a former ‘mobile home’ dealer, who sold everything from house trailers to horse trailers, and owned more than a half dozen (then) mobile home parks containing more than 1,000 rental homesites:

“WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF RETAILING MOBILEHOMES!”

Know what? That just isn’t right! Many of us believe the industry has moved beyond the self-defeating, image-destroying practices just described. But no, guess we haven’t, when a manufactured housing factory defaults to chicanery to ship more homes.

What to do about this sorry matter? The easy solution would be for HUD’s manufactured housing program administrator to send a trusted, qualified, experienced, motivated inspection team to the firm’s plants in question, to learn firsthand how and why such marginal quality product is making it out of the factory, and into land lease communities in affected regions.

Will this happen? I doubt it – but we can hope it will. Given the political turmoil in Washington, DC., these days, with a new administration making its’ way through an economic and regulatory morass (i.e. ‘Drain the swamp!’), it stands to reason HUD political, even career appointees, might be reticent to ’sticking their necks out’ to rectify a matter like this – when ‘just the opposite’ should be the case! How so? As some say, ‘The best defense is a good offence’, so why not investigate one allegedly mal-performing interloper; make appropriate decisions; and act accordingly?! Simply shows one is ‘doing ones’ job’ protecting the greater good (industry) from the taint of a few. Let’s wait and see what occurs.

Bottom line? Either timidity well prevail, or ‘cowboy hats & boots’ will fly!

FLASH ANN OUNCEMENT. Now there’s a new developing story, coming out about another brand of HUD-Code manufactured home, this time having to do with an across-the-board $500.00 per new home price increase, ostensibly having to do with an increase in lumber price. Will look into it further, and perhaps ‘tell more’ in next week’s blog posting at this website.

III.

MHAction blasts predatory practices of private equity firms

Have you wondered what you’re missing by not reading the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter each month? It’s the Option III level of affiliation with COBA7 and is comprised of MHIndustry & LLCommunity news and views you’ll read nowhere else. With that said, here’s the lead off paragraph from the March 2017 issue of TAC!

Thursday evening, 23 February, nearly three dozen individuals participated in a conference call hosted by MHAction. Yes, that’s an ‘allenism’, or abbreviation, of ‘Manufactured Housing Action’. MHAction leaders were joined by representatives from New York Communities for Change, Tenants & Neighbors New York City, and Alliance of California Communities Enforcement – or words to that effect.

Goal of the conference call? Share and discuss what’s happening around the country, relative to’ predatory practices of private equity firms’ practices hurting their homes and communities via marginal maintenance, lack of infrastructure care, raising rent, and reducing services.

Firms identified during the conference call? Camelot Meadows, an ELS, Inc., LLCommunity in MD; Heritage community, as part of Brookfield Properties; Blackstone’s rental homes; Colony; RVHorizons; and, Westbrook, another ELS, Inc., LLCommunity, in Utah.

End result? Plans for a National Day of Action on 10 April 2017. There was one humorous quip. When LLCommunity homeowner/site lessees talked of putting protest signs in their windows, saying: ‘Sweep Predatory Companies From Our Community’, one of the reps from New York City suggested his sign would likely go unread, as his apartment is on the 16th floor of a high rise building.

***

Newsy Notes from arouond the MHIndustry!

February 17th, 2017

Blog # 434 Copyright @ 19 February 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

I.

Newsy Notes from around the MHIndustry!

• MHI’s Winter meeting in San Antonio attracted more than 100 participants! 24 of whom were owners/operators of land lease communities; 18 HUD-Code home manufacturing firm representatives, 18 state MHAssociation executives, 14 lenders from ‘both sides of the aisle’, seven suppliers, six MHRetailers, and a smattering of attorneys, insurance agents, and several new friends from FHFA and both GSEs. Central message? ‘New administration in Washington, DC., likely business-friendly; and hopefully, a relaxed regulatory climate for all!’ But guess which HUD staffer no one would talk about, despite prodding from Mr. Kovach. Makes one stop and wonder, ‘Just who is it that makes policy decisions at MHI?’ And on a sad note: Helen, wife of Don Westphal, fell and broke her hip the last evening; so, reach out and send them your Get Well Wishes!

• Kurt Kelley, esquire, has launched Manufactured Housing Review, touted as online successor to Jim Visser’s print publication, The Journal. I’ve read the inaugural issue: good commentary by LLCommunity owner David Roden; and more. Let’s hope Kurt can avoid being the bully pulpit for irresponsible remarks, e.g. encouraging LLCommunity owners/operators to double their site rent rates during the year ahead.

• One HUD-Code home manufacturer is drawing ire of some land lease community customers, for what they describe as ‘major construction defects in single and multi section homes’, as well as less than marginal customer service and slow-to-no repayment for repairs after delivery. COBA7 is being pressed to provide a public forum where business customers can air these complaints, as apparently no national advocate for the manufactured housing industry will do so at this time. Geesh! And just when we’re, as an industry, starting to recover!

• Beg, borrow, or steal a copy of the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal! Why? Lead article is a lightly edited reprint of the Santefort Real Estate Group ‘paper’ submitted to the Federal Housing Finance Agency at their Listening Session in Chicago a few weeks ago. The FHFA, I’m told, found it to be one of the most accurate and compelling descriptions of selling & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site in land lease communities! AND, the 19th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLCommunities, one of a dozen signature series resource documents (’SSRDs’) updated month by month by COBA7, will be enclosed as a lagniappe for Option II & I II alliance affiliates. Trust me, you don’t want to miss either of these seminal documents! To affiliate with COBA7, simply phone (317) 346-7156.

• COBA7, as manufactured housing’s official historian, has been asked by several industry leaders to recalculate, as necessary, then republish annual new HUD-Code home shipment totals, going back at least a decade – maybe two, using unadulterated monthly figures supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’) – HUD’s contractor for ‘keeping these records’. You see, IBTS does NOT publish annual shipment totals! Why? Because there’re always a few DESTINATION PENDING houses left each year (despite the fact one national advocate ‘assumes’ all are shipped to specific state destinations and reports accordingly). SO, this is a ‘proof exercise’ to ensure our ‘annual shipment history’, going forward, is based ONLY on IBTS monthly records, and not someone’s guesstimate relative to DESTINATION PENDING units. A copy of the finished ‘work product’ will be supplied to the RV/MH Hall of Fame library for reference purposes.

• I experienced a epiphany, of sorts, while participating in MHI’s Winter Meeting in San Antonio, TX. An answer, if you will, to what has ailed our industry ‘for decades’. What follows here is the Executive Summary from correspondence being submitted this week to the FHFA and both GSEs: “Many, if not most, manufactured housing mortgages, of the chattel capital or personal property type, on new homes destined for, if not already installed within, land lease communities, are configured as ‘risky’ investments (for the homeowner/site lessee & lender), rather than as ‘affordable’ arrangements! The root cause of this perennial, self-defeating lending practice has to do with ‘homebuyers/site lessees buying more home than they can truly afford’ – or being encouraged to do so, by those selling, and or originating mortgages on these homes.” The paper goes on to explain just how to make the change from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’….And, copies of this document will be circulated, as an enclosure, to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, appearing March 1, 2017.

***

Manufactured Housing Conundrums revisited, & Lack of Leadership…

February 10th, 2017

Blog # 433 Copyright @ 12 February 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION.

Part I. We’ve archived all 432 blog postings to date, and often scroll back through them for reference purposes. Hence the material used for Part I today. More to come later.

Part II. Frankly, I’m tired of ignoring provocateurs spouting self-serving messages like, ‘Double your site rents in 2017′ in one instance, and ‘Want to use my resources? Hire me as your consultant!’ in another. Nor, in my opinion, can we continue to rely on salaried leaders of three national advocacy entities to ‘lead’ the entire MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class. We need one or more charismatic leaders with, as we say in the Marines, command presence – and more! And who might that be?

I.

Manufactured Housing’s Conundrums Revisited

(Conundrums? Riddles, Hard Questions)

Slightly more than a year ago, on 24 January 2016 to be exact, blog posting # 383 described the manufactured housing industry & land lease community mishmash of conundrum-like riddles and questions using 14 bullet points. It’s high time for an update. but we’re not going to revisit all of them this time around, but rather highlight significant advances and miscues occurring since then. And perhaps more conundrums in a future blog posting.

Relative to Community Series Homes, their popularity continues to increase, with some HUD-Code home manufacturers, reportedly, using them as loss-leaders. Result? TRIPLE the number of new HUD-Code homes shipped directly into land lease communities since year 2009 = 48,789 total units X .24% = 11,709; 2015 new homes; year 2015 = 70,544 total units X .41% = 28,923 new homes; &, year 2016 = 81,136 units X at least 41% = 34,007+ new homes. Again, TRIPLE the influx of new HUD-Code homes into LLCommunities since year 2009! Still forecasting 75% of annual shipments going into LLCommunities by year 2020, as manufacturers increasingly embrace this emerging market. Many still do not know how to prospect for properties and owners!

Are HUD-Code home manufacturers exercising price compression without sacrificing quality, energy efficiency and product reputation? In some cases, YES, but NO in one major regrettable instance! Otherwise, the Big Three C firms (Clayton, Champion, Cavco) appear to be ‘holding their own’, balancing price and product. At last report, MHI manufacturer members garner 80+/- percent of national market share of HUD-Code homes! Now, if MHI would just stop claiming, on its’ website, to represent the entire factory-built housing industry (It doesn’t! Only 5% @ HUD-Code, & maybe 5% @ modular housing, but NO production site builders or panelizers!), we’d find the remainder of their published statistics easier to believe – except of course, their routinely adulterated Institute for Building Technology & Science (’IBTS’) monthly MH shipment totals (e.g. December 2016, where IBTS posted 6,995 units; MHI calculated something altogether different). Advice? Want MHIndustry ‘cred’ in DC? Be accurate on all fronts!

Where a year ago, only one HUD-Code home manufacturer had an in-house, or closely-related, independent third party chattel capital finance source, working in partnership with them, to factory-finance or seller-finance homebuyer/site lessee transactions on-site, most manufacturers do so today! That’s a major achievement right there. Now we just need to be able to securitize and liquidate seasoned mortgages, to free up capital to originate more chattel loans. Hence, the importance of the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) Listening Sessions taking place this month in Chicago, Washington, DC., and San Francisco – to help the GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) craft DTS (Duty to Serve) programs relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities. As a related aside, more LLCommunity owners were present at the Chicago Listening Session, than firms from any other segment of the manufactured housing industry!

Floor fees. Now, here’s the closest thing the manufactured housing industry has to a sacred cow conundrum! Prior to 1985, all floor fees went to one national advocacy entity and affiliated state associations. Since 1985, a second national advocacy entity joined in that funding mix. And, with the 2014 addition of a third national advocacy entity (As another related aside, one really must ask: ‘What’s causing new national manufactured housing advocacy entities to emerge?’), a new industry/realty asset class reality will have to be addressed: ‘Where should 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators direct their floor fees be credited, to achieve the most bang for their bucks re: national& state lobbying efforts, general regulatory relief, national housing brand advertising, and industry image improvement? Read Part II following….

So, there you have a conundrum update relative to HUD-Code home manufacturers. In coming weeks we’ll do something similar for the remaining ten bullet points, as they relate to 1) land lease community operations, 2) affordable housing crisis matters, & 3) hybrid approach to manufactured housing finance within LLCommunities.

II.

LACK of LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT

“Hear Me Out Before You Judge The Headline” GFA

• There is no one person to identify as leader of the manufactured housing industry (including the 50,000+/- land lease community realty asset class) today. It’s not Tim Williams, head of 21st Mortgage Corporation, & present chairman of the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’). Nor is it Mark Weiss, esquire, executive director of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (’MHARR’). And it isn’t Samuel Zell, chairman of real estate investment trust, ELS, Inc.- largest owner of 390+/- LLCommunities in the world. And it sure isn’t me, administrator of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (’COBA7′), a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Anyone else? So much for the leadership vacuum amongst the industry& asset class’ three national advocacy entities and our billionaire investor friend.

• While the trade press is rarely, if ever, thought of in terms of ‘leading an industry’, recent business developments require a review of what’s happened of late. As of December 2016, all subscriber-supported print trade publications are GONE! No Manufactured Home Merchandiser, The Journal, Modern Home, & Community Management magazines. (Yes, a new publisher and trade rag may yet appear, but hasn’t to date). What’s left is a couple online ezines, one of which berates (’scolds’) to draw attention – featuring maverick writers and out of context commentary – likely sullying reps in the process. The other ezine, and this weekly blog posting, continue to plod along, content with educating the manufactured housing industry, communicating what there’s need to know, ultimately, some are wont to say, leading by example.

So, what’s this all about? Once again, and for about the tenth time at least, noise is being made to better utilize industry funds for – as was identified in Part I of this week’s blog posting – 1) national & state lobbying efforts, 2) general regulatory relief, 3) national housing brand advertising, and 4) industry image improvement.

The commentary runs like this. From some quarters, ‘Strip all responsibilities from MHI and force them to concentrate on national lobbying for the manufactured housing industry! Others? Better financially support MHARR and ‘turn it loose’ on the regulatory constraints hamstringing housing manufacturers. Finally, assemble a team of marketing experts, drawn from national advocacy organizations, to craft and fund a true national housing brand advertising program. And finally; reach out to ALL land lease communities nationwide, and scattered site homeowners, encouraging them to get on board a sweeping industry image improvement effort.

Is all this possible? We won’t know until we try. And here’s ‘the rub’ in all this: Finding a nationally known and respected, capable, experienced, and motivated LEADER we can all support, and Do So; OR, default to those who repeatedly and publicly claim to ‘want the job’ and let the chips fall where they may. Yikes! Let’s hope the former prevails over the latter alternative.

While all this, so far, has been and is, ‘easy to say’ (or write), it’s a far more difficult task to organize, plan, and effect. Take advertising for example. As was pointed out, this month, by a savvy MHIndustry executive. There’re at least three major hurdles to developing and effecting a national advertising campaign for manufactured housing:

1. Money. Advertising is expensive. Will all ‘players’ be willing to participate? Another good reason to revisit the floor fees allocation situation..

2. Advertising focus. Affected, start to finish, by self-interest. For example: Community owners will press for ads selling Community Series Homes into their properties; while manufacturers, per past practice, will likely press for ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ developer series homes, with their greater profit margins

3. Once again; who to oversee the ad program? Sure, there’s a ‘volunteer’ or two out there angling for this responsibility, but has their past performance(s) on the national scene as ‘leaders’ qualify or disqualify them for this precedent-setting task?

Methinks this MHIndustry executive has put his finger on the pulse of the challenge at hand. Where do we go from here?

A good start might be at the MHI Winter Meeting in San Antonio this week. No, not in one of those storied closed session attended only by major corporate or political players, but an Open Meeting among all present at the meeting. Why? Because private sessions, at MHI meetings, already have a bad rep for ‘what goes on behind closed doors’, with, in this industry observer’s opinion, decisions benefitting a favored few.

***

George Allen, CPM,. MHM
COBA7, Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

COBA7 Challenge Coins = HOT; See Ya in San Antoinio? & 81,136 New MHS in 2016

February 4th, 2017

Blog # 432 Copyright @ 5 February 2017: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocate voice, official ombudsman 7 historian research report & online communication media for North American LLCommunities!

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (9\877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

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

INTRODUCTION: Wow! Since debuting in January 2017, as a national advocate for land lease communities and manufactured housing, the alliance has been on a very fast track educationally, research wise, and motivating affiliates with the group’s very first Challenge Coin.

And now COBA7 is preparing to participate in MHI’s Winter meeting in San Antonio, TX. Will you be there? I understand there’s some interesting doings afoot – but we’ll surely not hear about them beforehand. Why? Ask the folk who like to keep everything so quiet and behind the scenes these days….

The shipment numbers for December 2016 and all of 2016 are now in and posted. While it was a good year, we have a long long way to go before we return to shipment totals experienced at the turn of the Century. But we’re making progress, I think, with reasonable access to chattel capital.

I.

COBA7 & Challenge Coins Enjoying Popularity!

Three weeks ago, COBA7 affiliates trained and certified ten Manufactured Housing Managers or MHMs; ’splained’ to a dozen HUD-Code housing manufacturers how to prospect for land lease communities nationwide; and, taught 11 LLCommunity owners/operators how to use Lease-Option as a seller-finance option for on-site home sales transactions. It’s simply ‘amazing’ to me – or perhaps the correct word choice is ’sad’, that no other national trade entity offers this sort of professional property management training & certification; ‘How to Sell More New HUD-Code Homes!’; and, best use of this increasingly popular finance methodology to fill vacant rental homesites. Go figure.

Two weeks ago, COBA7, as national advocate for the land lease community realty asset class, participated in the first Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (’FHFA’) first Listening Session pursuant to preparation of Duty to Serve programs by GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. Also responded, in writing, to FHFA’s request for a ‘Chattel Capital Pilot RFI’ – more on that later in this blog posting. Watch to see if ‘anyone else’ covers similar proceedings in Washington, DC., and San Francisco, CA.

This past week, COBA7 distributed dozens of new Challenge Coins to affiliates throughout the U.S. & Canada. The coins have turned out to be so popular, we’re nearly out of stock and have ordered 100 more! And this same week, COBA7 mailed letter questionnaires to 50 real estate loan originators (for LLCommunities mortgages) and to 40 independent third party chattel capital sources – inviting all of them to be listed in the ‘19th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving Land Lease Communities & the Manufactured Housing Industry’, the Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, to be distributed as a lagniappe in the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Will you be on the receiving end of this ’second most popular’ SSRD? The most popular one, of course, is the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT. To affiliate, use the COBA7 brochure accompanying this blog posting.

II.

You Going to MHI’s Winter Meeting in San Antonio?

I am, as voting representative for COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing; and, as a Certified Representative of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (’IMHA’).

Rumor has it we might learn of one or more new terms HUD-Code housing manufacturers believe would better serve our industry than ‘manufactured housing’. How does ‘prefabulous homes’ sound to you? No, that’s likely not one of the choices, but it is one I came across this week while visiting some brightly-colored new modular homes.

When I inquired recently, as to why NCC members aren’t polled ahead of time, as to topics they’d like to see included on their meeting agenda, a fellow NCC member quipped: “Oh, didn’t you know? We’re under Mushroom Management!. Ha! Go ahead & google it; you deserve a chuckle….

And yes, I am attending this meeting in San Antonio, with some trepidation (’tremulous agitation’). After all, it’s the four year three month anniversary of the infamous verbal ambush suffered by a former MHI member and me, at the hands of a long gone NCC chairman, during the NCC meeting there. And know what? To this date, there’s not been an explanation or apology from MHI leaders, for that nasty public outburst. How would you feel?

Wonder if we’ll hear more about our ‘MH brethren to the North’ (Canada) and the new year regrouping, in council fashion, of MHICanada & CMHI, under the auspices of the Canadian Home Builders Association (’CHBA’) – and whether this might be a practical template for the unification of HUD-Code manufactured housing in the U.S., in council fashion, under the auspices of the National Association of Home Builders (’NAHB’)? Don’t hold your breath….

III.

81,136 New HUD-Code Homes Shipped During 2016!

The 6,995 new HUD-Code homes shipped during December 2016 raises the annual total shipment number to 81,136 – the highest such figure since year 2008, when the manufactured housing industry shipped 81,889 new homes nationwide!

And what is the ‘production value’ of those 81,136 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2016? Using Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s ‘production value’ formula = $3 1/2 billion!

Top Ten ’shipping states’ in December (in actual performance, not a cumulative count) = LA, TX,. FL, MI, NC, AL, MS, CA, SC, & KY. Together they shipped 4,914 new HUD-Code homes, or 70% of the 6,995 units shipped that month. An apt case study of Pareto’s Law; where in this case, 20+/- percent of the states produced slightly less than 80 percent of the shipments!

Ever see an Official COBA7 MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report? December’s attached to this blog posting. And, if you haven’t yet affiliated with the Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, use attached brochure to do so today!

***

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

It’s All About FHFA Listening Sessions re GSEs & DTS – and more!

January 28th, 2017

Blog # 431 Copyright @ 29 January 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = to
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance1′
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: What a week it was for COBA7! Distributing the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT; writing & publishing the most detailed historical retrospective to date, describing 65 years of manufactured housing chattel capital history; spending a day in Chicago ‘telling it like it is’ at FHFA’s first Listening Session; laying plans for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable this Fall; and, handing out more COBA7 Challenge Coins to affiliates!

I.

Land Lease Community Owners Dominate FHFA Listening Session in Chicago on 25 January 2017

FLASH NEWS. “Of the 20+/- manufactured housing representatives a the first FHFA Listening Session, 13 were allocated time to address the 50+/- person audience. Of those 13 businessmen and women, five were owners of land lease communities – making the real estate asset class the best represented segment of the industry!” Quoted from the February issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter.

All three national advocates for manufactured housing were present at this Chicago event: MHARR, MHI, and COBA7.

It’s anticipated a Special Edition of TAC! will be published after the Federal Housing Finance Agency publicizes session proceedings. TAC! has promised to enclose copies of all handout material distributed at the Listening Session, including the Historical Retrospective published last Sunday, as a blog posting, at the community-investor.com website. Have you read it? If not, suggest you go there and do so. 65 years of history!

And finally; COBA7 has already responded to FHFA’s request for public input relative to chattel financing of manufactured homes sited in land lease communities. If you’d like a copy of the eight page FHFA booklet describing parameters for said input, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 & request it.

Deadline for input, labeled as ‘Chattel Pilot RFI’ is 17 February 2017 via email, webpage, or USPS. What an incredible opportunity for LLCommunity owners/operators, large & small, nationwide – YOU – to influence our realty asset class’ present day and future financing of new and resale manufactured homes!

No longer should you feel ‘left out’ because a national advocacy entity neglected to inform you of opportunities to share your expertise, knowledge, experience and or opinions about manufactured housing & land lease community matters! COBA7 will keep YOU informed!

II.

Historical Perspective to FHFA’s DTS Rulemaking Challenge to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

Here’s what land lease community owners and MH businessmen & women had to say about last week’s blog posting, on this very subject:

“Excellent treatment of the MH financing mistakes. The naïveté’ and greed of Wall Street & MHIindustry – pushed home sales and financing through the stratosphere during the 1990s. MHRetailers, with lenders turning a blind eye, ‘created’ down payments, phantom income, and credit for below-marginal buyers/borrowers all too eager to buy what they clearly couldn’t afford. What was later termed ‘mortgage fraud’ was rampant. We killed the goose that laid the golden egg – THEN along came the S.,A.F.E. & Dodd-Frank Acts.

Thank you Otto Wantuck. I too mistook the ‘76 HUD Code as the sole cause of the dramatic downturn in MH production, when the real culprit was apparently the first round of chattel lending abuses 20 years prior to the downturn of the 90s. Hello; another 20 year anniversary isn’t far away – is it any wonder that powers- that-be are reluctant to repeal the S.A.F.E. & Dodd-Frank Acts?

I also went back and read blog # 284, ‘UPSIDE DOWN in a Mobilehome Park’ (2/13/14). Should be a mandatory re-read by everyone in the MHIndustry every five to 10 years!”

And then this input from the Midwest:

“Great history lesson, and a very pointed commentary on the importance of GOOD financing. It will also teach us that ‘price/value’ was another hugely important factor George, and we will see that reflected in increased quality/longevity and stability in land lease community treatment of rent and maintenance issues. We are in line now, for the updraft to find us.”

Finally, this from the left coast:

Nice recap of the history of Chattel. One might wonder if Fannie & Freddie ’s (anticipated) expansionary policies into chattel lending might have an alternative motive. (Specifically), One would wonder if it is a beginning step in the process for local development for affordable land lease communities. Government could offer affordable housing solutions with GSE approved financing. And end around existing LLCommunity owners who have old communities needing new replacement units and infrastructure improvement. Just an observation….” (lightly edited. GFA)

Makes you stop and think doesn’t it?

III.

Looking for 20 Topics & Speakers for 26th annual Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September 2017.

Wow! Is it that time of year again – already? Guess so. Well, if you have one or more ‘hot topics’ you’d like to see covered at this year’s Networking Roundtable, let us know ASAP via (317) 346-7156. Also, if you’d like to be considered as a primary presenter at this affair, let us know that as well, along with one or more topics about which you’re the ‘duty expert’, so to speak.

***

65 Year Historical Perspective to FHFA’s DTS Rulemaking Challenge to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

January 21st, 2017

Blog # 430 Copyright @ 22 January 2017; community-investor.com

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = to “Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness model performance!”
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

This blog posting was prepared specifically and especially for the Federal Housing Finance Agency Listening Sessions. It is a 65 year look back at manufactured housing finance cycles, plus a challenge to look forward, and collectively decide how to restore reasonable access to chattel capital for financing of new and resale manufactured housing in land lease communities nationwide.

Historical Perspective to FHFA’s Duty to Serve (DTS’) Rulemaking Challenge to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

“If you dwell in the past you lose an eye. If you forget the past you lose both eyes.”
An ancient eastern proverb *1

“Use this look back into our 65 year MH$ past, to ensure 20/20 vision going forward!”
George Allen, CPM & MHM

Folk new to manufactured housing and land lease community business models may hold the naive view this industry and realty asset class’ loss of easy access to chattel capital, from independent third party lenders – between the turn of the 21st Century and now – is simply a one time hiatus. Not so. We’ve gone through similar cycles in years past.

(More than a dozen of the following paragraphs, republished two years ago as lead feature in the January 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, were in turn quoted from the June 2000 issue (pages 45-48) of the defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, in an article titled: ‘Looking Back at 50 Years of Manufactured Housing Financing’ by Otto Wantuck, former owner of San Diego-based Amcorp Financial Services.)

Mr. Wontuck’s reason for penning his half century retrospective description of manufactured housing finance cycles? In his words, “…help us do a better job and avoid same ‘pitfalls’ in the future.”

Otto. “The year is 1950. It’s summer in Tulsa, OK., and gasoline is selling for 37 cents a gallon. The young couple (is) from Knobnoster, Mississippi, where they bought a trailer from Sipes Trailer Sales, the local Spartan retailer. They are at the factory to pick up their new home, a beautiful, shiny, silver 8X20 Spartan Mansion aluminum trailer.”

Their Spartan Mansion’s “Sale price, including title and tax = $4,200. Down payment paid to dealer = $840. Balance owing = $3,360. Physical damage insurance for three years = $140. Credit life insurance = $60. Amount financed = $3,560. Finance charge (five percent add-on) = $534. Total note balance = $4,094.”

“The couple will be making 36 payments of $113.74 to pay off the loan. The true interest rate on the loan is 9.2 percent in simple interest. The cost to the lender is about 3.5 percent, resulting in a gross profit, before an administrative cost of almost 60 percent of the finance charges. A very profitable financing operation, indeed.”

Such was the reality of that time period, 65 years ago.

Moving ahead ten years, Otto again: “As of the mid-1960s, banks and savings & loans were unregulated. In their race for deposits, they turned to manufactured housing loans for higher yields. However, they lacked the expertise in originating these consumer installment loans. Entrepreneurs, many coming from manufactured housing finance companies, formed ’service companies’…becoming the loan arm of thousands of federal and state – insured banks and savings & loans.”

Then came the Crash of the 1970s. “By 1973, annual sales volume (i.e. new ‘mobile home shipments’) reached 580,000 – an all time high never to be seen again. However, there was a flaw in the industry growth. The marriage of service companies, financial institutions, and credit (repossession loss insurance) companies did not incorporate the basic checks and balances needed in the world of lending.”

“Competition for loan volume reached a ‘fever pitch’. Prudent lending practices disappeared in the feeding frenzy for profits by service companies. Banks, and especially S&Ls, were screaming for more loan business, since they needed the higher yields to support their marketing of high yield deposits for their customers in CDs and savings accounts.”

“The credit (repossession loss) insurance companies, at great risk, were generally unaware of their extreme exposure to uncontrolled loss. When they finally realized their mistake, it was too late.”

“The crash came in 1974, as losses skyrocketed. Credit (repossession loss) insurance companies pulled out of the business and annual sales of home plummeted to 338,000 units (shipped).”

“Repossessions were pouring in due to bad credit standards and many lenders withdrew from the business never to return.”

Two positive events occurred during the late 1970s; Otto continuing…

• The FHA & VA offered government-insured mobile home loans, and the Government National Mortgage Association offered a mortgage-backed securities program, that eventually provided “…billions of dollars to fuel the industry’s growth in the 1990s.”

• “A national construction standard known as ANSI 119.1 was imposed on the mobile home industry in 1976. (Now the HUD-Code)…greatly increasing the credibility of the industry with lenders, investors, and the general public.”

Interestingly, the debut of the HUD-Code (federally preemptive national building code) is most often cited as ‘the reason’ for the following 20 years fall-off in new home shipment volume, when ‘blame’ should be shared, at least equally, by chattel capital lenders of the time.

Economic Factors of the 1980s & 1990s

Otto again. “The borrow rates for manufactured home loans were three percent higher and could be attributed to higher costs of servicing and default losses.”

“Loan terms in 1980 were up to 20 years and rose to 30 years by 1995. This resulted in no equity lending on most loans for several years, and down payments dropped from 10 to five percent, a grave error.”

“…in 1998 & 1999, delinquency increased from 3.5 to five percent for most lenders, indicating problems. Default losses, including expenses, rose from 30 percent in the ’80s, to 45 to 50 percent in the late ’90s.”

“Pressure (however) increased among lenders to gain or hold on to market share. Loan credit quality deteriorated as the competition heated up. Eventually, in the late ’90s, many of these lenders withdrew from manufactured housing lending, but the damage was already done.”

Summary observation from Otto Wantuck, writing in mid-2000: “I have seen all of these problems before, but I have never seen all of them occur at the same time!” And to this he added this hopeful note: “The days of great ups and downs
in the lending industry are coming to an end.” Alas, probably more of an ‘end’
than even he realized at the time.

(For an anecdotal look at how these tumultuous financial times affected homebuyer/site
lessees, read ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park!’ A fictional tale describing the real world consequences of 1) borrower qualification compromise, 2) questionable down payments, 3) bogus credit and 4) employment histories, plus 5) free-wheeling adjustable rate mortgages, even 6) ‘free site rent for a year’ in (then) manufactured home communities with rental homesite to fill. For a FREE reprint, phone COBA7’s Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.)

How did manufactured housing industry leaders, at the time, view these matters? Now retired, Gub Mix, a former association executive for several western states, and founder of the annual MHI Manufactured Housing Congress, opined circa 2000, in his widely read column, ‘From My Soapbox’,

“…manufactured housing industry devotes an extraordinary amount of its’ resources to sell homes to people who really aren’t qualified home buyers. Why? Because they allow us to sell the ‘old mobile home way’. It’s easier than attempting to sell to qualified buyers who require a lot more effort. Manufactured housing may be the only industry in America who ignores the customer’s desires in their marketing practices. Unfortunately for us, potential buyers are much more savvy these days, and appear to be abandoning us in droves.”

OUCH! But it had to be said!

And, the consequences to annual new HUD-Code home shipments nationwide?

• Year 2000 = 250,550 new homes shipped (Down from 372,843 in 1998)

• 2007 = 95,769 (First year since 1961 with fewer than 100,000 homes shipped!)

• 2009 = 48,789 (The nadir of manufactured housing shipments!)

Furthermore, this is what now retired industry chattel finance maven, Marty V. Lavin, esquire, opined about what he termed, the ‘deeply flawed operating model’ of manufactured housing. In his words…

“During the early 2000s, it became evident the new home sales downturn was unlikely to end! Our long term industry operating model was deeply flawed. The huge number of home shipments enjoyed during the 1960s & 70s, had only been possible given unsustainable chattel loan losses absorbed by industry lenders throughout the period. Once the severity of said losses was fully recognized, in he late 1990s, chattel lending tightened and shipments started a rapid decline, dropping to 50,000 homes shipped per year. Today, only a slight shipment recovery seems possible under the continuing flawed operating model. Not until the industry finds a way to market our homes to a much better credit tier of buyer, is growth likely to occur again. And one must believe industry growth is also unlikely to occur absent many needed industry model changes.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

With all that said though, our focus now must turn to what it’s going to take to restore reasonable access to chattel capital when selling and financing new and resale manufactured homes on-site in land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) throughout the U.S. And that’s why the Federal Housing Finance Agency is hosting three Listening Sessions throughout the U.S. this Winter, providing opportunities for manufactured housing executives, land lease community owners/operators, and others, to input Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, as these GSEs engage in rulemaking and program development that’ll restore reasonable access to chattel capital to this unique affordable housing marketplace.

That’s why it’s helpful to have learned, and now understand, what’s brought the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry ‘to its’ knees’ between 1998 (When 372,843 new homes were shipped), and 2009 (When only 49,789 new homes were shipped); and how we experienced 70,544 new homes shipped by year end 2015 – and just might eclipse 80,000+/- new homes during 2016 – if several thousand FEMA homes are added to the total provided by the Institute of Building Technology and Safety (’IBTS’).

Yet another succinct historical retrospective on this matter was penned, and recently updated, by Dick Ernst, president of FINMARK in Dallas, TX., writing for the Guidebook for Selling & Seller-financing New Manufactured Homes in Land Lease Communities, he observed… *2

“Let’s go back to those ‘go-go days’ of the 1990s, when HUD-Code manufactured
housing was enjoying strong growth year after year, and was the darling of Wall
Street. Large amounts of capital were chasing public (housing manufacturer)
companies’ stock, driving up housing prices, and giving these firms ‘play money’
with which to expand their retail distribution networks. The new buzz within the
industry as ‘vertical integration’.

Retail (chattel) financing was plentiful and financially attractive, because lenders
were paying MHRetailers a premium for their loans and were very aggressive
with their underwriting practices. While some lenders were portfolio lenders (i.e.
keeping chattel loans on their books), the bulk of financing, at the time, came
from active participation in the Asset Backed Securities Market. Lenders were
originating $100w of millions in loans, packaging them, and selling them, while
retaining servicing. Green Tree Financial was the largest ‘player’ at the time, with
more than 30 percent of market share. Other lenders tried to ‘out do’ them, by buying more marginal business, and or paying more for the loans purchased.

The peak of manufactured housing’s gluttony occurred in 1998, when 372,843 HUD-Code homes were shipped to MHRetailers and land lease communities. Marty Lavin (now retired), veteran manufactured housing finance consultant determined as much as one third of the industry’s chattel loans were made to homebuyers having a FICO score of less than 600 points! The soon result was a default frequency of more than 30 percent of loans originated at the time. The industry ended up with a glut of repossessed homes that took three years to absorb and resell.

So, what has happened since then? The asset-backed security business continued to operate, but the cost of doing securitizations became very expensive. Green Tree reorganized under bankruptcy protection, and stopped originating new loans. Clayton Homes, one of the largest scrutinizers in the MHIndustry, ended up selling to Berkshire Hathaway. Ultimately, when the sub prime fiasco hit, the capital markets were shaken to the core and closed down the asset backed security market completely. By 2010, there was no market for manufactured housing.

The MHIndustry and chattel financing look nothing today like they did at the turn of the century. The number of lenders financing ‘home only loans’, or at least the majority of such loans, can be counted on one hand, oft identified as ‘The Big Three’: 21st Mortgage Corporation, CU Factory-built Lending, and Triad Financial Services; plus, Clayton’s in-house arm, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Inc.” *3

“First came the S.A.F.E. Act (’Safe And Fair Enforcement’…of mortgage licensure), implemented and enforced on the state level.” *4

“Then the Dodd-Frank Act occurred in 2010, soon birthing the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (’CFPB’) , yet another regulatory agency to enforce mortgage lending laws.” *5

Finally, this hands-on perspective from land lease community portfolio owner/operator Spencer Roane, MHM , of Pentagon Properties:

“The business of owning/managing land lease communities has become capital
intensive during the past 10-15 years. Today we are faced with spending $30-40,000 per new manufactured home we purchase for marketing on-site in our properties. Fortunately, there are many sources today, from which to borrow funds at record-low interest rates.

• Private investors (who) will lend money to community owners, oft from self-directed IRA accounts.

• Local banks, like American Commerce Bank, located on the outskirts of Atlanta, will also lend for home acquisition, seeing this as a means to segue into providing refinance, even new property acquisition funding, in the future.

• HUD-Code home manufacturers, like Clayton, Cavco, Champion, and Legacy, have in-house (Vanderbilt @ Clayton Homes) finance programs that encourage/facilitate community owners’ purchases of new HUD-Code homes. Also include 21st Mortgage Corporation’s CASH Program in this $ mix.

• Excess operating funds within land lease communities, via healthy net operating income (’NOI’) and or refinancing the debt on said property or properties.” *6

Now, with that said, attention needs to focus on what must be incorporated into Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac chattel capital finance programs, relative to manufactured housing, so as to make their loans/mortgages ’safe for securitization’ & ‘attractive to borrowers’ .going forward.

To some, this FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac effort to rise to the challenge of Duty to Serve, might just be this nation’s last, best opportunity to preserve & increase the inventory of, and access to, this decades-proven and continuing ready source of truly affordable housing combination known as manufactured housing in land lease communities!

***
End Notes.

1. Quoted from the treatise, AFFORDABLE (MANUFACTURED) HOUSING, ‘From Factory to Family; a Bold Look into the Future of housing & Community’, 2015

2. PMN Publishing, 2016. Chapter # 5.

3. For more detail on this subject, along with contact information, read Signature Series Resource Document: ‘18th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders’, 2016. Available ‘free’ from COBA7 via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

4. Quoted from Chapter # 5 of Guidebook for Selling & Seller-financing’, 2016

5. Ibid

6. Ibid

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM, writing for the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247. gfa7156@aol.com