Manufactured Housing to be reborn 9/11

August 29th, 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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

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



Manufactured Housing to be Reborn on 9/11

West Coast Visionary Cum Land-lease-lifestyle Community Redeveloper to
Demonstrate, before 200+ Networking Roundtable Attendees & the Local
San Diego Press, How HUD-Code/Modular Housing Now Leads the Way to
Net Zero Energy Usage Today-Not-Tomorrow, Citing a Present Day Case
Study sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, using Manufactured
Homes in Income-Producing Properties Anywhere!

Whoa! Let’s take this one careful step at a time.

The West coast visionary? Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of the Newport Pacific
Family Company.

Redeveloping what? ‘Mobile home parks’, by routinely replacing pre-HUD Code homes
with new manufactured homes featuring near zero energy usage, that translates into low
operating costs for homeowner/site lessees. Just like the Modular Lifestyles home
featured in San Diego at the 21st annual International Networking Roundtable in 2012.
Speaking of which, this same home will soon to be featured in the TV series, ‘Tiny
House Hunters’, to demonstrate how today’s contemporary factory-built homes are
a natural fit for stringent energy conservation measures increasingly commonplace, and
in some local housing markets required of new construction.

Immediate results? Typical 50-100 amp community electric service on-site, effectively
Turning electrical power master metering – and billing, on its’ ear – as energy use
plummets with each housing replacement! And where do these new homes get their
replacement power? In large part, from solar energy sources like the Dow Chemical
Company’s POWERHOUSE ™ Solar System 2.0., an innovative BIPV Solar System for
new and redeveloped land-lease-Lifestyle communities (a.ka. manufactured home
communities, even ‘mobile home parks’). Samples of this new solar power roof shingle
system will be on hand at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11
September in San Diego, for attendees to examine.

In any event, this is the gist of the Very Special Presentation that’ll be made in front of
200 LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the U.S. and Canada, a dozen or
so HUD-Code home manufacturers, along with senior executives from Fannie Mae,
Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Authority, the Manufactured Housing
Institute, and possibly, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory
Reform. Anyone who’s anybody in the manufactured housing industry will be present!

How can YOU afford not to be on hand for this historic rebirth of HUD-Code
manufactured housing as this nation’s premier and lone manifestation of affordable-not-
subsidized, highly energy efficient housing?!

Not too late for you to register. Simply telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE:
(877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or visit the website:


‘Political Correctness’,

as defined by President Harry Truman to General D. A. MacArthur on 1 September 1945,

the day before the actual signing of the WWII Surrender Agreement, in four telegrams:

(Editor’s Note: Parenthetical remarks within the telegrams are my additions to aid understanding)

1. “Tokyo, Japan 0800-September 1, 1945 To: President Harry S. Truman. From: General D A MacArthur. Tomorrow we meet with those ________ (Japanese)
and sign the Surrender Documents, any last minute instructions?

2. Washington, DC 1300-September 1, 1945 To: D A MacArthur From H S Truman Congratulations, job well done, but you must tone down your obvious dislike of the Japanese when discussing the terms of the surrender with the press, because some of your remarks are fundamentally not politically correct!

3. Tokyo, Japan 1630 – September 1, 1945 TO: H S Truman From: D A MacArthur and C H Nimitz. Wilco (‘Will comply’) Sir, but both Chester and I are somewhat confused, exactly what does the term politically correct mean?

4. Washington, DC 2120-September 1, 1945 TO: D A MacArthur/C H Nimitz. From: H S Truman. Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of turd by the clean end!”

Now, with special Thanks to the Truman Museum, you and I have a full and better understanding of what ‘political correctness’ really means!


One Last Time

Here’s what YOU will experience if you register and participate in the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, in San Diego.

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best possible interpersonal networking available anywhere, anytime!

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best hands on educational selections available anywhere anytime!

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best opportunities at property deal making available anywhere anytime!

• Celebration of National Land-lease-lifestyle Community Week!

• Celebration of 2nd Year of the NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing!
• Celebration of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities as the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’

• Identification of the ‘DECADE (2015-2025) of _______ ________ ________ Housing & Community __________!’ at the Roundtable…

No doubt about it, 9-11 September, in San Diego, is ‘Where the Action Will Be!’, for all of manufactured housing (with nearly a dozen HUD-Code home manufacturers present) and land-lease-lifestyle communities, as well as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Manufactured Housing Institute (You’ve simply gotta hear Rick Robinson’s legislative briefing!), and possibly the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (Our industry’s ‘Watchdog’ in Washington, DC) – if retired exec will let loose of the reins enough to allow Marc Weiss to attend!

And finally; unless you know about ‘net zero energy use’ in future HUD-Code manufactured homes sited in California, and eventually nationwide, you need to be present to learn basics and details firsthand. For starters, re-read Part I of this blog posting!

See you in San Diego!


Latchkey to MHSales? Exciting Treatise & more…

August 22nd, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 362 via Copyright 23 August 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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.

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


INTRODUCTION. This week = three questions. Latchkey to Increased MHSales? Gauge this book by its’ cover? (&) Wanna Get Pissed a Little? Learn, Anticipate, & Vent.


$ = Lynchpin or Linchpin? Spelled Either Way, it’s Latchkey to Increased Manufactured Housing Sales!

Ken Rishel, of Rishel Consulting, in the August issue of his online newsletter MANUFACTURED HOUSING CHATTEL FINANCE, did a yeoman’s job (‘attendant’ to the MHIndustry) making the case for ‘Customer Finance (being) the Key to Recovery’ for the manufactured housing industry! What follows here, is a paraphrase of one small part of what Ken had to say to all of us. The question is: ‘Who will listen intently, then be proactive expanding present sources of home financing and cultivate new ones?’

Which ‘of many’ sources of home financing we use for prospective homebuyer/site lessees, does not matter! The source can be an independent third party lender like 21st Mortgage, Triad, or CU Factorybuilt; even emerging regional lenders like PEP, Alliance, or Park Lane Finance; as well as local lenders getting back into the business model – or starting anew. The source might also be ‘captive finance’ firms owned by land-lease-lifestyle community owners or independent (street) MHRetailers; private investors providing lease-option funding, even joint ventures between HUD-Code home manufacturers and community customers and depository institutions, not to forget working relationships between ’Lonnie dealers’ and (oft) smaller owners/operators. The latchkey is, there must be sufficient and robust accessible home financing available to qualified customers who want to buy manufactured homes to be sited within LLLCommunities, or we simply do not have a functional business model!

Well put. Can’t make that critical matter any clearer. And your source(s) of home finance?


Can You Tell a Book by its’ Cover?

This time Yes!

Here’s What this year’s

‘Directory of Attendees’, soon to be distributed at the
24th Networking Roundtable (9-11 September) tells us about that event:

Celebrating ‘National LLLCommunity Week’,

during 2nd year of ‘NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing’,

featuring the ‘New Breed of MHRetailers & Lenders’,

all at the beginning of this new ‘DECADE (2015-2025) of __________________’(to be announced at the Roundtable)

Wow! And that only scratches the surface of this historic convergence of disparate events, individuals, and firms:

• 200+/- land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators (a.k.a. manufactured home community), of all sizes, from throughout the U.S. & Canada! And yes, Canadians are already registered to participate.

• Executives from more than a half dozen of the largest manufacturers of HUD-Code Community Series Homes in the U.S., actively selling homes into LLLCommunities! Anyone who’s anybody in manufactured housing is coming.

• Executives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Manufactured Housing Institute, & possibly MHARR. Also National Buyers Group, ROC USA, & more.

• At least a dozen lenders originating commercial (real estate-secured) and retail (chattel capital) $ mortgages for LLLCommunities & manufactured homes respectively! Roundtable $ sponsors will man the popular Lenders Panel Friday morning.

• Two dozen freelance consultants and experts with specialty knowledge, all willing to share the inner workings of their respective fields, to the betterment of everyone present! Learn about FFF, housing economics, CSH Models, MHGives, and much more.

• All the national real estate brokers specializing in marketing LLLCommunities! Dozens of LLLCommunities listed ‘for sale’, a real smorgasbord of investment properties.

• And everyone present will receive a copy of the commissioned treatise titled: Manufactured (Affordable) Housing: ‘From Factory to Family; a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This alone is worth the price of admission to this stellar educational, networking, and deal-making event!

This is the last week, during which, it makes sense to register – to be sure of being included in the aforementioned Directory of Attendees. Why is that important? This is the widely touted ‘Best Directory of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Business Contacts Available Anywhere Anytime’! You wouldn’t believe how many copies we sell after the event…

So, to register, visit, use brochure attached to this BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert), or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You’ll be glad you did!


Wanna Get Pissed a Little?

In a recent issue of TreeHugger (online pub), answering the question, ‘So, Whatever happened to Katrina Cottages?’, two insightful, though discouraging, observations were made. In the first instance,:

‘To the question of why didn’t the Katrina Cottage (‘KC’) idea sweep the nation: Heck, the idea didn’t even sweep Coastal Mississippi. The Tolar-Cloyd-Dial neighborhoods took seven years to (reach) critical mass, while proposals to do something similar in other locations were blocked by local planning boards, elected officials and neighbors, even when units could be had for free or for greatly reduced costs over building on site.

People wanted things they way they were.

Car-dependent, suburban-style neighborhoods with homes three or four times the size of KC designs were the normal most folks were anxious to return to. To many, ‘smaller’ implied settling for less; and manufactured housing, no matter how sophisticated the design or the quality of materials, translated to ‘trailer park.’

In the end, tiny houses work best as part of a (land-lease-lifestyle) community.”

And how ‘bout this as a not-so-glittering generality, describing where we’ve been, as factory-built housing providers, during the past 100 years:

“It’s been the better part of a century since well-crafted bungalow, cottages, and other small-scale dwellings defined ‘home’ to most ‘Americans – and since designers and builders produced them on a large scale. The metrics of housing value tend to be about size and price per square foot, with big being better and small being for losers. ‘Affordable’ translates to either ‘subsidized’, which in turn translates to ‘projects’ or to ‘mobile homes’, which implies ‘trailer trash.’ Either way, anything small and affordable threatens to lower market values. While this cannot persist as a permanent mindset, it’s nevertheless a perspective that continues to corrupt conversations about community planning and development.”

To the latter point, I ask: ‘Why can’t the ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ mindset persist?’ While backburnered somewhat, for the time being, where HUD-Code manufactured housing is concerned – due to lack of easy access to chattel capital for new homes sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities; one just knows it’s going to come roaring back as the national economy improves. Why? Because we’re constantly reminded how homes, besides being an income tax break (i.e. mortgage interest deduction), are how most Americans ‘build wealth’, enabling them to move-on-up among their peers, and or increase the $ nest egg that’ll sustain them during retirement. And new tiny homes simply won’t cut it.

Again, as stated earlier, ‘In the end, tiny houses work best only as part of a land-lease-lifestyle community.’

To that end, we’ll always have land-lease-lifestyle communities! Yes, we’ve already turned one corner, now siting up to six different types of housing, rather than just the traditional two, being pre & post HUD-Code manufactured homes. Next step in the evolution? I know what I think it should be: siting and use of ‘park model RVs’ as housing. But also know there’s opposition to this application at the highest level (i.e. HUD’s Department of Manufactured Housing), within our sister industry, the recreational vehicle folk (Afraid of being pulled into HUD oversight), and of course, the relatively high (per square foot) price tag of the units themselves. So, where does that leave us for the time being? In housing occupancy limbo; with ‘housing’ we can’t utilize (yet), and occupancy that continues to suffer as an estimated 250,000 rental homesites nationwide, remain vacant.

There’s an irony hidden in the previous paragraph. Think of the HUD-coined term for ‘tiny house’. It’s long been, Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU in short. And in everyday parlance, ‘tiny houses’, besides being supposed darlings of Millennials (Which I’m not at all sure I believe is anything but a passing fantasy, a fad), are just as often, if not more so, referred to as ‘Granny flats’ – indicative of their utility as shelter for the single person. So, let’s stop fighting about ‘Why park model RVs’ don’t work in the community environment’, and find common cause making this nonsubsidized form of ‘affordable housing’ an everyday staple in LLLCommunities from coast to coast. Anyone listening?

More important. Anyone doing something about this matter? Further ask yourself,

‘Where does my national advocacy body of choice stand on this timely, vacancy-filling subject? There lies ‘the rub’….

Hint. COBA7® is all for ‘park model RVs’ being approved for routine siting within land-lease-lifestyle communities, large and small, nationwide, especially filling long vacant functionally obsolete rental homesites!.


NEW ERA & Dual Paradigm Shift Center State @ Roundtable!

August 11th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 361 via Copyright 16 August 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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.

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

INTRODUCTION. Only two parts to this week’s blog posting, but they’re important enough to warrant this two part introduction.

Part I, and with no exaggeration, contains the most important business writing I’ve prepared for you in 35 years! I believe the manufactured housing industry, along with its’ sister segment, the land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, is on the very cusp (‘point’) of turnaround to increased new home shipments and prosperity – IF all HUD-Code home manufacturers realize these unique, income-producing properties need an estimated 250,000 new homes ‘designed & featured’ for this specialty application nationwide – and court them with the respect, product, service, & pricing they deserve!

Part II. Now here’s a foursome you’ll likely not see again anytime soon in the future:

• ‘DECADE (2015-20125) of ____________________’ to be annouonced soon!

• Treatise: ‘Affordable (Manufactured) Housing – From Factory to Family, a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This is a MUST READ for all!

• RV/MH Hall of Fame! Not yet a $ $upporter? You really should be, because…

• Prayer. Read how the ‘911’ tragedy influences every Networking Roundtable….


The NEW ERA & ‘Dual Paradigm Shift’ will be in Full Bloom at 24th annual International Networking Roundtable


Five HUD-Code Home Manufacturers Setting Agenda for Selling and Shipping New HUD-Code ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land-lease-lifestyle Communities Nationwide

• Keith Anderson, Champion Home Builders

• Joe Stegmayer, Bill Danforth, Cavco Industries

• Bob Bender, Commodore Homes

• Terry Decio, Skyline Corporation

• Walter Comer, Adventure Homes

REMINDER: The NEW ERA (for LLLCommunity owners/operators, began January 2014), and the ‘Dual Paradigm Shift’ (for HUD-Code home manufacturers), has been unfolding since year 2000), both summarized in last week’s blog posting using these carefully selected words:

“Dual paradigm shift AWAY FROM independent (street) MHRetailers TOWARDS in-LLLCommunity home sales; & AWAY FROM too easy access to chattel capital via independent third party lenders, TOWARDS reliance on cash transactions, seller-finance, ‘captive finance’, lease-options, & rental units, within LLLCommunities nationwide!” (Read again, for full impact of dual changes)

So, how will this play out at the Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., next month, 9-11 September 2015? Simple.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Selling More Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ And as soon as all 200-250 attendees are introduced to one another Thursday morning, 10 September, the above-named executives will address these pithy topics:

• WHY audience should consider buying their firm’s Community Series Home models, displaying one or more WOW! factors and a plethora of durability-enhancing features – to control maintenance expenses and speed make-ready between contract sale homebuyers and or renters?

• WHAT customized marketing and sales training materials and assistance is available to sell more new homes on-site to prospective homebuyers/site lessees?

• WHETHER the Frost Free Foundation® is an acceptable installation alternative with their firm’s new HUD-Code homes going into LLLCommunities.

Then, during the second hour, the floor will be opened to questions from the audience and free-wheeling discussion about information presented during the first hour.

Why is ‘What’s about to happen at the Networking Roundtable in San Diego, so very important and timely!’ to and for the manufactured housing industry?

BECAUSE such dialogue and interaction have NOT been done on a national level before! Since the initial partnership, between HUD-Code home manufacturers and (then) MHCommunity owners/operators, was forged on 28 February 2009, in Elkhart, IN – leading to the debut of Community Series Homes later that year., this is the first national venue where ‘both sides’ are coming together, to ensure the percentage of new homes shippped into LLLCommunities continues to increase (e.g. 2009 = 25%; 2013 = 30%).

BECAUSE national advocacy bodies, to date, have NOT taken the initiative to unite, rather than divide, the industry in general, HUD-Code home manufacturers in particular! We, as an industry, have long needed this sort of practical, forward-looking dialogue; and it appears, we’re finally going to get it! Just how pervasive is this effort? Besides the expected 200-250 attendees, these five home manufacturers (still others may still register to attend), and executives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHFA, MHI, and hopefully, the MHARR, will all be represented, as well as MHI’s elected chairman!

No question about it. If YOU are active in the manufactured housing industry and its’ land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, the 24th International Networking Roundtable is ‘the only place to be’, 9-11 September 2015. Businessmen and women from Canada (Who own/operate LLLCommunities throughout the U.S.) will also be participating in this year’s stellar event. To register, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or go to

Bottom line? Be part of ‘Making Manufactured Housing Industry History!’


This Time Last Month = Three Stories+

1. Help name the new DECADE (2015-2025). YOU did so, and it appears we have an apt moniker to soon put into play. ‘DECADE of ______________________’ will be announced during the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable!

2. Treatise titled: ‘Affordable (Manufactured) Housing – From Factory to Family, a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This instructive document is successor to the popular WHITE PAPER distributed ‘before, during & after’ last year’s Networking Roundtable. The treatise is presently being printed, bound, and readied for distribution, reading, and discussion at the upcoming venue, 9-11 September in San Diego, CA. Trust me, you’ll want to read it about the anticipated Bold New World of Manufactured Housing!

3. RV/MH Hall of Fame Day (8/3/2015) was all it promised to be; from the golf tournament to the Writers Conference, to meetings, to receptions, to the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening! Now, consider joining Carolyn and me as perennial financial supporters of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. After all, this is the sole repository of your MH heritage/legacy and mine! To donate, and or secure a lifetime membership, as we have, simply phone (800) 378-8694.

4. Here’s a tale you’ve likely not heard or read before. In 1999, the Networking Roundtable was extended by two days when we were snowed-in, in Colorado Springs, CO., due to ‘heaviest pre-season snowstorm on record’, dropping five feet of snow in 12 hours! In 2000, the Networking Roundtable was held in Delray Beach, FL., ‘during’ Hurricane Georges (Yep, you read that right). And as Carolyn and I prepared to drive to Chicago for the 2001 Networking Roundtable, airplanes flew into the twin towers in New York city and the Pentagon in Washington, DC., those tragedies delaying the event until November. Well, during the Networking Roundtable 2002, we introduced an early Friday morning ‘Prayer for Our Nation & Its’ Leaders’ event into the agenda, and have included it ever since. A dozen or more individuals gather at 7AM, for a devotional led by one or another attendee, followed by sharing personal prayer requests, then a time of intercessory prayer – for our nation and its’ leaders, and more. And most years a special book is distributed to those present. This year? Something special is planned for our time together….


Manufactured Housing’s Soon to be # 1 Customer!

August 8th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 360 via Copyright, 9 August 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press, research reporter, & online communication media 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: (878)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

cOBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’


Manufactured Housing Industry’s New, Direct Home Sales Customer, the

Land-lease-lifestyle Community

& Here’s Why!

Your choice. Learn ‘What happened!’ in five paragraphs, labeled years 1998, 2000, 2009, 2013 & 2015…


Summarize in 40 words, the 15 year dual paradigm shift AWAY FROM independent (street) MHRetailers TOWARDS in-LLLCommunity home sales; & AWAY FROM too easy access to chattel capital via independent third party lenders, TOWARDS reliance on cash transactions, seller-finance, ‘captive finance’, lease-options, even rental units, on-site within LLLCommunities nationwide!

Does that summary do it for you? Or do you need to be reminded how LLLCommunity owners/operators, selling new HUD-Code homes on-site, ‘at whatever product cost/sales price margin works for them’ – to get rental homesites occupied and the rent meter running, is a Major Major Marketing Advantage over what the relatively few remaining independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ can offer! Here’s a passage, underscoring this fresh truth, from a letter penned by a small property portfolio owner/operator:

“This seems to be ‘the year’ (2015) of transition from ‘repos’ to new manufactured homes for many of our smaller operators. Hardly a week goes by I don’t hear from one or more of these LLLCommunity folk, saying they’re ready to buy one or more new homes for the first time in ages, to fill vacant sites, upgrade their communities, improve cash flow and increase community value. This past week, one owner wrote about his eight year plan to fill 40 vacant sites with new homes. Another wrote about a three year plan to fill a 51 site conventional home development, that was foreclosed upon and is now empty, and how he plans to fill it with multisection homes. Few of these are going to place orders for 25-50 homes at a time, but thousands of us across the country represent 10-20% growth in new home sales for our industry”

Ah, but there’re two major potential stumbling blocks afoot that threaten this new reality!

• First is product design! Though Community Series Homes, a.k.a. CSH Models, have been ‘in play’ since the Elkhart, Indiana, NSAC Caucus* in 2009 – most HUD-Code home manufacturers, ‘who know about them’, only marginally market and fabricate the singelesection and modest-sized multisection homes with WOW! factors and durability-enhancing features, easing ‘make ready’ between homeowners and or renters! Proof? Count the few CSH Model homes exhibited at any regional manufactured housing show! They simply aren’t there – yet, as HUD-Code home manufacturers ballyhoo their ‘Big Box = Big Bucks! homes.

• Second is product pricing! No matter how you cut it, the wholesale cost of many, if not most, new CSH Models – and otherwise, is prohibitively high – high enough to stymie (‘a minor but insurmountable obstacle’) new home sales within and outside LLLCommunities in most local housing markets! Only a relatively few HUD-Code home manufacturers, who’ve pricewise pursued this ‘new, direct home sales customer’ have wound up with 40-50 percent of their production going directly into LLLCommunities, and find their orders ‘seven weeks out’. To them, LLLCommunities have become their ‘$ecret $auce’ for $uccess!

This my friends, all 1,000 of you receiving this weekly blog posting, is a major reason YOU should participate in the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, in San Diego, CA.. For the first time since that 2009 caucus, we’re poised, as an industry and realty asset class working together, to take the next major step to rejuvenate manufactured housing, even without easy access to chattel capital, which is to say:

Confirm and respect the LLLCommunity realty asset class as the ‘new, direct home sales customer’ for HUD-Code home manufacturers nationwide! To that end, this year’s theme is: ‘Selling More Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ Hence, senior executives from a half dozen prominent home manufacturing firms will be present to 1) Explain WHY you should buy their CSH Models (‘NO, not their Big Box = Big Bucks! developer models’); 2) WHAT LLLCommunity-customized marketing and sales training and aids, even housing finance programs, are available to facilitate ‘annuity type home transactions’ on-site; and 3) WHETHER the Frost Free Foundation® is an approved installation method for their CSH Model homes.

How can you afford not to be present, and part of the dual paradigm shift to rejuvenate the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry? There’s every good reason why LLLCommunity owners/operators coast-to-coast are widely and frequently referred to as the NEW BREED of MHRetailer! So, be present and be counted upon to ‘make positive history’ for the MHIndustry and the LLLCommunity real estate asset class! Come and buy some new HUD-Code homes!

Use attached brochure to register this week, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


End Note. (*) National State of the Asset Class caucuses, 2/27/2008 & 2/27/2009, effectively made HUD-Code home manufacturers and LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘partners’, bypassing the independent (street) MHRetailers, relative to the marketing and sales of new HUD-Code homes on-site within this unique, income-producing property type. Since then, the NSAC caucus was first supplanted by the MHInitiative® between years 2010 & 2013. Then, effective January 2014, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, has taken the lead in promoting Community Series Homes as being ‘the answer’ to filling an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites throughout the U.S., and a practical means of increasing monthly and annual new home shipments. And frankly, recognition of the aforementioned dual paradigm shift, has led to the implementation of this year’s theme at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable.



Of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Not-So-Trivial Trivia from RV/MH Hall of Fame Day, 3 August in Elkhart, IN.

• Writers Conference. Where official RV historian met possible MH counterpart, and shared resources. Want a copy of the syllabus for the session? Ask for it.

• Spring 2016 ‘Plant Tours & Sales Seminars’ tweaked to include six factories, and several HOW TO seminars on every step to buying new homes for sale on-site. Want name on advance ‘invite list’? Phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE #.

• Already alerted you to one imminent IPO (Initial Public Offering – of stock) precursor to a LLLCommunity portfolio becoming our asset class’ fourth real estate investment trust or REIT. Now we learn there’s yet another on the horizon! Who? Ah, you’ll have to be present at the 24th Networking Roundtable to hear.

• Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa Hotel cutoff date for special room rate for 24th Networking Roundtable occurs this week, so phone (877) 313-6645 for group rate per: GFA Management, 24th Networking Roundtable. Please do so right away!

• Roundtable. Steve Lefler will address: ‘Future of LLLCommunities’ in light of ‘All new homes in California must be Net Zero Energy Use by year 2020!’ And how that’s already being done in LLLCommunities throughout that state!

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Manufactured Housing Institute, but didn’t know who to ask!’ Rick Robinson, esquire, with help from Nathan Smith, PHC®. No better resource to brief you about pending legislation.

• New book. WOW! After last week’s blog on this subject, and the near overwhelming response received – with suggestions as to additional categories and names of LLLCommunity owners to include, sounds like I might have a ‘best seller’ on my hands. Keep those ideas and names a-coming! (317) 346-7156.

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform but didn’t know who to ask! Marc Weiss, esq., with assistance from recently retired Danny Ghorbani. Meet our industry’s ‘Washington Watchdog’ in person.

• Speaking of MHARR. If you didn’t read their REPORT & ANALYSIS, dated 28 July 2015, re: HUD Funding & state SAAs; high-cost energy regulation, ‘disparate impact’, and other MH-related matters, phone (202) 783-4087 and request an electronic version. You’ll be glad you did.

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but didn’t know who to ask. Now you can ask Michael Price directly. And as you know, representative from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are to be on hand as well!


5th annual SECO Summit in the South!

‘Where You’ll Want to be 14 & 15 October 2015, in Atlanta, GA.

Lots of reasons to attend this year, e.g. MHM class on the 13th; Community Series Homes on display – to tour and buy; one of Best lineups of HOW TO seminars for all of 2015, and this…

LLLCommunity owners/operators often ask ‘How to get local banks to underwrite chattel capital mortgages on manufactured homes sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities?’ Well, used to point them towards Tom Horner, Jr., CPA® in Kansas, and a few other ‘friends in the MHBusiness’.

But at this year’s SECO Summit in the South, attendees will meet Larry Mathews, president of the American Commerce Bank. They partner with LLLCommunity owners in Georgia, offering an in-community home acquisition finance program that’s filling vacant rental homesites, increasing investment cash flow and property value – all at low interest rates, high LTV*, minimal closing costs, and 10-15 year terms, with no pre-payment penalty – all in a close working relationship with some of the MHIndustry’s leading home manufacturers! Can’t ask for more than that can you? So, be there and learn how to do something similar in your local housing markets! For more information about SECO Summit in the South, contact Kristina Unger via (404) 408-8020.

End Note. (*) LTV = loan to value


‘Smiling All the Way to the Bank!’ & more…

August 1st, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 359 via Copyright, 2 August 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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.

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

INTRODUCTION to blog posting # 359. ‘What a Foursome! Just how really bad the MHRetailer massacre has been! Anyone who’s anybody in the MHBusiness will be in San Diego, 9-11 September, for sure! Announcing plans for the most interesting book in LLLCommunity history! And, keep those Decade ‘names’ a – coming!’ George Allen


75% Reduction in # of MHRetailers Since 1998!

We all knew it was bad, but my guess is few thought it could be this severe. In a recent IBTS census report of independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’ in the U.S., we learned by year end 1998, when new HUD-Code home shipments peaked at 372,843 units, there were more than 13,000 MHRetailers in business. However, by year end 2014, a scant 16 years later, when only 64,331 new HUD-Code homes were shipped, fewer than 4,000 MHRetailers remained ‘in the MHBusiness’!

Additional MHRetailer census details were featured in the August issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter; and there will likely be a story on this heady – but sobering subject, in the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. To receive either or both seminal publications, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

As you likely know, COBA7® has long been the statistical resource among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide. Just read the 26th ALLEN REPORT. (By the way, questionnaires pursuant to preparation of the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT are ‘in the mail’. However, if YOU own and or fee manage five or more LLLCommunities and/or 500 rental homesites, and don’t receive one of the 500+/- questionnaires being distributed, phone us at the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE, and we’ll send you one right away.

FYI. Every ALLEN REPORT, in support of the ‘mixed use trend’ among LLLCommunities nationwide, includes RV rental sites within rental homesite count totals used to rank the 500+/- property portfolios, from largest to smallest, throughout North America! Be aware, there is an imitation out there that does not include RV rental sites, unnecessarily confusing the audience it seeks to document and inform.

Speaking further of statistics. We’re still awaiting definitive word from our source, regarding the percentage of new HUD-Code home shipments being delivered directly into LLLCommunities, by year end 2014. This information was delayed from June/July to September. You’ll be the first to know when we receive the important trend data.

All this is part and parcel to the COBA7® goal of being the manufactured hosing industry’s primary statistical resource – where possible, seeking unity in reporting among all national advocacy bodies representing the industry and LLLCommunity asset class!
Recalling the COBA7® motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’


24th Networking Roundtable Only a Month Away!

This is shaping up to be a very special event for many reasons. You already know of the superb networking opportunities during the two day period, and the nearly two dozen educational sessions. But this year’s emphasis on ‘Selling more HUD-Code homes into LLLCommunities’ has attracted unparalleled attention – as registrants sign-up to learn what Community Series Homes to buy, what marketing and sales support is available to them, and status of the Frost Free Foundation as an installation alternative. And there’s even more! Meet top execs from four of the largest home manufacturing firms.

For example. Did you know the Official Directory of Registrants, for this and every Roundtable to date, is the most highly sought after, and frequently referenced contact document in the manufactured housing industry? Well, it is, and for good reason; Not only do attendees receive said list when they arrive – to check off networking targets during the popular ‘Everyone Introduced’ hour, when the event begins, they’re emailed a corrected and even more comprehensive directory after the event ends! Who else does that for you, anywhere, anytime in the MHIndustry? No one!

Bottom line? Within a week or two after every annual Networking Roundtable you attend, YOU have a fresh list of more than 200 of the top ‘players’ in this industry and realty asset class. NO wonder they’re still in regular use more than a year later!

To register for this year’s 24th Networking Roundtable, use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this week’s blog posting, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


One Heckuva MHIndustry Book Idea!

Can’t even tell you who came up with the idea, but it’s been floating around in conversation and thought for awhile now. Half the fun has been toying with titles and subtitles. Let’s see if you can guess the overall topic:

Smiling All the Way to the Bank!

Subtitle: ‘Not Your Glamour Investment, but Cash Cows Nonetheless!

Yep; our peers want me to start penning vignette-like tales about ‘mobile home park cum land-lease-lifestyle community owners’ we’ve known, endured and honored during the past three and a half decades. Then collect and publish said memoirs into a history tome focused on our unique realty asset class. Who to include?

Everyone. From the couple billionaire LLLCommunity owners – one of whom is a living legend and known as the Grave Dancer, is still around; the other ‘sold out’ years ago. And then there’re the perennial ‘flashes in the pan’ guys who hustle grandiose ideas and aggressive plans, only to ‘blow & go’ almost overnight.

What might be other categories of owners to research and describe in colorful detail?

Young wealth builders. These are the antithesis of the ‘flash in the pan’ guys; they’re young men and women who make wise and informed investment decisions along the way, like Ryan Hotchkiss in MD, Ben Braband in CO, and Jefferson Lilly in CA. Now there’s a national spread in names.

Pioneers. They’re mostly gone now, but certainly not forgotten – by many of us, e.g. LLLCommunity owners Myles Sampson (PA), Warren Huddleston (IL), Jim Overstreet (PA), Paul Stiner (IN), and Bud Zeman (IL) – this last guy has a LLLCommunity poem composed in his memory.

Visionaries. You know, those special individuals who dream the ‘best manufactured home & finest community’! Their ‘proof is in their pudding’, i.e. converting said dreams into practical reality! For starters, thinking here of land developer/home manufacturer Chuck Fanaro of SaddleBrook Farms in IL., the Tunnell family in DE, and Gary McDaniel of REIT Chateau Communities, and YES! Communities of CO.

Eccentrics. Boy, we’ve suffered more than a few of these! Almost always entrepreneur owners, as they usually ‘didn’t play well with others’, oft foisting their rants and peccadilloes on friends, acquaintances, and employees alike. Guess who?

Good leaders. While some micro-managed, and others were maybe too laissez-faire, we’ve benefitted, as a realty asset class, from their presence, actions, and often largesse. Hmm. Here I’m thinking owners Randy Rowe (IL), Spencer Roane, MHM® (GA), Tom Horner, Jr. (KS), Michael Sullivan, CPM® (CA) – and frankly, quite a few more I’ll identify and describe later.

.Quiet leaders. By their nature, not out in the forefront, but always encouraging and helping leaders lead, every step of the way: Jamie Dougherty, CPA® (MI), David Hess, MHM® (FL), Dennis Ohnstad, MHM® (IL), Rick Roethke (IN & CA), Kevin Shauaghnessy (IL), Matt Follett (CA), Spencer & Ross Partrich (MI), Nelson Steiner, MHM® & Bob Young (FL), Win Moses (IN), David Leichtman in OH – and more here too.

Bad leaders. Easy and kinda fun to identify. You now, those who’ve foisted (i.e. palmed off as genuine) their ‘leadership’ on us by dint of association political maneuvering or corporate employment circumstance. Can think of at least a half dozen right off the bat. But know what? Not one of them is an ‘owner’! So, will have to give this category more thought, or drop it….

Power couples. While I could ID many praise-worthy on-site property manager couples, there have been some notable ‘property owner power couples’ as well. Think Troy & Cheryl Brost, MHM® in OR; Ken & Katie Hauck, MHM®, as well as Ed Zeman & Dee Pizer, MHM® in IL, plus Mike & Luann Carrillo in CA. And there’re more that will come to mind.

Women owners. Really not that many women who’re sole proprietor owners of LLLCommunities, but the ones we know are special: Joanne Stevens, CCIM® & Barbara Hames in IA; Sharon Niccum & Adriane DeRose, MHM® in IN. And that list too ‘goes on’…We’ll find more names in the Manufactured Housing Executive Women (‘MHEW’) directory. Bet you didn’t even know there is one.

Survivors. Some have survived serious health scares, others the near failure of business interests, even hostile takeover attempts by rivals. David Nap (AZ) will always be one of my heroes in this category. Look at him now!.

Certified Property Managers®. In addition to a few mentioned elsewhere in this blog posting, there’re Curtis Harshaw, CPM® of TX.; Allen Alt, CPM® & WMA’s chairman in CA; Brian Fannon, CPM® in MI, developing a new LLLCommunity; Russ Petralia, CPM®, in NY; and Jon Zorn in CA. These owners gleaned from the list of 151 CPM®s identified by the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) as having an affinity for LLLCommunities. There’re likely other ‘owners’ on the list, but they’re unknown to me.

Resident-focused. Now retired Martin Newby (NC) brought resident relations to the (then) manufactured home community asset class more than a quarter century ago! And that torch is carried still, by the firm he founded, Newby Management, Inc., in FL.

Recluses. Believe it or not, when push comes to shove, there’re probably more LLLCommunity owners in this category than any other. Seriously. The dozens of them I know, rarely appear in public at MHIndustry or LLLCommunity events. They reach out for assistance only when absolutely necessary, and seek no recognition of any sort at all. Though several probably deserve to be in the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame, it’s doubtful they’ll be nominated for that singular honor – because so very few people even know who they are, yet they ‘smile all the way to the bank’, as this blog’s subtitle suggests.

Murderers. Yes, there’ve been a few! I worked for one of them years ago, and talked to another on the phone about his proposed business deal. The first is deceased, the other in prison. Oh yes, and then there was…Read the short story, ‘An Error to Die For’, page #5 in ‘Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home parks’

Criminals – from tax cheats (in & out of prison), to a bagman for the Chicago mob – money laundering thru ‘mobile home parks’, until he was killed. Read about it in Double Deal.

Chieftains. Yes, as in gypsy tribes owning LLLCommunities on the East coast and out West. And maybe, ‘how to tell’, when you actually meet one. Hint. A particular piece of distinctive jewelry.

Doctors, veterinarians, dentists. There’s been lots and lots of them over the years. Think Larry, Matthew, et. al.

Twins. Property portfolio owners Darrell and the late Harrell Cohron in IN. Read their amusing autobiography, The Trailer Twins.

Authors. There’ve been a few. Jim Clayton, with a co-author, penned First a Dream after he sold his business interests to Berkshire Hathaway. And many years ago, the original Kris Jensen, of CT, wrote A Danish American, describing his fulfillment of ‘the American Dream’. Mike Conlon, in NC., tells his success story in Unconventional Wealth. And some of us anxiously await Al Schrader’s (MN) autobiography. (I’ve read an early draft copy and it’s quite a tale!)

Multigenerational. Many many second and third generation family businesses rooted in the LLLCommunity asset class. The Holefelder family in eastern PA is well into its’ fifth generation. How ‘bout yours?

Pro football players. There have been a few of them. Two have already been identified in previous paragraphs.

Academics? Dr. David Funk, head of the graduate real estate department at Cornell University, is the first one that comes to mind.

Well, all that gives you more than a taste of what to expect when I finally sit down and start crafting short stories about these, and other friends, in the LLLCommunity asset class. We are a very special group of people, and these stories deserve to be told.

I welcome your suggestions and input.


Next ‘Decade of Manufactured Housing’?

Yes, creative ideas and suggestions continue to arrive at COBA7®. Here’re the recommendations received this past week:

• Manufactured Housing Phoenix Arises! Spencer Roane, MHM® of Pentagon Properties; presenter at 24th Networking Roundtable

• Manufactured Housing Destined to Thrive! James Reitzner, MHM® of Asset Development.

• Decade of Manufactured Housing Partnering with Homebuyers! Ned Beach

And, as a reminder, here’re the recommendations from last week:

• Dawn of Factory-built Housing Efficiency! Steve Lefler of Modular Lifestyles, presenter at 24th Networking Roundtable

• Decade of Resident Service! Michael Power of MHCommunity Investors

• Decade of Affordable HUD-Code Housing & LLLCommunities!

And the list goes on. Your ideas? Let us know via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

a Threefer: 3 & 12 Aug; 9-11 Sep; & More!

July 25th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 358 via Copyright 26 July 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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 or633-4764

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

INTRODUCTION. WOW! How can so many exciting things be happening in 30+ days throughout the U.S.? Tomorrow, 3 August, finds Elkhart, IN., at the ‘center of the RV/MH Universe’, with a minimum of eight activities at the RV/MH Hall of Fame; from a golf tournament, to a Writers’ Conference, to the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet! Then comes the 24th annual Networking Roundtable a month later, 9-11 September. Read of the exciting additions just made to the already chock full of information and networking program! FINALLY, as an industry, we’re getting accurate MHIndustry statistics out of Washington, DC. Maybe we’ll see industry unity someday after all – but don’t hold your breath! Hey; submitted your thoughts on a name for the next (2015-2025) ‘Decade of Manufactured Housing’ yet? Still time to do so! And finally; Where Will You Be on 12 & 13 August 2015? Hopefully with me in Denver, Colorado. Read all about it in Part IV. Who says we’re part of a boring and dying industry and asset class? Not me!


Exciting Updates, 24th Networking Roundtable!

‘All Things Chattel Finance!’ in land-lease-lifestyle communities’

Yes; upon popular request, we’ve tweaked this year’s agenda to ensure everyone gets to hear and learn the latest information relative to employment of chattel capital to finance, lease option and consummate new and resale home transactions on-site in LLLCommunities, large and small, nationwide. Frankly, there will be nowhere else for you to go, the rest of this year, to receive a better $$$ briefing than you’ll receive at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable! (More $$$ info in final paragraph here following)


The hinted-at, but now promised treatise, titled ‘Affordable (Manufactured) Housing’, and subtitled: ‘From Factory to Family; a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ will be distributed to every registrant present at this year’s (expected record-breaking) roundtable event.

The document picks up where last year’s WHITE PAPER left off, assuming readers – and hopefully ‘users’ know what is needed to move beyond the widely-recognized paradigm shift of the past decade, toward a WAKE UP CALL, marshalling all the intrinsic benefits of HUD-Code manufactured housing and the community lifestyle!

Haven’t registered yet? Use the brochure attached to this week’s blog posting, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

FLASH NEWS! The ‘GSE Hour’ Friday morning, following the ever-popular Lenders Panel, will not only feature senior executives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – where real estate-secured mortgages are concerned; but the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) as well – with its’ focus on chattel capital and other $$$ matters! How can you not want to be present for this almost ‘once in a career’ opportunity to hear and learn from these folk?

This is what you’ve requested, and COBA7® is delivering on 9-11 September 2015!


Manufactured Housing Statistics Update

‘Ah, these times are exciting, as we finally get a handle on our salient #s!’

1. Monthly ‘manufactured housing shipment totals’, among three of four national reporting entities agree! Henceforth, refer only to the monthly ‘manufactured housing shipment totals’ published by the IBTS, MHARR, & COBA7®, and you won’t go wrong.

2. Statistics germane to independent (street) MHRetailers (and likely, ‘company stores’) are literally ‘in the mail’ to COBA7® offices from IBTS; and will be reported to you once received, examined and put into MHIndustry perspective.

3. Unfortunately, the ‘Percentage of new manufactured homes going directly into LLLCommunities’ figure, for the end of year 2014, has been delayed from July to early September. As soon as COBA7® is provided that important trend tracking data, it will be passed onto you via this blog, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, and the Allen Letter professional journal.

4. It’s almost that time of year again! You know – if you own/operate five or more land-lease-lifestyle communities in the U.S. & Canada. The ALLEN REPORT questionnaire, pursuant to preparation of the 27th annual edition of this seminal document, will be mailed to 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators during the month of August. If you don’t think you’re on the exclusive and confidential ‘500+/-list’, and want to be, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. However, an important Word of Caution: Be aware of misleading imitations of this 26 year ranking of LLLCommunity owners/operators! One in particular does not include ‘RV rental sites’ in its’ property portfolio counts, while the ALLEN REPORT has always done so.


Thanks For Your Responses!

‘Here’re Suggestions for Naming ‘Next Decade of Manufactured Housing’!’

As they say, ‘the ink was barely dry’ on last week’s posting, when responses started arriving to last week’s blog request of ‘blog floggers’ (readers) to name the next Decade of Manufactured Housing’! Without any further ado, here’re the suggestions to date:

• ‘Dawn of Factory-built Housing Efficiency!’ Steve Lefler of Modular Lifestyles

• ‘Decade of Resident Service!’ Michael Power of MHCommunity Investor

• ‘Decade of Affordable HUD-Code Housing & Land-lease-lifestyle Communities!

• (Your suggestion? Still time to submit your ideas)

Hopefully these suggestions stimulate creative thinking on your part, and you’ll fire off your contribution during the days ahead. Remember, we hope to announce the ‘best selection’ at the 24th International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, in San Diego, CA. – as we ‘Celebrate National LLLCommunity Week’ together.

Again; to register, use the brochure attached to this blog posting, or once again, phone COBA7® via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


12 August 2015 in Denver, Colorado

Rocky Mountain Housing Association (‘RMHA’) has invited George Allen, CPM & MHM, to meet with owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), to together experience four of the following six timely and strategic topics, all germane to the realty asset class:

• State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class! (+) ‘Watch Out, Here Comes the Fourth LLLCommunity Consolidation Wave Since 1978!’

• Use the ‘5-Right Ps to Market & Sell New & Resale Manufactured Homes Within LLLCommunities’ (i.e. Product, Place, Price, Promotion, People)

• ‘(Insurance) Risk Management Guidelines Tailored to the LLLCommunity’

• ’10 Statistical Symptoms of Troubled LLLCommunities & How to Address Them!’

• ‘Using Area Median Income (‘AMI’) to estimate Housing Price Points when entering a new Local Housing Market; &, Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) When selling new or resale manufactured homes to prospective homebuyers on-site.’

• Basic & Advanced Formulae & Rules of thumb Characteristic of LLLCommunity Operations, e.g. physical & economic occupancy, turnover, operating expense ratios, ‘cap rates’ pursuant to income valuation computation, Old & New Rules of 72, calculating local housing market rental homesite rent rates, the ‘Two Faces of ROI’, and more….

To learn more about this knowledge-packed day, on 12 August, and RMHA meeting the following day, 13 August, contact Tawny Peyton via (303) 832-2022. Product & service vendors especially should want to be on board to interact with LLLCommunity owner/operators!

And other state MHAssociation execs reading this; to learn more about having these or other pithy topics available to your members, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Also know the Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training and certification program is offered monthly throughout the U.S. If you’d like to host this one day MHM® program at your firm, or for your state association members, also know there’s a $50.00 rebate per paid registrant when there’re more than ten participants in the class. To date nearly 1,000 MHM® own/operate LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Are you MHM® trained and certified yet?


Name the Next MHIndustry Decade!

July 18th, 2015

COBA7 presents Blog # 357 via Copyright 19 July 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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.

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

INTRODUCTION to Blog Posting # 357. Never before have you, as MHIndustry businessmen & women been offered an opportunity to ‘name’ our next decade! Here it is! AND, do you have any idea ‘What’s really going on in & around you’, politically, in the MHIndustry? Well, there’s an OPEN LETTER, even a formal treatise, being prepared for your reading education & enjoyment. And finally; There are at least eight (just learned of a ninth – but too late to detail here) activities going on in & near the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., throughout the day and evening of 3 August 2015. Already more than 500 RV & MH industry notables, pioneers, & dignitaries are registered! Are YOU?


Help Name Next Decade of Manufactured Housing!

‘Here’s a rare & unique opportunity for YOU to affect MHIndustry Marketing for the Next Ten Years, & Label MHIndustry History!’

To begin with, those of us who’ve been active in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class for decades, know we label our decades differently. How so? We measure and label ten year segments of history beginning and ending mid-decade, e.g. 1995 – 2005; 2005 – 2015; & now, 2015 – 2025, the decade we’ll to label, with your assistance, during the weeks ahead!

That first decade, occurring between 1995 & 2005 was labeled The Decade of Manufactured Housing and the Manufactured Home Community. Was it apropos? You bet! By the end of year 1998, HUD-Code manufactured housing industry ‘new home shipments’ crested at 372,843 units, heralding the too short-lived renascence of the time. It was during that period of time, Land & Home Packages (Think ‘Big Boxes = Big Bucks!’) ‘became the rage’, as independent (street) MHRetailers oft became contractors, competing head to head with site-builders for new home sales. On the (then) MHCommunity side of the MHIndustry, when national average physical occupancy hit 95 percent (highest in the 50 years history of the asset class) during the mid-1990s, dozens, if not hundreds of new communities were developed and existing properties expanded. And don’t forget, it was in 1994 & 1995, we saw several property portfolio firms launch IPOs and become real estate investment trusts. But then, by 2005, the chattel capital lending bubble had burst, and the industry/asset class has not fully recovered to this day (2015).

The second such-labeled decade occurred between 2005 and 2015. It’s moniker? The Decade of Factory-built Housing and the Land-lease-lifestyle Community. Certainly not the ‘Rah Rah’ times of the previous decade, but one with its’ distinctions nonetheless. On the MHIndustry side of the house, so to speak – and no pun intended, there was short-lived renewed interest in fabricating modular homes (like manufactured homes, one more type of factory-built housing – oft referred to as being ‘hudulars’), and in year 2009, the Community Series Homes, or CSH Model homes, concept was birthed. These being singlesection and modest-sized multisection homes, with one or more WOW factors, and a plethora of durability-enhancing features to speed ‘make ready’ between owners and renters of these new homes sited on-site in LLLCommunities. And this income-producing property type? For a relatively short time, until 2007, ‘park closures’ caught everyone’s attention. But the conventional housing finance bubble bursting that year brought a near end to much speculative (re)development. Today, among owners/operators, a major interest is in the ongoing consolidation of sole proprietor-owned properties into one or another of the 500+/- known LLLCommunity portfolios in North America.

Now, during the closing days of year 2015, we’re in need of a new moniker, one to highlight where we are today, and anticipate what’s might occur during the next 10 years, between 2015 and 2025. So, what do you think might be the best way to describe/predict the present and near future of HUD-Code manufactured housing and the LLLCommunity realty asset class? We really would like to know, and will value your input…

Here’s how to make your voice and suggestions known. Via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247; fax to (317) 346-7158; phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; &,

Furthermore, MHIndustry veterans recall, when both previous labeled decades began, GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing circulated 1 ½ inch diameter, solid Sterling Silver, Executive Decision Maker coins, during that year’s (1995 & 2005) International Networking Roundtable. The reverse side of each coin featured the years spread and moniker of that particular decade. Many continue to carry that rare and valuable coin on our person, others have it on display in their office. Retail value used to be $50.00 apiece! Today? All but priceless, given the escalating cost of Sterling Silver. However, ‘all is not lost’. While we may, or may not, have a ‘2015-2025 Decade’ moniker selected by 9-11 September, when the 24th Networking Roundtable begins; COBA7® has ‘something akin in the works’ for distribution to everyone in attendance that first day! Care to guess what it is? Just one more, of many reasons to be present this year! Use brochure attached to this blog posting to register today!


Here’s What We’re Working on Now, for YOU

An Open Letter to LLLCommunity Owners/operators Nationwide

If you think business is difficult now, operating under far less than favorable auspices of the S.A.F.E. Act, financial regulations resulting from Dodd-Frank Legislation,


Now, imminent enforcement of year 2007 Federal Installation Standards, even implementation of Dispute Resolution nationwide – if HUD can find any complaints.

Look What Else is Coming Your Way!

Possible marginalization of ‘Duty to Serve’ Legislation and more….

Oh Yes, and about another matter: ‘Why does MHI continue to ‘go it alone’, when reporting monthly ‘new home shipment totals’ at odds with everyone else, i.e. IBTS, MHARR, & COBA7®?’ The reason might surprise you; then, it might not…

FLASH NEWS: In response to requests from the manufactured housing industry at large, COBA7® will soon begin reporting statistics germane to independent (street) MHRetailers!

By now most of you realize, to stay atop ‘What’s really going on inside the Washington, DC., beltway, affecting those (of us) outside the beltway and beyond’, you’ve gotta be reading this blog posting weekly, and the Allen Letter professional journal monthly! To subscribe, affiliate with COBA7® @ $134.95/year for 12 issues. Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


3 August 2015 in Elkhart, IN.

A Bunch of Good Reasons to be at or near the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Library, & Museum Facility, Elkhart, Indiana, all day & evening, 3 August 2015.

• Golf Tournament at Bent Oak Golf Club. Breakfast @7AM & Shotgun Start @ 8:30AM. Phone (574) 293-2344 for details and to sign-up. Always a sell-out!

• Writers Conference @ 9AM-Noon. No fee. You must call to learn specific location of the conference: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Several signed-up.

• Louisville MHShow Board Meeting @ Noon. Closed session

• ‘Let’s Talk Shop’ about Manufactured Housing & LLLCommunities’ @ 2- 3PM. In the RV/MH Hall of Fame library, with George Allen, CPM & MHM

• Special Reception for RV/MH Hall of Fame Members @ 1:30-3PM

• Free time to relax and prepare for evening festivities @ 3-5:30PM

• Reception Honoring ‘Class of 2015’ Hall of Fame Inductees @ 5:30 – 7PM

• RV/MH Hall of Fame Banquet & Induction Ceremony @ 7 – 9;30PM

For more information about official RV/MH Hall of Fame functions on 3 August, telephone (800) 378-8694. More than 500 guests are expected for the banquet that evening. This is one gala RV/MH networking event you do not want to miss!


MHIndustry Missing or Avoiding an Opportunity?

July 10th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 356 via Copyright 12 July 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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

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

Seriously Interested in Writing for Publication, Profit & Personal Satisfaction?

If so, You’re Invited to Participate in a Unique Learning Experience, 9AM-Noon on 3 August 2015 in Elkhart, IN.

In three hours, learn the basics & practical tools of writing, variety of personal & business writing for publication, and ‘How to get started!’ Group size is limited to ten, but will proceed if only a few attend. Fee? $20.00. payable at the door, to defray cost of handout material.

An RSVP of your intent to participate is required! Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You’ll be told the specific location at that time. Session leader has authored a dozen books, pens monthly business newsletters, a weekly blog, & features for various magazines. Come for a unique learning experience!

Later that same day, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation, also in Elkhart, IN., there will be a Hall of Fame Banquet, inducting ten RV/MH Industry pioneers into the foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame. If interested in attending, phone (574) 293-8694. Already, nearly 500 have signed-up for this gala and historic event. See you there?


Is Manufactured Housing Industry Missing an Opportunity to Recover?

Gist of the matter: ‘Should we embrace or eschew (avoid) RVs to fill vacant rental homesites in land-lease-lifestyle communities?’

It’s estimated there’s a minimum of 250,000 vacant rental homesites among 50,000+/- land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide awaiting housing units of any type! And since ‘easy access to chattel capital’ has not returned to the manufactured housing industry, we continue to bump along at a six year nadir average of only 55,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped per year since 2009 (i.e. Some predict 70,000 by year end 2015). This anemic performance compares to 372,843 new HUD-Code homes shipped during year 1998.

Not that some in the MHIndustry aren’t trying! Since 2009, when 25 percent of new home shipments went directly into LLLCommunities; the same year, Community Series Homes were introduced. And since then, an increasing number of the 500+/- known property portfolio owners/operators have been buying new CSH Models (Something rarely considered two decades ago), reselling them on-site, even seller-financing when need be. Result? By year end 2013, 30 percent of new home shipments went into LLLCommunities, and that percentage is expected to continue to rise as Community Series Homes are more aggressively marketed.

Furthermore, owners/operators of LLLCommunities, especially some of the 500+/- known property portfolio ‘players’, boast mixed-use LLLCommunities. In fact, one of the real estate investment trust owner/operators count more RV sites in their huge property portfolio than MH sites – but more about that later in this blog posting. This mixed-use business model underscores the reality there are now as many as six types of shelter to be found in LLLCommunities across the U.S.: pre-HUD Code ‘mobile homes’; post-HUD Code manufactured homes; modular units; park model RVs, ‘RVs for a season’, and in FL., even stick-built homes constructed on-site to imitate HUD-Code homes!

So, ‘nearly everyone’ appears to be doing ‘whatever it takes’ to market and sell more new homes (e.g. Community Series Homes) and fill vacant rental homesites with whatever type shelter is permissible and fits on the rental homesite, e.g. park model RVs on otherwise functionally obsolete rental homesites! Parenthetically, these survival measures have already resulted in at least two MHIndustry terminology adjustments:

• Land-lease-lifestyle community supplanted manufactured home community, given the six types of shelter sited therein, vs. ‘just two’ in previous years.

• New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender, a moniker only recently coined to describe LLLCommunity owners/operators routinely buying, selling, and seller-financing new and resale homes on-site to get the rent meter running.

While aggressive self-help measures have fought this rear action to ‘Save the MHIndustry’ from itself (After all, ill-advised industry $ practices chased chattel capital lenders away at the turn of the Century), there now appears to be an internal movement afoot, one whereby the MHIndustry appears to be distancing itself from its’ sister recreational vehicle (‘RV’) industry. How so?

The first indicator, in this industry observer’s opinion, occurred a year ago, June 2014, at MHI’s Summer meeting in Indianapolis, IN. ‘Defining & describing’ park model RVs, at HUD and elsewhere, was a hot topic at the time. And just when it appeared MHI was going to weigh-in on the side of the RV industry, all went silent. The reasons can be debated, but the MHIndustry has not involved itself in the ‘HUD & RV definition debate’ since.

Less than a year later, during MHI’s annual Congress in Las Vegas, its’ National Communities Council division unveiled their new ‘Top 50’ List’ of LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators. While a patent imitation of the 26 year ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’), there was one significant – and telling, difference. Before crafting this first ‘Top 50 List’, MHI staff stripped all RV sites, (…or so they thought they did at the time – but didn’t) from the total rental homesite counts. The question ‘Why?’ has been asked repeatedly, but not answered – other than to maybe differentiate the new data base form the imitated ALLEN REPORT – which has always included RV with MH sites. In any event, that’s the second indicator, again – in my opinion, of manufactured housing leadership ‘distancing itself from the RV industry’.

And there’s more, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Especially considering most major HUD-Code home manufacturers also routinely fabricate and ship all types of recreational vehicles. Moving on…

I recently read published commentaries by Sherman Goldenberg, publisher of Woodall’s Campground Management newspaper, and Ross Kinzler, retiring executive director of the Wisconsin Housing Alliance, and publisher of Industry Insights. Both suggest, in round about fashion in the first instance; and directly, in the second, that perhaps the manufactured housing industry is ‘missing the boat’, maybe even ‘missing a golden opportunity’ altogether. Their commentaries?

Sherm’s piece, titled ‘Park Model Builders Buy into Go RVing Campaign’ observed: “RVIA’s Seasonal Camping Committee, comprised largely of park model RV manufacturers who vacated their former association (the Recreation Park Trailer Industry Association three years ago to join RVIA) took the next step toward integrating their affairs with that of the nation’s RV industry by voting to invest their own financial marketing reserves into the Go RVing Coalition’s national marketing campaign.” One thing is for certain, they’re not investing financial marketing reserves with the MHIndustry! Why should they? They’re obviously, ‘Not welcome!’ And yes, I understand there’s controversy, within RV circles, about becoming too closely aligned with the MHIndustry, and maybe facing the unintended consequence of park model RVs coming under federal building code oversight via HUD.

Ross’s piece, titled, ‘Industry Needs to Embrace Tiny House Movement’ goes down yet another rabbit hole, of sorts, promoting shelters 12 by 40 foot in size (as long as we keep them at 400+ square feet in size, they qualify as manufactured housing). He makes a good case for these being practical answers to rejuvenating long vacant functionally obsolete rental homesites, an ideal application of manufactured housing interior design expertise, and something today’s millennials will likely buy. How ‘bout that for a proverbial WIN WIN WIN solution to today’s ‘new HUD-Code home shipment slump’ and need for beaucoup more new homes on-site in LLLCommunities nationwide!*

So, where are YOU on all this? Do you think, as I do, that MHIndustry leaders, elected, salaried, and otherwise, are mistakenly distancing us from the RV industry? Or do you tend to be a purist (Some say Luddite) who believes we’re solely manufactured housing focused, i.e. It’s what brought us to the affordable housing dance and it’s likely who we’re going to go out (of business) with! (Sorry; couldn’t resist that crack).

In any event, we’d like to learn your opinion(s) on the subject and subjects. Simply use the contact information at the head of this blog posting. Again; the question: Should RVs continue to be an integral part of the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity asset class, OR, shunned per recent indicators on the part of at least one national advocacy body?

End note. Yes, it’s violation of some local zoning ordinances, in some states, to site RVs in LLLCommunities. But that doesn’t mean a statute can’t be changed….


Celebrating Independence Day with Sam!

July 4th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 355 via Copyright 5 July 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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

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

When I first read the following story, I counted it worthy of sharing with family members and friends throughout the manufactured housing industry. I hope you enjoy and appreciate this historical moment in our nation’s history as much as I did and do…GFA

Celebrating Independence Day with Sam

The following true story, from the Revolutionary War days of our nation’s history, is titled ‘A Minuteman Who Refused to Fade Away’ and is told in the recently-released book, The Warrior’s Soul, by Jerry Boykin & Stu Weber. It’s my opinion, the biography of this little known patriot should be required reading for every American citizen.

The authors begin by telling of “…the most famous patriot soldier you’ve likely never heard of. This tough old buzzard should have stopped, even died, a dozen times. And he almost did. He was a living legend in his own day, so I suppose you could say in his old age he’d tried to just fade away on his farm surrounded by scores of grateful descendants. But it wasn’t to be. When his country was in trouble, his warrior soul couldn’t resist responding – even when he was in his 80s!” p.7

Samuel Whittemore was “Born around 1695,…served as a captain of the King’s Dragoons. He was already 50 when he fought the French at the Fortress of Louisburg in Nova Scotia in 1745. There he acquired his favorite was trophy, a saber he’d taken from a French officer. When asked about it, Sam, without elaboration, simply explained the Frenchman had ‘died suddenly’.

When the hostilities ended, he bought a farm at Menotomy, built a house with his own hands, and settled his family there. When war kicked up again with the French, Sam volunteered, and at age 64 he was sent to help recapture Louisburg. The following year he was part of General Wolfe’s expedition that took Quebec from the French.

Later, nearing 70, he fought in the frontier Indian wars. He came home this time astride a much finer horse than he’d left with, and he now owned a brace of pistols, whose previous owner had also, in Sam’s words, ‘died suddenly’.

For Sam, back in Menotomy, life was good. Having traveled far and wide, survived multiple combat deployments, and fought against enemies of varying stripes and tactics, in his senior years he was now loving life and basking in the admiration of his wife, his children, and his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But in the Spring of 1775, Sam could see storm clouds gathering. And he was deeply concerned about threats to his freedom, both foreign and domestic. Freedom was what Sam had always fought for, and he found living in freedom to be a glorious way of life. Freedom’s song hummed in his soul. He openly stated he wanted his descendants to live in a free land where they could govern and be governed by their own laws and not have their lives dictated by a king on the other side of the earth.

April 19, 1775 – arguably the most important day in American history – was a fine Spring day. The air was clear, and the smell of freshly turned soil filled the nostrils of 80 year old Samuel Whittemore as he breathed deeply of freedom.

You know what happened that glorious day. A corps of hundreds of British regulars – the world’s finest professional soldiers at the time – had been given secret orders to march out from Boston and capture colonial militia supplies at Concord, eighteen miles up the road (It was an early attempt at gun control on American soil) But the Minutemen wouldn’t give up their guns. The colonials got word of the British operation and made their own plans. As the Redcoats advance element headed out, they made contact with Captain John Parker’s Minutemen at Lexington, armed and ready.

The veteran Parker had prepared his grim-faced company with these famous words from his warrior soul: “If they mean to have a war, let it begin here!” By early morning, eight freedom-loving Americans lay dead on the green. Six of the eight were three fathers and their three sons. So it is in every freedom-loving generation: the ones who ‘get it’ pass it on.

Leaving Lexington…the British companies moved on toward Concord (where) they fought hard. The Redcoats, overwhelmed in this deadly clash, fell back. Their road back to Boston would take them through Sam Whittemore’s hometown of Menotomy. And Sam had decided they were gong to get a bellyful.

He had methodically loaded his trusted musket and his already famous set of dueling pistols. He stuffed his well-traveled pack with more powder and ball, strapped on his previously captured French saber, told his family what he was up to, then ordered them to remain inside until he returned.

Then he walked to a position he’d selected near a tavern, behind a rock wall at a strategic intersection the British would have to pass on their return to Boston. Records suggest a number of other militiamen tried to talk Sam out of the vulnerable position, but Sam wasn’t out that day to avoid a fight. He intended to pick one. The greatest moment in Sam Whittemore’s life was about to unfold.

As the British pushed ahead, the fighting in Menotomy was particularly fierce, from house to house and cellar to cellar. Death came to many, some were even reportedly shot by the British after being taken prisoner.

While the shooting got closer, Sam held his fire. Minuteman on both sides of him were firing their muskets, then they’d sprint away to reload. But not Sam. Waiting for the right moment, when the enemy was almost on top of him, he stood up and fired his musket, dropping on British regular in midstep. Sam then jumped out from behind the wall and fired off both his fine pistols, killing one Redcoat immediately, and mortally wounding another.

That kind of opposition draws a lot of attention. Fire draws fire. With no time to reload his weapons, Sam drew his saber and ‘flailed away at the cursing, enraged Redcoats who now surrounded him.” Think of it: most of those British soldiers would have been less than half his age.

One of the regulars shot Sam point blank in the face, tearing away half his cheek. The .69 caliber ball knocked him to the ground. Dazed, he rose, still trying to fight, but was again knocked down by a musket butt, and bayoneted 13 times by the vengeful Redcoats.

The aftermath has been described this way:

When the last Britisher had left the scene and were far enough away for them to come out in safely, the villagers who had seen Whittemore’s last stand, walked slowly toward the body. To their astonishment, he was still alive and conscious – and still full of fight! Ignoring his wounds, he was feebly trying to load his musket for a parting shot at the retreating regiment.

Using a door as a makeshift stretcher, the townsmen carried Whittemore into the nearby tavern, where a doctor ‘stripped away Sam’s torn, bloody clothing, and was aghast at his many gaping bayonet wounds, the other numerous bruises and lacerations, and his horrible facial injury.’ The doctor remarked it was useless to dress so many wounds, since Whittemore could not possibly survive for very long. But Whittemore’s neighbors persuaded the reluctant doctor to do his best. When the bandaging was finally finished, old Sam was tenderly carried back to his home to die surrounded by his grieving family.

To die?

Not quite!

That old warrior thought differently. Sam survived – and went on to live another 18 years.

When later asked if he regretted his losses that day – injuries that left him lame and disfigured – Sam responded, “I would take the same chance again.’

Sam Whittemore eventually died of natural causes at age 98. He was survived by 185 direct descendants – and he was especially proud to know every single one of them was living as a free American.” Pp. 8-13


POSTSCRIPT. Every free American reading Sam’s story should have tears in his or her eyes – I certainly do. Tears of pride and gratitude for the patriots, then and now, who have blessed all of us with their service and sacrifice these past 240 years! ‘Happy Independence Day to You and Yours!’ GFA


An Open Letter to Blog Floggers (readers) from George Allen

June 27th, 2015

COBA7® presents Blog # 354 via Copyright 28 June 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 the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media 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.

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

An Open Letter to Blog Floggers (Readers)

You likely know what is commonly said, derogatorily, about ‘making assumptions’. Well, I don’t want to be guilty of ‘assuming’ you 1) know what I’m about; 2) why I pen this weekly blog posting; and 3) where the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) realty asset class is possibly headed these days. So, in the following paragraphs I’ll address these legitimate queries.

First off; I’ve been involved in factory-built housing since 1970, a year after returning from a 13 month tour of duty, as a USMC combat engineer officer and shore party company commander, in the Republic of Vietnam. The newspaper ad I answered, for that first job, read simply: ‘WANTED: former military officer with background in construction’. After working for two PA & IN firms, in housing component fabrication, I segued to ‘mobile home park’ management in 1978, overseeing four large properties in Indiana and Kentucky, earning my real estate broker license, and Certified Property Manager® designation along the way.

In 1980, Carolyn and I founded GFA Management, Inc., as a fee management firm; one that, in her words, ‘managed anything that didn’t move’, e.g. strip malls, apartments, houses, offices, and yes, ‘mobile home parks’. With a partner, we bought our first income-producing property in the early 1980s; turning it around operationally and selling it. We continue as real estate investors and property managers to this day. Why – besides the income? If I’m going to write, and teach the Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training & certification program,, I need to be regularly involved with what’s going on in and around the manufactured housing industry and its’ various segments.

By 1988, when we self-published Mobile Home Park Management (since retitled Landlease Community Management & in its’ 6th edition), I’d moved into freelance consulting, routinely Mystery Shopping properties, engaging in turnaround planning and execution, as well as authoring textbooks for J. Wiley & Sons Publishers: Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities (with David Alley & Edward Hicks), and How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. All three books continue to be available from PMN Publishing via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (:877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, & website.

Also during the late 1980s and early 1990s, we debuted the first (of 26 to date) ALLEN REPORTs (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators From Throughout North America!’), and first (of 23 to date) International Networking Roundtables – with # 24 scheduled for 9-11 September in San Diego, CA. We also facilitated the eventual appearance of several real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’) in 1994 & 1995, by researching, refining, compiling and popularizing the first manufactured home community Industry Standard Chart of (Operating) Accounts, along with corresponding Operating Expense Ratios, or OERs. These were used by Wall Street analysts to get ‘comfortable’ with this heretofore unknown realty asset class. It was also during that time frame, on 31 August 1993 specifically, when 19 MHCommunity owners met in Indianapolis to form the Industry Steering Committee, ensuring national advocacy when IPOs (Initial Public Offerings of stock) were launched. The ISC became MHI’s National Communities Council division on 1 January 1996. .

Since then, we rolled out the aforementioned MHM® program in 2001, having lain dormant since 1988, out of deference to MHEI’s Accredited Community Manager® program, launched in 1991. To date, nearly 1,000 MHMs have been certified. And along the way, GFA/PMN birthed and nurtured more than a dozen directories and resource documents (e.g. Lenders’ Registry, List of Consultants, etc.); today widely known as Signature Series Resource Documents or SSRDs.

But it was the National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucuses, on 2/27/2008 & 2/27/2009, that brought the realty asset class into the 21st Century. In the first instance, more than 100 land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators convened in Tampa, FL., to ‘take control of their destiny’ – agreeing to a Five Action Areas plan, in effect to this day. And the following year, a 100 mix of home manufacturers and community owners/operators convened at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., to agree on design parameters for what came to be known as Community Series Homes, or CSH Models. This was acknowledgement that independent (street) MHRetailers could no longer be counted on to fill vacant rental homesites; that property owners/operators must now do so themselves, via selling ‘repo’, good quality resale, even new HUD-Code homes on-site, and seller-financing them when need be.

Hence, a NEW ERA for LLLCommunities was identified, along with the launch of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® on or about 1 January 2014. And that pretty much brings us to today – and WHY I prepare this weekly blog posting at, along with the two subscriber-supported monthly newsletters, the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! WHY? It’s simple. All but one manufactured housing industry trade print publication, besides the two newsletters just mentioned, have passed from the business scene. And the one that’s left hasn’t changed its’ stable of columnists for a long time. Furthermore, the content quality of regularly published online newsletters, catering to the manufactured housing industry is, with one exception, questionable. That exception being Rishel Consulting’s finance newsletter; as it is should be ‘required reading’ for everyone engaged in any form of housing finance using chattel capital.

Finally; WHERE we are headed as an industry and realty asset class is not an easy question to answer without maybe treading on someone’s toes.

The manufactured housing industry, sad to say, is ‘dead in the water’ as long as there’s no easy access to chattel capital to finance housing transactions on-site in LLLCommunities. That’s why, after six long years, we continue to bump along at an annual average new home shipment nadir volume of only 55,000 per year – though it’s estimated we might come in somewhere between 60 & 70 thousand by year end 2015. However, as we know, ‘Thanks to disunity between national advocacy parties in Washington, DC., annual new home shipment totals will be reported differently.

Land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators fall into two distinct camps. There’s the cadre of 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators (i.e. Portfolio threshold = ‘Own &/or fee manage a minimum of five LLLCommunities &/or 500+ rental homesites – MH & RV’), who appear, for the most part, to be engaging in aforementioned ‘Buy Here – Pay Here’ drill, where new home sales and seller-financing are concerned. This practice has become so widespread, LLLCommunity folk have become known as the New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender. But this cadre accounts for only 15 percent of the national inventory of this unique, income-producing property type.

Then there’s the smaller, mostly Mom & Pop owned/operated properties, usually numbering fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece, that appear to be minimally engaged in the ‘Buy Here – Pay Here’ business model. Why? Probably not deep enough pockets to buy and resell more than one home at a time, let alone carry the financing. Also, lack of operational and marketing knowledge, especially among second and third generation owners, and those who’ve never been anything but passive investors. This sole proprietor segment accounts for the remaining 85 percent of national inventory of 50,000+/-LLLCommunities.

Bottom line? Don’t expect any major changes, albeit except for small ones under way – and just described, in the near future. These matters are not talked about openly at national meetings planned and hosted by national advocacy bodies. Just ‘how bad’ is that situation? One national advocacy bodies does ‘next to nothing’ to promote its’ members and their housing product, i.e. no website, no social media, nada. The other entity? When was the last time you saw or read of any plan(s) to rejuvenate the manufactured housing industry?

Someday, somewhere, ‘Selling More Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ should and will become the national topic of conversation – and hopefully action, among manufactured housing aficionados and land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators in this business for the long haul. Perhaps this national, across industry segment or component lines, will begin at the 24th International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September 2015, in San Diego, CA. After all, that’s the very THEME of this year’s mega – event, expected to draw a 250 mix of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women. Will YOU be there?

Furthermore, RUMOR has it a treatise is being prepared, even as you read these lines, picking up where last year’s (2014) nationally distributed WHITE PAPER left off, actually making positive, practical suggestions to this noble end, i.e. rejuvenating the manufactured housing industry!. Let’s hope it’s completed in time for distribution at the Networking Roundtable in San Diego. You’ll have to be present though, to get a copy.

POSTSCRIPT. What makes aforementioned corporate cooperation so difficult, if not impossible, at times? Self-serving competitive interests of corporate CEOs protecting the interests (e.g. regional and national market share) of their firms, and as they see it, their stakeholders, employees, even their jobs. Simply a sad reality of business life (Or is it?) in corporate America. And things aren’t any better where competing national advocacy bodies are concerned; but there, it’s more territorial than anything else; e.g. MHARR = smaller regional home manufacturers and no one else; COBA7® = land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators and their lenders in US & CN; and, MHI = representatives from every segment of the manufactured housing industry.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus & MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory-built Housing Industry,
The Land-lease-lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®