New MH Team: Home Manufacturers & Communities

March 21st, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 341 Copyright @ 22 March 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, 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!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but to transform & improve!’


HUD Code Home Manufacturers &
Communities Finally Really Together!

Yes, You Can Be Part of Manufactured Housing Industry History Making at 24th Networking Roundtable in San Diego on 9/10/15!

Couldn’t tell you this before today. The two hour Keynote Session, during the morning of 10 September 2015, at this year’s 24th annual Networking Roundtable, features ALL major HUD-Code home manufacturers pitching their Community Series Home product lines to more than 200 land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators gathered from throughout the U.S. and Canada! And after they’ve done so, the convention floor will be opened for audience questions, comments, and discussion.

This unique pairing has happened once before during the 70 year history of the manufactured housing industry; and that was to get us, HUD-Code home manufacturers & community owners, started down a new path together, that we continue to be on to this day!. And this reunion of sorts, is intended to encourage both parties to aspire to a new and more productive level of home shipments in the present and near future. How can you not want to be present on this exciting occasion?

But first a little history, describing What has brought us to this auspicious (‘well-omened’ & ‘betokening success’ Selling More New Homes into Communities) opportunity, and Who the keynote presenters will likely be that day.

This six year evolution began at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., with the 27 February 2009 National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus of 100 HUD-Code home manufacturers and community owners. While we didn’t realize it then, this caucus moved our industry away from exclusive reliance on independent (street) MHRetailers to fill vacant rental homesites in communities, to far more in-community home placements by the owners/operators of those income-producing properties. It was at this caucus, home manufacturers agreed to design, build and market a new line of HUD-Code homes that, by years end, would be referred to as Community Series Homes, or CSH models. That year, 2009, 25 percent of the annual shipment total of 49,789 new HUD-Code homes went into (then) manufactured home communities, for a total of 12,450 homes.

The Community Series Home? Generally, a singlesection home or modest-sized multisection home with one or more exterior &/or interior WOW! Factors, plus an array of durability-enhancing features, intended to ease the ‘make ready’ between tenants and or homebuyers. CSH Models are often marketed by Business Development Managers, or BDMs, selected and trained by the various HUD-Code home manufacturers. A FREE list of CSH Model features, and BDM contact information, is available by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And every October, COBA7® affiliates receive an updated list of ALL the HUD-Code home manufacturers in the U.S., along with their contact information.

By year end 2013, the percentage of new HUD-Code homes shipped directly into (now) land-lease-lifestyle communities rose to 30 percent of 60,228 homes shipped, with 18,100 of these going directly into communities; and that percentage is expected to rise further, when 2014 U.S. Census Bureau statistics are available. It was also during year 2013, a new trade term, describing LLLCommunities in general, debuted: the New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender!

Furthermore, year 2014, in part due to this markedly increased participation by communities, in the new home marketing and buying/selling/financing process, was labeled the ‘NEW ERA for LLLCommunities’ nationwide! And this new role, to a large extent supplanting traditional independent (street) MHRetailers, required more research, resources, communication, camaraderie, professional property management, even national advocacy (e.g. ombudsman/press services), than before. So, to meet that increased and broadened need, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7® was launched in Indianapolis, IN., as a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing.

Now we’re well into year 2015, and headed for this historic event in September, where HUD-Code home manufacturers and community owners/operators will ‘Meet & Talk As One’. Who’re the HUD-Code home manufacturers on board at this time?

• Keith O. Holdbrooks, president of Clayton Manufacturing, Clayton Homes in Maryville, TN.

• Joe Stegmayer, Chairman & CEO of Cavco Industries, Inc., in Phoenix, AZ.

• The new CEO, or a senior vice president, from Champion Home Builders in Troy, MI.

• Terry Decio, of Skyline Corporation in Elkhart, IN.

• Wally Comer, of Adventure Homes, LLC, in Garrett, IN.

• And, one or two firms yet to be named; members of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). We hope to announce ‘who’ following this weeks MHShow in Tunica, Mississippi.

All the participating home manufacturers have been asked to cover four key points in their brief presentations:

1. ‘Why should LLLCommunity owners buy their CSH Models?’

2. What marketing & sales training support is available to communities selling new homes on-site?

3. Is the Frost Free Foundation® or FFF® an approved installation procedure for their firm’s homes? What guidance is provided the community owner?

4. How to ascertain the most marketable home line(s) per local housing market, and how’re affordable home buying price points calculated?

This event, given your participation, can and will be precedent-setting, and impetus for community owners becoming more comfortable filling the estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide, with new HUD-Code Community Series Homes!

To ensure YOU receive an invitation to attend, as a LLLCommunity owner/operator, or vendor of needed products, $ and services, phone the aforementioned HOTLINE, and consider affiliating with COBA7®, to receive the monthly Allen Letter professional journal, even the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’

See YOU in San Diego, 9-11 September 2015, at the Hilton Resort Hotel on Mission Bay! Let’s make manufactured housing history together!


Pulling Out All the Stops!

Here’s where to be, if you’re a true ‘player’ in either or both the manufactured housing scene & land-lease-lifestyle communities!

It’s as simple as this. There are select places to go to be seen; other places where you go to learn ‘what’s really going on’ relative to sensitive and strategic matters; and, places where manufactured housing & LLLCommunity history will be made! Here’re a few tips, about such places, for you to consider:

• 25 March in Albany, NY. Pam Danner, esquire, from HUD; Bruce Savage from AHA; & I, will be addressing attendees from 11 NE-USA states. In my case, I’ll be delivering the ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’ talk I share monthly with MHAssociations and companies throughout the U.S.. Plus, ‘What YOU Need to Know About Today’s ‘Asset Aggregation Wave’, a.k.a. LLLCommunity property consolidation trend, that no one else will tell you!. And, the first public presentation of ‘Frost Free Foundations® & the LLLCommunity owner/operator!’ Where else in the U.S. can YOU go to receive that triple dose of needed info in one sitting? Nowhere else! Phone (518) 867-3242 on Monday, 3/23 to register. Tell ‘em, ‘George sent me!’

• 31 March in Dixon, IL. If you own/operate one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), YOU owe it to yourself, and your on-site or regional managers, to receive professional property management training and certification! The Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® program is a one day, no test affair, costing only $250.00 per person. This class presently has 15 registered, but can handle 10 more. To register, phone (317) 346-7156 this coming week. See YOU in Dixon next Monday? Hope so!

• 15 April in Las Vegas, NV. Yes, I’ll be at the MHCongress this year – mainly at the request of many COBA7® affiliates! Looking forward to the networking. BUT more important, and I can’t yet share the details with you here, there’ll be a very Special Event occurring during the afternoon for LLLCommunity owners & operators. I’ll be actively participating in it, and will share details with you here, when available. For now, let’s just say, it’ll be – like this year’s Networking Roundtable in San Diego (9-11 September), a truly historic ‘happening’, one YOU won’t want to miss!


Letters, Asset Aggregators, & Much More…

March 15th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 340 Copyright @ 15 march 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, 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!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA8® blog posting at website:

We likely receive more letters, emails and the like at COBA7®, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, than any other business alliance in the manufactured housing industry: folk responding to this weekly blog posting, or to our affiliate-supported monthly newsletters, and via the normal course of business. Well, here’s recent pithy correspondence received of late. Ponder & learn from them.

WOW! There’s so much ‘going on in & around the MHIndustry/LLLCommunity asset class these days’! Here’re three of the dozen matters making a splash these days: Learn about a property consolidation wave while it’s happening; keep the Ohio Supreme Court decision in mind should you need it similarly; and, if a professional property management aficionado, get trained and ‘certified’ as an MHM® on 31 March 2015 in Dixon, IL.

As You Know, We Do Hear From Readers

Here’re Two Communiqués from MHIndustry Businessmen


Let’s talk Washington, DC for a few minutes; you know, our nation’s capitol, ‘Inside the (infamous) Beltway’, & simply, ‘DC’.

Apparently the air Washington is different, and makes folk – whether they be politicians, lobbyists, trade association types, or hangers-on, deaf to reality elsewhere in this great country. And here, George, is where I differ from you and attempts to ‘go along to get along’ with that strange and eclectic population.

I’d just ignore ‘em and run your own shop and win; and you can. For example; I learned a lot from Jack Frazier, his leadership style, and sense of priorities for winning in business. The first priority? Succeed, period. Remembering along the way, no one else will help you succeed other than your own team, and you have to pay attention to them.(*) His point? ‘Any impact we want to have outside our business will have credibility only when we’re successful; otherwise, no impact whatsoever.’ As to you and COBA7®, you’ll succeed on your current path, going full speed, dragging along a few (home) manufacturers who see potential in what you’re doing with community owners. Neither MHI or MHARR have your interests at heart. They might help on a few things, but their goals are simply income and survival in DC.; so, they’ll react to the occasional squeaky wheel, but COBA7® Success is up to you and your affiliates! The time to smile and say, “I told ya so” will come after success, financial independence, and not needing ‘them’ at all.” NB

(*) This quote is reminiscent of similar sentiment found in my Chapbook of Business & Management Wisdom, to wit: “Only two people really really care whether a consultant – or entrepreneur, for that matter, succeeds or fails in business; the consultant – or businessperson, and his or her spouse or significant other!” GFA From chapter titled: ‘scintillatingly Salient-but-Salacious Secrets to Business Management Consulting Success’, PMN Publishing, 2002. Note. New fourth edition in process of publication.

Like that one? Well, here’s another one I frequently ‘recall with a smile’: “To clearly identify one’s supporters, detractors, and in-betweens, observe who contracts for one’s consulting services, buys one’s proprietary products (books & forms, ) and pays to subscribe to one’s newsletter – and who doesn’t! And the in-between folk? Well, the smart ones buy and subscribe, to learn and copy what you’re doing; while the lazy ones simply don’t care, or have no clue as to what’s going on around them!” GFA


And this correspondence from a successful businessman who sells new HUD-Code manufactured homes for a living.

“What killed independent (street) MHRetailers (erstwhile ‘dealers’), and almost took the manufactured housing industry down with them, was poor business practices. Home salesmen got deep enough into the financing regimen to know what they had to show on applications to get independent third party chattel finance firms to ‘buy their deals’. The back rooms at some, if not many MHRetailers, generated income, credit and down payments out of thin air, to get home buyers approved for loans. Some have been known to opine, ‘Our industry took mortgage fraud to a new level and taught it to the site-built guys.’ Well, the site-built guys similar ‘success’ resulted in everyone now being subject to the S.A.F.E. Act, Dodd-Frank legislation, and other financial regulations.

So, what’s it going to take to bring MHRetailers back? Obviously, much improved business practices, beginning with salesmen removed from influencing financing where income, credit, and down payments are concerned. MHRetailers will also have to attract qualified prospective homebuyers who need and want their particular (housing) product line(s). This revival begins with clearly knowing what one’s local housing market wants to buy and how much, on the average, homebuyers can truly afford to purchase. Hand in glove, is the MHRetailers ability to identify and secure chattel financing for their transactions.

Furthermore, there’s a not-so-new, but proven methodology afoot, that’s worthy of reemphasis and application, The Pre-Qualification Analysis! In less than five minutes we ask ten questions which enable us to know whether prospective homebuyers are qualified to buy or not. And we emphasize verification of everything they tell us, leaving them no reason to lie. We also charge a $50.00 application fee – an amount they’ll lose, if it turns out they gave us wrong information during the Pre-Qualification Analysis. To date we’ve enjoyed a nine out of ten success rate, when it comes to accurate information.

Something new to the manufactured housing finance scene is pre-purchase counseling. We’re in the midst of finalizing our program with a not for profit that specializes in performing this unique service for HUD. Our goal is to have it in place and working, before debuting publicly for the first time, at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September 2015, in San Diego, CA. At that time, we’ll be pleased to share both our Pre-Qualification Analysis questions, and the counseling program.” SR

Has Anyone Else Out There Noticed?

The ‘Asset Aggregator’ LLLCommunities Consolidation Wave is Upon Us!

Yes, the land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) asset class is in the midst of its latest (fourth) ‘Make a Bundle or Lose Your Shirt’ bell-shaped curve of real estate investment.

And if you’re present at the New York Housing Association’s Northeast Super Symposium, 25 March 2015, in Albany, NY, you’ll hear firsthand about this fourth wave. Why is this significant, and Why should You want to be on hand for this exciting addendum to the ‘Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease-lifestyle Community Asset Class’ presentation?

Heretofore, as an industry/asset class, we’ve not described or talked about any of the previous three ‘income-producing property consolidation waves’ until after the fact. This venue in New York however, will be the first time in MHIndustry history, where an ‘asset aggregator comber’ – as it’s swelled to date, will be described in terms of its’ participants, target properties, and at least one planned turnaround strategy – while actually occurring throughout the manufactured housing industry nationwide!

For more information and to register, phone Nancy Geer via (518) 867-3242.

Ohio Supreme Court strikes portion of local housing market zoning ordinance targeting manufactured homes!

Yep, we won one! “The Ohio Supreme Court ruled (10 March 2015) that a portion of the (city of ) Lodi’s zoning code, that targeted mobile home parks in the community, was unconstitutional.” – amounting to an unconstitutional taking of private property. For more information, contact the Ohio Manufactured Housing Association, (614) 799-2340

Soon Opportunity to be Certified as a Manufactured Housing Manager®

If you own or operate a land-lease-lifestyle community in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, or Iowa, and want to be part of the industry movement to bring professional property management to our unique type of income-producing property, plan to participate in the day long (no testing) Manufactured Housing Manager® class occurring in Dixon, IL (North Central Illinois) on Tuesday, 21 March 2015. The class already has 15 registrants, with room for ten more. Cost? Only $250.00/person.

Today, there’re nearly 1,000 MHM®s owning/operating LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. and Canada. The class textbook is the 1988 classic, now in it’s sixth edition, Landlease Community Management – you get a copy for the registration fee, plus a monograph of contemporary MHIndustry readings, and at the end of the day, the coveted gold MHM® lapel pin and MHM® certificate! This is the only professional property management training and certification class offered in the U.S., that’s taught by a 30+ year veteran of LLLCommunity ownership/management, Certified Property Manager® Emeritus, and MHM®Master.

For more information, and to register for the class, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. The MHM® class is facilitated by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, and hosted by Hauck Homes of Dixon, IL. Next class will be on 20 May 2015 in E. Peoria, IL., as part of the annual meeting of the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association. For details, phone Frank Bowman @ (217) 528-3423.


24th Roundtable, 17th Lender Registry & two MHM classes!

March 7th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 339 Copyright @ 8 March 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, 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!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

Mark your personal and corporate planning calendars to be present at the 24th International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September 2015, at the Hilton Resort on Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. Last year’s event was extra special by dint of the two Public Forums about our industry and asset class, plus the presence of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac executives. Well guess what? This year will likely feature ‘more of the same’ as the GSEs return, plus at least a half dozen HUD-Code home manufacturers bent on convincing LLLCommunity owners/operators to buy more new homes from them! And much much more…

Many of you – blog floggers (readers) – have already told us the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT was nothing short of a ‘home run’ document, when it came to identifying key LLLCommunity portfolio ‘players’, describing the history of COBA7®, and providing salient and helpful benchmark statistics. Well guess what? The 17th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders (real estate-secured & chattel capital alike) raises the Signature Series Resource Document performance bar even higher! It identifies more bona fide lenders, specializing in LLLCommunities and manufactured housing, than any other similar document researched and published during the past 50 years of MHIndustry history!

Get certified as a Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® in short. Two classes already scheduled between now and June 2015.


1st Look at 24th exciting Networking Roundtable

Theme: ‘Manufacturers & Communities Working Together Building, Selling & Financing, & Renting More New HUD-Code Manufactured Homes!’

Where will YOU be on 9-11 September 2015? If a HUD-Code home manufacturer or land-lease-lifestyle community owner/operator, definitely at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA.!

The agenda is nearly complete, the three dozen (up from two dozen last year) presenters scheduled, and hotel under contract for what promises to be the most pivotal national manufactured housing industry event during year 2015! How so? Read on…

As faithful blog floggers (readers) and Allen Letter professional journal subscribers will recall, last year’s roundtable was public forum where 200 attendees previewed a WHITE PAPER before arriving, then engaged in two hour long discussions regarding the past, present, and future of manufactured housing and the LLLCommunity asset class. It was also when, for the first time in memory, two GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) engaged in public discourse with their clients: YOU & ME. (They’ve been invited back, along with representatives from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, to continue this pithy and timely conversation). Bottom line? Although the two national (MH) advocacy bodies did not live up to expectations, and continue the Public Forums this Spring, their acquiescent attitude has been widely viewed as the needed mandate for Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, to ‘pick up their dropped leadership mantle, and lead the industry and asset class forward thru year 2015 and beyond…

Hence, this year’s 24th Networking Roundtable theme is ‘Manufacturers & Communities Working Together to Build, Sell & Finance, and Rent, More New Manufactured Homes!’

And we now have a statistical base upon which to now build. We know at year end 2013, that 30 percent of all new HUD-Code homes shipped, went directly into LLLCommunities nationwide. And while we won’t know until June/July what that percentage increased to during 2014, we’ll know by 9-11 September, and build on that momentum for the remainder of 2015, going into year 2016!

So, how will this theme manifest itself during the 24th annual Networking Roundtable? Starting with three keynote presentations, the morning of 10 September:

• The CEOs of nearly a dozen HUD-Code home manufacturers have been invited to address this august body of 200+ LLLCommunity owners/operators in this fashion:

WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS & HERE’S WHAT WE’RE DOING TO EARN IT! (Subtopics: Community Series Homes; availability or not, of a corporate finance program; nature of sales training & related support matters; stance on Frost Free Foundations® as approved installation methodology; and, ‘How to know what homes will sell?’ & ‘How much $ can local housing market folk afford?’

Already, four days after the invitation, four manufacturer CEOs and senior executives have signed-on to participate in this keynote presentation!

• It’s anticipated it’ll take two full hours for the selected half dozen executives (not salespersons), to make short succinct presentations, then engage in Open Discussion with the audience.

• The third keynote hour will be the purview of Dr. David Funk, head of the graduate real estate department at Cornell University. His address? ‘Housing Economics & Manufactured Housing’s Strategic Niche!’ If you’ve not heard David’s insightful observations relative to MH & communities, be there!

All this just ‘scratches the surface’ of what’ll be covered during the 2 ½ days we’re together at the Hilton Resort on Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. Next week and thereafter, I’ll tell you more….

In the meantime, to ensure YOU receive an ‘invite’ to this year’s 24th annual International Networking Roundtable for LLLCommunity Owners/operators, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


17th National Registry of ALL Lenders!

The research is finally finished on this salient document. It’s being printed as I tap out these words, and will be mailed later this week, to COBA7® Option II & III affiliates, as one of three lagniappes enclosed with the March 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal! Frankly, while we already know it’s the second most popular Signature Series Resource Document or SSRD we print and distribute monthly – behind the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, I’m downright excited about the content ‘this time around’. Why?

In years past, the most real estate-secured mortgage originators (brokers & or lenders) identified, has been 18. This 17th National Registry contains no fewer than 25! And chattel capital sources & servicers? Rishel Consulting, once again, has come thru with the most comprehensive list of names and contacts, available anywhere, to this end! The ‘icing on the cake’? Just enough information about lease-option methodology to entice one to visit one or two Spencer Roane, MHM® websites, to learn if this might not be the ‘secret ingredient’ for handling new home transactions in the present and near future. And finally; nowhere else in the entire manufactured housing industry, and or throughout the LLLCommunity asset class, will you find a more comprehensive overview of the real estate lending environment during 2014 and looking forward throughout 2016, than you’ll find in this valuable document. It is chockfull of all the $ info you’ll need, relative to the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class.

If you’re not already an Option II or III affiliate of COBA7®, but would like to become one NOW, to obtain all three SSRDs published to date (26th ALLEN REPORT, ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ outline; and, ‘17th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders’), phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or print off the COBA7® brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this week’s blog posting # 339. And know that next month, April 2015, the SSRD will be the popular ‘Who Ya Gonna Call in 2015?!’ list of freelance consultants serving all segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry.


Manufactured Housing Manager®, MHM®

If you consider yourself to be a professional property manager of land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) and want to become certified as such, you’ll be at one of two Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® one day classes, on 31 March in Dixon, IL., or 20 May in East Peoria, IL. That’s right, 15 new MHM®s were designated during the annual MHShow in Louisville, KY., in January – now we’re providing similar ‘training & certification’ opportunities on the aforementioned dates at the named locations.

FYI. The one day class tuition is $250.00 per person. This pays for the day long training session, a copy of the classic Landlease Community Management, a monograph of contemporary MHIndustry ‘readings’, and gold MHM® pin, as well as MHM® certificate. There is no test involved. And to date, there’re nearly 1,000 MHM® owning/operating LLLCommunities, coast to coast and throughout Canada.

The MHM® class is the only such professional property management training and certification program, focused on the LLLCommunity asset class, taught by a veteran community owner, Certified Property Manager®, and Manufactured Housing Manager®.

For more information, and to register for either MHM® session, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And to corporate CEOs and state MHAssociation executives reading this blog posting, know you can host an MHM® session for your property managers, or members, and receive a $50.00 rebate per person, when classes contain at least ten MHM® candidates, but not more than 25.


30+% of New HUD Homes into LLLCommunities!

February 27th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 338 Copyright @ 1 March 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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 is: ‘U support US & WE serve U’!, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is: ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

The Big News in manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community circles is the PROOF an increasing percentage of new HUD-Code homes is going directly into this property type! But will this Big News be sufficient to motivate factories to focus more of their marketing efforts on the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’? Let’s hope so!

Everyone knows the Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® was launched in early 2014, to serve the research, resources, communication, networking, deal-making, professional property management, even national advocacy needs (when necessary) of LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide and throughout Canada. To that end, here’s an array of FREE wallet cards available for the asking. Get yours today!

Have a loved one or acquaintance fighting, suffering from, an illness or disease? Here’s a unique way to show your support and love, & financially contribute towards eradication of said health issue(s), as well. Frankly, I hope everyone gets on this brave bandwagon!


Increasing Percentage of New HUD-Code Homes Going into LLLCommunities…

Actually, we’ve sensed this trend for awhile, just couldn’t ferret out shipment statistics to proof it. Last week’s announcement at this website (Blog 337), made the matter official:

30% of New HUD-Code Homes in 2013 were shipped directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! Expect higher %s for 2014 & 2015!

And it turns out ‘blog floggers’ too, are as excited about this newly documented state of affairs, as they responded enthusiastically to last week’s historic announcement:

“Your breakdown of the increase in market share of manufactured home sales going into LLLCommunities is encouraging, and I agree with your contention it is likely understated. COBA7® can take credit and solace from the accomplishment sir!” NB

“Truth be told, this was suspected for quite some time. Thanks for shedding light on the real selling of HUD-Code homes. The LLLCommunity owners should have the right and responsibility to offer the type of new home product available on his/her land.” Independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ are being supplanted by LLLCommunity owners/operators who buy new homes for resale on-site, then self-finances or leases them as the local housing market supports. It’ll be interesting to see what happens among what ‘was’ the Big Four + One lenders, ‘now’ the Big Three + One’, eventually (?) the ‘Big Two + One’, or fewer, independent third party chattel capital originators. No wonder we’re calling LLLCommunity owners/operators the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’!

As you likely know by now, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR, was equally responsible for ‘breaking this historic news’ to the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity asset class. What will be interesting now, is to see whether either or both national advocacy bodies encourage HUD-Code housing manufacturers to capitalize on this trend, and redouble their efforts to sell more new Community Series Homes into this unique, income-producing property type. Hope so!

In the meantime, ‘where & what’ do we, as LLLCommunity owners/operators, ‘go & do’ from here? There’re a number of helpful possibilities:

• Contact COBA7® for a FREE list of Business Development Managers, or BDMs, adept at selling Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, to LLLCommunities. The list also talks of WOW! Factors, a.k.a. ‘eye candy’, and the many durability features characteristic of CSH Model homes. (317) 346-7156. Call today!

• Attend the Northeast Super Symposium in Albany, NY. @ 24 & 25 March 2015. Why? There’ll be several Community Series Homes on display. Walk and inspect these CSH Models before buying to resell on-site. (518) 867-3242. And this will be your best opportunity all Spring to learn ‘What’s going on’ in the MHIndustry.

• IMPORTANT REMINDER: If a LLLCommunity owner/operator, ensure the HUD-Code manufacturer, from whom you purchase Community Series Homes, clearly cites in their Installation Manual(s), the Frost Free Foundation®, or FFF®, is an approved installation procedure for their product! Otherwise, you run the very real risk of having to replace perfectly good concrete foundations on-site, if they don’t presently extend below the frost line characteristic of your property.

• Need help establishing your compliant home finance source, likely a separate operation from your LLLCommunity? Contact Rishel Consulting for guidance to this end, via (312) 878-2802. Also obtain a copy of the 17th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, for a comprehensive list of chattel capital sources and servicers. Indispensable. MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

• Explore lease-option as a viable alternative in your state. In this instance, visit Spencer Roane’s websites: &

Let’s hope, this time next year, we can report 50 percent of all new HUD-code homes going directly into LLLCommunities nationwide.


Talking About Resources…

“And what cards do you carry in your wallet?”

Have you seen and or used the new plastic COBA7® ELEVEN 3X5 inch wallet card? Didn’t think so. But you’ll surely want to do so! Why? One side contains interesting factoids relating to the number and characteristics of land-lease-lifestyle communities (e.g. inventory #s, OER%, rent $, New Rule of 72, ‘cap rates’ & more). The verso or reverse side lists 11 solid reasons to affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®. How to get your FREE ‘COBA7® ELEVEN’ card? Simply phone the official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 & leave your postal mailing address.

And hey, while you’re at it, ask for the other FREE ‘tools available to the LLLCommunity ownership/operations trade’:

• The ‘5-RPs of Marketing & Selling New & Resale HOMES within a Land-lease-lifestyle Community’ on one side; and, ‘5-RPs of Marketing & Leasing Rental HOMESITES or sites, within a LLLCommunity’, on the other side of this FREE plastic 3X5 wallet card. Distributed last year yes, but we still have some left.

• ’50 Business Card Design Ideas’ for the reverse, back or verso side of your business card! This invaluable eight panel plastic synopsis of business card wisdom is summarized from the book: Is Your Business Card a Keeper? The 2 ½ X 4” pocket guide is FREE for the asking.

• Not one, but two renditions of the GFA Management, Inc., ‘Number Crunching Cards’. One contains the ‘Cash on Cash Return methodology’, IRV valuation formula, and a loan amortization chart. The second fold over card contains every formula used in LLLCommunity ownership/operations, e.g. physical & economic occupancy, turnover, OER computations, ‘cap rates’, and the Industry Standard Chart of Accounts with characteristic OER percentages.

And, if you’ve not yet seen or read ‘A Toast to the Community Owner!’, by all means ask for it when you request the above-referenced FREE plastic wallet cards and book synopsis. You’ll be glad you did. The ‘toast’, actually a poem, honors the memory of the late LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator Bud Zeman of Chicago.



A Unique Way to Honor & Support Loved Ones Fighting Illnesses

Our oldest granddaughter has been fighting a difficult and potentially debilitating disease for a few years. Our immediate and extended family are united in efforts to help her through periodic surgeries, recoveries, treatments, and more.

I recently came across a website simply called BRAVELETS; actually, Anyway, they feature several lines of metal and leather bracelets designed to express support of individuals afflicted with one or more of a dozen or so illnesses. You pick out the bravelet design and illness on your mind, or in your heart, at the time, and purchase for $35.00. The Bravelet folk then contribute $10.00 of your purchase to the foundation or organization most involved in combating ones’ friend or loved one’s illness.

Carolyn and I now both wear bravelets in support of our granddaughter’s fight against her illness. Surely you have someone who deserves your love and support as well.


Proof of ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’!

February 21st, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 337 Copyright @ 22 February 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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 is: ‘U support US & WE serve U’!, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is: ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

When was the last time you had, figuratively speaking, a light bulb turn on in one’s brain experience? Well, during the past two weeks I’ve had a pair of enlightening afflatuses!

The first, described in Part I following, has to do with finding U.S. Census Bureau data confirming the long-sensed trend of an annually increasing percentage of new HUD-Code homes being shipped directly from factories into land-lease-lifestyle communities!

The second, has to do with the unvarnished back story regarding the Dodd-Frank Act cum corporatism; what really precipitated the 2008 financial crisis; and, what must yet happen during the years ahead to see this regulatory nightmare repealed.


‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’

U.S. Census Bureau Data Confirms Emerging Support Role of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) in behalf of the Manufactured Housing Industry

Here’s how we got to where we are today…

Easy access to chattel capital, for loans on new manufactured homes going into (then) manufactured home communities, ‘went away’ soon after the turn of the 21st century. As that lifeblood $ dried up, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers – traditional ‘filler’ of vacant rental homesites in 50,000+/- MHCommunities nationwide, waned from thousands to a few hundred retail salescenters in the U.S. At that point, owners/operators of (larger communities or property portfolios) this unique, income-producing realty type, were forced to sell homes on-site, whether ‘repo’ units, good quality resale homes, or (Gasp!) new manufactured homes. For decades earlier, these owners/operators eschewed new home sales, preferring homebuying customers ‘eat the depreciation’ on said transactions; or, pass them onto ‘street dealers’ who owned such properties, and at times engaged in ‘closed park operations’, i.e. ‘buy here, pay here – twice’.

In any event, by 27 February 2009, (then) MHCommunity owners/operators, having already launched their own national advocacy body, the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), realized, at their first National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus, in Tampa, FL., they must take control of their destiny, or risk being marginalized by similar factors affecting the manufacturing and distribution of HUD-Code manufactured homes. A year later, on 27 February 2009, a mix of home manufacturers and realty investors met at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN., to agree, once and for all, ‘What it’d take for MHCommunity owners to buy more new homes; and, what manufacturers needed to do to incentivize the purchase of more new homes?’ Answer? New home design! By year end, Community Series Homes (so-named by industry consultant Don Westphal), or CSH Models: singlesection homes & modest-sized multisection homes with WOW factors and a plethora of durability-enhancing features (to ease the turnaround of such ‘park-owned homes’ between owners or renters) were being marketed by dozens of Business Development Managers (‘BDM’) coast-to-coast. And the process continues; to such an extent, it’s almost standard parlance in the manufactured housing industry today, to refer to (now) land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators ‘selling & self-financing new homes on-site’ as the New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender.*1

Here’s where we are today.

U.S. Census Bureau data confirms what’s described in the previous paragraph:
the increased sale and placement (i.e. installation) of new HUD-Code manufactured homes on-site within (many but certainly not all) LLLCommunities throughout the U.S.

To mine this data, launch one’s computer browser to ‘Manufactured Homes Survey’. Once there, left click on the ‘Historical Data’ heading. And once on that view, left click on the ‘Selected Characteristics’ label – listed vertically, where statistics are grouped by year, e.g. 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, & 2013, with a choice of accessing either PDF or XLS. At each of those years, compare the number (thousands) of manufactured homes going ‘Inside MHCommunities’ with total number of homes shipped that year, e.g.

2009 12T into (now) LLLCommunities, divided by 55T = 22 percent
2010 13T ditto 51T = 25.4 percent
2011 12T ditto 48T = 25 percent
2012 15.6T ditto 52.8= 29.5 percent
2013 16.9T ditto 56.3= 30 percent

The Good News, of course, is that the number and percentage of new HUD-Code homes being shipped directly into LLLCommunities, and not necessarily via independent (street) MHRetailers, continues to increase. It will be interesting to see the results for year 2014.

Concerned about the relatively few homes going into ‘subdivisions’ mixed in with the numbers shown above? I’m not. While undefined at the moment, there’s more than one way the demarcation between ‘land lease’ and ‘conveyed fee simple’ might be blurred, e.g. resident-owned communities, etc..

In any event, it’s instructive and encouraging to see, once and for all, clear evidence of the evolving trend so many of us ‘knew’ was occurring, but had little to no empirical data supporting said contention. Bottom line? ‘Long live the New Breed of MHRetailer & Chattel Capital Lender!’


Here’s What I Learned This Past Week About ‘The New Corporatism of Dodd-Frank’, & ‘GSEs, the Federal Reserve, & the Elements of True Financial Reform’

Following quotations are from the book, Dodd-Frank: A Law Like No Other, a collection of writings from seven lecturers sharing their thoughts at Hillsdale College during 2014.

David A. Skeel. “Once every generation or two, after a major financial crisis, Congress redesigns American financial regulation.” P.2

‘The Dodd-Frank Act is Congress’s redesign of financial regulation for our generation. …there are two very odd features of the Dodd-Frank Act.” P.2

‘The first is…built on the premise the same guys who orchestrated all the bailouts that caused so much trouble, should be the ones who decide what to do about it.” P.3 (Specifically, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, & Ben Bernanke)

“The second odd feature…closely related to the first. Traditionally, American debates over how to regulate our major financial institutions, have pitted those who believe the biggest institutions should be broken up if they begin to dominate Amercican finance, against those who believe giant institutions are inevitable and government should simply make sure it has the tools to control them.” p.3

“…key architects of Dodd-Frank hailed from the big-is-okay side of the traditional divide.” P.4

“…the Wall Street reform portion of Dodd-Frank has two very clear objectives: the first is to limit the risk of the so-called shadow banking system by more carefully regulating the key instruments (e.g. derivatives & financial innovations) and institutions (e.g. .J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, or AIG) of contemporary finance.” P.4 Note: “Shadow banking…is the use of nontraditional sources of finance.” P.5

“The second objective is to limit the damage in the event one of these giant institutions fails. The Dodd-Frank Act thus has two simple objectives – limiting risk before the fact and trying to limit the damage if a giant financial institution nevertheless falters.” P.5

“It also has a recurring theme: partnership between the government and the largest banks. This partnership, in which the government locks arms with a small group of dominant institutions, looks a lot like the European style of regulation that is known as corporatism.” P.5


Peter J. Wallison. “The 2008 financial crisis was a major event, equivalent in its’ initial scope – if not its duration – to the Great Depression of the 1930s.” p.49

“By 2000, the developing (housing) bubble was already larger than any bubble in U.S. history, and it kept growing until 2007, when – at nine times the size of any previous bubble – it finally topped out and housing prices began to fall.” P.54

“With the largest housing bubble in history deflating in 2007, and more than half of all mortgages made to borrowers who had weak credit or little equity in their homes, the number of delinquencies and defaults in 2008 was unprecedented. One immediate effect was the collapse of the market for mortgage-backed securities that were issue by banks, investment banks, and subprime lenders, and held by banks, financial institutions, and other investors around the world. These were known as private label securities or private mortgage-backed securities, to distinguish them from mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie and Freddie. Investors, shocked by the sheer number of mortgage defaults that seemed to be underway, fled the market for private label securities; there were now no buyers, causing a sharp drop in market values for these securities.” P.55

“This radical withdrawal of liquidity from the market was the financial crisis.” P.56

(And) “…the crisis was not caused by insufficient regulation, let alone by an inherently unstable financial system. It was caused by government housing policies that forced the dominant factors in the trillion dollar housing market- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – to reduce their underwriting standards.” P.56

“What…should have been done? …a thorough reorientation of the U.S>housing finance systems away from the kind of government control that makes it hostage to narrow political imperatives – that is, providing benefits to constituents – rather than responsive to the competition and efficiency imperatives of the market system.” P.56.

“A bubble energizes itself by reducing defaults as prices rise. This sends the wrong signal to investors: Instead of increasing risk, they tend to see increasing opportunity.” P.57

In conclusion, “…Dodd-frank was based on a faulty diagnosis of the financial crisis. Until that diagnosis is corrected – until it is made clear to the American people, the financial crisis was caused by the government rather than by deregulation or insufficient regulation – economic growth will be impeded. It follows that when the true causes of the financial crisis have been made clear, it will become possible to repeal Dodd-Frank.” P.57.


End Note.

1. New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender, a.k.a. New Breed of MHRetailer & Chattel Capital Lender. A new moniker for land-lease-lifestyle community; specifically, where the owner/operator routinely engages in the on-site wholesale purchase, retail sale, and when need be, the self-financing or renting of said manufactured homes to prospective homebuyers and renters, mainly to ‘keep the site rent meter running’.


Responses to ‘Trade Restraint’ & Special Announcements!

February 14th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 336 Copyright @ 15 February 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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 is: ‘U support US & WE serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is: ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

I’ve penned thusly before, and will likely do so again in the future. When Monday morning dawns, following the Sunday morning blog posting, I oft wonder: ‘What to cover this week?’ By the time Wednesday arrives, there’s an idea or two in mind, maybe even a few quotes and thoughts on paper. But by Friday, ‘Something noteworthy has occurred somewhere in the MHIndustry & among LLLCommunities nationwide. Hence, Part I following, contains reader commentary on last week’s stimulating topics; & Part II is awash with the most exciting news to ‘splash’ our industry and property type in months – and there’s more a-coming!


‘Simple Statement’ & ‘Trade Restraint or Protectionism’ Blog Postings Last Week Generate Interesting Commentary

In the first instance, “Since their creation more than (a) half-century ago, nearly everything about manufactured housing has improved – except the way they are sold and financed. High-interest loans, shorter loan terms, and sales tactics that turn what could be a good deal into an expensive proposition.”, garnered this pithy reply…(read carefully):

“Strictly chattel loans involve a tough, almost impossible business model; one where lenders have to charge high enough interest to cover their risks and costs – which in turn and time, all but guarantee failure of said loan transaction. Furthermore, the size of the borrower market (i.e. Those who can satisfy the lender’s requirements) is very small – almost too small to be practical. And pre-S.A.F.E. Act lenders could, but generally didn’t, mitigate their risks – hence justifying lower rates, via a partnership/affiliation with LLLCommunity owners, who helped with application processing, underwriting, collections, repossession, rehab, even resale of homes. Today, it’s near impossible for such cooperation without stepping into the crosshairs of regulators.” An MHM®

In the second instance, talk of the pros and cons of continuing under HUD’s regulatory oversight – and enjoying the benefits of a federally preemptive building code; OR, coming out from under said control to enjoy entrepreneur freedom to respond quickly to local housing market needs, generated the usual and expected supportive and contrarian responses:

“Good for you to open that can of worms again. Challenges to the ‘approved everywhere – sorta’ benefit of having HUD regs is certainly real, but the opportunity for renewed (shipment) growth, particularly with lower product costs would likely be greater! The latter is the entrepreneur’s dream of FREEDOM to WIN, instead of restrained freedom to continue being mired in mediocrity. Or, think of this as the opportunity to ‘meet our customer’s needs’, not the ‘requirements of government’.” NB


“Without the protection of federal preemption there would be no manufactured housing. Just look at how stagnant ‘modular housing’ figures are. Why? Because they must meet a myriad of local building codes, always changing, always different. How can anyone think it’d be any different for unfettered manufactured housing?” State MHAssociation exec.


Exciting News to Share with Blog Audience!

I love it when a news story comes together in time to post here, or share via the Allen Letter professional journal and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter. Also get a genuine thrill from knowing beforehand, an upcoming regional or national meeting will serve the education, networking, and deal-making needs of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide! But best of all is the feeling of personal fulfillment, when a whole new aspect of manufactured housing score-keeping (i.e. statistical benchmarking) unfolds before one’s eyes. All such ‘excitements’ are described in the following bullet points:

• 24th annual International Networking Roundtable will occur 9-11 September 2015 at the Hilton San Diego Resort on Mission Bay. That’s right; where we’ve been twice before! And the lineup of 25 topics and presenters? Details to follow, but how ‘bout reps from IREM, MHI, MHARR, maybe GSEs, & COBA7’s national buyers group; plus, all you wanted to know about Frost Free Foundations®, and more, but didn’t know who to ask – since no one else is telling you!

• MHARR will soon (This week?!) make an announcement of significant importance to owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide. Hint. It has to do with the volume of new HUD-Code homes being shipped directly from factories into LLLCommunities nationwide. We finally know. This is a game-changer!

• Signature Series Resource Document ‘17th National Registry of (all) Manufactured Housing Industry-related Loan Originators’, when distributed on 1 march 2015, as a lagniappe to the Allen Letter professional journal, will be the Biggest & Best such SSRD researched and published to date! Relative to real estate-secured loan (acquisition & refinance mortgage) originators alone, the number of reporting firms (lenders & brokers) has jumped from 18 to 25 since last year! And Rishel Consulting, continuing its’ helpful contribution to last year’s edition, will publicize all known sources and servicers of chattel capital per manufactured homes in LLLCommunities. This is a MUST HAVE document!

• Two more Manufactured Housing Manager® classes have been scheduled this Spring; one in Dixon, IL., on 31 March, and one in East Peoria, IL., on 20 June 2015. If you’re in search of professional property management (‘PM’) education and certification for yourself and or your LLLCommunity managers, this is where to send them! Class is only $250.00/person for the one day class, there’s no testing, and it’s the only PM class in the U.S. taught by a veteran LLLCommunity owner, Certified Property Manager® Emeritus, and RV/MH Hall of Fame member. Get certified and join the other nearly 1,000 MHMs at work in LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. and Canada!

• Double Treat in Albany, New York on 26 March 2015! Pam Danner, esquire, manufactured housing program administrator for HUD will be present to brief owners/operators from NY, PA, NJ, MD, DE, and all of New England. And I’ll deliver the ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ keynote – with this added feature: ‘Watch Out, Here Comes Another Property Consolidation Wave!’ – based on a feature in the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. This NYHA Super Symposium is a ‘can’t miss’ event for MHIndustry folk in the Northeast. Phone Nancy Geer @ (518) 867-3242.

To register for the 24th annual Networking Roundtable, affiliate with COBA7® – to receive a copy of the 17th annual National Registry of (all) Lenders; and, sign-up to attend either of the two Manufactured Housing Manager® classes, simply telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


MH Trade Restraint or Protectionism?

February 6th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 335 Copyright @ 8 February 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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 is: ‘U support US & WE serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is: ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

Friends in the MHBusiness sometimes oft ask if I tire of ‘challenging & goading the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity realty asset class’ elected & salaried leaders to openly address Ongoing Issues (e.g. lack of easy access to chattel capital), Strategic Matters (e.g. restraint of trade) and Troublesome Barriers (e.g. financial ‘over regulation’) affecting manufactured housing shipments’ (i.e. ‘or lack thereof’); and the answer is YES! But know what? There’re too few businessmen & women afoot today, let alone investigative trade journalists, doing so! Hence; until that markedly changes, if it ever does, my career work path is laid out before me; and to great extent, rejuvenates me week after week, month after month, year after year! All I ask of YOU, is to read & ponder what I pen, then support me as you will – by word, deed, & affiliation with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®! 2015 promises to be one exciting year!

The two following op/ed pieces play to the frustrating yet stirring business scenario just described.


Sometimes, a Simple Statement Says It All!

And this is one of those times! Recently, a short op/ed story titled, ‘The Hidden High Costs of Mobile Homes’ made the rounds among businessmen and women engaged in manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities. The simple statement, actually a subtitle to that cited in the first sentence, reads thusly:

• “Since their creation more than (a) half-century ago, nearly everything about manufactured housing has improved – except the way they are sold and financed. High-interest loans, shorter loan terms, and sales tactics that turn what could be a good deal into an expensive proposition.”

Stop and read those two sentences again; then, sit back and ponder this question:

• Is it possible to reposition manufactured housing, from being an Expensive Proposition (especially when sited within LLLCommunities), into a Good Deal, featuring 1) low-interest loans, 2) longer term loans, & 3) effected by professional, courteous sales and leasing professionals?

Your answer? Mine is: ‘Why not replace the old business model with a new, fair and attractive one?!

Specifically, replace the half century paradigm, characterized by these negatives, pursuant to increasing number of LLLCommunity owners/operators filling their vacant rental homesites – rather than relying on declining number of independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’, using low-interest and short term loans, marketed and sold by professionals – with added surety of homes installed on realty controlled by the property owner.

This is already happening in increasing numbers, as enlightened LLLCommunity owners/operators either sell new home inventory ‘close to cost’ (to lowering the sales price) and or meld mortgage terms to fit homebuyer/site lessee’s ability to repay the loan and site rent each month. This is why LLLCommunity owners/operators, in many local housing markets throughout the U.S., are increasingly being referred to as the NEW BREED of MHRetailers & Lenders!

The secondary, but equally compelling challenge is ‘How to involve the owners/operators of single LLLCommunities, and small property portfolios, to embrace this new manufactured housing paradigm?

What say YOU? Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Trade Restraint or Protectionism?

The Regulatory Control Dilemma Few Talk About Openly,
‘Hiding One’s Light Under a Basket, or Protecting it from Wind?’

This subject is difficult to get first hand public information about, from official sources, whether they be government agencies, national advocacy bodies, or corporate executives and related stakeholders. But here’s the historical gist of the matter.

Allegedly, ever since annual shipment numbers of new HUD-Code manufactured homes ‘tanked’ to less than 50,000 per year (down from 372,843 in 1998), by end of year 2009 – and only averaging 54,146/year since then (2009-2014), the federal agency (‘HUD’) tasked with regulating the industry, has supposedly struggled financially (i.e. not enough label license fee income to fully fund the program). In fact, money has been so tight, it’s likely a reason the new manufactured housing installation standards, codified in 2007, have yet to be fully implemented and enforced eight years later.

Then, a couple years ago, effort was made on the federal level, to gauge industry reaction and identify supposed (business) consequences if HUD oversight disappeared from the manufactured housing regulatory scene altogether. While most of the results of this brief field study remain anecdotal, it was easy to see how ‘the industry’ was uncomfortable with even the thought of deregulation. Uncomfortable enough, it turned out, to accept – without protest (that I heard of), a 165 percent increase in label license fees during the Fall of 2014. And now, in early 2015, we learn of a supposedly $-rejuvenated HUD, now intent on enforcing those installation standards of eight years ago!

Why uncomfortable? The HUD-Code manufactured housing industry has learned to live with said national, performance-based building code, one that preempts all local housing codes! And since the code’s implementation in 1976, the manufactured housing industry, to its’ credit, has turned this otherwise regulatory lemon into sweet lemonade – in time, supplying up to 25 percent of the national housing market share of new homes in 1998. Eleven years later, that percentage plummeted to less than 5 percent and has remained there for the past six years.

But here’s ‘the rub’. Is the manufactured housing industry’s supposed reluctance to deregulate, a form of ‘trade restraint’ (i.e. Perpetuating a significant ‘barrier to entry’ for would be new manufacturers, among other factors), or ‘protecting’ it from other (predatory) housing producers, including local zoning boards, who’d likely use deregulation to outlaw manufactured housing altogether? In other words, does HUD regulation also serve as a basket of sorts, dimming our ‘affordable housing’ message to otherwise prospective homebuyers (i.e. When was the last time you saw, read, or heard of any overt, let alone covert, promotion on the part of HUD, encouraging American citizenry to ‘Buy a manufactured home!’? Maybe never, and also our ‘protector’, again, from other types of less affordable shelter who’d be only too happy to see us go away?

All this is the sort of pithy trade conversation, evidently going on behind closed doors in Washington, DC. but certainly not in pubic circles, among – again – government agencies, national advocacy bodies, corporate executives and their stakeholders. Bottom line? Which is indeed Best for the majority of us? Business as usual, at the whiff and whim of HUD-Code home manufacturers; or ‘turn us, as an industry, loose in the housing market place, to create a new business model that works better than the one we suffer today – realizing the significant risks that go with doing so?’ As long as it’s not talked about openly and seriously, it’s doubtful we’ll ever know, let alone see it happen. Just telling you sheep…

Back to the reason we’re, as an industry and realty asset class, way overdue for a National Strategic Planning Meeting, facilitated by the two national advocacy bodies presently representing manufactured housing in Washington, DC.; both effectively controlled by HUD-Code home manufacturers and no one else. So, ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the status quo?

When we distributed a DRAFT copy of this week’s blog posting to the dozen MHIndustry businessmen and women I consider to be ‘Serious Thinkers & Contemporary Influencers’, we received this (edited) reply from one of them (a state MHAssociation executive):

IF HUD ‘went away’, what would we lose? Lots!

Local & state building code legislators and enforcers would pressure the MHIndustry into modular housing code construction regulation. Modular home production is a fraction (@50+/-%) of HUD-Code home shipments (e.g. 64,331 manufactured homes in 2014).

In states where RVs & modular homes are banned from LLLCommunities, laws would have to be changed to allow such sitings. Until change is effected, only ‘mobile homes’ & aging ‘manufactured homes’ would be available; no replacement manufactured homes.

State tax codes often provide tax relief for HUD-Code manufactured homes (e.g. sales tax exclusion of 35% in WI). And real estate taxes are oft supplanted by lower personal property or user taxes on HUD-Code manufactured homes. Not available to modulars.

So you see, this is not a simple Yea or Nay issue, for sure. But it certainly is one worth talking about openly – if and when we can get the elected and salaried leaders of manufacturer-controlled national advocacy bodies to arrange for us to do so during year


Potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views

January 31st, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 334 Copyright @ 1 February 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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.

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

13 must be this week’s ‘lucky number’ for blog floggers (readers), since that’s the number of News & Views described in the following paragraphs. And hey, when you see, read or hear of MH-related matters to likely interest our peers, let me know ASAP!


The Occasional Potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views!

Collection of News & Op/ed Bites, Interesting to Read & Ponder

COURTESY. There’s at least one, and maybe the only one, HUD-Code home manufacturer executive, who answers the telephone, accepting calls from businessmen and women in the MHIndustry. Recently, a young home designer in southern California heeded my advice and phoned this particular CEO. He not only took her call, but assisted with factory connections she needed to expedite the fabrication of a prototype two story HUD-Code home with a small footprint. Guess who’ll likely get her business in the future, as she markets this forward-looking home design? A unique home design, by the way, featuring ‘green materials’, modern interior & exterior finishes, energy efficiency & photovoltaic-ready options. ‘You GO, Sabrina!’

FROST FREE FOUNDATIONS®. Speaking of HUD-Code home manufacturers. COBA7® recently polled HUD-Code home manufacturers, requesting sample Installation Manuals featuring factory-approved Frost Free Foundation® protocols. Once research is complete, we’ll inform land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators, from coast-to-coast, which HUD-Code home manufacturers, by including HUD-approved FFF® protocols in their Installation Manuals, are helping them avoid expensive retrofitting (i.e. estimated minimum of $5,000 per site) of performing foundations on rental homesites! Bottom line? Guess where informed LLLCommunity owners/operators will likely purchase their new homes in the future?

DOE STANDARDS. One LLLCommunity owner/operator, who sells and self-finances new HUD-Code homes on-site says, “I see a possible silver lining relative to DOE standards. If they come with a reasonable payback period, financially-challenged home buyers might well be able to afford our homes! And maybe we should be sending the ‘energy tax credit’ directly to homebuyers, to be used as part of their down payment. If legally doable, such a move would add many potential homebuyers to the prospect pool, rather than keeping them from it. GREEN and AFFORDABLE; now we’d have something to SELL!”

RENT vs. BUY HOMES. Another LLLCommunity owners/operator opines: “A reemerging business model appears to emphasize ‘rental homes’ as opposed to ‘buying homes’ in LLLCommunities. While I’m a strong proponent of filling vacant rental homesites via lease-option, to families with a ‘buyer’ mentality, many of today’s prospects don’t want home payments and maintenance responsibilities, preferring to rent their homes. From my perspective, ‘rentals’ are more management & maintenance intense, and experience higher turnover & more rehab costs, making frequent inspection of home interiors a necessity.” Five Tips for Successful MHRental operation, assuming tacit support of one’s local housing market: provide truly habitable shelter, establish & enforce screening standards, collect rent weekly not monthly, enforce posted rules & regulations, and inspect interiors regularly while changing air filters and engaging in pest control.

COBA7®. Did you read the Chapter # 1 of ‘COBA7® History’ in the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’? If not, the ALLEN REPORT is still available for purchase @ $544.95 (postpaid), or via Option II affiliation (same $ amount) with COBA7®. Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to order or affiliate. Year 2015 is one of likely transition for the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, as affiliates grow in number from more than 200 now, to 400 by year end 2015. For more information and to affiliate, use the COBA7® brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting at

HUD & UL. A manufactured housing industry pioneer opines: “Whoa ________! I guess you’re not a fan of big government. Well, neither am I, but guess we’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future. I see NO charm in seeking government aid in any fashion, but it’s my opinion the HUD-Code is a done deal. One option would be to negotiate with UL, or some other credible independent party, to replace HUD, and pay what it costs – probably no more than we already pay at present. That worked well in Canada, the last I knew. But even that would require a degree of leadership and industry cooperation that’s nowhere in sight. I suspect we’re stuck.”

NO to AD CAMPAIGN. From yet another MHIndustry pioneer opines: “Never mind a national ad campaign! We have no significant single market to address. Our industry has become a game of niches, just as it used to be. So the best course is to utilize our one great strength: low construction cost, to provide the nation with good low coast housing everywhere we can, however we can. Build no trash! Clean up our soggy image – the most important thing we can do. For that, we’ve clearly demonstrated we need someone hovering over all our shoulders, lest we cheat. Our industry is as honest as any other, but we’ve earned ourselves a terrible image and we can’t afford backsliders.”

YES to AD CAMPAIGN. “Speaking of selling, someone mentioned selling GREEN as part of a national campaign. I for one, have had enough of the stonewalling on the national campaign issue. It is painfully obvious the controlling interests in manufacturing are not interested in pursing this strategy. We may have to work through state associations to raise money for a campaign. Car dealer networks pay to have commercials made that can be bought into by individual dealers, and then at end of the commercial, they insert a ‘tag’ with the dealer’s info and short message. That way the heavy cost of production is spread amongst users. I see this as having to be regional. If I am selling houses in Indiana, I don’t want palm trees or desertscapes in my commercial, and I’m sure desert dealers don’t want oak trees and streams.”

CHRIS STINEBERT. If you were listening to NPR radio on 28 January, you likely heard MHI’s former president & CEO, Chris Stinebert, now with the American Financial Services Association (‘ASFA’), in discussion with other auto finance execs, discussing used car loans and subprime financing of same, with all its’ challenges. Chris handled himself well in the face of sometimes stiff questioning by other radio program guests. Just goes to show you, there’s life after manufactured housing….

AFFORDABILITY of HOUSING. “Housing expenditures are conventionally considered affordable if they do not exceed 30 percent of family or household income. Since 1975, housing has become increasingly unaffordable for poor and minority families, and households with children that are burdened by housing costs has more than doubled. Sixty-five percent of children in low-income families now live in households that are ‘housing cost burdened’, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing-related expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance.” This quoted from ‘Housings’s & Neighborhood’s Role in Shaping Children’s Future’, a feature article in the Fall 2014 issue of HUD’s EVIDENCE MATTERS publication, page #7.

SUPERBOWL 2015. According to media reports, its estimate that at least 46 percent of those viewing tonight’s Superbowl Game will be women. As a result, watch to see how much of the program material, throughout the day, is geared towards the woman viewer.

ALLEN LETTER professional journal for February 2015. Besides carrying Part II of the series parsing the past, present, and future of HUD-Code manufactured housing & the LLLCommunity real estate asset class, there’ll be at least three lagniappes: the Signature Series Resource Document: ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ outline to use when you brief employees, stakeholders, etc.. And there’s a really handy month-by-month Maintenance Checklist for Manufactured Homes, prepared by the Factory-built Owners of America! You’ll want to copy and distribute this seminal HOW TO document to all your residents. And Robert Coldren, esquire, has prepared an interesting piece describing his newest project: El Dorado! The Allen Letter professional journal is available only to COBA7® affiliates. So, if YOU own/operate one or more LLLCommunities, you owe it to yourself to be reading this timely, helpful monthly material. Affiliate with COBA7® today! Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. This sort of information is available from no other source in the U.S. and Canada today!

COST EFFECTIVE MEANS of FILLING VACANT RENTAL HOMESITES. I’m cautiously optimistic about the viability of this ‘whole new method’ of filling vacant rental homesites with new HUD-Code homes, especially in the smaller, one-off LLLCommunities NOT in anyone’s property portfolio. Seriously. Just learned of the unique opportunity, so will be researching and ‘proofing’ the methodology during the next week or two, before ‘going public’ with a step-by-step description in the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, then the Allen Letter professional journal. So, as they say, ‘stay tuned’ and be prepared (hopefully) to help set our industry on its’ ear, as we sell and ship more new HUD-Code homes during year 2015, than any previous year since 97,000 in 2007!

Well, that about does it for this week’s potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views! Hope you enjoyed it…



January 24th, 2015

COBA7® via Blog # 333 Copyright @ 25 January 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 primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, 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

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at website:

My-Oh-My; as YOU likely know, WE – as an industry & realty asset class, are engaged in an exciting NEW ERA regarding the ‘Evolution of the Manufactured Housing Business Model, Past, Present & Future!’ & ‘Look(ing) into Manufactured Housing’s Uncertain Future’ – these being the dual titles of last week’s blog posting at this website!

So much response from nearly 1,000 blog floggers (readers), we prepared and posted a rare mid-week follow-up op/ed blog titled ‘This Has Not Happened, in this Volume, Before!’ Hopefully you read both postings. If not, scroll back into this website’s blog archives before proceeding. Then, move onto…

‘NEW ERA MH Trade Lingo, circa 2015’; ‘What this observer experienced at the MHShow in Louisville, KY’ this past week; and a heady ‘WISH LIST for YEAR 2015!’

We’ll likely revisit the ‘Evolution…’ & ‘…Uncertain Future’ responses in next Sunday’s blog posting. So, keep those responses a-coming! And respond to these three parts following, as well!

Know what? Talked to a former MHI chairman recently, and a top level executive who continues to be active in the manufactured housing industry, and they tell me they value the news & views gleaned from this blog posting and the Allen Letter professional journal. Do YOU? If not reading both, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE today!


NEW ERA MH Trade Lingo, circa 2015

It’s time to stop messing around with the way we casually and formally write and talk about (manufactured) housing. There’ll always be Luddites hanging onto ‘trailer talk’ & ‘mobile homes’, even ‘status quo you know’ folk putting ‘manufactured’ in front of everything homey and community. But that doesn’t mean YOU have to do so…

Those of us with present and future Free Enterprise business prospects anchored in factory-built housing and investment real estate, understand the NEW ERA that dawned in early 2014, and is maturing during 2015, provides a unique platform and opportunity to revisit, restart, and routinely use, nearly a dozen, image-enhancing trade terms in our routine business communication. Try these on for size…

Housing = formerly, manufactured housing

Homes = formerly, manufactured homes

Community = formerly, manufactured home community & before
that ‘mobile home parks’; and in contemporary
journalistic circles, land-lease-lifestyle community
or simply landlease community & LLLCommunity

Independent (street) MHRetailer = formerly, dealer & dealership

New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender=No single precedent, as this new trend supplants
decades old symbiotic relationship between (then)
‘dealer’ & ‘mobile home park’ owners/operators.
Now it’s communities selling & oft self-financing new & resale homes on-site to fill vacant rental

Resident = formerly, tenant; a.k.a. ‘homeowner/site lessee’

Transporter = formerly, toter

Singlesection (home) = formerly, singlewide mobile home

Multisection (home) = formerly, doublewide mobile home

Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance = formerly, all the products & services
provided to community owner/operators by GFA
Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing

Is it really so difficult to adjust one’s use of trade terms, like these, to reflect today’s appealing new designs of homes and, in many instances, the desirability of the community lifestyle? Methinks not, but the transition must begin with YOU! GFA

The 2015 MHShow in Louisville, KY.

Short takes on what & who I saw and heard this past week in Luavul…

• Overall, the MHShow was ‘OK’. Far too few Community Series Homes & far too many ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ show-off units! And, time for a program change!

• Colorado-based real estate investor, & ARC founder, Scott Jackson is back! Just acquired a large turnaround challenge community in Indianapolis, IN. Go Scott!

• Illinois MHAssociation likely established a new practice, by affixing bright orange ribbons, bearing the ILLINOIS name, to their member’s show ID tags

• Jim Clayton & Kevin Kimsey were easy to spot, but a tad bit difficult to identify, as they sported Abraham Lincoln beards with gray and black color schemes.

• Sad news! Sherrie Clevenger of NADA is leaving manufactured housing next month for other pastures. Her successor? Eric Westermeyer. (800) 966-6232X238

• Day before the MHShow, 13 Manufactured Housing Managers®, or MHMs® trained & certified nearby, by Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®!

• Kudos to ‘Maynardville Communities’, a Clayton Co. Just enough pre-show promo to motivate one (me) to visit & photograph their Community Series Home.

• This MHShow was a swan song of sorts, for retiring Wisconsin Housing Alliance executive Ross Kinzler. But with Amy in place, it’s a succession plan that’ll work

• Familiar with NextStep? I wasn’t until this show. Now working with them on pre-purchase counseling of prospective homebuyers project, and possibly more…

• I must have introduced Mark Weiss, MHARR’s newly named president & CEO, and successor to recently retired Danny Ghorbani, to 20+ friends & associates

• Here’re two startling exhibit firsts: only one community portfolio owner/operator: ROC USA; & only one real estate broker: MHRE, Inc., at this year’s MHShow!

• Greetings to Dr. Lesli Gooch, MHI’s newly named Sr. VP of Government Affairs, (703) 558-0660. Hopefully, she’ll be with us for the long haul & successful!

• COBA7® signed up several new affiliates, enroute to serving 400+ ‘MHInsiders’ by year end 2015! You affiliated yet? Call MHIndustry HOTLINE this week

• If I heard ‘lease-option’ mentioned once, I heard it a dozen times, as L-O guru Spencer Roane, MHM® circulated thru the MHShow, connecting with associates

• Looking to buy resale manufactured homes in IN & KY? Contact Tamar Pierce @ (502) 643-2920. And Jackie Tucker in Indianapolis, IN. ((317) 717-3390

• New chattel capital lender, ParkLane Finance Solutions was present, testing the market. Rick Cason @ (434) 975-5088. And they hosted Best Reception of all!

• Finally, life continues to be good, as long as Don Westphal exhibits at the Louisville MHShow! Who doesn’t enjoy stopping by and chatting with him?

OK, so when am I going to see YOU again? Depends. Due to family reasons I won’t be attending MHI’s Winter meeting in New Orleans in February.

COBA7® affiliates are clamoring for a much needed planning meeting, in late February or early March, maybe even during the MHCongress in April.

Then there’s the New York Housing Association-sponsored Northeast Super Symposium, 25-27 March in Albany, NY! I’ll be presenting the ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’, plus describing the latest multifamily consolidation wave. Also hear Pam Danner from HUD & Jenny Hodge from MHI’s NCC division For meeting info, talk to Nancy Geer via (518) 867-3242.

Then there’s the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas. I’ll likely be attending this year, but maybe not the NCC Forum. Why? No invitation to be a presenter, even though I’m an NCC founder and board member. But know what? Craig White, ACM® and I used to host an early morning ‘Prayer for Our Nation & Its’ Leaders’ meeting during this event. If you’re interested in restoring the practice, let me know, via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Hopefully you’re planning on attending the RV/MH Hall of Fame’s Induction Banquet on 3 August, in Elkhart, IN., when we fete Joe Kelly (Iowa MHAssociation exec) and nine others being inducted that evening.

And, of course, there’s the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, likely in San Diego, CA. Some very Special Speakers & Topics are being invited and scheduled for this Best Educational Event of the Year – with as many as 25 offerings! Hint: Some are ‘movers & shakers’ from segments of the MHIndustry in favor and support of meeting sponsor COBA7® and its’ motto: ‘U support US & WE serve U!’


WISH LIST for YEAR 2015!

During the MHShow in Louisville, KY last week, I asked many businessmen & women for their ‘WISH LIST for 2015’. Together, they want to…

• Clearly and accurately identify the total number of new HUD-Code homes shipped directly from factories into land-lease-lifestyle communities! Knowing this would encourage increased production of Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, confirming the seven year paradigm shift away from independent (street) MHRetailers, to the ‘New Breed of MHRetailers & Lenders’ (i.e. LLLCommunities with vacant rental homesites to fill). Yes!

• Encourage LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators selling new homes on-site, to start marketing product outside their property, to home buying prospects throughout the local housing market! Factory Expo Homes does this online, throughout the U.S. (Google it & see!), ‘Why not here?’ More sales!

• Encourage single LLLCommunity and small portfolio owner/operators to learn how to market, sell, even self-finance new and resale homes transactions on-site, to fill vacant rental homesites and sustain profitability! This alone would activate 85% of the 50,000+/- LLLCommunities not presently selling (shipping) new homes. Hard parts? Identifying and training the owners/mgrs.

• See HUD-Code home manufacturers, upon purchase of one or more new homes by LLLCommunity owners/operators (i.e. ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’), allow for allocation of some or all the ‘floor fee’ $ line item on the unit invoice, to national advocacy and or resource entity of their choice!

• See more Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, with WOW! factors & durability-enhancing features, on display at regional MHShows! In addition, home manufacturers to ensure Business Development Managers, or BDMs, are listed in ‘Official Directory of HUD-Code Home Manufacturers’ when updated and distributed during October of each year, via the Allen Letter professional journal, to COBA7® affiliates & ‘MHInsiders’ nationwide.

• Have a pre-purchase counseling and training program in place, tailored to the MHIndustry ‘experience’, and encourage routine usage by independent (street) MHRetailers, ‘company stores’, and the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’ (i.e. LLLCommunities selling new & resale homes on-site)! Needed!

• Finally codify the lease-option alternative, for enhanced application in states where this method is permitted, making it easier for LLLCommunity owners/operators, large and small, to effect transactions on-site! In progress!

• See professional property management given more than ‘lip service’ among portfolio owners/operators of LLLCommunities nationwide! Ensure hiring of a minimum of one Certified Property Manager® as executive or regional property manager; and either Manufactured Housing Managers® or Accredited Community Managers® employed as on-site property managers.

These eight WISH LIST items came up, time and again, during conversations at the MHShow. They are not listed in any particular priority order, though the first four were most frequently cited by LLLCommunity owners/operators selling and self-financing new and resale homes on-site. Interestingly, few complained about the ‘lack of easy access to chattel capital’, almost as if they’ve learned to ‘make do’, on their own, and have moved beyond that business restriction.

Let’s hope HUD-Code home manufacturers are reading these WISH LIST items too, and take the initiative to implement the first four ASAP.

For more on these matters, read Part I (in January) & Part II (in February) of the MHIndustry retrospective & future, respectively, in the Allen Letter professional journal!

Finally, the 12 page, 26th annual ALLEN REPORT is now available for general purchase. The price is $544.95 for the report alone, OR, same price, @ $544.95 for one year affiliation with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®. In this latter case, the COBA7® affiliation also means you receive the Allen Letter professional journal for 12 months, and an updated Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, each month. February = ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’, February = 17th annual National Registry of Lenders – both real estate-secured mortgage originators, and chattel capital sources and servicers. Plus ten more SSRDs thru year end. To affiliate, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Immediate Responses to Blog Posting # 332

January 18th, 2015

Copyright 2015 George Allen, CPM® & MHM® First North American Rights Only

This Has Not Happened, in this Volume, Before!

Within hours of today’s (1/18/15) blog posting at, multiple pithy responses, telling observations, & insightful questions poured back in response to ‘Look into Manufactured Housing’s Uncertain Future’ & ‘Evolution of the Manufactured Housing Business Model, Past, Present & Future!

These email responses came from HUD-Code home manufacturers, land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, state MHAssociation executives, and at least one freelance manufactured housing consultant. Obvious by their absence, was anything from national advocacy entities.

A sampling of what we’ve received so far, in no order of priority.

“Good commentary, you account for the ills of the industry! By mentioning tiny houses and energy efficiency momentum in the (same) sentence, it makes readers think how old HUD-Code (home) factories have not kept in touch with other forms of housing.”

“What do repurposed shipping containers and Tiny Houses have in common? Neither comes close to complying with building codes, and building inspectors are turning a blind eye to them. Why? Because both (forms of housing) are sexy and inspectors don’t want to be seen as anti-green.”

‘Excellent post today George! Unusually well written. Is there a soon-to-be-announced editor in the works for COBA7®?” (Answer: Yes; stay tuned to this weekly news source)

“I say ‘bring on the new (DOE energy efficiency) rules’. Let’s be the most energy efficient housing (type). BUT, only if we are willing to tell that story in a Big Way, and we tie it to the 40th anniversary of the HUD-Code.” – (coming in 2016)

‘When will we hear more about the Pre-Purchase Counseling (‘PPG’), and lease-option?” (Answer: As soon as I hear and see more material on the two timely, strategic topics!)

‘I hope to see something other than a 1970s ranch home in Louisville (this week). Our designs are boring. Affordable doesn’t have to be boring. If (manufacturing) plants say ‘Yes they do’, then lack of sales (i.e. home shipments) is their fault.”

“Good comments about the changing (or changed?) MH business model and ‘green’ interest in manufactured housing. The Community Series Home (trend) during the past 5+ years (i.e. since National State of the Asset Class caucus on 2/27/2009 in Elkhart, IN.) has had significant affects on the MHIndustry. We’ve always had two to three distinct (HUD-Code) housing segmentations, e.g. lower priced & functional, versus ‘big box – big bucks’. Now we clearly differentiate between the two. While profit margins in the former are lower, I think it represents the sustenance of the MHIndustry today, because the latter segment is much smaller – competing head to head with site-built housing, and financing is tough (i.e. those who qualify for a $75K MH can also qualify for a lower interest $100 K site-built home.” We now know CSH Model homes, with one or more WOW! factors and a plethora of durability-enhancing features (to ease make-ready, between homebuyers and renters), are the favored housing type for in-LLLCommunity installation on rental homesites.

“Comments from a leading MH manufacturer, recently, that ‘MHIndustry can survive with 80,000 homes shipped per year, (given) increasing stability of LLLCommunity owners/operators, (a.k.a. ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’), suggest to me, we may actually have a future! A national advertising program supported by an organization representing interests of those actually selling new manufactured homes – (Again, the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’), with more focus on ‘green’ and a return of ‘some form of chattel financing’ – that works when homebuyer and owner/operator have ‘skin in the game’, are what the MHIndustry needs most and now!”