New Year Resolutions for 2017 & Much More!

December 1st, 2016

Blog # 423 Copyright 2016 COBA7® 4 December 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (8777) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

INTRODUCTION. Hang on! This is going to be a three part ride through 1) planning for the year 2017; 2) bracing for the coming ‘continued regulation’ vs. ‘deregulation’ of manufactured housing; and, 3) triple opportunity for specialized personal and professional education in Louisville, KY., on 17 January 2017. Ready? Well, here goes…

I.

What Are Your New Year Resolutions?

Year 2017 is but a few weeks away, making this the ideal time to reflect upon, and articulate, New Year Resolutions to guide one’s thinking and actions during the next 12 months. And year 2017 is poignant (‘biting, painfully acute’), as we move deeper into the ‘17 year paradigm shift’ we’ve endured since year 2000. The difference this year? Since we know we’re well within a NEW ERA for this industry and its real estate asset class, land-lease communities (a.k.a. ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’), why not reflect the changes, to respective business models to date, in the New Year Resolutions identified and codified? For starters, here’s the way I see them:

• Support the new President of the United States of America!

• HUD-Code housing manufacturers to redouble efforts to market and sell new homes into land-lease communities, large & small, coast-to-coast! Part of this will require manufacturers to teach LLCommunity owners/operators how to specify, order, install, market, sell, affordably price, and seller-finance homes they buy from factories.

• Land-lease community owners/operators to NOT heed the siren call to ‘double one’s rental homesite rates’ during 2017; but rather, offer fair and affordable housing propositions, i.e. Where possible, keeping combined monthly PITI mortgage & site rent payment ‘together’, at or below the National Average Affordable Housing Market Rent of $849/unit – including household expenses where possible. Of course, this will not work in some high-priced local housing markets.

• Emphasize importance of – and provide opportunities to receive, professional property management training & certification, for all on-site land-lease community managers overseeing 75 or more rental homesites. Everyone to be a Certified Property Manager, Accredited Community Manager, or Manufactured Housing Manager.

• Support one or more national advocacy entities who best represent one’s business interests as housing manufacturers or land-lease community owners/operators, within and outside Washington, DC.

• And what other one(s) might be added to this august 2017 list? (317) 346-7156.

II.

Manufactured Housing Faces Another Fork in the Road?!

Last Week You Learned of the Imminent Danger of Manufactured
Housing Going from being Affordable to Non-affordable
&
Now, This Weeks Message, Has to Do with Manufactured Housing, Maybe Going from being Regulated to Non-regulated!

Here goes…Chalk the following paragraph up to being rumor, truth, or mix thereof…

A few Fall seasons ago, HUD realized, as regulator of manufactured housing, it was not receiving enough income from label fees to cover expenses, so they (reportedly) sought relief from manufactured housing regulatory duties altogether. The Government Accounting Office (‘GAO’) interviewed HUD-Code home manufacturers to gauge their reaction(s) to the query, ‘What if HUD went away?’ At that point, ‘the MHIndustry’ stepped in surreptitiously (Did you ever read about that? I didn’t.). Next thing we knew, there was a major increase in HUD inspection fees at all factories. And at that point, the ‘threat’ – or was it an ‘opportunity’, for deregulation, went away. And enhanced federal regulatory oversight began…recall how (2007) new home installation & dispute resolution legislation, moved quickly from back to front burner, during years 2015 & 2016.

Fast forward to today. The parties to the decades old MH regulatory brouhaha are:

U. S. Department of Housing & Urban Development or HUD. Relative to manufactured housing, the federal regulatory agency. An agency, until the recent presidential election, appeared hell bent on extending their oversight and enforcement reach into every corner of manufactured housing fabrication and land-lease community installation, including dispute resolution and its’ minimal number of disputes to resolve..

Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI. Self-professed national advocate for all segments of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, including land-lease communities nationwide. Enjoys a reputation for being conciliatory, where regulatory matters are concerned. In large part responsible, since the mid-1970s, for turning the ‘lemon’ of HUD-Code housing regs into ‘lemonade’, as the turn of phrase goes, using the federal preemption nature of HUD’s national building code to its advantage. Though some now question whether the industry’s recent avoidance of deregulation might be akin to suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, i.e. empathizing with HUD regulators (‘Its’ captor’), versus seeking ‘freedom from regulation’ altogether.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform or MHARR. Since 1985, the manufactured housing industry’s champion (a.k.a. The Washington watchdog!’) for less federal regulation of the factory-built housing product. Seemingly, a would-be champion of deregulation – unless they too fear the unknown consequences of free market enterprise, where the future of manufactured housing is concerned.

And therein lies the rub…

Will, under a new president with a penchant for less federal regulation of business and otherwise, the manufactured housing industry be faced with wholesale deregulation, similar to what was described – but did not come about, in the opening paragraph of this recitation? The quickest path to deregulation would appear to be: Press for bureaucratic change within HUD’s present day manufactured housing program.

Or, will the manufactured housing industry be better served, by not ‘rocking HUD’s bureaucratic boat’, in a quest for installing less regulatory-minded bureaucrats within HUD’s manufactured housing program? Now there’s a sensitive question begging a wise answer.

Hmm. Sounding like a ‘Damned if you do & damned if you don’t’ scenario with each sequential paragraph…

What do you think? I, for one, would truly like to know. I’m conflicted. And frankly, nothing would please blog readers more, than to have elected leaders within MHI & MHARR, comment as to which course of action is best for the present and future of the manufactured housing industry:

• Unchanged HUD-Code regulation of home fabrication and new home installation

• Scaled back regulation of home fabrication and new home installation

• Complete deregulation of home fabrication and new home installation

What say YOU? Well, we distributed a DRAFT copy of this blog posting to several ‘deep thinkers’ in the MHBusiness. Here’s one of the answers we received:

“Having received some advantages of HUD regulation, over local building codes, my money is continuing under HUD regulation, but with more representation/involvement by all segments of the MH industry – certainly not relying completely on either of the two current national lobbyists.”

Interesting how this comment echoes MHARR’s recent call for better national representation of all post-production segments of the MHIndustry, certainly better than what is evident today. So, one more reason to expect, during the weeks ahead a major announcement from the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing.

If you’re not yet affiliated with COBA7, but would like to be, use the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

Pre-Louisville MHShow, Day of Education!

January 17, 2017

Three Seminar Sessions Designed Especially for You!

All day, 17 January 2017, at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY., the Manufactured Housing Manager, or MHM, professional property management training & certification program. Taught by Katie Hauck, MHM, & Kathy Taylor, MHM. Cost? Only $250.00 MHM candidate. No testing. Starts at 9AM and ends at 4PM. Tuition pays for copy of Landlease Community Management text, monograph of contemporary writings, as well as MHM certificate & MHM lapel pin. Register via genevieve@roane.com or phone (317) 346-7156.

Morning of 17 January 2017, at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Phillips Lane in Louisville, KY., George Allen, CPM & MHM will lead a three hour seminar (9AM-Noon) designed for HUD-Code home manufacturers who want to learn How to Identify Land-lease Communities in all four major segmentations of the realty asset class. Open discussion relative How to Best Market & Sell New HUD-Code Homes to this Emerging Market.
To register, phone (317) 346-7156. Cost? Only $95.00 per registrant

Afternoon of 17 January 2017, at the Crown Plaza Hotel on Phillips Lane in Louisville, KY., Spencer Roane, MHM, will lead a three plus hour seminar (1PM – 4PM) introducing attendees to the basics and fine points of Lease-option Methodology, relative to seller-financing new and resale manufactured homes within land-lease communities. To register, contact Genevieve@roane.com or phone (317) 346-7156. Cost? Only $95.00 per registrant.

Then, stay over, and attend the Louisville MHShow, 18-20 January 2017.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Box # 470-24, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

The Manufactured Housing Industry Tipping Point!

November 23rd, 2016

Blog # 422 Copyright 2016 COBA7® 27 November 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION.

This WHITE PAPER cum expose’ has been in the making for two decades. Its genesis going back to the mid-1990s (Read End Note # 9 for details). It’s only been, however, during the past 12 months, the manufactured housing ‘tipping point’ between manufactured housing being ‘affordable’ & ‘no longer affordable’, has become obvious to those who’re watching. And frankly, a real threat to not only the industry’s gradually recovering new home shipment volume, but the future of the manufactured housing industry and its’ land-lease communities going forward. So, as you read now…

Be Aware & Beware (that),

‘The Manufactured Housing Industry
Tipping Point,’

occurs when

‘reasonable rental homesite rates
& affordable housing values’

are supplanted by

‘higher rental homesite rates
& smaller PITI*1 payments’,

oft times resulting in

1) Diminished Buying Power for Purchase of New HUD Code Housing

2) Reduction in Existing Housing Value &

3) Fewer New Homes Shipped Nationwide

***

Stop here and ask yourself: ‘Is diminished buying power for new homes, reduction in existing housing value, and fewer new HUD-Code homes shipped nationwide, what we need or want for today’s recovering manufactured housing industry, its’ land-lease communities with vacant rental homesites to fill, and fewer prospective homebuyer/site lessees nationwide?’ Hopefully, your answer, like mine, is a resounding ‘NO’!

So, why is this even a question in today’s economic, business, and consumer climate?

To well answer that timely, telling, and challenging question, begin with a look at the larger U.S. housing picture, ‘compared with’ what we’re told in a column featured in the last surviving, advertising-supported, manufactured housing trade periodical.

First, this ‘big housing picture’, quoted from Multihousing Professional magazine, page # 38, for September/October 2016:

“More than one in every three people in the U.S. struggles with the high cost of housing – the highest level ever recorded, according to the State of the Nation’s Housing, from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University report for 2016. The number of people living in households that pay more than 50 percent of their income for housing has grown to 114 million, according to the study.”

Lessons to be learned? Keep manufactured home monthly ‘PITI mortgage payment & site rent’ below the debilitating 50% threshold! Examples to follow will do so, using the 30% Housing Expense Factor or HEF. But remember this, ‘household expenses’ (e.g. water, sewer, heating, electricity), while they should be included within said 30% & 50% housing expense thresholds, are not generally factored into calculating PITI mortgage payments throughout the manufactured housing industry, and within land-lease communities! Consequence? By the time all household bills (mortgage, rent, & household expenses) are paid each month, households pay well beyond the 30% HEF, oft approaching that debilitating 50% threshold!

Back to our ‘housing picture’, with this manufactured housing and land-lease community related view, quoted from The Journal, page # 14, for October 2016:

“We believe the approximate national average for lot (site) rents in the U.S. is around $275 per month. That’s a ridiculously low number in a U.S. housing market that offers a median single-family option at $170,100 and an average three-bedroom apartment rent of $1,290 per month. We believe lot (site) rents could double and still remain highly affordable.” P.14. Quoted from Frank Rolfe’s COMMUNITY CONSULTANT column. (Emphasis added. GFA) Source of data provided in this paragraph? None provided by the columnist.

Well, let’s see how this view pencils out, using the following data reference points:

National Average Affordable Housing Market Rent = $849/unit*3

National ‘Area Median Income’ or AMI*2 = $52,000+/-*4

Land-lease Community site rent now = $275/month*5

Land-lease Community site rent doubled = $550/month*6

Standard ‘Housing Expense Factor’ or HEF = 30 percent*7

Chattel Capital Mortgage Terms = 9.5% @ 20 years

As we work through the following examples, keep in mind National Average Affordable Housing Market Rent is pegged at $849/unit – whether it be for a conventional garden style apartment unit, or manufactured home on a rental homesite in a land-lease community. In examples to follow, combined ‘home payment (i.e. PITI) and site rent below $849/unit, while certainly ‘affordable’, represents less ‘buying power’ or ‘less home & value’; than when combined PITI & site rent payment are above $859/unit, representing more buying power…

In the first instance, Using $52,000 AMI, a 30% HEF, and ‘low’ site rent of $275/month (See end note # 5), that leaves $1,025 to buy a new manufactured home (Compared to the present day $849/unit average), for around $122,181/month (figuring back in, a 10% down payment). However, ‘doubling’ the site rent to $550/month (See end note # 6), leaves only $750/month to buy a new manufactured home for around $89,400 (figuring back in, a 10% down payment). Clearly, a smaller ‘affordable housing market payment’ capability’ (i.e. PITI & rent), a.k.a. less ‘buying power’; ‘less home’; and, over time possibly, fewer new manufactured housing shipments nationwide.

As a related aside; to be competitive, savvy land-lease community owners/operators keep monthly ‘combined PITI & site rent’ payments 15-20% below (a.k.a. Schwep Rule of Thumb) or $50.00 below (a.k.a. Schrader/Smith Rule of Thumb) similarly-sized conventional apartment unit monthly rent rates, in the same local housing market.*8

In the next instance, using a more reasonable $36,000 AMI (Characteristic of the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’ traditional manufactured housing dual market), a 30% HEF, and again, ‘low’ site rent of $275/month, leaves $625/month to buy a new manufactured home (Again, compared to present day $849/unit average), for around $74,500 (figuring back in, a 10% down payment). However, ‘doubling’ the site rent to $550/month, leaves only $350/month to buy a new manufactured home for around $41,720. Here it is even clearer, how low to middle income individuals and households, with an AMI anywhere near $36,000, when faced with escalating rental homesite rents (i.e. ‘doubling’), as proposed in the reference cited in end notes # 5, will be faced with attempting to purchase a new manufactured home, using a monthly combined ‘PITI & rent’ payment well less than the present day National Average Affordable Housing Market Rent rate of $849.00/unit. In fact, it likely takes the prospective homebuyer/site lessee completely out of the new home market, able only to purchase – or rent, maybe, a resale unit in a land-lease community. Hence the result of ‘doubling’ site rent rates.*9

Point to all this? It’s this industry observer’s earnest and considered opinion:

The manufactured housing industry in general, & the land-lease community realty asset class in particular, are already at the ‘tipping point’ between continuance of a 70 year reputation as this nation’s primary source of non-subsidized, affordable housing and lifestyle; but once again (Recalling ‘the turn of the century & departure of easy access to chattel capital) endangering the industry’s gradual return to new home shipment prosperity!

For example:

1998 = 372,843 New HUD-Code homes shipped nationwide!

2000 = 250,550 Shipment slide & 16 year paradigm shift began…

2009 = 49,789 Community Series Homes debuted, & 25% of new home shipments went directly into (then) manufactured home communities nationwide by year end.

2015 = 70,544 Now 40+% of new HUD-Code home shipments go directly into (now) land-lease communities nationwide!

(2020) = Estimated 100,000 new HUD-Code homes to be shipped, with 75% going into LLCommunities! However, if the siren’s call for continued escalation (i.e. ‘doubling of’) rental homesite rates becomes regimen nationwide, expect new home shipment recovery to, once again, slow precipitously.

Is this what we want? Is anyone out there listening? What are you going to do about it?

***
End Notes

1. PITI = Principal, interest, taxes, insurance – but not including household utility payments.

2. AMI = Area Median Income, often pigeonholed by postal zip code, can be same $ amount as AGI or Annual Gross Income for a prospective homebuyer or household

3. U.S. Census Bureau

4. REIS, Inc., 2nd quarter, 2016

5. The Journal, October 2016

6. Ibid, end note # 5 doubled in size

7. George Allen, Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN., 2012, page # 39

8. Ibid, pages # 11 & 12.

9. There’s yet another ‘take’ on the matter of escalating rental homesite rents. Simply put: Until the REIT wave of 1994-95, (then) MHCommunity owners/operators oft used a 3:1 Ratio to estimate appropriate rental homesite rates in various local housing markets, e.g. Conventional 3BR2B apartment rent = $900/month; then 1/3 of that = $300/month, as starting point for one’s homesite rent. Well, as fledgling REITs struggled to satisfy Wall Street analysts lust for increasing dividends month after month after month (by trimming operating expenses, etc.), they eventually started raising rental homesite rates in a near flagrant fashion. To the point that, today, some – but – not – all large property portfolio firms appear to default to a 2:1 ratio, e.g. Apartments rate @ $900/month? Then land-lease community site rent @ $450/month. And all this would be understandable, and likely acceptable, except for one recent development. Specialty ‘market rent surveys’ describe SMSA (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area) local housing market rents characteristic generally of ‘institutional investment grade’ land-lease communities (i.e. 200+ rental homesites), not including all the such properties located in and around the subject city. Result? Higher published ‘market rental homesite rates’ than would be the case if/when all LLCommunities were polled and reported. Negative consequence? Artificially high site rental rates published for various SMSA cities, provide ‘cover’ for all property owners to likewise raise their rents to match large property portfolio owners/operators. Remedy? Clearly label rental market surveys as being focused on ‘institutional investment grade LLCommunities’ only.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
COBA7
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

(317)346-7156

2017 = Year of COBA7, & Tipping Point WHITE PAPER, a must read!

November 18th, 2016

Blog # 421 Copyright 2016 COBA7 @ 20 November 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: Year 2017 is when the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, grows into the expanded role of national advocate devoted to the research, communication, networking & deal-making, training/certification, and historian needs of land-lease community owners/operators nationwide and in Canada!

The year begins with publication of a WHITE PAPER exposing the ‘tipping point’ manufactured housing & land-lease communities approach, at their peril, between supplying ‘affordable & non-affordable’ housing to prospective homebuyers and present day homeowner/site lessees. No one else is willing to ‘break this story’ to you, so read!

In January, the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land-lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ will be distributed to Option II & III affiliates of COBA7® via the January issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not yet an affiliate? Phone (317) 346-7156. This is the gold standard among statistical reports purporting to describe LLCommunities nationwide.

On 17 January 2017, COBA7® hosts the one day MHM® class, as well as two seminars tailored for HUD-Code home manufacturers, and LLCommunity owners desiring to learn more about lease-option methodology. Read Part I following here…

During Spring 2017, plan to participate in the 2nd annual Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Designed for LLCommunity owners/operators desiring to sell and seller-finance new HUD-Code homes on-site in their properties. More to follow during the months ahead.

And there’s more, much more, but we’ll stop the INTRODUCTION here, for now…

I.

PRESS RELEASE * PRESS RELEASE * PRESS RELEASE

Dated 20 November 2016

COBA7® Launches Four Major Initiatives to Warn & Help MHBusiness in Year 2017!

FIRST

‘Be aware & Beware’! The Manufactured Housing Industry (is approaching its’) Tipping Point in local housing markets; where and when ‘reasonable rental homesite rates & affordable housing values’ are being supplanted by ‘higher rental homesite rates & smaller PITI mortgage payments’, resulting in:

Diminished Buying Power for Purchase of New HUD-Code Housing

Reduction in Existing Housing Value, &

Fewer New HUD-Code Homes Shipped Nationwide!

Yes, that’s the dire message this December expose’, a White Paper, will be communicating to the manufactured housing industry and land-lease community real estate asset class nationwide, by way of its’ national advocacy entities, trade press, and otherwise. A Press Release will also be sent to the administrator of HUD’s manufactured housing program.

For a FREE reprint copy of this White Paper, after 1 December, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it!

SECOND = latter three parts of the COBA7®s four part MHInitiative for year 2017.

The threefold Press Release message will see its’ first exposure as part of the pre-Louisville MHShow on 17 January 2017, at the Crown Plaza Hotel near the Kentucky Fairgrounds in Louisville. Here’s what’s planned to date:

Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM®, one day professional property management training and certification class, beginning at 8AM & ending at 4PM. No tests. Taught by Katie Hauck, MHM® & Kathy Taylor, MHM®. More than 1,000 MHM®s now own/operate LLCommunities throughout the U.S. & Canada. Only $250/MHM® candidate.

Morning of 17 January. Special three hour seminar program for HUD-Code home manufacturers to include: ‘How to ID land-lease communities among all four major property segmentations’, ‘How to Sell New Homes to LLCommunity Owners/operators’, & open discussion of the ‘tipping point’ warning contained in the Press Release. Only $94.95/registrant. Led by George Allen, CPM®, MHM®

Afternoon of 17 January. Special three hour seminar program for land-lease community owners/operators desiring to learn lease-option methodology as a means of seller-financing new HUD-Code home transactions on-site in their properties. Only $94.95/registrant. Taught by Spencer Roane, MHM®

For information, and to register, for one or more of these three events on 17 January, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Finally, it is hoped the Press Release threefold message will be picked up and scheduled, by meeting planners selecting programs for the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas, 26th International Networking Roundtable, and 7th annual SECO Summit in the South – the manufactured housing industry and LLCommunity asset class four major national/regional trade shows.

This MHInitiative is planned for the 17th of January, to stimulate more participation in the Louisville MHShow that begins, in the same location, on the 18th of January 2017.

***

George Allen, CPM®, MHM®
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 36247
(317)346-7156

SECO, Challenge Coins, 1/17/2017, Deja vu, & New Stats!

November 5th, 2016

Blog # 420 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 6 November 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION

NOTICE to Reader: Read Parts IV & V first, then I, II, & III, for Good Reasons!

Part I. ‘For land-lease community owners by land-lease community owners!’ is the most apt description of the annual SECO Summit in the South manufactured housing trade show. It’s over for this year, but it sure does leave a legacy of success for next year!

Part II. Challenge Coins. Taking a chapter out of the playbook of professional athletes, elite military units, charismatic business firms, and fraternity/sorority groups, design, order & distribute Challenge Coins to your peers, just like COBA7® affiliates.

Part III. Next Big Events for the MHIndustry. 17 January, day before Louisville MHShow begins, participate in the day long MHM® certification class, two hour AM seminar for HUD-Code home manufacturers, or two hour PM seminar regarding lease-option methodology. Then ‘stay over’& attend the Louisville MHShow all day 18, 19, 20

Part IV. Now is the Time to Come Together in Unity! If not, you’ll have only yourself to blame, a year or two from now, when manufactured housing industry shipments return to or below the 2009 level of 49,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped, and LLCommunities will be begging for resale homes to install on vacant rental homesites. The matter soon to be faced the manufactured housing industry & LLCommunities is simply that serious!

Part V. Breaking MH Statistical News! Shipment figures @ September 2017 = Surprise!

I.

More on ‘SECO Summit in the South’; the new Tunica MHShow?

One of four HUD-Code housing manufacturers exhibiting Community Series Homes at the Atlanta, GA., event, 25 – 27 October, sold 100 ‘floors’ at the venue, and has leads yet to pursue! So, if you’re reading this blog, and were not at this stellar event, but want to be on the ‘invite list’ for 2017, reach out to Genevieve Katelle via (770) 871-6889, or Genevieve@secoconference.com

And the attendee who opined, ‘SECO Summit in the South is the new Tunica MHShow’, explained: “…everyone is bored with the same old Louisville, Tunica & Vegas shows, where SECO is friendly and unique!” Nuff said.

II.

COBA7® Challenge Coin to be Distributed January 2017!

Have you seen the final design? Well, it’s an attachment to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this week’s blog posting. Take a look! It’s daring and colorful!

Why a Challenge Coin? Well, as ‘splained’ in an earlier blog posting at this website, Challenge Coins have been around since WWI, primarily as a pocket or purse means of identifying oneself with a particular (military) unit, or (business) firm, even (fraternity or social) group. Are you proud to identify yourself with the manufactured housing industry and or land-lease community income-producing property type? I am. Hence the Challenge Coin, as a new means of sharing that enthusiasm! We certainly need it!

There’s even an informal protocol at social and business events, involving one person challenging another to produce their unique Challenge Coin. If challenged individual doesn’t, but should have, a Challenge Coin in their possession, they become the host, paying for a round of drinks and or meal. But if they do produce their Challenge Coin, the challenger becomes the host! Not suggesting we go that distance, in the MHIndustry & LLCommunity ‘family’, but WE sure could use this sort of personal and corporate motivation and camaraderie, to show enthusiasm for what we all do for a living – providing attractive, quality, energy efficient, affordable housing for our nation’s citizenry!

So, will you or your firm now consider designing a Challenge Coin that improves the ‘attitude altitude’ in and around your workplace? At least consider the possibility. And when you do, remember, one source of Challenge Coins is Spotlight-Strategies via (317)738-3434. Ask for James or Kathleen.

COBA7® affiliates will receive their Challenge Coins during 2017, when they renew their affiliation with alliance. Some will receive it as a lagniappe in their January 2017 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. That’s also the issue containing the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ You don’t want to miss receiving any of these gems in January, so make sure your Option I, II, or III affiliation is current!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you own and or fee manage five or more LLCommunities, and or 500+ rental homesites, and haven’t completed an ALLEN REPORT questionnaire, facilitating your firm’s inclusion in this year’s (2017) MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class’ statistical reference compendium, phone (317) 346-7156 to provide portfolio details via telephone! This document is how ‘everyone’ ascertains whether a property portfolio owner/operators is a bona fide ‘player’ in the MHIndustry & LLCommunity realty asset class! Don’t be left out, phone today!

III.

Next Big Events for the MHIndustry & LLCommunities?

17 January 2017.

First told you about this special day, two blog postings past. And as we get closer to the date, plans are being firmed-up. Which one or two, of the three pithy HOW TO choices will you attend?

• Manufactured Housing Manager® professional PM training & certification one day class, 8AM-4PM. Only $250.00/MHM candidate. Taught by Katie Hauck, MHM® & Kathy Taylor, MHM®. So, join more than 1,000 MHM®s already owning and managing land-lease communities nationwide and throughout Canada! For a descriptive brochure and or to sign-up, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 now! Why the rush? Classes almost always max out, so don’t be left out! Location to be announced.

• For HUD-Code home manufacturers: ‘HOW TO Identify Land-lease Communities in all three categories (by portfolio & standalone size), and Sell New HUD-Code Homes to Them for Selling & Seller-financing On-site! This 10AM-Noon session, on the 17th, will be for the first two dozen manufacturers to register; already have ten registered! Here too, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE cited in the previous paragraph, for information and to register. Cost? Only $95.00/registrant, to cover meeting room expense and cost of handout material. Location to be announced – but near entrance to KY fairgrounds.

• Lease-option Methodology. This type seller-financing of new HUD-Code home sales transactions on-site is literally ‘sweeping the nation’. Learn from Mr. L-O himself, Spencer Roane, MHM®, owner of Pentagon Properties, with land-lease communities in GA & TX. Mr. Roane has hundreds of lease-option transactions in effect at his properties, and will share this specialized knowledge with two dozen LLCommunity owners/operators, from 1-3PM or longer, the afternoon of 17 January. Location to be announced – but near entrance to KY fairgrounds.

18-20 January 2017

Again, arrive a day early and stay overnight, to attend the Louisville MHShow at the KY state fairgrounds. Come to inspect and buy new Community Series Homes on display indoors, shop the dozens of vendors exhibiting there, and sit in whatever seminars address your specific and general education needs.

For more information about seminars and panels planned for 18-20 January, go to www..thelouisvilleshow.

IV.

Now is the Time To Come Together in Unity!

Last week, an op/ed piece titled, ‘Deja-vu 1974-76 (as in, ‘We’ve seen it all before!’), but now, in 2017?’, painted a dismal word picture of what appears to be occurring relative to federal regulatory enforcement of ‘below the frost line in freezing climates’ installations of new HUD-Code homes within land-lease communities – likely nationwide!

What follows here first, is a description of yet another ‘Three Strikes & You’re Out!’ scenario that could lead – in the short term, to less affordable housing available from the manufactured housing industry; and in the longer term, the demise of said industry and its’ real estate investment component, land-lease communities! But, another ‘Three Strikes & You’re Out’ scenario? YES – and it’s described in the November 2017 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, re: rising MH prices & escalating site rent!

(To affiliate with COBA7® & receive November issue, phone (317) 346-7156) today!)

What follows here, is a timely and passionate recommendation as how to combat impending regulatory overreach into the manufactured housing industry and among land-lease communities nationwide.

This version of the ‘Three Strikes & You’re Out!’ scenario involves…

1. Recent overt attempt to discredit frost free foundation designs approved by HUD soon after installation & Dispute Resolution legislation was passed in year 2007. Read the 38 page ‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’ prepared by SEBA Professional Services at the behest of HUD. When you do, note the absence of ‘date’ and ‘specific authorship attribution’, suggesting there’s more here than meets the eye! Like; is this the prejudiced opinion of one engineer, supplanting the expertise of many other engineers? Sure reads that way!

2. HUD’s manufactured housing program, in this industry observer & reporter’s opinion, appears to be laying groundwork to oversee new manufactured housing installations in land-lease communities nationwide, whether states are compliant or not, with aforementioned federal installation regulations. As pointed out in last week’s blog posting here, if this occurs, it’ll be déjà vu 1974-76 all over again!

3. Probable consequences of ‘strikes one & two’ preceding? First consequence. Many if not most small to mid-sized land-lease communities cannot afford $5,000+/- per rental homesite, HUD-mandated retrofits of perfectly good, existing concrete foundations (i.e. piers & ribbons) in these properties – simply because they don’t extend below the frost line; with new ones that do! Result? Stop selling HUD-Code’s new ‘affordable homes’ into land-lease communities! Second consequence. Property owners reduce the volume of new Community Series Homes bought and sited in their properties (This was 40+/- percent of all shipments during 2015, or 28,200 new homes!), the shipment volume of new HUD-Code homes once again plummets, something this industry can ill afford during this present day ‘recovering period’, i.e. Year 2015 = 70,544 new homes shipped; Year 2016 YTD = more than 50,000 through August 2016, likely 80,000+ by year end! Why does HUD want to do this to the MHIndustry & LLCommunity real estate asset class? A question that deserves an honest answer!

(And YOU should KNOW THIS, before we go any further. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR, has already gone on the offensive where this critical matter is concerned! The Manufactured Housing Institute? As a direct, dues-paying member of MHI, I’ve heard nary a word this week – on this critical matter, even as the institute’s National Communities Council convened their annual Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago.)

NOW, for a timely and passionate call for the MHIndustry & LLCommunity asset class to ‘come together’ in a manner best described by the Five Ws of problem-solving:

WHY? Together plan how to effectively oppose impending regulatory overreach into the manufactured housing industry and land-lease community asset class by HUD!

WHO to organize and ‘sound the call’ for industry unity & action? For starters, the two national advocates for manufactured housing: MHARR & MHI! This call for industry unity & action now, in this industry observer’s opinion (Buttressed by realities of being an MHI member; co-founder of its’ NCC division; and, 35 year owner/operator of land-lease communities throughout the Midwest), needs to come from MHARR & MHI ‘together’ & now!. WHEN? This week, 7-11 November 2016 is not too soon! But will it happen? Let’s watch and see!

And know, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® (‘COBA7®’), representing land-lease community owners/operators, and other post-production businesses nationwide, stands ready to support this national call for industry unity & action NOW, as well!

WHAT to do? Immediately form a national, across-the-board representative working group, comprised of businessmen and women from all segments of the industry, whether members and affiliates of MHARR, MHI, or COBA7®, or not, but willing to pay their own way to participate! Particularly include HUD-Code home manufacturers and land-lease community owners, large and small!. WHERE? Meet, perhaps in the Midwest; either Chicago, Indianapolis, or Louisville areas, for a day (or two) long ‘brainstorming session’, deciding how to best confront and ameliorate (‘make more tolerable’) this very present threat to the health, even future of HUD-Code manufactured housing.

Now, if you’re reading this blog posting, and have ‘skin in the game’, so to speak, of manufactured housing and or land-lease community ownership, and agree Unity & Action is called for NOW, reach out to all three national entities to make your view(s) known, especially your willingness to be counted among those wanting to Save Our Industry!

• MHARR. Mark Weiss @ (202) 783-4087 (represents manufacturers)

• MHI. Richard Jennison @ (703) 558-0400 (represents entire MHIndustry)

• COBA7®. George Allen @ (317) 346-7156 (represents LLCommunities)

As is oft said; If you don’t take steps to ‘stand & be counted’ among your peers NOW, in this worthy manner, ‘You’re not part of the solution, just one more part of the problem!’

And frankly, your peers have already started taking action, quoting this response to last week’s blog posting when this heady topic first emerged:

“George, I am in agreement with you 100% the (MH) industry must work together to (bring) HUD back to the reality that individual states can have their own installation programs, approved by HUD and state statute. There is nothing to fix (in our state), and yet I feel our engineered designs, with NO problems, are being threatened!”

V.

Official MH Shipments for September 2017

7,322 new HUD Code homes shipped during September 2017, that’s DOWN from 7,363 during August 2017! No one else is telling you that; everyone else compares September 2017 with September 2016.

Cumulative MH shipment total YTD, through September 2017 = 59,889 new homes!

‘Production value’ of new MHs shipped YTD, using Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s guideline?
$2,582,773,000.00 (59,889 X year 2013 base value of $43,126/unit)

Top Ten MH Shipment states: TX (no change), LA (moves up), FL (moves down), MI (no change), CA (moves up from #7), MS (moves down), NC (moves up), SC (moves up), AL moves down from # 6), and ‘new’ # 10 = GA! Details, including actual shipment numbers by state, will be published in upcoming issues of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! and Allen Letter professional journal business newsletters.

Again, to affiliate with COBA7® & receive either or both these news-laden trade publications, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633.4764.

WARNING. Be careful whose MHIndustry statistics you read and believe! All the above data is based on that provided, for a fee, by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety, or IBTS, and then distributed, unadulterated, by HUD, MHARR, and COBA7®.

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

Tne BEST & WORST of Times for the Manufactured Housing Industry!

October 29th, 2016

Blog # 419 Copyright 2016 COBA7 @ 30 October 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION: This past week, 24 – 28 October has seen the BEST and WORST sides of the manufactured housing industry and its’ real estate component, the land-lease community asset class! How so?

Part I describes the absolutely incredible, incomparable meeting venue planned and hosted by HUD-Code home manufacturers and LLLCommunity owners/operators in the greater Southeast this past week – in Atlanta, GA.

Part II describes the absolutely incredible, incomparable – what some folk are already calling a ‘power grab’, by the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (‘HUD’) manufactured housing program, relative to ‘changing existing rules’ regarding ‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’. Read what follows here, and decide if we’re looking at a déjà-vu experience (circa 1974-76), now again in year 2017 & beyond – and let me know your thoughts!

I.

‘SECO Summit in the South’
Now a Major MHIndustry Show!

Some Pundits Calling it the ‘New Tunica MHShow’!

WOW! More than 255 registrants convened in Atlanta from the 25th to 27th of October! And 60 percent of attendees were land-lease community owners/operators from more than two dozen states, some from as far away as California!

SECO (That’s short for Southeast Community Owners) hosts describe their Summit in the South as being “for community owners by community owners’! And it sure is that, from beginning to end. How so?

• Large group tour of local Legacy Homes plant, complete with luncheon

• A special home sales training seminar by freelance consultant Ken Corbin

• Five Community Series Homes, or CSH Models on display throughout the event. Two supplied by Fleetwood Homes, one each by Legacy Housing, River Birch Homes, & Schult Homes. One of these manufacturers walked away from the SECO venue selling 100 floors, and had more leads to call when back in the office!

• Plethora of moderated panel presentations & discussions on pithy topics!

• Stand alone presentations on specific timely topics, e.g. Carl Becker, esquire; holding forth on lease-option methodology as a preferred form of on-site seller-finance of new home sales transactions; along with state MHAssociation execs. Jay Hamilton (GA) & James Ayotte (FL) extolling the benefits of membership and mutual support. Maybe more state execs next year!

• Three dozen vendors displaying unique products and useful services

• And much much more!

An innovation other MHIndustry meeting planners might consider emulating, is SECO’s novel electronic audience ‘pro & con’ scored feedback, via Smartphone, as each session concluded.

The SECO16 planning committee numbered no fewer than 15 businessmen and women with deep personal and corporate roots in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease community asset class. The group is led by Spencer Roane, MHM® of Pentagon Properties; and actual event, managed and coordinated by Genevieve Katelle. For more information, simply contact Genevieve@secoconference.com

Furthermore, the SECO 17 planning committee has already started planning next year’s venue, likely moving to a larger local area hotel, and counting on attendance of 400+/- manufactured housing industry professionals!

II.

‘Deja-vu’(as, ‘We’ve seen it all before’),
but now, in 2017???

HUD’s recent moves to regulate all ‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’ nationwide, is viewed*1 as being akin (‘similar in nature’) to what was experienced during years 1974-76, when the HUD-Code was foisted on the (then) booming mobile home industry!

At this writing, formal reports have not yet surfaced, describing what occurred last week during the MHCC*2 meeting in Washington, DC. relative to the subject matter of Part II of this blog posting at www.community-investor.com. Going into the meeting however, it appeared the manufactured housing industry’s two national advocacy entities, MHARR & MHI, were nearly, if not clearly, of one mind, relative to ensuring HUD goes through the regulatory process, if planning to use the 38 page ‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’ study*3 as a new manufactured housing installation enforcement protocol, considering how it…

• Calls for requirements well beyond present day regulations.

• Recommends dispensing with local flexibility within present regulations

• Recommends difficult and costly requirements for existing rental homesites in land-lease communities, e.g. Removal of perfectly good concrete foundations (if not extending below the frost line), to be replaced with new concrete foundations extending below the frost line @ $5,000.00+/- capital cost per rental homesite!

• Relies on just one engineer to author said report. Per an MHI memorandum: “…reliance on one engineer and one specific set of engineering and design methodologies does not allow for other professional engineered designs.”

So, what happens now? Well, most of us ‘in the field’, so to speak, will simply have to Wait & See what comes next from HUD, MHARR, MHI, & COBA7®. Frustrating isn’t it? Especially since we only recently learned this ‘new industry issue’ has been around for months, and we’re only just now learning about it!

Well, it’s not too early for you, as businessmen and women, to start thinking ahead, as to what might be done to blunt or redirect this latter day assault on the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry! For starters, state manufactured housing associations, along with their respective SAAs, are certainly going to feel added financial pressure, if and when these onerous, expensive installation regulations go into effect during 2017 and following.

And just as the HUD (building) Code, when implemented during 1974-76 effectively torpedoed new ‘mobile home’ shipments (i.e. In 1973 = 579,960 shipments; then 1974 = only 338,393l and in 1976 = only 246,120) to an average of but 250,000+/- new ‘manufactured homes’ per year until 1998; when our too short, mini-renaissance, saw 372,843 new homes shipped. Today (year end 2015) we are at 70,544 and climbing!

NOW, imagine what will likely happen to the present day ‘40+ percent of new HUD-Code homes (circa 2015 = 28,000 units) going directly into land-lease communities’, if HUD’s power play goes unchecked! Most LLCommunity owners/operators – talking here of the 85% of 50,000+/- properties nationwide, containing fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece -cannot afford to retrofit perfectly good rental homesite foundations @ $5,000.00+/- apiece! So, given the 42.4% drop in new ‘mobile home’ shipments between years 1973 & 1976, might this mean a similar plummet from today’s 28,000 shipments, to only 11,872 new HUD-Code homes going into LLCommunities? If so, also say ‘Good bye’ to the estimated 75% of 100,000 new homes (or 75,000 new HUD-Code homes) projected, by this industry observer, to go into LLCommunities by year 2020! Probable bottom line? 75,000 units, down to only 31,000 shipped, if that! OUCH!

Is HUD trying to finally kill the manufactured housing industry and its’ land-lease community lifestyle? Is anyone out there paying attention? If so, let me know your thoughts on this timely and critical subject, via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Postscript.

One final, but serious wrap-up thought, on this contentious matter. A scant few years ago, rumor had it, HUD approached Congress about sun-setting the HUD (building) Code relative to manufactured housing, indicating this type factory-built housing, today, is of far better quality than the ‘mobile homes’ of 40 years ago.*4 (For a leading indicator of this reality, observe the minimal number of product and installation complaints making their way thru the Dispute Resolution process since its’ passage in 2007). Also, shipping only 50,000+/- new HUD-Code manufactured homes per year was allegedly, not enriching, let alone balancing, HUD’s $ coffers. Anyway, for shadowy reasons, sun-setting did not occur (Likely having to do with home manufacturers not wanting to lose the code’s ‘federal preemption’ marketing advantage, where their product is concerned), so license fees increased dramatically. But now, federal (Installation & Dispute Resolution) legislation ‘on the books but back-burnered’ since year 2007, has taken a dramatic and potentially expensive 180 degree turn, in effect threatening the continued existence of this nation’s last form of genuine, non-subsidized, high quality, energy efficient, ‘affordable housing’ – when there are far fewer places to site said homes.*5 Among the first to go, will be the aforementioned estimated 85% of 50,000+/- land-lease communities too small (i.e. fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece) to be able to afford the soon to be mandated ‘new concrete installations’ at $5,000+/- apiece! Is this our future?

***

End Notes.

1. ‘in my opinion’, as a veteran MHIndustry observer & reporter

2. MHCC = Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee

3. For detailed treatment of this 38 page document, read Part III of blog # 418, posted 23 October 2016, at www.community-investor.com

4. Again, ‘in my opinion’, as a veteran MHIndustry observer & reporter

5. Definition of ‘affordable housing’ as referenced in this blog posting: “Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI, can afford to rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in their local housing market’.” Pages 109 & 110. Quoted from Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. 2013 – in turn borrowed from George Allen’s Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN., 2012.

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

Challenge Coins, Land-lease Communities, & Foundations in Freezing Climates

October 21st, 2016

Blog # 418 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 23 October 2016; community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Don’t you think it’s high time for us, who’re in the manufactured housing industry & land-lease community realty asset class, to pull ourselves out of our doldrums, and take command of our individual and collective futures with enthusiasm and aplomb (‘self-confidence’)? If you agree, read Part I with close interest, and when done, ‘commit to do likewise’ in your sphere of influence! And Part II describes a minor trade terminology adjustment long overdue. It’s done now, so let’s never use the ‘mobile home park’ & manufactured home community monikers again, to describe our unique, income-producing property type! Long live land-lease communities! Part III belongs on every LLCommunity owner/operator’s desk – as a ready and comprehensive reference relative to MHInstallations. As you read through the 38 pages, be asking yourself: ‘Hmm. Is this guide, somehow, a precursor to HUD wanting to expand its’ authority, and oversee MHInstallations within LLCommunities in every state? Some already think so….

I.

COBA7® to Introduce Challenge Coins to Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease Communities Nationwide

Are you a home manufacturer, MHRetailer, land-lease community owner/operator, or lender, active in the manufactured housing industry? If so, you know what it’s been like these past 16 years, enduring the ‘loss of easy access to chattel capital’ to finance new HUD-Code homes on-site in communities, experiencing the worst new home shipment slide in the 75year history of the MHBusiness, and suffering oppressive financial regulation.

Well, it appears matters are ‘looking up’ for us of late! Manufacturers are selling an increasing volume of new Community Series Homes directly into land-lease communities (up from 12,000 in 2009 to 28,000 in 2015), property owners/operators have figured out how to seller-finance them (via ‘contract sale’, lease-option, even renting units), and we’re learning to live with provisions of the S.A.F.E. Act, Dodd-Frank legislation, & the CFPB. And there’s more a-coming…

New HUD-Code shipment volume is up for this year! Land-lease communities continue to enjoy a ‘sellers’ market’, as many site a continuing flow of new HUD-Code homes on vacant rental homesites; and since 2014, the two perennial national advocates for manufactured housing have been joined by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. This international provider of key products (statistical reports, directories & newsletters) and services (networking & deal-making opportunities, and professional property management training, i.e. MHM®), is announcing here, an historic innovation intended and designed to increase individual and corporate esprit de corps industry wide!

Esprit de Corps. It’s ‘a feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by members of a particular group’, and there are several ways to encourage and build it among peers, especially those in the manufactured housing industry!

A way to begin is, as the title of this blog posting suggests, introduce and distribute Challenge Coins nationwide. What’s a Challenge Coin? Well, they’ve been around since soldiers started using them during WWI – as a personal recognition tool, to identify with the unit in which they served. There are even instances where lives were spared, when a soldier – when challenged, produced his unit’s Challenge Coin as proof of identity and affiliation.

Challenge Coins, vary in size, from a quarter to silver dollar, and are frequently carried, pridefully, by firefighters, law enforcement officers, athletes, members of social clubs and fraternal bodies. And of course all branches of the U.S. military are frequent carriers – and exchangers – of Challenge Coins, as they make for attractive conversation stimulators, and encourage esprit de corps among those carrying them.

Well, COBA7® is designing its’ unique Challenge Coin, with plans to distribute them to affiliates, as they annually renew their relationship with the alliance. They’ll also be distributed selectively to housing manufacturers, lenders, and others, active in the MHIndustry and among LLCommunities, beginning 17 January 2017. And frankly, they’ll also be available for purchase; as it’s hoped other segments of the industry and asset class will rise to the ‘challenge’ and produce their own unique Challenge Coin – for distribution to their MHInsiders, and for trading among colleagues in other sectors.

What will COBA7®’s Challenge Coin look like? Well, the final die has not yet been cast, but the basic obverse design is attached to this blog posting. And the reverse side of the coin will likely include the COBA7® motto: Where ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!, plus it’s Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

So, if already a COBA7® affiliate, expect to receive your Challenge Coin sometime after the first of the year when you renew, maybe even at the Louisville MHShow in mid-January. If not affiliated, use COBA7® brochure attached to this blog posting to do so. And, if a housing manufacturers, lender, or other corporate entity in the MHIndustry, start now to design your unique Challenge Coin, as your contribution to the fostering of esprit de corps far and wide! Need a Challenge Coin source? Suggest you reach out to Spotlight Strategies via (317) 738-3434 & spotlight-strategies.com.

While I doubt it’ll come to this, there is indeed a ‘challenge’ aspect relative to Challenge Coins, and it goes like this. Imagine a small group sitting around a table, and one individual turns to another and says, “Are you carrying your firm’s Challenge Coin?” If the answer is ‘no’, the ‘challenged’ individual buys the next round of drinks for everyone sitting around the table. However, if he/she produces their Challenge Coin, the ‘challenger’ buys the next round of drinks. Hmm. MHCongress here we come!”

For the time being; think about it! Every business entity is unique, and could produce a Challenge Coin worth carrying, sharing, and collecting. For example: HUD-Code home manufacturers might give their Challenge Coin to a LLCommunity customer when they bought their first home (to encourage product loyalty); same with a realty mortgage originator when an acquisition or refinance loan ‘closes’. And on and on. I know I’m looking forward to finally enjoying using a Challenge Coin to build esprit de corps among COBA7® affiliates, other business associates, even the national organizations to which my firm belongs. How ‘bout you?

II.

COBA7® Tweaks MHIndustry Trade Terminology

Debated whether to even mention this or not, since it’s such a small tweak. However, to avoid any chance for confusion, here goes:

Ever since it became apparent, soon after the turn of the century, that ‘mobile home parks’ of yore, and manufactured home communities of yesterday, no longer just sited ‘mobile homes’ in the first instance; and, manufactured housing & ‘mobile homes’ in the latter, it seemed appropriate to refer to our unique, income-producing property type as being a land-lease-lifestyle community, or LLLCommunity for short. Especially since no fewer than six types of shelter had become commonplace therein, i.e. ‘mobile homes’, manufactured housing, modular homes, ‘park model RVs’, RVs for a season, even stick-built homes constructed on-site to imitate manufactured housing (latter instance only in Florida after major hurricanes). Lifestyle had been inserted in the moniker, as a nod to the unique ‘lifestyle’ enjoyed by homebuyer/site lessees; no more, no less.

Well, the time has come to drop ‘lifestyle’ from the trade term, leaving it simply as land-lease community, or LLCommunity for short. Why? Because the ‘lifestyle’ insertion simply has not caught on among journalists, owners/operators, etc.. BUT, more and more, I read and hear of folk using the land-lease community label, and I like it! So, officially right here; as far as this veteran MHIndustry observer is concerned, the ‘mobile home park’ of yore, the manufactured home community of yesterday, and land-lease-lifestyle community since the turn of the century, is now – in November 2016 – officially and practically…

Land-lease community, or LLCommunity for short!

III.

‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’

This is the title of the 38 page ‘Assessment of Design & Installation Practices for Manufactured Homes in Climates with Seasonally Frozen Ground’, prepared by SEBA Professional Services, LLC., for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Want a copy? Go to www.manufacturedhousinginstallation.com

This document is so new we (COBA7®) haven’t even had an opportunity to read and study it thoroughly. But we encourage you to reach out and obtain a copy ASAP, as confusion seems to be rampant among states, land-lease community owners/operators, installers, and state MHAssociations as to what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’ in this area of manufactured housing practice these days.

***

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

NEW ERA for MH = Training for Manufacturers & LLLCommunity Managers

October 14th, 2016

Blog # 417 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 16 October 2016; community-investor.com

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Want to start year 2017 off RIGHT? Well, whether you’re a HUD-Code home manufacturer or Business Development Manager (‘BDM’); land-lease-lifestyle community owner/operator; or, on-site or regional property manager, there’ll be specialized seminars and training for you on 17 January 2017, at the Kentucky State Fair Grounds, the day before the Louisville MHShow begins! So, ‘come on down’ for a few days of timely and strategic education, opportunities to buy new homes for 2017, and some superb interpersonal networking among your MHIndustry peers!

I.

NEW ERA Blossoms in Atlanta, & Elsewhere…

‘Seven LLLCommunity Owners to Share their Secret Sauce of Successfully Selling & Seller-financing New HUD-Code Homes On-site in Their Respective Properties’

WHERE: Holiday Inn Perimeter, Atlanta, GA.

When: 26 October 2016

What: SECO Summit in the South Panel Presentation & Open Discussion with Audience

Who: Stacy Buss; Robert Gross; George Harris; Jon Harrison; Glen James, CPM®; Chuck Meek; and David Roden. Moderator: George Allen, CPM®, MHM®.

And if that’s not enough in the way of heady resources to tap into this timely topic, these LLLCommunity owners/operators will be in the audience and willing to share: Ben Braband; Maria Horton; Don Hodges; Jefferson Lilly; David Protiva, MHM®; Spencer Roane, MHM®;, and Robert Love, CPM®

Pique your interest to attend? Reach out soon to Genevieve@secoconference.com

Oh, and there’s much much more afoot at this year’s 6th annual SECO Summit in the South! Community Series Homes will be on display, there’s plethora of informative HOW TO seminars, along with superb networking opportunities. Also a ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class’ like you’ve not experienced before!

So, is it any wonder that more than 225 – and soon to be 250, MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women have registered to attend this stellar event?

II.

NEW ERA = New Direction, 17 January in KY!

HUD-Code Home Manufacturer, do you know how to identify all land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), large & small, nationwide?

Didn’t think so. Few people, within and outside the manufactured housing industry do.

However, if new HUD-Code home shipments are going to eclipse the 100,000 mark by year end 2020 – that’s little more than four years away (counting shipments that year), manufacturers must learn of the characteristics and contact sourcing of the three major markets of LLLCommunities – identified in last week’s blog (#416) posting at this website (community-investor.com/blog)

And not only that (i.e. identification of prospective home buying corporate entities); also, HOW TO effectively market and sell new HUD-Code homes to this diversified housing market. Such education will involve knowing HOW TO best serve local housing market ‘needs & wants’, based on demographics, Area Median Income or AMI, local practice/preference, and more. And then there’s the entire new ‘HOW TO sell and seller-finance new homes on-site’ paradigm. Neither of the national advocate entities for manufactured housing, is presently staffed to train LLLCommunity owners/operators in this new (for most) business model! So, if HUD-Code home manufacturers hope to sell increasing numbers of new Community Series Homes to LLLCommunities, they’re also going to have to train these owners/operators in these skills and methodologies, e.g. lease-option, contract sale, rental units, and more.

A caution here. Freelance consultant-trainers used by HUD-Code home manufacturers, during past decades, to similarly teach independent (street) MHRetailers HOW TO set up sales centers, and market/sell new homes in those environments, will likely not be a ‘good fit’ for training LLLCommunity owners/operators. Why? Because, unlike MHRetailers of past decades, LLLCommunity owners/operators are

• less focused on ‘making the next deal and the next’ – thus ensuring ongoing commissions. From the first interview, even telephone inquiry, LLLCommunity folk in large part, attempt to nurture good Resident Relations, more Resident Referrals, & maximum Resident Retention! They’re selling a lifestyle!

• Less focused on ‘maximizing profit on each deal’ – preferring to get said home onto a vacant rental homesite and paying rent for the next 20 years or more.

And there’s even more, to this emerging trend of ‘selling and seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site in LLLCommunities. But to learn those basics and nuances, HUD-Code home manufacturers should mark 17 January 2017 on their planning calendars. On that day, there’ll be a two hour seminar at on ‘hotel row’ just outside the Kentucky State Fair Grounds, covering the preceding ‘identification’ methodologies, as well as the HOW TO training needed by many, if not most, LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide.

To ensure an invitation to attend, since attendance will be limited to two or three dozen individuals, respond to blog column via email: gfa7156@aol.com, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Specific location and registration fee will be announced in a future blog posting, and likely in the December issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

Hopefully, the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHAR’) will inform their respective home manufacturer members of this unique and timely opportunity to learn how to increase their new HUD-Code home sales to LLLCommunities nationwide.

***
Postscript.

It is tentatively planned to also host the one day Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® professional property manager class and certification program, also on the 17th of January 2017, in the same hotel facility. If you’re reading this, and own/operate one or more LLLCommunities, and have not yet been trained as a professional property manager, and been so-certified, phone (317) 346-7156 for more information and to register. The MHM® program costs only $250.00 per candidate. And the class is taught by Katie Hauck, MHM® and Kathy, also an MHM®, one of her firm’s PM staff.

***
George Allen, CPM®, MHM®, Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

MHShipment ‘#s & $’ for August; How to Sell Homes to LLLCommunity Owners!

October 7th, 2016

Blog # 416 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 9 October 2016; community-investor.com

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

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

INTRODUCTION. This likely the most EXCITING blog posting I pen during 2016!

How so? After 2 ½ years, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, takes on the major role of research & reporting statistician for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class!

And, Thanks to the Success of the first ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’, held this Spring at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. – and the 100 page HOW TO guidebook it inspired, COBA7® is able to assist HUD-Code home manufacturers significantly increase their market penetration among land-lease-lifestyle communities coast-to-coast. That is, IF manufacturers step forward and express a sincere desire meet and learn how to do so together! What can be more exciting than shipping a minimum of 75,000 new HUD-Code homes (out of an annual total of 100,000 units) into LLLCommunities by yearend 2020? Nothing!

But first, the…

I.

COBA7® MHShipment ‘#s & $’ Report for August 2016

(An attachment to the BEBA – ‘Blast Email Blog Alert’, introducing this week’s blog posting at community-investor.com)

You don’t want to miss this! COBA7®, in the stead of MHARR, MHI, & HUD, has stepped into the role of Official MHIndustry & LLLCommunity research statistician.

The attached COBA7® MHShipment ‘#s & $’ Report for August 2016, is a prime example of obtaining (by subscription, in this case) accurate data from credible sources (e.g. in this instance the Institute for Building Technology & Safety or IBTS) and reporting same in 1) unadulterated fashion, & 2) useful format, to end users such as you, HUD-Code home manufacturers, and land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide!

If you have suggestions for improving the format of said report, please let us know by email or other means, e.g. GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

II.

COBA7® Offers to Help HUD-Home Manufacturers
Better Market New Homes to All LLLCommunities!

HUD-home manufacturers recognize LLLCommunities and their need for Community Series Homes, as a key emerging market for their housing product, as independent (street) MHRetailers continue to languish. But they have little idea how to effectively market to all 50,000+/- such properties nationwide!

At a recent meeting of MHI’s Manufacturer Division, it was obvious to this observer, the Big Three-C firms (i.e. Clayton, Cavco & Champion), and others represented there – while alternatively focusing on

1) Creating a new type or brand of factory-built housing. (Anyone recall Edward Hicks’ Interlock Homes design of a decade ago?) And,

2) Exploiting emerging energy markets geographically.

3) Little to no mention of HOW TO reach ALL land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide.

Following said meeting we sent a letter to JR Daily, chairman of MHI’s manufacturer division, offering to assist to this (market penetration) end.

First, COBA7® ‘made the case’, how between years 2009 & 2015, as annual new HUD-Code home shipment volume increased from 49,789 to 64,331 units respectively, an eye-opening 25% of these homes (estimated at 12,500 in 2009) jumped to 40+% (estimated at 26,000 in 2015) six years later! Why? At first, few were buying new homes, let alone understanding how to seller-finance them. Then Community Series Homes (i.e. modest-sized singlesection homes and small multisection homes, all with durability-enhancing features) came onto the scene, meeting needs of LLLCommunity owners/operators filling an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide.

Harkening back to the INTRODUCTION to this blog posting, there’s no reason the just cited 40% shipment volume into LLLCommunities shouldn’t leap to 75% by year end 2020, if more new HUD-Code homes are marketed aggressively to this emerging market!

Then we described the national LLLCommunity market in three parts, only the first of which HUD-Code home manufacturers have effectively penetrated:

• While there’re 500+/- LLLCommunity property portfolios in North America today (i.e. Most Canadian portfolio ‘players’ own/operate LLLCommunities in the U.S.), only a couple dozen of the largest sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and three REITs (real estate investment trusts) routinely buy new HUD-Code homes in quantity, for specific properties or spread throughout their portfolio(s).*1

• The majority of property portfolio owners/operators continue to buy, if at all, one, two or three new HUD-Code homes per year. Why? Because, like their smaller Mom & Pop-sized owner/operator counterparts, they’ve not had to do so in years past, and their present day staff is unfamiliar with the ‘wholesale/retail’ drill. And, of course, there remains the daunting challenge to seller-finance these transactions.

• 85+/-% of 50,000+/- LLLCommunities located throughout the U.S. contain fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece. Many of these are owned and operated by second, third, fourth – and yes, even fifth generation family members (e.g. in SE Pennsylvania) who frequently do not live on-site, know little to nothing about the day to day operation of their investment properties, let alone now how to sell and seller-finance new homes on-site. They’re often aficionados of rental units, contract sales, even ‘churn & burn’ reality when need be. So, that’s the challenge of 2017: ID them, then teach the needed skills!

Just look at the shipment numbers. Given the accuracy of 26,000 new HUD-Code homes shipped into LLLCommunities during year 2015 – and applying the Pareto Principle – that suggests 20,800 new homes (i.e. 80% of 2015 shipment volume) going into larger ‘institution investment grade’ properties, or fewer than one home per every two large LLLCommunities! And the remaining 5,300 new HUD-Code homes shipped in 2015 (i.e.20% of 2015 shipment volume), to be spread among an estimated 42,500 Mom & Pop-sized properties, or one new home per eight smaller LLLCommunities.*2 That gives you an idea of the scope – and potential market of this major challenge.

So there is much much improvement to be had, marketing new HUD-Code homes to LLLCommunities nationwide, especially given the accuracy of the estimate of 250,000 vacant rental homesites figure!

How to do this?

In our correspondence to Mr. Daily, COBA7® suggested two already somewhat proven avenues:

• Home manufacturers to caucus with affiliates of COBA7® to 1) “agree on the general description and specifications characteristic of Community Series Homes”, eliminating any ‘confusion’ present today.*3 AND, 2) at the same caucus, learn how to effectively access all 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators via a direct mail resource that’s 99% accurate (address wise) and goes directly to the decision-maker at every portfolio.

• “Discuss the initial Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars (effected during May 2016 in Elkhart, IN.), to decide if similar venues might produce like and better results in the Southeast (including Texas) and West (including Pacific Northwest).” The added challenge here, will be to identify charismatic, capable, experienced (in the MHBusiness as a successful entrepreneur), motivated individuals to lead said efforts. I have no desire to do so. And, once again, these Plant Tours/Sales Seminars venues, endorsed and supported by state MHAssociations are likely the best way to ID & train Mom & Pop-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators.

What’s next?

HUD-Code home manufacturers, of all sizes, need to let COBA7® know of their interest in increasing new HUD-Code home penetration among 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide! How to do this? Via response to this blog, for sure, but there’re also two additional and timely, face-to-face opportunities (venues) to do so:

• I will be present during upcoming 6th annual SECO Summit in the South, 26 & 27 October in Atlanta, GA. I am making one presentation: ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’, so will have time to meet one-on-one, or via a group, if preferred, to lay plans for a national or regional caucuses just described; and/or discuss details of the Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminar. HUD-Code home manufacturers who participate, will be given a FREE copy of Guidelines for Selling & Seller-financing New Manufactured Homes On-site in LLLCommunities. For more info about SECO Summit in the South, reach out to Genevieve @ secoconference.com And tell her of your interest in meeting with me….

• I will also be present during Iowa Manufactured Housing Association’s annual meeting on 6 & 7 November in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Similar situation here, but I am a participant, not lecturer. Going to hear Spencer Roane, MHM® ‘hold forth’ on the merits of the lease-option methodology re seller-finance on-site in LLLCommunties. Want to get together? Contact Joe Kelly via (515) 265-1497 to register for the event – and tell him too, of your interest in meeting with me.

• Already I’ve been asked by one HUD-Code home manufacturer to plan and host a mini-seminar (i.e. two to three hours length) on Tuesday, 17 January 2017, the day before the Louisville MHShow begins. This would be along the line just described: ‘HOW TO identify and effectively market new HUD-Code homes (presumably CSH Models) to large and small LLLCommunities nationwide’. If this idea appeals to you, as a manufacturer, let me know via email or via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Frankly, if we do this, there’s no reason why the same or similar material and focus couldn’t be presented at the MHCongress in Las Vegas next Spring – if requested by MHI.

That about does it for near future planning relative to the Marketing of New HUD-Code Homes to ALL LLLCommunities during Year 2017! The ball is now in your court. COBA7® is willing to assist in the manners just described. YOU have to decide whether it’s worth your time to learn the ‘secret sauce’, so to speak, of marketing to this emerging national market for your HUD-Code housing product!

End Notes

1. What’s a LLLCommunity property portfolio? It’s when a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or REIT owns and or fee manages a minimum of five such properties and or at least 500 rental homesites. According to the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators in North America’; among the reporting 120 portfolios (of 500+/- total known) who reported, their property count averaged 33 LLLCommunities apiece, and average sized property contained 215 rental homesites. To obtain a copy of this year’s report (2016), simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it. The 27th annual ALLEN REPORT is being compiled for distribution during January 2017. To obtain a copy of that Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’), affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® at the Option III level ($544.95/year), by phoning the same number.

2. Pareto’s Law, a.k.a. ‘80/20 Rule’, or ‘law of the vital few’. For many events, roughly 80% of effects (e.g. home sales) come from 20% of the causal factors (LLLCommunities and or property portfolios, in this case).

3. Community Series Home design concept was birthed on 27 February 2009 (Note the year: lowest annual new home shipment volume in more than 70 years!), at a National State of the Asset Class Caucus (‘NSAC’) attended by more than 100 (then) MHCommunity owners/operators and home manufacturers, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Actual design term was suggested by industry consultant Don Westphal.

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

Most Information-packed Blog Posting Ever!

September 23rd, 2016

Blog # 415 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 25 September 2016: community-investor.com

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

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

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ANNOUNCEMENT: There’s every likelihood there won’t be a blog posting on Sunday, 2 October 2016. Sorry, but we’ll attempt to ‘make up for it’ the following week….

I.

COBA7® Launches
Official HUD-Code Housing Shipment Report!

Tired of reading conflicting ‘HUD-Code housing shipment reports’ each month from manufactured housing’s ‘national advocacy’ trade entities? Well, so are several federal agencies, HUD-Code home manufacturers, land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, and others.

Specifically, the Official HUD-Code Housing Shipment Report is prepared monthly, using information purchased from the Institute for Building Safety & Technology. It’s presently distributed to 25 MHIndustry & LLLCommunity leaders, as well as GSEs and other interested parties.

Open and read the attached (to this blog posting) Official HUD-Code Housing Shipment Report. If you’d like to receive for this seminal data document, reply by email or the Official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

This is one more way COBA7® serves the research and reporting needs of the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity real estate asset class. Are you affiliated with COBA7®?

II.

Rising Acquisition Value of LLLCommunities to Decline Soon, or Continue as Contrarian?

You decide – after reading this Press Release, quoted from the Sept/Oct issue of the JOURNAL OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, page # 3.

“U.S. commercial real estate prices may decline as much as five percent in the next 12 months amid tightened regulations, a surge of debt maturities and property sales by publicly traded landlords, according to a new report from Pacific Investment Management, a.k.a. PIMCO. The study speculates a worldwide increase in demand for U.S. property investment may ebb, as slowing growth in China, lower oil prices and displaced debt markets threaten to curb six years of price expansion. PIMCO says a real estate shakeout may present opportunities, allowing some buyers to grab properties at bargain prices.”

“In an earlier report, Moody’s Investors Service and Real Capital Analytics estimated commercial property values in big U.S. cities have slipped three percent in the past three months.”

“Market turmoil also has harmed real estate investment trusts (REITs), with companies’ shares trading at prices that undervalue their holdings and spurring leading REITs to become net sellers.”

What do you think?

III.

ALLEN REPORT (#28) Questionnaires Due Back to COBA7® on or before 30 September!

Don’t be left off this year’s 28th annual ALLEN REPORT!. Return your completed questionnaire on or before 30 September, via fax to (317) 346-7158 or mail: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

If you or your firm owns and or fee-managed five or more LLLCommunities, or at least 500 rental homesites (MH & RV), but have not received a questionnaire to use to describe your unique property portfolio, phone the number in the previous paragraph and request it, or email via gfa7156@aol.com

There are some new features planned for this (2017) year’s 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, but to realize them, we need at least 25% of the known 500+/- ‘portfolio players’ to participate. Hands down, this is the most frequently referenced compendium of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity benchmark statistics, anywhere, anytime. So, ensure your firm is included in this valuable Signature Series Resource Document or SSRD – one of 12 updated monthly, for you, by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. Don’t be fooled by amateur imitations.

IV.

National Customer Service Week

Are we celebrating National Customer Service Week (3-7 October 2016) in the MHIndustry and throughout the LLLCommunity real estate asset class? Didn’t think so.

We should be! It’d be a step ‘in the right direction’ toward improved public image, and promotion of truly affordable (non-subsidized) housing that only the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry provides. Hmm. Wonder of our ‘national advocates’ are paying attention? If so, perhaps we’ll climb aboard the National Customer Service Week bandwagon this time next year.

V.

All Roads Lead to Atlanta, 26 & 27 October

Already more than 200 registrants committed to attend the 6th annual SECO (‘Southeast Community Owners) ‘Summit in the South’, in Atlanta, GA., 26 & 27 October 2016. Are you one of them? I am. For more information, reach out to Genevieve@roane.com Why go? A load of informative seminars and at least a half dozen Community Series Homes to inspect – and purchase, while at the SECO event.

VI.

MHI’s NCC Leadership Forum,
in Chicago, 2 & 3 November

This annual event will interest some property portfolio players; but by now, just as many – if not more folk, are meeting fatigued! After all, with the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable in September, the 6th annual SECO Summit in the South during October – and the exciting Lease-option program coming up three days later in Iowa, many will have absorbed as much knowledge as one can handle.

By the way, have you noticed how the meetings identified in the previous paragraph (except for NCC’s Leadership Forum) are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the published schedules coming out of either ‘national advocacy’ entity? COBA7®, as a ‘national resource’ entity, routinely lists as many regional and national trade gatherings as possible – whether sponsored by a ‘national advocacy’ entity or not. Wonder why?

If interested in attending NCC’s Leadership Forum, phone (703)558-0400 or 0666

VII.

Lease-option ‘Comes of Age’ in Iowa @ 6 November

This one day session has been ‘in the making’ for some time now. LLLCommunity owner/operator Spencer Roane, MHM®, the MHIndustry’s national expert on ‘lease-option methodology’ has presented this timely topic at past networking roundtables (CA & TN), during SECO Summits in the South (GA), and most recently, at the Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars in Elkhart, IN.

Now he’s been invited to Iowa to ‘splain’ the methodology in detail, to land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators from that and surrounding states. Want to attend? Contact Joe Kelly via (515) 265-1497. I certainly plan to be present for this presentation!

VIII.

26th annual Networking Roundtable!

Mark your calendar NOW. The next International Networking Roundtable will occur, 6-8 September. Location TBA, but areas being considered: AZ, IN, & VA. Any suggestions? Let us know via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

***

‘All You Wanted to Know but Didn’t Know Who to Ask!’

September 17th, 2016

Blog # 414 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 18 September 2016; community-investor.com

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media – to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

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INTRODUCTION:

I. 25th Networking Roundtable Summary of content & contact information

II. Tough Perennial Issues Relative to Manufactured Housing & Communities

III. ‘Ah, some more Afterglow’ from the Networking Roundtable…

IV. Responses received to date re blog posting # 412.

I.

What Did You Miss, or What Did You Experience?

25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable exceeds expectations!

Marcus & Millichap’s ‘Manufactured Housing Research’ paper, distributed during their Community Investors’ Symposium at the Roundtable, is chock full of salient statistics and emerging trends relative to the land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class! To request a copy, telephone Michael Glass via (216) 264-2050.

If you’d like a copy of the Guidebook for Selling & Seller-financing New Manufactured Homes On-site in LLLCommunities, distributed to everyone attending this year’s Roundtable, a limited number is available for purchase at $29.95 post paid. Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed in the introduction to this blog posting.

If you’d like a copy of LLLCommunity owner Alvan L. Schrader’s autobiography, ‘No Respect at All’ – A PATH TO MILLION$, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. This case bound text is a $49.95 value for $24.95 post paid – with $20.00 of the purchase price donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. You truly missed an exciting tale, as Al described the challenges his companies faced and surmounted over the years. Hopefully some state MHAssociations, even the MHCongress in Las Vegas, will invite him to share his highly interesting story with their members.

Speaking of exciting presentations, Ken Corbin filled in at the last minute, to cover on-site sale of new homes in LLLCommunities. You’ll likely hear more about him in months to come, maybe where the Louisville Show is concerned, and various state venues. In the meantime, phone him via (740) 487-1544.

If you’d like a copy of Dave Butt’s timely book, With One Cry, ‘Renewed Challenge to Pray for America’, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. Price? $9.95 post paid. This one was distributed to 17 participants, during the informal prayer meeting for our nation & its’ leaders, early Friday morning.

No question about it anymore! Keith Anderson’s Champion Home Builders consider LLLCommunities to be a significant emerging market for their HUD-Code manufactured homes in general, Community Series Homes (‘CSH Models’) in particular1 If you’re unfamiliar with their homes and unique (durability enhancing) features, phone Byron Stroud via (702) 756-2600.

As you likely know, this year’s Roundtable took on an additional emphasis: the 2016 Chattel Capital Summit! Well, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage, as a keynote presenter, set just the right tone for several messages to follow re ‘traditional ways of financing home only transactions (e.g. C.A.S.H. Program via Ryan Howerton @ (800) 955-0021); emergence of a hybrid means to financing ‘home only’ mortgages (Paul Bradley of ROC USA via (603) 513-2818; and other unique alternatives described by GSEs present (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), and others, e.g. Scott MacFarlane of HAS Capital, LLC, via (501) 246-3688. One of the most popular $ presentations had to do with Spencer Roane, MHM® covering the basics and fine points of lease-option methodology. Reach him via (678) 428-0212 – or attend the 5th SECO Summit in the South, in Atlanta, GA., on 26 & 27 October. And the Chattel Capital Summit at the roundtable would no have been complete without a nod to compliance issues via Ken Rishel @ (217) 971-3968.

During the Thursday luncheon, Katie Hauck, MHM®, updated the audience as to MHGives, and the work it’s accomplished in Haiti during the past year. MHGives has pretty much emerged as an official charity of the manufactured housing industry. For more information, reach Ken & Katie Hauck via (815) 201-2000.

Who hasn’t heard Don Westphal ‘hold forth’ on designing and rehabilitating LLLCommunities? Well, this time was different. As Don said earlier, here’s the BEST of what I’ve Learned during the past 40+ years in this business! And boy, did he deliver. Reach Don via (248) 651-5518.

Friday morning is always a special time at Networking Roundtables. Why? Because the Lenders’ Panel, this year comprised of 10 national real estate-secured loan originators, held the attention of LLLCommunity owners/operators for an entire hour – getting into the details of acquisition and refinance matters. If you’d like a copy of the 18th National Registry of ALL Lenders, simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE!

And, for the third year in a row, representatives from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (at the last minute the Federal Housing Finance Agency rep could not attend), helped this audience become more comfortable with how the GSEs interact with our realty asset class!

Was this all that was covered? Nope. We also had stimulating presentations on internet marketing (Darren Krolewski @ MHVillage), Using SmartMH on-site to sell more manufactured homes (Chris Nicely @ Next Step Homes); contractor fraud (Pat Ford @ Stanford Insurance); and water sub metering/retrofitting old systems (Fred Rice @ Spectrum Utilities).

One resource everyone present treasures? The comprehensive attendee directory they receive – identifying all the Sponsors of the event, as well as ‘everyone’s’ contact information. Has long enjoyed the reputation as the best ‘event directory’ produced anywhere, anytime, by anyone!

See you next year? GFA

II.

Networking Roundtable Not All Education, Networking & Deal-making!

If there’s a ‘secret sauce’ that ensuring Success at every Networking Roundtable, besides 20+ education sessions, eight networking events, and deal-making opportunities, it has to do with what happens after lunch on the final day of the 2 ½ day program.

By then, attrition has reduced event participation by nearly 50 percent, so there might be 100+/- attendees convening in the major conference room following lunch. And during that time ‘we’ (everyone present) get pretty darn serious about the issues and matters facing the MHIndustry and its’ unique income-producing property type.

This year was no different. Here’re the topics put forward by the audience:

• Conjecture regarding eventual return of ‘easy access to traditional chattel capital’ for in-community financing of new and resale ‘home only’ mortgages; versus, openness – or not, to some form of new and hybrid financing, where homes are reclassified as ‘real estate’ and no longer ‘titled’ as vehicles. There are strong and entrenched opinions on both sides of this matter. Suggestion was made there be a closed-door meeting, where the merits and shortfalls of both alternatives are finally and summarily compared ‘line by line’, then debated and discussed1 Who will make this happen? MHI, MHARR, & COBA7®, are you reading this? Is anyone prepared to lead?

• By year end 2015, 40+ percent of all new HUD-Code home shipments were delivered directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! It is believed the majority of these homes are being purchased and resold by dozens, if not more, of the 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators of LLLCommunities in the U.S. & Canada. What isn’t happening, on a large scale, is purchasing and reselling of new HUD-Code homes by smaller ‘Mom & Pop’-sized communities, i.e. 85 percent of 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide1 The challenge here is: ‘How to identify these property owners, teach them how to buy, sell, and seller-finance new homes onto vacant rental homesites within their respective properties. Again; MHI, MHARR, & COBA7®, are you reading this? Who will seize the initiative to boost annual MH shipments back to the 100,000 level?

• There is some movement, via GSEs (i.e. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), and private companies (e.g. HAS Capital), towards realizing a secondary market for HUD-Code manufactured housing mortgages. But there has been little to no movement to realize a secondary market for the sale of existing HUD-Code manufactured homes, particularly those sited within LLLCommunities! Neither secondary market will emerge and grow without active leadership. Once again; MHI, MHARR, & COBA7®, are you paying attention to these issues? What will you do in 2017?

• Definition and application thereof, of ‘affordable housing’ continues to plague manufactured housing and LLLCommunity businessmen and women, just as it does folk in the conventional and subsidized apartment arena. It’s past ‘high time’ for us to define this concept, once and for all, ensuring it appears clearly and frequently in trade literature – so individuals and companies will know whether circumstances described as being ‘affordable housing’ are indeed affordable housing! An example. In Bruce Savage’s book, The First 20 Years! he borrows this definition from another text: ‘Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI’, can afford to rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in their local housing market.” Pp. 105 & 106. To ascertain AMI, via postal zip code, go online to zipwho.com. If AMI is $50,000/year, then individual/household earning that amount should be able to rent an apartment or buy a home, in that local housing market defined by postal zip code, by investing $25,000/year in 12 monthly rental payments, or 12 house payments comprised of PITI (loan principal, interest, RE taxes, & insurance) alone; or, PITI + household utility payments for one year.

• Here’s a new one! Some believe there should be a clear demarcation between – but cooperation among, national entities claiming to be ‘national advocates’ for manufactured housing, and those providing ‘national resources’. For example; since the majority of revenue at MHI comes from HUD-Code manufacturers, and all such monies at MHARR, it makes sense both organizations, given their physical locations, be ‘national advocates’ for the MHIndustry – focused on improving image; regulatory matters; and in time perhaps, national brand marketing of manufactured housing. Since neither organization engages in sustained statistical research, beyond repeating and or massaging data purchased from the Institute for Building Safety & Technology (‘IBST’), or produces a weekly blog or monthly business newsletters, or compile directories (of consultants, RE brokers, HUD-Code home manufacturers, national trade bodies, and more), it would be natural for COBA7® to be officially recognized and encouraged as ‘national resource’ for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunities nationwide. What do you think?

See what one misses when leaving the Networking Roundtable early? None of the preceding are new issues to the manufactured housing industry, but they’re certainly on the active horizon now. Would like to learn of your perspectives on these matters, via email: gfa7156@aol.com, or mail: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

III.

More Afterglow…

Remember the ‘gift binder’ I told you I received from attendees at last week’s Networking Roundtable? Well, here’re a few more of the afterglow gems penned therein:

• ‘George was my inspiration to invest in a wardrobe of Hawaiian shirts.” ZH

• “My kids bought me his big red book (i.e. ‘How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community – as an Investment’) for Christmas, and I learned about operating expense ratios.” DH

• Here’s one I’ll particularly treasure for years to come: “George, you have made a significant impact on our industry over the past three decades. You have pulled together the various industry segments, with your seminars and publications; and in some sense, kept our industry going during bleak times as well as the prosperous times. My hat’s off to you. Thanks a million!” CH

IV.

Responses to Blog Posting # 412 re:

‘The Long View of MH ‘national advocacy’ & LLLCommunity ‘national resources’, 1980-2017’

We just talked about this in Part II, relative to MHIndustry issues & matters. This is just one of several similar responses to blog posting # 412, from two weeks ago:

“Thanks for the post today George. MHI doesn’t affiliate with COBA7® because MHI (erroneously) thinks it needs to provide similar products and services. Isn’t it time for MHI to focus on simply being the (a) national advocate or lobbyist – our eyes and ears at the national level, since our state associations function at the state level? More and more small and midsize community owners are supporting MHI through floor dues, with little-to-no associated benefits in return. Surely we can find a better use for those funds!”

Could share more with you, but this one ‘cuts to the trace’…gfa

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