White Paper Redux, new book, & destination trailers?

October 18th, 2014

COBA&® @ community-investor.com Blog # 319 Copyright @ 19 October 2014
Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.
This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’
To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764
• Ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.
Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting topics at community-investor.com website:

I.
What no one else will tell you about Insights & Errors gleaned from the CFPB’s ‘Manufactured-housing (s) Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White Paper. Installment # 2. ‘The errors & confusion’

II.
‘Calling All (would be) Authors!’ Time (year 2015) is ripe for fourth MHIndustry guide in 30 years

III.
‘Next Big Story’ OR ‘Much Noise About Nothing’? The ongoing fracas (‘noisy fight’) among manufactured housing and recreational vehicle national advocacy bodies, plus HUD

I.

What No One Else Will Tell You About Insights & Errors Gleaned from the CFPB’s ‘Manufactured-housing (sic) Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White Paper!
Installment # 1 = last week’s blog posting at community-investor.com website

Installment # 2 = this blog posting at community-investor.com website

Last week we identified interesting and helpful ‘stats’ gleaned from the subject White Paper. This week we focus on errors, terminology missteps, and confusing statements contained in said document.

Let’s begin with terminology. Throughout the 54 page narrative, CFPB White Paper writer(s) arbitrarily mix manufactured-housing (sic) & manufactured housing; manufactured housing communities, manufactured home communities & land-lease communities; along with lots, plots & sites – when they mean ‘rental homesites’ or simply ‘sites’.

There’s this questionable statement: “Historically, around 25-30 percent of manufactured homes have been placed within manufactured housing communities, though the share of new homes placed in communities has grown in recent years.” P.9 Really? During what time frame? Many, if not most, manufactured housing veterans will likely tell a different story, and it goes something like this:

During the 1970s, as much as 80 percent of ‘mobile home’ shipments wound up sited in (then) ‘mobile home parks’. That percentage shifted 180 degrees by the mid to late 1990s, when 80 percent of ‘manufactured home’ shipments were sited on parcels of improved realty conveyed fee simple, and were commonly referred to as being land-home-packages, whether installed within subdivisions or on scattered building sites. This occurred as the manufactured housing industry, for a relatively short time, competed head-to-head with stick or site-builders for market share.

Since the turn of the century, an increasing number of manufactured homes (After 2009, oft referred to as Community Series Homes or CSH Models, vs. Developer Series Homes, a.k.a. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks!’ models of the earlier era), now ship directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities. Why? LLLCommunity owners/operators can no longer rely on independent (street) MHRetailers, or even company stores, to ‘fill their vacant rental homesites’ with new homes, given lack of easy access to chattel capital. Today’s LLLCommunity owners/operators often must sell, even seller finance on-site transactions to remain viable. An apt, but disturbing contra sidebar to this trend, is most small LLLCommunities (i.e. 85% of 50,000+/- such properties in the U.S., characterized by fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece), have NOT shifted to the ‘buy here, pay here’ business model of the 500+/- portfolio owners/operators just described!

“…the decision whether to title a manufactured home as real or personal property affects property taxation, applicability of consumer protection laws, and financing options.” P.10 And more! This statement is a precursor to the (maybe) next paradigm shift to confront manufactured housing’s business model of the past 70 years. Think about it. And if you’re unclear about what’s being alluded to here, read this blog posting weekly (to learn) – or contact me directly!

“Restrictive zoning and prohibitive land development costs are among the reasons there has not been significant development of new manufactured home communities in the past decade, though recent trends indicate that investment in existing communities is increasing.” P.11 While the last statement is certainly true, the first one is incomplete. Add these to the list of reasons for choked development: difficulty securing raw land development financing, and perhaps ‘most important of all’, lack of easy to access chattel capital, to finance the sale of new manufactured homes on-site in newly developed land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities). This stagnant state of affairs will not change until easy access to chattel capital returns!

‘Manufactured Housing Share of Occupied Housing Units, by State’ graphic, on page # 12, as interesting as it is, e.g. 17% of homes in South Carolina = manufactured homes, while only 1% in NJ, MA, & MD contains a fallacy. Of concern is the paltry 2% shown for IL, surrounded by 5% in IN, 6% in MO, 4% in IA, & 3% in WI. Frankly, Illinois has approximately the same number of LLLCommunities as Indiana, but due to unique ‘home rule’ provisions in Illinois, (i.e. giving ‘home rule’ cities control over LLLCommunities within their boundaries, rather than the state board of health), many such properties are absent from the state inventory. Reality? Illinois has closer to 5% share of manufactured homes in the state, not the 2% shown in the White Paper graphic.

“Nationwide, ground rents in non-age-restricted manufactured home communities averaged $393 per month as of late 2013.” P.21 (citing information from a press release). Not! The LLLCommunities picked for inclusion in these various regional studies are, by and large, ‘institutional investment grade’ in nature, i.e. 200+/- rental homesites in size, and for the most part, in one or another of the 500+/- known property portfolios existent throughout the U.S. and Canada today. Truth be told – and we will never really know, given the difficulty of polling Mom & Pop owners/operators of LLLCommunities containing 100 and fewer sites in size (Again, comprising approximately 85% of the 50,000+/- such properties in the U.S. today), the national average rent – among ALL SIZES of LLLCommunities , is likely closer to $220-250/month, than $393.00! After all, there’re still smaller, rural LLLCommunities, where monthly site rent barely exceeds $100.00 per month. This misleading $393.00 stat, unfortunately, might encourage rent increases among properties charging much less per month.

And if anyone can make sense of the following statement, please let me know:
“The monthly cost differences between manufactured and site-built housing were narrower among renters in general, and in particular in non-metropolitan areas, where monthly rents for manufactured homes were about $100 less than rents for site-built properties ($654 compared with $551).” P.21 Maybe makes sense IF comparing one rental manufactured home on a parcel of land, with a stick-built home also rented and on a like-sized parcel of land. True or false?

“…a comparison of the prevalence of occupied manufactured homes in U.S. counties and various available measures of local affordable housing availability shows no clear correlation between housing availability and the proportion of households that live in manufactured homes.” P.22 Aside from a couple missing commas, to ease understanding, this is one of those instances where a writer inserts the word or concept of ‘housing affordability’ or ‘affordable housing’, without specifically defining how it’s being used. Would have been illustrative here. For example, here’s the definition of ‘affordable housing’ cited in Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! (released by PMN Publishing during year 2013), “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

“Since 2004, about one-quarter of new manufactured homes were titled as real estate, though in recent years this proportion has decreased; in 2013 only 14% of new manufactured homes were titled as real property.” P.23 Hmm. It’d be nice (and convenient) If we could use this as the bellwether statistic demonstrating increased number of new HUD-Code manufactured homes (i.e. Community Series Homes) being shipped directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities. But I dare say that’s not possible. We still need HUD-Code manufacturers to step up to the plate and provide those ‘stats’ so we can track the trend – and stimulate more home sales into LLLCommunities, and by the property owners/operators. HUD-Code home manufacturers; are you listening? We need your assistance, we need your statistical input, and the sooner the better!

“Production remains 15 percent lower than the overall peak in 1998 when production exceeded 373,000 units before it declined through the 2000s. Since 2009, however, shipments have showed slight but steady gains.” P.39 (Where have all the commas gone?) I don’t read the historic shipment numbers the same way. For example: 1998 = 372,843 (i.e. less than 373,000 units, not more); followed by 49,789 home shipments in 2009; 50,046 during 2010; 51,606 in 2011; 54,881 during 2012; and, 60,228 by year end 2013. Point? 60,228 home shipments is not ’15 percent lower than the overall peak in 1998’, but simply and tragically, ONLY 15 percent of the 372,943 homes shipped during that acme year! 15% off the 372,843 peak would be 316,917 units. We can only wish that’d been the case….

“The manufactured housing retail industry consists of dealerships which sell new and used manufactured homes to consumers through retail storefronts.” P.40 & “…the largest few manufacturers maintain company-owned networks of stores….” P.41. All that was true at the turn of this century, it’s far less true today. MHI staff, a couple years ago in Congressional testimony, cited 1100 independent (street) MHRetailers having been reduced in number to 400, perhaps even fewer today. But, something else has changed, to pick up part of that home sales slack. Are you reading these paragraphs carefully? If so, you likely know who.

“There are about 60,000 land-lease manufactured home communities in the U.S.” p.42 per Housing Assistance Council case study in 2011. I beg to differ. The figure is closer to 50,000+/-. Read ‘Just How Many Are There’, Manufactured Housing Merchandiser. Free reprint available upon request. See end of next paragraph for ordering instructions.

“The largest publicly-held portfolio of manufactured-home communities is owned by Equity LifeStyle Properties, a Chicago-based REIT, and consists of 201 community properties with over 70,000 manufactured-home and park model homesites.” P.42 2014Q2 Investor Presentation cited. However, the 25th annual ALLEN REPORT lists ELS, Inc., as owning/operating, during year 2013, 376 LLLCommunities containing 138,869 rental (mix of MH & RV) homesites. Interesting differences in reporting. Copies of the 25th annual ALLEN REPORT are available ‘free on request’ till end of this year; then available only via affiliation with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® @ $544.95/year. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and leave a message.

“The industry has been marked in recent years by consolidation….” True, but it’s the unique, income-producing properties being talked about here, not the home manufacturers. Bottom line? In 1987 there were but 25 known property portfolio owners/operators; during year 2014 we polled 500+/- portfolio owners/operators! Who qualifies to be polled? A sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, or real estate investment trust (‘REIT’) that owns and or fee manages a minimum property portfolio of five LLLCommunities or 500+ rental homesites.

“Some communities support community occupancy by offering in-house lending to prospective manufactured-home buyers, either through the community’s line of credit or a partner lending institution.” P.43. That dual source statement barely scratches the surface, relative to all ten unique ways LLLCommunity owners/operators secure funds to support seller-financing of new and resale home transactions on-site. For the complete list, read End Notes contained in the Official WHITE PAPER, distributed during September 2014 at two National Public Forums held on 9/11 at the 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable in Peachtree City, GA. For a copy, again, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE

Well, that about does it for the second installment parsing of the CFPB’s White Paper titled: ‘Manufactured-housing consumer finance in the United States’.

Hope YOU decide to affiliate with COBA7®. A couple hundred (+) of your peers have already done so, and are now ‘MHInsiders’, relative to key statistics and pithy information available nowhere else in the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and the land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class!

As in the past, we’d like to hear and or read your comments on the preceding material. Send them to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247, or fax to (317) 346-7158 or email: gfa7156@aol.com

II.

Calling All (would be) Authors!
Time is ripe for a fourth MHIndustry HOW TO Guide in 30 years

The following offer is open to anyone in the manufactured housing industry and or land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) real estate asset class! But first some background…

In 1988, I self-published Mobile Home Park Management, a 175 page paperback book. The first printing sold out within six months of its’ release. The book is in its’ sixth edition, retitled Landlease Community Management. Today, it is sold exclusively by the Institute of Real Estate Management (a.k.a. IREM), as its’ only approved text on this unique realty asset class, and via PMN Publishing. It is also the sole text used by the popular Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® professional property management training and certification program, offered exclusively by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7®.

In 1992, Ed Hicks, David Alley and I co-authored the first MHIndustry tome in two decades, titled Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities. The 427 page case bound text was published by the law division of New York publisher, J. Wiley & Sons. Paired with a series of land development seminars during the 1990s, it spawned hundreds of new (then) manufactured home communities, and expansion of others. New copies today, are sold exclusively by PMN Publishing; used copies reportedly sell for $100.00+/- apiece via ebay.com. This text went through several printings until the housing market cooled soon after the turn of the century.

In 1996, with the assistance of eight primary contributors, and as many secondary contributors, I edited the 508 page text J. Wiley & Sons published with the title How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. This book is oft referred to as the ‘bible of MHCommunity investment’. A second edition debuted in 1998, and the book continues to sell well to this day, 18 years later! It too is exclusively sold via PMN Publishing and on ebay.com

In 2015, with co-authors and or contributors yet to be selected and identified, plans are afoot to pen (working title) Marketing, Sale & Financing of Homes in Land-lease-lifestyle Communities. Are YOU interested in being considered part of the writing team for this heady project? If so, read on….

If you believe you have the ABILITY to communicate in writing – even if not already published; have a decade or more manufactured housing marketing and sales (e.g. factory rep, MHRetailer, in-community home sales) – and/or – hands on LLLCommunity management EXPERIENCE, I want to hear from YOU – in writing! That’s where MOTIVATION comes in play. Almost everyone emails, talks on the telephone, and engages in interpersonal networking; but not many are able to communicate well on hard copy (paper). So, IF seriously interested in being considered and selected to be part of this writing team, engaged in this once-in-a-career-making opportunity, compose a one page letter to me. Following the opening paragraph greeting; in the second paragraph, succinctly describe your industry and or asset class experience to date, including names and dates. In the third short paragraph, tell me why YOU should be selected for this unique opportunity. Mail your correspondence to George Allen, c/o PMN Publishing, Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247. Please, no phone calls or emails about this opportunity at this time.

Compensation as a co-author or contributor? That depends, and varies, relative to the number of individuals engaged in writing and preparing the text. The dollar amount, &/or number of free copies of the book proper, will be modest. One’s greatest reward should come from having your name cited as one of the few individuals in all of manufactured housing, capable, experienced, and motivated to team pen one of the industry’s four cornerstone texts! All three earlier HOW TO classics have found a permanent home in the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame Library in Elkhart, IN. There’s no reason to believe this one won’t wind up there as well!

Why this text now? Beginning in 1988, we needed professional PM guidance to better operate (then) ‘mobile home parks’ cum manufactured home communities nationwide. During the early 1990s, some foresaw the coming MH renascence, as occupancy rates climbed – knowing new income-producing properties would need to be built. And shortly thereafter, in support of the property consolidation trend (i.e. think REIT wave @ 1994 & thereafter), the first and only realty investment text debuted. Today? Many large property portfolio firms have figured out how to buy new HUD-Code homes (i.e. Community Series Homes, or CSH Models featuring a WOW! factor and durability-enhancing features) directly from the factory; set-up on-site sales centers to market said homes at varying profit margins; often engaging in seller-financing to consummate transactions. (Hopefully one or more savvy individuals from such firms will express interest in sharing expertise and knowledge). Unfortunately, this learning curve has not been embraced by the majority of smaller LLLCommunity owners/operators, for various reasons – one being ‘lack of HOW TO knowledge’. That’s where and when this book can and will play a key role during the years ahead – assuming easy to access chattel capital does not return to the industry, and owners/operators must continue selling and financing new and resale homes to survive, i.e. keep rental homesites occupied and paying rent!

If seriously interested in being considered for selection to this writing team, we’ll be accepting letters until 1 December 2014. Not much will happen until the first of the year. If selected, and accepting the challenge, the first step will be to critique a preliminary book content outline that’s being crafted for the project. And once the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT has been distributed, during January 2015, focus will shift to getting this historic project underway!

In conclusion; what you just read is one of several key reasons the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, was launched early in 2014. A couple dozen LLLCommunity owners/operators saw significant challenges, like this one and others, on the business horizon. However, no one within the industry (home manufacturers, national advocacy bodies, etc.), appeared willing to address continuing needs for ongoing statistical research, resource update & distribution, print & online communication, networking & deal-making opportunities, PM education & certification, and when need be, even national advocacy, e.g. ombudsman (press) responsibilities. Perhaps now is time for YOU to affiliate with COBA7®, become a bona fide ‘MHInsider’, and be considered for selection to this historic writing team.

III.

‘Next Big Story’ OR ‘Much Noise About Nothing’?

One has to be out of touch with the MH & RV industries to not know, read, see, even hear, the ongoing fracas (‘noisy fight’) being waged among national advocacy bodies representing all these folk, plus HUD…

With that said, for the time being we’re backing away from this unfolding story – to gather more information about the confab over whether roof overhang dimensions should, or should not be, included in the 400+/- square foot demarcation between HUD-Code manufactured housing and park model RVs.

However, to titillate you in the meantime, there’s also an additional issue, regarding the end use of park model RVs. The question is whether they’re year round or part time (i.e. seasonal) dwellings, within and outside land-lease-lifestyle communities, RV parks, and campgrounds. Know what complicates the matter still further? HUD’s published use of the term Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, to describe park model RVs, and other similar structures. Some, if not many of us are happy to simply refer to these ‘small building’s, or one bedroom efficiency units, as ‘granny flats’!

Oh yes, and there’s one more factor – or perhaps a ‘red herring’. That being this: ‘Do you know the difference between a park model RV and a destination trailer?’ Didn’t think so! Well, we’re still learning tool. A hint. Investigate Breckenridge, part of Hartland RV, a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc. And the plot thickens….

Hey, if YOU can shed some definitive light on this convoluted, complicated, multifaceted matter for me, please do so, and the sooner the better!

****************************************************************************

CFPB’s White Paper: Insights & Errors, & More…

October 11th, 2014

COBA7® @ community-investor.com Blog # 318 Copyright @ 12 October2014
Perspective. ’Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.la. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing’.
This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’
To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764
• Ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc..

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com website:
I.
‘What No One Else Will Tell You About Insights & Errors Gleaned from the CFPB’s ‘Manufactured-housing (sic) Consumer Finance in the U.S. White Paper’!
II.
NEW ERA Continues to Unfold as CHALLENGE/OPPORTUNITY Forms Arrive with Pithy Ideas. However, national advocacy bodies show no interest in planning & hosting the manufactured housing industry’s first National Strategic Planning Meeting for businessmen and women.

*******************************************************************
I.
WHAT NO ONE ELSE WILL TELL YOU ABOUT INSIGHTS & ERRORS GLEANED FROM THE CONSUMER FINANCE PROTTECTION BUREAU’S
‘Manufactured-housing (sic) Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White Paper, released the last week of September.
Installment # 1 = this blog posting (insights) @ community-investor.com
Installment # 2 = next week’s blog posting (errors) at this website
Not a bad first, albeit somewhat flawed, attempt to describe and understand manufactured housing (one of four types of factory-built housing) and its’ joined at the hip real estate component, the land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) real estate asset class.
Here follows a recitation of interesting industry-related stats, some commonly known, most not so, with many recited here for the first time. Next week we’ll turn our attention to errors and omissions found throughout the White Paper.
“Manufactured housing accounts for six percent of all occupied housing…in the U.S.” p.4
“A greater proportion of households that live in manufactured housing are headed by a retiree (32 percent) than site-built households (24 percent).” P.5.
“About three-fifths of manufactured-housing residents who own their home also own the land it is sited on.” P.6 (Note the hyphenated M-H and dangling participle) Also, not footnoted.
“An estimated 65 percent of borrowers who own their land and who took out a loan to buy a manufactured home between 2001 and 2010 financed the purchase with a chattel loan.” P.6 (Where have all the commas gone?)
“…in the year 2000 alone, more than 75,000 consumers had their manufactured homes repossessed, about 3.5 times the typical number during the 1990s. Between the beginning of 1999 and the end of 2002, repossessed inventory grew more than fourfold to $1.3 billion.” P.6
“A factory-built home constructed after June 15, 1976 is eligible for designation as a manufactured home if…the structure is at least 320 square feet (in size) and constructed on a permanent (steel) chassis.” P.8 (Hmm. I always thought the figure was closer to 400 square feet)
“…in 112 U.S. counties – predominately in southeastern and southwestern states – over one-third of homes are manufactured housing.” P.11
“…the heads of households …in manufactured housing are a bit more likely to be younger than 30 or older than 70 than are site-built owner-occupant household heads.” P.13. A.k.a. homes long popular with the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’
“About 20 percent of households who recently purchased a manufactured home moved in from a previous manufactured home residence.” P.16 Not footnoted.
“…the median net worth among households…in manufactured housing of $26,000 (in 2010 dollars) was just about one quarter the median net worth of families in site—built homes.” *.17
“The median combined value of manufactured homes and associated land (among households that own the home and the land)is about 42 percent of the median value of existing site-bu8ilt homes in the U.S.” p.21
“…manufactured homes in land-lease communities – about 30 percent of all manufactured housing placements in recent years – are generally only eligible for chattel financing.” P.24. But the associated footnote goes on to say: “Anecdotal evidence and American Housing Survey data suggest an even greater share, potentially almost half, of the stock of manufactured homes purchased in recent years are located in (land-lease) communities.” NOTE. This is a clear indication of WHY WE NEED to identify the number of new HUD-Code homes, especially Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, going from the factory directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) throughout the U.S. today! GFA
“In mid-2003 Fannie Mae owned or guaranteed $9.1 billion in manufactured-housing (sic) securities, and by the end of 2004, after substantial impairments, the portfolio was valued at just $5.4billion.” p.29
“…it appears the national lending market for chattel loans is concentrated among five lenders: 21st Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage, Triad Financial Services, U.S. Bank, and San Antonio Federal Credit Union.” P.30 Commonly known but rarely put in writing.
“…most manufactured-housing (sic) purchasers finance between $10,000 and $80,000.. The median loan amount for site-built home purchase(s) was $176,000, more than three times the manufactured home purchase loan median of $55,000.” P.30
“Due to the limited secondary market for…manufactured-home (sic) chattel and mortgage loans, over 70 percent of manufactured-home (sic) loans in HMDA are held in portfolio, compared with about 16 percent of mortgages for site-built homes.” P.37 HMDA not defined.
“…compared to approximately 88 manufactured housing producers in the U.S.in 2002, around half that many are active in the space today.” P.39
“The largest three manufacturers held almost 70 percent (national) market share of new manufactured housing production as of the end of 2013. Clayton Homes…has been the largest manufacturer…with home production share of 45 percent as of the end of 2013. Other large national and regional manufacturers include Cavco Industries, Champion Home Builders, Legacy Housing, and Skyhline Corporation.” P.40
The smaller-dollar loan exemption FOR “Transactions secured solely by a manufactured home and not land will be exempt from the (‘in-person’) appraisal requirement if the creditor gives the consumer one of three types of information about the home’s value.” P.53
Well, that does it for now. Remember to return here next week, for a list of errors, terminology missteps, and other shortfalls, gleaned from CFPB’s White Paper titled: ‘Manufactured –housing (sic) Consumer Finance in the U.S.’

II.
NEW ERA Continues to Unfold as CHALLENGE/OPPORTUNITY Forms Arrive with Pithy Ideas. However, national advocacy bodies show no interest in planning & hosting the manufactured housing industry’s first National Strategic Planning Meeting for Businessmen & Women.
Last week or so we shared the first ‘matters & suggestions’ offered in support of discussion regarding ‘The Future of Manufactured Housing as ‘housing’ versus ‘trailers’.
Here’re the latest ideas to arrive:
• Maybe reorient our industry to think home ‘sales first’ and ‘shipments second’, reversing the decades long practice of needlessly saturating local housing markets with new homes for which there are few or no legitimately qualified buyers.
• Begin to allow prospective homebuyers to ‘shop and buy’ new manufactured homes online, matching them with qualified installers, independent (street) MHRetailers, even land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators who’re selling and seller-financing new homes on-site.
• Perhaps cultivate capable, qualified, experienced manufactured housing installers to become customer service and or warranty work agents for HUD-Code home manufacturers.
• Seriously explore the possibility of promoting net zero (utility usage) home designs, presently enjoying popularity in California, to other local housing markets in the U.S.

And then there’re ideas relating to ‘The Future of land-lease-lifestyle communities’ as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’:
• Continue the Networking Roundtable-initiated conversation with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to identify real estate-secured mortgage vehicles that also take into account the full or partial value of new manufactured homes sold and seller-financed on-site.
• Effect wider knowledge and distribution of tools already in place, designed to ensure we sell new and resale homes on-site to prospective homebuyers qualified to buy them, e.g. Use of ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet, the 3:1 Site Rent Rule, etc..
• Once and for all, replace the obsolete Woodall Star Systems of quality-grading land-lease-lifestyle communities. Reconsider the ABClassification System rejected by the NCC a decade ago – or come up with an entirely new, workable quality grading system.
It’s not too late for you to make your ideas and views known. Simply mail them to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or FAX them to (317) 346-7158, or email: gfa7156@aol.com

CFPB White Paper, new SSRD, & Challenge/Opportunity Forms

October 4th, 2014

COBA7® @ community-investor.com Blog # 317 Copyright @ 5 October 2014

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

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

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

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

I.

Coming soon (maybe next week): Statistical Insights & Errors mined from CFPB’s ‘’Manufactured-housing Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White Paper, released 9/30/14

II

COBA7’s New SSRD: ‘Directory of Government Enterprises, Federal Agencies, & Nongovernmental Organizations (‘NGO’s) with Ongoing Interest in Manufactured Housing and the Land-lease-lifestyle Communities!’ This has not been done before!

III

‘They’re Arriving, They’re Arriving! What?’ ‘The CHALLENGE, the OPPORTUNITY’ forms distributed during National Public Forums distributed during the 23rd Networking Roundtable, 9/11/2014. If you haven’t done so yet, FAX form to (317) 346-7158 ASAP!

IV.

‘2014 NCC Fall Leadership Forum.’ Quick & easy way to spend $1,000+ in Chicago!

I.

Coming Soon: Statistical Insights & Errors Mined from CFPB’s ‘Manufactured-Housing (sic) Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White Paper, 9/30/14

TWO Official WHITE PAPERs, both describing HUD-Code manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities are published within 30 days of each other!

Hmm. Is there a message there? Sure. The MHIndustry & LLLCommunity property type were first profiled in preparation for two National Public Forums the morning of 9/11/2014 in Peachtree City, GA… And now, a second one is released @ 9/30/2014 on an even broader scale. What’s going on with manufactured housing and LLLCommunities?!

I hope our national advocacy bodies and leaders are paying attention. First, an Official WHITE PAPER published by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®; and now, one from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB – both effectively ‘setting the stage’ for a much-needed NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING this Winter! Where and Why? At an easily accessible, reasonably-priced meeting venue, in the Midwest or warmer clime, to plan and put our industry/asset class on the track to restored prosperity! An event planned and co-hosted by the MHARR, MHI, and COBA7®.

In the meantime, what’s the gist of the CFPB’s ‘Manufactured Housing Consumer Finance in the U.S.’ White paper? Here’s what they describe as being key findings:

• “Manufactured housing is disproportionately located in non-metropolitan areas.”

• “Compared with residents of site-built homes, manufactured-housing (sic) residents are somewhat more likely to be older and tend to have lower incomes or net worth.”

• ‘Manufactured homes typically cost less than site-built homes.”

• “About three-fifths of manufactured-housing residents who own their home also own the land it is sited on (sic).”

• “An estimated 65 percent of borrowers who own their land and who took out a loan to buy a manufactured home between 2001 and 2010 financed the purchase with a chattel loan.”

• ‘Manufactured-home owners typically pay higher interest rates for their loans than site-built borrowers (sic).”

• “The current state of manufactured housing production, retail, and financing reflects in part a rapid growth during the 1990s and subsequent sharp contraction.”

Beyond the intermittent use of ‘manufactured-housing’ & ‘manufactured housing’ lingo, a dangling participle, omission of a needed comma or two, and use of ‘site-built borrower’ instead of ‘site-built homeowner borrower‘– all in just these seven key findings, the White Paper does provide historic and helpful descriptions of industry trends, along with a few factual errors.

For a complete review of the CFPB White Paper, read it in an upcoming issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, the Allen Letter professional journal, or maybe here. To subscribe, affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7® via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

II.

COBA7®’s ‘Directory of Government Enterprises, Federal Agencies, & Nongovernmental Organizations (‘NGO’s) with Ongoing Interest in the Manufactured Housing Industry & the Land-lease-lifestyle Community Realty Asset Class!’

This is the lengthy but apt title of another new Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD. Available only from the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®! This ‘breaking new ground’ SSRD will be distributed as a lagniappe, in the November 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

This first edition SSRD lists nearly a dozen GSEs, agencies, and NGOs that routinely interface with the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community income-producing property type. It also brings the total number of SSRDs, updated annually and reprinted month-by-month, to 15! The e new directory does not list national trade and advocacy bodies with an affinity for manufactured housing and LLLCommunities. Those not for profit and for profit groups are identified, along with respective contact information, in the ‘MH Trade Body Directory’ SSRD distributed earlier in the year.

No other national MHIndustry and or LLLCommunity trade or advocacy entity provides anywhere near this volume and variety of published statistical research; product, service, lender, media, association and consultancy contact information; even the Official Lexicon, ‘State of the Industry’ outline, and formal history of the industry and asset class! So it’s understandable, COBA7® affiliates are increasingly referred to as ‘MHInsiders’.

To ensure receiving your inaugural copy of this new SSRD, telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Elect to affiliate with COBA7® at the Option II level for $544.95. This provides an annual subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal, and 15 SSRDs!

III.

They’re Arriving, They’re Arriving! What?

‘The CHALLENGE, the OPPORTUNITY’
worksheets, distributed during two National Public Forums at 23rd Networking Roundtable.

OK, but what are they saying? Here’re samplings of the first bunch that have arrived, re: The Future of Manufactured Housing, & The Future of LLLCommunities. Have taken the liberty of editing to use consistent terminology throughout the commentary.

The Future of Manufactured Housing

• How to identify and reach owners/operators of smaller (i.e. less than 100 rental homesites apiece) LLLCommunities, to sell them new Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, to fill vacant rental homesites – and teach them how to sell & seller-finance these transactions! The larger portfolio-owned properties are already well into the routine. Smaller owners, in many cases, don’t seem to know they have a problem – of if they do, how to deal with it (e.g. filling functionally obsolete rental homesites)

• Agree as to what to call our housing product going forward: manufactured housing, housing, or what?

• Get this matter out into the open (discussion): What happens if vehicular titling of manufactured homes goes away, replaced by ‘what’? What might be the tax consequences, and otherwise, for homeowner/site lessees. Good or bad for the manufactured housing business and LLLCommunities nationwide

The Future of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities

• Let’s make the most of the opportunity Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac executives offered during their panel presentation, and open discussion afterwards, to find a way, or create a new ‘finance vehicle’, whereby real estate-secured mortgages might be enhanced, value wise, by at least partial – if not full – inclusion of the value of ‘park-owned homes’ on-site in LLLCommunities being refinanced.

• Once and for all, ‘proof’ whether Allen’s 3:1 ratio, for estimating site rent to be in sync with other forms of multifamily rental housing (e.g. 3BR2B conventional apartments) in the same local housing market; or, bless some large property portfolio owners/operators preference for a 2:1 ratio, e.g. where apartment rent = $900/month; and 3:1 ration = site rent at $300/month; or, 2:1 ratio = site rent at $450/month. Yes, every local housing market has its’ own characteristics, and might well be ‘different’, but a proven guideline would be helpful to some of us.

• In 2008, Randy Rowe talked, in Tampa, about LLLCommunity owners/operators providing a fair ‘value proposition’ for our homeowner/site lessee residents. Know what? No one, to my knowledge, has ever quantified that concept. Sure would be helpful to know when, and when not, our housing and rent packages together are fair ‘value propositions’.

• At the recent Networking Roundtable, during the Lenders Panel, and during the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac panel, individuals referred to the ‘star value’ of various LLLCommunities. The Star System (Described in Woodall’s Mobile Home Park Directory) hasn’t been published, let alone be updated, since the early 1970s – that’s nearly 50 years ago! The ABClassification System was created and published, but not blessed by MHI’s NCC, in 1998. Its’ seven part methodology and letter/diamond classifications are used today by some RE brokers and appraisers. When will we ever have a universally approved and used quality classification system for land-lease-lifestyle communities?

OK, this will have to do for today. Still have a fair number of other ideas and suggestions sent to me for consideration. Of course, Nathan Smith & Dick Jennison of MHI; as well as John Bostick & Danny Ghorbani of MHARR are receiving this input. So keep your contributions a – coming, along with encouragement to MHARR, MHI, & COBA7® to jointly plan and facilitate a National Strategic Planning Meeting this Winter.

If you haven’t yet mailed your completed ‘The CHALLENGE, the OPPORTUNITY’ form to the five MHIndustry leaders listed on the verso side of the form, please do so ASAP! Your ideas and opinions are valuable!

For blank form, phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

IV.

NCC’s 2014 Fall Leadership Forum will

be 10/27-29, at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago. Learn from Ritz Carlton executive trainers how to run your manufactured housing business!

Feeling ritzy (showy & costly)? Early registration for NCC members is only $549.00 per person, but jumps $250.00 up to $799 after 10/26! And the Drake hotel’s rack rate is only $239/night, before taxes and other related charges. So, this two day event will cost you a minimum of only $1,047.00!

Of course, this not so modest event amount does not include one’s transportation to and from the event. BUT hey, if you live and work in Chicagoland, they’ll be minimal anyway, as or if you return home each night to forgo the luxury of the Drake experience.

Hmm. This second consecutive year venue in downtown Chicago suggests it be renamed Chicago’s Fall Leadership Forum.

In any event, if you decide to attend & spend; hope you learn something useful, like how to affect a Ritz-Carlton culture transfer to your land-lease-lifestyle community portfolio.

Interested? Telephone (703) 558-0666 & ask for Jenny Hodge.

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‘MHInsiders’ Ready to Transform MHIndustry!

September 27th, 2014

COBA7 via community-investor.com Blog # 316 Copyright @ September 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Four Timely Announcements’ Now is time to mark your calendar for next year’s premier LLLCommunity educational, networking, & deal-making event. And here’re three timely ‘MHSales’ & rental homesite filling resources now available nationwide.

II.
‘Are YOU Teed-up & Ready to Go?’ You’ve got the resources! But do you have the gumption to make your views and suggestions known, about ending the six year malaise that’s afflicted manufactured housing & its’ realty asset class component? YOUR MOVE

III.

‘26th annual ALLEN REPORT’. Maybe more ‘stats & trends’ in this year’s report than at any previous time in its’ 26 year history! Deadline for data submission is 30 September. For blank questionnaire, phone MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

IV.

‘Are YOU an MHInsider yet?’ For good reasons, this is the new ‘status statement’ describing affiliates of the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance. Every conscientious MHIndustry & LLLCommunity owner/operator should be an MHInsider!

I.

Four Timely Announcements

24th annual International Networking Roundtable is scheduled for 9-11 September 2015. Location to be announced in the not too distant future. To ensure your name is on the list of invitees, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

John Ace Underwood, CMI®, freelance consultant, is available to assist land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators establishing on-site MHRetail salescenters and training staff ‘to sell’. Reach him via (520) 241-9907

Spencer Roane, MHM®, is making his freelance consulting services available to teach the ‘Seller-financing of Manufactured Homes On-site via his Lease Option 101’ program. Reach him via (678) 428-0212

And for those owners/operators interested in not only fee-based professional property management services, but the marketing and selling of new homes on-site, contact Newport Pacific Capital in CA. The firm operates nationwide. Contact Michael Sullivan, CPM® via (949) 852-5575

II.

Are YOU Teed-up & Ready to Go?

‘What the Official WHITE PAPER, 23rd Networking Roundtable, & two National Public Forums have done to position YOU to INFLUENCE!’

But first, here’s one of several written responses to the Official WHITE PAPER ‘making the rounds’ among manufactured housing and LLLCommunity leaders and aficionados these days:

“My question is, ‘Who is our customer?’ And this applies not just to the manufactured and modular homes we build and sell, also to (MH) communities, even the local housing markets. And once we have a handle on ‘that’, ascertain ‘What they can afford’, What they can finance’, and ‘How can we attract them and effectively sell our housing product to them?’ (Paraphrased. GFA)

Want a FREE copy of the Official WHITE PAPER? Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it! Nearly 300 circulated to date. HUD-Code home manufacturers & LLLCommunity owners/operators have underwritten the cost of printing, binding, and mailing this important document.

What’s next? Read the October issue of the Allen Letter professional journal for Bruce Savage’s summary of proceedings at the 23rd Networking Roundtable, and two National Public Forums conducted there. Then reread blog posting # 315 (last week) to revisit the Turnaround Steps identified there. FYI. Bruce Savage, via Affordable Housing Advocates, or AHA, is widely recognized as having become the ad hoc SPOKESPERSON for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. Reach him and learn of his services via (202) 664-4512.

So with the Official WHITE PAPER, National Public Forum proceedings, and (MHIndustry) Turnaround Steps in hand, tell our elected and salaried leaders at the MHARR, MHI, and COBA7®, it’s high time for a joint 1 ½ or two day National Strategic Planning Meeting this Winter, at an easily accessible, reasonably-priced, central or warm location, focused on issues identified in the just-identified resources.

OR

Simply sit back, do nothing, and be prepared to endure yet another six or more years of HUD-Code home shipment malaise! Which will it be? Remember the old adage: ‘You’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem!’ For YOU, which will it be?

III.

26th annual ALLEN REPORT

Is shaping up to be a chock full of new and exciting land-lease-lifestyle community-related statistics.

Remember; the deadline for submission of completed questionnaires from property portfolio owners/operators is this week, specifically 30 September. Again, if you need a blank questionnaire, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 63304764. And FAX completed questionnaires to (317) 346-7158.

The 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ is COBA7®’s first Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, of the new year; released 1/1/3015 by PMN Publishing.

IV.

Are YOU an MHInsider Yet?

MHInsider? The new ‘status statement’ describing affiliates of the Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Don’t know why it’s taken me so long to figure this out. What? Why so many businessmen and women, from across the U.S. & CN, have been affiliating so quickly and enthusiastically with COBA7® since its’ launch on 1/1/2014). But NOW I know and fully understand!

COBA7®, unlike any other national trade or advocacy body, for a modest price, provides a wide variety of INSIDER INFORMATION available nowhere else! Here’s a partial list of COBA7®’s MHInsider information resources:

• Sole source of land-lease-lifestyle community statistics, trends, and ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’

• Sole source of contact information for 500+/- land-lease-lifestyle community portfolio owners/operators working throughout North America!

• Sole source for the only ‘State of the MHIndustry’ public briefing outline that includes LLLCommunity information as well as manufactured housing numbers.

• Sole source of lender contacts routinely originating realty-secured mortgages for LLLCommunities AND chattel capital/servicing for new home sales transactions.

• Sole source of contact information for 40+/- freelance consultants who routinely work the manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community asset class.

• Sole source of contact information identifying all MHIndustry & LLLCommunity print and online media, along with social media platforms for marketing & sales.

• Sole source of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry’s Official Lexicon or Glossary – updated annually. Includes all LLLCommunity terms as well.

• Sole source of descriptive and contact information for all professional property management training and certification programs in the U.S. and Canada today.

• Sole source of the widely referenced Industry Briefing Sheet containing MHIndustry & LLLCommunity statistics & contacts information in U.S. & CN.
• Sole source of directory containing descriptive and contact information for all national MHIndustry & LLLCommunity trade and advocacy entities

• As MHIndustry & LLLCommunity historian, the sole collector and publisher of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity paradigm shifts from 1970 to present day.

• Sole source of contact information for all national real estate brokerages specializing in the marketing of ‘for sale’ land-lease-lifestyle communities.

• Via two monthly print newsletters and a weekly online blog posting, the trusted source for timely and valuable MHIndustry and LLLCommunity news and views

• Sole source of contact information for all HUD-Code home manufacturers in the U.S.

• And soon, sole source listing all federal government agencies & nongovernment organizations with timely interest in the MHIndustry and LLLCommunities.

Yes, COBA7® affiliates are treated to more ‘insider information’ than is available from all other national manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community-related resource and advocacy organizations combined. Affiliates choose their level of ‘inside information’ involvement:

• Option I @ $134.95 = Allen Letter professional journal, one year subscription

• Option II @ $544.95 = Allen Letter & Signature Series Resource Documents

• Option III @ $955.95 = Allen Letter, SSRDs, & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!

So, if not presently affiliated with COBA7®,. But would like to become a bona fide manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community MHInsider, simply decide today and phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. At Option II level it’ll be the Best $544.95 you spend during all of year 2015!

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How to Effect MHIndustry Turnaround; TRENDS

September 20th, 2014

COBA7@ community-investor.com Blog # 315 Copyright 21 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Participate in MHIndustry Turnaround! How? Get FREE Copy of Official WHITE PAPER &…’ Five Specific Steps to Effect the MHIndustry Turnaround – and the sooner the better! These are things YOU can do NOW – if you care about your livelihood.

II.

‘Recent Past, Present, & Emerging Trends Throughout the LLLCommunity Asset Class’
NO ONE ELSE will describe the Good, the Bad, & the Ugly of the past 15+/- years! Read & Learn, then Commit to Participate & get our industry & asset class back on track!

************************************************************************

I.

Participate in MHIndustry Turnaround! How?
Get FREE Copy of Official WHITE PAPER &…

But first, read what a few attendees, at the recently concluded 23rd annual International Networking Roundtable, had to say about it:

• “Well Done! One of the Best Values in any type of conference I’ve attended in ages!!!”

• ‘Thank You, George & Carolyn, for another Great Conference. The Future of the (manufactured housing) industry is an important topic which would benefit from more open and vigorous discussion!”

• “I would like more from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac on the possibility of financing (manufactured) homes within manufactured home communities. Furthermore, this venue was a nice change of pace. We need to feel inspired and excited about the future of our industry..”

The writers are not identified, as the Event Evaluation Forms did not ask for individual’s names or contact information. But, as they say, ‘The beat goes on!’ Next year’s 24th annual International Networking Roundtable is scheduled for 9-11 September 2015. Where? That’s not been decided, but we’re open to suggestions: Phone (317) 346-7156.

Now, take the following FIVE SPECIFIC STEPS to effectively move HUD-Code manufactured housing up and away from its’ six year ‘malaise-afflicted state of being’ (50,000+/- shipments/year since year 2009), onto a productive business model route to new HUD-Code home shipment recovery!

STEP # 1. Telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request a FREE copy of the aforementioned Official WHITE PAPER! The research, preparation, and distribution of this salient 20 page document, initially during the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable – and now to YOU, has been funded by several HUD-Code home manufacturers and LLLCommunity owners/operators, all tired of operating in a vacuum, and now seeking renewed prosperity! So, read the Official WHITE PAPER closely, record your ideas and suggestions in the spaces provided therein, then…

STEP # 2. Read the proceedings from two stimulating National Public Forums (‘NPF’) held the morning of 9/11 at the Networking Roundtable. Professionally prepared by the staff of American Housing Advocates, or AHA. Said proceedings will be published in the October issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Either read the proceedings as a newsletter subscriber or, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE and request a FREE copy! Now, with your Official WHITE PAPER notes and NPF proceedings in hand…

STEP # 3. Ponder and complete the CHALLENGE-OPPORTUNITY Worksheet that’ll be mailed to you with the WHITE PAPER and NPF proceedings. This one page worksheet is designed to outline your ideas and suggestions for discussion at a National Strategic Planning Meeting this Winter. Instructions on the CHALLENGE-OPPORTUNITY Worksheet encourage you to make five copies of your handiwork, then mail them to five of manufactured housing’s national advocacy leaders and influencers! At that point it becomes their responsibility – if they have a mind to do so – to rally, organize and lead MHIndustry and LLLCommunity businessmen and women via…

STEP # 4. A National Strategic Planning Meeting, to which anyone and everyone (especially YOU) in the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity asset class, no matter what national association, institute, or affiliation. Just be willing to ‘pay your own way’! It’s envisioned such an historic two day event would be planned and facilitated jointly by MHARR, MHI, & COBA7®*1; occurring, again, sometime this Winter in an easily accessible central location, in a facility that’s reasonably priced, – possibly in a warm climate. Once strategic planning is complete, return home and together…

STEP # 5. DO IT! But is all this possible? You bet it is! What follows, in the next section of this week’s blog posting, is a summary of recent Past, Present, and Emerging Trends, related to the land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. The common thread through all the trends? How LLLCommunity owners/operators did not ‘sit on their hands’ and wait for chattel financing to return, or the national economy to improve – but rather, took matters into their own hands, and crafted new avenues to business success! Now it’s time for the HUD-Code home manufacturing/distribution segment of the manufactured housing industry to plan and perform similarly. Are YOU aboard?

II.

Recent Past, Present & Emerging Trends

Throughout the LLLCommunity Asset Class

RECENT PAST TRENDS.

Circa year 2000, independent (street) MHRetailers, featuring Big Box = Big Bucks ‘developer series’ manufactured homes were competed head-to-head with traditional stick builders, and filled vacant rental homesites in (then) manufactured home communities. The trend? In a futile effort to sustain new HUD-Code home annual shipment levels at the 1998 acme of 372,843 units, ‘we’ often turned homebuying/site lessee customers ‘Upside Down in Mobilehome Parks’!*2 Consequence? By year 2005,, more than 250,000 repossessed manufactured homes, and a slide from the all time high physical occupancy level of 95%, in 1998, down to 75+/-% within a decade!

A corollary trend, subsequent to turning homebuyers/site lessees ‘upside down’ financially, and near wholesale chattel capital exit, then hiatus, from the manufactured housing scene, precipitated MHCommunity owners/operators to buy, resell, and self-finance repo, resale, and eventually new homes, even modular units, and RV park models on-site, throughout the U.S.. In fact, the variety of shelter types now found on-site, suggested the new collective term of ‘land-lease-lifestyle community’ or LLLCommunity, as being more appropriate than the previous moniker.

PRESENT DAY TRENDS

Year 2008 saw the birth of another new trend, this one in manufactured housing design. On 27 February 2008, 100+/- HUD-Code home manufacturers and community owners/operators convened at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s new Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN., to ‘Discuss & agree on what it’d take to sell more new manufactured homes into communities!’ The answer? Community Series Home models, designed specifically for in-community placement. CSH models are generally smaller size multisection homes and modest-sized singlesection homes, but all feature a dozen or so durability-enhancing features, to facilitate unit repairs between tenants or homeowners.

At that same time, a core of several dozen Business Development Managers, or BDMs, were named by home manufacturers, to specialize in marketing CSH models to community owners/operators nationwide. Most active among these sales pros, are Steve Quick of Fleetwood Homes, Byron Stroud of Champion Homes, Rick Grewe of Hart Housing, Michael Kinsbury of Adventure Homes, Bill Danforth of Cavco Homes, and Mark Ledet of Legacy Homes. For more on CSH Models & a list of all BDMs, phone (317) 346-7156.

So prevalent has the practice of buying new manufactured homes directly from the factory, then selling them to homebuyers/site lessees on-site, and engaging in self-finance, of one sort or another, the (now) land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators have become widely recognized as being the trend: a ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’! But there’s a hitch, actually some shortcomings, that need to be addressed if the manufactured housing industry expects to fully recover from its’ six year malaise (Year 2009 to present day) and eventually regain national housing market share. Answers to these shortcomings might be found in at least two emerging trends….

EMERGING TRENDS

Research, resources, communication, networking, deal-making, professional property management, and (when need be) national advocacy are seven key functions, that until recently (1 January 2015), lacked a singular national identity and source among LLLCommunity owners/operators. Enter the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. Now, along with the Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council division, whose sole emphasis is ‘national advocacy’, these seven bases are now well covered. By phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, any LLLCommunity owners/operator in the U.S. and Canada, can access needed statistics & directories; online & print communication, networking & deal-making opportunities; professional PM training & certification; even national advocacy – since COBA7®’ assumed the role of official MHIndustry ombudsman (press). To tap into MHI’s NCC division’s ‘national advocacy’ interest, phone (703) 558-0666 and talk to Jenny Hodge.

Then there’s manufactured housing Sales Training! Until recently, that’s been the continuing bugaboo (Beside identifying sources of chattel capital for seller-financing of sales transactions) of on-site home sales in small to mid-sized LLLCommunities and property portfolios. Where to go? Who to use to learn to effectively market and sell new and resale homes on-site? Oh sure, large portfolio folk have used the past half decade to recruit conventional home marketing and sales personnel from outside the MHIndustry, then fashion in-house programs to meet their unique needs. But there’re NO existent in-industry trainers willing or able to make the transition from independent (street) MHRetail sales center operation (i.e. Selling product & price) to on-site LLLCommunity sales center methodology (Selling home & lifestyle) – till now. Effective with his keynote presentation on this subject during the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable, John Ace Underwood, CMI®, of Selling Edge, appears to have successfully ‘made that transition’. *3. But truth be told, for this emerging trend to flourish, we need more such trainers, and the sooner the better. Seriously interested? Let me know ASAP!

FUTURE TRENDS.

Obviously I don’t know what they’ll be, anymore than anyone reading this blog posting.. But one thing is certain: the manufactured housing industry, and by dint of its’ close relationship – LLLCommunities, are at a critical crossroads in their 70+ year history. Either continue to muddle along as we’ve been doing, for the past six to nine years, or make a concerted effort to strategically plan and effect our collective future going forward, where respective Business Models are concerned – along with Image Improvement, National Advertising, and more….

But I will go out on one ‘future trend’ limb. With the census of independent (street) MHRetailers having plummeted from approximately 1100 (circa 1998) down to fewer than 400 nationwide today, who’re manufactured home buyers, owning scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, going to buy new manufactured homes from, going forward? The following is an unsolicited quote from a LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator:

“While visiting one of our properties this week , two phone calls came in from prospects wanting to buy new manufactured homes from us, for their private property. Our manager tells me he gets these calls frequently; also at another of our other properties. While most of us are glad to sell homes within our LLLCommunities, pretty much at cost to get the site rent; if demand continues to increase for such homes outside our properties, we may have to get comfortable with that end of the business too.”

In a similar vein, we’ve also been hearing from LLLCommunity owners/operators, who’re marketing and selling new and resale homes on-site, complaining about factory and warranty service challenges. Again, ‘years ago’ one could count on local independent (street) MHRetailers to handle some of this responsibility to our home buying customers, but that’s not the case anymore. SO, who’s to step in and become the customer service rep of the 21st Century? Some now opine that since home installers must now be ‘licensed to perform’, they should be encouraged to broaden their business service base to include this opportunity ‘for a price’. What say you? Again, interested minds would like to know.

**********
End Note.

1. Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform @ (202) 783-4087; Manufactured Housing Institute @ (703) 558-0400; &, Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, @ Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764..

2. ‘Upside Down in a Mobilehome Park’ is one of the classic trade publication articles that describes, in fictional story-telling fashion, what happened to the average homebuying/site lessee customer at the turn of this century. To obtain a FREE copy of the reprint, simply telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

3. John ‘Ace’ Underwood recently addressed the Illinois association’s annual meeting, on how to engage in on-site home sales, and will be a featured presenter at the SECO Summit in the South on 1 & 2 October, followed by similar presentations in Indiana and Iowa, during the months ahead. Reach him via junderw794@aol.com

Rpt @ 23rdNetworking Roundable, & MHI’s Triumvirate

September 13th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 314, Copyright 14 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable.’ You simply won’t believe all the exiting, historic, educational, networking & GSE-related, realty deal-making events that occurred during this year’s well-attended venue in Peachtree City, GA!

II.

‘WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015? Tomorrow’s election, during MHI’s annual meeting in Arizona, has potential to be its’ most pivotal, if not (maybe) contentious, in decades! Why? Read on about the ‘power play’ & more….

**********************************************************************

I.

Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable

This was the FIRST EVER celebration, during this year’s National Manufactured Housing Week (9/7-13/2014), of the NEW ERA for the Land-lease-lifestyle Community Owners’ Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, featuring:

• (again) dual FIRST EVER National Public Forums, stimulating much lively and intense discussion regarding the FUTURE of manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! Mike Sullivan, CPM® & Ken Rishel were keynote presenters.
• (and again) the FIRST EVER Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac panel, comprised of five GSE executives – draws largest Friday morning audience in 23 year history of the Networking Roundtable! Panelists expressed strong interest in our industry and realty asset class’ NEED for chattel capital for new and resale home lending on-site! And both GSE’s asked to be invited back to the 24th annual Networking Roundtable, to continue this historic dialogue! Next time around, we’ll try to include the FHFA.

Also; here the American Housing Advocates announced their aggressive online agenda in support of manufactured housing and LLLCommunity image, ‘affordability’ and lifestyle. Everyone in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity realty asset class should take a few minutes to visit www.americanhousingadvocates.com

Plus, all 20 educational seminars and panel discussions will soon be detailed, along with individual contact information, in the October 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not a subscriber? It’s simple to subscribe. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And that’s not all! MHEW (that’s short for Manufactured Housing Executive Women), met as a group, networked, and agreed to articulate a Mission Statement. Interested? Contact Suzanne Felber via info@lifestylist.com Don’t be left out! Contact her today!

Then there’s Rick Rand, ACM®. He collected nearly $2,000.00 in PAC donations, from Networking Roundtable participants, for the Manufactured Housing Institute’s PAC Fund! “You’re Welcome, MHI!” I often wonder whether the institute fully appreciates Rick’s talent for raising funds for the very important PAC fund….

Finally.

COBA7® ‘plans for the future’ were shared during the final session of this year’s highly successful Networking Roundtable. They, at this point in time, 1) have to do with completing the long-awaited asset class ‘on-site PM compensation’ calculator – a function of location (i.e. local housing markets); AMI (Area Median Income per county in which LLLCommunity is located); property size & nature; Allen Model OERs; and more….Oh, and 2) one unique segment of the MHIndustry has asked to be absorbed en masse as affiliates of COBA7® during 2015. How exciting is that?

YES, if you missed attending this year’s 23rd annual Networking Roundtable, you missed a very Special Event in this Fall’s hectic meeting schedule. But all is not lost! If you attend no other MHIndustry & LLLCommunity – focused event this Fall, by all means find your way to Atlanta, GA., on 1 & 2 October 2015 for the SECO Summit in the South! There’s not only a full agenda of educational offerings, but a half dozen new HUD-Code homes on display, and much much more. Oh, and ‘the day before’, on 30 September, ‘yours truly’ will be teaching the one day Manufactured Housing Manger®, or MHM® professional property management training and certification class, in the same location (Wyndham Hotel) as the SECO Summit in the South. For info on both venues, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675.

II.

WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015?

Employees of Warren Buffett & Sam Zell slated to fill 3 of 4 MHI Executive Board Seats

Yes, the president/CEO of 48+/-% HUD-Code U.S. housing market share home manufacturer; a semi-retired exec from the world’s largest portfolio owner/operator of land-lease-lifestyle communities; and, president of the biggest of the ‘Big Five + One’ independent, national chattel capital loan origination firms, are slated for election, on 15 September 2014, to fill three of four executive offices on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s board of directors for year 2015.

And the remaining ‘smaller LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator’ is slated for a ‘third term’ as MHI chairman – a fete made possible by filling the unexpired 11 month term of a predecessor; then serving a full year as MHI chairman this year; and now, slated for a third time around the merry block. In my opinion, before starting a third term, there should be a public commitment to professional property management.

In any event, all this confirms rumors of a soon ‘lock on the upper level volunteer leadership’ at MHI – one of the pair of national manufactured housing advocacy bodies – by just three employees of the world’s two Brobdingnagian ‘manufactured housing industry & LLLCommunity portfolio’ corporations.

Bottom line? MHI may soon have its’ first true triumvirate (‘three joint rulers’), some say oligarchy (‘government in which power is in the hands of a few’), plus one, come year 2015!

One can only hope this sage caution by Lord Acton, in 1887, doesn’t apply here: “Power Tends to Corrupt and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”

In the meantime, there are rumors afoot, of an alternate slate to be introduced during MHI’s annual meeting and elections. Let’s wait and see what happens….

By the way…

Did anyone else find it strange, direct, dues-paying MHI members received an email message, on 14 August 2014, stating in part: “MHI’s bylaws allow for voting by absentee ballot for the election of officers of the board.” And furthermore, “The attached ballot is recommended by the nominating committee in compliance with the MHI bylaws.”???

I found it strange. Why? Because a year ago, in preparation for the election of officers to MHI’s National Communities Council division board, I solicited and obtained no fewer than 20 properly executed proxy votes from as many direct, dues-paying MHI members unable to attend, and took them with me to MHI’s annual meeting, with the intent of using them during the aforementioned NCC division election. But I was told at the annual meeting, since the NCC has no bylaws, and MHI’s bylaws don’t directly address proxy voting, my 20 proxy votes were ‘disallowed without inspection’, and the subsequent election was effected by fewer than a dozen direct, dues-paying members of the institute/division, present for the election. Now where’s the fairness in that? One would think, ‘What’s good for the goose (MHI) should certainly be good for the gander (NCC)’, but evidently that’s not PC (politically correct) among those presently in office (power).

Perhaps one of the first orders of business for the incoming NCC division chairman, would and should be, to ensure bylaws are drafted, finally after 11 years of NCC existence; and the question of proxy voting (or ‘absentee ballots’ a la MHI bylaws) at least be considered for adoption. Let’s wait and watch what happens during tomorrow’s MHI elections, and with the institute’s new officers – whoever they may be- going into year 2015.

*********************************************************************

Rpt @ 23rdNetworking Roundable, & MHI’s Triumvirate

September 13th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 314, Copyright 14 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable.’ You simply won’t believe all the exiting, historic, educational, networking & GSE-related, realty deal-making events that occurred during this year’s well-attended venue in Peachtree City, GA!

II.

‘WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015? Tomorrow’s election, during MHI’s annual meeting in Arizona, has potential to be its’ most pivotal, if not (maybe) contentious, in decades! Why? Read on about the ‘power play’ & more….

**********************************************************************

I.

Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable

This was the FIRST EVER celebration, during this year’s National Manufactured Housing Week (9/7-13/2014), of the NEW ERA for the Land-lease-lifestyle Community Owners’ Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, featuring:

• (again) dual FIRST EVER National Public Forums, stimulating much lively and intense discussion regarding the FUTURE of manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! Mike Sullivan, CPM® & Ken Rishel were keynote presenters.
• (and again) the FIRST EVER Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac panel, comprised of five GSE executives – draws largest Friday morning audience in 23 year history of the Networking Roundtable! Panelists expressed strong interest in our industry and realty asset class’ NEED for chattel capital for new and resale home lending on-site! And both GSE’s asked to be invited back to the 24th annual Networking Roundtable, to continue this historic dialogue! Next time around, we’ll try to include the FHFA.

Also; here the American Housing Advocates announced their aggressive online agenda in support of manufactured housing and LLLCommunity image, ‘affordability’ and lifestyle. Everyone in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity realty asset class should take a few minutes to visit www.americanhousingadvocates.com

Plus, all 20 educational seminars and panel discussions will soon be detailed, along with individual contact information, in the October 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not a subscriber? It’s simple to subscribe. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And that’s not all! MHEW (that’s short for Manufactured Housing Executive Women), met as a group, networked, and agreed to articulate a Mission Statement. Interested? Contact Suzanne Felber via info@lifestylist.com Don’t be left out! Contact her today!

Then there’s Rick Rand, ACM®. He collected nearly $2,000.00 in PAC donations, from Networking Roundtable participants, for the Manufactured Housing Institute’s PAC Fund! “You’re Welcome, MHI!” I often wonder whether the institute fully appreciates Rick’s talent for raising funds for the very important PAC fund….

Finally.

COBA7® ‘plans for the future’ were shared during the final session of this year’s highly successful Networking Roundtable. They, at this point in time, 1) have to do with completing the long-awaited asset class ‘on-site PM compensation’ calculator – a function of location (i.e. local housing markets); AMI (Area Median Income per county in which LLLCommunity is located); property size & nature; Allen Model OERs; and more….Oh, and 2) one unique segment of the MHIndustry has asked to be absorbed en masse as affiliates of COBA7® during 2015. How exciting is that?

YES, if you missed attending this year’s 23rd annual Networking Roundtable, you missed a very Special Event in this Fall’s hectic meeting schedule. But all is not lost! If you attend no other MHIndustry & LLLCommunity – focused event this Fall, by all means find your way to Atlanta, GA., on 1 & 2 October 2015 for the SECO Summit in the South! There’s not only a full agenda of educational offerings, but a half dozen new HUD-Code homes on display, and much much more. Oh, and ‘the day before’, on 30 September, ‘yours truly’ will be teaching the one day Manufactured Housing Manger®, or MHM® professional property management training and certification class, in the same location (Wyndham Hotel) as the SECO Summit in the South. For info on both venues, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675.

II.

WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015?

Employees of Warren Buffett & Sam Zell slated to fill 3 of 4 MHI Executive Board Seats

Yes, the president/CEO of 48+/-% HUD-Code U.S. housing market share home manufacturer; a semi-retired exec from the world’s largest portfolio owner/operator of land-lease-lifestyle communities; and, president of the biggest of the ‘Big Five + One’ independent, national chattel capital loan origination firms, are slated for election, on 15 September 2014, to fill three of four executive offices on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s board of directors for year 2015.

And the remaining ‘smaller LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator’ is slated for a ‘third term’ as MHI chairman – a fete made possible by filling the unexpired 11 month term of a predecessor; then serving a full year as MHI chairman this year; and now, slated for a third time around the merry block. In my opinion, before starting a third term, there should be a public commitment to professional property management.

In any event, all this confirms rumors of a soon ‘lock on the upper level volunteer leadership’ at MHI – one of the pair of national manufactured housing advocacy bodies – by just three employees of the world’s two Brobdingnagian ‘manufactured housing industry & LLLCommunity portfolio’ corporations.

Bottom line? MHI may soon have its’ first true triumvirate (‘three joint rulers’), some say oligarchy (‘government in which power is in the hands of a few’), plus one, come year 2015!

One can only hope this sage caution by Lord Acton, in 1887, doesn’t apply here: “Power Tends to Corrupt and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”

In the meantime, there are rumors afoot, of an alternate slate to be introduced during MHI’s annual meeting and elections. Let’s wait and see what happens….

By the way…

Did anyone else find it strange, direct, dues-paying MHI members received an email message, on 14 August 2014, stating in part: “MHI’s bylaws allow for voting by absentee ballot for the election of officers of the board.” And furthermore, “The attached ballot is recommended by the nominating committee in compliance with the MHI bylaws.”???

I found it strange. Why? Because a year ago, in preparation for the election of officers to MHI’s National Communities Council division board, I solicited and obtained no fewer than 20 properly executed proxy votes from as many direct, dues-paying MHI members unable to attend, and took them with me to MHI’s annual meeting, with the intent of using them during the aforementioned NCC division election. But I was told at the annual meeting, since the NCC has no bylaws, and MHI’s bylaws don’t directly address proxy voting, my 20 proxy votes were ‘disallowed without inspection’, and the subsequent election was effected by fewer than a dozen direct, dues-paying members of the institute/division, present for the election. Now where’s the fairness in that? One would think, ‘What’s good for the goose (MHI) should certainly be good for the gander (NCC)’, but evidently that’s not PC (politically correct) among those presently in office (power).

Perhaps one of the first orders of business for the incoming NCC division chairman, would and should be, to ensure bylaws are drafted, finally after 11 years of NCC existence; and the question of proxy voting (or ‘absentee ballots’ a la MHI bylaws) at least be considered for adoption. Let’s wait and watch what happens during tomorrow’s MHI elections, and with the institute’s new officers – whoever they may be- going into year 2015.

*********************************************************************

Rpt @ 23rdNetworking Roundable, & MHI’s Triumvirate

September 13th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 314, Copyright 14 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable.’ You simply won’t believe all the exiting, historic, educational, networking & GSE-related, realty deal-making events that occurred during this year’s well-attended venue in Peachtree City, GA!

II.

‘WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015? Tomorrow’s election, during MHI’s annual meeting in Arizona, has potential to be its’ most pivotal, if not (maybe) contentious, in decades! Why? Read on about the ‘power play’ & more….

**********************************************************************

I.

Preliminary Report re: 23rd annual Networking Roundtable

This was the FIRST EVER celebration, during this year’s National Manufactured Housing Week (9/7-13/2014), of the NEW ERA for the Land-lease-lifestyle Community Owners’ Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, featuring:

• (again) dual FIRST EVER National Public Forums, stimulating much lively and intense discussion regarding the FUTURE of manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! Mike Sullivan, CPM® & Ken Rishel were keynote presenters.
• (and again) the FIRST EVER Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac panel, comprised of five GSE executives – draws largest Friday morning audience in 23 year history of the Networking Roundtable! Panelists expressed strong interest in our industry and realty asset class’ NEED for chattel capital for new and resale home lending on-site! And both GSE’s asked to be invited back to the 24th annual Networking Roundtable, to continue this historic dialogue! Next time around, we’ll try to include the FHFA.

Also; here the American Housing Advocates announced their aggressive online agenda in support of manufactured housing and LLLCommunity image, ‘affordability’ and lifestyle. Everyone in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity realty asset class should take a few minutes to visit www.americanhousingadvocates.com

Plus, all 20 educational seminars and panel discussions will soon be detailed, along with individual contact information, in the October 2014 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Not a subscriber? It’s simple to subscribe. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And that’s not all! MHEW (that’s short for Manufactured Housing Executive Women), met as a group, networked, and agreed to articulate a Mission Statement. Interested? Contact Suzanne Felber via info@lifestylist.com Don’t be left out! Contact her today!

Then there’s Rick Rand, ACM®. He collected nearly $2,000.00 in PAC donations, from Networking Roundtable participants, for the Manufactured Housing Institute’s PAC Fund! “You’re Welcome, MHI!” I often wonder whether the institute fully appreciates Rick’s talent for raising funds for the very important PAC fund….

Finally.

COBA7® ‘plans for the future’ were shared during the final session of this year’s highly successful Networking Roundtable. They, at this point in time, 1) have to do with completing the long-awaited asset class ‘on-site PM compensation’ calculator – a function of location (i.e. local housing markets); AMI (Area Median Income per county in which LLLCommunity is located); property size & nature; Allen Model OERs; and more….Oh, and 2) one unique segment of the MHIndustry has asked to be absorbed en masse as affiliates of COBA7® during 2015. How exciting is that?

YES, if you missed attending this year’s 23rd annual Networking Roundtable, you missed a very Special Event in this Fall’s hectic meeting schedule. But all is not lost! If you attend no other MHIndustry & LLLCommunity – focused event this Fall, by all means find your way to Atlanta, GA., on 1 & 2 October 2015 for the SECO Summit in the South! There’s not only a full agenda of educational offerings, but a half dozen new HUD-Code homes on display, and much much more. Oh, and ‘the day before’, on 30 September, ‘yours truly’ will be teaching the one day Manufactured Housing Manger®, or MHM® professional property management training and certification class, in the same location (Wyndham Hotel) as the SECO Summit in the South. For info on both venues, contact Chris Nicely via (865) 385-9675.

II.

WOW! MHI to Seat ‘First Triumvirate + 1’ in 2015?

Employees of Warren Buffett & Sam Zell slated to fill 3 of 4 MHI Executive Board Seats

Yes, the president/CEO of 48+/-% HUD-Code U.S. housing market share home manufacturer; a semi-retired exec from the world’s largest portfolio owner/operator of land-lease-lifestyle communities; and, president of the biggest of the ‘Big Five + One’ independent, national chattel capital loan origination firms, are slated for election, on 15 September 2014, to fill three of four executive offices on the Manufactured Housing Institute’s board of directors for year 2015.

And the remaining ‘smaller LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator’ is slated for a ‘third term’ as MHI chairman – a fete made possible by filling the unexpired 11 month term of a predecessor; then serving a full year as MHI chairman this year; and now, slated for a third time around the merry block. In my opinion, before starting a third term, there should be a public commitment to professional property management.

In any event, all this confirms rumors of a soon ‘lock on the upper level volunteer leadership’ at MHI – one of the pair of national manufactured housing advocacy bodies – by just three employees of the world’s two Brobdingnagian ‘manufactured housing industry & LLLCommunity portfolio’ corporations.

Bottom line? MHI may soon have its’ first true triumvirate (‘three joint rulers’), some say oligarchy (‘government in which power is in the hands of a few’), plus one, come year 2015!

One can only hope this sage caution by Lord Acton, in 1887, doesn’t apply here: “Power Tends to Corrupt and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”

In the meantime, there are rumors afoot, of an alternate slate to be introduced during MHI’s annual meeting and elections. Let’s wait and see what happens….

By the way…

Did anyone else find it strange, direct, dues-paying MHI members received an email message, on 14 August 2014, stating in part: “MHI’s bylaws allow for voting by absentee ballot for the election of officers of the board.” And furthermore, “The attached ballot is recommended by the nominating committee in compliance with the MHI bylaws.”???

I found it strange. Why? Because a year ago, in preparation for the election of officers to MHI’s National Communities Council division board, I solicited and obtained no fewer than 20 properly executed proxy votes from as many direct, dues-paying MHI members unable to attend, and took them with me to MHI’s annual meeting, with the intent of using them during the aforementioned NCC division election. But I was told at the annual meeting, since the NCC has no bylaws, and MHI’s bylaws don’t directly address proxy voting, my 20 proxy votes were ‘disallowed without inspection’, and the subsequent election was effected by fewer than a dozen direct, dues-paying members of the institute/division, present for the election. Now where’s the fairness in that? One would think, ‘What’s good for the goose (MHI) should certainly be good for the gander (NCC)’, but evidently that’s not PC (politically correct) among those presently in office (power).

Perhaps one of the first orders of business for the incoming NCC division chairman, would and should be, to ensure bylaws are drafted, finally after 11 years of NCC existence; and the question of proxy voting (or ‘absentee ballots’ a la MHI bylaws) at least be considered for adoption. Let’s wait and watch what happens during tomorrow’s MHI elections, and with the institute’s new officers – whoever they may be- going into year 2015.

*********************************************************************

“Everyone (in the know) is Watching! & Stockholm Syndrome/MH

September 6th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 313 @ 7 September 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

‘Everyone (in the know) is Watching’ for outcome of two National Public Forums the morning of 9/11. Will YOU be present? Have YOU read Official WHITE PAPER? Come to Peachtree City, GA., prepared to make MHIndustry & LLLCommunity history! YES!

II,

‘Everyone (in the know) is Watching’ to see if MHI’s four person executive officer slate will be elected in toto or in part. This election boils down to Super Big vs. Small; and, the role or not, of professional property management relative to industry reputation & image!

III

‘Stockholm Syndrome (again) Anyone?’ For three weeks running, responses to this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com had to do with the ‘Consequences, Good & Bad, of LLLCommunity Consolidation’. Now we appear to have a new very hot topic!

________________________________________________________________________

I.

Everyone (in the know) is Watching…

To see the outcome of two National Public Forums prognosticating the Future of Manufactured Housing as ‘housing’ vs. ‘trailers’; &, the Future of LLLCommunities as ‘lifestyle’ & ‘investment’.’ But that’s only one part of what occurs in Peachtree City this week!

Why has this event grabbed the rapt attention of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators coast to coast? Simple. It’s the only annual venue designed specifically for owners/operators, large AND small, of this unique, income-producing property type.

FLASH ANNOUNCEMENT. Friday morning, 9/12, following the always popular Lenders’ Panel, three executives from Freddie Mac and two from Fannie Mae will facilitate a panel discussion of the role GSE’s play in acquisition financing and refinancing of land-lease-lifestyle communities! This is another ‘first’ for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry! Phone (317) 346-7156 on Monday only, to register!

During 2 ½ days, dozens of such properties will be ‘for sale’; there’ll be nearly two dozen educational seminars and panel discussions; eight social networking events; and an opportunity – this year – to help set the agenda, going forward, for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class in year 2015! How so? With the proceedings of the two National Public Forums in hand, the industry’s two national advocacy bodies, in and around Washington, DC., will be challenged to jointly call for, plan, and host, with Networking Roundtable host, COBA7® a National Strategic Planning Meeting sometime this Winter!

Are you as excited about the prospects of ‘turning this industry & asset class around’ as we – who will be in Peachtree City, Ga., this week – are? Then make your enthusiasm known, and desire for our industry’s first National Strategic Planning Meeting – open to Everyone in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class – known to our industry’s leaders and opinion shapers, listed here in alphabetical order:

• American Housing Advocates or AHA: Bruce Savage via (202) 664-4512

• Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance or COBA7®: George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, via (317) 346-7156

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform or MHARR: Danny Ghorbani via ((202) 783-4087

• Manufactured Housing Institute or MHI Dick Jennison via (703) 558-0678

• MHI’s National Communities Council division or NCC: (incoming chairman) Steve Adler via (239) 790-0004

• ROC USA, LLC: Paul Bradley via (603) 856-0709

And know this. Insanity is oft defined as doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Well, as housing manufacturers and a unique realty asset class, we must consider changing decades long cycles of 1) ‘Build, Ship – then Sell’; 2) ‘D&R (‘drop & run’) Deliveries’; and, 3) Propensity to ‘Sell Homebuyers More Home Than They Can Afford’. WE must identify new or modified Business Models that’ll move HUD-Code manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities back into more profitable and customer-friendly environs!

Some would say, ‘We’re already on our way!’, since many HUD-Code home manufacturers now routinely build and ship Community Series Homes, or CSH Models (featuring durability-enhancing features) to the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’ = LLLCommunity owner/operators – but mostly of portfolio size. And the LLLCommunity of today, unlike yesteryear, sites as many as six different types of shelter on rental homesites, so is ‘plowing new ground’ too. But there’s much more to be done – and we need YOU on board to make it happen. SO, please make those phone calls of encouragement to individuals listed above!

And if you want to provide tangible support to said efforts, 1) ensure YOU are a
direct, dues-paying member of one or both of the manufactured housing advocacy bodies listed; 2) financially support the online advocacy efforts of AHA; and 3) affiliate with COBA7®, all the sooner the better! These are the key supports of the Three Legged Stool to MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class SUCCESS in 2015!

II.

Everyone (in the know) is Watching…

To see if MHI’s four person executive committee officer slate, recommended via email message to members in mid-August, will be elected, in toto or in part, at the institute’s annual business meeting and election in Phoenix, AZ, on or about 16 August 2014.

Why has this year’s election of officers become ‘the spectator sport of factory-built housing and professional property management’? Well, depending on one’s business perspective(s) as a MHI direct, dues – paying member:

• Is one affiliated with the housing manufacturing & distribution segment of the industry, OR the land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) realty asset class?
&
• Is one characterized as Big Business (i.e. Three Cs: Clayton, Champion & Cavco; & a couple LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operators), OR Small Business entrepreneur operating one or a couple businesses in one or two states?

With that said (penned), know there’s Widespread Concern that professional property management practices prevail in the first instance, ensuring the manufactured housing industry as a whole, enjoys as positive and wholesome Reputation and Image as possible under all circumstances. Do you agree? Then vote accordingly, if you’re at the meeting.

In the second instance, there’s widespread concern that MHI executive committee representation from just two mega firms, in three of four offices, could lead to oligarchy (i.e. ‘power in the hands of a few’). How do you see this matter? Then vote accordingly.

Yes, there’s much more to this story than is being told here. But that’s the way the matter must be, for the time being. At least until after the election…

III

Stockholm Syndrome (again) Anyone?

Hadn’t even turned off the PC, to head for church Sunday morning, before the first of several lengthy and pithy responses to ‘Manufactured Housing Industry Suffers From Stockholm Syndrome’ started arriving! So far…

“OMG, George Allen – the Stockholm Syndrome is so perfectly put sir! So true, and we continue to NOT see what it does to us and our customers in price, relative to cost. Wow George, great remark.

So, where do we go? We go MOD and NAHB? Maybe. But for sure, get out from under MHI, MHARR, and HUD – those tied to the WRONG way. When home value is tied to real estate, and comparable appraisal methodology is applied, we open up new opportunities for loans, resale values, long term financing, and all sorts of additional potential!” NB

OK, all that’s fine as far as it goes – in those opening statements. But what such freedom from HUD, et. al., does not address, is the continuing need for specialty financing (i.e. chattel capital, lease-option, etc.) for new and resale manufactured homes sited on rental homesites within land-lease-lifestyle communities (A.k.a. manufactured home communities). And this too, is where I ‘missed the mark’ in last week’s blog posting on this subject, when intermingling – without explanation, Wikipedia’s definition of Stockholm Syndrome with my (opinion). Remember? “…a psychological phenomenon in which hostages (manufactured housing) express empathy and sympathy, and have positive feeling toward their captor (regulator) to the point of defending and identifying with (or perpetuating) with them.”

While I wasn’t wrong about what I said, as it does appear the manufactured housing industry, without input I’m aware of, from the LLLCommunity side of the house (there’s that pun again), decided to make it financially attractive for HUD to continue regulating our industry, rather than risk them asking Congress to relieve them (HUD) of responsibility for administering said program. Hence the 165% increase in inspection fees! So, the bottom line, and in my opinion – unanswered question is, ‘Are we, as an industry and realty asset class, better off with or without HUD oversight today and in years to come?’ Anyone care to answer that question for all of us?

And that’s not the only response to the ‘Consolidation Consequences’, and Stockholm Syndrome topic. This from a California-based freelance LLLCommunity consultant.

“Your blog appears landscaped for folk who care, or live around Washington, DC, and understand the positions and inner workings of HUD, MHARR and MHI. Your typical LLLCommunity owner resides outside that city, and could care less about the politics of that agency and associations. What have any of them done for the LLLCommunity owners during the past ten years? In fact, I believe they (owners/operators, ed) do not want to participate much in regards to government agency proposals, because apathy and past actions never gave us much hope for change anyway. Today, we’re dealing with a lost ‘dealer network’ and HUD home builders who never come to talk to us about helping filling empty lots. And the predatory high cost chattel lenders, who are associated with HUD factories were never true business partners. Guilt by association is prevalent throughout this industry. The LLLCommunity owner/operator is an island with no association.” (Lightly edited) SL

And this next response got me to thinking about HUD-Code and LLLCommunity operations, today and into the future…

“Before the industry gets lathered up about dumping the HUD Code, we need to consider what code homes going into LLLCommunities would be built to? MODS? RVIA? Nope. Just used HUD-Code homes since that is what state law and zoning codes say. To switch codes would take years of law re-writes across the country. I frankly think our opponents would take the opportunity to put us out of business.” RK

What say YOU? As usual, inquiring minds would like to know. Reply via email, phone (317) 346-7156 or note to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.

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Own a LLLCommunity? Affiliate with COBA7

August 30th, 2014

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 312 @ 31 August 2014 Copyright 2014

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

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

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

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

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

I.

More Responses to ‘Consequences, Good & Bad, of LLLCommunity Consolidation’. Whew! Three weeks & running; and pithy commentary continues to arrive, for consideration and sharing with blog floggers at community-investor.com

II.

+$1,000 In New Home Price = Loss of 347,901 singlesection homebuyers, or 315,385 multisection homebuyers! Who’d a ‘thunk’ reduction in number of ‘new homes shipped’, as a consequence of increasing manufactured home, by $1,000.00., would be so severe?

III.

COBA7® = ‘the Right Stuff’! Of course you probably already know that, but it doesn’t hurt to look back over the past nine months and document how this exciting NEW ERA for LLLCommunity owners/operators is rapidly unfolding, and readying for year 2015!

I.

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

“I like the idea of redirecting (floor) dues from home manufacturers, to the (national) associations that perform – nice!” NB

May I say, “I continue to tell you so” regarding HUD (over) regulating our business. “Just stop it and go for local regulatory rules – much simpler since the introduction of nationwide (building) codes for housing. Housing price is a function of land cost, use of home and features anyway. We should do this and get out from under HUD’s thumb!” SS Whoa! STOP here & reread this paragraph, before proceeding to the next two paragraphs….Ready now? Then read…

Editorial Comment # 1. It’s been of more than passing personal interest, how an expose’ describing ‘Good & Bad Consequences of Land-lease-lifestyle Consolidation’, has drawn equal amounts of reader comment from the manufactured housing production/distribution ‘side of the house’ (excusing the pun), as from land-lease-lifestyle community quarters. Methinks all is not as ‘well as we’re led to believe’, by national advocacy entities representing the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. Read on….

Editorial Comment # 2. The two paragraphs following, are quoted from the September 2014 edition of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter:

Referencing an earlier quote in last weeks blog posting (# 312), regarding HUD’s imposition of a “165% inspection fee increase”. I now admit, “…I’ve been played as a journalist patsy (‘unwilling victim of a scheme, plot or practical joke’) regarding this matter! All along, as I criticized the ‘extreme $ increase’, I’d been suspicious as to WHY there hadn’t been more of an uproar from HUD-Code home manufacturers over this unprecedented arbitrary addition to the price of their homes? Now I believe I know why. And the ‘behind the scenes reason is, while abhorrent, probably necessary’, in the minds of some if not all industry leaders! So, I’ll restrain myself now, to simply sharing the headline (and definition) I’d have given the story, if breaking it here. In my opinion, the

‘Manufactured Housing Industry Likely Suffers From Stockholm Syndrome’

or captive-bonding. According to Wikipedia, “…a psychological phenomenon in which hostages (manufactured housing) express empathy and sympathy, and have positive feeling toward their captor (regulator) to the point of defending and identifying with (or perpetuating) with them.”

Think about it. The logic is intact, and (hint) stretches back over six years of shipments.

And if the full and true story ever does come out, my question will be: ‘While I can see how the decision to acquiesce, benefits the manufacturing/distribution side of the house (once again excusing the pun), are land-lease-lifestyle communities – now routinely siting six different types of shelter, hence the generic moniker, better or worse off than had ‘the industry’ not been so supportive?’ Unfortunately, I doubt ‘that question’ will ever be fully addressed let alone answered, given the home manufacturer-heavy presence and influence, in and upon the two national advocacy bodies representing them (us?) in our nation’s capitol today. At least for the time being, it appears LLLCommunity owners/operators, including the property portfolio folk, are simply ‘along for the ride’.

A final word to those who ‘patsied’ me. You have stained your cred. Now I suspect…

II.

+$1,000.00 in New Home Price
Excludes 347,901 – 315,385 Homebuyers!

Specifically, NAHB* “…research shows the number of households that become unable to qualify for new home financing, for each $1,000.00 added to the retail price of a manufactured home’ are

347,901 singlesection home buyers, or
315,385 multisecton home buyers

This quoted from MHARR’s Press Release dated 21 August 2014.

And, * = National Association of Home Builders or NAHB

Keep these numbers of ‘lost customers’ in mind as you read the following.

In yet another communiqué from the national advocacy body, Mark Weiss argues recent DOE (Department of Energy) testimony regarding possible future ‘energy conservation standards’ decries movement dangerously close to impacting (read ‘raising’) “…the purchase price of manufactured housing, AND, the total life-cycle construction and operating costs.” of said homes. The commentary then argues; IF, due to the increased purchase price of a manufactured home (e.g. for every $1,000.00 increase = loss of 300,000+ buyers), there is NO ‘sale’; therefore, NO ‘life-cycle construction & operating cost’ factor either!

Later in the same report, mention is made, at least twice: of ‘affordability’, and how “…(home) manufacturers want to maintain the fundamental purchase price affordability of manufactured housing….” No argument there. However, in this industry observer’s opinion, when anyone – within & outside HUD-Code manufactured housing and LLLCommunity circles, makes ‘more than passing mention’ of affordability, affordable housing, or housing affordability, they should, in the interest of serving and educating their readership, include within the narrative, or via proper footnoting, a working definition of what ‘they mean’ by use of the term! Frankly, it took me a (too) long time to learn, and now practice this basic truth and consideration.

So, here’s the helpful and instructive description of ‘affordable housing’, used by many practitioners throughout the housing industry today:

Working definition of housing ‘affordability’: “Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI’ can afford to rent a conventional apartment (That is, without any $ subsidy) and or buy a home in their local housing market.” Yes, the definition can be as simple and understandable as that! This definition quoted from the COBA7 Official WHITE PAPER, page # 17; in turn cited from Bruce Savage’s popular book, The First 20 Years! a history of MHI’s NCC, 2013.

How to apply the AMI of any local housing market (‘LHM’) in the U.S., per postal zip code or county? Access zipskinny.com, or better yet, google Area Median Income and click onto Fannie Mae’s website for county AMIs. For example, the average national AMI in 2013 was $51,000+/-. Individuals and households (i.e. More than one wage earner contributing to the monthly housing cost or PITI…principal, interest, taxes, insurance) earning $25,100/year should be able to afford to rent a conventional apartment, or buy a house in the U.S. The hard truth, however, is many LHMs, across the U.S. have AMIs in the neighborhood of say $36,000; meaning the citizenry has only $18,000/year with which to rent a conventional apartment or buy a house – affordably! Also understand, AMI can be the same $ amount as an individual or households’ AGI or Annual Gross Income, when calculating PITI.

So, where do we go from here? Since

1) easily accessible chattel capital, via independent, third party lenders, has not returned to the HUD-Code manufactured housing scene

2) the ‘new breed of MHRetailer & lender’ trend, among LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators, continues to mature – but not among all Mom & Pop investors

3) we still have no secondary market for the marketing/sale of resale homes, to stimulate ‘new home sales’ (&)

4) we still have no secondary market for converting ‘contract sale paper’ into cash, to support more seller-financing of on-site sale of homes in LLLCommunities.

WE – as an industry and realty asset class – can NOT afford to allow, let alone encourage, via ‘research alliances’ and otherwise, encroachments on the competitive (Read ‘affordable’) pricing of HUD-Code manufactured homes by fiat or otherwise! So, whether a direct, dues-paying member of the Manufactured Housing Institute and/or Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, encourage your elected and salaried leaders to be ever vigilant for efforts, via HUD, DOE, and elsewhere, threatening your livelihood, even the very existence of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, and its’ land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class.

Unless of course, the shedding of 40 year regulatory ties, and loss of key benefits like ‘federal preemption’, ultimately leads to more freedom in the factory production, national marketing, and increased sales volume of new affordable homes to this nation’s citizenry! Hmm, something to openly consider. Wonder if we’ll ever openly talk about it, let alone do anything about the status quo?

III.

COBA7® = ‘the Right Stuff!’

A COBA7® affiliate wrote to us recently, and had this to say:

“Hey George, really like the COBA7® motto:

‘U Support Us & We Serve U!

He went on to observe, “Says it all, doesn’t it? But know what? The Best Part is the alliance’s Right Mix of the following:

• ‘Easy daily access, by email, phone & fax, to get answers to manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community questions, even just someone to talk to about industry/asset class matters.’ Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

• ‘Weekly online communication, via blog posting at community-investor, about ‘What’s really happening’ within manufactured housing & LLLCommunity circles, & what’s ‘about to happen to us’.’ Via community-investor.com

• ‘Practical print resources and helpful directories, updated and distributed monthly, that are available nowhere else, at any price, throughout the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class.’

Please don’t change this mix or leave us!” Know what? I couldn’t have described ‘much of COBA7® ‘ any better myself.

The affiliate, however, omitted mentioning COBA7®’s ongoing research regarding LLLCommunities (i.e. Annual ALLEN REPORT questionnaire goes into the mail this coming week! Watch for it & return it ASAP); our unique interpersonal networking and deal-making opportunities (e.g. 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September, in Peachtree City, GA.) & elsewhere; professional property management training & certification via Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® program (e.g. next class = 30 September in Atlanta, GA.); assumption of Ombudsman (press) responsibilities for manufactured housing & LLLCommunities nationwide; and, most recently, the researching and preparation of an Official WHITE PAPER, to serve as basis of two National Public Forums on 9/11, where the Future of the Manufactured Housing Industry , & Future of LLLCommunities, will be discussed among 200 businessmen and women from throughout the U.S. & Canada. And don’t forget the two new Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, to be introduced at this venue: National Directories of RE Brokers Specializing in Marketing of ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities; and, for the first time since the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, a National Directory of all the HUD-Code Home Manufacturers!

Know what’s ‘most encouraging of all’, besides the 200+ who’ve already affiliated? How federal agencies now routinely contact COBA7® to acquire one or more of the SSRDs ‘they’ve long searched for’ (e.g. annual ALLEN REPORT), subscribe to the Allen Letter, and ask to learn more about the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity asset class to boot. It’s safe to say, by the end of 2014, COBA7® will have achieved a unique and valuable national identity for this realty segment of manufactured housing’s post-production business presence! Are you affiliated?

Has all this piqued your interest in COBA7® as a national alliance of businessmen and women, with an affinity for manufactured housing and LLLCommunities? If so, you’re encouraged to phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to request a COBA7® brochure describing the ‘seven parts’ or functions, that comprise all the alliance does for the industry and asset class nationwide.

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