Be Careful What You ‘Read & Believe’ About LLLCommunity Investing Today

August 27th, 2016

Blog # 411 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 28 August 2016, community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION. Part I is self-explanatory. Beware sharp-tongued commentators who posit numbers and claims to describe particular investment pictures of their liking. Part II is reminiscent of Randy Rowe’s warning in 2002, to an intimate group of business friends, of the near collapse of housing finance that’d occur five years later. But that’s a story for another day….

I.

Be Careful What You ‘Read & Believe’ About
Land-lease-lifestyle Community InvestingToday

(a.k.a. manufactured home community)

During the late 1970s, until 1986, the sales pitch was, among ‘mobile home park’ syndicators focused on getting doctors, dentists and lawyers, to buy tax loss positions in limited partnerships. When this practice was outlawed, the Resolution Trust Commission (‘RTC’) enjoyed a heyday, 1989-1995, liquidating manufactured home communities for cents on the dollar – as is. Then came the little real estate investment trust wave of 1994 & 1995, when ‘everyone wanted a piece of that action’, but only five REITs actually materialized, three of which remain to this day. Well today, two decades later we’re seeing a somewhat different investment scenario unfold, within the pages of an advertising-supported trade publication, and among certain land-lease-lifestyle communities across the U.S.

So, what does a property portfolio firm do, that’s been acquiring marginally-performing LLLCommunities, at a pretty good clip, to attract buyer attention to their realty holdings? They might make interesting, and at times confusing claims, like these:

• ‘Income capitalization rates (‘cap rates’) for LLLCommunities are not as generous as those awarded conventional apartment communities!’ True. In other words, ‘Pay us more for our investment properties because you’re already doing so with another (multifamily) realty asset class’ – albeit, one that’s more attractive to Millennials and victims of the year 2007 housing finance debacle.

• ‘Our site rent rates are way too low!’ In other words, ‘Buy our properties and jack the rents right away, to recoup your cash investment!’ Everyone does it. Our gift to you!

• ‘Or, your professional property managers can raise site rents substantially!’ In other words, we might want to do so, but prefer to leave that truly golden opportunity to your professional property management team.

• ‘There are still a lot of ‘mom & pop’ operations out there, owned by the Greatest Generation. And they too have vacancies to fill, rent rates to raise, and more.’ In other words, go buy those ‘deals’ and leave the larger properties, with 100+ rental homesites, to us!

• ‘Hey, gotta love those private equity guys!’ They arrive with more capital than common sense and rarely any industry experience. They also tend to ‘bail’ after a couple years. Has anyone noticed how many of these storied transactions have been consummated of late? None worth mentioning; well, maybe one.

• ‘We must be doing something right. International investment monies are now in play, just look at YES! Communities two billion dollar deal!’ With negative ROI rate returns increasingly commonplace elsewhere in the world, all that means is we’re ‘better than nothing or less’.

With all that said, if you’re reading this blog posting with an eye to buying one or more LLLCommunities for personal and or corporate investment, be at the Marcus & Millichap-hosted Community Investors Symposium, from 4-6PM, the afternoon of 7 September 2016, at the Gaylord Opryland Hilton Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Nashville, TN. Dozens of LLLCommunities will be available for review and purchase as the M&M team, along with other real estate brokerages, showcase them during this two hour period kicking off the 25th anniversary of the Networking Roundtable, at the same location, on 8 & 9 September. For more information, us brochure attached to email introducing this blog posting, or simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II,

Storm Clouds Gathering Once Again?

‘You could qualify for a home equity line of credit.’

Quoting from an undated CHASE bank direct mail solicitation letter, one mailed to homeowners – including me, pressing an 8 September 2016 deadline.

“Dear George. You may be eligible for a Chase home equity line of credit at a low rate. You can use the equity in your home to make home improvements, pay off high-rate bills and loans, or even college tuition. There are no application fees and no closing costs (except for cities, counties, and states that require payment of taxes and stamps) – only a $50 origination fee and a $50 annual fee. Plus, the interest may be tax deductible.”

Here’s how it works:

Line of credit balance = $50,000. Estimated variable APR* = 3.88% APR. And, Interest-only payments begin at $162 per month.

Hmm. How’s ‘no application fee’ different from a ‘$50 loan origination fee’?

*APR = annual percentage rate; but don’t overlook that word ‘variable’ in there…

Are homeowner and consumer memories so short, we/they don’t recall similar letters, circa 2006, enticing homeowners in the same manner, or worse? Only a scant decade in time has passed, and already it appears banks, who pay out little to nothing in personal savings account interest anymore, once again roll out the home equity line of credit as another income stream or profit center for their institution.

Sure hope we don’t see ‘the rest of this history repeat itself’ during the months and year ahead! How ‘bout you?

***

23 Years Later & Only Six Remain! Times Are a – Changing!

August 20th, 2016

Blog # 410 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 21 August 2016, community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research reporter & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG o r633-4764

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

INTRODUCTION. A simple but complicated mix of two timely topics.

In the first instance (Part I), we remember and honor LLLCommunity owners/operators who defied convention and status quo in 1993, to prepare for the anticipated REIT wave of 1994 & 1995. Today, only a handful of these pioneers remain active in the MHBusiness.

Then there’s Part II. Hopefully you already realize we live and work in turbulent times, where the national economy and our industry’s business model are concerned. But have YOU stopped and considered the lasting effects horizontal (consolidation) and vertical integration have had, and continue to have, on our industry and realty asset class?

If you’re one of those who believe the MHIndustry needs a new, independent national trade association to protect and advance the business interests and concerns of the post production sector of manufactured housing, you’ll want to read this week’s blog posting from beginning to end. Because there is indeed a third such party ‘waiting in the wings’ for the timing and leadership to be right and effective from the word ‘Go’!

I.

23 Years Later, Only Six Remain Active!

On 31 August 1993, 19 (then) MHCommunity owners/operators met in an Indianapolis airport hotel for a strategic planning meeting, to plan effective national advocacy for their unique, income-producing property type, before the anticipated REIT wave of 1994 & 1995. The list of ‘players’ at the time was a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of community owners/operators nationwide, e.g. Randy Rowe; Gary McDaniel; Tom Horner, Jr.; Martin Newby; Kamal Shouhayib; Gill Geary, CPM®; Marty Levin, Esq.; Eugene Landy; Brian Fannon, CPM®; Ed Zeman; and, George Allen, CPM®

During the months following that day long meeting, an Industry Steering Committee (‘ISC’) was birthed by these men; and 2 ½ years later, MHI formed the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, to absorb the ISC. Today, the rest is history.

But what’s happened to the 19 individuals who stepped forward as pioneers in our industry at the time?

Some have moved onto other business and personal pursuits, not to be generally heard from again, e.g. Jeff Kellogg, Jerry Ellenburg and Scott West, Dick Leiter, Bill Williams, and Bill Geary, CPM®.

Ron Richardson, to date, is the only one who’s deceased. Martin Newby and Tom Horner, Jr. have been succeeded in their respective businesses by sons and other relatives. Lynwood Welhausen and Marty Lavin too have retired.

Randy Rowe, during the past two decades has accumulated and sold two LLLCommunity portfolios, and has now moved onto other realty investment interests. Jim Grange continues to work with Gary McDaniel.

That leaves six men still active in their business careers:

• Gary McDaniel, an RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee and past chairman of MHI, during recent years founded and grew YES! Communities, headquartered in Denver, CO.

• Kamal Shouhayib, working from Troy, MI., continues, with the assistance of his wife and sons, Rob and Omar, to own/operate Choice Properties throughout the Midwest.

• Eugene Landy continues to be patriarch of (now) UMH Properties, Inc., a REIT, headquartered in Freehold, NJ. and is assisted by his son Sam.

• Brian Fannon, CPM®, also an RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, having worked for several large portfolio firms over the years, but is now focused on a effecting a new LLLCommunity development in Michigan.

• Ed Zeman, succeeded his father, Bud Zeman, and owns/operates one of the largest property portfolios in the Midwest.

• George Allen, CPM®, MHM®, another RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, is the smallest owner/operator of the bunch. However, over the decades, founded the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, researched & published 27 annual ALLEN REPORTs, plus the Allen Letter, & dozen books.

Yes, the manufactured housing industry, back in 1993, was fortunate to have 19 leaders step forward to chart their collective business destiny! While there are but six pioneers who remain active in the MHBusiness today, it’s interesting to note that four of them continue to lead the companies they founded, or were head of, 23 years ago.

Want to learn more about this key time in LLLCommunity history? Read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! Published in 2014, it makes for a fascinating ‘read’ about our industry and realty asset class, prior to, during and since the renascence of 1998. To order a copy, for $24.95 postpaid, simply phone (317) 346-7156.

II.

‘The Times They Are A-Changing!’

As Bob Dylan’s song, and album by the same name, opined back in January 1964

Well, 50 years later that message has been, and continues to be proving, true for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and its’ real estate component, today’s land-lease-lifestyle community asset class!

• Early 1970s saw an unprecedented high volume of ‘mobile home parks’, cum manufactured home communities in 1976 developed from coast to coast, to site record-level annual volumes of new ‘mobile home’ shipments.

• 1975 – 1976 saw implementation of the nation’s first and only federal (‘HUD’), performance-based building code foisted on the manufactured housing industry. Ten years later, MHCommunity consolidation began in earnest via syndications.

• 1995 – 2005 marked MHIndustry’s brief and unsuccessful competition, with local homebuilders, using larger, tricked-out Developer Model manufactured homes. Factories bought up independent (street) MHRetailers, to better control distribution, turning them into ‘company stores’. Simultaneously, MHCommunity consolidation continued via several IPOs (Initial Public Offerings of stock) forming real estate investment trusts or REITs)

• In short order, the number of independent (street) MHRetailers plummeted from more than 14,000 to fewer than 4,000. Beginning in year 2009, when new HUD-Code home shipments reached its’ nadir, (now) land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators picked up the slack and routinely bought, sold and seller-financed new HUD-Code homes on-site nationwide. Today, more than 40 percent of new HUD-Code homes are shipped directly into LLLCommunities.

• Bottom lines? In terms of consolidation: In 1977, 25 housing manufacturing firms garnered 70 percent of national market share; today, in 2015, the Big 3-C firms (Clayton, Cavco, Champion) garner approximately 71 percent of national market share. In the (then) MHCommunity component of the MHIndustry, only 25 portfolio firms were known and documented in 1987; today that total has risen to 500+/- sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, and three REITs.

And ‘change’ (i.e. 16 year paradigm shifts in consolidation and distribution) continues, particularly for one mega-firm, Clayton Homes, a manufacturer of HUD-Code homes. And their growth is surely stimulated in large part, by dint of ownership by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Here we learn anew about horizontal and vertical integration.

HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION

In this instance, we’ve already observed horizontal integration, as BEING a synonym for consolidation, i.e. acquiring similar (i.e. home manufacturing) firms, e.g. Clayton Homes has acquired Schult Homes, Crest Homes, Karsten Homes, Golden West Homes, Norris Homes, Giles Homes, Marlette Homes, SE Homes, Buccaneer Homes, Cavalier Homes, and more during recent months….

VERTICAL INTEGRATION

This is another story altogether. By way of definition, it’s the degree to which a firm owns its’ upstream suppliers and downstream buyers. When we first looked at Clayton Homes, in this context, during December 2015, we noted:

• Clayton Homes, with its’ estimated 41 percent national market share, is owned by Berkshire Hathaway

• 21st Mortgage Corporation., one of the remaining Big 3+1 independent, third party chattel capital lenders, is also owned by Berkshire Hathaway. As is the ‘+1’ firm, Vanderbilt Mortgage, in-house home finance arm for Champion Homes.

• Berkadia Mortgage is an emerging player, where LLLCommunity mortgages, and manufactured housing finance are concerned. The firm is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

• Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. “…real estate brokerage network built for a new era in residential real estate, grounded in the financial strength, efficiency and tradition of its’ HomeServicesof America parent company, will change the face of residential real estate.” Quoted from 2013 issue of RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE magazine.. The firm is owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Note. We’ve yet to see BHH ‘changing the face of residential real estate’, but it certainly could include the establishment of a secondary market for the sale of resale manufactured homes, potentially boosting opportunities for Clayton Homes to fabricate and ship many more new HUD-Code homes.

• Various suppliers of products and services upstream, e.g. GEICO & Progressive Insurance companies, as well as various building supply companies.

Now, here’s the proverbial ‘rub’. With quiet but increasing frequency we read of conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over (if not already ‘taken over’) the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry. For example, here’s a quote from the August 2016 issue of THE JOURNAL.

• Relative to Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’): “…the obvious self-interest of industry dominant lenders in maintaining what has been called a ‘monopoly’ on manufactured housing consumer lending….: p.12

Assuming truth and legitimacy of these claims of ‘conspiracies and monopolies gradually taking over the political agenda of the manufactured housing industry’, what’re the solutions? In the same op/ed piece in THE JOURNAL, the writer makes this case for a new independent national trade association to represent the post production sector of manufactured housing:

• “…to monitor issues in the nation’s capitol, mobilize for effective action, and fight for their interests and issues, rather than the few industry-dominant lenders and the corporate conglomerates that stand behind them.” And until that happens, the writer opines, our shipments of new HUD-Code homes will continue to languish well below 100,000 units per year.

So, where’s this new independent national trade association going to come from? Surely not the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) with its’ 80+ percent national member market share of new HUD-Code manufactured housing distribution; nor, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) and its’ regional housing manufacturing firms. The Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® is ideally suited for ‘the job’ for these reasons:

• Ongoing statistical research. COBA7® has become, during 2016, statistician for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class, in that GSEs and other government agencies now routinely seek the alliance’s accurate new home shipment data, and other such bodies of information.

• Updating & distribution of more than a dozen Signature Series Resource Documents (‘SSRDs’), monthly, e.g. ALLEN REPORT; National Registry of ALL Lenders; Directory of ALL HUD-Code Home Manufacturers; & nine more

• Weekly (blog) and two monthly print business newsletters for LLLCommunity owners, and senior executives in all segments of the MHIndustry

• Superb interpersonal networking opportunities throughout the year.

• Superb realty deal-making opportunities throughout the year.

• Professional property management training & certification via the popular Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® program…1,000+ to date!

• National advocacy when need be. Today that includes official (press) ombudsman and historian for the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class.

But as ideally suited as COBA7® is for this heady and timely responsibility, it’s going to take a younger, charismatic, successful entrepreneur type individual, willing to live and work in Washington, DC., to pull this off! All this has been an ongoing topic of conversation among COBA7® affiliates since January 2014. We even figured out how to effectively fund the effort without soliciting funds from those with a more inclusive vision for the manufactured housing industry. Want to talk about this? Contact me anytime….

***

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

The Most Important Thing You Do This Week!

August 13th, 2016

Blog # 409 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 14 August 2016, community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research reporter, & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Already one of the 150 registered for the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable? Then maybe skip over Part I here following – unless, of course, you want to get excited ‘all over again’ about what you’re going to experience 7-9 September in Nashville, TN. Not registered? Them, by all means, read Part I and be motivated to participate in the most exciting national MHIndustry venue to occur during all of year 2016! Nowhere else will you find a more focused (on LLLCommunities) but eclectic array of timely and strategic topics. And Part II? Certainly a departure from our usual MHIndustry & LLLCommunity fare, but a worthy one nonetheless. How so? More and more MH/RV mixed use income-producing properties are in our portfolios these days; but more important, many of the ills described in Greg Gerber’s 62 page ‘RV Industry Death’ study have parallels in the MHIndustry! Perhaps we can, and should, learn from a sister industry’s missteps. Read and let me know what you think.

I.

Do You Remember?

When You Missed an Important Event or Date…

Well, don’t let that be the case where the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable is concerned! I’ve been planning and hosting this annual event for 2 ½ decades and know this: No previous roundtable has attracted as much manufactured housing industry wide attention as this one! Seriously. Every time I turn around, figuratively speaking, someone is tweaking their scheduled presentation, making it all the more timely and strategic to today’s business environment for land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators.

It’s difficult to even know where to start, when describing some of these exciting offerings by hands-on entrepreneur businessmen and women, but here goes:

• Guidebook for Selling & Seller-financing of New HUD-Code Homes On-site in LLLCommunities is ‘at the printer’ and will be ready for distribution to everyone in attendance at the roundtable. The guidebook is a ‘resource first’ for the realty asset class and contains home marketing, sales, and financing information featured at the inaugural Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars.

• It’s expected every COBA7® affiliate present at the roundtable will receive a plastic discount card by dint of the alliance’s working relationship with the Consumer Buyers’ Group – good at Lowe’s, Office Max/Staples, Sherwin Williams, and elsewhere.

• You already know about the emerging theme: 2015 Chattel Capital Summit. That’ll be manifested thru the keynote address by Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage; MHI’s HR650 bill; the recently discovered HR5301 Seller Finance Enhancement Act; a look at hybrid chattel capital; GSE loan guarantee on ‘home only loans’ in LLLCommunities; a review of ‘all the $ options’ when selling and seller-financing new and resale homes on-site; and, all you ever wanted to know about lease-option but didn’t know who & what to ask, and there’s even more.

• Always popular Lenders Panel Friday morning

• Always popular GSE Panel Friday morning (Where else can you go in the MHIndustry for such a potent one-two housing & community finance punch?)

• One home manufacturer will be making a public commitment to focus marketing attention on selling more HUD-Code homes, especially Community Series Homes, to LLLCommunity owners/operators, large and small, nationwide! (Some of us have waited ‘decades’ for this to occur!)

• MHIndustry pioneer, LLLCommunity developer/owner, independent (street) MHRetailer, and industry activist Alvan Schrader will be present to share his experiences authoring the autobiography No Respect At All, A PATH TO MILLION$. There’ll be opportunity to buy this pleasurable ‘read’, and have him autograph it as well!

• Don Westphal will be sharing his Best Lessons Learned, as landscape architect, and LLLCommunity rehabilitation expert, gleaned from 50 years of professional experience!

• What’s going on with this sudden interest in mixed use LLLCommunity/RV park properties? MAI® John Whitcomb has the answers and will be sharing them.

• And the list goes on…Haven’t even told you what I’m going to be sharing with you this time around. As you know, I rarely share during this event, but not this year.

OK, if I haven’t convinced you to attend by now, it’s doubtful I will going forward. Just know this. The International Networking Roundtable is the sole annual venue designed specifically and wholly to serve the information needs of LLLCommunity owners/operators like you. Without it, you’d have nothing in the way of HOW TO education (20+ seminars & panel discussions), superb interpersonal networking (eight meal & social events), and investment property deal-making (Community Investors Symposium, Wednesday afternoon). Participate and demonstrate your support going forward!

For an information brochure and or to register, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or (317) 346-7156.

II.

Thank You Greg Gerber
Editor, RV Daily Report

‘How & What Gerber’s Study of Factory-built RVs QSV
(product quality, service, value)

Might relate to & suggest about

Factory-built MHs QSV, past, present & future!’

via a review of

RV Industry Death Spiral

‘A Collection of editorials outlining serious issues facing every segment of the recreation vehicle industry’

By

Greg Gerber,
Editor, RV Daily Report
2016

Is there such a word as déjà vu teux (two)? If not, there should be, for two good reasons, the respective histories of two sister industries: ‘mobile home’ cum manufactured housing, and recreation vehicles.

What you’re reading here, is the fruit of a lost half Saturday, reading Greg Gerber’s compendium of editorials, from RV Daily Report, titled: RV Industry Death Spiral. Boy, if you’re in or around the RV industry, these 62 pages are a ‘must read’, whether you agree with the author’s assessment of being in a death spiral or not.

I’ll be liberally quoting from Gerber’s material, not so much for RV commentary, but as to how it relates – past, present, even future, to the MH, or manufactured housing, industry from which I hail. There are, I believe, legitimate lessons to be learned here.

How so? Just read most of the Table of Contents chapter headings for clues:

• Manufacturers race to the bottom

• Dealers drop the ball on service

• Campgrounds losing capacity

• Associations can influence change

• Industry media falls asleep

See what I mean? The temptation is to make the comparisons right here, between the RV industry’s (presumed) ills today, and those the MHIndustry suffered pre HUD-Code (mid-1970s); and again, at the turn of the 21st Century (i.e. 1998-2002). Ready to move on?

Where have I heard this thinly veiled challenge before? “After covering the (RV) industry for 15 years as a journalist, one of the best career moves I ever made was to actually purchase a product produced by the RV industry and hit the road using it. I started observing how the industry works from the eyes of a consumer. It hasn’t been pretty.” P.3. I’ve known precious few MHIndustry execs who’ve bought and lived in manufactured homes. Notable exceptions = Bruce Savage, Jim Keller, retired Bob Broph, and others. Perhaps more of us should follow Greg’s example….

The first contemporary parallel that struck a chord was this:

In the RV Industry, “…two firms control about 72 percent of the entire RV market. With Thor’s acquisition of Jayco last Friday (this Summer), that number is now up to 83 percent.” P.4
&
In the MHIndustry, the Three Big – C Companies: Clayton Homes, Cavco Ind., & Champion Home Builders, control about 71 percent of the entire MH market. With the addition of MHI’s other manufacturer members, that total is now up to 85 percent, according to data supplied during the institute’s June meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

Now, try this one on for size. “…the (RV) industry talks a good talk and markets the heck out of the lifestyle. But it drops the ball big time when it comes to QSV – quality, service and value.” P.5. Examples. “…a 360 Siphon is an effective $10 part that can eliminate RV odors, which people who actually use RVs know is a consistent problem. But many manufacturers won’t install the simple device. Why? It will push them out of the mythical price point.” P.6. Want a lighter weight RV? “Why use plywood when cardboard looks just as good.” P.11 And this: “…wood becomes fiberboard and metal parts become plastic parts.” P.14
&
The MHIndustry, at present, does not ‘talk a good talk’, let alone market the heck out of the LLLCommunity lifestyle. But it does serve up a mixed bag where QSV is concerned. Think ‘Not enough product quality and service complaints to justify Dispute Resolution enforcement, but HUD does so anyway’. (That’s what’s so disturbing about having one – or more, home manufacturers producing new homes with marginal components). And value? That’s always a tough ‘call’. As long as manufacturers keep raising product price and sales centers ‘sell more house than homebuyer/site lessees can afford’, it’s ‘value be damned!’.

Well, at least in the MH business things haven’t gotten so bad, that I’m aware of, this bromide applies: “…advice regarding the purchase of new RVs is consistent – don’t buy new.” P.7 And this, overheard in an RV repair shop: “RVs ain’t for using, they’re for fixing.” P.12.

Did you know? “Campgrounds…the last bastion of genuine community…in America.” p.28. But, “…campgrounds are contributing to the demise of the RV industry….” P.28. How so?

• “Campground owners are taking out RV sites to install cabins, deluxe cabins and park models. They bring in more money.” P.28

• “…sites not gobbled up by cabins and park models are being rented long-term to seasonal campers.” P.28

• Selling out to REITs. “…once the deal is signed, the corporation needs to recoup its’ investment. The first thing they do is raise camping rates. A $30 per night site quickly becomes a $50 site and affordability of camping is seriously diminished.”p.29

• Regulations stymies new campground development. P.29

And here’s yet another presumed RV/MH parallel to ponder. “When two manufacturers, one supplier, one distributor, and one dealership controls a huge swath of the RV industry, associations are weakened by the lack of diverse thought and lively debate. Worse, they are subject to the control of big players through funding.” P.37 And right there, my friend, is maybe why MHARR was birthed in 1985, certainly why COBA7® debuted in 2014. Brings to mind George Santayana’s famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Beware consumer satisfaction studies. “Partnering with JD Power, a well-recognized name in gauging auto industry satisfaction, _____was going to show the world how happy RV owners were with the products they purchased However, the results were never made public. Rumor is, the report was shredded, the shreds burned, and the ashes scattered by a fishing trawler along 10 miles of the North Atlantic on a moonless night in September. To the best of my knowledge, no consumer satisfaction studies have been completed since then.” P.41. Hmm. Distant memory suggests a similar MH exercise awhile back, but none since.

A proposed consumer mandate: “RV owners should insist manufacturers…use building materials and structural reinforcements to ensure the (RV) products don’t fall apart when traveling one or two hours down the road.” P.49

Did you know? “…the (trade) media also (has) a duty to protect the industry from the corruption, warn against monopolies, fight against unnecessary government control, discourage favoritism, and protect Free enterprise, so all companies can compete fairly in the same arena.” P.58 Sad to say, things are not much better today in the MHIndustry.

“There are seven, maybe eight, individuals in the RV industry, who fancy themselves to be kingmakers. Everyone must genuflect in their presence and kiss their rings, if they want to be perceived as a player in the industry.” P.59 Hmm. And who would you say are the kingmakers in the manufactured housing industry? I can think of three or four…

Well, there you have it; my reader walk thru the RV Industry Death Spiral, by Greg Gerber, editor of the RV Daily Report. Here’s trivia for you. Who is Greg related to in the manufactured housing industry? Hint. Like Greg, that person too is an RVer. And if we’re lucky, he’ll show up 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Nashville, TN., for the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable. How ‘bout you? To register, phone (317) 346-7156.

***

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

MHAlive! Think Tank sets stage for 25th Networking Roundtable

August 6th, 2016

Blog # 408 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 7 August 2016, community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research reporter & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities.

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

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

INTRODUCTION. This week’s blog, by way of introduction, covers the exciting proceedings at MHAlive! – a Think Tank experience, as it occurred 1 August 2016, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. Frankly, this veteran MHIndustry observer cannot think of a single ‘like event’ at any other time, anywhere else, during year 2016. Yet this is the very type of Open Discussion our industry and realty asset class needs, to get us through the trauma and paradigm shifting of the past 16 years! So, read and ponder – then commit to participate in next year’s MHAlive!, same place, similar time (first Monday of August in Elkhart). GFA

I.

MHAlive!

MHAlive! ‘Think Tank’ Stimulates Discussion & Plans for Future

Is it possible? The RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., has become the national hub for present and future discussions of manufactured housing & recreational vehicle industries’ issues & matters, as well as a business education center for its’ entrepreneurs.

Apparently it has! The RV industry routinely kicks off their new production year
with early morning breakfasts in its’ banquet hall – attracting hundreds! The MHIndustry,
since 2/27/2009, has convened State of the Industry Caucuses there – most recently, Two
Days of Plant Tours & Home Sale Seminars’ was hosted in the facility’s amphitheatre
and seven nearby HUD-Code housing manufacturing plants.

And this past Monday, 1 August 2016, manufactured housing executives and
land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, from Georgia to California and in
between, gathered for a morning-long MHAlive! ‘Think Tank’ experience, concluded
with a luncheon. Later in the day, the 2016 Class of RV/MH industry pioneers and
leaders were inducted into the foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame!

What was discussed during the MHAlive! Think Tank sessions? A few of the
heady topics that are, or should be, on just about everyone’s mind these days:

• Restoring reasonable access to chattel capital, to enable in-community ‘home only loans’. Here, lively discussion ranged from FHFA’s Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking; to status of HR650; to ‘Who’s HR5301 – the Seller Finance Enhancement Act?’ to, tell me more about Fannie Mae ‘home only loans’ in certain LLLCommunities! For more info on HR5301, go to sellerfinancecoaliton.org/learn-more. For more info on MHI/MHARR’s HR650, phone (703) 558-0400. For more info on Fannie Mae & ‘home only loans’, come to the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September in Nashville, TN. Phone (317) 346-7156 for more information & to register for this seminal event.

• It’s all but inevitable, DOE-mandated energy standards will increase the cost of new singlesection manufactured homes by approximately $2,000 apiece, and multisection homes by approximately $4,000 apiece! This heavy-handed dictate is being effected 1) with few, if any, businessmen and women (e.g. home manufacturers, LLLCommunity owners) involved ‘in the rulemaking process’; 2) relative to factory-built homes already recognized as being energy efficient and not in need of additional energy regs at this time; 3) with DOE’s surprising lack of awareness of the paradigm shift moving distribution of new HUD-Code homes away from independent (street) MHRetailers, into LLLCommunities nationwide; and, 4) either uncaring or naïve, to the reality these unnecessary energy standards will stymie lower and middle income individuals/families’ access to the last type of affordable, non-subsidized manufactured housing left in the U.S.!

• As shown recently (in Woodall’s Campground Management, July 2016), the ‘RV Industry Pumps Nearly $50 Billion Annually into the U.S. Economy’. Well, the Manufactured Housing Institute, working with Dr. Stephen C. Cooke of the Alward Institute for Collaborative Studies, in North Carolina, plans to estimate similar $ impact on the U.S. economy, by HUD-Code manufactured housing and its’ various segments, e.g. land-lease-lifestyle communities. To date, Dr. Cooke, citing a base year of 2013, and examining only the ‘production value’ of new homes shipped, suggested a ‘going forward factor’ of $43,169 per unit (e.g. 2013 = $2,600,000,000.00 divided by 60,288 units shipped = $43,126,300.00/unit) Thus, 70,544 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2015 – according to the Institute for Building Safety & Technology (‘IBTS’), contributed approximately $3,045, 313,936.00 to the national economy that year.

• The realities of corporate consolidation, in HUD-Code home manufacturing and LLLCommunity investment properties, was tallied, compared and examined. Specifically; in 1977 = 25 housing manufacturing firms garnered 70% of national market share, shipping 186,462 of 265,651 new ‘mobile homes’; today, in 2015 = the Big 3-C firms (Clayton, Cavco, Champion) together garnered 71% national market share, shipping approximately 50,086 of 70,544 new manufactured homes. And in the case of (then) MHCommunities, 1987 saw the 25 (then) known portfolio ‘players’ owning/operating 181,705 rental homesites; today, 2015 = 120 of the 500+/- known portfolio owners/operators control 841,796 rental homesites; overall, a 20 fold increase in the total number of portfolio ‘players’ (i.e. 25 to 500+/-); and, a like 20 fold estimated increase (3,634,100+/- sites) in total number of rental homesites within property portfolios characteristic of this real estate asset class (e.g. 3,634,100 divided by 181,705)!

• COBA7® debuted its’ ‘TOP TEN States Shipping New HUD-Code Homes’ in an earlier blog posting, featuring the May 2016 listing. Well, here’re the May & June lists side by side. No one else in the MHIndustry will provide you this interesting and helpful monthly information from the IBTS!

MAY 2016 JUNE 2016
1. Texas = 1,096 HUD-Code homes 1. TX = 1,129 HUD-Code homes
2. Florida = 434 2. FL = 474
3. Louisiana = 403 3. LA = 460
4. Alabama = 377 4. AL = 364
5. Michigan = 309 5. MI = 348
6. North Carolina = 273 6. MS = 327
7. California = 263 7. CA = 285
8. South Carolina = 258 8. NC = 280
9. Mississippi = 252 9. SC = 258
10. Kentucky = 210 10. GA = 242
Total = 4,167 of 7,299 = 57%

These lists supplement a similar format published by the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). Major difference? Their ranking is per ‘cumulative total shipments’, per state, harkening back to 2011. The COBA7® lists are not encumbered with past performance per state; rather, just new unadulterated data! Are you a COBA7® affiliate yet? Phone aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE for an information brochure.

Did you notice? The total number of new HUD-Code homes shipped during June 2016 is 7,299 units! That brings the YTD total to 39,869 units. These statistics are researched & published by IBTS, used by HUD, MHARR, & COBA7. Be aware & beware, a June shipment number ‘reduced by’, then ‘added to’, by Destination Pending figures from past (May) & present (June) months. So confusing!

• Final area of Think Tank discussion had to do with the present state of ‘no national brand advertising for HUD-Code manufactured housing’. Discussion centered around whether LLLCommunities, given their present day absorption of 40+ percent of new HUD-Code home shipments (during 2015), should consider pressuring home manufacturers to redirect payment of floor fees (that LLLCommunities pay to them) to a capable, experienced, motivated (yet to be named) national manufactured housing marketing and advertising firm, to this end: National Brand Advertising!

• Announcement was made re publication and FREE distribution of a Guidebook for the Selling & Seller-financing of New HUD-Code Homes On-site in LLLCommunities, at the upcoming 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable in Nashville, TN. The guidebook is a compilation of material presented at the Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, held in May at the RV/MH Hall of Fame; plus timely and helpful material culled from other sources and resources. The guidebook will also likely be distributed at the 6th annual SECO Summit in the South, in Atlanta, GA., in late October. And then be available for purchase from COBA7®. For more info on the SECO event, email genevieve@secoconference.com

• Finally, and actually occurring after the MHAlive! Think Tank experience, preliminary plans were laid for a one or two day seminar program this Winter. Titled, ‘How to Implement & Use Lease-Option in Midwest LLLCommunities!’ LLLCommunity owners/operators in five Midwest states have already voiced support for the program. To put your name on the ‘invite’ list, email spencer@roane.com

See what you missed by not being present at MHAlive! on 1 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.? But don’t fret; plans are afoot to host MHAlive! – a ‘Think Tank’ experience, again next year, during the same time frame, at the same location!

And that wasn’t all. Following a group luncheon, hosted by Newport Pacific, several MHIndustry execs returned to the Hall of Fame for an hour long presentation of ‘Write Your RV/MH Story!’, How to Pen & Publish Your Memoir, Autobiography, or Corporate History….This session, led by George Allen, CPM® & MHM®, will likely result in a biography of a true industry pioneer, an RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, whose career extends back to the year 1948! This session too will likely be featured in 2017 at the same place and during same timeframe – to encourage other pioneers, and YOU, to record and publish your personal, familial, and or corporate history in the RV and or MH industries!

***

HR5302; Big 3-C Mfr. Ads; & MHAlive!

July 27th, 2016

Blog # 407 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 31 July 2016, community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Commu9nity Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

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

INTRODUCTION. What follows here, are a couple of the salient and pithy topics scheduled for open discussion at Monday’s (1 August 2016) MHAlive! ‘Think Tank’ session in the library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN! Even as you read these lines, it’s not too late to participate. Just be in the library before 9AM, when we start with ‘manufactured housing’, and at 10:15AM when we switch to LLLCommunity matters until 11:30AM. No fee to attend. Just come with an open mind and willingness to ‘think inside & outside the box’ relative to industry/asset class issues and challenges! Hope to see you there. Phone (317) 346-7156 to let me know you’re coming. Thanks, GFA

I.

Why Don’t ‘Big 3-C, HUD-Code Home Manufacturers’ Advertise Large, Like the Major Automobile Brands?

Reacting to a headline in his local business press, which read: ’Home sales are at the fastest pace in years!’, a land-lease-lifestyle community owner, queried his business associates: “A question for others higher up the chain than me: Why aren’t MH sales, of our affordable housing product, matching this trend? Is it interest rates or something else beyond our control?” Hmm. Good question.

To which, one of his fellow LLLCommunity owners replied:

“Here’s my take on the matter. People don’t buy what they don’t know about! What other industry produces and sells a product whose target market amounts to 100,000,000 US consumers, but does not have a national advertising campaign? Reminds me of the definition of insanity.*1 Don’t look to either of ‘our national advocacy organizations’ to organize, promote, & execute a national (advertising) program – they are ONLY national lobbyists. A good part of what we all now pay for ‘dues’, on the new homes we buy, should start going to another organization, one that handles a national brand advertising program! The $100.00 floor fee, on each of the 70,544 new HUD-Code homes shipped during 2015, would have funded $7,054,400.00 to this end! While that amount would not buy many Super Bowl ads, it would surely generate a heck of a lot more manufactured housing product awareness than we have now!”

But is that the whole story? No it’s not; nor do I think we’ll ‘answer the leading question’ in this op/ed piece; however, some historical statistical background data might set the stage for the transfer of national brand advertising dollars away from Washington lobbyists, in toto or via each of the Big 3-C firms, to a marketing entity capable, experienced, and motivated to bring maximum product exposure to the manufactured housing industry! Here’s the data.

Remember last week’s ‘first time ever published’ stats describing HUD-Code home manufacturers 38 year consolidation, between 1977 and year end 2015?

• In 1977, the Top 25 ‘mobile home’ firms shipped 70 percent, or 186,462 new homes of the 265,651 manufactured that year! Consolidated national MH brand advertising did not occur that year, and it’s doubtful it ever will, when more than two dozen ‘players’(corporate egos) must agree with ad design and placement.

• In 2015, the ‘Big 3-C’ HUD-Code firms*2 shipped 71+/- percent, or 50,086 new homes of the 70,544 manufactured that year! Consolidated national MH brand advertising still has not occurred, but certainly makes more sense, now there’re but ‘three’ decision-makers, and not 25. However, to do so, two of the ‘players’ must overcome concerns about further consolidation; and all three, in the past, have worried (rightly or wrongly?) about smaller home manufacturers benefitting from their largesse.

As an industry, we already know we’re 16 years into a major business model paradigm shift – where LLLCommunity owners/operators are rapidly supplanting independent (street) MHRetailers as major purchasers of new HUD-Code homes, often Community Series Homes, from manufacturers. As you’ll likely recall, in 2009, when the MHIndustry hit its’ shipment nadir (lowest point ever), only 25% of new HUD-Code homes went into LLLCommunities nationwide. That percentage blossomed to 40% by year end 2015; and some say, we’ll likely hit 75% by year 2020. No wonder, pundits are calling this the NEW ERA for Manufactured Housing!

That said, the ‘Big 3-C HUD-Code home manufacturers’, in this veteran industry observer’s opinion, should want to ‘Get the word out!’, as suggested by the first LLLCommunity owner quoted at the beginning of this piece. After all, LLLCommunity owners/operators are now commonly referred to as being the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’. ADVERTISE MORE & Get the traffic a-coming into Salescenters, off and on-site, in these properties coast to coast. This ‘NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing’ is entering a tender stage, where it will further blossom (with aid of national advertising) or stall – given the continued difficulty of accessing chattel capital. Which will it be?

The major stumbling blocks to national brand advertising? Apparent lack of such advertising expertise among the ‘Big 3-C firms’, and lack of a national trade body skilled at orchestrating an aggressive, collective, first ever, national ad campaign! With that said, however, beware those who’ll surely step forward, after reading this op/ed, and offer their services. The acid test = If they’re so GOOD, about what they offer to do, they’d be doing it now with a flair, for themselves, and or another company or companies.…

End Notes.

1. Definition of insanity attributed to Albert Einstein: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

2. Big 3-C HUD-Code home manufacturing firms: Clayton Homes, Cavco Industries, Champion Home Builders

II.

SO, What do YOU Know about HR5301, the Seller Finance Enhancement Act?

The HR5301 legislative initiative has taken MHI, MHARR, & COBA7® by surprise! As I pen these words, on 26 July, all of us are scrambling to sort out the content of this bill to ascertain:

Is it indeed the proverbial and much-needed ‘silver bullet’ for small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators (i.e. making seller finance transactions OK for ‘mobile homes’ but limited to 24 per year), or is it just another false start to come down the legislative highway during the past decade or so?

In the meantime, to learn more about it, go to www.sellerfinancecoalition.org/learn-more

And continue to rely on this weekly BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) and blog posting to keep you informed of matters just like this.

III.

MHAlive! ‘Think Tank’ on 1 August at RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Indiana

This is why you’re receiving this weekly blog posting four days early; to give you one last chance to beat feet to Elkhart, IN., on Sunday 31 July, to be in place at 9AM Monday morning, in the library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame (21565 Executive Parkway), to participate in the manufactured housing industry’s inaugural MHAlive! – a ‘Think Tank’ experience for anyone in the industry or realty asset class who wants to participate and engage in open discussion of industry issues and other matters. No fee. Just phone (317) 346-7156 to let me now to expect you.

This is the ‘real deal’ and a ‘real $ deal’ for you! Up until a year or so ago, the Urban Land Institute’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’) convened in similar fashion, a couple times each year – but you had to be a member or invitee to attend, and even then, it cost one upwards of $1,000 – 2,000 to participate! MHAlive!, again, is FREE, to MHIndustry & LLLCommunity aficionados. Will you be present?

So, what’re we going to be talking about that morning? The preliminary agenda, published in this blog series a few weeks ago, remains unchanged.

MANUFACTURED HOUSING

• Status of chattel capital & Duty to Serve rulemaking – with emphasis on ‘lack of creative thought to date’ = “a conspiracy theory busman’s holiday”; status of MHI’s bill; & more on HR5301.

• Are one or more forms of hybrid chattel capital on the horizon for the MHIndustry? This seminar description from the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, hints: “Wise business people look at where they’re already having success, and try to do more of it! There’s one company in the LLLCommunity business, currently operating with Fannie Mae ‘home only’ loan product in some of their properties. How does it work? What are the key elements of the program? Is it a new model for ‘home only ‘loan production with the GSEs?” No details at MHAlive!, just promise of ‘what’s to come’….

• Status of DOE energy regs and when to expect ‘net zero energy use’ MHomes? (Hint: 2020 in CA). COBA7® was at recent DOE public hearings & will share some startling observations about attendees and the proceedings. Not a pretty picture.

• Finally. Able to quantify the $ impact MHProduction (alone) has on the national economy, Come and learn the secret sauce (Hasn’t been written about by anyone else yet…)

• Corporate consolidation. The topic of last week’s and beginning of this week’s blog postings…

• ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’. Two exciting announcements!

• Be aware & beware HUD-Code home shipments numbers being reported differently by IBTS, HUD, MHARR, COBA7®, vs. MHI. Why does this self-immolation continue?

OK, those are the manufactured housing topics. And there’re seven more, relative to the LLLCommunity asset class, but we won’t go into them here.

Decide now whether you want to swoop to Elkhart, IN., over the weekend to participate in MHAlive!

Besides phoning me, consider hanging around the rest of the day to attend the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening. To make a reservation and buy banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. Hope to see you there!

***

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

Never before published MHIndustry statistics!

July 23rd, 2016

Blog # 406 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 24 July 2016; community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION. Our office phone continues to ring, as callers inquire about last week’s blog’s thinly-veiled description of a shadow agenda affecting manufactured housing, specifically within the home manufacturing and chattel capital finance segments. This week? DISTRIBUTION & CONSOLIDATION trend stats never before published! And finally, the ice may be breaking around FHFA’s Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking ice dam.

I.

MHAlive! Presages Networking Roundtable

(a.k.a. 2016 Chattel Capital Summit)

1 August & 7-9 September, are shaping up as two highly important dates during year 2016, for cerebral consideration of manufactured housing’s recent past, present, and near future Zeitgeist (‘spirit of the time’), summarized as the NEW ERA for HUD-Code manufactured housing.

MHAlive! occurs the morning of 1 August, from 9-11:30AM in the library of the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN – the same day ten RV & MH industry leaders and pioneers will be inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame! No charge to attend MHAlive, just phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to let us know you plan to attend. For RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. Location for both events? 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN. 46514.

25th anniversary Networking Roundtable. Occurs 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Nashville, TN. Event brochure attached to BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this blog posting. Or phone the MHIndustry HOTINE & request a hard copy be mailed to you ASAP.

So, what’s the Big Deal about ‘manufactured housing’s recent past, present, and near future Zeitgeist’, a.k.a. NEW ERA for HUD-Code manufactured housing?

In retrospect (‘contemplation of the past’) it’s SIMPLE; however, looking forward, it’s also COMPLICATED and unpredictable….

DISTRIBUTION.

First example. Manufactured housing’s now 16 year paradigm shift, relative to DISTRIBUTION of its’ shelter products; and WHY?

Well known today, is the disappearance of 10,000+/- ‘independent (street) MHRetailers’ (By the way, do you know freelance consultant Bill Carr is the one who coined that descriptive term?), but not ‘company stores’, from the distribution system for HUD-Code manufactured homes. And how, today, they’ve been replaced in large part – but certainly not completely, by land-lease-lifestyle community (‘LLLCommunity’) ‘owners/operators’ (A term originated by David Helfand, formerly with ELS, Inc. & ARC portfolios) selling and oft seller-financing new homes on-site! You know ‘the numbers’: 25% of shipments into LLLCommunities during 2009; 40+% in 2015; and, an estimated 75% by year 2020.

What precipitated the paradigm shift? Suicidal loss of easy access to chattel capital at the turn of the 21st Century.*1 A sorry matter that continues unresolved; despite professed openness, on the part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), and GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac), to consider creative alternatives (one of which will be hinted at later in this blog posting) to get ‘home only’ $ chattel capital – or a hybrid form thereof, flowing to the manufactured housing industry.

CONSOLIDATION.

Then there’s CONSOLIDATION. Everyone, in the MHIndustry, ‘knows about it’, but few ‘talk about it’ much, at least not openly.

First, the REALTY segment. Between 1988 (When first ALLEN REPORT was researched; published in early 1989) and year 2016. In 1987, the TOP 25 (then) ‘mobile home park’ portfolios (owned/operated 181,705 rental homesites), then grew, through consolidation, to 500+/- portfolios throughout the U.S. & Canada – with the 120 LLLCommunity portfolios identified in the 27th ALLEN REPORT, owning/operating 841,796 rental homesites! Just imagine how many all 500+/- ‘players’ own/operate these days….

Consequences? A half dozen real estate investment trusts (‘REIT’s), but with only three in business today; multibillion dollar portfolio transactions occurring during 2016; a precipitous decline in property owner memberships within most state MHAssociations nationwide; and, formation of two national advocacy entities: MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division in early 1996, and the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7® in early 2014.

Then there’s the ongoing consolidation of the MANUFACTURING segment of the MHIndustry. During 1977, the TOP 25 ‘mobile home manufacturers’ (A list headed by Skyline, Fleetwood, Champion, Guerdon & Wick) shipped 186,462 new mobile homes, exactly 70 percent of national market share (265,641 total shipments during 1977)! Today, the TOP 25 firms of 1977, have been consolidated (except for Skyline) into mainly, the ‘Big 3-C’ HUD-Code home manufacturers: Clayton Homes, Inc., Cavco Industries, Inc., & Champion Home Builders, Inc. National market share for the ‘Big 3-C’ firms together? 71+/- % of 70,544 new manufactured homes shipped during 2015, with 40+/-% alone shipped by Clayton Homes, Inc.

Bottom line? 25 manufacturers shipped 70 percent of all new ‘mobile homes’ in 1977; and, three manufacturers shipped 71+/- percent of new manufactured homes during 2015. Consequences? Some good; others not so much…

These are but two of the NEW ERA Zeitgeist matters open for discussion at MHAlive! and the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable. Will YOU be present for either or both venues?

End Note.

1. Given the opportunity, read a reprint of the Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine classic, circa year 2000, ‘Upside Down in a Mobilehome Park’. FREE copy ‘for the asking’ when you phone (317) 346-7156 or request it via email.

II.

FHFA: Wants Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) Ideas for Serving Underserved (‘MH’) Markets!

This from a 21 July Press Release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, titled: ‘Update on FHFA’s Proposed Rule on Duty to Serve Underserved markets’:

‘The…goal of Duty to Serve proposed rule is to increase the availability of mortgage financing in a safe and sound manner for very low, low, and moderate-income families across the country. FHFA, as regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, will oversee the development of the Enterprises’ plans to meet their Duty to Serve Requirements.”

And this, a Networking Roundtable presenter’s description of the topic he address on 8 September in Nashville, TN:

“Wise business people look at where they’re already having success and try to do more of it! There’s one company in the LLLCommunity business that’s currently operating with Fannie Mae ‘home only’ loan product in some of their communities. How does it work? What are the key elements of the program? Is it possibly a model for a ‘home only’ loan program with both GSEs?”

You’ll have to be present for this session to learn the details from a CEO who’s creatively answering the FHFA’s Duty to Serve challenge! Perhaps more will follow his lead after the roundtable event ends…

Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 for a brochure describing the agenda for this 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September, in Nashville, TN.

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

COBA7 Goes to Washington; New Top Ten List; &, MHAlive!

July 15th, 2016

Blog # 405 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 17 July 2016; community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION.

COBA7® ‘Goes to Washington’; Creates New ‘Top Ten List’ of HUD-Code Home Shippers; and, Refines ‘MHAlive! Think Tank Agenda’ for 1 August morning session at RV/MH Hall of Fame library, in Elkhart, IN.

I.

COBA7® Goes to Washington!

‘No one in Washington, DC., knows what a land-lease lifestyle community is, let alone a manufactured home community – only a ‘mobile home park’!’

Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® traveled to our nation’s capitol twice during the past few months to participate in public meetings hosted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), and the Department of Energy (‘DOE’). In the first instance, proposed Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking, relative to chattel capital and LLLCommunity finance were the foci. This past week at DOE, the focus was on ‘energy conservation standards proposed rulemaking for manufactured housing’.

Here are my ‘takeaways’ from both meetings; in the first instance (#1) ‘seasoned’ by the passage of time (a few weeks) and confidential conversations; and this week, (#2) the stark realization no one is aggressively representing the business interests of our unique income-producing realty asset class!

(#1) Try this on for size. Federal regulatory agencies and GSEs are appear frustrated at the manufactured housing industry’s reluctance & reticence to suggest new or even past, creative or mundane, means & ways, to start or increase, the flow of chattel capital from new or renewed sources (e.g. local lenders of various types) to fund loans on new home sales occurring within land-lease-lifestyle communities nationwide! It appears the chattel capital status quo, presently enriching a couple large, well-positioned & politically savvy firms, will not be challenged, let alone supplanted, by national advocates claiming to represent the manufactured housing industry at large.

The sole ‘breath of creatively fresh $ air’ occurred when Freddie Mac recently guaranteed a $3,600,000.00 mortgage on an ROC (resident-owned community) in CA

Point? This is a first time, one-off finance happenstance (‘fortuitous happening’) that could likely be replicated in the ‘home only finance’ arena with some creative thought!.

If you’d like to dig deeper into this alleged marginalization of DTS rulemaking, be present at the MHAlive! Think Tank session, 1 August at the RV/MH Hall of Fame library in Elkhart, IN.; and or the ‘2016 Chattel Capital Summit’ as part of the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Nashville, TN., on 7-9 September 2016. For info on both, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

(#2) When HUD-Code housing manufacturers start adding $2,000 – $4,000 to the wholesale price of every new singlesection & multisection manufactured home – to implement new energy conservation standards, LLLCommunity owners/operators (selling said homes on-site) will surely ask: ‘When, how and why did this happen?’ Know what the answer has to be? ‘Between 2007 & 2016, at the behest of the federal government, working with energy conservation and manufactured housing advocacy groups, but with no one truly representing the business interests (i.e. MHSales efficacy & profitability) of LLLCommunity owners/operators!’

Read kinda harsh? It was meant to be. Why? Before COBA7® attended the DOE public hearing on 13 July 2016 in Washington, DC., the 20+/- bureaucrats there, from DOE, HUD, MHI, MHARR, SBRA, DOJ & others, had no idea more than 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers (‘distribution’ arm of the MHIndustry) had gone ‘out of business’ since the turn of the 21st Century (exceptions oft being those who also owned LLLCommunities). Nor did they know how this unique, income-producing property type is fast becoming the primary wholesale purchaser of newly-built HUD-Code homes, i.e. 25% of shipments in 2009, 40+% in 2015; and an estimated 75% by year 2020! – and who will bear the brunt, along with their homebuying/site lessee customers, of new, questionable ‘energy conservation standards’ product up-costs and prices!

Seriously. This is a working group who, until 13 July 2016, was using 2014 shipment data (60,000 units shipped) in their decision-making, until COBA7® informed them the very next year, 2015, saw no fewer than 70,544 new HUD-Code homes shipped from factories – a clear indication the MHIndustry was working its’ way back to prosperity! And how this is the wrong time to add to product cost!

And there’s more, but it’ll have to wait for time to put all the pieces together for you.

If you’re an Option III affiliate of COBA7®, expect to receive a copy of the five page, single-spaced after-action report submitted by COBA7® to the DOE, making this important point among others.

II.

COBA7® Creates New ‘Top Ten’ List!

EDITORIAL NOTE. COBA7® expanded its’ statistical research & reporting scope, from the LLLCommunity arena into manufactured housing production & distribution ONLY after an MH national advocacy body, during the Spring of 2015, imitated – and continues to do so, the (then) 26 year running ALLEN REPORT. Since that time, COBA7® has exposed & explained the unfortunate difference in reporting of monthly new HUD-Code housing shipment totals supplied by the Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), and parroted by HUD, MHARR, & COBA7®, but not MHI. What follows here, is the debut of a third new MHIndustry statistical reference. George Allen, CPM & MHM

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) routinely prepares and publishes a proprietary Top Ten List featuring new HUD-Code home shipments “…from the beginning of the industry production rebound (from) August 2011 thru May 2016, with cumulative, current year (2016) and prior year (2015) shipments….’ For example,

1. Texas 59,612 new HUD-Code homes to date (2011-2016)
2. Louisiana 20,929
3. Florida 17,647
4. N. Carolina 12,719
5. Alabama 12,700
6. Mississippi 11,538
7. California 11,091
8. Kentucky 10,920
9. Tennessee 9,046
10. Oklahoma 8,366

The latest IBTS information, for May 2016, resulted in ‘no change’ to this cumulative list

COBA7®, however, believes ‘an inquiring business public’ would like to know, from month to month, which are the Top Ten new HUD-Code home shipment states going forward, unaffected by past performance. Hence the new ‘Top Ten’ List of states shipping the most new HUD-Code homes:

1. Texas 1,096 new HUD-Code homes shipped during May 2016
2. Florida 434
3. Louisiana 403
4. Alabama 377
5. Michigan 309
6. N. Carolina 273
7. California 265
8. S. Carolina 258
9. Mississippi 252
10. Kentucky 210

The latest IBTS information, for May 2016, indicates the total number of new HUD-Code homes shipped to be 6,780; up from 6,689 new HUD-Code homes shipped during April 2016.

Bottom line? By default & design, the task of researching & compiling helpful MHIndustry & LLLCommunity statistics & data is being handled by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®. So, if not already affiliated with COBA7®, consider doing so today, joining hundreds of manufactured housing aficionados from throughout the U.S. and Canada. See introduction to this blog posting for details. GFA

III.

MHAlive! ‘Think Tank Agenda for 1 August 2016

We continue to refine the 14 point agenda (7 @ MHIndustry & 7 @ LLLCommunity) to be presented and parsed during MHAlive!, from 9Am – 11:30AM, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame library, 1 August 2016. Will share the detailed agenda with you next week, 24 July, in that Sunday blog posting.

For now, know MHIndustry executives & LLLCommunity owners, from CA, CO, GA, and the Midwest, have already indicated their intention to participate in the two sessions. There’s no fee; just request you let us know, via (317) 346-7156, or via email, of your intention to be present at 9AM that morning.

To purchase tickets to that evening’s RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, phone (574) 293-2344. You’ll be glad you attended – along with 400-700 of our peers. Me too!

MHAlive!, 2016 Chattel Capital Summit, & Shipment Stats…

July 9th, 2016

Blog # 404 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 10 July 2016: community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION. Parts I & II = ‘MHAlive!’ @ RV/MH Hall of Fame, & ‘2016 Chattel Capital Summit’ @ 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable, in August & September. Two ‘Must Participate’ MHEvents in Indiana & Tennessee!

Part III. Official MHShipments @ May 2016 per IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & COBA7®

I.

‘MHAlive!’Taking Shape as 1 August Nears

“It happened in Elkhart in the RV/MH library, with the colonel using a cane-mounted steel hitchball purloined from a 1970s era DeRose singlewide mobile home.”

Opening line from a new murder mystery set in northern Indiana?

No, it’s a ‘tease’, to entice you to spend Monday morning and early afternoon, 1 August, in the library at the RV/MH Hall of Fame – with George Allen. Doing what? Publicly parsing and discussing sensitive, key MHIndustry & LLLCommunity matters, issues, legislation, regulatory concerns, and more….

There is no registration fee to participate in MHAlive! But we only have room, in the library, for a dozen or so participants. So, if you know now you plan to attend MHAlive!, email us or phone (317) 346-7156 and let us know.

Know too, there is a fee to attend the Hall of Fame induction banquet that evening – honoring 10 RV/MH industry pioneers and leaders!. To make a dinner reservation, phone (574) 293-2344. Location for both events is 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN. Expecting more than 400 businessmen and women to attend the induction banquet.

OK, so what’s taking place at MHAlive! ? It’s simple and straightforward:

HUD-Code manufactured housing matters, issues, legislation, regulatory concerns, etc..
@ 9-10:15AM

• Status of chattel capital and Duty to Serve rulemaking

• Are one or more forms of hybrid chattel capital on the horizon for MHIndustry?

• Status of DOE energy regs & when to expect ‘net zero energy use’ MHousing?

• Finally, quantification of the $ impact of MHProduction on the national economy

• How much more corporate consolidation before federal regulators start inquiring?

• ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’. A new regional MHShow!

• Beware HUD-Code shipment #s at odds with IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & COBA7®

That’s the ‘working list’ now. It might change before 1 August arrives. Anything you’d like to see added, deleted, changed on that list? If so, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. And again, let us know if you plan to attend.

Land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) matters, issues, regulatory concerns, etc.
10:15-11:30AM

• ‘Chattel Capital Summit’ occurs 8 & 9 September. Six + presentations scheduled!

• CSH Models = 25% into LLLCommunities @ 2009; 40+% @ 2015; 75% by 2020

• Beware regional site rent surveys sans all LLLCommunities in local housing mkt.

• ‘YES! Communities’ going Chinese? ‘Sun Communities’ going RV?

• Beware misleading imitation of the ALLEN REPORT ; 28th edition @ 1 January

• How to effect changes to ‘overtime regulations’ relative to property managers?

No host luncheon off-site @ 11:30 – 12:30PM.

‘Mini-Writers’ Conference’ in the RV/MH Hall of Fame library. A no fee, no reservation event, for RV/MH industry businessmen and women @ 12:30-1:30PM. Come and meet with MHIndustry historian and publisher, to learn how to get your story told via…

‘Beginning One’s Memoirs & Autobiography’, a.k.a. preserving one’s personal & corporate legacy, like Alvin Schrader did in ‘No Respect At All…’ A PATH TO MILLION$. Have you read it yet? It’s on sale at the RV/MH Hall of Fame store. Or phone (317) 346-7156 to order a copy for only $25.00 postpaid. $20.00 of the book purchase is donated by the author, to the RV/MH Hall of Fame!

MHAlive! Will end between 1:30 & 2:00PM, so RV/MH Hall of Fame members can attend the reception being given in their honor at the RV/MH museum.
.

II.

2016 Chattel Capital Summit, to date….

Attend the 25th anniversary of the International Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel & Conference Center in Nashville, TN., and participate in the following Six Significant Chattel Capital Summit Events:

• Traditional chattel capital = keynote presenter, Tim Williams of 21st Mortgage

• Chattel capital & ‘Duty to Serve’ = panel comprised of reps from GSEs & FHFA

• Hybrid chattel capital = lecturer committed and will be identified at event proper

• Lease-Option = Fast growing new home methodology, Spencer Roane, MHM®

• Clayton, Cavco, Champion $ spokespersons will be present to answer questions.

• Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities = Keith Anderson, Champion

And Yes, there’s even more being planned, but this should well whet your appetite to be present, as we ‘make history’ parsing what’s happening now, and preparing for what’s about to occur in the near future, chattel capital wise, for the manufactured housing industry & LLLCommunity asset class! No conscientious MHIndustry businessman or woman will miss this seminal event!

BOTTOM LINE. We’re 16 years into the ‘turn of the 21ST Century paradigm shift’, where widespread abuse of chattel capital made it ‘go away & stay away’ (Read ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park’*); 10,000+/- independent (street) MHRetailers have gone out of business (Unless they owned one or more MHCommunities); and, 500+/- portfolio owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities now routinely buy, sell, seller-finance, even lease new HUD-Code, oft Community Series Homes (a.k.a. CSH Models) on-site! You simply can’t summarize the past 16 years any simpler than that! So, plan to be at the 25th International Networking Roundtable in September. Phone (317) 346-7156 to register and or request a descriptive brochure, complete with agenda and hotel information.

End Note. For a FREE copy of a reprint of that now classic Manufactured Home Merchandiser article (‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park!’), phone (317) 346-7156 and request it. Frankly, it should be ‘required reading’ for anyone who’s come into the MHIndustry since the year 2000!

III.

May 2016 MHShipment Total
per IBTS, HUD, MHARR, & COBA7®

Institute for Building Technology & Safety, HUD, MHARR, & COBA7® report 6,780 new HUD-Code homes shipped during May 2016, up from 6,689 shipped during April; boosting total to 32,570 YTD! Do not be misled. HUD, MHARR, COBA7® & MHI all pay for this monthly data from IBTS; only one national advocate reports it differently.

And, 2015 HUD-Code ‘manufactured housing production only’, at 70,544 units, contributed an estimated $3,045,313,936 to the national economy! Per formula introduced June 2016 by Dr. Stephen C. Cooke of the Alward Institute for Collaborative Science, i.e. base year 2013 @ $2,600,00 divided by 60,228 units = $43,169/unit.

An increasing number of businesses and government agencies rely on COBA7® for their MHIndustry & LLLCommunity information. Don’t be left out; affiliate with COBA7® via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4763. Research begins soon on 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’

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

New Overtime Regs, MHALive! & yellow journalism

July 2nd, 2016

Blog # 403 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 3 July 2016; community-investor.com website

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: 1) New Overtime Regulation, for salaried employees. News to you? Prepare to be shocked! 2) And MHAlive!? Read this, and if YOU want to participate, let me know ASAP! 3) Two WARNINGS: one protects your computer from invasion & personal data theft! The other one? Latest example of yellow press – ‘Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers.’

I.

New Overtime Regulations…

On 1 December 2016, Salary threshold Changes to $47,476/year.

This affects almost all salaried property managers of land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities)! How so?

Recalling, only 15 percent of 50,000+/- LLLCommunities in the U.S. have more than 100 rental homesites, know it takes – depending on site rental rate, at least 290 rental homesites to generate enough income to pay an on-site administrative property manager ‘PM’ who is not performing maintenance duties, $47,000 annual salary in accords with new regs. For example: 290 sites X $300/month rent X 12 months X 4.5 percent OER* (.045) = $46,980.

*OER = Operating Expense Ratio per Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts; specifically, 4.5% administrative PM per Allen Model.

Salary total can be, I’m told, a combination of salary, concessioned housing and utilities, as well as commissions, and possibly, other forms of compensation.

Some LLLCommunity owners have already converted salaried on-site managers to hourly workers. Watch here for further details. MHI’s National Communities Council division is also working on this pending change. For more information, phone (703_ 558-0666.

For a FREE copy of above-referenced COBA7® Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts, containing OERs for LLLCommunities, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it.

II.

MHAlive!

We’ve been talking about this, off and on, during the past couple months – beginning during the inaugural Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Well, many of us (maybe 600) are about to gather there again on 1 August 2016, for the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. If you haven’t yet bought your ticket, phone (574) 293-2344 ASAP!

Originally I planned to spend the morning of 1 August, leading group discussions about MHIndustry issues and LLLCommunity matters. Then head off to a no host luncheon together. And in the early afternoon, spend an hour or so, leading a (free) mini-writing seminar, focused on preserving personal and corporate legacies. Think Al Schrader’s recent autobiography: ‘No Respect At All…A PATH TO MILLION$’ By the way, Al’s book is on sale at the RV/MH Hall of Fame store.

Well, though we’ve received some inquiries about the morning MHAlive! agenda, the consensus has become, ‘Let’s wait until we all get to the 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN., 7-9 September 2016’. Why?

A ‘near perfectly (good) storm’ appears to be a –brewing, as the top chattel capital firms, FHFA, both GSEs, and 200 practitioners (i.e. LLLCommunity owners/operators) make their way to this annual event. Hybrid finance alternatives is even on the schedule this year! So, use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this week’s blog, to register. Seating is indeed limited this year….

Bottom line? I will be in the RV/MH Hall of Fame library by 10AM on 1 August – earlier if folk want to meet and ‘talk shop’ (Phone 317/346-7156 or email me via gfa7156@aol.com). Would like to ‘do lunch’, around 11:30AM, with several businessmen and women. And then, after lunch, until 1:30PM or so, host the mini-writer’s conference. Why stop at 1:30PM? There’ll be a private reception then, for all past and new RV/MH Hall of Fame inductees and board members.

How can you not want to be in Elkhart, IN., on 1 August? Just about ‘anyone who’s anybody’ in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class will be present!

***

III.

Warning! Warning! Warning! Warning!

Beware ‘FREE download’ offer of How to Find, Buy, Manage, & Sell a Manufactured Home Community!

As author of that 500 page copyrighted text, I assure you there is No Free Download – it’s a ploy to gain access to, and steal information from your computer.

For that matter, the book, published in 1996 by J. Wiley & Sons, New York, is out of print! Long touted as the bible of manufactured home community investment, with thousands of copies sold – the material is now two decades old. However, most of the investment and management principles remain valid, guiding one’s experience with the unique, income-producing property type. If you’d like a FREE copy of the four page syllabus I used to teach that heady subject, over the years, simply phone the above-referenced COBA7® number and ask for it. Used copies of this book are often available online at amazon.com

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Be aware & beware a rogue reporter representing the (‘self-proclaimed’) ‘industry’s leading professional trade publication’. The faux journalist, in a yellow press release, criticizes, without documented specifics, manufactured housing’s largest national advocacy entity – for not performing in the manner he expects; and allegedly desired by (unnamed) members of said body. Commentator goes on to suggest the ‘launch (of) a new trade organization to promote the industry’s interests.’

Well, The Journal, the Allen Letter professional journal, & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! remain the only three ‘leading’ print professional trade publications serving the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) realty asset class. Why leading? Because all three have been published and supported by the MHIndustry & LLLCommunities, for a minimum of two decades apiece, three decades in the case of The Journal None of these is the publication alluded to in the previous paragraph.

There are two national advocacy bodies representing manufactured housing today: the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) & the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). The Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7®, focuses on the statistical, information, communication, networking, deal-making, PM training/certification, & national advocacy needs of LLLCommunities nationwide and in Canada! The rogue reporter is likely not a member of MHARR (It accepts only HUD-Code housing manufacturers), nor an affiliate of COBA7®. And given MHI held a national meeting in Indianapolis, IN., this past week, with 100+/- members in attendance, was this reporter present, to gather information for this yellow press release, and or to make his views known? Probably not.

As far as launching a new national manufactured housing trade association is concerned, memory recalls this individual being highly vocal against similar plans a few years ago. Causes one to ponder the motivation behind this new suggestion. Perhaps “Follow the money!” a catchphrase popularized in the 1976 movie, All the President’s Men, applies.

***

COBA7 Hits Stride Big Time!

June 24th, 2016

Blog # 402 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 26 June 2016; community-investor.com website

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

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

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

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

COBA7® Hits Stride Big Time!

While all ‘seven parts’ of the alliance’s core mission remain intact and active, refinements thereof, and a ‘new presence’, enhance COBA7®’s increasingly vital and involved role on the national manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community business scene….

Yes, COBA7® continues to do and provide the following important products and services to LLLCommunity owners/operators throughout the U.S. and Canada:

• Ongoing statistical research, beginning with the seminal ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!). And frankly, since one national MHIndustry advocate persists in misreporting monthly shipments of new HUD-Code homes (i.e. different from the total published by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety), more national agencies are coming to COBA7® foraccurate data pertaining to manufactured housing and the realty asset class.

• Updating & distribution of ‘more than a dozen’ Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, usually as lagniappes in the Allen Letter professional journal. Yet another example of where federal regulators, GSEs, and agencies, now ask COBA7® to list them in one or more of the alliance’s popular directories, as they’re updated monthly.

• COBA7®’s weekly blog posting (‘What you’re reading here’) and two monthly print business newsletters are increasingly in demand as the alliance’s affiliate base grows in number. And given the dearth of advertiser-supported trade publications serving the manufactured housing industry these days, watch for an increasing number of paid display ads within the Allen Letter professional journal during the coming months. And the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Newsletter? More senior executives and large portfolio owners/operators now rely on its’ confidential ‘advance’ news than ever before!

• Superb interpersonal networking opportunities are still a hallmark of COBA7®. The upcoming 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland resort hotel in Nashville, TN., promises to be the ‘biggest & best ever’, given the special lineup of presenters and timely, controversial, contemporary MHIndustry topics! Once again, the GSEs & FHFA will be present on a public discussion panel.

• Deal-making, of course, is part and parcel to the annual Networking Roundtable, as virtually every national real estate broker, specializing in LLLCommunities, is present for the Investors Symposium, Wednesday afternoon (7 September), thru to the end of the event.

• Professional property management certification via the popular Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® program, is another of the ‘seven parts’ on the rise. Here, two MHM®s have been added to the instructor staff, as the one day class is scheduled around the U.S. No wonder there’s now 1,000+ MHM®s owning/managing LLLCommunities in the U.S. & Canada. Are you & your PMs MHM® certified yet?

• National advocacy. when need be’, includes official MH ombudsman and historian responsibilities. This is where COBA7® has seen the most growth since its’ founding, January 2014. To date, the alliance has published two history texts: Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! – a history of MHI’s National Communities Council division’s first two decades. And just recently, Alvin Schrader’s autobiography: ‘No Respect At All’…A PATH TO MILLION$. This latter title has been so popular, the initial print run is more than half gone! To order either or both books, along with affiliation with COBA7®, simply phone the official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Finally, there’s this ‘new presence’, where COBA7®, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, is repeatedly invited to attend agency and department meetings in Washington, DC., to represent LLLCommunity owners/operators interests nationwide. Meeting hosts’ attitude is almost always one of ‘We’ve waited a long time for you guys to be represented!’

Here’s an example of how these new working relationships have been coming together to shed new light on past and contemporary issues dealt with by the MHIndustry. By now, you’ve likely heard of the Department of Energy’s recently released rulemaking proposal. And how said mandated energy efficiencies will likely increase the price of new HUD-Code manufactured homes. Well, here’re the estimated ‘number consequences’ of the proposed DOE energy regulations for manufactured housing, courtesy of Washington-based entities now working with COBA7®

Year 2015 avg. price singlesection MH = $45,600. To this, add $2,226 estimated upcharge per DOE proposal – or $4,000 via ‘others’ estimate = $47,826 & $49,600 respectively.

Year 2015 avg. price multisection MH = $86,700. To this, add $3,109 estimated upcharge per DOE proposal – or $6,000 via ‘others’ estimate = $89,809 &$92,700 respectively.

Compare this with the Year 2015 avg. price for a stick-built home @ $360,000.

The Department of Energy will be holding a public meeting on 13 July in Washington, DC., to review said proposal. There will likely be a number of questions at that time: Why add this energy efficiency burden when HUD-Code homes are already viewed as being more energy efficient than site-built homes. And, the ‘added cost’ estimates just cited, don’t appear to include a variety of enforcement mechanisms that’ll be required to monitor implementation, e.g. testing and other regulation compliance costs.

As you can see, COBA7®, more and more, is relied upon for accurate MHIndustry statistics, informative SSRDs, reliable& newsworthy online & print news, superb networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, as well as a variety of national advocacy – related ombudsman & historian services, plus active participation in national matters and meetings.

Finally, if you own one or more LLLCommunities, like me, you owe it to yourself to affiliate with the only national entity (COBA7®), formed to serve the information, statistical data, networking, and communication needs of LLLCommunity ownership nationwide! No one else comes even close to supplying the array of products and services described in the previous paragraphs.

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

***