MHConspiracy; MHShipment ‘#s & $s Report; & Sam Zell’s new autobiography

August 11th, 2017

Blog # 459; Copyright @ 13 August 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. aCOBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

INTRODUCTION: a manufactured housing conspiracy, MHAlive! Think Tank a success, Official MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for June, and new autobiography by Sam Zell: AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE? Can’t fit any more than that into one weekly blog!

I.

Is a Manufactured Housing Conspiracy Theory Afoot?

Maybe. Lead feature in the August issue of the Allen Letter professional journal presents a profoundly disturbing view of ‘What’s Going On – or Not’, within the Manufactured Housing Program at HUD & MHI, as a result of:

‘The Fruit of Voluntary & Involuntary Consolidation in Factory-built Housing, Appears to be Peer Domination, & Possibly, Duplicity’

Note to the reader. That’s all we’re going to pen at this point in time. The manufactured housing industry and its’ real estate segment, land lease communities nationwide, are at a critical juncture in the history of the interrelated business models.

The Question of the Day? WHO is going to pay for rental homesite foundation replacements, oft required by dint of regulatory overreach per HUD’s manufactured housing program and administrator:

1. Manufacturers of HUD-Code homes

2. Land lease community owners/operators, or

3. ‘No one’, if overreach is stopped in its’ tracks & SOON.

Don’t be deceived! That’s what the hullabaloo in Washington is about these days; nothing more, nothing less! Who pays? We’ll be writing nothing more about this manufactured housing conspiracy (theory), unless it becomes Reality .Then we’ll tell all.

II.

MHAlive! Think Tank, a Success!

Details to follow, likely in an upcoming Allen Letter professional journal feature. But for the time being, know 15 land lease community owners/operators (including representatives from one REIT); three manufactured housing association executives – one each from two national MH advocacy entities, and a Midwest state trade entity, met from 9AM until Noon, identifying, articulating, discussing, and recording what to them are major industry and realty asset class matters and issues.

This was the second of four national manufactured housing input sessions. The first being in Chicago during May; this one in Elkhart, next in Indianapolis during the Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September (You registered yet?); and finally, during the SECO Conference in Atlanta during October. YOU should be able to input at one of these rare sessions to make your views known and recorded for action and resolution!

Later the same day, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, the Class of 2017 was inducted. As you know, this included Mike Sullivan, CPM, of Newport Pacific; Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties; Christine Lindsey, MHM-Master, of UMH Properties; and, David Gorin, RV guru par excellence.

Plan now to participate in the third MHAlive! Think Tank session the first workday in August 2018! Our industry and realty asset class are long overdue for opportunities to identify matters and issues of concern to businessmen and women, to then ‘kick them upstairs’ to elected and salaried leaders at the three national advocacy entities.

III.

COBA7’s Official MH Shipment ‘#s & $s’ Report, June 2017

This seminal report is attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting. If you haven’t seen and read any past reports, know this is the most comprehensive one published by any of the three national advocacy entities to date! How so?

1) Everyone tells members the monthly HUD-Code housing shipment volume as reported by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’) – except one, who deducts DESTINATION PENDING units from the month total being reported, adding it to the IBTS shipment total on the next monthly report.

2) Only the COBA7 report, this one, reports the ‘production value’ of HUD-Code homes shipped during the month being reported. This is provided ‘per month’ and ‘year to date’. Some pretty interesting data if you haven’t been exposed to it in the past.

3) And while COBA7 methodology differs slightly from other reports, the Top Ten shipping states are reported, showing their respective total for the month, and how that relates to the previous monthly total.

4) Finally; what percentage of the reported month’s total HUD-Code home shipments, are from the aforementioned Top Ten states? Usually around 60 percent, month in, month out.

Would you like to receive this ‘#s & $s’ report each month? Then read the Allen Letter professional journal, as an affiliate of COBA7.

IV.

There’s a New Autobiography in Town!

AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE?

‘Straight Talk From A Business Rebel’

by Sam Zell

“Some of my most interesting and lucrative investments seemed counterintuitive when I made them – such as buying rail cars when the industry was crumbling, or investing in manufactured home communities when other investors wouldn’t touch them.” p.6

Later, on pages 120 thru 123, Sam describes, in detail, how “We debuted our real estate holdings on the New York Stock Exchange with Manufactured Home Communities (MHC), now known as Equity Lifestyle Properties (ELS), and its forty-seven manufactured home communities. It was one of the early companies to list as a REIT in the modern commercial real estate era.”
As the land lease community asset class’ historian, I’ll tell you it is not always easy to identify and describe the genesis of an emerging trend in (any) business class. But here, on pages # 122 & 123, Sam Zell describes how his team “…discovered RV parks had the same fundamental characteristics as manufactured home communities. They are smaller versions of the same business model – we’d own the land while tenants would own the structures, and there was low turnover. The sectors also had similar tenant demographics, the same types of sites, and the same cash flow characteristics. So, ELS became the first company to combine and institutionalize the blended asset classes.” Editorial note. According to the 28th annual ALLEN REPORT, 50+/-% ELS’ property portfolio is comprised of manufactured housing rental homesites, and 50+/-% RV sites.*1

And this new (2017) autobiography is nothing short of being colorful. It’s probably the ‘most fun’ business text I’ve read to date. How so? Know about Zell’s Angels? (p.32); “We invented business casual.” (p.62); “…my nickname, the Grave Dancer.” (p.76); and, “I am a professional opportunist.” (99). And by the time I finish reading the book, I’m sure I’ll have identified more examples….

Especially like what Sam had to say about Wall Street analysts. If you were around during the mid to late 1990s, and beyond, you know the grief they caused for many REIT operations. Here’s Sam: “…a lot of people who get burned by depending on Wall Street analysts…discover quickly the advice they’re getting isn’t coming from a committed owner – it’s coming from a professional who is collecting a fee.” P. 95.

AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE joins seven other autobiographies authored by businessmen (No business women so far, though I know one veteran land lease community owner who’s working on hers….) active in manufactured housing or our unique, income-producing property type. ENJOY.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247

A MUST READ Manufactured Housing Potpourri!

August 3rd, 2017

Blog # 458; Copyright @ 6 August 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

COBA7 Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U! Goal of its’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform 7 improve MHBusiness performance!
_______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: ‘Hold onto your seat’, so to speak. This is going to be one ‘fast & furious’ run through four important matters, best shared NOW, rather than later….

A Manufactured Housing Potpourri
(’a mixture or medley of….)

I.

SWAN SONG, besides being ‘George Allen’s History of Land Lease Communities, 1970-2017, & Official Manufactured Housing Shipments Report, 1955-2016, is also:

A BOLD EXPERIMENT IN SELF-PUBLISHING BOOK DESIGN

How so? Three ways. First, it’s a print run limited to 300 books! Available only at the 26th Networking Roundtable and until stock is depleted.

Second. It will be distributed FREE at the Roundtable, giving community owners & operators their first comprehensive history ever, courtesy of COBA7!

And? The inclusion and binding of a blank page, or two, labeled AUTOGRAPHS. The plan here, is to create a ‘once in a lifetime or career experience’ for many! Since more than 100 land lease community businessmen and women, as well as notables from other segments of the manufactured housing industry, are identified throughout the manuscript – many of whom will be present at the 26th annual Networking Roundtable; why not ask for and collect their signatures and bon mots, on the AUTOGRAPH page(s), or where their name appears in the book proper? To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done anywhere, anytime before.
Frankly, how can such a FREE takeaway resource be anything but VALUABLE to the book owner, for years and decades to come? I’ll be collecting as many autographs and bon mots, as possible, of friends and associates, during the day event! How ’bout you?

II.

WHITE PAPER “…to research, document, and describe the nature, state, and degree of disunity among manufactured housing national advocates.” So announced, in effect, within concluding paragraph of Part I in last week’s blog posting (#457).

Talk about immediate and substantive feedback! It’s happened! And cited entity shortfalls go well beyond ‘disunity’ and other matters hinted at in the subject paragraph. Plus, it has become apparent to the WHITE PAPER team, there are at least’ two sides to every matter described’, to date, by direct, dues-paying members and former members of all the national manufactured housing advocacy entities.

KEEP LETTERS (GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247) & EMAILS:: gfa7156@aol.com), A-COMING! We need and value your input…

The WHITE PAPER is, and will be for awhile, in research & documentation stages of this long overdue project, germane to every segment of manufactured housing.

III.

MHAlive! THINK TANK, 9-11AM, 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. If you haven’t already registered to participate, don’t bother! We have the maximum number of manufactured housing & land lease community owners/operators needed to make this a superb

SECOND OF FOUR OPPORTUNITIES TO INPUT MH MATTERS & ISSUES – entirely different from the national advocacy entity challenges being parsed in Part II.

The initial opportunity occurred at the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association (’IMHA’) annual meeting on 17 May, in Rosemont, IL.

A third opportunity will occur during the aforesaid 26th Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. Still time to register if sincerely interested in your business future! SECO Summit in the South, during mid October, will be last opportunity

IV.

HUD must back off its’ heavy-handed increased regulation of manufactured housing installation & start promoting it as best type & source of ‘affordable housing’ in the US today! Or what? Read final paragraph of this Part IV and read how HUD can indeed be guilty of stifling the slow rebounding of new HUD-Code home shipments to homebuyer/site lessees throughout the U.S.

How so?

Since year 2009, when annual shipments bottomed out at 48,789+/- new homes, with 25 percent (or 12,000+/- homes) going directly into (then) manufactured home communities, the industry – with help from (now) land lease community owners/operators, selling & seller-financing new Community Series Homes on-site, saw shipment volume increase to 64,331 (Verified volume per unadulterated IBTS monthly data), with an estimated 40 percent (or 26,000+/- homes) going directly into this unique, income-producing property type! And some report, 50+/- percent of year 2015 volume of 70,544 (Verified…IBTS), or 35,000+/- new homes went directly into this real estate asset class nationwide! No like data yet available for year end 2016. The industry’s rebound does not get much clearer than this!

Ah, but it does! Using MHI’s estimated ‘production value’ of $43,126 per new HUD-Code home (Year 2013 as base line), multiply the three annual shipment volumes, cited in previous paragraph, by $43,126, to clearly see how very much manufactured housing contributes to the national economy, as it continues to work itself out of the repression era!

And finally, as pointed out in last week’s blog posting (#457), the three year average (Years 2013 – 2016) increase in annual shipment volume was every bit of an average of 10.4 percent per year (With max @ 15% by year end 2016), more than three times MAGAnomics “…sustained three percent annual economic growth.” target established by the Trump administration! Few industries perform, dollar wise, better than manufactured housing!

Is ANYONE in Washington, DC., listening and paying attention to the plight of manufactured housing, an industry at the very cusp (’point’) of ‘being BUSTED by its’ federal regulatory agency’; OR, by dint of major change in personnel and policy, BOOSTED by its’ federal regulatory agency’? Let’s hope so and soon!

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM; COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247

MEGAnomics & White Paper Announcement Rock TAC! Subscribers!

July 28th, 2017

Blog # 457; Copyright @ 30 July 2017; at Community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: The titles of Part I & II prepare the reader for what follows:

I.

MAGAnomics & White Paper Announcements Rock TAC! Readers

The realization that since year 2013, ‘production value’ of HUD-Code manufactured homes, by dint (’force’) of ’shipment volume’, has exceeded the national MAGAnomics goal of “…sustained three percent annual economic growth’, on the average, more than threefold, through year 2016!

What does that mean? Well, as was described in last week’s blog posting (#456); while Make American Great Again economics goal is three percent, HUD-Code manufactured housing ‘production value’, in turn, has been – believe it or not – zipping right along at 6.73%betweem 2013 & 2014; 9.6% between years 2014 & 2015; and (Gasp!), 15% between years 2015 & 2016! (When was the last time we ‘zipped’ at anything?) And there’s every reason to believe this 10.4% average per year will continue, even increase, between years 2016 & 2017!

This stellar performance apparently has not sunk-in with folk at MHI (Original advocate of Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s 2013 base line research into ‘production value’) nor MHARR. Have you heard or seen either national manufactured housing advocate making our industry’s economy-leading case? My question is, ‘Why not?’

So, until someone proves otherwise – if that’s even possible, WE, as an industry and realty asset class should be crowing about this national economy leading performance, where the ‘production value’ of HUD-Code manufactured homes are concerned, for years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and now, 2017! What an incredible opportunity for us to make the fourfold case, as to how WE:

• Are the best quality & priced form of affordable housing in the U.S. today!

• Need soon & reasonable access to chattel capital for new home loan financing!

• Need significantly relaxed financial regulatory restrictions on our housing type!

• Need significantly relaxed installation regulation restrictions in communities!

Look! We’ve made our case! HUD-Code manufactured housing has been, and continues to, outperform MAGAnomics ’sustained three percent annual growth rate’. Surely there’re public rewards for these stellar results, just as there are internal benefits for us as ’skin in the game’ businessmen and women.

Join me in encouraging MHI & MHARR to bring these stats to the attention of federal legislators and regulators in our nation’s capitol NOW rather than later!

& then this edited postscript announcement at the end of the August issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! or TAC! business newsletter:

A White Paper has been commissioned, to research, document and describe the nature, state, and degree of disunity of or among manufactured housings national advocates. This precipitated by 1) one or more state manufactured housing associations canceling membership in a national trade group; 2) continued disproportionate leadership by mega-firm members; 3) ‘affluence gerrymandering’ in meeting (location & cost) planning; 4) selective prohibition of proxy voting at national meeting elections; and, 5) (alleged) purloining of member intellectual property; and more. If you have personal or corporate knowledge of proofs in these and other areas, contact gfa7156@aol.com for submission/participation instructions.

II.

A Week & A Day Remaining Before MHAlive! Think Tank

By now, you’re likely aware, a dozen to two dozen – MHIndustry & LLCommunity businessmen and women will convene, Monday morning, 7 August, from 9-11AM, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN – in your behalf!

MHAlive! is successor to the now defunct Urban Land Institute (’ULI’), Manufactured Housing Communities Council (’MHCC’), which met productively from 2004 thru 2015, but was shuttered for lack of participation due to high cost of ULI membership and premier meeting location costs.

MHAlive! met for the first time, in early August 2016, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. To date, the group has been kept purposely small, to stimulate lively participation and discussion to identify industry/asset class matters and issues. But there is still room for you, if you phone soon, to let us know of your interest: (317) 346-7156. No fee; just prorated meeting costs billed afterwards.

An open-ended agenda is pretty much in place. Following distribution of event handouts (e.g. newly updated outline: ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class!), introductions of all participants, and a ‘Welcome’, the convened group will launch into the identification and discussion of industry and realty asset class matters and issues of concern to them. At the end of the two hour session, a decision will be made as to the ‘next step’, if any, relative to sharing this information with you, and perhaps the three national advocates for manufactured housing and land lease communities.

How can you not want to actively participate in the future direction, complexion, and ’survival cum prosperity’ of our industry and realty asset class? furthermore, it is expected MHAlive! Think Tank*1 proceedings will affect the tone, scope and direction of the upcoming 26th Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, at The Alexander Hotel, in Indianapolis, IN. Have you registered for this ‘oldest national venue for community owners/operators’ yet? Use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) accompanying this posting. As you already know, all attendees will receive a FREE copy of SWAN SONG, ‘George Allen’s History of the LLCommunity Asset Class, 1970-2017′

The next six weeks promise to be the most enlightening and exciting period during all of year 2017! Ask yourself: ‘Does anyone else offer this sort of public opportunity to express your views on industry and realty asset class matters? NO!

End Note.

1. Do MHAlive! gatherings (Previously National State of the Asset Class or NSAC caucuses) produce results? They surely do! On 2/28/2009, as MH launched into its’ nadir (’lowest ever’) year of only 48,789 new homes shipped; 100+/- of us convened at the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Result? The Community Series Home, or CSH Model HUD-Code housing concept and design! This community-friendly innovation caused, in large part, an increase from 25% of homes shipped into (then) MHCommunities, to more than 50% by year end 2015!

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156 & gfa7156@aol.com

Manufactured Housing exceeds MAGAnomics 3%/year Goal!

July 21st, 2017

Blog # 456; Copyright @ 23 July 2017; at Community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: The content of this week’s blog posting is important, and potentially explosive – on the national scene, where economic performance matters, there is but one (’I') primary focus! And the hope is it, somehow, this Good News winds up in the hands of legislators and regulators presently oppressing manufactured housing and land lease communities, as encouragement to promote, rather than stifle, further economic growth nationwide!

I.

Manufactured Housing & MAGAnomics

‘Make America Great Again economics goal = sustained three percent annual economic growth’. Manufactured housing is averaging 10.4 percent annual growth for years 2013 thru 2016!

Don’t know ’bout you, but given this triple high level of business economic performance, compared to MAGAnomics goal of three percent annual sustained economic growth, we – as an industry, should be touting and lauding our brand of affordable housing to every legislator in Washington, DC., and across this great land! What do you think? If you agree, print off this blog (#456) posting and pass it onto your federal legislators, state manufactured housing trade association, and anyone else who needs to hear and act on this message! If you don’t tell them, no one else will! And you have my outright permission to reprint this important information to this end!

So, what’s this all about?

During the past four years, for which we have ‘verified’ (’v') manufactured housing shipment totals, using Institute for Building Technology & Science (’IBTS’) monthly data, including DESTINATION PENDING units (i.e. not shipped to specific state destinations, at the time of the monthly report)*1; and Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s ‘production value’ of $43,126/new HUD-Code manufactured homes shipped*2, we can boast the following positive economic performances, in real numbers and percentages, for years 2014 thru 2016:

2013 = 60,228 (v) new homes shipped X $43,126/unit = $2.6 billion; total ‘production value’, rounded up from $2,597,392,000.00.

2014 = 64,331 (v) new homes shipped X $43,126/unit = $2.7 billion; total ‘production value’, rounded up from $2,774,338,000.00. Year 2014 annual ‘production value’ up 6.73 percent from year 2013.

2015 = 70,554 (v) new homes shipped X $43,126/unit = $3.0 billion; total ‘production value’ rounded down from $3,042,290,000.00. Year 2015 annual ‘production value’ up 9.6 percent from year 2014.

2016 = 81,136 (v) new homes shipped X $43,126/unit = $3.5 billion; total ‘production value’ rounded up from $3,499,071,000.00. Year 2016 annual ‘production value’ up 15 percent from year 2015.

Well, there you have it. Statistical information, based on IBTS monthly shipment data, that demonstrates HUD-Code manufactured housing is recovering from it’s doldrums of a nadir year in 2009, and is leading MEGAnomics as well!

What will you do to ’spread the word’ that HUD-Code manufactured housing continues to be the most affordable brand of factory-built housing – or any type housing, for that matter, available anywhere in the United States? Write and tell us, via gfa7156@aol.com how you’re using this data to get customer, legislator, regulator attention, and sell more manufactured homes!

End Notes.

1. As will soon be pointed out in the forthcoming book SWAN SONG, a semi-autobiographical history of land lease communities from 1970-2017, most if not all annual MH shipment totals, e.g. 48,789 new manufactured homes shipped during 2009, are not verifiable using IBTS monthly data (IBTS does not publish annual totals for good reason), and different totals have routinely been published by one or more national advocacy entities between 1959, or 1985, thru year 2012.

2. Dr. Cooke’s ‘production value’ of $43,126 per new HUD-Code home is based on data researched during year 2013, at the behest of the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’). No data updates evidently available at this time.

George Allen, CPM & MHM; COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

SWAN SONG, Contretemps, & Honest Disagreement. All for You!

July 15th, 2017

Blog # 455; Copyright @ 16 July 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: What a heady mix of topics this week! SWAN SONG, Contretemps, & Honest Disagreement. SWAN SONG focuses on past & present; Contretemps & Honest Disagreement on present & future, of manufactured housing and land lease communities. Just wish it could have all been penned in succinct fashion, but given the nature of both foci, this is the best I could do for you. GFA

I.

What’s So Special About Swan Song?

‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Communities (1970-2017)
&
First Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments (1955-2017)’

This is a tell-all book about manufactured housing and land lease communities during my 45 year career in factory-built housing and investment properties, and as a professional property manager – accolades, warts, and all!

No fewer than 80 friends and associates, from my decades in this ‘double dual business model’ are identified (Some have died), and credited for specific contributions to the manufactured housing industry, and ‘mobile home parks’ cum manufactured home communities cum land lease communities.*1 A personal goal is to put a gratis copy of Swan Lake in everyone’s hands at the 26th Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. Or mail copies to them afterwards. There are no plans to sell this historic, tantalizing, tell-all tome (’large book’) on the open market.

Tell-all? Here’s one example. There’s never been, before Swan Song, an ‘Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments’ ,circa 1955-2017. Seriously. Oh, there’re lists all right, but have you compared claimed annual shipment volumes side by side, year by year? The totals often differ, depending on ‘whose & which’ national advocate’s list one references. Well, this ‘Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments’ debuting in Swan Song, lists annual shipment data with a (+/-) when there’s no verifying monthly data available from HUD’s contracted scorekeeper, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (IBTS’). And where there is archived monthly shipment data (available only for recent years), the annual total is clearly marked as ‘Verified’. For the record, IBTS does not publish annual HUD-Code housing shipment totals, due to uncertain disposition of DESTINATION PENDING housing units – oft not resolved until years later!

There are additional timely and helpful reprints and unpublished works, about manufactured housing & land lease community topics. Here’s some of what you’ll read and in this landmark text:

• Brian Gallagher’s (COO/CFO @ Santefort Neighborhoods, Chicago, IL.), ‘A Land lease Community, Seller-Finance Success Story’, prepared for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (’FHFA’) Chicago ‘listening session’ in early 2017. Reprinted from the Allen Letter professional journal.

• Spencer Roane’s (Founder & President of Pentagon Properties, Atlanta, GA.), ‘Manufactured Home in a Land Lease Community versus Site-built Home on Deeded Realty’ – a $ comparison featured in Manufactured Housing Review.

• Mary Ann Andersen, ‘One Man’s Vision Realized, the Saddlebrook Farms Story’. This is, without a doubt, one of the most anticipated business model success stories in manufactured housing and land lease community history!

• George Allen’s contributions: ‘An Error to Die For’ (circa 1990); ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park’ (circa 2000); ‘Historical (chattel capital) Perspective, to FHFA’s DTS Rulemaking Challenge to GSEs’ (January 2017); as well as ‘The Florida Communities Story’, shared as a Case Study, in the Guidebook to On-site New Home Sales & Seller-financing (2016); and, ‘The Manufactured Housing Industry Tipping Point’ – a timely, serious warning to the industry and asset class!

If all that doesn’t titillate you to the point of wanting to be present at the upcoming Networking Roundtable, there isn’t much more I can say, to convince you to attend.

Furthermore, we’re ‘pulling out all the stops,’ to host and facilitate the Best educational, interpersonal networking, and realty deal-making opportunity ever planned and facilitated for owners/operators of land lease communities nationwide.

End Notes.

1. Double dual business model’ = HUD-Code manufactured housing production & distribution; land lease community development & management.
II.

CONTRETEMPS
&
HONEST DISAGREEMENT

MHARR finds FHFA’s Duty to Serve Underserved Markets – Implementation Plan, to be “…wholly deficient and unacceptable with respect to the manufactured housing component of DTS…particularly the chattel financing segment of the manufactured housing consumer lending market….” *1 And, “MHI reinforced its position the Enterprises’ plans must lead to chattel manufactured home loan purchases. MHI argued the plans should include measurable benchmarks, and DTS credit must only come from achieving these benchmarks.” (Lightly edited. GFA)

versus

Others (i.e. non-national advocacy entity academics, as well as businessmen & women, with ’skin in the MH game’) wax optimistic. Believing GSE’s are ready to work with manufactured housing, on several fronts, to restore reasonable access to chattel capital to land lease community owners/operators routinely selling and seller-financing new and resale manufactured homes on-site. *2

So, how is this a contretemps (’an embarrassing occurrence’)? As badly as the manufactured housing industry needs reasonable access to chattel capital for home loans, we don’t need continuing disunity and distrust hamstringing the industry in front of federal legislators and regulators! Answer this: ‘Do we continue to ‘go to the mat’ with said regulators and legislators; or, once again, placidly attempt to negotiate our way out of unpleasant situations?’ Here’s a clear example of this counterproductive attitude.

From ‘MHI News & Updates’ dated 12 July 2017:

“Several other organizations noted similar sentiments in their own comment letters. The National Association of REALTORS expressed their support of the Enterprises’ inclusion of a pilot program for chattel loans. The Mortgage Bankers Association stated, given that ‘chattel loans comprise the vast majority of manufactured housing loans, it would be difficult for he Enterprises to fulfill their obligation to serve the manufactured housing market without addressing chattel loans.”

Really? Well then, the defining question is this: ‘Where’s mention of MHARR’s like-focused comment letter to the FHFA? If NAR & MBA support of ‘inclusion of a pilot program for chattel loans’ is worthy of mention; why not the lengthy comments, on the very same subject during the same timeframe, from MHARR – as a sign of industry unity? As long as we, as an industry and realty asset class, suffer counterproductive attitudes like this, among manufactured housing advocacy entities in Washington, DC., we’ll likely continue to suffer unhelpful actions by regulators and legislators!

As to’ honest disagreement’; someone needs to stand up to ‘Support or Debunk’ (lightly edited) statements following; quoted from MHARR’s comment correspondence to the Honorable Mel Watt, Director of the FHFA, dated 10 July 2017:

• MHARR challenges FHFA “…to produce and approve amended plans that…provide for the market-significant securitization and secondary market support of manufactured home chattel loans by the Enterprises on an expedited basis.” (p.2)

• The FHFA 2016 DTS Final Rule and proposed DTS implementation plans flowing from that rule, represent not only a failure to comply with the will and word of Congress, but a failure of leadership as well.” (p.3)

• “The implementation of DTS…established by the FHFA final rule and related Evaluation Guidance fails to mandate any securitization or secondary market support for any type of manufactured housing loan, either real estate or chattel.” p.5)

• “…current ‘portfolio’ manufactured housing lenders have developed a profitable business model (with higher-cost interest rates that would produce even greater returns with the lower rates and significant greater volume that would result from Enterprise support)” p.8

• “…for the Enterprises, that spent years putting people into homes they could not afford – leading to their own collapse – to now balk at helping people buy manufactured homes they can afford (to buy), based on alleged ‘risk’, is absurd, unacceptable and inexcusable.” p.10

• “…manufactured housing consumers will remain, effectively, as captive customers, within a financing market dominated by just one or two lenders, that is less than fully competitive, and that charges them high-cost interest rates, specifically because of the absence of such support by the Enterprises.” p.13

Now, there was one statistic in MHARR’s ‘FHFA DTS’ review, and confirmed in MHI’s like letter, that illustrates growing influence and presence of land lease communities as buyers, sellers, and financiers of HUD-Code manufactured homes:

• “Chattel placements (presumably new homes going into land lease communities), represent an expanding segment of the overall manufactured housing market, having increased from 64% of all placements in 2007 to 80% of all placements in 2014, a 25% increase.” (p.6). For context; recall 2009 = the nadir point of MH shipments @ only 48,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped nationwide; and 2014, where shipment volume increased to 64,331 (verified) new homes.

MHI, in its’ own right, takes the Enterprises to task, in its’ comment letter dated 10 July 2017:

• “…both Plans include a number of ’soft’ Activities (such as research, conferences, roundtables, and provision of educational materials), and both Plans include Objectives to promote loans to manufactured home communities, which do not increase the availability of manufactured home loans to very low, low, and moderate -income borrowers.”‘ p.1

• “…the Plans do not appear to include efforts to purchase manufactured home loans on a flow basis (i.e. through establishment of underwriting guidelines that allow seller-services to sell all loans that meet such guidelines).” p.2

• “…MHI believes purchasing commercial loans for manufactured housing (sic) communities does not address an ‘underserved market’ need, and therefore the Enterprises should not receive Duty to Serve credit for such loans.” p.3

• “MHI is confident chattel loans can be purchased safely and profitably, with proper underwriting standards and appropriate compensating fees and risk sharing.” From previous paragraph: “…it is now nine years since Congress passed Duty to Serve, and neither of the Enterprises are purchasing such loans.” p.3

• And finally, “…the buildout (sic) of a chattel purchase program on a flow basis necessitates the development of a functioning, cost-effective secondary market for such loans.” p.4

So, where do YOU stand amidst this ‘contretemps &. honest disagreement’ discussion?

It’s simply one more significant and timely reason why you should be in Indianapolis, 6-8 September, when our keynote presenter touts the positive perspective of this complicated matter. To register for the event, use attached brochure of via gfa7156@aol.com.

End Notes:

1. MHARR = Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform; FHFA = Federal Housing Finance Agency (oversees GSEs); &, DTS = Duty to Serve

2. GSEs = in this instance, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

‘MHFinancing Strategies, & Anticipated Impact of GSE’s DTS Programs; & more reminiscing!

July 7th, 2017

Blog # 454; Copyright @ 9 July 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Oops! My attempt to dress-up last week’s blog posting (#453) with a yellow rising sun background, for some reason, negated your ability to access the blog proper via left clicking on the imbedded website address. Sorry ’bout that! Suggest you now, or after reading this posting (# 454), scroll back at the end of the posting, to read blog #453, titled: REMINISCING. Some good property management tales there – ones that prompted this sharing of more such tales, from others and me, again.

Know what? This blog is a classic example of ‘Saving the Best for Last!’ How so?

Part II embodies truly exciting new news, describing the keynote presentation to occur at the Networking Roundtable, the morning of 7 September 2017, in Indianapolis, IN. Could not alert you to this before, but now know, ‘This presentation alone, is worth the registration fee to attend this popular annual event!’

But first, to further reminisce…

I.

REMINISCING, Part II.

Here’s a lightly edited submission from now retired, long time independent (street) MHRetailer and land lease community owner/operator, Bob Bross, of St. Louis

Try being a retail dealer selling homes on a full recourse finance
basis, then having the banker get mad as hell at you, about something
or other, and being determined to bankrupt you – by handing you 105
repossessions in one year! I have the tax returns to prove it!

Yikes! Must be the reason my mentors, in this business, over the years, have counseled me to avoid full recourse at every opportunity. But ‘today’, isn’t that what many land lease community owners/operators are doing when they seller-finance their on-site new home sales transactions? Bottom line? Be very thorough with one’s lending screening and qualification process. For a great tool to this end, use Spencer Roane’s ‘free’ worksheet. We stock it at COBA7: Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or request it via gfa7156@aol.com

And then there was this experience from Steve in California. “Awhile back I bought a 1970 ‘doublewide’ home from a heavy smoker. Collapsed floor board around toilet, paneling and draperies coated with cigarette tar (She never opened her windows, ever), original shag carpet, & Avocado colored appliances. Also a Singer sewing machine of 1897 vintage, and a 1936 Hoover vacuum cleaner. Remodeled the home and sold for a profit!”

Now, back to unique peculiarities and intricacies of land lease community property ownership and property management.

What have I seen done to ameliorate (’lessen the consequences of’) an overworked extended aeration waste treatment plant, with weir overflowing ‘flock blanket’ in the clarifier tank – when word came down the health department inspector was making his circuit among (then) mobile home parks in a Kentucky county? Well, from behind one of the blowers, the maintenance man removed a box of Calgon dishwasher detergent powder, then generously sprinkled some atop the flock blanket. Wow! You should have seen that flock coagulate and drop down to about four inches below the water surface, just far enough to stop flowing over the weir at the end of the tank. Who’d a thought? Certainly not condoning this remedy, just describing it.

“Please fill out this Guest Card, so I can turn it in to show my boss I’m doing my job!” So said the home sales and leasing consultant, as I sat down for our Mystery Shopping interview. And know what? That’s the last she looked at the card and the ‘housing need’ information I’d printed on it. And here I thought a Guest Card was a tool to help sell more homes and lease more rental homesites! Guess I was wrong, in that case, anyway. By the way, this tale and one told last week, simply underline the necessity and value of having one’s residential, multifamily properties Mystery Shopped on a regular basis. Are you doing this?

“Your honor, I don’t have money to pay this rent and court costs.” To which the judge replied, “OK, empty your pockets onto the table there in front of you.” The defendant strenuously objected, but did so. Out came more than $300.00 in large bills; more than enough to pay the $200+ rent and court costs. Now that is going to happen only in a rural county court in southern Indiana….

Giving my maintenance man a tranquilizer pistol to ‘take down’ stray dogs running in packs through our manufactured home community started as a good idea, but ended with a classic ‘unintended consequence’.. Oh, it worked fine with the larger dogs. They’d be tranquilized, then taken to the local pound. However, when they overdosed (’killed’) a smaller, mangy, mutt – it turned out to be a resident’s prize show dog! Seriously. They filed suit, and in the end, our insurance company paid them several hundred dollars to make the problem go away.

How do you turnaround a 135 rental homesite (bank foreclosed) community, plagued with 200+ potholes in the streets, and only ten rent-paying residents in place? Two years earlier the property was full, but when the town’s sole major employer, a factory, closed its’ doors, most homeowner/site lessees departed. The remedy? Fill the potholes yourself (It’s called ’sweat equity’), and enlist residents to recruit friends, family members, and co-workers to fill vacant rental homesites, in lieu of rent increases!. Did it work? Sure did. 75% occupancy in a few years and no rent increase for five.

Best or worst delinquent rent collector of all time? Jules was a retired wrecker driver. He worked part time for me, going door to door, collecting back site rent. He was 100% effective! Decided to covertly shadow him one day to learn his secret. His drill? Knock on the front door and step back as door opened. Told the renter what he/she owed. If there was any argument, he’d turn slightly, displaying a holstered pistol barely hidden under his jacket or shirttail. End of argument. Renter paid and Jules departed. That was the last day Jules collected delinquent rental homesite rent for me.

So, like last week, if you have similar , beyond the pale, land lease community and management tales to share, let me know via email: gfa7156@aol.com

Now, onto – by far – the most exciting blog topic in this, and previous postings of late:

II.

Current MH Financing Strategies, & Potential Impact of GSE’s Duty to Serve Programs!

= the title of keynote address, at the 26th Networking Roundtable, Indianapolis, IN.

Here’s how the keynote presenter describes the important message he plans to share during the morning of 7 September 2017:

“A decade has passed since the Government Sponsored Enterprises (’GSE’) last purchased chattel loans, and in that time, diverse and creative approaches have arisen in an attempt to fill the void. As Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac now signal they are ready to test the market for chattel loans, this first public presentation 1) reviews current financing options and strategies, 2) explores opportunities and impact of potential GSE chattel programs, and 3) paints a picture of manufactured housing’s future in the context of chattel finances evolution.”

Yes, this is the researched & compiled overview, of present & future manufactured housing chattel capital finance, we’ve awaited, for more than a decade! It will be formally presented by the individual, well known in land lease community owner/operator circles, who performed the actual research, interviewed lending sources, and worked with GSEs, to shape this historic comprehensive presentation. No one else in the manufactured housing industry is better qualified, or has the credentials, to ‘make this happen’!

Frankly, every major HUD-Code housing manufacturer, independent chattel lending source, both national manufactured housing advocates, and land lease community owners/operators presently engaged in the on-site sale and seller-financing of new and resale manufactured homes should be present for this first public presentation of this strategic, industry-saving & restorative topic!

And the ‘icing on the cake’ of this historic keynote address, will be a panel presentation the next morning – following the popular real estate mortgage originator’s panel – of one featuring HUD-Code housing manufacturers with company finance programs, and independent third party chattel capital lenders, who’re sponsors of this year’s stellar roundtable. The aforementioned keynote presenter will moderate that panel!

To register for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September 2017, use attached brochure. To sign-on as a sponsor, contact me directly via (317) 346-7156. Don’t wait on either matter! Attendance this year is strictly limited to 200, due to meeting space availability at The Alexander host hotel in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

Postscript. No promises, but there’s a good chance this presentation will be published in the near future, enabling reprint circulation to land lease communities nationwide, only just now realizing they must buy new HUD-Code homes to sell and seller-finance on-site, if they plan to continue in business during the years ahead. But don’t wait for this to ‘maybe happen’. Be present for this first public presentation of the present and future evolution of chattel capital.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156.

Reminiscing: ‘What Can Happen to One During Nearly 50 Years in this Business

July 1st, 2017

Blog # 453; Copyright @ 2 July 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: The next three months promise to be the most exciting ones of all 2017! On 7 August, at RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., these two events will occur:

• MHAlive! Think Tank, 9-11AM. Letters, including two pages of preliminary MH & LLCommunity issues and matters, have been sent to the dozen individuals committed to attend. If you’d like to be included in the max of 25 expected that morning, phone (317) 346-7156 or via gfa7156@aol.com Yes, both national advocates have been invited; now awaiting their answer. Copies of the finished product will be sent to them after the MHAlive! Think Tank session.

• RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, 5:30-9:00PM. Hope you plan to be present to fete 10 RV & MH industry pioneers and leaders; including Michael Sullivan, CPM from CA; Spencer Roane, MHM from GA; Christine Lindsey, MHM from TN; and David Gorin from VA. For more information and to register, phone (574) 293-2344. Record attendance expected at this year’s event! Don’t miss it!

And then comes the…

• 26th annual Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN., at The Alexander Hotel. See attached brochure for agenda. Some very special features this year, but you’ll have to be present to experience them! For info, phone (317) 346-7156. And there are still some sponsorship opportunities available. Did you know? Top notch sponsors have their names and contact information highlighted in the annual ALLEN REPORT? That’s ‘free advertising’ all year long!

Now that’s probably the longest INTRODUCTION to any blog posting I’ve penned to date (nearly 500 of them!). Here the ‘fun begins’, as I share a few of my most memorable experiences as a property manager, land lease community owner, author, and management consultant, during the past nearly 50 years! And if you like them enough, and tell me so, I’ll pen a few more for you next week. Tell me via gfa7156@aol.com
Reminiscing

What Can Happen to One During Nearly 50 Years in this Business

A couple weeks ago, in a weekly blog posting (#451) here at community-investor.com, I announced a new book I’m authoring, for planned ‘free’ distribution to attendees at the 26th annual Networking Roundtable in Indianapolis, IN., 6-8 September 2017. Titled SWAN SONG, and subtitled: ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class, 1970-2017 & Manufactured Housing Shipments, 1955-2017′, this project tapped ‘big time’ into memories and instances of ‘unintended consequences’.

How so? Well, as I researched personal and corporate historical material, decade by decade, I kept bumping into, and reminiscing about, really unusual property management encounters and ‘one of a kind’ consulting assignments, relative to our shared experience with land lease communities . Now, some of these tales will likely wind up in the aforementioned book, but most will not. So, thought I’d take a few minutes to titillate you with a few of the stories, in abbreviated fashion:

• An early experience, circa 1978, had to do with an on-site manager who, when evicting (a.k.a. ‘bagging out’) a tenant from a rental (then) mobile home, found his bathtub filled with water and a school of large catfish swimming around inside. Next to the tub was a baseball bat. Conclusion? Hungry tenant sprinkled bread crumbs atop the water, stunned a surfacing catfish, then filleted and fried it for dinner. I have the photograph to prove it!

• Two years later I worked briefly, for a novice-but-claimed-to-be experienced realty investor, who put $1,000,000.00 cash in escrow, to buy four (then) mobile home parks. The deal failed shortly thereafter; he left town, and a decade later, murdered several attorneys in downtown San Francisco before committing suicide. Why? Believed ‘everyone’ had betrayed him during the past ten years, and this was his revenge. I was on his ‘hit list’, along with several other manufactured housing notables, including a future REIT CEO.

• Within days after Hurricane Andrew, during early 1990s, I was hired, by a property portfolio owner, to visit his destroyed Florida manufactured home communities in Homestead. Enroute, all interstate road signs and light poles were gone, and exit names had been spray-painted on off-ramp road surfaces by national guard soldiers. Singlesection manufactured homes had been storm-rolled against a perimeter fences and were often stacked three high. Even concrete block motels had their roofs blown off completely. And 18 inch diameter, tall pine trees were denuded of all their limbs, large and small. Have the photos!

• Mystery Shopping assignments always spelled adventure! One time, in Denver, I encountered a late model Mercedes Benz ‘up on blocks’ and without tires, in a manufactured home community. When I told the property owner, he replied: “Oh, that shows how we cater to a higher class of homeowners!” Or the time I walked into an Information Center, only to see the manager I’d been hired, a year earlier, to remove from another land lease community! He recognized me swell, but didn’t harbor any hard feelings. Whew!

• How’d that firing occur? A Chicago-based owner hired me to remove this manager, who’d threatened him, out of his Indianapolis manufactured home community. Now, this was an effective but gruff manager, so I found him a like property management position in Illinois; sent him for an interview, and he was hired. And I collected my ‘removal’ consulting fee. A ‘triple win’ for all!

• One New England owner believed it more effective to leave street potholes in place throughout his land lease community, than to install speed bumps. When I challenged him about the matter, his response was: “You don’t see anyone speeding in here do you?” No.

• And then there was our (business partners & me) first (then) manufactured home community purchase, back in the early 1980s. We paid $400,000.00 cash for a foreclosed 500 rental homesite Midwest property, with only 100 rent-paying homeowners in place. Two years later, now with 200 homeowner/site lessees in place (i.e. 40% occupancy), we sold it begrudgingly (Because we had no desire to sell yet), to a California investor who had become ‘emotionally attached’ to our property. The Dr. agreed to pay us what it’d be worth at 100% occupancy, at current rent, and 40% operating expense ratio! So, sale price was $2 1/2 million dollars! When we acquired that property two years earlier, at ‘closing’ the seller (bank) threw in (gave us) 35 acres of nearby farmland, on which the property’s wellhead sat, because their staff had neglected to include it the property description – and we didn’t have any additional funds. Soon afterwards, we hooked up to nearby city water, and sold the farmland for $200,000.00+/-.

• Our second acquisition was almost as unusual, if not lucrative. Bought a 135 rental homesite Illinois community, with only ten homes paying rent, for $135,000. (With $10,000 down payment, and an interest only mortgage for 12 months). Three years earlier, the land lease community had been 100% occupied – until the sole major employer closed their local factory, ‘emptying the property’ of tenants. I filled 100+ potholes with asphalt patch that first summer, and enlisted homeowner/site lessees to recruit new move-ins (family, friends, & co-workers). Together, we took the property to 75% occupancy, before raising rent for the first time, several years later.

• Then there was the first book I wrote and self-published back in 1988: Mobile Home Park Management. No traditional publisher would touch it for the subject matter. But thanks to guidance in Dan Poynter’s Self-publishing Manual, and John Kremer’s 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, we presold the entire first print run before I drove to Ohio to pick up the books from the printer/binder! And the rest is history. Eight editions later, it’s now Land Lease Community Management, and the basic text for the Manufactured Housing Manager (’MHM’) certification program. Publishing Rule of thumb worth remembering? Traditional publishers pay 25%+/- royalties to a writer or co-authors, while self-publishers pockets 100% of their royalties (i.e. net profit), but are responsible for 100% of book marketing and sales! Not a casual task. Now you know….

Oh there’s so much more I’d like to share with you, but this will have to do for now.

Like the time Carolyn and I were accosted by a motorcycle gang as we Mystery Shopped the community in which they lived. Or the time we were identified as ’shoppers’ simply because the manager saw me walk around and open the passenger door for my wife. And on and on…Maybe in another blog posting – if you ask.

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

The Federal Register & You; Maybe….!

June 23rd, 2017

Blog # 452; Copyright @ 25 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: The Federal Register, for many of us, does not make for engaging reading. However, it oft contains important information about our industry (i.e. manufactured housing), and other matters. Then there’s Part II. Sure hope you plan to participate on one or the other of the two upcoming land lease community-specific options: Think Tank and or interpersonal networking & superb educational opportunity.

I.

The Federal Register & You; Maybe…!

‘HUD’s Interpretative Bulletin for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas Under 24 CFR 3285.312(b)’

Docket No. FR-6023-N-01

Pay attention to the above Docket No. You’ll need it, for reference purposes, if/when you ‘comment’ on HUD’s Interpretative Bulletin for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas’.

Well, here’re my initial observations regarding some content of this bulletin, along with a special, even sage one, from a highly-respected ‘manufactured housing installation specialist’

• Land lease community specific? In my opinion, ‘Yes & No’. Here goes: “The purpose of this proposed Interpretative Bulletin (’IB’) is to provide guidance for designing and installing manufactured home foundations in areas subject to freezing temperatures with seasonal ground freezing, in accordance with the Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards, wherever soil conditions are susceptible to frost heave” & “”when footings do not extend below the frost depth at the site.” Observation: This clearly affects raw land developed as building sites conveyed fee simple, and (maybe) rental homesites in land lease communities being readied for new HUD-Code manufactured homes. But no requirement to retrofit existing foundation systems under existing homes in either instance. For that matter, there is no specific mention of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) – that I saw – in this IB.

• What types of foundations systems? “Monolithic slab systems, ‘frost protected shallow foundations’ (’FPSF’), and alternative foundation systems”, e.g. frost free foundations (’FFF’). Observation: While some have disparaged FFF, in the recent past, this IB provides additional guidance for “installing manufactured home foundations, when non-frost susceptible soil conditions are available at the site to protect foundations against the effects of frost heave.” That reads to me like FFF remains ‘good to go’, when appropriate site drainage and foundation skirting measures are in place. Effectively making the area under such a protected home: of non-frost susceptible soil condition.

• But wait; the IB cites an SEBA Professional Services ‘assessment of design & installation practices’ report for manufactured homes in climates with seasonally frozen ground. (Some have criticized SEBA’s lone ranger, i.e. single engineer, preparation of this report). In any event, the “…report found some key factors needed for long-term and consistent success require special considerations that are often neglected, particularly for FFF designs and installations….” Said considerations are described later in the IB. Observation. Perhaps the manufactured housing industry (i.e. its’ housing manufacturers) should bear responsibility for some of the neglected considerations. How so? Installation Manuals required to accompany all new HUD-Code homes, in many cases (that I’ve seen), are often deficient in definition and description of FFF installation design and construction.

• The target audience for this IB? The Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (’MHCC’) recommended this IB target these audiences: installers, local jurisdiction, regulators, and manufacturers. HUD agreed. Observation: Should land lease community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators take faint comfort in not being specifically named in this report? For that matter, the unique, income-producing property type is nowhere, in the IB, mentioned by any name, description, or any other means. Makes one wonder, a bit, about the role private (real) property rights might be playing here….Later, in this IB, there’s this statement: “Retailers should verify that the installations are performed only by licensed installers.” Observation: Hmm. ‘retailers’ , like land lease community’ owners/operators, are not identified as a target audience. So, are these two omissions accidental or purposeful omissions – hence potential loopholes, for two segments of the manufactured housing industry, relative to enforcement of requirements set forth in this IB?

• Are you an FFF aficionado? Then you should be interested in the ‘flaws or non-conformances’ identified in the aforementioned SEBA report: “a lack of clarity of technical requirements in manufacturer installation instructions, details, & notes” & “Missing or vague criteria for identification and measurement of soil frost susceptibility” & “Missing or vague guidance for determining soil moisture, sub-surface drainage conditions; and water table depth…” & “Missing guidance to direct appropriate site specific adjustments of important installation details….” Observation: If you’re going to use the far more economical FFF, ‘Get it Right’!

• Lest you think I strain at making the case for this IB being ‘not applicable’ to retailers and land lease community folk, read this from the Summary of said document: “…all responsible parties in the process should follow the guidance in this Interpretative Bulletin. These concerns and issues involve designers, DAPIAs, (presumably ‘housing’) manufacturers, installers, and regulatory authorities.” Observation: Nary a retailer or land lease community mention to be found.

• Now for that promised sage observation from a highly-respected manufactured housing installation specialist’: “I do not believe…HUD and …..(its’ employees) understand ‘ice 101′. And how “You need water”, to have ice under a manufactured home! Here’s an apt analogy: When pouring a monolithic slab, one is not required to effect the investigations described in this IB. Well, a manufactured home either on a rental homesite or a building site conveyed fee simple, is a slab in its’ own right, as it ‘covers the soil’ & = ‘No Ice!’

• Well, if you too would like to prepare a comment letter, relative to this IB, suggest you obtain a copy via (202) 708-6409. Then, read it for yourself, before penning your correspondence. You have until 21 August 2016 deadline to get your communiqué to HUD via: Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Dept. of Housing & Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW, Washington, DC. 3\20410-0500. Important REMINDER: Comment letter must reference this docket number & title: Docket No. FR-6023-N-01 & ‘Interpretative Bulleting for Model Manufactured Home Installation Standards Foundation Requirements in Freezing Temperature Areas Under 24 CFR 3285.312(b)

II.

REMINDERS…

In little more than a month’s time, 7 August, to be exact, nearly 700 RV & MH pioneers and leaders are expected to gather at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Museum, & Library to induct ten of our colleagues into the prestigious RV/ MH Hall of Fame! Will you be present? I sure will. Here’s the number to call to purchase tickets (574) 293-2344.

And earlier the same day, same location (21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN.), 7 August, from 9-11 AM, a dozen or two land lease community owners/operators will gather for an MHAlive! Think Tank session. Manufactured housing industry ‘concerned parties’ are welcome as well! There’s no fee to attend, but you must pre-register by phoning (317) 346-7156 or send an email to gfa7156@aol.com. Why? Because we’ll soon mail a comprehensive list of manufactured housing-related issues that have been collected from businessmen and women, during an Input Session in Chicago, last month.

In little more than two month’s time, 6-8 September to be exact, 200+/- land lease community owners/operators will convene at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN., for the 26th annual Networking Roundtable. Event brochures are available for the asking (see previous paragraph for contacts). For several reasons, this promises to be one special MHIndustry & LLCommunity event! An MHM class will be conducted on the 6th, as well as a completely redesigned Investors Symposium, from 4-6PM. And during the next two days? Chock full education sessions and nine unparalleled interpersonal networking F&B (food & beverage) events! And if all goes to plan, everyone present will receive the gift of a new book: SWAN SONG, subtitled: ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Realty Asset Class, from 1970 to 2017, & Manufactured Housing Shipment History from 1955 thru 2016′. How can you not want to be present for this special celebration of National Land Lease Community Week?! For an agenda, see the Networking Brochure attached to this blog posting.

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

George Allen’s Swan Song

June 17th, 2017

Blog # 451; Copyright @ 18 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: None really needed this week, as the title and few short paragraphs pretty much tell ‘the story’.

I.

Swan Song*

‘Swan Song’ is the working title of the book I’m writing for colleagues in manufactured housing and the land lease community real estate asset class.

The plan is to cover ‘our shared history’ from 1970 to present day; and starting with year 1955, publish a permanent record of ‘mobile home’ shipments between that year & 1976, when the shelter type became manufactured housing and continuing that shipment history, then thru to year 2017. I’ll explain along the way, why only the new HUD-Code home shipment totals for years 2013 through 2016 have been ‘verified’, using monthly data available only from the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’).

This book has been ‘in the making’ during the 40 years I’ve managed, owned, consulted and written about, this unique, income-producing property type. The goal is to have this shared history printed, bound and ready for distribution at the 26th annual International Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September 2017, in Indianapolis, IN.

How will Swan Song cover these topics? Decade by decade, over 50 years for the land lease community real estate asset class. Here’s a summary of chapter titles and subheadings:

1. 1970-79 All Time Acme Shipment Year for Mobile Homes

‘Debut of HUD-Code Manufactured Homes; Syndicators Spark
Consolidation of Mobile Home Parks’

2. 1980-89 MHI & MHARR Go Separate Ways!

‘Mobile Home Park Management text & ALLEN REPORT Debut’

3. 1990-99 ‘GO-Go Years’ Come to a STOP!

‘Allen Letter & Networking Roundtable Debut; ISC & NCC
Merge; REITs Emerge; New Texts; &, Consequences of 1998
Shipment Renascence’

4. 2000-09 New Paradigm Begins!

‘Manufactured Housing Sowed the Wind, During Late 1990s, only
to Reap the Whirlwind for the Next Two Decades!’

5. 2010-19 Long Road Back to Prosperity!

‘Land Lease Communities (a.k.a. Manufactured Home
.Communities) Come Into Their Own!’

And along the way, these historic periods will be matched with the estimated annual manufactured housing shipment totals, to help explain what happened during times of business prosperity, turmoil and near penury.

There are other features being written into this text. After all, it’s likely the last one, of the dozen books penned to date, that I’ll author for this industry and realty asset class – except, possibly, an autobiography, to join seven others written by RV/MH pioneers and leaders during the past 50 years. Other features? You’ll see and read them, along and within the five chapters, when you receive your copy of Swan Song on 6 September 2017. But here’re a couple hints: 1) Doing my best to include the names of dozens of individuals who’ve been ‘players’, especially in the land lease community realty asset class, during the last five decades. 2) Also some historic documents, e.g. Mission Statement & Objectives of the Industry Steering Committee (’ISCC’), 1993 predecessor to MHI’s National Communities Council division, 3) even a copy of latest ALLEN REPORT.

Not yet registered to attend this year’s Roundtable? Use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting, and or the link within said BEBA.

End Note.

Swan Song = ‘a metaphorical phrase suggesting one’s final gesture, effort, or personal performance.’

George Allen, CPM & MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

STAND & BE COUNTED! Your one time opportunity to influence HUD!

June 9th, 2017

Blog # 450; Copyright @ 11 June 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: We’re living& working in exciting times! This blog posting underscores that claim. Part I encourages YOU to make your concerns, about regulatory overreach, directly to HUD; Part II = How the manufactured housing industry continues to slowly recover, enduring ups & downs in monthly new home shipments; Part III = Another side of MHAction; & Part IV = Preparing for MHAlive! the Think Tank session, 7 August, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

I.

OK; Time Has Come For YOU to Make OUR Case!

Both national advocates for manufactured housing, the Manufactured Housing Institute (’MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (’MHARR’), as well as Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance (’COBA7), by dint (’power or force’) of this blog posting, encourage YOU to comment directly (per MHARR), or indirectly (via MHI), & Soon Comment on’ Reducing the Federal Regulatory Burden’ on our industry and realty asset class!

What’s this all about? Simple. In recent correspondence to members and interested parties, MHARR & MHI, parrot HUD’s request for input to its’ newly formed Regulatory Reform Task Force relative to the following six categories needing attention and change:

• Result in the elimination of jobs

• Inhibit job creation

• Are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective

• Impose costs that exceed benefits

• Create a serious inconsistency, or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies

• Rely, in whole or in part, on data, information, or methods not publicly available, or are insufficiently transparent to meet he standard for reproducibility.

Are YOU ready and prepared to comment? There is a coming deadline!

In MHI’s case you will need to get in direct contact with the institute’s Government Affairs Department via (703) 229-6208 to request they sign YOU onto their prepared letter to HUD. Whether they do so, or not, ask for a copy of their ‘talking points’ pertaining to the above six topics, forwarded to you as YOU draft your own letter.

In MHARR’s case, they approach this important and timely matter in a slightly different fashion. While the aforementioned six bullet points are apt guidance, MHARR rightly addresses the following eight key points:

1. expanded in-plant regulation

2. on-site construction

3. Subpart I

4. federalization of installation

5. HUD’s 2010 interpretive Rule that restricted the role of the MHCC

6. the formaldehyde health notice

7. appointed non-career administrator

8. new/competitive monitoring contract

And if you’d like guidance as to how to incorporate these eight points into your correspondence, reach out to MHAR via (202) 783-4087

Furthermore, MHARR provides the following postal mailing address for your correspondence and commentary, recommending YOU use Fed-X to get it in front of the right people in Washington, DC.

Regulations Division
Office of General Counsel
U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Room # 10276
451 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20410-0500

OK, you’ve been provided the tools with which to speak out in behalf of the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class. NOW, the question is, ‘Will YOU do it?’ I certainly plan to do so!

DEADLINE! Your concerns, either via MHI’s form letter, or one you draft and send yourself, MUST arrive at HUD no later than Wednesday, 14 June 2017. So, there really isn’t much time left for us to make our views known.

II.

COBA7 presents Official MHShipment ‘#s & $s’ Report for April 2017

Institute for Building Technology & Safety (’IBTS’) – HUD’s contractor for collecting ‘MHShipment Data’ reports 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped during the month of April 2017. Same total is also reported by HUD, MHARR & COBA7. Any other reported total is fallacious – unless fully explained and justified by the reporting source.

A couple ‘takeaways’ from this valuable COBA7 monthly report:

• While 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped during April compares favorably (total is ‘up’) with April 2016, this monthly total is the lowest of any monthly shipment total since the first of the year, including January, February & March.

• Using Dr. Stephen C. Cook’s ‘production value’, the 7,184 new HUD-Code homes shipped are valued at approximately $30,481,717. And, considering YTD total of homes shipped is 30,568 – their collective value pencils out to be $131,827,550+/-

• COBA7’s Top Ten HUD-Code home shipment states varies from other reports (which report cumulative totals as being: TX, FL, LA, AL, MI, SC, CA, NC, MS, & GA, in declining order of shipment volume. And together, these ten states shipped 62 percent of all new HUD-Code homes shipped during April 2017.

Editorial Note to Readers. COBA7 is carefully preparing a detailed expose’, describing perennial statistical reporting errors perpetrated and perpetuated by one or more national advocacy entities claiming to represent the manufactured housing industry. The point to this ‘alert’? If one is going to make fallacious and or misleading reporting claims, be prepared to support same with accurate data and disclosed methodology on every front. To do anything less, sullies not only that entity’s reputation, but the public image of the entire industry and related realty asset class, in the minds of federal and state legislators and regulators. Hopefully, corrective actions will be taken soon, and said expose’ will become unnecessary. GFA

III.

‘MHAction’ Ride$ On The Back$ of Land Lease Community Homeowner/site lessees

Last week 55 of us sat in on a national conference call hosted by MHAction. It was an interesting experience, as this blog briefly reported in posting #459. Since then, we’ve come across the following informative and ‘telling’ info about MHAction.org.

According to Press Release Rocket, dated 5/3/2017,

“…MHAction is a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., part of the larger Center for Community Change. Although its website provides no details – not even a street address – a little cyber-sleuthing will uncover their Form 990 report (that all 501C-3s must file, and can be found at www.Guidestar.com). I shows the Executive Director Deepak Bhargava receives about $257,263 per year. At $24 per annum in dues, that means the first 10,719 mobile home park members just about fund his compensation. And the next four employees make a total of $1,004,904 – so it takes around another 41,871 mobile home park residents to send in their $24 to cover those folks. So, if you are among the first 52,290 members of MHAction.org, you’ve done a wonderful thing; you just covered the salary of five people who are living it up while you’re sitting in your trailer. But you better tell all your friends and neighbors to send in their dues quickly, as the Center for Community Change’s total payroll is more than $9 million. It’s going to take 375,000 members to cover that tab! I wonder if those who join MHAction.org are aware of how their money is being used?”

What this writer doesn’t tell us, but was disclosed during said conference call, is that an undisclosed portion of MHAction’s operating costs are covered by grants, etc., from other not for profit organizations.

IV.

MHAlive! the MHIndustry & LLCommunity ‘Think Tank’ to Meet at RV/MH Hall of Fame, Morning of 7 August 2017

OK, it’s time for YOU to start thinking about whether you want to be part of this rare business experience, i.e. sharing your thoughts and concerns about issues, trends, and threats to our business models. This MHAlive! Think Tank experience is the second of three , maybe four, opportunities for YOU to Input the Manufactured Housing Industry during 2017! The first occurred last month in Chicago, IL. Next one after the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Elkhart, IN) session will be during the 26th International Networking Roundtable, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN. A fourth occasion may well occur at the rapidly growing SECO Symposium in mid-October in Atlanta, GA.

Now, here’s ‘the rub’. We already have 10 interested parties committed to participating in the 7 August MHAlive! Think Tank experience. We likely will keep the session to around 20-25 participants, to ensure participation by everyone present. If YOU are serious about attending, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or via email: gfa7156@aol.com And, if you’re going to be in Elkhart, IN., that day, plan to remain for the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening! A record attendance is already expected (more than 700 RV & MH industry pioneers & leaders), i.e. ‘Anyone who’s anyone in the RV & MH business types will be present that evening!)

A little background. MHAlive! Think Tank isn’t the first time MHIndustry & LLCommunity aficionados have met to ID and parse issues, trends, and threats to our business models. The Urban Land Institute (’ULI’) in year 2004, under the leadership of Randy Rowe, of Hometown & Green Courte Partners fame, launched the Manufactured Housing Communities Council (’MHCC’), in some minds, a quasi (almost) Think Tank. Well, this experience continued for 11 years, until 2015, when ULI disbanded MHCC for lack of interest and active participation. In reality, however, the declining participation had as much, if not more, to do with the high cost of membership, travel, and meetings.

In any event, at this point in time, the MHAlive! Think Tank is a voluntary and no registration fee event. If there’s any charge at all, it’ll be to offset meeting room space, depending on seating requirements at the time, on 7 August, and billed to attendees later.

So, if YOU have the Best Interests of the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class at heart, YOU should be at the RV/MH Hall of Fame all day, 7 August 2017. For more info about the Hall of Fame Banquet that evening, phone (574)293-2344. And remember this, of the ten RV/MH pioneers and leaders being inducted that evening, four of them are well known to LLCommunity folk: Michael Sullivan, CPM, of Newport Pacific in CA; Spencer Roane, MHM, of Pentagon Properties in GA; Christine Lindsey of UMH Properties in TN; and, RV guru David Gorin of VA. How can YOU not want to be present at 21565 Executive Parkway, Elkhart, IN., on 8/7/2017? Carolyn and I certainly plan to be present, not only to host MHAlive!, the Think Tank, but to fete Michael, Spencer, Christine, David, and six other honor deserving colleagues!

***

George Allen , CPM & MHM