MHCongress Shakes Things Up! Sun Communities = #1 in size

April 24th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 346 Copyright @ 26 April 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

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

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Attendance and enthusiasm may well have been up, during the recent MHCongress in Las Vegas; but – in my opinion – the event was awash with unneeded controversy (Read I.), suffered a ‘telling’ oversight (Read II.), but did experience bona fide off-agenda progress between GSE Fannie Mae and LLLCommunity owners/operators (Read III.). Oh yes, and there was some on-camera drama better left undescribed for the time being….

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I.

GUESS WHO MIGHT NOT LIKE THE CONSEQUENCE OF THIS CHANGE?

Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council divisions

‘April 2015, Largest 50 Community Owners & Operators’ List, Ranking Property Portfolios Based on Rental Homesites for HUD-Code Homes (After Omitting All RV Sites!), Positions REIT Sun Communities, Inc., to Supplant ELS, Inc., as Largest Owner/operator of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) in the World! How so? Read on…

The above paragraph, and what follows, are stunning headline statements spawned by unnecessary unilateral changes to property portfolio inventory methodology utilized by the ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’) for the past 26 years! Brings to mind the truism: ‘If it isn’t broken, why fix it?’

• NCC’s ‘April 2015 list’ positions Sun Communities, Inc., a real estate investment trust (‘REIT’), to soon be publicly identified as Largest Owner/operator of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) in North America, for the first time since its’ IPO (Initial Public Offering…of stock) in 1994; repositioning competitor ELS, Inc., into second place – for the first time ever! How so? While presently listed as number two on the NCCs ‘April 2015 list’ (Remember; sans RV sites in property portfolio counts!), Sun’s recent acquisition of 3,130 rental homesites in FL, increases its’ total rental homesite count to 74,259, significantly greater than the RV site-stripped portfolio of ELS, Inc., now at only 71,129 rental homesites!

• Furthermore, the NCC’s purposeful omission of ‘recreational vehicle sites’ from their official rental homesite count, on the ‘April 2015 list’, ignores the growing presence and role of mixed use properties as an integral part of the paradigm shift (i.e. LLLCommunities, not MHRetailers, filling vacant rental homesites with a variety of housing options), underway since the start of the new millennium! For example; of the six types of shelter now commonly found sited within LLLCommunities, two of them are recreational vehicle (‘RV’) related!*1 Why the omission of RV sites from the portfolio counts? Ask them, not me. In my opinion, it likely has to do with MHI being a HUD-Code housing related national advocate, not wanting to mix RVs into their housing coverage and representation – even though their manufacturer members fabricate and ship recreational vehicles when need be. COBA7®, on the other hand, source of the annual ALLEN REPORT will continue to inventory MH & RV sites together, before ranking property portfolio firms in order of declining total site count.

• Good News. While the NCC does not identify any new property portfolio ‘players’ on the ‘April 2015 list’ of 50 community owners & operators, they do provide ‘rental homesite count’ information from 18+/- firms not reporting same in recent years. This new information will likely be included next year, in the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. Official ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Located Throughout North America!’ For a copy of the 12 page, 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, listing 110, of the known 500+/- firms, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

• Comparing the NCC’s inaugural ‘April 2015 list’ with the 26th ALLEN REPORT, down to 1,000 rental homesites property portfolio size, the latter identifies 40+/- firms NOT included on the former’s list! What makes the matter even more interesting, is there’re dozens of additional LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators who do not appear on either proprietary list. Here’re just a few, in alphabetical order: Brandenburg, Staedler & Moore (CA), Churchill Group (CO), Lakeshore Communities (IL), Moore Enterprises (TX), Phoenix Manufactured Homes (PA), Tower Management (CA), and many more….again, 500+/- in all, owning/operating more than five communities &/or 500 rental homesites apiece.

• Of the 50 firms named on the NCC’s ‘April 2015 list’ only 20 are highlighted in bold print, or 40 percent thereof, identifying them as direct, dues-paying NCC members. However, among the first 79 firms reviewed on the 26th ALLEN REPORT (down to the same 1,000 rental homesite count limit), 50 firms, or 63 percent, are affiliated with COBA7®! And, among all 50 firms listed on the NCC’s ‘April 2015 list’, more than half are presently affiliated with COBA7®!

• Be wary of unsubstantiated claims. These two quotes are from the NCC’s ‘April 2015 list’: “MHI’s National Communities Council is the leading national organization representing the interests of manufactured home community owners, operators, managers, developers, lenders, and suppliers.” Really? How is this measured? Perhaps by number of direct, dues-paying members? If so, reread previous paragraph and reconsider. Then this, “The NCC is also the industry’s most reliable source of data used to create more opportunities for the successful development, operation, and marketing of land-lease communities.” Really? First, what are we talking about here? ‘Manufactured home communities’ OR ‘land-lease communities’? And, just what ‘reliable sources of data’ are available, related to physical & economic occupancy, operating expense ratios, rental rates, income capitalization rates, PM salaries, and more? An inquiring public would like to know…

Bottom lines? The NCC’s ‘April 2015 list’ contains the names of only 50 firms owning/operating LLLCommunity portfolios comprised of 1,000 or more rental (HUD-Code only) homesites. The 26th ALLEN REPORT lists 79 like-sized firms (i.e. with 1,000 or more rental homesites), 110 overall! Truth be told, the actual total number of such firms, with 1,000+ rental homesites apiece, is closer to 100, perhaps even 150 firms. The majority of these shadow owners/operators eschew any form of publicity, for a variety of good and personal reasons. However, they almost all routinely cooperate with, and financially support, the ongoing realty asset class research of COBA7®.

Finally; all 500+/- known LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators, especially the firm’s decision-makers, can be accessed by anyone, for a price, by direct mail, via COBA7®. Lenders, insurers, and property portfolio builders do so all the time. Simply phone the above-referenced Official MHIndustry HOTLINE….

End Note.

1. Six types of shelter found in many contemporary land-lease-lifestyle communities (hence use of the new specialty term for the realty asset class): pre-HUD code ‘mobile homes’, post-HUD code manufactured homes, modular homes, ‘park model RVs’ – especially suitable for functionally obsolete rental homesites in generally older properties, ‘RVs for a season’, and in FL., stick-built homes constructed on-site, usually following severe hurricanes, to imitate HUD-Code manufactured homes. A.k.a. ‘LLLCommunities’. GFA

II.

2015 Awards Luncheon at the MHCongress

One Pithy Question: Where is/are the annual MHIndustry awards for design(s) of Community Series Homes, or CSH Models?

You know, the specially-designed homes, agreed upon during the National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus, convened at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame facility on 27 February 2009 – six years ago! There, 100+/- HUD-Code home manufacturers and (then) manufactured home community owners/operators agreed to ‘What it would take to sell more new manufactured homes into this unique, income-producing property type nationwide?’ Their answer? Singlesection and modest-sized multisection (NOT the ‘big box = big bucks’ behemoths taking our industry, at the time, down the road toward oblivion, via head-to-head competition with site-builders), but HUD-Code homes with one or more WOW! factors inside and out, plus a plethora of durability-enhancing features, enabling inexpensive ‘make-ready’ between contract buyers and renters.

Yes, these are the same specially-designed homes that, for the most part, have stimulated at least a five, maybe ten percent increase in the number of HUD-Code homes being delivered directly into (now) land-lease-lifestyle communities, from 25% in 2009 to 30% by end of 2013, and likely even higher now!

Furthermore, these Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, have had a lot to do with the manufactured housing industry’s successfully executing a paradigm shift, since the beginning of the New Millennium. A paradigm shift forced by the lack of easy access to chattel capital, hence fewer homes now sold by independent (street) MHRetailers into LLLCommunities; with many CSH Models now sold, and often seller-financed, by the owners/operators of these multifamily rental properties!

So, why aren’t we recognizing this ‘change in design’ to meet market demand? Hopefully the folk who dream up these awards will effect this needed and worthy addition, in time for the 2016 MHCongress.

In the meantime, if you’d like a list of product specification characteristic of Community Series Homes, along with a list of HUD-Code home manufacturers who routinely fabricate and ship them to LLLCommunities, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You do not have to be a COBA7® affiliate to request and receive this very helpful Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD – one of more than a dozen produced by COBA7®..

III.

Fannie Mae, the GSE, Makes MHIndustry History!

Yes, they sure did! For 2 ½ hours during the afternoon on Wednesday 15 April, 30 individuals (20 @ Fannie Mae reps, lenders, & financial consultants, plus nine land-lease-lifestyle community portfolio owners/operators, and one Mom & Pop ‘player’ – me) identified and discussed a variety of issues of mutual interest and concern. The LLLCommunity owners/operators hailed from New Hampshire to California, New Jersey to Colorado, and from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana.

What’d we talk about and resolve? Much and little. Huh? Yes, we ‘much’ discussed rental units on-site in LLLCommunities, flood plain issues, pre-HUD Code homes, park model RVs, the defunct STAR quality rating system re LLLCommunities, and near the end of the meeting, HUD’s Federal Installation Standard implementation and enforcement plans, and possible role for Frost Free Foundations® along the way. But ‘little’ was resolved. Nor did any of us expect change or closure.

This Las Vegas venue was a continuation of spirited dialogue begun during the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable, in Peachtree City, GA., last Fall – when Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, for the first time, met and talked with 200 LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the U.S. The Las Vegas venue, ‘off MHI’s MHCongress agenda’, was/is also a springboard onto the 24th annual Networking Roundtable, scheduled for 9-11 September 2015, in San Diego, CA.. Once again, the two GSEs, along with invited representation of the Federal Housing Finance Authority, will continue the Open Discussion of what the GSE’s ‘can do for us’ and what we could ‘do for them’.

To ensure an invitation to participate in the 24th International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September 2015, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and ask for an event brochure, containing the exciting agenda and names of 20 presenters. Also know, this year’s theme, keynoted by a half dozen HUD-Code home manufacturers, is ‘How to Sell More New Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ If you own/operate LLLCommunities, how can you not want to be present to prosper from this unique combination of ability, experience, and motivation?

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New Paradigm Education & Micro Units/Tiny Houses

April 18th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 345 Copyright @ 19 April 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

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

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Introduction to this & next week’s blog postings at this website:

This week. 1) What is seriously missing in manufactured housing’s New Paradigm? The paradigm first described here, for you, last week. 2) The Park Model RV ‘discussion has only just begun. Think too of Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs & Micro Units – plus what we’re not discussing them yet, Tiny Houses! & 3) This week’s posting concludes with a review of COBA7®s third WISH for 2015: professional property management & certification among all land-lease-lifestyle communities! Are YOU MHM® certified yet?

Next week. Reportedly ‘record attendance’ at MHCongress, but 1) program tainted by crass imitation; 2) a notable and telling oversight during annual awards presentation; and, 3) an off-agenda meeting that made manufactured housing industry history! And maybe ending with 4) the major announcement from COBA7® deferred in Las Vegas. Hint. ‘Official reporting of annual HUD-Code home shipments will never be the same again!’

You do not want to miss reading This & Next week’s blog postings at community-investor.com If you didn’t realize before, LLLCommunities, and by extension, the manufactured housing industry, are in the midst of a NEW ERA, you soon will! GFA

I.

So, We’re In a New Paradigm. What’s Next?

Last week, here at community-investor.com, we described the new manufactured housing paradigm unfolding since the turn of the 21st Century. One in which land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators no longer rely on independent (street) MHRetailers to fill vacant rental homesites with new and resale homes. Rather, LLLCommunity owners/operators, now buy new Community Series Homes directly from HUD-Code home manufacturers, to be installed on-site, then sold to prospective homebuyer/site lessees at whatever profit margin works in the local housing market. And when need be, LLLCommunity owners/operators also engage in renting homes, and seller-financing, to effect transactions.

With that said, what’s holding the manufactured housing industry back from going ‘gang busters’ filling vacant rental homesites, even boosting annual home shipments up from the 55,145 six year (i.e. 2009-2014) ‘woeful running average’ towards the alleged ‘sweet spot’ of 250,000 new HUD-Code homes per year? In a word, EDUCATION.

This has to be one of the worst industries, and by extension, real estate asset classes, when it comes to educating itself on how to best do something, the right way, at the right time. And this matter is sorely complicated in at least two ways: internecine (‘mutually destructive’) behavior between national advocacy bodies representing the industry, and among business enterprises themselves!

I well remember the late 1980s, when some of us sensed a New Renascence in manufactured housing ‘was upon us’, culminating as it did, in 1998, with 372,843 new homes shipped! There wasn’t a single educational text around, to ‘splain’ how to develop new (then) mobile home parks cum manufactured home communities (by 1994), or even how to search an existing one out, value it to buy, and then turn around (investment wise) as a profitable business. Well, within a few years, J. Wiley & Sons, provided us with Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, and How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community. With those in hand, as an industry/asset class, we were ‘off and running’ for awhile – until our chattel capital finance bubble burst soon after the turn of the century. And know, the preparation and distribution of these seminal texts received little to no interest or help from either of the national advocacy bodies at the time. Nada.

Well, we’re in the same unfortunate state of affairs today. There are at least two tomes begging to be authored and published – to EDUCATE, the sooner the better. And a third title that’d sure be nice to have around. In this order, they’re:

• How to Market & Sell New & Resale Manufactured Homes in-Community! I’d love to write this one myself, but I’m not a practitioner, so won’t be doing so, except as an editor. In my opinion, it needs to begin with ‘how to assess a local housing market’s acceptance of manufactured housing sales’, and what the affordable housing price points will be. Then, how to set up an on-site sales center, spec homes, order same, and begin the marketing, and the sales drill. There’s a key difference between ‘these sales’ and those by independent (street) MHRetailers: on-site we’re selling lifestyle and covet retention, so prequalification plays a major role in the selling process. This must not be a deal-to-deal, or ‘churning’ sales exercise, as was too oft the case within the previous paradigm! So, who’s going to author this text? It will not be an easy task, but certainly a rewarding one. This I know.

• How to Engage in Seller-finance of New & Resale Home Transactions in-Community! Early in 2010, I penned the industry’s first Manufactured Housing $$$ Primer. It sold out at that year’s MHCongress in Las Vegas – that’s how hungry folk were – and continues to be, for that sort of detailed, albeit changing housing finance information. But there hasn’t been anything akin published since, despite my encouragement to qualified practitioners and trainers. We sorely need an updatable reference describing the various ways to finance new and resale homes on-site in LLLCommunities, and how to be in compliance with various state and federal regulations. Also, how to raise capital for said transactions, and the basics of lease-option methodology. So, who’s going to author this text? Hint. Probably best if this is a team effort.

• Land-lease-lifestyle Community Valuation, with & without Property Owner-owned Homes. Believe it or not, the valuation chapter penned by Laurence Allen, MAI®, for inclusion in the aforementioned How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell…book continues to this day, 20years later, to be the seminal work on this timely topic. But today, considering the new paradigm’s influence regarding ‘six types of shelter on-site, not just two’, and presence of property owner-owned homes as rentals, contract sales, and lease options, we’re in dire need of a contemporary reference of this sort. So, again, who’s going to author this text? I can think of at least three MAI®s who’re qualified to do so….

I’ve encouraged qualified and experienced individuals, with expertise and successful experience in all three areas, to step forward and ‘make their mark’, as David Alley, Edward Hicks, & I did with our raw land development classic 21 years ago. But so far, no takers. How ‘bout you? Seriously interested? If so, I’d like to hear from you. With everything else that’s going on with COBA7® these days, I’d still help get one or more of these needed books written, edited, published and distributed to the industry/asset class. And don’t forget, COBA7®, unlike any other national trade group, is closely affiliated with a commercial printer (i.e. Spotlight Strategies) and MHIndustry publisher (i.e. PMN Publishing). To talk about one or another of these heady projects, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

Room in the Park Model RV Discussion for Micro Units?

As you may recall, the park model RV confab (‘conversation’) of nearly a year ago, promises to heat up again in the not too distant future. First off, everyone – rightly or wrongly, agrees park model RVs are not designed or intended for permanent residency – even though hundreds, if not thousands, of them are already used as such in RV parks in Sunbelt regions. The present pressing issue is, however, whether or not to include the front porch overhang in the 400+/- square feet limit that differentiates between HUD-Code manufactured homes (i.e. more than 400 square feet in size) and recreational vehicles (i.e. less than 400 square feet in size). To do so cuts back on the living space ‘inside the walls’; to not do so, makes for a larger than usual park model RV.

Well, there’s yet another contemporary aspect of this discussion. It involves ‘dainty urban dwellings’, a.k.a. micro units, as apartments and condominiums. The Urban Land Institute recently published a 46-page report titled, ‘The Macro View on Micro Units’. The report draws on three information sources.

According to the report, a micro-unit is roughly 350 sq. ft. in size, “slightly larger than a one-car garage but considerably smaller than a two-car garage.” Some micro-units are as small as 220 sq. ft. (in San Francisco, CA. & Washington, DC), others as large as 400 sq. ft., (in New York City & Philadelphia, PA). In Seattle, WA. & Portland, OR., there are no square footage minimums. Apartments without bathrooms and kitchens are classified, in this report, as single-room occupancy (‘SRO’) units and not qualify as micro-units.

There’s a significant user difference preference relative to micro-units and park model RVs. According to the ULI report, micro-units target “predominantly young, professional singles, typically under 30 years of age, trending slightly more male than female.” Whereas, park model RVs, have become the abode of choice among retirees and senior citizens, often living alone (i.e. ‘granny flats’) in Sunbelt regions of the U.S. Interestingly, HUD itself has a trade term of long standing that includes both these very small shelter types: Accessory Dwelling Unit or ADU. And if that didn’t cloud the issue enough, here’re rebranding terms being bandied about relative to micro-units: launch pads, nano units, urban flats, innovation units, and even fun units.

And lest we forget to mention it, there’s another whole sidebar topic to this discussion, called Tiny Houses. More about these in a later blog posting, as HUD is also deciding whether this shelter type should also be brought in under, or excepted from the HUD-Code that regulates manufactured housing..

In any event, we’re likely in for some rough sledding during the months ahead, as HUD, the RV industry, even manufacturers in the HUD-Code housing business, and now NAHB homebuilders (re: Tiny Houses) strive to protect what they view as their proprietary and regulatory territories in whatever manner appears best to them. Let’s hope though, the housing wants and needs of consumers are included in these discussions.

The material describing ULI’s report was taken from ‘Small Small World’ in the March/April 2015 issue of Multihousing Professional magazine, pp. 36 & 37.

III.

Reviewing COBA7®s WISH LIST for Year 2015

Here we review the fourth of five WISHES identified early this year, as being goals for the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® during 2015. The WISH?

“Do whatever necessary and possible, to promote professional property management of on-site, regional, and executive managers, via training and certification of LLLCommunity owners/operators, as CPM®s, MHM®s, & ACM®s.”

Well, from my perspective, there’ve been three, and will soon be a fourth initiative in this direction. Three months ago, I taught the Manufactured Housing Manager® program at the Louisville MHShow. A few weeks ago, I taught the same one day MHM® course to a dozen on-site and regional property managers from two Midwest firms, along with two property owners.

And just this past week, handled a telephone inquiry from an ‘asset aggregator’ seeking professional third party property management services for the land-lease-lifestyle communities his firm recently acquired. That was easy. As you likely know, one can count on one hand the number of reputable, capable, experienced, motivated ‘fee management firms’ serving the realty asset class – and not one of them, that I know of, is an AMO® or Approved Management Organization® per the Institute of Real Estate Management. Sad but true. Of course, there’s also that understandable economic reason why there’s so few such firms throughout our realty asset class: most LLLCommunities are too small (i.e. too few rental homesites) to support third party fee management. And most large size communities (e.g. 200+/- rental homesites apiece) are in property portfolios managed centrally.

On 20 May 2015, I’ll again be teaching the one day MHM® class. This time we’ll convene at the Par-a-Dice Hotel Casino, in East Peoria, IL., the day before the Illinois Manufactured Housing Association has its’ annual business meeting. It’s still more than a month away, and already the class is half full (max of 20-25). If you’re interested in attending, register – for only $250.00/person – via (217) 528-3423. What a deal! For that low tuition fee, MHM® candidates receive a copy of Landlease Community Management, a monograph of contemporary manufactured housing readings, and gold MHM® lapel pin and sequentially numbered MHM® certificate.

To date, there’re barely more than 100 Certified Property Managers® active as LLLCommunity owners/operators; 200+/- Accredited Community Managers via the Manufactured Housing Educational Institutes; but nearly 1,000 Manufactured Housing Managers, under the auspices of the COBA7® division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing.

So, if not presently trained and certified as a professional property manager, give this upcoming opportunity serious consideration. It’s the only such MHEducation opportunity taught by a veteran LLLCommunity owner/operator, CPM®Emeritus, & MHM®Master. Register today!

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Manufactured Housing’s 21st Century Paradigm Shift

April 11th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 344 Copyright @ 12 April 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press) , research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

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

I.

Manufactured Housing’s 21st Century Paradigm Shift

Industry’s Zeitgeist (‘spirit of the time’) Present in New Paradigm!

‘In other words; if you’re buying new HUD-Code homes, especially Community Series Homes, selling them on-site in one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities, and at times seller-financing them, YOU are making manufactured housing history, as a key part of this major paradigm shift in our traditional business model.’ George Allen

We’ve been writing about various aspects of this phenomenon, usually referred to as ‘paradigm change’, in this weekly blog posting for some time – just didn’t put the pieces together to paint the bigger picture – until now. So, hang on as we take a quick ‘word walk’ back to the turn of the 21st Century, when the chattel capital wheels came off (Some would say ‘taken off’) the traditional manufactured housing business model.

Without rehearsing the sorry history of what was described at the time as ‘turning our homebuyer/site lessee customers upside down’; suffice it to say, the immediate and lasting consequence have been less-to-little easy access to chattel capital (Still the case more than a decade later). And over time there’re now far fewer independent (street) MHRetailers, even company stores – because of said ‘loss of access’. Immediate to ultimate cost of those financial shenanigans? According to the CFPB* in a report published during 2014, between years 1999 & 2002, at least 300,000 repossessed manufactured homes valued at $1.3 billion! Those ‘repos’, in turn, competed with new home sales for several years thereafter – forcing a paradigm change in the way we did, and now, ‘do business’. And yes, along also came the S.A.F.E. Act, Dodd-Frank legislation, and the CPFB.

The first significant indicators of change(s) in the way we’d be ‘doing business’ going forward, occurred at two National State of the Asset Class causes held on the same date in successive years: 2/27/2008 among (then) 100 manufactured home community owners/operators convening in Tampa, FL; and then, 2/27/2009 among a like number of LLLCommunity folk and HUD-Code home manufacturers convening in Elkhart, IN. While not fully appreciated at the time, the first caucus gave MHCommunity investors/property managers needed focus, challenging them to take control of their future, e.g. ‘Sell, and if need be, seller-finance more REPO & RESALE home transactions on-site to fill vacant rental homesites!’ The second caucus answered, ‘What’s it going to take to sell more NEW homes into MHCommunities?’ Solution? Community Series Homes, or CSH Models, named as such by Don Westphal later in that year. Today, CSH Models are widely recognized as being singlesection or modest-size multisection homes with one or two WOW! Factors, and a plethora of durability-enhancing features, to speed turnover ‘make ready’, when need be, at minimal cost. That was the second stage of the paradigm shift.

There’re at least three consequences of this shift in emphasis from MHRetailers selling new homes into MHCommunities, and owners/operators buying/selling ‘repos’ & ‘resale’ units on-site, TO this whole new paradigm (After ‘repos’ & ‘resales’ dried up), where/when owners/operators routinely sell NEW Community Series Homes on-site, arranging financing as needed. First; the percentage of new HUD-Code homes being shipped into (now) land-lease-lifestyle communities (Will explain change in terminology shortly) increased from 25 percent, year end 2009, to 30 percent by the end of 2013 – and likely higher by end of 2014. Second; several of the largest home manufacturers have rolled out creative financing programs to help LLLCommunities ‘sell more new HUD-Code homes on-site’. This has been a decidedly mixed bag of results. Just recently, a community investor described one manufacturer’s heavy emphasis on their in-house finance program, more so than the quality of their homes, to position the firm’s finance package as a ‘loss-leader’, to ‘sell more homes’! The third consequence? To date, in this industry observer’s opinion, home manufacturers have NOT addressed the real need to teach LLLCommunity staff how to effectively market and sell new HUD-Code homes on-site!* This is a whole different perspective than teaching independent (street) MHRetailers how to simply sell ‘deals’. Here the emphasis is dual: AFTO (‘Asking for the Order!’) & ABC (‘Always be Closing!) for sure, but balanced with homebuyer/site lessee personal qualification and desire for the lifestyle, as well as needs and wants relative to the home purchase.

The ‘proof’ in how much community owners/operators have bought into this new paradigm (Actually, they ‘have to do so’ to survive as viable business entities…filling vacant rental homesites…estimated to be 250,000+/- nationwide) is the change in trade moniker from ‘manufactured home community’ to ‘land-lease-lifestyle community’. The latter? Underscores the fact, as many as six different types of shelter are now commonly sited in this unique, income-producing property type: pre-1976 ‘mobile homes’, post-1976 manufactured homes, modular units, park model RVs, RVs for a season, even stick-built homes constructed on-site to look like HUD-Code homes (only in FL.).

Another ‘proof’ of the new paradigm has to do with how LLLCommunity owners/operators are pricing their now homes ‘for sale’ on-site. Yes, many still try to achieve as much profit margin as possible on the sales transaction; however, an increasing number of these entrepreneurs sell their homes at little more than cost (i.e. home, freight, installation, etc.), to get said home ‘sold’ and rent meter running on the underlying realty. An interesting sidebar is how some of these ‘players’ go so far as to share the manufacturer’s invoice with their prospective customer, proving ‘what a great deal they’re getting in this home’! And since doing so, is soon to be one of three approved methods of effecting home valuation this Summer, why not? OR, stick with the traditional cost or replacement method (NADA), or arrange for valuation via market comps. Furthermore, an increasing number of owners/operators have become downright creative in the variety of ways and means they raise capital to fund individual home sales transactions on-site, utilizing a bevy of private investors, local lenders, lease-option methodology, ‘captive finance’ and much much more.

At this point we’ve come almost full cycle, describing the paradigm shift that began at the dawn of the 21st Century – and has now matured. One that’s been precipitated and influenced by an industry/realty asset class Zeitgeist wrought by circumstances of tumultuous and difficult economic times.

There remains a final sign of this significant shift, even sea change, in the way the MHIndustry, and LLLCommunities ‘do business’. The former has relied on the Manufactured Housing Institute and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, for decades, to handle national advocacy matters, particularly since the imposition of federal building code regulation during the mid-1970s.

On the other hand, LLLCommunities, while enjoying a national advocacy presence since 1996, via MHI’s National Communities Council division, have been long forced (30+ years) to rely on private business interests, to provide the variety of products and services needed by professional property managers. To this end, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® was launched early January 2014. Now more than a year old, 200 businessmen and women, from all segments of the MHIndustry, have affiliated with COBA7®, to ensure 1) ongoing statistical research, 2) updating & distribution of resources (a dozen + Signature Series Resource Documents), 3) print & online communication via monthly business newsletters and a weekly blog posting, 4) peer networking events, 5) deal-making opportunities, 6) professional property management training/certification (via Manufactured Housing Manager® program), and 7) national advocacy when need be, e.g. offer of ombudsman (press) services and official industry historian. The icing on that array of products and services and more, will be when COBA7® becomes an independent organization in its’ own right, no longer a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing.*

End Notes.

• CFPB = Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

• And the on-site, or in-LLLCommunity home sales drill doesn’t stop there. Manufacturers should be teaching how to realistically and fairly qualify homebuyers/households as to ‘how much home they can afford’; and, teach how to evaluate a potential local housing market in terms of what the citizenry can afford to buy. For starters, Annual Gross Income or AGI (in the first instance) and Annual Median Income or AMI (in the second instance) is a realistic place to start. Bud do manufacturers understand how to use those tools to help homebuyers/site lessees and not just themselves?

• To affiliate with COBA7®, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

Reviewing COBA7®s WISH LIST for 2015

Here we revisit the third of five WISHES on COBA7®s 2015 WISH LIST!

“Stay abreast of the Frost Free Foundation® or FFF® situation, in behalf of COBA7® affiliates in general, LLLCommunity owners/operators in particular. Encourage the dual goal of saving LLLCommunity owners/operators from forced concrete retrofitting expense @ estimated $5,000.00 per rental homesite, and ensuring manufacturers get the save and secure installation their HUD-Code housing product needs and deserves.”

Little to nothing has happened since we last covered this important and increasingly timely topic, in this weekly blog posting at community-investor.com. Have you noticed, as I have? No one else is talking about the matter either. We should be asking ourselves: ‘Why not?’ It is no longer a secret, with Pam Danner, Esq., heading the manufactured housing program at HUD, the long dormant (since its’ passage in 2007) Federal Installation Standards are on track for implementation and enforcement in default states (i.e. where said standard has not been fully implemented, and in even more cases, enforced). So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how all this pencils out during the months and year ahead.

In the meantime, know with the May issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, there’ll be a lagniappe ‘one pager’ describing the Frost Free Foundation®, where to get your copy of the multi-page document, and some helpful hints on implementing same. I ran it past a half dozen ‘experts’ on the FFF topic. George Porter replied, the information was adequate overall, maybe more than necessary in some locales, but likely ‘not enough’ in local housing markets intent on challenging the effectiveness of Frost Free Foundations®. What does this tell you? Better get educated soon, or face the very real prospect of having to replace existing, otherwise well-performing concrete foundations, when the Feds come your way. When I asked Pam, while talking in Albany, NY, recently, whether present day concrete foundations in compliant states are ‘grandfathered’ under the federal installation standards, she did not provide a clear answer, but the matter would be handled on a case by case basis. So, to get your FREE copy of the FFF® information ‘one pager’ mentioned above, see third * end note at the end of this blog posting.

***

What MHIndustry Does NOT Want YOU to Know & Do!

April 4th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 343 copyright @ 5 April 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

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

Introductions to Parts I, II, III, & IV of this blog posting at community-investor.com

I.

Land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators know I’ve lobbied for change to how the ‘30% Housing Expense Factor’ is applied to realty mortgages and personal property (chattel) loans, since the ‘Ah Ha & Uh Oh!’ Worksheet debuted in 2011. Well, here’s where we go ‘very public’ with a practical concept that ensures ‘less house’ but ‘more financial capability & stability’ for borrowers, and less profit for lenders.

II.

The Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance’s WISH LIST for 2015, it seems, has become the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class’ default goals for the year! How do we know this? Because inquiries now come into our offices, from every segment of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity business environs, telling us so – they’re using these ‘wishes’ as corporate touchstones in 2015!

III.

If YOU have friends and colleagues in the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class who, as pioneers and leaders, deserve induction into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame, and you don’t take appropriate steps to have them so – considered, you are doing them a severe disservice! To date, I’ve recommended a half dozen of my peers, and four have been inducted, and two are still under consideration.

IV.

Las Vegas. Not my favorite business meeting venue. As I’ve said ‘for years’, it’s the last place an industry, trying to shed its’ vehicular heritage should patronize. We are no longer ‘mobile home dealers’ so shouldn’t be gambling with blackjack dealers. I’ll be present, on 15 April, at the behest of clients and peers meeting privately to parse serious industry matters. No, I’m not a public presenter this year. But it wouldn’t hurt to inquire of the show organizers, as to when and where they’ll be asking for my help in the future.

I.

Here’s How to Improve Homebuyer Financial Capability Once & For All!

Impetus for this weeks blog feature:

The Corporation for Enterprise Development, or CFED, via their ‘#FinCapWorks’ Program, during April 2015, challenges housing providers (That’s you & me!) to describe how to improve individual & household financial capability & stability, as an essential strategy for building financial well-being! For information, phone (202) 408-9788.

There is indeed a practical means of doing this, if and when personal property loan (chattel) and realty-secured mortgage originators/lenders have the intestinal fortitude (i.e. guts) to make one significant change in the manner they presently qualify individuals and households for home financing! After reading, copy and pass this message onto them…

Conceptually, this means ‘no longer applying all an individual or household’s 30 percent Housing Expense Factor, or HEF*1, of their Annual Gross Income or AGI, to Principal, Interest, Taxes & Insurance, or PITI’.

And for that matter, all of a local housing market’s Area Median Income, or AMI, to just PITI, for future such loans and mortgages, when previewing and ascertaining apropos price points for rental and mortgaged housing to be sold there in the future.

The following four paragraphs demonstrate this recommended ‘sea change’ in as many scenarios or perspectives, using the following ‘givens:

$51,229 AGI (i.e. the national AMI for years 2010/2011); 30% Housing Expense Factor or HEF; real estate mortgage terms at 6.5% @ 20 years; and in the case of manufactured housing sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities), chattel capital terms at 9.5% @ 20 years; and, a rental home site rate @ $333/month.

• In the first instance, contemporary practice regarding conventional housing sited on realty owned fee simple: 100 percent of an individual’s 30 percent HEF of AGI is applied as PITI, to gauge individual or household’s ability to qualify for a mortgage. For example, $51,229 X .30% = $15,368 PITI divided by 12 months = $1,281/month PITI, to service one’s mortgage @ 6.5% & 20 years, resulting in a maximum mortgage of $171,814. When divided by .9 (to account for 10% down payment), maximum home buying ‘financial capability’ will be $191,000; less the value of underlying realty. Keep in mind, all household utility bills related to this transaction will also have to be paid monthly, but using dollars outside of and in addition to aforementioned 30% HEF, likely increasing the (now) homeowner’s risk of defaulting.

• In the second instance, the recommended future scenario, 25%*3 of the $15,368 PITI calculated in the first paragraph, would be set aside to pay household utility bills related to this transaction. For example, $15, 368 X.75% (the reciprocal of 25%) = $11,527 PITI divided by 12months = $961/month PITI to service one’s mortgage @ 6.5% & 20 years, resulting in a maximum mortgage of $127,151. When divided by .9 (see above), maximum home buying ‘financial capability’ will be $141,000. Again, less the value of underlying realty. But this time around, household utility bills related to this transaction will be paid monthly with dollars included within the aforementioned 30% HEF; meaning yes, ‘less house’, but ‘more financial capability and stability’, putting the (now) homeowner on a path to enhanced financial security in the near, and likely long term!

Restating the obvious. We’ve all heard it said, “When buying a home, limit household expenses to 30 percent!” Some, if not most lenders, believe 30 percent HEF should be for PITI alone; others today, usually a minority, believe 30 percent HEF should include PITI and household utility bills, not including CATV expenses. The present practice results in ‘more house’ and yes, ‘more risk’ for the borrower, and certainly more profit for the lender. The latter, however, depending on size of down payment, can mean ‘less house’ and yes, ‘less risk’ for the borrower, and certainly less profit for the lender. In light of what’s happened throughout the U.S. housing market since 2007, the latter practice is a far better means of improving household financial capability and stability, as an essential strategy on the path to building financial well-being! Time for a change? Let’s hope so!

• Then there’s the matter of manufactured housing sited on rental homesites within LLLCommunities. The numbers ‘work similarly’ but for the added presence of monthly site rent (not a factor with conventional housing sited on realty owned fee simple), and higher interest chattel capital. Today, 100 percent of an individual’s 30 percent HEF of AGI is applied to PITI and site rent, to gauge an individual or household’s ability to qualify for a chattel mortgage. For example, $51,229 X .30% = $15,368 PITI divided by 12 months = $1,281/month to service PITI, but first deducting site rent of $333/month, leaving $948/month to pay one’s mortgage @ 9.5% & 20 years, resulting in a maximum mortgage of $101,702. When divided by .9 (to account for 10% down payment), maximum home buying ‘financial capability’ will be $113.000. Keep in mind, all household utility bills related to this transaction will be paid monthly with dollars, outside or and in addition to, the 30% HEF, likely increasing (now) homeowner’s risk of defaulting. But in this instance, there is no deduction for the value of the underlying leased realty or rental homesite…

• In this second instance, or recommended future chattel capital scenario, 25% of the $15,368 PITI and site rent amount, calculated in the previous paragraph, is set aside to pay household utility bills related to this transaction. For example, $15,368 X .75% (the reciprocal of 25%) = $11,527 PITI and site rent, divided by 12 months = $961/month to service PITI, but first deducting site rent of $333/month, leaving $628/month to pay one’s mortgage @ 9.5% & 20 years, resulting in a maximum mortgage of $67,372. When divided by .9 (see above), their maximum home buying ‘financial capability’ will be $75,000. But this time around, all household utility bills related to the transaction will be paid monthly, with dollars included within aforementioned 30% HEF; meaning yes, ‘less house’, but ‘more financial capability and stability’ overall, setting (now) homeowner on a path to enhanced financial security in the near, and likely long term! Note. Again, in this instance, there is no deduction for the value of the underlying leased realty or rental homesite…

Bottom line? First and third bullet point examples demonstrate conventional lending practice, relative to qualifying today’s borrowers for buying site-built homes on realty conveyed fee simple; and, manufactured homes on rental homesites in LLLCommunities. The second and fourth bullet points demonstrate how the same starting point AGI, of $51,229, can be used to buy ‘less house’ while at the same time, ‘enhancing financial capability and stability’ on the path to financial security. Will today’s lenders soon affect such a sea change en masse? I doubt it.

What’s aggravating about this matter, is how prospective homebuyers accept they must pay in excess of $200,000. to buy a contemporary site-built home, often ‘risking everything’ to do so (See first bullet point above); while, HUD-Code manufactured housing, costing half as much, on a square foot comparison basis, is eminently affordable, even when paying fair site rent in one’s local housing market (i.e. Usually 1/3rd the rent charged for a 3BR2B conventional apartment unit). There is a definite disconnect here, relative to what is and what is not affordable housing.

Implementing the not so new but rarely used guideline, described in bullet points two and four, increases home buyer’s financial capability and stability, without taking on unnecessary and additional risk, on the way to eventual financial security! *3

Anyone out there listening – and now motivated to begin a sea change for the better?

End Notes:

1. HEF. ‘30% Housing Expense Factor’ or Housing Measure, is one of several measures of affordable housing in vogue today; the others being The Housing Opportunity Index or HOI Measure, The Housing Wage or HW Measure, The Workforce Housing or WFH Measure, The Income to Home Value Ratio or IHVR, a.k.a. ‘Realtor’s Rule of Thumb’, and ‘The One Who Believes…’ These from the Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb & Helpful Measures…Available for $19.95 from PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN. (317) 346-7156

2. 25% = estimate of percentage of AGI needed for household utility expenses, not to include CATV

3. For a more detailed study of this concept, including a discussion of front and back end ‘debt-to-income’ ratios, read ‘Contemporary Archetype of Truly Affordable Housing in the U.S.’ Available for the asking, via Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

Reviewing COBA7®s WISH LIST for 2015

Here we revisit the second of five WISHES on COBA7®s 2015 WISH LIST!

WISH # 2. “Continue to promote Community Series Homes and CSH Model production among HUD-Code housing manufacturing plants nationwide; and publicizing and growing the percentage of shipments going directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities for resale or rental use. 24th annual International Networking Roundtable theme to be:

‘Encourage manufacturers & communities to work together to build, sell & finance, & rent more new HUD-Code homes!’

Well, if you read this weekly blog posting faithfully, you know this WISH is ‘well underway’! Already a half dozen of the largest HUD-Code home manufacturers have accepted invitations to be keynote presenters at the aforementioned event, 9-11 September 2015, at the Hilton Resort Hotel on Mission Bay in San Diego, CA. Be present the morning of 10 September to hear and learn from Joe Stegmayer of Cavco Industries, Keith Holdbrooks of Clayton Manufacturing, the new CEO of Champion Homes – when named, Terry Decio of Skyline Homes, and Wally Comer of Adventure Homes. Additional MHARR manufacturers have been invited but not yet replied. Also invited CEO from Factory Expo Homes, a franchise chain of 20+ MHRetail salescenters co-located with factories throughout the U.S.

Furthermore, you’re likely aware during year 2009, when the second National State of the Asset Class caucus was held 27 February 2009, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., bringing 100 HUD-Code home manufacturers and LLLCommunity owners/operators together, the percentage of new homes going directly into this unique, income-producing property type was 25 percent. And how, once the Community Series Homes were in production that year, that percentage has increased to 30 percent by year end 2013. Hopefully we’re looking at 35 percent by year end 2014, and even higher by the end of this (2015) year. Frankly, that’s why LLLCommunity owners/operators are now oft referred to as being the New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender!

The manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community business models are a – changing, right before our eyes! Look at all that’s happened between years 2000 and 2009, and up until now. Be an integral part of this dynamic unfolding of our exciting history; affiliate with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

III.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Requesting Nominations for RV/MH Hall of Fame
Class of 2016.

“To be eligible, the Hall of Fame nominee must be, or have been, an active participant in any segment of the recreational vehicle, campground, or manufactured housing industries for a minimum of 25years.” This also includes businessmen and women actively engaged as land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators.

A completed application is required, as well as three supporting letters – no more, no less!

For more information, phone (800) 378-8694 and request a nomination packet of information.

IV.

See YOU in Las Vegas? Look me up!

Yes, I’ll be at the MHCongress in Las Vegas the afternoon of 14 April, all day the 15th, and morning of the 16th. But I may be difficult to find. Why? I’ve been asked to make several guest appearances with various groups meeting privately at this year’s event. In one instance, I’ll brief folk about the fourth and present day consolidation WAVE of LLLCommunities, labeled the Asset Aggregator Wave. Who the ‘players’ are, etc..

Then I’ll meet privately with representatives from one or more of the GSEs, relative to unique financing needs of land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators throughout the U.S. Later the same day, will be caucusing with realty-secured lenders and brokers featured in the recently released Signature Series Resource Document: ‘17th National Registry of All Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLLCommunities’. If you don’t yet have a copy of this seminal report listing 25 lenders/brokers, affiliate with COBA7® ASAP, at the Option II level ($544.95) by phoning the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. It is chock full of $$$ information!

If and when you see me in Las Vegas, ask for a FREE 3X5 plastic COBA7® ‘Did You Know?’ statistics card, bearing the alliance’s motto: ‘U Support Us & We Serve U!’

***

What the MHIndustry Does NOT Want YOU to Know & Do!

April 4th, 2015

COBA7 WISH LIST Review & NYHA Super Symposium

March 28th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 342 Copyright @ 29 March 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but o transform & improve!’

I.

Reviewing COBA7® WISH LIST for 2015

Here we’ll revisit one COBA7® Wish at a time, during next five weeks!

WISH # 1. “COBA7® to refine its’ organizational structure, recruit additional affiliates (a.k.a. ‘MHInsiders’) & meet with transition planning group; ID real & potential income streams; affiliate with a national buyers’ group; possibly succeed ULI’s MHCC as MHIndustry’s ‘Think Tank’; and maybe imitate a major RVIndustry ‘motivational event’ – for the MHIndustry, at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

Here we go:

COBA7® organizational structure remains unchanged. COBA7® is a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, in IN., and remains as such until transition planning group decides otherwise, likely upon successful recruitment of a leader/staff. Interested?

Recruiting additional affiliates remains a high priority, with goal of 400 ‘MHInsiders’ by year end 2015. Emphasis here is on the ‘7 Part’ tangible benefits characteristic of COBA7® for $544.95/year, compared to what a similar amount buys elsewhere!

Transition planning group numbers 30+ manufactured housing & LLLCommunity businessmen & women from 15 states! They’ll meet @ 1-4PM on 9 September, in San Diego, before the 24th annual Networking Roundtable begins, if not before….

There’re now five COBA7® ‘income streams’; plus a new partnership with Community Buying Group, giving MHInsiders discount access to Lowe’s ProSerives, Office Max & Depot, Sherwin Williams, SEARS’ Commercial, and more. See ad in April Allen Letter.

ULI’s Manufactured Housing Communities Council has disbanded. Here’s an opportunity for MHARR, MHI, & COBA7® to launch a joint THINK TANK, to address MHIndustry issues, challenges, and future prospects in a united and thoughtful fashion! All three entities will be at the MHCongress. Might that venue be ‘the time’ to meet and talk about this possibility? I’ll write & ask. If no interest, COBA7® will do so on its own.

COBA7® leadership has been invited to participate in an upcoming RVIndustry national ‘motivational event’ at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation facility in Elkhart, IN. The thought is to possibly replicate such a ‘motivational event’ for the MHIndustry in 2016.

Next week, we’ll focus on item # two on the COBA7® WISH LIST: ‘Community Series Homes’ & CSH Model production & shipment among HUD-Code manufacturers. There are some very exciting things taking place – and about to happen, relative to ‘Selling More New HUD-Code Homes into Land-lease-lifestyle Communities’ nationwide!’

II.

WE WARNED YOU!

Not to Miss New York Housing Association’s Super Symposium

I’ve just returned from that stellar two day event. With no exaggeration, I tell you this was the most informative, challenging, and helpful state MHAssociation – hosted seminar program I’ve attended in more than three decades in this business! Nancy Geer is commended for her insight as to what NYHA members, and colleagues from 11 NE USA states, needed to hear and learn firsthand from individuals ‘making much of this happen’ to and within our industry and realty asset class. Proof of such high praise? Every session was attended by nearly all the 130+ businessmen and women registrants – right up thru the final session Thursday morning. Few meeting planners can pull off that finale’!

Jenny Hodge, vice president of MHI”s National Communities Council, delivered the ‘MHIndustry’s point of view’ per the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act, S.A.F.E. Act, CFPB matters, and much more. Good example of a passionate lobbyist in action.

Pamela Beck Danner, esquire, and administrator of the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs at HUD, brought everyone up to date relative to soon implementation and enforcement of installation standards, and dispute resolution program – both pretty much dormant for the past five plus years. Summary? ‘No longer her predecessor’s HUD!’

Marc Lifset & Jeffrey Barringer, esquires, with McGlinchey Stafford did pretty much the impossible: described current status of state laws under all new federal regulations. They then went onto answer: ‘Is Lease with Option to Purchase Viable in Your State?’ And let me tell you, the Power Point copies supplied by Danner, Lifset & Barringer were alone, ‘worth the price of admission’ to this Super Symposium.

As requested, I updated the ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’ statistics – many of which have changed just since the first of the year! Went on to describe the Asset Aggregator Wave of LLLCommunity Consolidation – the fourth such ‘wave’ – including syndicators of the late 1970s, REITs in the early 1990s, and ‘equity plays’ since then. Read feature article in the March issue of the Allen Letter for details.

Concluded my talk with the first public presentation of ‘Frost Free Foundation’® from the LLLCommunity Owners Perspective’; simply put: ‘Learn beforehand (Before buying a new HUD-Code home for resale on-site) whether one’s preferred home manufacturer clearly approves FFF for the installation of their homes, and says so in their Installation Manual – or consider buying elsewhere.’ Why? Because the alternative, retrofitting perfectly good rental homesites, to be in compliance with aforementioned (in this blog posting) federal installation standards, compliant new concrete slabs, ribbons, piers, cost on the average, $5,000.00+/- per site! And that’s not all…For a one page summary description of ‘How to learn more about FFF’, and other ‘necessary use precedents’, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it. This offer open to everyone, not just COBA7® affiliates. MHInsiders will receive the final printed version of this FFF® aid, as a lagniappe in a future issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

***

New MH Team: Home Manufacturers & Communities

March 21st, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 341 Copyright @ 22 March 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinions, but to transform & improve!’

I.

HUD Code Home Manufacturers &
Communities Finally Really Together!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

Pulling Out All the Stops!

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

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

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

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

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

*****

Letters, Asset Aggregators, & Much More…

March 15th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 340 Copyright @ 15 march 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

Introduction to this week’s COBA8® blog posting at community-investor.com website:

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

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

As You Know, We Do Hear From Readers

Here’re Two Communiqués from MHIndustry Businessmen

I.

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

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

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

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

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

II.

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

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

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

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

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

Has Anyone Else Out There Noticed?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Soon Opportunity to be Certified as a Manufactured Housing Manager®

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

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

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

***

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

March 7th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 339 Copyright @ 8 March 2015

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

This blog posting is a national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media, for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is, ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

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

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

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

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

I

1st Look at 24th exciting Networking Roundtable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

17th National Registry of ALL Lenders!

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

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

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

III.

Manufactured Housing Manager®, MHM®

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

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

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

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

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

***

30+% of New HUD Homes into LLLCommunities!

February 27th, 2015

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 338 Copyright @ 1 March 2015

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

This blog posting is the primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto is: ‘U support US & WE serve U’!, and Goal of its’ three print & online publications is: ‘Not only to share information & opinion, but to transform & improve!’

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

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

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

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

I.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

II.

Talking About Resources…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

III.

Bravelets

A Unique Way to Honor & Support Loved Ones Fighting Illnesses

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

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

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

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