Archive for May, 2013

What You’ve Been Waiting for….

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Blog # 247 Copyright 2013 26 May 2013

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

Purpose. ‘Primary research, resources, & op/ed communication means among land lease lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide; plus, national advocacy awareness.’

I.

Manufactured Housing Dichotomy Contrary to Reason

II.

Triple Threat to Manufactured Housing Trumps Obama’s Press – described Trifecta!

III.

Manufactured Housing’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is in the Offing…

IV.

Errata

V.

Purpose

***

Manufactured Housing Dichotomy Contrary to Reason

A dichotomy occurs when something is divided into two parts. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re referring to the HUD – Code manufactured housing reality, where we fabricate and market the Most Affordable Shelter Option Available Anywhere (Half the cost, per square foot, of contemporary site – built homes, not including underlying realty), on one hand; and, on the other, the Ability to Produce Super Quality, Exciting Design Homes Priced at a Quarter of a Million Dollars! What a disparate dichotomy!

But then, look what happens to this dichotomy when Marketing and Sales Functions do their part, and Home Finance comes into play.

Title I chattel (personal property) capital is the ‘choice of necessity’ for financing affordable manufactured homes sited within land lease lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities). For the most part, that type home financing has been ‘missing’ since the turn of this century; missing not for lack of capital resources, but ‘missing the mark’ at which many, if not most, prospective homebuyers, of manufactured homes, find themselves in today’s battered national economy. Contemporary chattel loan underwriting is understandably stringent; but as a consequence, is woefully underserving its’ traditional market of the past 60+ years.

Title II realty – secured capital is available to an increasing degree, as the overall U.S. housing industry slowly – but – steadily recovers from its’ debacle of 2008. And know what? It’s this type home finance that is most readily available to mortgage the quarter million dollar HUD – Code manufactured homes described earlier.

Bottom line? The folk who need affordable housing the most, have the least opportunity to secure financing for it; while those who’re fortunate enough to qualify for quarter million dollar homes, have little problem becoming mortgagors.

Hence, manufactured housing’s double dichotomy is contrary to reason; to wit: mortgage financing is, for the most part, unavailable to the lowest priced homes (buyers) produced by HUD – Code home manufacturers, especially when going into LLLCommunities. But mortgage financing is generally readily available to the highest priced homes (buyers) produced by HUD – Code home manufacturers, when being sited on developed realty conveyed fee simple. Go figure. It’s a conundrum of the first degree.

II.

Triple Threat to Manufactured Housing Trumps Obama’s Press – described Trifecta!

Ah yes, another definition to start this discussion. This time around however, the key word, trifecta, is being blatantly misused by this nation’s secular press as they report on three abuses of power being laid at the feet of the current administration.

Trifecta: “a wager in horseracing requiring correct choice of first, second, and third place in exact order to win.” The New American Webster College Dictionary.

Excuse me, but I’ve yet to see, let alone understand, how the Bengazi murder cover up, IRS targeting of conservative political groups, and Department of Justice’ wholesale accessing of Associated Press (‘AP’) telephone records, qualifies as anything but a triad, or triplet of missteps, but certainly not a ‘trifecta’, occurring during President Obama’s second term in office. And at this point, I don’t think the American public really cares which ‘offence’ comes in first, second, or third – as they’re equally onerous trampling of our rights ‘to know’, ‘enjoy privacy’, and ‘engage in free speech’.

So, does the HUD – Code manufactured housing have its’ own set of (three) challenges to be dealt with during the present time frame? You bet, and it’s certainly not a ‘trifecta’. For the purposes of this blog posting – and the luncheon presentation I’ll deliver in Urbana, IL. during IMHA’s annual meeting on 13 June, 2013, I’m describing them as the Triple Threat to Manufactured Housing! Want to attend? Phone (217) 528-3423 and talk to Bob Thieman, CAE.

Here are three titillating paragraphs recently mailed to all HUD – Code home manufacturers and independent (street) MHRetailer, as well as land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, throughout the Midwest:

• Everyone talks of the shortage of chattel (personal property) capital to finance home transactions within LLLCommunities; but that’s NOT the real problem ‘holding us back’. Come and hear the truth, and learn what you might do about the matter. That is, unless YOU don’t care what happens to the MHIndustry….

• According to the Uniform Manufactured Housing Act, agreed upon by the Uniform Law Commission last July, manufactured housing ‘vehicle titles’ are to become ‘a thing of the past’, the sooner the better – in their eyes. Consider the tax consequences and otherwise! Come and learn the ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘how’ & ‘why’ behind this imminent threat to manufactured housing – as we’ve known it for more than 60 years!

• We’ve come to think of HUD as a ‘way of (business) life’, where manufactured housing is concerned. Well, guess ‘who’ is working to supplant HUD and become our new federal regulator – and ‘why’, as well as ‘where’ & ‘how’? And if we’ve had difficulties getting HUD to ‘overtly support the marketing of the most affordable housing option in the U.S. today’ – a reality they understand and write about, but don’t go out of their way to support – think how much more difficult it will become with a new ‘unknown’ regulating our industry, particularly one with an ‘agenda’, e.g. like having fire sprinklers installed in every manufactured home….

Well; all that should get you to thinking, if not disturbing your complacency relative to the near and interim future of HUD – Code manufactured housing and LLLCommunities nationwide. What can YOU do about it? For starters, patronize IMHA’s annual meeting in Urbana on 12 & 13 June 2013 – to learn ‘the rest of the story’; OR, wait for a few weeks to read what we post in future blogs. That is, unless one or another of our national advocacy bodies, and you know we have two of them, decides to ‘really go public’ with the whisperings we’ve been hearing the past few months….

III.

Manufactured Housing’s ‘Perfect Storm’ is in the Offing…

What is manufactured housing’s Perfect Storm? Well, since it’s just now becoming apparent to some, we need to bide our time and comment a bit, as unique – in this case ‘once in three decades’ circumstances are coming together to ‘rock our boats’. One of the few hints I’m comfortable giving you, this time around – so as not to violate confidences, is to suggest researching the specific definition of the last word in this III blog title: offing. Thought I knew what the word meant beforehand, but was surprised when I checked. The specific definition eerily applies.

OK, here’s another tidbit. the Perfect Storm involves individuals, not things, places, products, or services. And perhaps matters we’ve taken for granted for many years, are about to change – markedly. Might happen today; but no, probably a bit further down the road. How far? Now there’s the unanswerable secondary question. It’s like watching weather personalities on TV. We view for information, enlightenment, even Warning; but given the ‘nature’ of weather; and in this case, people; well, the Perfect Storm could indeed happen tomorrow, maybe a few weeks or months from now, but certainly no longer than a year out! And No, this isn’t a consequence of the ‘Big Three C home manufacturers’ controlling MHI, or the few mega portfolio owners/operators dominating the NCC.

Will tell you this though. When that Perfect Storm is indeed on MHIndustry’s near horizon; you’ll likely read about it here first, maybe even in Jim Visser’s The Journal, or both places. So, as they say in radio talk: ‘Stay tuned!’ And it’s unlikely I’ll be the one to ‘Break the news’ to you. In fact, as I reflect on the matter, I believe Bruce Savage, former MHI staffer and present day freelance public relations consultant, is the only MHIndustry – savvy wordsmith remaining, who has the stones and cred to sound a Perfect Storm WARNING! In the meantime; want to hire Bruce to assist with communications and public relations work for your firm? Reach him via (202) 664-4512.

IV.

Errata

If you’re an Allen Letter professional journal subscriber, and received advance copies of the registration brochure, describing the upcoming 22nd International Networking Roundtable, know the hotel phone numbers listed on the back panel are INCORRECT. Here’re the correct phone numbers:

Hotel/Chicago Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL: (800) 334-3417. When phoning in your reservation, mention the ‘Networking Roundtable/GFA’
Need driving directions to the resort hotel? Phone (630) 529-0200

V.

Purpose

Did YOU notice? We’ve added a Purpose statement at the beginning of this blog posting. Why? In recognition of the emerging reality, among many land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, and an increasing number of MHIndustry ‘players’, a New Era is indeed upon us, Perfect Storm or no Perfect Storm. And it turns out this weekly blog posting is expected to ‘lead the way’ into it! We’re grateful you’re along for the ride. GFA

***

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

‘20 Year Itch’ Responses; MHDichotomy, etc.

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Blog # 246 Copyright 2013 19 May 2013

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities
& earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

Meetings Mish Mash This Fall; or, ‘Nothing Else to Do’?

II.

Responses to Last Week’s Blog: ‘The 20 Year Itch!’

III.

Encouraging & Disturbing Words from Assn. Executives

***

I.

Meetings Mish Mash This Fall; or, ‘Nothing Else to Do’?

Spring and Fall are the most popular business meeting seasons. But it appears the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry, and its’ land lease lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) counterpart, are going overboard this year (2013). Either there’s a super abundance of good information and industry news to share, or there’s a lot of folk with more time on their hands than work to do. The following paragraphs list the regional and national venues announced to date, so we’ll give you some tips as to where your time and energy might be best spent. For a more detailed breakout of said meeting information, read the June 2013 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal – for pricing, contact information, etc.. To subscribe, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

August 5, 2013. Annual RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Banquet at the museum and library facility in Elkhart, IN. (574) 293-2344 & (800) 378-8694. If you respect our RV/MH history and legacy, you’ll be present with me at this event! Several LLLCommunity owners/operators are in this year’s Class of Hall of Fame Inductees. Are you a faithful financial supporter of the foundation? We are! Become one!

September 18 – 20, 2013. 22nd annual International Networking Roundtable for land lease lifestyle community owners/operators returns to the Hilton/Chicago Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL. This is the only national trade show focused on the educational (20+ seminars & panels), networking, and realty deal – making interests and needs of LLLCommunity businessmen and women! There’ll likely be new Community Series Homes or CSH Models on display. Visit community-investor.com for a brochure!

September 29 – October 1, 2013. MHI’s annual meeting in San Diego, CA., includes a meeting of the National Communities Council division.

October 8 – 10, 2013. 3rd annual SECO Symposium in Forsyth, GA. (Just south of the Atlanta airport).Unique feature here is that Southeast LLLCommunity Owners are the ones who plan and host this annual event, ensuring all the topics are of lively and current interest to the land lease lifestyle community owners/operators who attend from throughout the Southeast USA. I certainly plan to participate – again.

October 15 – 17, 2013. WMA’s annual Convention & Expo in Reno, NV. While technically a California MHAssociation event, many of the participants come from states throughout the West, hence making it a de facto regional venue.

October 16 – 18, 2013. MHI’s National Communities Council Leadership Forum in downtown Chicago, IL. (Two meetings necessary in one month?)

November 5 & 6, 2013. London Computer’s annual Rent Manager conference in Florida. This is a private, by invitation event, but one patronized by a couple hundred users of this firm’s LLLCommunity accounting software.

November 5 – 8, 2013. Urban Land Institute’s Fall Meeting in Chicago, IL. This will also be when the Manufactured Housing Communities Council convenes.

WHEW! Tired of Fall meetings yet? And I’m confident No One will be present at all these venues – especially the last four listed, since they were scheduled atop one another. And this list doesn’t include state MHAssociation meetings planned for the same time frame, e.g. New York & Florida, for starters.

Here’s something else to ‘watch for’ during the months ahead: Where Else Will We See These Regional & National Meetings Listed? Probably nowhere! Why? One or more of the sponsoring trade groups, as a matter of policy (so they say) don’t mention, let alone promote, anyone else’s meetings but their own! Let’s watch and see if I’m Right or Wrong, about this, during the weeks and months ahead. But one thing for sure: Read this Blog Posting every week and YOU get all the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity information you need; supplemented by print publications, like the Allen Letter professional journal, & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Business newsletters.

***

II.

Responses to Last Week’s Blog: ‘The 20 Year Itch!’

Hopefully you read it. If not, maybe ‘stop here’, and scroll down through the blog archive that follows this posting at community-investor.com and read it. The following responses will make much more sense to you if you do….

“Glad to read you’re feeling well enough to reinvigorate your business – and ours. It is more important than ever, the statistics and research you publish, continue to be available. We cannot advance the (land lease lifestyle community) asset class, and move forward on initiatives discussed at the recent 2nd National MHRetailers Summit, without them! Continue to count me in your corner for any help you think I might provide.” JR

“Insightful as always and inspirational. Thank you for sharing it (blog posting) with me. I am very happy to hear you are feeling better, and this blog comes off with the energy I have come to know you for. I am looking forward to the upcoming Roundtable, and seeing you soon.” DL

“I am excited to see the Networking Roundtable date ‘later in the month’ in September and returning to Chicago. I plan on being there. And yes, I do recall the prayer times for our nation and its’ leaders (a tradition begun after the 9/11/2001 national tragedy). They’ve been a great addition to the event.” TN (And debut of a new LLLCommunity tradition is planned for this year’s 22nd annual Roundtable event. GFA)

“You have always been, and I am sure will continue, to be a great asset for our industry. Whatever direction you take, I and many others will be glad to follow.” JZ

“Good post George. I suspect ‘they’ will read between the lines! Let’s grab that brass ring!” SR

“I think it’s a good tact to keep things rolling status quo, since you are up for it. Maybe as wounds heal and new people are elected, there can be a better meeting of the minds.” JD

“I think you’ve raised the challenge here – the question I have, from a negotiating standpoint is, ‘What could _____ do to avoid a splinter group?’ You say new leadership; I say, ‘Then what?’ You’ve noted they consistently ‘steal pages from your book’ – not entirely surprising, when a savvy individual is out in front of a group, in terms of their (lesser) ability to move. The way I see it, you have a very good platform of research, publications and training; and what _____ could do, is take each one further, based on their resources, staffing, etc. That’s why I thought your offer to sell made sense. Now, with you still in the business, what’s their ‘best alternative to a negotiated agreement’?” PB

“Good post. Decision made. Go for it!” NB

Postscript.

As you can see and read, the discussion continues. Frankly, I was humbled, but not terribly surprised, that more than a dozen of my ‘friends in the MHBusiness’, ALL land lease lifestyle community ‘owners’, took the time to reach out and communicate their thoughts and ideas, regarding the subject matter of last week’s blog posting. I Thank them for that. Now? Frankly, my efforts are focused on planning and hosting the Best Networking Roundtable Ever, when we gather in Bloomingdale, IL., 18 – 20 September. Don’t wait to send in your registration! Last year we had some challenges accommodating everyone who wanted to attend; hopefully that won’t be a repeated situation this year. But YOU can ensure your ‘boat space’, as we say in the Marines, by registering NOW, for the Networking Roundtable and hotel accommodations. GFA

***

III.

Encouraging & Disturbing Words from Assn. Executives

FIRST, THE ENCOURAGING WORDS.

Relative to the Uniform Manufactured Housing Act – intended to supplant vehicle titles presently used as ‘proof of ownership’ for manufactured homes sited on leased land, as in a land lease lifestyle community:

“Don’t worry (George). The state MHAssociation execs have a solid handle on the Uniform Manufactured Housing Act. We killed it, so far, in (three states) already. The Uniform Law Commission, and others, thought they could pass it over our objections. Nope. These bills are DOA (dead on arrival) at state capitols around the country. Thanks to the good work of Marc Lifset, esquire, and others, keeping us up to date on progress.” A Midwest MHAssociation executive. (lightly edited)

SECOND, THE DISTURBING WORDS.

Relative to ‘Resisting elimination of the Federal HUD Program.’ Title of a recent op/ed piece, by Danny Ghorbani, in The Journal (May 2013)

“The total elimination of the federal manufactured housing program has been a longtime goal of an unusual convergence of industry competitors, special interests and certain regulators. Their reasons and motivations may vary, but the objective is the same – ending the federal superintendence of the industry that began in 1974. Without the federal program, though, the uniform, performance – based regulation, federal preemption and uniform federal enforcement, which together ensures the unique affordability of manufactured housing, particularly for lower and moderate – income American families, would vanish.”

In this article, Mr. Ghorbani cites attempts by this ‘unusual convergence of industry competitors, special interests, and regulators’, to which I’d add: at least on covert, in – house (excusing the pun) influencer, who’ve recently effected “…an attempted diversion of a Government Accountability Office (‘GAO’) investigation of the HUD program mandated by Congress.” How so? Danny, again, cites:

• A 15 year old study by (Get this!) the National Association of Homebuilders NAHB Research Center, in behalf of HUD’s Office of Policy Research & Development (‘PD&R’), to posit whether ‘changes at the state and local level (Read ‘building codes’) have changed the need for (federal) preemption today”, compared to 1974? Talk about a Red Herring diversion.

• Reports of ‘interviewers’ traveling the U.S. asking specially – selected manufactured housing producers, and others, ‘What would be the likely effect on your niche in the manufactured housing business, if HUD was/is relieved from regulatory oversight?” How would YOU like to be asked that question with no advance warning?

All this simply scratches the surface of what is going on now in our nation’s capitol, relative to the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry, and by extension – don’t forget, the land lease lifestyle community real estate asset class!

Again, to stay abreast of these ‘encouraging’ & ‘discouraging’ political and regulatory developments, read this blog posting faithfully every Sunday; and for ‘the rest of the story’, read the Allen Letter professional journal. Also request to be put on the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform’s online, email distribution list via (202) 783-4087.

***

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

the 20 Year Itch!

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Blog # 241 Copyright 2013 14 April, posted 12 May 2013

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

The 20 Year Itch!

How the (then) ‘mobile home park’ business model ‘established its pre – REIT groove’ in 1993; coasted along for two decades as the unique ‘manufactured home community’ income – producing property type; and now, seeks to ‘get its groove back’, as the enhanced public image, land lease lifestyle community real estate asset class – right up there among conventional apartment communities and other forms of multifamily commercial real estate.

Believe it or not, there was once a time, during the 1980s, when (then) mobile home park owners/operators had NO national networking and deal – making meetings, NO dedicated print media of any sort, NO operating performance statistical benchmark reports, and NO professional property management training and certification programs! All that changed pretty quickly though, as the 1990s began, and Wall Street ‘discovered’ mobile home parks cum manufactured home communities, as a highly desirable investment vehicle (excusing the pun, of course).*1

This epiphany had everything to do with the soon debut of manufactured home community real estate investment trusts or REITs, in 1994 & 1995 – though Wall Street, to this day, continues to appear uncomfortable referring to the realty asset class as anything but ‘manufactured housing REITs’ – a misleading nod towards the home fabricating segment of the manufactured housing industry. And WS still has difficulty understanding why income – producing properties, per se, are not ‘growth stocks’ of the sort they prefer to hawk.

In any event, enroute to effecting the above – referenced Initial Public Offerings or IPOs of stock, the REIT – destined firms agreed there was a need for better National Advocacy, in behalf of the asset class, than was available at the time via the sole national body representing HUD – Code manufactured housing. So, on 31 August 2013, 19 owners/operators of this unique property type, met for a strategic planning meeting in Indianapolis, IN. And one might accurately say, from that point forward, ‘the rest is history’, as the following Research & Resources matured along with the constantly consolidating realty asset class:

• The annual ALLEN REPORT while debuting during 1989, ‘hit its’ stride’ by 1994 & 1995, annually polling 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators for their Operating Expense Ratio (‘OER’) data, which along with the newly published Official Industry Standard Chart of Accounts, ‘put manufactured home community profitability performance ‘on the map’ where public (stockholder) interest in the asset class was concerned. That same year, J. Wiley & Sons’, Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities debuted and sold out within six months of publication. And for the first time in 20 years, new properties were being developed, and existing ones were in high demand. This too short renascence, however, would peak in 1998, and then continually decline during the next 15 years.

• The monthly Allen Letter, since renamed the Allen Letter professional journal, while first published in 1991, distinguished itself as the sole trade media print publication to focus on the information and HOW TO needs of manufactured home community owners/operators nationwide. It served as the communication dispersion and camaraderie glue that ‘got the word out to owners/operators’ and united their thinking relative to industry issues and much more.

• Then there’s the International Networking Roundtable. Meeting for the first time, during the Spring of 1992; a year later, the second annual roundtable event spawned the aforementioned Indianapolis strategic planning meeting. Speaking of which, that ad hoc group of 19 owners/operators met a few more times, as an Industry Steering Committee or ISC, during 1993 and 1994, before being invited by the Manufactured Housing Institute, to merge and create a National Communities Council. Thus, on 1 January 1996, the NCC began its’ work in Arlington, VA., eventually becoming a division within MHI. And the annual Networking Roundtable continues to convene, with the 22nd one scheduled for 18 – 20 September at the Hilton/Chicago Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 for an ‘invite’ to attend – if you’re a LLLCommunity owner/operator.

• During the next decade, several exciting and needed (at the time) manufactured home community – related innovations were created, to initially wax, but eventually wane, e.g. a national Recognition of Excellence Award program, and Community Attributes System or CAS. Why? Maybe right program(s) at wrong time(s) or vice a versa; maybe the NCC, having one leaderless year and no fewer than six salaried executive vice presidents heading the program during its’ 17 year history has yet to find long term traction; and yet again, maybe something else….

Be all that as it may be, what’s going on today? Well, that’s difficult to pin down without naming names, even picking at old scabs. But here’s what we do have in play. Still the above – referenced annual (24 years) ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Lifestyle Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’, by which we ‘keep score’ as to who owns and or fee manages the most rental homesites & RV sites, in North America. It’s how we know ELS, Inc., the Chicago – based mega – REIT, is the largest public owner of LLLCommunities in the entire world. And how RHP Properties recently, by acquiring ‘the remainder of the old ARC (former REIT) property portfolio’, has become the largest privately – owned operator of LLLCommunities in the entire world.

J. Wiley & Sons’ first text has been joined by a second: How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community (Remains the only case bound text on this subject), and sixth edition of Land Lease Community Management, the instructional basis of the Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM®, professional property management training and certification program. While all three books are available via amazon.com, new, unused copies are available directly from the publisher via (317) 346-7156. And frankly; during the past three years, three additional paperback texts have been added to the number of trade references available to LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide.

Furthermore, the Allen Letter professional journal, continues to be published monthly, along with the higher – priced, limited distribution business newsletter, the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! And the information – conveying nature of these two publications is eclipsed only by the education (22 sessions), interpersonal networking, and deal – making opportunities offered by the aforementioned annual Networking Roundtable effected every Fall.

So, what’s wrong with this status quo? Why a ‘20 year itch’ to take national advocacy and these asset class sophistications up another notch? More than one reason actually.

First and foremost. Though MHI’s NCC division has been in business for 17 years now, its’ number of direct dues – paying members continues to languish around the 100 mark. And if MHI’s proposed bylaw changes, distributed during the institute’s annual Legislative Conference during February 2013, are implemented as presented, the council could lose (‘NCC’) name identity, in lieu of ‘LLLCommunity members simply being members of MHI’. And, ask yourself, ‘What tangible council accomplishments can one identify as having been effected during the past two, make that several, years?’ Answer?

And right up there near the top (reason), is – or was, a unique, once in a lifetime or career opportunity for MHI ‘to bring everything extraneous to NCC, ‘in house’, so to speak; OR, risk the probable creation of a new and separate national, not for profit entity, to continue statistical Research and ongoing Resource servicing, in behalf of the LLLCommunity asset class, that’s evolved as ‘a profit center business model’ during the past 33+ years.

A succinct way to put this whole matter, described in the previous dozen plus paragraphs, in Summary, is to recall 1) we didn’t have any of these niceties during the 1980s; 2) they (Advocacy, Research, Resources) budded nicely during the ‘Go Go’ REIT years of the 1990s – until we lost our access to chattel financing at the turn of the century; and now that we’re a decade into the New Millennium, 3) we have/had this rare opportunity to (either) unite and blossom as a bona fide real estate asset class within the auspices of MHI/NCC – if we can get our act together, stop the territorial bickering, and stop trying to recreate the wheel that’s brought us this far together already! OR, as was articulated in the previous paragraph; what other alternative is there, ‘if not within the MHI/NCC structure’, 4) create an altogether new, realty – based, national trade entity along the lines of the National Apartment Association, Building Owners & Managers Association, Community Associations Institute, even a subset of the National Association of Realtors.

What’s it going to take – in either case, to succeed? LEADERSHIP. Leadership CAPABLE of looking beyond ‘the way we’ve always done things’ (at least for the past 17 years), to see the upsides of having land lease lifestyle community owners/operators selecting and working toward their own destiny within and alongside, but not ‘behind’, the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry. Leadership EXPERIENCED at taking on assignments and actually ‘getting the job done’! Leadership MOTIVATED to do what’s Best for the entire realty asset class, and not just one group, or another, of owners/operators, maybe based on property and or portfolio size! Do we have such LEADERS available today?

Frankly, I have NO interest in debating this matter with anyone, especially individuals who don’t have ‘skin in the game’ as LLLCommunity owners/operators. Certain former PMs and would be journalist gadflies need not respond. And Yes, if you are a LLLCommunity owner/operator, I’d like very much to hear and read your opinions and suggestions relative to these timely and historic matters. WHY? Read the next paragraph carefully. Then reach out to me via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or gfa7156@aol.com, or the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

I’m not going anywhere soon! I’m healthy – following heart surgery and loss of 30 pounds. I’m happy. And I’ve recommitted myself to serving the 1) statistical Research & 2) ongoing Resource servicing, of all my land lease lifestyle community owner/operators peers throughout the U.S. and Canada! And even though I’ve been unsuccessful ‘selling off’ GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing business interests’, so I could retire, I have no immediate plans to found a new, national, not for profit trade body to supplement national Advocacy efforts of MHI’s NCC – even though that might yet prove to be the best route to take, for LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘Large & Small’. Are we clear so far? If so, Good. If not; I really don’t know how to make those points any clearer. Continuing. There has not been an open meeting of all NCC members since the ‘October 2012 ambush of two direct, dues – paying MHI members’, in San Antonio, TX.; and the next NCC meeting isn’t scheduled until MHI’s annual gathering in La Jolla this Fall (2013), and that’s still five months away. Perhaps a better way to address this ’20 year itch’, within the NCC, relating to asset class Advocacy, Research, & Resources, would be to effect a change in leadership, instead of announcing plans to waste time and resources duplicating what’s already in place, relative to Research & Resources, and working well for LLLCommunity owners/operators Large & Small, nationwide…. What do you think?

*****

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry,
The Land Lease Lifestyle Community Asset Class &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide

End Notes.

1. And how did the segue from mobile home park to manufactured home community come about? Simple. When textbook publisher was preparing to bring the first published work, about this unique, income – producing property type, to market (prior to 1994), it was dismayed to learn there were no fewer than three monikers afoot, around the U.S., describing this business model. So, following surveys via the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, the MHIndustry, pretty much as a whole, ‘voted’ to move away from trailer court and mobile home park, to manufactured home community – though a few individuals held out for the hybrid term – manufactured housing community. And, for the next 20 or so years, ‘the rest is history’.

MHRetailers & LLLCommunity Owners Meet & Talk $

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Blog # 245 Copyright 2013 5 May 2013

Perspective. ‘Land lease lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities & earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

I.

WHAT YOU MISSED!

II.

‘More Than a Baker’s Dozen Excellent Reasons’ to Attend the 22nd Networking Roundtable in Bloomingdale, IL. @ 18 – 20 September 2013!’

III.

NOW AVAILABLE for the asking!

***

I.

WHAT YOU MISSED!

There’s a sea change a – coming to the manufactured housing industry; and for many. it’s already here!!!!!

During the past 35 years, factory – built housing has experienced emergence and maturity of its’ HUD era; period of the ‘hudulars’, a ‘land – and – home package’ hiatus; and of late, an emphasis on land lease lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) infill! And during the same 3 ½ decades, among the estimated 50,000 LLLCommunities nationwide, we’ve witnessed three waves of realty investment consolidation, resulting in 500+/- property portfolios; and, the stark operational necessity (i.e. read ‘survival’) to sell, and often self – finance, new and resale housing transactions on – site, to maintain rental homesite occupancy. Furthermore, we now find ourselves in the midst of an unprecedented period of federally and state – mandated compliance with pervasive housing finance regulations pertaining to chattel (personal property) capital lending.

This regulatory sea change has to do with one’s familiarity and compliance with the S.A.F.E. Act; and, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau or CFPB rules and regulations pertaining to the Red Flag Rule, Safeguard Rule, Disposal Act, the Patriot Act, OFAC, Anti – Money Laundering, EEOC, FACTA, TILA, ECOA, RESPA, MDIA, FCRA, Debt Collection & Servicing, Privacy, UDAA, Escrow funds, Risk Based Pricing, Leasing, HOePA, and more.

So, ‘WHAT DID YOU MISS this past week?’ Independent (street) MHRetailers and land lease lifestyle community owners/operators, who routinely sell homes on – site in 20 or more states, convened in Davenport, Iowa, for the 2nd National Retailer Summit. This seminal biennial event, planned and hosted by consultant Bill Carr, is a valuable service to the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class at large! No one else, corporate or trade association – wise, comes close to providing an opportunity and venue, for these two disparate – yet – now – linked – thru – diversity segments of the HUD – Code manufactured housing industry; to caucus and share Lessons Learned regarding the nature of various financing business models; and, how to be fully compliant with the plethora of state and federal regulations pertaining to chattel finance of new and resale manufactured homes. To maybe secure an ‘invite’ to the 3rd National Retailer Summit, phone (800) 336-0339 and talk to Bill Carr. He was assisted during this National Retailer Summit by Ken & Donna Rishel of Rishel Consulting, and yours truly. Speaking of the Rishels. If you haven’t participated in one of their chattel finance workshops, you should. Find out more by phoning (217) 971-3968.

What was covered? Well, for a complete summary, you’ll have to read the June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Phone the MHIndustry’s HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to subscribe @ only $134.95/year for 12 monthly issues.

In the meantime, here’s a brief overview of major topics covered during the 2nd National Retailer Summit:

• Identification & review of 18 distinct, but appropriate, financing business models

• Use of Sales Transaction Analysis Forms to document & articulate profitability

• Review of all the aforementioned federal regulations under the CFPB’s authority

• Captive Finance as alternative to traditional independent retail financing of homes

• Introduction to Private Investor Financing of manufactured homes in communities

• Role of matrix and underwriting guidelines to guide one’s home financing efforts

• Review of differing perspectives between MHRetailers & LLLCommunity owners, relative to ‘making $ deals now’ mentality vs. ‘annuity income over time’

How can YOU afford NOT to have been present at such a valuable Open Discussion Learning Opportunity? Hopefully we’ll see you at the next go – round, probably in late October or early November this Fall.

A personal pique, is that NO national MHIndustry advocacy body to date, offers this sort of Open Forum, to and for members, whereby timely and needed practical guidance – in this instance, regarding chattel finance regulatory compliance, is shared! GFA

II.

‘More than A Baker’s Dozen of Excellent Reasons’ to Attend the 22nd Networking Roundtable in Bloomingdale, IL @ 18-20 September 2013!

Here’re Reasons Why Land Lease Lifestyle Community Owners/operators Regard the Annual Networking Roundtable to be the Asset Class’ Preeminent Educational, Interpersonal Networking, & Deal – making Event…

• 20+ contemporary topic & panel presentations in two days; Yes, 20+!

• Maximum interpersonal networking during nine social & meal events

• An Investor’s Symposium for would – be buyers of LLLCommunities

• Inspect & order new Community Series Homes from those exhibited

• Best Deal – making Opportunities ever, for LLLCommunity owners

• Experience a mix of old (circa 2001) & new asset class traditions….

• Learn the key role of our RV/MH Hall of Fame, museum & library

• Learn to create your Brand Marketing Platform, using social media

• Receive 3 new plastic Training Aid cards: ‘5RPs @ Marketing-Sales’

• Meet& Learn from a dozen or more real estate mortgage originators!

• Be exposed to every form of public & private chattel capital finance!

• Consider RV business and sites, to diversity your business model

• Meet Green Hill Financial, Corporate Shield, & other new $ players!

• Time for a Chattel Capital Fund ‘by & for’ LLLCommunity owners?

The brochures for the 22nd annual International Networking Roundtable will initially be distributed with the June 2013 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal, and will also be available on the website: community-investor.com OR, phone the above – referenced MHIndustry’s HOTLINE!

Remember; 18 – 20 September 2013, in Bloomingdale, IL. See you there!

III.

NOW AVAILABLE for the asking!

Land Lease Lifestyle Community’s Official Industry Standard Chart of (Operating Expense) Accounts
&
Operating Expense Ratios, or OERs!

Veteran LLLCommunity owners/operators have been using the 1992 era Official Industry Standard Chart of (Operating Expense) Accounts, and accompanying Operating Expense Ratios or OERs, for decades. Well, with recent input from ARA MHC Group, a Denver, Colorado – based real estate brokerage specializing in this realty asset class, we’ve recently updated the helpful chart, finally dropping references to the Texas A & M data, and Horner group information, and adding ‘stats’ provided by ARA MHC Group.

Blank column space has been left on the recently revised chart, to facilitate adding even more OER data, hopefully from one or another of the national real estate brokerages also specializing in marketing LLLCommunities nationwide. Anyone listening out there?

Want a FREE copy of this recently revised Official Industry Standard Chart of Accounts & OERs? Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or633-4764 and ask for it. Copies are also being distributed, as lagniappes, with the May issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

***

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