Archive for October, 2015

HUD to Promote MH? ‘The Dragon Slayer!’& much more….

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Blog # 372 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & Opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION to Blog # 372. I) ‘HUD to go from OVERSIGHT to PROMOTION of manufactured housing?’ Don’t hold your breath. This topic touched nerves among blog floggers (readers) last week. Here’s a sampling of responses. II) Meet ‘The Dragon Slayer’! A tool for the small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owner/operator to make sense out of high rental homsite rates in nearby competing properties. III) Book review & offer of Chapbook of Prayer. IV) And finally, ‘Have YOU, as a LLLCommunity owner/operator wondered how and why you’re about to be $ victimized by federal installation legislation passed eight plus years ago, but only being implemented in 2016?’

I.

Recommended ‘HUD Segue from OVERSIGHT to
OVERT PROMOTION of Manufactured Housing’ Prompts Responses from MHIndustry Aficionados!

The following unsolicited responses to blog # 371 arrived within hours of its’ posting:

“Your blog is on point. However, it accepts the narrative, existing 35+ year (land-lease) communities have no issues with local governments or the NIMBY attitude.* Rent control and increasing (rental homesite) rent are the two biggest complaints for the ground owner business model. What is placed on that ground has not been a concern, though you’ve pounded on the table for communities ‘to sell more new homes’. Why would LLLCommunity owners change their easy collection of site rent, increase their costs starting a new house replacement business, change existing perceptions, even work on their image? It seems they like repos and putting lipstick on pigs, even though those are temporary fixes and not attractive to prospective homebuyers.” SL (edited. GFA)

REJOINDER. This particular blog focused solely on ‘regulation & promotion of manufactured housing’; not to plead the case for land-lease-lifestyle communities – as long as there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites to be filled with new HUD-Code homes! It’s easy to imagine however, the boost in new home sales and sitings, if and when HUD overtly promotes factory-built housing (i.e. HUD-code manufactured housing) as the quality, transportable, energy efficient, non-subsidized, affordable housing choice it truly is!

“Very pointed and remarkably exciting review of low income housing and manufactured housing’s potential, George. The ‘factory – 1st time homebuyers & homes’, built from late 30s thru 70s, are being forgotten and ignored, but represent huge potential for HUD and state MHAssociations.” How? Two ways. Replacing 50 year old homes with new HUD-code homes; and, ‘rehabbing’ where practical, providing housing for “…workers whose jobs are now in Mexico and the Far East – as these fold do not have good-conditioned low cost housing.” NB (edited. GFA)

REJOINDER. Again, everywhere one looks, there’re opportunities to ‘provide & sell’, ‘buy & live in’ affordable factory-built housing of the HUD-Code manufactured housing variety! So, once again,

‘Why is it the 40 year federal building overseer of HUD-Code manufactured housing, usually so quick and forthcoming about various types of subsidized and ‘affordable housing’, has yet to step forward and overtly promote the very shelter product it regulates?

And that’s not all the responses received. One veteran LLLCommunity owner/operator, intrigued by housing purchase insights afforded by the popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, took the $36,000 & $51,000 AMI & AGI (Area Median Income per local housing market, & Annual Gross Income per prospective homebuyer/site lessee) examples cited within the blog, and created spread sheets demonstrating additional factors and perspectives (e.g. front & back end debt ratios) demonstrate ‘just how much house a buyer/site lessee can afford to purchase’! But more about that in a future blog posting at this website.

End Note.

* NIMBY = acronym ‘Not in my back yard!’ Used to describe anti-zoning and land planning changes in local housing markets. Also BANANA: ‘Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody’

II.

Meet ‘The Dragon Slayer’

While 2008 & 2009 were watershed years for HUD-Code manufactured housing producers & land-lease-lifestyle community owners, events from 1994 & ‘contemporary practice’ combined to destabilize many of our industry/asset class homeowners/site lessees. Here’s something to do to rectify the travesty….

But first, what’s a ‘watershed’ year? It’s a dividing or transitional point in time and circumstance. And here’re timely events and occurrences that changed our ‘double dual industry’ *1 for the next seven to eight years – and likely beyond:

• First National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucus (of 100+ LLLCommunity owners/operators) convened in Tampa, FL. on 2/27/2008, ‘to shape their individual & collective future via vibrant association advocacy, skillful home & rental homesite marketing, improved value proposition & customer service for homebuyers & site lessees, and much more.” Quoted from ‘Much More Than Afterglow!’ More on this later…

• By year end 2008, new home shipment total dropped to 81,889 from 95,769

• Second NSAC caucus (of 100+ LLLCommunity folk & HUD-Code home manufacturers) convened in Elkhart, IN. on 2/27/2009, to figure out how to sell more new homes into LLLCommunities nationwide. Result? The Community Series Home, a.k.a. CSH Model, characterized by one or more WOW! Factors and a plethora of durability-enhancing features.

• By year end 2009, new home shipment total plummeted to 49,789, with only 25% of said homes going directly into land-lease-lifestyle communities; however, the infill percentage started rising, albeit slowly.

• All the while, from roughly 1998 thru 2010, LLLCommunity self-immolation (‘kill as a sacrificial victim) – some called it suicide, followed the real estate investment trust (‘REIT’) wave of the mid to late 1990s. To meet Wall Street analyst expectations of increasing dividends every quarter, some large property portfolio owners raised rental homesite rates frequently and greatly. Hence the aforementioned concern hinted at in the first bullet point: “Value Proposition. Ensure a fair interplay of housing product pricing, financing & value, with site rental and more….” – didn’t happen in widespread fashion! Initial consequence? Traditional 3:1 ratio Rule of Thumb (for estimating stabilized site rent rate in most local housing markets) morphed, among some large portfolio ‘players’, to a 2:1 ratio Rule of Thumb, e.g. 3BR2B conventional apartment rent = $900. THEN $300/month = target site rent. NOW = $450/month site rent. Continuing consequence? Transfer of value from homeowner’s home to the underlying realty for which rent was being paid each month by said homeowner. And, unfortunately, the pattern continues among some…

Now, meet the dragon slayer! First the perspective: From that of the competition, the (usually) smaller LLLCommunity owner/operator. While self-immolation by one’s competitor, in the same local housing market, might well provide a benefit (i.e. move-ins exiting REIT-owned communities), it becomes a bit of a ‘hat trick’ to know just where one should peg one’s rental homesite rate. Here’s a suggestion:

Multiply prevailing (too) high rental homesite rate X two & divide by three. For example:
$450/month X 2, divided by 3 = $300.00/month = rent in closer accords with application of the traditional 3:1 ratio Rule of Thumb. Is that all? No.

If/when possible, apply the 3:1 ratio Rule of Thumb as a cross check of one’s dragon slayer computation. For example; given conventional 3BR2B townhouse or conventional apartment rent at $900/month, the suggested rental homesite rate is $300/month. But suppose the targeted ‘high rent rate’ is $500/month? Dragon slayer methodology suggests stabilized rental homesite rent, in that local housing market, should be $333/month. Hmm. What to do? Simple. Peg one’s rental homesite rate somewhere between $300 & $333/month.

One important caution. This exercise can be challenging in Sunbelt regions.

So, what do you think? Is there a variant to this methodology that works for you? We’d certainly like to know.

III.

BOOK REVIEW & OFFER…

Chapbook of Prayer, George Allen, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN.2015.

The first 200 copies of this slim 58 pages book arrived early September – in time for distribution at the Friday morning Prayer Meeting for Our Nation & Its’ Leaders, at the 24thInternational Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA. The entire first printing inventory was gone four weeks later. A second printing arrived during October. Would you like a copy?

Here’s what Joyce Long had to say about the chapbook. “I just finished reading your Chapbook of Prayer. I think this book will change my life and help me to be more dependent upon God. Too often I try to do it all on my own, wearing myself out. The wisdom in this book will put me back on the right path. So, from the bottom of my heart and soul, I thank you for this timely gift in my life.” JL

So, what’s this all about? Well, a chapbook by definition, is a small book or ‘…compendium of fact, wit & advice’, according to George Plimpton, writing in The Writer’s Chapbook. In this instance, the focus is obviously on prayer; and I approach the subject from two perspectives. Part I is a “…collection of prayer truths…harvested since 1969, the year I returned home following a 13 month tour of combat…in the Republic of South Vietnam.” And, “Part II is the initial manifestation of a long held desire to provide a public platform, from which prayer warriors and intercessors share personal means of ‘getting quiet before their Lord’…” All three quotations are from the cover and Preface of Chapbook of Prayer.

So again, ‘Would you like a copy?’ If so , phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; email me, or request via GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247. We’ll send you a FREE copy! Just be sure to provide a postal mailing address, as this is a bona fide book, not something you print off, online.

IV.

Have YOU, as a LLLCommunity Owner/operator,
Wondered…

Why is it you’ll likely be paying the lion share of on-site redevelopment costs (i.e. replacing perfectly good concrete runners & piers, not extending below the frost line, on rental homesites) pursuant to enforcement of Federal Installation Standards legislated in 2007, left dormant until this year, and to be implemented during year 2016?

Or aren’t you aware of this impending reality for LLLCommunity owners/operators?

It’s really quite the MH tale, going back to the aforementioned 2007 federal legislation; then the ‘maybe a silver bullet’ Frost Free Foundation® of 2010; those cloudy GAO interviews of HUD-Code home manufacturers – some say resulting in the 250% increase in HUD label fees (from $39 to $100) during late 2014; appointment of a new HUD manufactured housing program administrator – with an agenda; and soon, regulatory intrusions and fees, by and for HUD. And all that’s just part of the intriguing tale…

First hard question: ‘What financial support role will HUD-Code home manufacturers play in paying for beefed-up foundations now required on-site within LLLCommunities?’

Second question: ‘Where are we today, as land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, waiting for this other shoe to drop?’ Rumors and half-truths abound, e.g. What regulations apply to new homes only and not resale homes – or is it the other way around; or both or neither? Seriously. There’s that much confusion afoot already!

Sure would be considerate to have accurate and concise advance guidance make its’ way soon from HUD, via MHARR, MHI, & COBA7®, to the LLLCommunity folk and licensed installers all this is going to affect greatly in 2016. Is anyone out there listening?

And did you notice? The previous paragraphs have not answered the initial question:

‘Why is it land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) will be paying the lion share of redevelopment costs (Estimated @ $5,000/site), to replace perfectly good rental homesite concrete runners and piers that don’t extend below the frost line? Answer – in my opinion? Because LLLCommunities have no effective national advocacy body looking after their financial interests in this particular matter.

Furthermore, what have the dominating HUD-Code home manufacturer members of MHARR & MHI done to ensure this costly mandate doesn’t stifle the emerging – since 2009 – market (i.e. Sell new Community Series Homes onto 250,000+/- vacant rental homesites in 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide!) that’s supplanted home sales to independent (street) MHRetailers – who lost their easy access to chattel capital at the turn of the century? Answer – in my opinion? NOTHING.

Near and interim consequences of this inaction (&, some say, behind the scenes ‘insider’ finagling)? Besides $-punishing LLLCommunities, we’ll likely experience continued record low shipment volume of new HUD-Code homes (i.e. Annual average of 55,146 new HUD-Code homes/year shipped during past six years!) by month and year; and frankly, ‘drive one more, if not final, nail into manufactured housing’s coffin!’ And we’re doing this to ourselves for what reason? Or another way of looking at the matter….

In the Marine Corps, we have a T-shirt that speaks to the potentially self-destructive consequences of the inaction and finagling hinted at in previous paragraphs. Pictured on the shirt front is a hand grenade with a Happy Face on it and this caption: ‘Once the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is no longer our friend!’ Anticipate an explosive year during 2016 and beyond?

***

From HUD Oversight to Promotion, & More!

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Blog # 371 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION to blog posting # 371. Some call it the perennial manufactured housing mystery! How for 40 years – come year 2016, the federal agency tasked with regulatory production OVERSIGHT of the most affordable housing in this nation, has done nothing to PROMOTE it as a practical answer to the U.S. affordable housing shortage! GLEN JAMES, one of the most well known and liked professional property managers in the Midwest to soon to be designated a Certified Property Manager® member of the Institute of Real Estate Management! Congrats Glen! And hey, ‘I’m sorry’ to have titillated you with last week’s hint of ‘historic news’ in this blog posting. Frankly, many of us thought MHI had finally come around, and would begin reporting monthly HUD-Code home shipments in the like manner as the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’), MHARR, and COBA7®. NOT!

I.

Housing Facts, in 2015 JCHS Report,
Suggest HUD Evolve From

OVERSIGHT to OVERT PROMOTION

of Affordable Manufactured Housing Product!

Following information extracted from the 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report prepared by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University – as quoted in the October 2015 issue of AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine, page # 8.

• Homeownership rate in the U.S., during year 2014, slid for the 10th consecutive year, to 64.5%.

• Percentage of U.S. households renting, rose to a 20 year peak of 35.5% during year 2014.

• In year 2013, 11.2 million extremely low income households (earning up to 30% of the area median income or AMI) competed for 7.3 million housing units they could afford. In other words, there were only 34 affordable units for every 100 extremely low income renters. See paragraphs following here in Part I of this blog posting…

• One-third of HUD-assisted households, during 2013, were headed by an adult age 62 or older, and another third were working age households that included a person with disabilities.

• Nearly 2.2 million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock over the next decade.

Revisiting the third bullet point. Given the national average Area Median Income (‘AMI’), during 2013 & 2014, hovered in the neighborhood of $51,000., means the 11.2 million individuals and households earning less than $15,300 competed for 7.3 million housing units. Well,

If you’re familiar with the versatile ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, used mostly by land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, to “estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or leased – as in a LLLCommunity!”, you know it’s possible for an individual or household, making $51,000/year, to buy a new or resale HUD-Code manufactured home for up to $75,000. and pay $333/month in site rent! And if one chooses to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI (annual gross income) dedicated to PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) payments for said shelter, it’s also possible for the same $51,000/year wage earner to pay up to $113,000. for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT? HUD-Code manufactured homes sited in professionally managed land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) charging modest site rent, continue to be the most affordable, non-subsidized contemporary housing alternative available to U.S. citizenry today!

Still not convinced? OK, let’s ‘work the numbers’ using $36,000 AMI (or AGI, if you prefer, since former refers to local housing markets, the latter to an individual or household homebuyer). Given $36,000 AGI, and 30% of that being $10,800 – with which to buy said home, they can still ‘do so’, in ‘affordable’ fashion – again paying $333/month site rent, investing up to $41,000 to buy a resale, maybe even a new, HUD-Code manufactured home! And again, if choosing to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI dedicated to PITI, it’s possible for the same $36,000/year wage earner to pay up to $68,000 for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT! How long is it going to take the federal agency, HUD, who exercises new home fabrication oversight over the manufactured housing industry, to Wake Up & Promote this type factory-built housing and its’ corresponding lifestyle, as aggressively as it does various forms of subsidized housing?! During year 2016, HUD will ‘celebrate’ 40 years of federal oversight over the manufactured housing industry. It’d be timely, historic, even ‘smart move’ for them, to encourage tens of thousands of would-be homeowners/site lessees, to buy new and resale manufactured homes in land-lease-lifestyle communities from coast-to-coast! After all, there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide today, and the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry continues to stumble along at a six year average of only 55,146 new homes shipped per year since 2009 – compared to the 372,843 shipped during 1998 alone!

SUMMARY & CHALLENGE. Given that homeownership, during 2014, slid by 64.5%; that the percentage of U.S. households renting rose to a 20 year peak, the same year, to 35.5%; and, that nearly 2.2. million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock between now and 2025, HUD – What is HUD waiting for? You presently OVERSEE – and have done so for 40 years, the very ‘affordable’ housing alternative YOU should be PROMOTING! Again; What are you waiting for? The time is NOW!

II.

Glen James, to soon be designated a

Certified Property Manager® (‘CPM®’)

member of the prestigious

Institute of Real Estate Management®

This is no small feat!

Only 153 CPM®s, nationwide, claim affinity for owning and or fee-managing land-lease-lifestyle communities…

And of these 153 CPM®s, this MHIndustry observer counts 20 of them as ‘friends in the MHBusiness’, longtime professional property managers of our unique type of income-producing property. And among those 20 professional property managers, nearly half routinely participate, as , consultants, & knowledge purveyors, at one or another national and regional MHIndustry trade event; and not only enjoy key corporate leadership roles, but serve within their state MHAssociations as well. Several examples:

• Allen Alt, CPM® of CA., heads Synergized Properties, and is past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Lori Burger, CPM®Emeritus of CA. She’s the 2015 chairperson of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’)

• Mike Cirillo, CPM® of CA. Widely regarded as one of the best LLLCommunity owners/operators on the West coast. Past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Brian Fannon, CPM® of MI, is partnered with Ed Zeman of Chicago, developing a new land-lease-lifestyle community in Michigan. Brian has also been inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

• Greg Johnloz, CPM® of AZ, is well-regarded as a freelance professional property manager and freelance consultant specializing in LLLCcommunity operations.

• Casey Kelly, CPM® of CA, longtime protégé of Matt Follett at FollettUSA

• John Rogosich, CPM®, MHM® of IL. Oft hailed as a journeyman executive property manager, capable of working under the most difficult of circumstances; and frankly, ‘everybody’s friend’ in the MHBusiness!

• Mike Sullivan, CPM® of CA, comes as close to being a MHIndustry visionary & national LLLCommunity owner/operator spokesperson, keynoting two International Networking Roundtable events. He also spearheads, with Steve Lefler, the ‘net zero energy usage’ movement in manufactured housing in California!

• Jon Zorn, CPM® of CA., founded Focus Management; a member of the WMA.

• And of course there’re many more friends and associates to name, e.g. Bill Cramer, CPM®, formerly with RIMCO Properties in PA; Barbara Holland, CPM® – managing LLLCommunities as long as I have; and Mollie Wood, CPM® out of Indianapolis, just to name a few.

So you see, Glen James, president of Barrington Investments in Indianapolis, IN., is about to join any esteemed fraternity of professional property managers! His formal induction will occur the evening of 4 November, at the annual gala banquet of the Indianapolis chapter of IREM, culminating ‘years’ of specialized education, required PM experience, and peer approval! Why not reach out and Congratulate Glen. And if interested in the CPM® program for yourself, phone (800)837-0706 or visit www.irem.org

III.

SORRY; FALSE ALARM (or HOPE)!.

Within the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing last week’s posting, I hinted at an historic event about to occur. Well, it didn’t materialize. And here’s the sorry tale.

In the July 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal we announced, ‘MHIndustry Mystery Solved!’ The mystery? ‘How & Why?’ different monthly new HUD-Code home shipment numbers were/are reported differently by the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’) -. the reporting agency, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and now, Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Well, we’d figured out why! MHARR & COBA7® report monthly new home shipment numbers just as the Institute for Building Technology & Safety reports them (for a price); MHI does not! MHI tweaks ‘the numbers’ so they’re always just a little different than from the norm. And this month’s reporting was unfortunately, no different – though we’d ‘hoped’ for improvement. Here’s the total – and MHI’s spin on it, for the month of August 2015:

IBTS = 6,330 new HUD-Code homes shipped

MHARR = 6,330 -ditto-

COBA7® = 6,330 -ditto-

MHI = 6,332 -ditto-

Go figure.

How does this monthly discrepancy help MHIndustry unity, credibility, and accuracy of reporting? It doesn’t!

So, if you’re a direct, dues-paying member of MHI, as I am, ask WHY they continue down this separate and (until they explain otherwise) erroneous statistical reporting road – and let everyone know! I’ve asked and continue to await any answer whatsoever.

But hey, if there’s good enough reason(s) to finagle ‘the numbers’, perhaps ‘everyone else’ needs to adjust to MHI’s modus operandi. But until ‘splained’ to everyone, we won’t know – and we’ll continue reporting IBTS shipment numbers as reported to us..

***

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

From OVERSIGHT to PROMOTION; Glen James, CPM, & MHI Continues Along Its’ Own Path…

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Blog # 371 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION to blog posting # 371. Some call it the perennial manufactured housing mystery! How for 40 years – come year 2016, the federal agency tasked with regulatory production OVERSIGHT of the most affordable housing in this nation, has done nothing to PROMOTE it as a practical answer to the U.S. affordable housing shortage! GLEN JAMES, one of the most well known and liked professional property managers in the Midwest to soon to be designated a Certified Property Manager® member of the Institute of Real Estate Management! Congrats Glen! And hey, ‘I’m sorry’ to have titillated you with last week’s hint of ‘historic news’ in this blog posting. Frankly, many of us thought MHI had finally come around, and would begin reporting monthly HUD-Code home shipments in the like manner as the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’), MHARR, and COBA7®. NOT!

I.

Housing Facts, in 2015 JCHS Report,
Suggest HUD Evolve From

OVERSIGHT to OVERT PROMOTION

of Affordable Manufactured Housing Product!

Following information extracted from the 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report prepared by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University – as quoted in the October 2015 issue of AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE magazine, page # 8.

• Homeownership rate in the U.S., during year 2014, slid for the 10th consecutive year, to 64.5%.

• Percentage of U.S. households renting, rose to a 20 year peak of 35.5% during year 2014.

• In year 2013, 11.2 million extremely low income households (earning up to 30% of the area median income or AMI) competed for 7.3 million housing units they could afford. In other words, there were only 34 affordable units for every 100 extremely low income renters. See paragraphs following here in Part I of this blog posting…

• One-third of HUD-assisted households, during 2013, were headed by an adult age 62 or older, and another third were working age households that included a person with disabilities.

• Nearly 2.2 million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock over the next decade.

Revisiting the third bullet point. Given the national average Area Median Income (‘AMI’), during 2013 & 2014, hovered in the neighborhood of $51,000., means the 11.2 million individuals and households earning less than $15,300 competed for 7.3 million housing units. Well,

If you’re familiar with the versatile ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, used mostly by land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, to “estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or leased – as in a LLLCommunity!”, you know it’s possible for an individual or household, making $51,000/year, to buy a new or resale HUD-Code manufactured home for up to $75,000. and pay $333/month in site rent! And if one chooses to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI (annual gross income) dedicated to PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) payments for said shelter, it’s also possible for the same $51,000/year wage earner to pay up to $113,000. for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT? HUD-Code manufactured homes sited in professionally managed land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) charging modest site rent, continue to be the most affordable, non-subsidized contemporary housing alternative available to U.S. citizenry today!

Still not convinced? OK, let’s ‘work the numbers’ using $36,000 AMI (or AGI, if you prefer, since former refers to local housing markets, the latter to an individual or household homebuyer). Given $36,000 AGI, and 30% of that being $10,800 – with which to buy said home, they can still ‘do so’, in ‘affordable’ fashion – again paying $333/month site rent, investing up to $41,000 to buy a resale, maybe even a new, HUD-Code manufactured home! And again, if choosing to pay household utility bills outside the 30% of AGI dedicated to PITI, it’s possible for the same $36,000/year wage earner to pay up to $68,000 for a new manufactured home, paying the same site rent rate or lower.

POINT! How long is it going to take the federal agency, HUD, who exercises new home fabrication oversight over the manufactured housing industry, to Wake Up & Promote this type factory-built housing and its’ corresponding lifestyle, as aggressively as it does various forms of subsidized housing?! During year 2016, HUD will ‘celebrate’ 40 years of federal oversight over the manufactured housing industry. It’d be timely, historic, even ‘smart move’ for them, to encourage tens of thousands of would-be homeowners/site lessees, to buy new and resale manufactured homes in land-lease-lifestyle communities from coast-to-coast! After all, there’s an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites nationwide today, and the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry continues to stumble along at a six year average of only 55,146 new homes shipped per year since 2009 – compared to the 372,843 shipped during 1998 alone!

SUMMARY & CHALLENGE. Given that homeownership, during 2014, slid by 64.5%; that the percentage of U.S. households renting rose to a 20 year peak, the same year, to 35.5%; and, that nearly 2.2. million assisted housing units could be lost from the affordable stock between now and 2025, HUD – What is HUD waiting for? You presently OVERSEE – and have done so for 40 years, the very ‘affordable’ housing alternative YOU should be PROMOTING! Again; What are you waiting for? The time is NOW!

II.

Glen James, to soon be designated a

Certified Property Manager® (‘CPM®’)

member of the prestigious

Institute of Real Estate Management®

This is no small feat!

Only 153 CPM®s, nationwide, claim affinity for owning and or fee-managing land-lease-lifestyle communities…

And of these 153 CPM®s, this MHIndustry observer counts 20 of them as ‘friends in the MHBusiness’, longtime professional property managers of our unique type of income-producing property. And among those 20 professional property managers, nearly half routinely participate, as , consultants, & knowledge purveyors, at one or another national and regional MHIndustry trade event; and not only enjoy key corporate leadership roles, but serve within their state MHAssociations as well. Several examples:

• Allen Alt, CPM® of CA., heads Synergized Properties, and is past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Lori Burger, CPM®Emeritus of CA. She’s the 2015 chairperson of the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’)

• Mike Cirillo, CPM® of CA. Widely regarded as one of the best LLLCommunity owners/operators on the West coast. Past president of the WMA, and present member of their board of directors.

• Brian Fannon, CPM® of MI, is partnered with Ed Zeman of Chicago, developing a new land-lease-lifestyle community in Michigan. Brian has also been inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.

• Greg Johnloz, CPM® of AZ, is well-regarded as a freelance professional property manager and freelance consultant specializing in LLLCcommunity operations.

• Casey Kelly, CPM® of CA, longtime protégé of Matt Follett at FollettUSA

• John Rogosich, CPM®, MHM® of IL. Oft hailed as a journeyman executive property manager, capable of working under the most difficult of circumstances; and frankly, ‘everybody’s friend’ in the MHBusiness!

• Mike Sullivan, CPM® of CA, comes as close to being a MHIndustry visionary & national LLLCommunity owner/operator spokesperson, keynoting two International Networking Roundtable events. He also spearheads, with Steve Lefler, the ‘net zero energy usage’ movement in manufactured housing in California!

• Jon Zorn, CPM® of CA., founded Focus Management; a member of the WMA.

• And of course there’re many more friends and associates to name, e.g. Bill Cramer, CPM®, formerly with RIMCO Properties in PA; Barbara Holland, CPM® – managing LLLCommunities as long as I have; and Mollie Wood, CPM® out of Indianapolis, just to name a few.

So you see, Glen James, CEO of Barrington Investments in Indianapolis, IN., is about to join any esteemed fraternity of professional property managers! His formal induction will occur the evening of 4 November, at the annual gala banquet of the Indianapolis chapter of IREM, culminating ‘years’ of specialized education, required PM experience, and peer approval! Why not reach out and Congratulate Glen. And if interested in the CPM® program for yourself, phone (800)837-0706 or visit www.irem.org

III.

SORRY; FALSE ALARM (or HOPE)!.

Within the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing last week’s posting, I hinted at an historic event about to occur. Well, it didn’t materialize. And here’s the sorry tale.

In the July 2015 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal we announced, ‘MHIndustry Mystery Solved!’ The mystery? ‘How & Why?’ different monthly new HUD-Code home shipment numbers were/are reported differently by the Institute of Building Technology & Science (‘IBTS’) -. the reporting agency, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and now, Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®.

Well, we’d figured out why! MHARR & COBA7® report monthly new home shipment numbers just as the Institute for Building Technology & Safety reports them (for a price); MHI does not! MHI tweaks ‘the numbers’ so they’re always just a little different than from the norm. And this month’s reporting was unfortunately, no different – though we’d ‘hoped’ for improvement. Here’s the total – and MHI’s spin on it, for the month of August 2015:

IBTS = 6,330 new HUD-Code homes shipped

MHARR = 6,330 -ditto-

COBA7® = 6,330 -ditto-

MHI = 6,332 -ditto-

Go figure.

How does this monthly discrepancy help MHIndustry unity, credibility, and accuracy of reporting? It doesn’t!

So, if you’re a direct, dues-paying member of MHI, as I am, ask WHY they continue down this separate and (until they explain otherwise) erroneous statistical reporting road – and let everyone know! I’ve asked and continue to await any answer whatsoever.

But hey, if there’s good enough reason(s) to finagle ‘the numbers’, perhaps ‘everyone else’ needs to adjust to MHI’s modus operandi. But until ‘splained’ to everyone, we won’t know – and we’ll continue reporting IBTS shipment numbers as reported to us..

***

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

Something Special Afoot, & SECO goes National!

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Blog # 370 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance!’

I.

Something Very Special Is Afoot

I’ve been hired to research & prepare the most comprehensive ‘Introduction to the Land-lease-lifestyle Community’ ever published! That’s the client’s preferred property type term, not mine – though I certainly don’t disagree!

What’s so very special about this assignment? Believe it or not, no one has done this before. Sure, I co-authored and edited a couple textbooks to this end, 20 years ago:

• Development, Marketing, & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, George Allen, David Alley & Edward Hicks; J. Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994

• How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, George Allen, et. al., J. Wiley & Sons, New York, 1996 & 1998

Both books continue to sell – one better than the other, depending on the nature of the LLLCommunity business at the time, i.e. time to develop raw land with improvements, or time to acquire from others?

And since then, there’ve also been much shorter books, dealing with the history and ‘numbers’ characteristic of the realty asset class. You know, 1) Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts, & Affordable Housing; and, 2) Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures (for LLLCommunity investment & management). Both books were published by PMN Publishing, during 2011 & 2012 respectively – and are available ‘for sale’.

All four texts are available by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Back to this Very Special project. There is no new book, at this point in time, being planned. Rather, an educational offering at least two hours long – no more than maybe four, during which a dozen key LLLCommunity-related topics will be presented, then encouraged for group discussion. The initial public presentation is scheduled for 11 December 2015 in Indianapolis – and will qualify attendees to receive continuing education credit, if licensed real estate professionals in the state of Indiana!

Additional sessions? Yes! Possibly during the Louisville MHShow, in mid-January 2016, if Midwest Housing Federation decides to host this top quality presentation. And a third session is being included in the Inaugural Plant Tours & ‘How to Sell New Homes On-site’ Program being planned, by COBA7®, for late Spring 2016; and a fourth session, likely at the 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable in early September 2016.

If you’re reading this, as a state MHAssociation, national advocacy entity, or LLLCommunity portfolio firm, and want to offer this introduction to the land-lease-lifestyle community program to your members and or employees, contact COBA7® via the above-referenced Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

What’re the Hot Topics comprising this package? Well, first – here’s the long but descriptive title of the Very Special project:

The Land-lease-lifestyle Community

(a.k.a. trailer court, mobile home park, manufactured home community)

Subtitle: ‘All You Ever Wanted to Know, But Didn’t Know What or Who to Ask!’

Digest of Topics: Statistics, Trends & Insights into the U.S. Most Affordable Housing type & Its’ Unique Multifamily Income-producing Property Type!

Semi-specifically, information modules include, but are not limited to: past & present Trade Terminology; all the salient MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Statistics; Property & Portfolio Size Gradations; Property Quality Grading – yesterday & today; the Major LLLCommunity Portfolio ‘Players’ – who they are, why & how they ‘play’; Operational Benchmark Statistics ‘for real’ & ‘not what some claim them to be’; Major Trends within the 15+ Year Paradigm Shift between 1998 & 2015; Rules of Thumb & ‘working the numbers’; ‘The Book’ & how it’s changed ‘value appraisal’ methodology & asset class’ investment history – the little known story; More MHIndustry Data, Trends, & Troubling Issues; and, ‘How to Find, Value, Buy, Manage & Sell a LLLCommunity as a Real Estate Investment’!

Is it even possible to deliver this array of technical and timely topics in a few hours time? Guess we’ll find out. First class will likely be a private affair, attended only by invited MAI®s (That’s short for Member of the Appraisal Institute®) and licensed real estate professionals from throughout the state of Indiana. Again, if you or your state MHAssociation, group of investor friends, property portfolio firm, or otherwise, would like to schedule a two to three or four hour session during year 2016, contact me in the near future. Right now, Dennis Ohnstad, MHM®, Bruce Savage, & Dennis Hill have ‘first dibs’ on hosting this program during the Louisville MHShow. Beyond that, the schedule is pretty much open.

II.

SECO ‘Summit in the South’ Exceeds Expectations
&
Takes on a Decidedly National Flavor!

First the numbers. As I cobble together this week’s blog posting, the SECO planning committee finalizes their attendance and financial performance statistics for the 14 & 15 October event in Atlanta, GA. But when I left, on the final day of the event, this much was clear:

• Attendance exceeded expectations! More than 175 manufactured housing industry professionals (home manufacturers, LLLCommunity owners/operators, exhibitors), from at least 23 states, participated in the two day program. National perspective? Said total is 25 fewer than the record attendance at the COBA7s 24th annual International Networking Roundtable in early September, but 50 more than attended the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) annual meeting last week in Florida! Combined attendance at all three events was eclipsed by the ‘more than 600’ present at Rent Mangers’ annual conference – also last week – for its’ customers and clients.
• Furthermore, in rounded numbers, 120 registrants hailed from throughout the Southeast, e.g. GA, FL, NC, AL & TN); 20 from the Midwest (MI, IN, KY, IL, WI, & OH); and 20 from the Northeast (NY, NH, VT) & West (CA, CO & OR), plus a dozen individuals from elsewhere across the U.S.

So yes, the fifth annual SECO Summit in the South, planned and hosted entirely by LLLCommunity owners/operators, takes its’ rightful place among national venues worthy of support by MHIndustry & LLLCommunity businessmen and women.

What attracted so many folk to this event? For many, it was the five Community Series Homes on display throughout the program; three singlesection homes and one multisection home, supplied by Champion Home Builders, River Birch Homes, and Schult Homes. There was also a large Survive-a-Storm Tornado Shelter on display as well. The six structures were arranged in a large rectangular, the center area serving as a gathering place for luncheons and evening receptions. All homes were SOLD by the end of the SECO event!

For others, it was the superb program. Ken & Katie Hauck, both MHMs, of Hauck Homes in Dixon, Illinois, shared their Lessons Learned as LLLCommunity owners/operators, with their peers. Here’s just a sampling of their experienced wisdom:

• Hire managers who think like landlords (i.e. property managers)

• Run your company like a franchise, standardize operations as much as possible

• Have someone other than on-site manager, periodically audit the property, homes and rental homesites.

• Give to local charities. Here the Haucks shared their vision for MHGives, a charity they’ve founded to work with orphans in Honduras

• Become involved in one’s state MHAssociation!

In addition, the Haucks shared a plethora of tips about acquiring LLLCommunities.

At one point it was interesting to hear two ‘What goes around comes around’ observations about the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class:

• ‘Many LLLCommunities are now routinely featuring rental units on-site.’ Yes they are; a practice that was also common during the mid-1970s. Exit strategy? Convert lessees to contract sale or lease option homebuyers, before putting property up for sale.

• ‘Why aren’t local independent (street) MHRetailers more interested in putting ‘spec homes’ on-site in LLLCommunities, or filling vacant rental homesites?’ Three reasons: far fewer MHRetailers in business today; many sidelined by ‘land & home package’ distraction during late 1990s and yet to rekindle past relationships with LLLCommunity folk; and, few MHRetailers will send qualified prospective homebuyers to a LLLCommunity where the owner/operator is actively selling new homes at minimal profit margins – they can’t compete.

And a similar discussion occurred where Community Series Homes were concerned, i.e. ‘Finding balance between including enough ‘durability enhancing features’ to minimize maintenance ‘make ready’ costs upon homeowner turnover, versus pricing said home and features beyond the homebuyer’s capability to buy it.’

And the list goes on – the list of Good Things to Know about manufactured housing and how to market and sell it successfully on-site in LLLCommunities!

Know what you should do now? Establish contact with the SECO management company (i.e. email sue@secoconference.com) and or any of the show’s planners: David Roden, David Protiva, Steve Case, Spencer Roane, MHM®, Ron Cobb, David Greene, Don Hudgins, Robert Love, CPM®, Michael Power, Mark Titshaw, & Jay Zandman, they’re all apt sources as to when the sixth annual SECO Summit in the South will occur during 2016.

More Lenders, Home Sales & Chagne Agents in 2016?!

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Blog # 369 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve Business Model Performance.’

I.

Getting Ready for Year 2016 Excitement

24th International Networking Roundtable Spawns Exciting New Ideas for COBA7® Signature Series Resource Document: ‘National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class’; AND, Your Opportunity to, maybe be part of a New HUD-Code Home Sales Training Contact Team!

What are we talking about here? Nothing short of doing what No One Else Has Done these past 15 years! Help small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators identify and access bona fide sources of real estate – secured monies & chattel capital, for property acquisition & refinance mortgages, as well as home loans, on one hand. AND, finally ensuring proven methods of on-site new home marketing, sales, & seller-finance are taught by capable, experienced, motivated individuals with proven success track records!

In the first instance. If you are a local housing market lender, and or know of local housing market lenders (banks, S&Ls, etc.) who have an affinity for manufactured housing and or land-lease-lifestyle communities, PLEASE communicate that information to us ASAP! Here at COBA7®, we only have until February 2016, to collect and verify this timely and critical information, for publication in the 18th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders! – to be distributed as a lagniappe in the March 2016 issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Just since the Networking Roundtable, in early September, We’ve increased our ‘on hand resource list’ by 100%! But I still need more names and contact information! Reach me via GFA c/o Box # 47024,Indpls, IN. 46247, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

In the second instance. If YOU have successful firsthand knowledge and experience, in one or more of the following four specialized skill areas…

• Matching new HUD-Code home size(s) with rental homesite size dimensions, configuration, and readiness for use of the Frost Free Foundation®…

• Identifying and specifying new Community Series Home (a.k.a. CSH Models) features with what homeowners/site lessees are actively buying in their specific local housing market…

• Committed to selling the ‘right’, ‘truly affordable’ (*1) new home to prospective homebuyers/site lessees, and not defaulting to the ‘biggest home in stock’ or ‘what the customer should not buy’!

• Understand the regulatory restrictions in place today, relative to new manufactured housing sales, and how to effect compliant financing thereof…

• Be capable of ‘closing the sale’ when previous factors are properly in place…

Then COBA7® wants to talk to you about becoming part of the new HUD-Code home sales training team to be featured in several regional and national venues during the year or two ahead. For starters, the first ever Multi-plant Tours & Seminar Program planned for late Spring in Northern Indiana. Then a national debut at the 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable during the first week of September 2016. And possibly, major regional appearances at the 6th annual SECO Summit in the South (Atlanta, GA), and before or during the Louisville MHShow in early 2017.

So, if YOU are qualified and motivated to be part of the first national training contact team, get in touch with COBA7® ASAP – in the same manner described earlier in this blog.

*1 Affordable housing definition. “Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income (‘AMI’)’, can afford to rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in their local housing market.” Quoted from Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! – a history of MHI’s National Communities Council

II.

WANTED! Responsible Change Agents

Peter F. Drucker once told us: “Systematic innovation requires a willingness to look on change as an opportunity.” Well, since change is rarely easy, and “The best way to anticipate the future is by understanding the present.”(*1) -Are we ready for a tumultuous ride thru present day manufactured housing, with an eye to how ‘making changes’ to reclaim prosperity in the near and interim future?

Where change agents appear to be needed. Following not in any order of priority

• Affordable housing defined

• HUD-Code home manufacturers

• Housing finance overregulation

• Manufactured Housing Institute

• Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform

• Professional property management

• Think Tank.

One early order of business is to retrieve ‘affordable housing’ from the low cost housing folk, who see themselves as the default definition and application for said term. Affordable housing is far broader than just low cost and subsidized housing! It relates differently to every local housing market! Reread end note # 1 in Part I of this blog posting for an apt definition of affordable housing – to see how it varies quantitatively, per AMI, from local housing market to local housing market. This is what we need to be thinking and saying, when we introduce prospective homebuyers/site lessees to manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle communities! Is their Annual Gross Income in sync with the AMI of said local housing market, and if so, will half their AGI rent them a conventional apartment, or buy them a (manufactured) home in a LLLCommunity in that market? If not, there is no affordable housing for them in that market! Change agent task? Return ‘affordable housing’ to consensus definition, and in time, widespread application among the citizenry!

HUD-Code home manufacturers. Somewhere along the line, all (certainly the remaining ones) HUD-Code home manufacturers must come to recognize and capitalize on the consequence(s) of the massive paradigm shift occurring since the turn of the Century (i.e. distribution of new homes NOT via independent (street) MHRetailers, but directly into LLLCommunities where they’re sold and often seller-financed by the property owners/operators). It’s happening all around us. In fact, it’s one of those semi-rare instances where statistics gathering has not kept up with reality. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau recently (September 2005) announced 33% of new homes shipped during 2014, went directly into LLLCommunities. NOT. Anecdotally, more than 40% of many/most manufactured housing plant production is being distributed in that fashion; some say as high as 50%. At this point the ‘counters’ have not caught up with what’s to be counted! Change agent task? Awaken all HUD-Code home manufacturers to the reality that 85% of all LLLCommunities contain fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece, and for the most part, are ‘going begging’ for new homes to fill their vacant, sometimes functionally obsolete rental homesites, in large part because they’ve never had to do so in the past (i.e. relied on local, now gone, MHRetailers), don’t have the expertise or capital or ‘fire in the belly’ to do so – without attention and assistance from home manufacturers!

Over regulation of housing finance. In a recent edition of Ken Rishel’s popular online Manufactured Housing Chattel Finance newsletter, he identifies no fewer than six federal ‘watchers’ for financial shenanigans and other operational missteps. Those listed:

• The Internal Revenue Service

• Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

• Office of Foreign Asset Control

• Federal Trade Commission

• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

If any of these take you by surprise, you need to be reading Rishel Consulting’s newsletter. To do so, phone (312) 878-2802 X 1.Change agent task? Support the two national advocacy bodies who claim to represent our industry and realty asset class in these regulatory matters: MHI & MHARR. Are you a direct, dues-paying member of either or both entities?

Manufactured Housing Institute. MHI is manufacturer-dominated, where income (floor dues) is concerned; with majority of said income coming from one national market dominating mega-home manufacturer. Much the same story on the chattel capital finance side of the institute. So, how do these firms, both owned by the same entity – by the way, ensure political dominance relative to national advocacy matters? There’s a variety of means; two of which are interrelated: MHI patronizes high priced resorts or metropolitan areas for their few major national meetings (a.k.a. affluence gerrymandering), ensuring only the most successful and wealthy members generally attend – with attendance rarely exceeding 100.(*2) And once there, during annual election time, not allowing proxy voting for officers. Change agent task? Recognize ‘Everyone knows what’s going on!’, and how the institute will never capture widespread support throughout the industry, even with a fulltime member recruiter now on board, until they make meetings more affordable and leadership opportunities more accessible.

Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform. In this industry’s observer’s opinion, MHARR is far too insular, serving an indeterminate number (closely guarded secret, it seems) of smaller, mostly regional HUD-Code home manufacturers. At the same time, however, ‘Everyone is glad they’re there inside the beltway’, serving as our industry’s perennial Watchdog. Which then begs the question, ‘Why do we need an industry watchdog?’ A question few, to date, have been willing to address in public. And this business of the founding executive having retired after 29 years of service? No one is fooled. The farce only lessens the ‘cred’ of the association. Change agent task? Ensure there’s but one ‘alpha male – or female, leader’, open membership and welcome ‘post production’ segments of the industry, OR, once and for all, stop sowing discontent. Returning to the earlier ‘watchdog’ question. Perhaps if the change agent would explore and answer that ‘Why needed?’ question, once and for all, the MHIndustry could begin to work towards (Gasp!) eventual national advocacy unity in our nation’s capitol.

Professional property management. This is as close to being a ‘no brainer’ as matters get. Every other real estate asset class recognizes the intrinsic economic value of its income-producing property potential, and ensures those assets are managed by professionals! Not the manufactured housing industry, and by extension its’ land-lease-lifestyle community asset class! Oh, there’s variously 100 – 200 Institute of Real Estate Management Certified Property Manager® members claiming affinity for LLLCommunities. And since year 2006, the Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property manager training & certification program has designated nearly 1,000 MHM®s. But know what? There’re 50,000+/- LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. That means there’s fewer than one professional property manager per 1,000 such properties. Change agent task? An ‘impossible to change’ challenge until 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators ‘catch the vision’ and ‘see the need’ of professional property management from top to bottom in their firms.

Think Tank. Well, some of us thought we had one. When the Urban Land Institute, at Randy Rowe’s encouragement, started its’ Manufactured Housing Communities Council in 2004, some of us saw periodic MHCC meetings as being ideal ‘come together’ opportunities for various segments of the manufactured housing industry – and that happened for awhile. However, ULI is a high-priced outfit, and strong, charismatic leadership disappeared; so, in the end – during the Spring of 2015, ULI disbanded the too small group. Change agent task? Well, I suppose one person could step forward and attempt to rally support for the Think Tank concept; but don’t hold your breath. A better approach would be for reconstituted MHI & MHARR entities to join with COBA7® and make this an as-needed resource for the ‘double dual industry’(*3). Let’s see if it happens anytime soon.

End Notes.

*1 Quoted from ‘The Competitive Edge’, by Les Harrison, in Executive Focus, October 1995, p.35

*2. MHI’s annual meeting in Boca Raton, FL., @ 4-6 October, saw a record number (123+/-) of participants – since turn of the century, attend. Of that number, 27+/- were state MHAssociation execs; 15 LLLCommunity owners/operators (eight @ large portfolio ‘players’ and seven small property owners); 14 each of HUD-Code home manufacturers & financiers (chattel capital & real estate-secured mortgage originators); 11 insurance reps; and nine freelance consultants….

*3. Double dual industry: manufactured housing production & distribution; land-lease-lifestyle community development & investment/management.

Where Will Our Paths Cross During October 2015?

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Blog # 368 Copyright 2015 COBA7® Worldwide Proprietary: community-investor.com

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

This blog posting is the 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 (7y Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-5764.

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

I.

What’s Happening During October 2016?

‘No Fewer Than Seven National & Regional Events!’

The Fall months, September thru November, have long comprised ‘the major meeting season’ for the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle communities. These are national and regional venues when and where businessmen and women gather for advocacy-related matters, industry education, interpersonal networking, deal-making, and specialized training. And this Fall (2015) is no different.

The 24th International Networking Roundtable, held in September, is now history – with its’ record setting attendance, home manufacturing emphasis, and timely firsthand input from the GSEs Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

As we begin the month of October however, it’s downright difficult, if not impossible, to find any national advocacy body – other than COBA7®, let alone trade media publication, that identifies, describes, and provides contact information for all seven national and regional venues occurring during October 2015!

Here’s the list that, in my opinion, should be routine fare in The Journal, MHI’s weekly news to members, and elsewhere.

4-6 October. Manufactured Housing Institute’s (‘MHI’) Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, FL. (703) 558-0400. Wonder how many more would attend if the meeting was held in a more affordable location? This too is when/where LLLCommunity owners/operators, who’re direct, dues-paying members of MHI, attend its’ National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division meeting on Monday, 5 October.

5-8 October. Rent Manager’s annual gathering of clients and interested parties, in New Orleans, LA. Guess how many generally attend? More than 400! Yet this meeting ‘rarely gets a mention’ in the trade press or by any of the national advocacy bodies, except COBA7®. It is second in size, only to the annual MHCongress in Las Vegas, NV. For more information, phone (513) 583-1482

13 October. Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training & certification program, in Atlanta, GA. The one day class is team taught by Katie Hauck, MHM® & George Allen, CPM® & MHM®. To register, contact sue@secoconference.com or phone (317) 346-7156. There’re 1,000 MHMs presently owning/operating LLLCommunities coast to coast and throughout Canada.

14 & 15 October. 5th SECO Summit in the South Symposium, in Atlanta, GA. No fewer than five Community Series Homes will be exhibited, along with a raft of pithy seminars focused on helping LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘sell & self-finance more new home sales on-site’! Contact sue@secoconference.com to register or phone (678) 428-0212. Like the Networking Roundtable, this venue is independently planned and hosted.

20-24 October. Institute of Real Estate Management’s (‘IREM’) Fall Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Go to www.irem.org/events Why is this important? Because there’re 150+/- Certified Property Managers® active in owning/operating LLLCommunities nationwide. And to date, our real estate asset class is the least involved in promoting professional property management among 50,000 properties nationwide!

26-28 October. I’m HOME Conference (‘Innovations in Manufactured Homes’), The Marquette Hotel in Minneapolis, MN. Host: CFED. For info, call (202) 408-9788. This venue is difficult to characterize, as it’s an annual coming-together of what some describe as the ‘social activists’ of the manufactured housing industry.

See what I mean? There isn’t a week during the month of October, when there isn’t a key meeting taking place that’s directly or indirectly aligned with the interests of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity realty asset class.

Where will I see you? I’ll be at the MHI/NCC meeting in FL, and the two SECO-related gatherings in Atlanta. I usually participate in the Rent Manager program and IREM meeting, but am ‘taking a pass’ this year. Did I miss listing any national and regional meetings in the above list? If so, please let me know ASAP, via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

‘EXTRAS’ at the Networking Roundtable…

At Least Four Things That Happen There & Nowhere Else!

Sometimes we take things for granted that have special meaning, but over the years have become routine. Here’re some of those special cum routine matters that occurred at the 24th International Networking Roundtable, during early September, in San Diego, CA. And you can be sure they’ll happen again at the 25th anniversary venue during September 2016.

We no longer remember when this practice began, but know it’s one we’d best not neglect in the future. What? Soon after we Welcome everyone to the Roundtable, we spend nearly an hour to passing the microphone around the conference room, so every one of the 200+/- attendee can stand and introduce themselves to their peers! This practice ‘jump starts’ the superb interpersonal networking, for which this event is famous. Everyone is given a directory of registrants when they enter the meeting room, and as the mike makes its’ way from person to person, it’s easy to see folk checking off names.

And ever since our nation’s 9/11 tragedy (11 September 2001), we’ve included another important tradition: As a very large group, we stand and pledge allegiance to the American flag! I can’t speak for anyone else in the room, but standing there and leading hundreds of my peers in this patriotic practice, brings tears to my eyes, and memories to mind, of years past and present, where personal actions and sacrifice have preserved our freedom and American way of life.

The Roundtable luncheon on Thursday is always a special experience, for different reasons. Some years I arrange special entertainment (a magician one year, a famous author the next); guest appearances by national realty or industry advocacy figures; and this year, brief solicitations by representatives – seeking funds/donations, to support…

• RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame operations in Elkhart, IN

• MHI’s PAC (political action campaign) fund for 2015 & 2015, and

• MHGives – a charity founded by LLLCommunity owners, Ken & Katie Hauck, MHM, to rescue orphans in Latin America.

Unsure how we’re going to ‘top’ that luncheon next year. Ideas anyone?

A prayer meeting at a business conference? Yep. This is yet another unique practice adopted, since our nation’s 9/11 tragedy. (Actually, that year’s Networking Roundtable was scheduled to occur on 9/11, but was postponed when all air transportation ceased. Rescheduled Roundtable, in November, attracted even more attendees!) Early Friday morning, at every Roundtable during the past 14 years, at least a dozen men and women gather at 7AM for an informal prayer meeting for our nation and its’ leaders. Someone prepares a devotional thought to share, requests are shared, and then we engage in intercessory prayer. And during the past few years, an appropriate book has been given to each participant. This year it was a copy of the Chapbook of Prayer, recently released by PMN Publishing. If you’d like a free copy, simply phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE and request it. Don’t delay though, as the first printing of 200 copies is almost depleted.

Finally; at the end of every Roundtable, the final hour Friday afternoon is spent in informal, intimate conversation among ‘friends in the MHBusiness’. While the number attending rarely eclipses 20, they’re individuals who’re willing to share what they appreciated at the current venue, suggest what they’d like to see the next year, and generally engage in lively and constructive conversation among their peers.

Well, this is the final installment, reporting this year’s Roundtable event. We’ve already begun planning the 25th anniversary venue. If you have ideas for meeting location (resort @ max ½ hour drive from a major airport), stimulating topics, engaging presenters, timely theme, and the like, please let us know by letter: GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247, or phone (317) 346-7156.

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