Archive for November, 2015

Time & Circumstances OK for National Ads & Branding?

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Blog # 375 Copyright 2015 COBA7® 29 November 2015; communit-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 MHBusiness Model Performance’

INTRODUCTION. Few manufactured housing-related topics receive ‘more lip service & less action’ than the widely perceived need for improved public image and some sort of brand marketing for our factory-built housing type, nationwide. Once again, some suggest time and circumstances are ‘right’ to revisit and address this dual need. Frankly; I’m not at all sure that’s the case. Hence this exposing of an ongoing selfish streak within one key segment of the MHIndustry, and the inability of another key segment, to support a return to prosperity! And if those two reasons aren’t enough to derail the current notion to advertise and brand nationally, there’s at least a half dozen secondary speed bumps along that rocky way. GFA

Part II is a last minute ‘add on’ to this week’s blog posting. Please read it; and if you can truly help, with suggestions and ideas, please do so by responding via email or the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Thank You Much!

I.

Timing & Circumstances Finally Right for MHIndustry’s 1st National Brand Ad Campaign. (! or ?) Depends on One’s Focus, Perspective & Resources…

It’s difficult to find even one agreed upon focus or perspective among many or most major stakeholders involved in the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. For example, here’s a perspective where one expects to find universal agreement, but doesn’t, and likely won’t, anytime soon:

• Observe who’s making the most noise, of late, in support of crafting, funding and launching a national (brand) advertising campaign. Who? Just about everyone that’s left (a.k.a. ‘survivors’) in the industry’s print and online trade press (Read November 2015 issue of The Journal); and, Oh yes, along with a few vocal state MHAssociation executives. Then look who’s NOT making any noise to this end – the very folk who’d likely benefit most: HUD-Code home manufacturers in general, the Big 3-C firms in particular: Clayton, Champion & Cavco. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Historically, the latter group, controlling 70+/- percent of national market share, have long feared smaller, regional home manufacturers would benefit, ‘Hop on the bandwagon-wise’, from their largesse in supplying beaucoup advertising dollars. And to the best of my knowledge, that short-sighted perspective has not changed since Kevin Clayton made a futile attempt to ‘carry those coals to New Castle’ (i.e. MHI’s annual meeting in Texas), back in maybe 2008, following the Networking Roundtable in Mystic, CT., where nearly 200 (then) MHCommunity owners/operators pledged their $$$ support to him!.

There’s another perspective, which likely has tacit (‘understood but not spoken’) agreement among all segments of the manufactured housing industry; that being…

• Not much point in mounting a national (brand) advertising campaign in behalf of manufactured housing until ‘easy access to chattel capital’ returns to the industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class! That is, unless there’s widespread agreement to compete solely with traditional stick builders for realty market share, where ‘scattered building sites conveyed fee simple’, are concerned. Gasp! I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Why? The last time ‘manufactured housing’ tried that strategy with Developer Series Homes, circa 1998, via Land & Home packaging, we – figuratively speaking – got our nose well bloodied! The sad and lasting results? Today there’re at least 10,000 fewer independent (street) MHRetailers in business, and the number of new home shipments plunged to a 60 year nadir between 1998 & 2009. However, Community Series Homes, since 2009, have picked up some of the slack (i.e. Annual plunge in home shipment volume from 372,843 in 1998, to only 49,789 in 2009; has rebounded slightly to 64,331 by year end 2014), increasing the percentage of new HUD-Code homes shipped directly into LLLCommunities for ‘sale’: from 25% in 2009 to more than 33% by year end 2014, with 40+% expected by year end 2015. *1 And we continue to await the return of chattel capital to the manufactured housing industry.

Other foci and perspectives? Beyond the internecine (‘mutual slaughter’) squabbling among home manufacturers (…& two national advocacy entities…), and ongoing lack of chattel capital for in-community lending perspectives just cited, there’s a plethora of fad, trendy, and otherwise (often) short-lived foci and perspectives that garner attention one moment, sometimes disappearing from view the next, some maybe to return, others maybe not; for example:

• The Tiny House Movement is manifested ‘within & outside’ LLLCommunities as ‘park model RVs’, RVs for a season, even ‘single module’ modular homes.*2 Frankly, they’re needed NOW, to fill ‘functionally obsolete rental homesites’ among the estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites in LLLCommunities throughout the U.S. today! What’s aggravating, in this instance, is the value and utility of ‘granny flats’ has long been recognized – but not encouraged – by our industry’s federal regulator, HUD; to the point that agency long ago dubbed them Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs in short. Another example of government unnecessary overreach?

• Heavy (financial) regulation of new and resale transactions ‘within & outside’ LLLCommunities via S.A.F.E. Act, Dodd-Frank legislation, CFPB, & more. Many, if not most deep-pocketed property portfolio firms have learned to live with these onerous $ regulations in one manner or another; the smaller property owners/operators? Rarely sell and or seller-finance new and resale homes, if at all; or ignore the consequences of being non-compliant; creating a classic ‘Damned if you do & damned if you don’t’ business conundrum.

• Intermittent volume of ‘park closures’, on one hand; ‘raw land development’ & ‘existing LLLCommunity expansion’ on the other. The last blip in development of new LLLCommunities occurred circa 1998 when average national physical occupancy, according to that year’s ALLEN REPORT, was 95%. Peak year for ‘park closures’ was circa 2007, just as the commercial property development overheated, and the realty finance bubble burst, ushering in the Great Regression.

• Too high wholesale price of new HUD-Code homes; that when combined with escalating freight charges (‘Notice how they rise with the price of fuel, but rarely trend downward?’), home setup expenses (Beware enforcement of 2007 Federal Installation Standards during 2016), mandated landscaping package costs within LLLCommunities, and type/amount/terms of seller-financing (if) available on-site, effectively price many prospective homebuyers/site lessees ‘out of the market’. Bottom line? Whose ox is to be gored? The home manufacturer or LLLCommunity owner/operator? In the latter case; an increasing number of LLLCommunity owners/operators, local housing market permitting, reduce or ignore home sale profit margins, ‘to make the deal work’, counting on annuity type income from ground rent over the years and decades to come. Manufacturers now negotiate bulk purchase agreements, for new homes, with larger property portfolio folk; but this does little to nothing, cost-wise, to help the smaller LLLCommunity owner/operator, who’ paying full price for his/her new home(s).

• Persistent resistance to needed change, by independent, ‘company stores’ & in-community home sales operations, away from effecting homebuyer- ‘risky’ transactions to homebuyer – ‘affordable’ ones; e.g. Reduction from 50 to 30% of AGI to pay PITI, site rent, & household utilities! *3 This is a difficult change to effect, as it’s often counter to decades of (oft predatory) corporate practice. Best resource for understanding the difference between ‘risky’ & ‘affordable’ home buying transactions – calculating the appropriate housing ‘price point’ along the way, is the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet! – available FREE from COBA7®. *4 If you don’t have this tool, or aren’t using it, you need it!

• Rumored conversion from ‘vehicle titling’ for homes in LLLCommunities – as proof of home ownership, to a realty-financing-friendly form of ownership yet to be articulated and codified. Some believe the day will come when all housing within a LLLCommunity will benefit from realty-type vs. chattel capital type financing. Downside? Likely higher ad valorem realty type taxes, for starters.

And there’re even more foci and perspectives to identify and parse. But the point being, right now in manufactured housing history, we don’t yet have ‘our collective act together’ enough to plow new marketing (image) (brand) ground via print and online media coverage and paid advertising!

This industry direly needs 1) unity (among all segments of the industry – not just the ‘largest of players’, as well as between national advocates); 2) leadership that talks with and among the national platforms already in place (e.g. MHI, MHARR, COBA7®, & AHA, for starters); and, 3) an independent Think Tank worthy of the support of, and participation by, capable, experienced, motivated business stakeholders with the Best Interests of the industry & realty asset class in heart and mind! Similar to what the Urban Land Institute’s now defunct Manufactured Housing Communities Council started to do five years ago, but never really accomplished. So there you have it, in this final paragraph, the 1, 2, 3 punch needed to eventually position manufactured housing for its’ first National (Brand) Advertising Campaign: Unity + Leadership + Think Tank participation!

End Notes

1. These statistics, accumulated from a variety of sources (e.g. IBTS, MHI, U.S. Census Bureau, etc.) are compiled by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® to benefit manufactured housing aficionados & LLLCommunity owners/operators nationwide. To affiliate with COBA7®, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

2. The presence of no fewer than six different types of shelter, within LLLCommunities, vs. just pre-HUD ‘mobile homes’ & post-HUD manufactured homes, to include: ‘park model RVs’, RVs for a season, modular homes, and site-built homes constructed to look like HUD-Code homes, has given rise to the moniker land-lease-lifestyle communities, or LLLCommunities, in short.

3. AGI = Annual Gross Income; PITI = loan principal, interest, taxes, insurance.

4. ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet!’ Available FREE, by phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed in End Note # 1 above. This is the sort of hands-on, time-proven professional property management tool available to LLLCommunity owners/operators only from the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®.

II.
COBA7®, in 2016, to FOCUS on Helping HUD-Code Home Manufacturers Sell More ‘Community Series Homes’ into LLLCommunities Nationwide!

During December, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® is sending correspondence, an Action Plan & Time Line, to a half dozen Midwest-based HUD-Code home manufacturers, as many state MHAssociation execs & board chairmen, and select owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities, describing…

‘Two Days of Manufactured Housing Plant Tours & New Home Sales & Financing Seminars Targeting Owners/operators of LLLCommunities, large & small, throughout the Midwest’

This ‘first time ever’ program, designed to facilitate the ‘selling of more Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities’, has been materializing during 2015. Now, as COBA7® begins its’ third year of operations, it kicks into high gear – as correspondence recipients complete enclosed survey forms and return them before month end, December.

Why is this blog posting talking of this emerging marketing plan here and now? Because it’s hoped the innovative program ‘goes national’ by this time next year. So we’re inviting ‘interested parties’, from all segments of the MHIndustry, to ‘get on board’ NOW, to help plan and facilitate the Midwest debut, then carry successful aspects of ‘Sell more new homes into LLLCommunities’, large & small, to other regions of the U.S.

So, if these four paragraphs have caught your attention and passion for manufactured housing, and you want to stay abreast of what’s going on – and help, during the months ahead, please let me know ASAP, via email, correspondence, or phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

You don’t have to be an affiliate of COBA7® to participate; but, if you manufacture HUD-Code homes, and or own/operate one or more land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) in the U.S. and or Canada, you should want to support the only international advocate for our industry and realty asset class! Request a COBA7® brochure and decide. NOTE: Option II affiliation, gets you a copy of the 27th ALLEN REPORT in January. And the way the ‘Who’s Who’ is shaping up already, you’ll want a copy for sure!

Finally. I’ll be team-teaching the popular Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management (‘PM’) certification class with Katie Hauck, MHM®, on 19 January, in Louisville, KY. ‘Come on down & get PM trained & certified!’ Then, stay over for the Louisville MHShow on 20 & 21 January. And, while you’re in Louisville, we can talk about the ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & New Home Sales & Financing Seminars’ in person and at length! See you in Louisville!

George Allen, CPM & MHM

Two New Books: One GSE Informative; other, tragically timely

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Blog # 374 Copyright 2015 COBA7® 22 November 2015; 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 MHBusiness Model Performance’

INTRODUCTION. Read two books last week while traveling in New Jersey & Pennsylvania. One ‘filled in the blanks’ relative to my partial knowledge of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (Part I). The other one? A novella, whose dire prediction of the probable next 9/11 type terrorist attack – on elementary schools within the U.S.- profoundly disturbed me, especially with the Paris, France catastrophe occurring the same day I finished reading. A coincidental confirmation about what we must now plan to prevent?!

I.

BOOK REVIEW of Shaky Ground, ‘The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants’ Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac; by Bethany McLean, Columbia Global Reports, NY, 2015. 159pp. Available from Barnes & Noble booksellers.

“Book exposes zombie side of Freddie and Fannie”. So began the newspaper review of Shaky Ground.

My take on the same book. ‘Ah Ha! Would this be the introduction to, and overview of, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, I’ve been seeking since the two GSEs (government sponsored enterprises) were guests – and valuable knowledge contributors, at the 23rd & 24th International Networking Roundtables in Atlanta & San Diego in 2014 & 2015?’

As it turns out, ‘it was & is’ that intro & overview, albeit a slow and difficult ‘read’ in places, given $ twists & turns, political intrigue & otherwise, that both GSEs have endured since the financial crisis of 2008. Learned a lot along the way, some general, some specific…

“One rule about financial crises that seems to hold true is the spark that lights the fire is never what everyone or even anyone was expecting.” P.8. For example; how many contemporary economists & historians know today, the ‘bursting of the manufactured housing chattel capital bubble circa 2000’, precipitated by subprime (abuses) & predatory lending practices, was a clear precursor to the ‘bursting of the conventional housing finance bubble eight years later – one also precipitated by subprime (abuses) & predatory lending?! Think I exaggerate? No. There was then, a small group of real estate investors (i.e. LLLCommunity owners/operators) who recognized, shortly after the turn of the century, ‘What was happening in both housing camps!’, but no one deigned listen to the naysayers then or later, as the national economy was overheating in earnest.

Later in this review, read more about secondary markets.

The author then describes another financial crisis rule. “When the crisis hit, private capital did what private capital does: It completely deserted an asset class it no longer liked. There was absolutely no capital available to finance mortgages – and if the mortgage market shut down, the economy would shut down with it.” P.42. Of course this describes ‘Why the government couldn’t afford to let Fannie and Freddie go – and it still can’t.’ (as) ‘Fannie and Freddie were all that was left.’! P.42. And for manufactured housing aficionados reading this book review, that’s the same rule consequence we experienced after ‘turning our home buying customers upside down’ financially, at the turn of the century. Again; do I exaggerate? No. Year end 1998 = 372,843 new HUD-Code home shipments; less than a decade later, 2009 = only 49,789 new HUD-Code home shipments, and not much better today (i.e. average of but 55,146 new homes shipped per year during past six years!) as we await the return of ‘easy access to chattel capital’ more than a decade later..

Back to Fannie & Freddie. During “…the Fall of 2008, the worst of the financial crisis…was all Fannie and Freddie’s fault (&) the genesis of the problem – the original sin – was Congress’s 1992 imposition on Fannie and Freddie of affordable-housing goals, which required the GSEs to guarantee certain numbers of mortgages made to lower-income borrowers.” P.46 Which is what occurred. However, “There is a big difference between a 30-year fixed-rate fully documented mortgage Fannie and Freddie mostly did in the 1990s – and the reckless loans that proliferated in the bubble, like adjustable-rate zero-down-payment mortgages where the borrower simply states his or her income” P.50

Where are matters today? Early in the book, the author notes, “Because the government is taking practically every penny of profit…Fannie and Freddie have not been allowed to rebuild any capital…” p.23. Then, on the final page of the book, she makes this sobering prediction: “…they are being used as cash cows to make the federal deficit appear smaller than it really is. But if market conditions, including the Federal Reserve’s sale of the agency securities it owns, destabilize them, they don’t have a cushion, and the effects on the American homeowner – and even on U.S. foreign relations, because of the large financial interests of other major world powers in Fannie and Freddie’s debt –could be devastating.”p.148.

And there’s this parting dose of reality, familiar to my contemporaries (i.e. those around for the turn of the century chattel capital bust) in the manufactured housing industry. “The reality is, private capital has a long sordid disastrous history in the secondary mortgage market, they have never been successful at it. Their involvement always leads to predatory style lending, high risk business practices, and always has ended in complete collapse.” P.143.

All the foregoing notwithstanding, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, during the past two years, at both International Networking Roundtables, have sought the manufactured housing industry’s cooperation in general; and input, specifically, from land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, as to how the two GSE’s might better serve our unique housing markets and income-producing property types.

• In 2014 they publicly expressed willingness to guarantee real estate-secured investment property mortgages containing what are generally referred to as ‘park-owned homes’, on a transaction by transaction basis, This is huge and continues to be..

• In 2015 they publicly expressed willingness to ‘doing deals’ at $1,000,000.00 and smaller in size. This too is huge – as it opens the doors to more than 80 percent of LLLCommunities across the U.S. with 100 and fewer rental homsites.

The future for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac? Shaky Ground concludes with this inconclusive thought: “…neither of the solutions that look the likeliest right now – handing the market to the banks, or bringing back a version of Fannie and Freddie – does anything to rethink the cult of homeownership.” P.145. So status quo for now.

In either event, the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class with the two GSEs ‘very well’ as we continue to explore more ways to work together providing truly ‘affordable housing’ to this nation’s citizenry.*1

End Note.

*1. As a matter of principle, I try not to ever use the words ‘affordable housing’ without clearly defining what is (should be) meant by the oft overworked term, often hijacked by the ‘low cost housing’ folk. According to Bruce Savage’s popular history of MHI’s National Communities Council, The First 20 Years!, ‘Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI, can afford to rent a conventional apartment and or buy a home in their local housing market.” Pp. 105 & 106. For example: National AMI is around $51,000. In that case $25,500. should be able to rent one an apartment or buy a house in many markets. Most LLLCommunity homeowner/site lessees have an AMI of around $36,000. In their case, they have $18,000 to use to rent an apartment, buy a house, OR, buy a manufactured home in a LLLCommunity and pay a modest site rent. GFA

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II.

BOOK REVIEW of Dies Irae: DAY OF WRATH, a novella authored by William R. Forstchen. Available from Amazon.com

If you have school age children or grandchildren, this may or may not be a book you’ll want or have to read. But if you survived America’s 9/11 attack, and understand dark forces are at work in this world, planning a repeat performance, you must read this book!

New York Times best selling author William R. Forstchen sets the stage for this work of fiction in the following manner: “Osama bin Laden made clear his intentions to us long before 9/11. Hitler made clear his intentions to all whom he declared were ‘racial inferiors.’ The list of warnings from such hideous murderers goes back to the first pages of recorded history. Those who did not listen to such warnings eventually learned of their folly. Are we doing the same today?” Quoted from the FOREWORD.

And on the second page of this novella, he hints just how far from (past) social and cultural norms we’ve drifted, as a nation, (Making us vulnerable to….)

“Our leaders tell us to believe in them, that they do all for our good. They tell us they fight for our rights, while they travel about in entourages costing millions, for their monthly vacations. They tell us to conserve – for all is running short, while their private jets take them to their next gathering. What are proclaimed to be our entertainers are experts on all things simply because they act a role in a movie. Their role model to our youth is one of dissipation, mocking any of us who try to teach our children any type of values.” P.2.

So, what does this presage? Something so horrific, it ‘Stopped me in my tracks’!

Understand this. In early 1969, while a company commander of ‘helicopter support teams’ with U.S. Marine infantry units throughout Northern I Corps, South Vietnam, I experienced firsthand, carnage, trauma and pathos not voluntarily recollected – until I read this book! *2 And just as the tragic events of 9/11 gravely affected the lives of many Americans, the message expressed in DAY OF WRATH, has potential for doing similarly today! It’s that ‘Wake Up Call’ no one wants; predicting a happening that, if and when it occurs, will match, maybe overshadow, that dark and awful day in September 2001!

While a quick & convicting ‘read’ for anyone with school age children or grandchildren, it’s also seminal reality reasoning for discussions of ‘gun free zones’ & arming teachers.

End Note

*2. For an accurate, firsthand description – presented as historical fiction – of extreme combat experienced by U.S. Marines, early 1969, in and around the Ashau Valley in South Vietnam, read Karl Marlantes’ Matterhorn.

MHIndustry Continues to Compromise Its’ ‘Cred’…

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Blog # 373 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.

This Silliness Has to Stop!

Here’re Postings, of ‘New HUD-Code Home Shipments’
for the Month of September 2015, by the Official Reporting Agency, two National Manufactured Housing Advocacy Organizations, & Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®

According to the official reporting agency, the Institute of Building Technology & Safety, reporting 3 November 2015: 6,325 new HUD-Code homes were shipped throughout the U.S. during September 2015. IBTS ‘sells’ this timely benchmark information to MHI, MHARR, COBA7®, & other manufactured housing-related entities.

On 3 November, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, reported to its affiliates & MHInsiders, that 6,325 new HUD-Code homes were shipped during the month of September 2015, per IBTS reporting.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, or MHARR, parroted IBTS’ HUD-Code housing shipments for September 2015, as being 6,325 new manufactured homes.

But, on 5 November, the Manufactured Housing Institute, or MHI, announced, via its’ online newsletter: “In September 2015, 6,336 new manufactured homes were shipped, an increase of 7.9 percent from September 2014.” No explanation offered, as to ‘why’ their new home shipment number is ‘11’ HUD-Code units greater than what IBTS reported to them (‘MHI’); nor, Why MHI’s POSITIVE performance comparison is to ‘same time last year’- instead of pointing out September’s shipment number total is LESS than what was reported the previous month, August 2015!

Simply put, that’s perhaps the most inaccurate and confusing two part statement made by a manufactured housing national advocacy entity during 2015, year to date!

Summary.

IBTS = 6,325 new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2015

COBA7® = 6,325 new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2015

MHARR = 6,325 new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2015

MHI = 6,336 new HUD-Code homes shipped during September 2015

Why does the Manufactured Housing Institute continue to ‘play this #s game’? If you, like me, are a direct, dues-paying member of MHI, ask! I have; all the way back in July, when the Allen Letter professional journal first ‘outed’ this nonsense. And guess what? I’m still awaiting an answer! Phone (703) 558-0400 and ask, ‘WHY?’

The sorry matter continues to worsen as months pass. How so? By the end of September 2015, the cumulative totals of new HUD-Code home shipments reported by IBTS, COBA7®, MHARR, & MHI, compare as follow:

IBTS = 52,055 new HUD-Code homes shipped. (More later, as to why IBTS does NOT formally report annual new HUD-Code home shipments, ever. That’s ‘our total’, using their monthly tallies)

COBA7® = 52,055 new HUD-Code homes shipped. (Actual month to month tally)

MHARR = 52,055 new HUD-Code homes shipped. (Not reported, but presumed)

MHI = 52,041 new HUD-Code homes shipped. (Tally of their reported monthly totals)

What will the final numerical difference be, between the threefold ‘official shipment totals’ reporters, versus the ‘single different reporting national manufactured housing advocacy body’ by year end – when there’s, at this point, no good reason for there to be any difference whatsoever? It will be interesting to see – and ponder, again, ‘Why?’

All MHI has to do to end this silliness – that frankly, sullies (‘defiles’) the credibility and unity of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, is either 1) start reporting the same monthly HUD-Code shipment number as IBTS, MHARR, & COBA7® report; or, 2) publicly ‘explain’ why their finagling of IBTS official numbers (Which, again, MHI subscribes to for a price) is preferred, presumably increasing accuracy in reporting.

As a directly related sidebar. What is it the Allen Letter professional journal (July 2015) reported MHI ‘does to IBTS official monthly shipment numbers’, without explanation? Their ‘adjustment ’is based on the assumption new homes, without ‘designated delivery destinations’ (i.e. states, Canada & Puerto Rico) one month, will have destinations the following month. According to IBTS, this is an erroneous assumption. Why? Because some new HUD-Code homes aren’t assigned ‘designated delivery destinations’ until ‘years later’ – which, by the way, is ‘why’ IBTS does NOT report annual new HUD-Code home shipment numbers ever – because they’re always changing, albeit slightly.

In the meantime, until MHI either changes its’ shipment calculation methodology, or convinces the manufactured housing industry it’s finagling trumps IBTS reporting protocols, this ‘silliness’ continues to be easy and just fodder for news story such as this; and an easy excuse for legislators and regulators alike, to look askance at HUD-Code manufactured housing ‘cred’, with its’ ‘This is the way we’ve always done it!’ leaders.

Silliness indeed.

II.

Champion Homes & MHVillage.com Confound (‘astound’) the MHIndustry!

‘Champion Homes & MHVillage.com Announce Plans to Promote New Manufactured Home Models to Millions of Potential Homebuyers Annually!’

Talk about ‘hiding in plain sight’! Why hasn’t a HUD-Code home manufacturer thought of this unique and potentially powerful ‘marketing partnership’ long before this? In this instance, “visitors to MHVillage.com will be able to search Champion models and floorplans available in any location throughout the U.S. – and immediately connect with authorized Champion MHRetailers and land-lease-lifestyle communities where those homes are available for purchase, even rentals.” And through its’ ‘vacant homesite search’ capability, MHVillage will put prospective homebuyers n direct contact with LLLCommunities having vacant rental homesites capable of siting Champion Homes.

To learn more about this exciting manufactured housing industry marketing coup, contact Darren Krolewski of MHVillage, Inc., via (800) 397-2158 & Paul Perugi of champion Homes via (248) 614-8275.

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