Archive for August, 2017

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

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Blog # 459; Copyright @ 13 August 2017; at

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

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

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

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

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


Is a Manufactured Housing Conspiracy Theory Afoot?

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

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

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

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

1. Manufacturers of HUD-Code homes

2. Land lease community owners/operators, or

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

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


MHAlive! Think Tank, a Success!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


There’s a New Autobiography in Town!


‘Straight Talk From A Business Rebel’

by Sam Zell

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

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

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

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

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


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

A MUST READ Manufactured Housing Potpourri!

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Blog # 458; Copyright @ 6 August 2017; at

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

How so?

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

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

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

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


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