MHIndustry Continues to Compromise Its’ ‘Cred’…

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.

***

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

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!

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…

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!

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?!

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?

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.

***

Names, topics & contact info @ 39 R’table Presenters!

September 26th, 2015

Blog # 367 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.

Here’s What No One Else Gives You!

What?

List of R’table Presenters, their Topics, & Contact Info…

As you learned in last week’s blog posting (#366), titled: SO VERY TELLING, the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable was one, as they say, ‘for the record books’, given its highest attendance ever, and superb presentations by all! Well, here is a list of featured presenters, their topics, and how to contact them, to address your employees or association members. And as you’re reading this, and decide you’d like to present a LLLCommunity-related topic at the 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable next September, likely on the East coast, let me know via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

For more than a decade, the real estate brokerage team from Marcus & Millichap has planned and hosted a Community Investors’ Symposium the afternoon prior to the opening reception at the Roundtable. Michael Glass, the team’s leader, distributed ‘one very interesting report’ on the unique realty asset class (land-lease-lifestyle communities). Want a copy! Reach Michael via (216) 264-2000.

As this year’s Roundtable theme was ‘We Want You to Buy Our Community Series Homes & Here’s What We’re Doing to Earn Your Orders!’, I couldn’t have planned a better lineup of HUD-Code home manufacturing executives! Each one has a unique message for you, if in the home-buying frame of mind.

• Bill Danforth @ Cavco Industries via (602) 763-0521
• Keith Anderson @ Champion Home Builders via (248) 614-8211
• Walter Comer @ Adventure Homes via (260) 357-1955
• Bob Bender @ Commodore Homes via (574) 533-7100

Know what? There were at least nine additional home manufacturing reps in the audience, with compelling Community Series Home sales messages too.

• Rick Grewe @ Clayton Homes via (574) 862-3009
• Terry Decio @ Skyline Homes via (574) 294-6521
• Brad Harper @ Champion Home Builders (800) 777-6637
• Steve Harwood @ Silvercrest Homes via (951) 547-2003
• Daryl Muzio @ Redman Homes via (559) 804-0236
• Bruce Thelen @ Champion Home Builders via (248) 614-8211
• Mike Young @ Champion Home Builders via (602) 421-8547
• Steve Quick @ Fleetwood Homes, Inc., via (615) 202-0245
• Byron Stroud @ Champion Home builders via (702) 756-2600

NOTE. This was the largest number of HUD-Code home manufacturers to attend the International Networking Roundtable during its’ now 24 year history. Their presence underscores just how much LLLCommunities have become the ‘next big market’ for the manufactured housing industry!

One of the most popular presentations this year was Dr. David Funk’s ‘Housing Economics & Manufactured Housing’s Strategic Niche!’ No one in the manufactured housing industry does a better job researching this segment of the factory-built housing industry and its’ customer base. Reach David via dfunk@capstonecompany.com

Spencer Roane, MHM® of Pentagon Properties, already considered to be the ‘Go to Guy’ relative to on-site transactions consummated using lease-option, all but filled his conference room with LLLCommunity owners/operators wanting to emulate what Roane does in his LLLCommunities in GA & TX. Reach him via (678) 428-0212

One of the unsung heroes of past and present Networking Roundtables is Wade Elliott of Utility Supply, from Washington state. For many LLLCommunity owners/operators, he’s their primary source of electrical components (breaker boxes, etc.) for their properties. And once again, this year, he ‘splained’ the ‘Importance of Preventative Maintenance’ in the LLLCommunity! (360) 881-0375.

Tried something new this year. Knowing many LLLCommunity owners/operators patronize Rent Manager software to support property management operations, and now sales management as well, we invited the firm to present three back-to-back seminars on various aspects (seller-financed loan tracking, metered utility support, and more) of their product line. Sabrina Clore handled this assignment, with assistance from Liz Engel. Reach them via (800) 669-0871

One of the most critical topics this year had to do with ‘home valuation’. Darren Krolewski of Datacomp handled this hot potato, and did a yeoman’s job doing so. If you’re not familiar with the new federal regs, contact Darren via (800) 365-1415. This is a topic, if you’re selling new HUD-Code homes on-site, you can’t afford to ignore!

Manage America filled a session, bringing LLLCommunity owners/operators up to date about ‘Advances in Resident Payment Methods’. This task was well-handled by Brice London. Reach him via (818) 789-3532.

A special ‘hit’ this year was Barbara Hames-Bryant of Hames Homes of Iowa. Her ’10 Lessons Learned for Community Owners Selling Homes’ was so well-received, all Power Point paper copy handouts were gone by the end of the session. Barbara’s proprietary emphasis was on the use of social media to reach out to one’s potential customers. Contact her via (319) 377-9085.

I even found myself on the program a time or two – covering for last minute speaker cancellations (a fact of life for meeting planners). ‘The State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’, given its’ focus on key statistics and emerging trends, is always popular. If you’d like this presented to your state MHAssociation members, or property managers, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

And it should go without saying, virtually everyone listed in this blog posting directory of speakers and topics, is a potential program and presenter for you as well. Why not explore the possibilities?

Annual Lenders’ Panel. Always a hit with the LLLCommunity audience, and this year was no different. These are real estate-secured mortgage originators, not chattel capital. No one showed up at this year’s Roundtable from ‘that side of the house’, figuratively speaking. That in itself says a lot about the ‘state of chattel capital’ in and around the manufactured housing industry today. In any event, back to the finance side of our industry/asset class that is functioning extremely well these days. The following individuals were at the Networking Roundtable, but not necessarily on the panel – which is traditionally manned by the major financial (food& beverage events) supporters of the Roundtable:

• Chad Williams, partnering with his father Charlie, @ Berkadia Commercial Capital via (602) 284-8332. Plus, Anthony Goldeblewski via (602) 445-1668
• Chris Dyson & Todd Elkins @ Grandbridge RE Capital via (813) 262-9950
• Will Baker, Andrew Tapley & Gary Braun @ Walker & Dunlop via (202) 210-1485 & (310) 215-5578 & (301) 215-5520
• Nick Bertino & Tony Petosa @ Wells Fargo Multifamily Capital via (760) 438-2153 & (301) 215-5578
• Bruce Tolchin & Peter Tripp @ Onyx Capital via (310) 442-8400
• Matt Krasinski @ Wells Fargo Bank via (617) 574-6306
• Damon Reed & Monica Schroeder @ Capital One Multifamily Finance via (205) 991-6700
• Zach Koucos @ HFF via (858) 812-2351
• Garrett Meyers @ PNC Real Estate via (818) 676-3218
• Chris San Jose @ Yale Realty & Capital Advisors via (850) 443-4580
• Art Tuverson @ Pillar Finance via (866) 315-6214

Yes, these are the major ‘players’ when it comes to LLLCommunity acquisition and refinance. For a copy of the Signature Series Resource Document, or SSRD, published by COBA7®, titled ‘National Registry of ALL Lenders’, simply phone the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE. There’s no charge for this invaluable directory of real estate-secured and chattel capital loan originators.

‘The GSE Hour!’ in two short years has become a veritable ‘don’t miss this session’ event at the Networking Roundtable. Once again, following brief introductions to their particular agency or GSE, the floor was opened to discussion with the audience – which was awash with questions, comments, and recommendations. Re-read last week’s blog posting at this website for the ‘takeaways’ from the 2014 & 2015 Roundtables. You’ll be glad you did. In the meantime, here’s a list of this year’s panelists, beginning with…

• Michael Price @ Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA via (202) 649-3134
• Matthew Brodsky & Daniel Din @ Freddie Mac via (312) 407-7449 & (703) 714-4989 respectively
• Jerry Muir & Jeffrey Ketron @ Fannie Mae via (404) 398-6283 & (202) 752-2355 respectively

Trust me. Anytime one or more of these individuals are ‘on the stage’ in front of a manufactured housing audience, you want to be there! I’ve been in this industry/asset class for 35 years, and these past two years have been the first two I can recall where GSEs have exhibited a genuine passion for our industry, and a matching desire to design loan products to support our needs for both real estate-secured and chattel capital mortgages, for LLLCommunities and new/resale homes respectively.

Wow! There’s no other way to describe the hour many of us spent listening to Steve Lefler and Marie Horton (Sorry, got her name wrong in last week’s blog posting) hold forth on the ‘Future of LLLCommunities’, using near ‘net zero energy usage’ HUD-Code homes to retrofit and rehabilitate 40 & 50 year old properties! Reach them at Newport Pacific via (949) 852-5575.

Kinda like keeping ‘the best for last’, is how one has to describe the legislative briefing Rick Robinson, esquire, from MHI, brings to today’s MHIndustry events. I’ve heard him at least three different times, and the message constantly changes, as he stays on top of what’s happening to and around our industry inside the capitol beltway. If your state hasn’t had him out as a keynote presenter, consider doing so. PLUS, he’ll ‘splain’ how easy it has become for us to make our opinions known, to our legislators, in Washington, DC. Seriously. Reach Rick via (859) 750-2422.

‘Avoiding Lawsuits in LLLCommunities’. Think this sounds boring? It’s not! In fact, it’s vital for owners/operators to learn and practice the ‘loss control measures’ Kurt Kelly teaches in this instructive hour. (800) 458-4320. And, if you’d like an SSRD supplement, on this same subject, prepared by Jay Zandman; again, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE and request it; it’s FREE.

Most folk still don’t realize COBA7® has aligned itself with the National Buyers Group represented by Ben Rao. Those of us who do, are constantly amazed at how much $ we’re saving these days at Lowes, Office Max/Depot, Sherwin Williams, etc.. Anyway, Ben held forth with an hour of salient tips for saving operational dollars in the LLLCommunity environment. For more info, reach him via (816) 585-7027. And if you’re already affiliated with COBA7, simply go to coba7benefits.com to register and start saving significant $ when you shop for your properties!

One last important thing! It’d be impossible for us to plan and host an annual meeting of this size without a lot of sponsor support. You’ve already read of that supplied by the real estate-secured lenders. And we’re highly grateful for their support. But in addition to them, there were some really significant sponsor supported measures this time around:

• RHP Properties sponsored publication of the treatise given to every attendee. And know what? Requests for copies, after the event, have been so strong, we’re almost out of stock. It’s one dynamic read. Hope you have one!
• Inspire Communities stepped up to the plate this year in a unique fashion
• FollettUSA supplied the nametag holders
• Barrington Investments, as usual, was right where I needed them to be again!

Well, that about does it for this year’s 24th annual International Networking Roundtable. Sorry you missed it, if you did. Those present will surely tell you, it was indeed, the Biggest & Best Ever! Plan now to be with us, in early September 2016, for the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, likely on the East coast. Want to be sure of an ‘invite’? Again, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE and ask to have your name and address added to the already growing list of invitees.

***

Details & ’stats’ here, you’ll read nowhere else!

September 19th, 2015

Blog # 366 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 7 online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our Business model!’

I.

SO VERY TELLING…

‘The #s; Who Came & Who didn’t; What Excited; What Educated!

The 24th annual International Networking Roundtable (9-11 September 2016) was the Biggest (200+) and Best Ever, with land-lease-lifestyle community aficionados participating from 26 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

All the major HUD-Code home manufacturers (Cavco, Champion, Fleetwood, Adventure, Commodore, Skyline, Silvercrest, Redman, & Clayton) were represented by corporate executives and Business Development Managers (‘BDM’) – individuals specializing in Community Series Homes, a.k.a. CSH Model manufactured homes.

All the major real estate-secured mortgage lenders and brokers (Wells Fargo, Onyx Capital, Grandbridge, Capital One, Walker & Dunlop, Monroe & Giordano, Northwestern Mutual, Q10/Lutz, & Berkadia) were represented by loan originators specializing in the acquisition and refinancing of LLLCommunities1 Even had a trickling of local lender representation, including participation by American Commerce Bank of of Atlanta, GA, and others.

Frankly, it was most of the above lenders who, as $ sponsors, made this year’s event possible: Wells Fargo, Grandbridge, Onyx Capital, Berkadia Commercial, Capital One, and Walker & Dunlop – plus, Barrington Investments, LLC, Horizon Land Company, DATACOMP/MHVillage, and RHP Properties – the latter paying for the publication of the treatise:

‘Affordable (Manufactured Housing); From Factory to Family – a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ Want a FREE copy? Send $20.00, to cover shipping & handling to COBA7® c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

But guess who wasn’t present – at all? Independent third party chattel capital firms! Not surprising though, given lack of easy access to chattel capital mortgages, via them, for new home transactions on-site in LLLCommunities. An interesting, albeit unintended confirmation of this reality is how David Rousher, in his recently released online book ($3.99), ‘How to Invest in a Mobile Home Park…’ only identifies two of the ‘Big Three + One’ chattel lenders. Don’t know whether his omissions were errors, oversights – or simply reflect how obscure chattel capital lending, from independent, third party sources, has become since the turn of the Century. What do you think?

And there was yet another interesting and telling trend that played out at this year’s Roundtable event. Most of the major (Top 20) LLLCommunity portfolio ‘players’, except for ELS, Inc., & UMH Properties, Inc., sent their acquisition specialists or teams. At the same time however, no fewer than 49 small to mid-sized property portfolio owners/operators were present; in their case, represented by owners and senior executives.

New blood. Another obvious trend this year was the absence of ‘industry pioneers’ who’ve been frequent roundtable participants during the past two decades – the men and women who clamored for national representation during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Some have died, others have retired, still others have left the business altogether. Today’s crowd was a healthy mix of young faces, a lot of Young Wealth Builders (The term used to describe RE investors in between Mom & Pop owners of small LLLCommunities and large firms specializing in institutional grade properties) ‘making their mark’ during these still turbulent times for the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. And yes, there were many examples of second, even third generation family dynasties among owners/operators present this year.

What excited? Whew! Where does one start? With Marcus & Millichap! Between 75 and 100 real estate investors arrived ‘early’ for the Wednesday afternoon panel presentation (a new format this year). And did the questions – and answers, ever fly! Kudos to M&M, for a program ‘well played’.

Then, who’d a ‘thunk’? HUD-Code home manufacturing executives ‘filling a room’ with focused owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities! Well, they did, in spades, as Keith Anderson (Champion), Bill Danforth (Cavco), Wally Comer (Adventure), & Bob Bender (Commodore) ‘splained the facts’ of manufactured housing life and business to this eager crowd of listeners. And the second hour of Open Discussion fed the flames of passion to ship and sell more homes! Don’t miss this point: This was the first time in MHIndustry history, where ‘so many major players’ – even more than at the NSAC caucus on 27 February 2009, enjoyed such an enthusiastic and mutually supportive faceoff!

And if you’ve yet to hear Dr. David Funk, now with Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, hold forth on ‘’Housing Economics & Manufactured Housing’s Strategic Niche’; well, you simply don’t know what you’re missing! His talk should be required fare at every state MHAssociation gathering during year 2016. So much to learn from him! (Since the Roundtable he’s been invited to address several industry gatherings)

The Thursday luncheon will never be the same! Following a delicious meal, Judy Jankowski of the RV/MH Hall of Fame recruited members and donations; and Rick Rand, ACM®, sold raffle tickets for MHI’s PAC Fund. But the big surprise came when Katie & Ken Hauck, MHM®, introduced their charity MHGives – to feed and house orphan children in Latin America! The stunning results? More than $55,000 pledged to the RV/MH Hall of Fame; nearly $10,000.00 raised in MHI PAC funds; and, $22,000.00 in matching funds for MHGives!

Spencer Roane’s ‘All Things Chattel!’, according to end-of-event Evaluation Forms was one of the most popular educational program of this year’s event. Here an owner/operator shared his Secrets to Success, selling & self-financing on-site new home sales transactions on-site using the lease-option approach.

Another very popular session was Barbara Hames’ ’10 Lessons for LLLCommunity Owners Selling Homes On-site!’ All her handout outlines disappeared before the end of her session. This is a hands-on LLLCommunity operator who’s maximized social media in promoting her family’s new home sales into and outside their LLLCommunities.

The GSE Hour. No surprise here. We all expected, with Michael Price, of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, leading the way, we’d be treated to a Special Hour of insight and discussion relative to his agency and its’ oversight relationship with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac ‘Government Sponsored Enterprises’. Biggest Takeaway last year = LLLCommunity folk not limited to five or 10 percent ‘park-owned homes’; rather, every deal is evaluated on its’ own merits! Biggest Takeaway this year = GSEs are OK with ‘doing deals’ $1,000,000.00 or less in size! We just need to find local lenders willing to underwrite those loans. Well guess what? Cultivate a good working relationship with your local bank, then ask me who to contact at the GSEs for their added measure of security. This is BIG. Why? Because 85 percent of all LLLCommunities in the U.S. today, need $1,000,000.00 or smaller mortgages for acquisition and refinancing purposes. For example: 100 rental homesites valued at $12,000/site = estimated value of $1,200,000.00 X 75 percent Loan to Value, or LTV limit = a $900,000.00 mortgage.

Steve Lefler and Marie Whittaker of Newport Pacific wowed their packed room of LLLCommunity owners, as they described how near ‘net zero energy use’ HUD-Code homes are being used to rehabilitate older, often functionally obsolete rental homesites in properties throughout California. A real eye-opener, including solar panel shingles by Dow Chemical. Hint. Watch for a near ‘net zero energy usage’ HUD-Code home to be featured on the Tiny House series on TV this Fall!.

Rick Robinson, esquire, general counsel for MHI, was also present – as were Nathan Smith, PHC® and the institute’s latest hire, Mark Bowersox (formerly exec @ IMHA/RVIC). Rick shared his comprehensive legislative briefing with this august audience. Your state should invite him to address your members during 2016! And learn from Rick, how to make ‘your voice heard’ in Washington, DC. I follow his lead all the time!

Ben Rao, of the National Buying Group, described existing programs (Lowe’s, Sherwin Williams, Office Depot, etc.) designed to assist real estate investors in general, COBA7® affiliates in particular, with cost-saving purchases of products and services used in and around LLLCommunities! Ben’s presentation was a ‘tip of the iceberg’ talk, in terms of additional programs on the planning table, to benefit COBA7® affiliates, e.g. big box stores exhibiting new manufactured homes in their parking lot; bulk purchasing of new Community Series Homes from cooperating manufacturers, etc.. So, if not already aboard, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, to learn details; and use attached brochure to affiliate with COBA7® today!

Well, the list could continue on, but you get the idea. Like, where else in the U.S., are you going to find more first rate information than what you’ve just read – and that’s only a partial list of all that was covered between 9 and 11 September. Plan now to attend the 25th Anniversary International Networking Roundtable next September. Location to be announced, but likely on the East coast. Want to be a presenter, or have a topic(s) you want to see featured? Let me know via the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

*****

ALLEN RPT. Questionnaires due 9/15; Biggest & Best Roundtable Ever!

September 13th, 2015

Blog # 365 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 to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’

I.

By 15 September, Return Completed Questionnaires Used to Prepare 27th ALLEN REPORT By 1/1/2016

The 26th ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ per popular acclaim, has been and continues to be, the most widely read and referenced manufactured housing statistical compendium distributed during year 2015, year to date. And did YOU know?

Now that 2015 is more than half over, copies of the voluminous 26th ALLEN REPORT are FREE for the asking, by simply phoning the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. The usual ‘per copy’ retail price is $544.95.

Now that 2016 is fast approaching, if YOU own and or fee manage five or more land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) and or 500+ rental homesites collectively, you’re eligible for inclusion in the 27th ALLEN REPORT. For a blank questionnaire, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE listed above!

LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators who complete the entire one page questionnaire will receive a complimentary copy of the 27th ALLEN REPORT.

II.

Be Careful What You Read & Believe These Days

Two decades ago, we read in The Journal, how to kill stray dogs in manufactured home communities by feeding them ‘treated’ balloons (No details here, as I don’t desire to perpetuate the loathsome practice). Fortunately, that ‘lesson learned’ was greeted with near universal disdain among property owners/operators.

During the past decade, we’ve endured self-described yet faux manufactured housing journalists, online and in print, renewing the taint of yellow journalism (i.e. ‘presenting little or no legitimate well-researched news’), via thinly veiled, sometimes direct, attacks upon individuals, even national trade advocacy entities. Fortunately, they’ve only tainted themselves. How to know who? Watch for responses, if any, to this cautionary warning.

And of late, given easy access to self-publishing one’s thoughts and experiences online, we’re enduring a spate of sometimes spurious HOW TO guides, books, and narratives penned by individuals as notorious for their business failures and questionable practices as they are for their few successes. How to know? There’re several helpful indicators: 1) Very low price of the published work (Recall the business maxim: ‘High barrier to entry, e.g. high price – oft indicates potentially high value & ROI’); 2) Lack of credible and provable personal credentials; and, 3) reputation among one’s peers in the business.

So, be careful what you read and believe these days! From time to time, I’m called upon or hired, to teach the basics of professional business authoring, trade journalism, and or op/ed (opinion/editorial) writing (They’re three different business genres), as well as self-publishing. In all four instances, I use archived examples of what was described in the previous three paragraphs, to demonstrate ‘What & how NOT to communicate one’s business knowledge and experiences into print and online media.’

Worst examples include a paperback book, 200+ pages in length, TYPESET USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO READ, beyond the first page. Then there’s the HOW TO ‘Get rich quick by buying ‘mobile home parks’. In it, the author erringly describes the use of ‘cap rates’ in estimating income value. For example, he/she pens, a 12% income capitalization rate yields greater value than a 6% ‘cap rate’. Seriously.

If the preceding interests you in ‘writing for publication’, let me know! I’ll send you a FREE plastic Management Wisdom pocket card titled: ‘The Writer’s WRITE Card, where the word WRITE is a five step acronym to better creative writing. And, know we’re looking for manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community – experienced businessmen and women, managers and housing salesmen/women, to pen features, even a column, in future issues of the Allen Letter professional journal.

Furthermore, now isn’t too early for you to mark Monday, 1 August 2016 on your planning calendar – to attend the third annual Writers’ Conference at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame Museum & Library facility in Elkhart, IN. Let me know if you’d like your name placed on the invitation list. Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.