Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae, & OUCH!

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Blog # 469; Copyright, 29 October 2017; at community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance,
a.k.a. 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 MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

What happened to Blog # 468? Well, it’s ‘Under Development’. Huh? That’s right;

‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’

has become a larger, more complicated writing challenge than expected. In fact, right now, copies of the six page manuscript are in the hands of two manufactured housing professionals whose experience and abilities I respect and value. Once they’ve completed their ‘chop’ of the document, I’ll edit and fine tune what I/we hope to be the first definitive message to that end; again:

Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Comnmunities!

Frankly, I don’t know of anyone else, at anytime, who’s addressed this serious contemporary matter in the fashion taking shape! This very point was driven home, just this past week, as 20 of us from the manufactured housing industry participated in Fannie Mae’s ‘The Future of Manufactured Housing’ forum, in Washington, DC

And, reading HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue of their Evidence Matters 19 page slick magazine. Why wait until the end of October 2017 to distribute a communiqué intended for distribution almost six months ago?

OK, moving right along; first a quick view of a small part of what occurred at Fannie Mae headquarters in Part I; followed by a critical review of ‘Housing of Seniors’ in Evidence Matters, Part II.

I.

From a Letter to My Friends at Fannie Mae

Manufactured housing demographic and industry-related statistics would be far more understandable and usable if defined and categorized beyond the simple ‘MH’ (manufactured housing) label used today. A four part suggestion:

• MHO (in community) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on deeded realty (e.g. as in subdivisions, on scattered building sites, & homesites within condominium (‘condo’) communities.

• MHR (on deeded sites) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units on scattered deeded realty sites.

• MHO (on rental sites) = Homeowner occupied manufactured housing units on rental homesites within land lease communities &, resident-owned communities (‘ROCs’)

• MHR (in community) = Renter occupied manufactured housing units in land lease communities, ROCs, & condo communities.

In summary,

MHHO (in community) & MHR (on deeded sites) comprise the estimated 60 percent of destination for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 015 & 2016.

MHO (on rental sites) & MHR (in community) comprise the estimated 40 percent (& growing) destinations for new HUD-Code manufactured homes during 2015 & 2016.

That covers the spectrum of how today’s HUD-Code manufactured homes are sited and used in various configurations. To continue to lump all MHIndustry stats into one summary category (.e. ‘MH’) is inaccurate and a misleading practice.

On another subject, the time is well-past using the term ‘park’ during Fannie Mae events such as this forum. Frankly, when used, it suggests the speaker/writer is ‘new to the industry’, product naive, and or insensitive to the negative subliminal image the ‘park’ label conveys. Manufactured home community has been in place since 1994; and only recently, has begun to be replaced by land lease community – by dint of the fact that today, as many as six different types of shelter can be commonly found therein.

And don’t misunderstand, much much more was presented, discussed, and parsed during the Fannie Mae forum. Watch for details to follow here and elsewhere. It’d certainly be appropriate for Freddie Mac to follow suit and invite manufactured housing and land lease community folk to a like forum in the near future.

II.

OUCH!

HUD Really Knows How to Hurt a Friend!

The INTRODUCTION to this blog posting suggested “HUD’s half-baked feature focus, ‘Housing for Seniors’ in the Summer 2017 issue (Delivered during late October 2017) of their Evidence Matters..” magazine, does little to ‘Solve Our Nation’s (Lack of ) Affordable Housing Crisis…’, where U.S. citizens are concerned!

Here’s the Bottom Line right up front and in your face! For the federal regulatory agency, with oversight responsibility, to administer the 1976 HUD-Code, where manufactured housing is concerned, to totally (That’s 100%!) ignore that industry in this issue’s ‘Housing for Seniors: Challenges & Solutions’, is UNFORGIVEABLE. Here’s how the story unfolds…

Know the subtitle of Evidence Matters is ‘Transforming Knowledge Into Housing & Community Policy’. With that in mind, the feature begins:

“The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies (‘JCHS’) projects the number of U.S. adults age 65 and older will grow from 48 to 79 million over the next two decades. By 2035, JCHS expects 50 million households – approximately one out of every three in the U.S. – will be headed by someone age 65 or older, and the number of people age 80 and older will double to 24 million.”

The writer goes on to pen…

“The nation’s existing housing stock – in terms of options, affordability, and accessibility – is ill-suited to meet the housing needs of an increasingly older population that overwhelmingly wishes to age in place.”
&
“…households 80 and older have a median income of $25.000 annually, and nearly one in four has an income of $15,000 or less.”

Pretty sobering stuff, I think you’d agree.

Now here’s ‘the rub’. Nowhere in this lengthy article does HUD make any mention whatsoever of manufactured housing and land lease communities being – and these are HUD’s words, not mine – “Safe, affordable comfortable, and aging-friendly housing for seniors”. Geesh! How could they miss US? After all, manufactured housing and land lease communities are the only type ‘shelter & lifestyle’ in the world, characterized as affordable, attractive housing for the ‘newly wed & nearly dead’! Not a genteel way of saying it, for sure, but as accurate as can be!

And, ‘adding insult to injury’, the article goes on to describe the need for universal design features for senior citizens. Once again, totally ignoring the fact that the manufactured housing industry already features, when ordered, “wide doorways, step-free entryways, and lever faucets.” Nor does it mention the wheel chair accessible vanities, grab bars, and emergency summons devices also available in manufactured housing.

Methinks HUD owes the manufactured housing industry and land lease community folk an apology. After all, they’ve been regulating the industry since 1976, i.e. more than 40 years and counting. You’d think, by now, they’d be the biggest supporter – even marketing proponent, of this type affordable, attractive, energy efficient, transportable housing for not only senior citizens, but everyone who needs new shelter priced at 50% of site-built housing (not including land cost). Will we see a turnabout on the part of HUD? Let’s hope so, watch future issues of Evidence Matters, and see. Rachelle, are you listening?

***

George Allen, CPM & MHM
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publicizing

Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247

Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764

RV/MH Hall of Fame; LLCommunity & How Many?

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Blog # 467; Copyright, 8 October 2017; at community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. COBA7, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (8777) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

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

____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION.

Part I. Your legacy will be? How ’bout induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame?

Part II. Time to codify ‘land lease community’ as a manufactured housing trade term. Will MHI’s NCC Leadership Fall Leadership Forum take up the challenge?

Part III. And, just how many land lease communities are there in the U.S.A. today?

I.

RV/MH Hall of Fame Applications Due October 31st,
&
YOU?

YOU a pioneer or leader – elected or salaried – for 25+ years, in the manufactured housing industry and or land lease community real estate asset class? Then YOU should be looking to, and considering, the nature of the legacy you’re crafting among business associates, trade association colleagues, employees, and family members!

For some, this legacy will simply be – as important as it is – financial security. But, IMHO, there’s more to legacy than just that. Consider peer recognition, and honoring one’s contributions, service and memory. Why? It saddens me when I recall many individuals I’ve known during nearly 50 years in this business, who’ve retired, moved-on to other interests, or died – and have been forgotten. But then, maybe that’s the way it should be, when there’s lack of aforethought, regarding and ensuring one’s legacy in those past, sad instances.

How ’bout YOU? Are you head, or a key part of, a housing manufacturing team, an independent (street) MHRetailer, land lease community owner/operator, OEM supplier, association exec, and otherwise – who’s given greatly and significantly to this industry and asset class? Then you, or one of your close associates, should begin NOW to prepare an application, along with three letters of peer recognition, for submission to the RV/MH Hall of Fame during year 2018 – to, hopefully, have you selected for induction that year, as part of the Class of 2019.

The deadline for the Class of 2018 is upon us NOW – 31 October 2017! So, in my opinion, you shouldn’t even try to begin from scratch; there’re already a dozen or more applications ‘in process’ for possible induction during early August 2018. So, if just finishing up an RV/MH Hall of Fame application package, YOU have until 31 October to submit it.

One last thing on this legacy topic. Once selected for induction, among other interesting matters (e.g. portrait photograph, brief bio, etc.),individuals are given an opportunity to purchase a green blazer, with an RV/MH Hall of Fame crest on the left breast pocket. When the time comes, BUY IT! Then, when there’re special occasions, at state and national venues, proudly wear this ‘symbol of honor as a manufactured housing or land lease community pioneer or leader’! And thought is being given now, as to how appropriate identification can be provided female inductees into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. In the meantime, those of you already inducted – it’s not too late to order/buy your blazer. Simply phone Darryl Searer via (574) 293-2344. And tell him ‘George sent me!’

II.

A Challenge to the NCC Fall Leadership Forum

It’s time for Codification; Will NCC Do What’s Right?

You likely know the first part of this story. During the 1940s & 50s our unique form of income-producing property was referred to as trailer courts and camps; then in the 1970s, mobile home parks. All that went relatively unchanged until 1976, when HUD decreed, in support of the new federal building code term ‘manufactured housing’, these properties should be referred to as manufactured housing or home communities. For the most part, that directive was ignored. ‘Mobile home parks’ they were, and likely mobile home parks they’d be today, but for one thing.

In 1992, when Edward Hicks, David Alley, and I began penning what would become the J. Wiley & Sons published, Development, Marketing, & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities tome, we learned there’d have to be a change to, a consensus among practitioners, one set of trade terms, language, lingo. This for book marketing purposes; and industry/asset class unity. So, with the assistance of the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, we launched a series of reader surveys throughout the industry and asset class, asking, ‘What do we call ourselves today & what should we be calling ourselves going into the future?’

In the end, manufactured housing, manufactured home communities, retailers (vs. dealers), transporters (vs. toters), and residents (vs. tenants) won out. And those terms, blessed by state trade association executives at the time, became part and parcel to the new textbook – the first published on raw land development, in more than 20 years!

But, fast forward to year 2004 and following. You know, when the ‘bottom was falling out’ of manufactured housing shipments due to1) loss of easy access to chattel capital, 2) a tsunami of ‘repo’ homes competing with new home sales, and 3) alarming disappearance of independent (street) MHRetailers. One of the consequences of all this, was the realization by (then) manufactured home community owners/operators, they’d have to buy new homes directly from factories, install and sell them on-site, and often engage in one form or another of seller-financing (e.g. lease option). A corollary to this paradigm change in manufactured housing distribution, was the further realization there was no longer just two types of shelter in these income-producing properties, but oft, as many as six! Those being, 1) pre-HUD ‘mobile homes’, 2) post-HUD manufactured housing, 3) modular homes, 4) ‘park model RVs’, 5) RVs for a season, and in FL,6) stick-built homes constructed on-site to look like HUD-Code manufactured homes.

Consequence of this? Pundits, in time, referred to heretofore manufactured home communities as ‘land lease lifestyle communities’. That occurred during the latter days of year 2004, and remained unchanged until year 2014. At that time, ‘lifestyle’ was dropped from the moniker, ‘leaving land lease community’ (ies). And subsequent to that, in academic and formal writings, ‘real estate asset class’ was added, to differentiate the uniqueness of this type income-producing property among other classes of commercial real estate, e.g. 1) office buildings, 2) shopping centers, 3) multifamily apartments, and 4) land lease communities.

So, now 3 1/2 years into this latest trade terminology ‘cycle’, we come to the NCC Fall Leadership Forum: ‘Success by Design’. This focus is almost providential! How so? It suggests an opportunity for MHI’s 21 year National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, to take leadership in something significant, even historic; by specifically endorsing the concept and labeling of its’ characteristic income-producing property type as ‘land lease community & communities’!

Will this happen? What do you think? I’ll withhold opinion for now, as I will not be present at this event, due to a schedule conflict. However, some, if not many of you reading this blog posting, will be there. And if YOU agree, ‘the time is right’ to formalize a final shift in trade terminology, to codify what we already know and commonly refer to as land lease communities, you’ll make your views known.

And if this does not happen? No harm done. Land lease community, or communities, will continue as de rigueur among those of us entrusted with describing the business model, as well as enhancing the industry/asset class’ image nationwide!

Plus, several major national and regional educational/networking venues (e.g. annual Networking Roundtable, & SECO Conference) embrace ‘land lease community’ in promotional and event literature. And of late, federal regulators, even GSEs, have taken to using the term as well. So, let’s not be Luddites, but rather Realists where this evolution of trade terminology is concerned.

III.

And Just How Many Are There?

36,873; 38,000; 44-45,000; or 50,000+/-?

Land lease communities, that is. Well, the first part of the answer is simple and straight forward: We will never know! That’s right; to begin with there’s no common interstate definition of how many rental homesites constitutes a land lease community; and, only a relatively few states even keep track, via licensure, of the number and nature of land lease communities in their state. Let’s dig deeper?

The first effort to size the inventory of (then) manufactured home communities, occurred decades ago, roughly in the 1990s, when the article ‘How Many Are There?’ was featured in the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine. In that instance, the figure was 50,000+/-. How determined? Initially by polling ‘property counts’ among the dozen or so states that kept such records (Not much has changed during the interim 20+ years), then performing a simple mathematical extrapolation, e.g. ‘If X number of properties in X number of states; how many such properties in 49 states – since Hawaii did not then, or now, have this type land lease community. Answer? 50,000+/-. This answer was ‘proofed’ using Pareto’s 80/20 law. If you’d like a free reprint of this historic article, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Since that time, 20+ years ago, various trade groups ( MHI’s NCC & COBA7), vendors (DATACOMP/MHVillage) and companies (RV Horizons & others) have offered varying views on this slippery subject. Their estimates?

• DATACOMP/MHVillage = 36,862+/- (From DRAFT copy of ‘2016 National Communities Survey’ for MHI’s NCC), though the sum of 17,720 ‘all age’; 3,789 ‘ages 55+’; & 15,755 ‘unknown status’ communities = 37,264 properties. And on 4 October, number was adjusted to 36,873.

• MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) suggests there’re 38,000+/- properties – likely referencing DATACOMP/MHVillage statistics

• One or more property portfolio firms suggest the total to be between 44 & 45,000 land lease communities.

• Community Owners (7 Part) Business Associates (‘COBA7’), a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, since that article in Manufactured Home Merchandiser, has held fast to the 50,000+/- figure, publishing it in the Signature Series Resource Document (‘SSRD’) ‘Industry Briefing Sheet’, updated quarterly.

So, how does one account for the large difference between 38,000 and 50,000+/- land lease communities? Likely boils down to the indeterminate number of small, ‘under the acquisition radar’ nature of the smallest such properties (i.e. two to 25 rental homesites in size). They don’t enjoy economy of scale, are difficult to locate, and oft passively managed. In some, if not most states, they account for as much as 40 percent, or greater, of all land lease communities – not the eight percent cited in the earlier referenced ‘2016 National Communities Summary’.

So, where does all this leave us? In a word, ‘nowhere’. As was stated at the beginning of Part III of this blog posting, ‘We will never know!’ – due to lack of empirical and consistent definition (i.e. number of rental homesites = a land lease community?), and overall lack of state documentation of land lease communities within their boundaries.
***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
Consultant to the Factory-built Housing Industry,
the Land Lease Lifestyle Community Real Estate Asset Class, &
Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, or COBA7
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

Press Porn, New Classes of MH, # LLCommunities

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Blog # 466; Copyright, 1 October 2017; at community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. 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 7y improve MHBusiness performance!
_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION. Part I. Admittedly somewhat political in nature, but timely and worthwhile sharing. Part II. Two of the most important trend launching dates in HUD-Code manufactured housing. Part III. ‘And how many land lease communities in the U.S. do you say there are? Part IV. Limited number of Swan Song book available to land lease community aficionados.

I.

PRESS PORN

‘It Ain’t Got No Juice!’

Circa 1976. When the fledgling national Christian newspaper I was peddling in the Midwest didn’t sell well, I asked a grizzled old newsstand proprietor, ‘Why?’ His blunt reply: “It Ain’t Got No Juice!” To which I asked, ‘What’s juice?’ His answer? Sex & violence!’ The big lesson to me? That sex & violence = press porn. A lesson that resonated with me then, and again today. How so? Two contemporary examples…

1) As the PBS documentary VIETNAM draws to a close, it’s obvious combat mayhem, & violent protests at home, carried the action throughout this lengthy, albeit incomplete recitation of the conflict in the Republic of Vietnam. Incomplete? Ken Burns & Lynn Novick got the violence almost right; and I assume, the domestic protest violence even more so, given the extensive national press porn coverage at the time. But I really wouldn’t know, in the latter instance, as I was a young Marine lieutenant in RVN then, learning firsthand about violence and the consequences thereof..

But what I do know is this. During February 1969, engaged in operation Dewey Canyon, along the Ho Chi Minh trail in the Da Krong – Ashau Valley corridor, we took serious incoming artillery fire from several distant Russian 122mm field guns. W had no counter-battery capability. And guess who was aiming and firing them at us? Well, elements from the 9th Marine Regiment helo-assaulted the artillery firing position and overran the enemy. Among the enemy casualties were Russian advisors (Likely the ‘cannon cockers’, as the captured firing tables were in Russian). Now that gem didn’t come out in the documentary did it? That’s just one of several oversights. How ’bout this? The secret plan to use Atomic Demolition Munitions, a.k.a. ADMs, the size of soccer balls, and other similarly equipped weapons, in the event North Vietnamese and Red Chinese infantry overran key portions of RVN. How do I know all this? I was there in both instances; as a participant in the first, and trainee in the second.

2) Another example of contemporary press porn, maybe a little less obvious? Press coverage of protest actions (i.e. ‘kneeling’) by some NFL football players. This from a Letter to the Editor, penned 25 September 2017.

“In 1981, highly paid PATCO union strikers demand for even higher wages wound up with 11,000 of them being fired by President Reagan! Why? In large part, due to little to no public support for a bunch of already exorbitantly paid, but unappreciative, air traffic controllers.

And now, 36 years later?

In 2017, well paid NFL kneelers demand for recognition of social ills, at the expense of honoring our nation’s flag and anthem, backfires! Why? In large part, due to little to no public support for a bunch of already exorbitantly paid, but unappreciative, football players.

Think about it. Like the already affluent air traffic controllers of yore, today’s moneyed football players can have a bully pulpit anywhere, anytime they desire! However, to openly ‘dis’ (as in ‘disrespect’) our nation’s flag and national anthem, by kneeling rather than standing, in very public arenas, risks their being displaced as sports heroes to social pariahs (‘outcasts’), and not social change agents.”

The point? While there’s neither ‘sex or violence’ in this latter example, press porn feeds on protests like these, to simply ‘sell more newspapers’ and ‘count more hits’ on internet news sites. Remember, if it ‘Ain’t got no juice!’ the news will not sell.

II.

2/28/2009 & 9/18/2017

Two Trend Launching Dates to Remember & Respect

As manufactured housing’s new millennium paradigm shift, from distribution of new HUD-Code homes via independent (street) MHRetailers to in-community sales and seller-financing by land lease community owners/operators, 100 representatives from Midwest manufacturing plants and property portfolios met, on 2/28/2009, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., to ‘make history together’.

The driving questions of the day? Well, they were the same, for both parties, though articulated somewhat differently:

‘What do we have to do to get you to buy more new manufactured homes?

&

‘Will you design & build new homes suitable for sale within our communities?

Following a daylong discussion of needs & wants, what’s practical & not, a new (unnamed) class of manufactured homes was agreed upon by both parties. Characteristics? Singlesection or modest multisection in size; shingled roof and non-metal siding; durability enhancing features, with an eye to easing turnover make-ready; and, at least one WOW! feature inside and outside the new manufactured home!

Nearly nine months later, Don Westphal, landscape engineer consultant to the manufactured housing industry, during the annual Networking Roundtable that Fall, suggested this new class of manufactured home be named, Community Series Homes, supplanting the Developer Series Homes (a.k.a. Big Box = Big Bucks!) of the late 1990s.

Trend result? In 2009, only 25% of new HUD-Code homes were delivered directly into (then) manufactured home communities; by year end 2015 that percentage had jumped to more than 40%; and some now predict, 75% infill by year 2020!

And then there’s 9/18/2017, occurring during a Manufacturers Division meeting at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL., as first reported in blog posting # 465 at community-investor.com, last week. Either scroll back thru the blog archives, or read on from here:

“New Class of HUD-Code Manufactured Home to…1) attract underserved prospective homebuyers (market) to a distinct new generation of manufactured housing; 2) give FHFA & GSEs a new class of housing, one easier for them to accept, for loan guarantee purposes; & 3) provide a fresh start offering slightly upscale, specifically featured, new homes at truly affordable prices!”

Characteristics? Likely either singlesection or multisection in configuration,

• to be built in accords with existing HUD-Code
• to have a 5/12 roof pitch, presumably asphalt shingled
• to be mounted on a permanent foundation
• to have a built-in porch
• to likely have a garage or carport at one end of home

• & maybe have features in support of growing interest in ‘near net zero energy use’ housing, now in California and soon to move East. Details available on request.

Obviously it’s too soon to tell what the consequences, hopefully good, will be from this second Trend Launch. But we all know of the real need for a fresh start to motivate our industry, excite prospective homebuyers, and interest our sources of housing finance!

What will this new class of HUD-Code manufactured home be labeled? That remains to be seen. However, one early suggestion is ‘Millennium Housing’. How ’bout you? Any creative but apt ideas? If so, let us know via gfa7156@aol.com or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

III.

36,862; 38,000; 44/45,000; or 50,000+/-?

The number of land lease communities in the U.S.

So says MHI’s NCC division, MHVillage/DATACOMP; RV Horizons; & COBA7, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Which estimate is the most accurate? Answer? Not one of them! And for several, not readily apparent reasons. And frankly, we’ll likely Never Really Know. Read next week’s blog posting # 467, to learn the ‘whys & wherefores’ of this interesting, timely and controversial subject.

IV.

SWAN SONG

‘George Allen’s History of Land Lease Communities, 1970 – present day’

Had no plans to do this, but given the few dozen copies of this ‘first time ever history of mobile home parks cum manufactured home communities cum land lease communities’ remaining in inventory, and strongly voiced interest in purchasing same, we’re offering the 150 page book here:

Send $49.95 in check or money order (covers book, shipping & handling), made out to COBA7 c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247.

Frankly, you will not believe the breadth and scope of stories, statistics, and other material contained in this book. As it will likely be the last one (of 15) I’ve authored and or edited for the manufactured housing industry, I made it a point of including ‘everything of value’ in it!

Buy and enjoy!

***

New Class of (Manufactured) Home (?)

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Blog # 465; Copyright 24 September 2017; at community-investor.com

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. 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 MHBusiness performance!’
________________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION: I, for one, am cautiously optimistic, the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, along with its’ land lease community real estate asset class, is about to enter an exciting new phase of its’ heretofore nearly 80 year existence! How so? Read Part I following. And Part II? One man’s frustration with bureaucratic sandbagging….

I.

New Class of (Manufactured) Home (?)

Read about it Here First!

The ‘buzz’ at the Manufactured Housing Institute’s annual meeting in Orlando, 18 & 19 September? Whispers, then open conversation, about maybe launching a ‘New Class of HUD-Code Manufactured Home’ to, in part, 1) attract underserved prospective homebuyers (market) to a distinct new generation of manufactured housing; 2) give FHFA & GSEs a new class of housing, one easier for them to accept, for loan guarantee purposes; & 3) provide a fresh start offering slightly upscale, specifically featured, new homes at truly affordable prices!

What’s this new class of housing to likely be? No one this industry observer talked to would commit to whether this new class of housing might be ‘just’ multisection, or singlesection & multisection. But here’s what they did say:

• To be built in accords with the existing HUD-Code

• To have a 5/12 roof pitch, presumably asphalt shingled

• To be mounted on a permanent foundation

• To have a built-in porch

• To likely have a garage or carport at one end of the home

Anything else? Well, no one commented, but given the maturing of ‘near net zero energy usage’ manufactured homes, going into and outside land lease communities in California, ‘why not’ include some forward-looking features, e.g. extra insulation and double-pane windows. While not sexy, they are practical, proven energy-saving measures. But shy away from (politician & regulator – favored) solar systems, as they’re still cost prohibitive; and solar shingles – as they just don’t work, yet..

Then there’s the name, moniker, handle, by which this new class of home will be known and marketed. From the git-go, in my opinion, we should stay away from traditional ‘manufactured’ lingo; maybe go with something altogether new, like Millennium Housing. What alternatives would you recommend?

And guess what? The largest independent, third party source of chattel capital for this industry/asset class, is already developing a 30 year mortgage program for just such forward-looking new ‘millennium’ houses and homes!

Want to express observations or opinion about this lively and ‘breaking’ topic? Let COBA7 know via gfa7156@aol.com, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

II.

Insider’s Report on MHI & NCC Annual Meetings!

Last week’s BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) # 464 laid out three goals pursuant to Carolyn and me attending the subject annual meetings in Orlando, FL. Here they are, along with this industry observer’s prejudiced opinion as to what was accomplished, and not accomplished, in each instance; to wit, “Learn if/how the institute is working…”

• “To unseat the present, overreaching manufactured housing administrator at HUD, an Obama holdover.” Lotta talk, but hopefully, action behind the scene(s). Best I could ascertain is, there’s a political solution in the wind, whatever that comes to mean. So, keep watching and keeping pressure on MHARR & MHI.

• “To restore our industry’s reasonable access to chattel capital in support of the on-site sale and seller-financing of new HUD-Code homes.” Yes, movement on several fronts: “(MHI) efforts include clarifying and modifying CFPB financing rules, requiring the GSEs to support chattel lending, and improving FHA mortgage insurance programs for manufactured housing.”- and more. Quoted from Government Affairs Department’s Accomplishments & Priorities for 2017.

And this final goal is dealt with separately, as it involves only the National Communities Council division, from the perspective of one of its’ founding members and long term board member.

• “To see whether the National Communities Council division will agree to adopt bylaws permitting proxy voting during officer elections at future annual meetings.” In a word, the answer was and is NO, but not for the reason one might think. Huh? It never had an opportunity for discussion! Here’s what happened…

One and a half hours were set aside for the NCC meeting. And it featured a pretty robust agenda, covering everything from DATACOMP produced Data Sheets – more on that later, likely in a future blog posting; a federal advocacy and regulatory update, ACM curriculum update, slated officer elections, and concluding with a lengthy presentation of and by a new weather alert system, HazardCall. So, what was missing?

NEW BUSINESS. Nope. Rarely is this category included on the NCC division’s agenda, despite repeated requests for it to be there. Consequences this time around?

• No opportunity to challenge NCC board members to consider a change to existing bylaws, allowing for proxy voting during future annual meetings, to supplement ‘always by acclamation’ elections of board officers. Now must wait till next year.

• No opportunity to inquire as to whether MHI, or anyone else for that matter, was giving serious consideration as to who might be the next administrator of the manufactured housing program at HUD! That’s when we learned ‘the fix’ might be more political than otherwise….One way or the other, as land lease community owners/operators, we need change!

• No opportunity to present and discuss the Champion Homebuilder’s ‘Installation Manual Addendum for Exception to Footings Located Below the Frost Line’ So, once again, public presentation of (possible) industry progress must occur in either or both the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter & the Allen Letter professional journal. Why? Because there simply is no longer The Journal or Manufactured Home Merchandiser print publications to spread industry news.

• No opportunity to suggest creation of a Special Award to, on occasion, recognize a land lease community owner/operator who’s performed some sort of outstanding service to the real estate asset class! Such recognitions, within MHI circles, already exist among state execs re ‘communication’, and in the finance division.

• No opportunity to discuss the recent imbroglio relative to automated underwriting programs (maybe) being required for GSE guaranteed loans.

So, is it easy to see why this direct dues-paying MHI member is routinely frustrated with NCC meetings structured to cover already vetted topics, but nothing ‘from the floor’?

‘Ready to Move On, With or Without the Assistance of MHARR & MHI’

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Blog # 464; Copyright 17 September 2017; at community-investor.com

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: We’re on the cusp (‘point’) of major decision-making relative to land lease community representation and advocacy! Which is to say, ‘not that anyone is doing anything wrong’; simply, this unique income-producing property type is now a major market for, and purchaser of, new HUD-Code manufactured homes. And it now deserves, even demands, enhanced political and regulatory representation, as well as assurance of continued delivery of specialized property management-related products (e.g. books, newsletters, statistical reports & directories), as well as services (e.g. PM training & certification, sales training, interpersonal networking, realty deal-making). All that was the quiet gist (‘essence’) of the 26th Networking Roundtable, the COBA7 ‘succession planning meeting’ in particular. Read on…

I.

Present & Future Highlights of the 26th Roundtable

What You Missed & Where We’re Headed During 2018

(Good) fireworks began before this year’s 26th Networking Roundtable started! Ten land lease community owners/operators earned their Manufactured Housing Manager certification designations; and, Joanne Stevens, CCIM, & Tammy Owens’ newly formatted ‘Anatomy of the Deal!’ attracted 75 specialty real estate brokers and a host of would be and present investors in this unique income-producing property type!

A highlight of the opening reception (‘Celebrating National Land Lease Community Week’) was having four women in my life present: Carolyn, daughter Susan, granddaughter Heather, and Susan’s business partner, Erin.

Once again, everyone stood and introduced themselves to the audience of 174 (We were short 20 registrants, mostly from FL & TX, due to weather challenges).

For the first time, I shared the ever-evolving ‘Official State of Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities’ talk with a national audience; I do it frequently before state audiences. If you’d like a copy of the 30 bullet point summary of these key industry/asset class statistics and emerging trends, simply ask for it via email to gfa7156@aol.com

David Funk did it again! He laid a housing demographics and trends foundation, then jumped into his “Financing Strategies & impact of Duty to Serve’ talk – offering the Power Point presentation. Continues to amaze me how no other national manufactured housing advocacy entity has picked up on David’s skill and experience as an academic and land lease community owner, to have him share same with their members.

The last summary here, is that of MHGives, the manufactured housing industry’s homegrown charity and mission to central American and Caribbean countries. Want to learn more? Visit MHGives.org.

A note to state MHAssociation execs. Want a super summary of capable and experienced speakers to consider for future seminars for members? Request a copy of this year’s agenda and list of 20 presenters – along with their respective topics. You’ll be glad you did. (317) 346-7156.

II.

COBA7

‘Ready to Move On, With or Without Assistance from MHARR & MHI’

Some of the most interesting proceedings at the annual Networking Roundtable occur before, tucked within, and after the actual 2 1/2 day event. This year, at 1:30-2:30PM, Friday, 20+ businessmen and women met for a COBA7 Succession Planning Meeting.

Hard to say ‘what was accomplished’ within the meeting, as there was no agenda
and conversations covered every aspect of land lease community advocacy, ongoing need for specialized products and services, and ‘where to go from here’?

• Since that meeting, two potential (& interested) national lobbyist candidates have been identified, and will soon be briefed and interviewed.

• An annual operating budget is being compiled, and corporate $ supporters identified and contacted. (All expressed interest, even commitment, beforehand)

• A governing board will be named ‘when the time is right’

• COBA7 to be converted from its’ ‘for profit’ division status within GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, to an appropriate ‘not for profit’ entity type.

Does this mean COBA7 will be (Or, as some already see it, ‘continue to be’) a competitor to MHARR & MHI? Not really. MHARR membership is strictly limited to smaller, regional HUD-Code home manufacturers – and associates, who receive periodic regulatory-related news briefs from the entity. MHI, though claiming representation of all segments of the manufactured housing industry, given the dominance of the largest of the HUD-Code home manufacturers (i.e. 80+% national market share of new HUD-Code homes) is understandably focused on that segment of the industry! COBA7, on the other hand, was formed in 2014, ‘by & for’ land lease community owners/operators, large & small, operating throughout the U.S. & Canada. And that’s the market it serves today, in these seven areas:

• Ongoing statistical research, & distribution of same, via the annual ALLEN REPORT (# 29 during January 2018), and other…

• Signature Series Resource Documents (‘SSRDs’), e.g. annual National Registry of ALL Lenders, Directory of Freelance Consultants, Directory of Print & Online MH Media, Lexicon of MHIndustry & LLCommunity Terminology, & more…

• Weekly & monthly communication with affiliates via two print newsletters and an online blog posting at community-investor.com

• Planning & hosting of superb interpersonal networking opportunities

• Planning & hosting of superb deal-making opportunities

• Professional Property Management Training & Certification via popular Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) program – with its’ 1,000+ designees to date

• National advocacy ‘when need be’, to become ‘continually’, when all is in place; at present functioning mainly as an industry and realty asset class ombudsman, and historian (Read Swan Song; ‘History of LLCommunities, 1970-2017’)

What’s driving this move to enhanced representation and advocacy for land lease communities, large & small, nationwide? The ongoing paradigm shift (2000-2017) in manufactured housing distribution: From independent (street) MHRetailers, to home sales and seller-financing on-site in land lease communities! New manufactured housing shipments (often Community Series Homes), directly into land lease communities, has increased from 25% in 2009, to more than 40% by year end 2015, and is estimated to eclipse 80% by year 2020. This segment of the MHIndustry must have top notch representation to Promote & Protect Itself!

And no one else has been training community owners/operators ‘How to do all this’, by din of ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ debuting in 2016, being replicated during 2018 in Elkhart, IN, via a partnership with IMHA/RVIC; and, thru professional property management training and certification. Today, there is no other national classroom-based offering by anyone – other than COBA7’s MHM program.

If YOU are not already affiliated with COBA7, consider doing so today. It costs but $134.95/year – & receive 12 copies of the Allen Letter professional journal. Use the brochure attached to this blog posting, or email gfa7156@aol.com

The COBA7 unique Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’

III.

Have You Heard?

Jack Holefelder & five generations of his family, during mid-October in Media, PA., will be celebrating the 80th anniversary of Village Green Senior Community, a land lease community! Some of you may remember Jack as author of a text on family business succession, and being a past speaker at the Networking Roundtable. Congratulations to Jack & his family!

***

George Allen
GFA Management, Inc
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

If a ‘player’, Your Fall Meeting Schedule…

Saturday, September 9th, 2017

Blog # 463; Copyright 10 September 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. 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 MHBusiness performance!
______________________________________________________________________

I.

Fall MH Meeting Season Underway!

And Where Will We Find You?

26th International Networking Roundtable enjoyed a spectacular time this past week in Indianapolis, IN. How so? More than 150 businessmen & women owners/operators of land lease communities, large & small, from throughout the U.S. spent 2 1/2 days ‘learning together’, networking at nine food & beverage events, even engaging in deal-making relative to our unique, income-producing property type. Probably more details in the weeks to come, either here in this weekly blog or in the Allen Letter professional journal. Will tell you this though; there’re now ten more certified Manufactured Housing Managers at work in communities! And David Funk, college professor & land lease community owner, kept the rapt attention of his audience, with housing statistics and trend analysis information! Too bad if you missed it. Oh, and everyone present received a copy of SWAN SONG, the semi-autobiographical account of land lease community history from 1970 to the present day.

17-19 September (Next weekend). MHI will (hopefully) hold it’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL. Will I see you there? Carolyn & I are attending this year – first time for her in many years. After this past week, we need to get away for a few days. Ha; as if this’ll be a picnic. In any case, it’s the one time each year the institute’s National Communities Council (NCC’) division holds its’ officer elections (pretty much already determined, given that proxy voting is not permitted), and we take a look at where we’ve been and where we’re maybe going as a realty asset class, a.k.a. income-producing property type. And of course, there’ll be several other division meetings occurring as well, plus the executive board meeting at the end. Expect to see between 100 & 200 registrants from all segments of the manufactured housing industry. Interested? Phone (703) 558-0400

11&12 October. The annual (6th?) SECO Conference. This year the event has moved to the Marietta Hilton in Marietta, GA., in anticipation of a crowd of 400 or more, to participate in a wide array of seminars & panels, as well as visiting a half dozen Community Series Homes on display. What’s ‘special’ about this gathering? It’s planned, facilitated and hosted entirely by businessmen and women, like the aforementioned Networking Roundtable, mostly from the land lease community segment of the manufactured housing industry. I always attend, to mingle with my peers from the Southeast, and to brief them as to the ‘Official State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class’. Interested? Reach out to genevieve@secoconference.com

1-3 November. Tired of meetings yet? If not, maybe travel to Chicago, IL., for the NCC’s Fall Leadership Forum. This event too is heavily patronized heavily, mostly by sole proprietors, general partners, and CEOs of property portfolios, as well as their real estate-secured mortgage originators of choice. For more info, phone (703- 558-0666.
Well, that about does it for this Fall. Sure, there’re other regional and state association meetings in the mix. But here you have the regional and national venues for our industry and asset class.

THAT’S ALL FOR THIS WEEK. Not enough time to concentrate on the blog during the Networking Roundtable.

***

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Blog # 462; Copyright 3 September 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. 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 MHBusiness performance!
____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION:

Part I. Will it soon be time to ‘rethink, reorganize, & renew’ manufactured housing lobbying and regulatory reform efforts in our nation’s capitol? Read to find out here!

Part II. Slowly increasing number of land lease community owners/operators being inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame!

I.

MHIndustry Recovery Threatened by HUD Overreach

If MHARR & MHI need one compelling reason to unseat the present administrator of the Manufactured Housing Program at HUD, here it is: MAGAnomics!

The following paragraph quoted from the Epilogue (p.73) of SWAN SONG, ‘George Allen’s History of the Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class (1970 – present day)’, makes the case for continuing manufactured housing return to prosperity.

“Have you heard or read of MAGAnomics (a.k.a. maganomics)? That’s short for ‘Make American Great Again economics’, where the national; (economic recovery) goal is ‘three percent improved and sustained annual GDP (Gross Domestic Product $) in year 2017 and thereafter!”

Well, guess what? Continuing…

“The HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, in terms of ‘production value’ alone (i.e. $ value of new homes built & shipped monthly) has been averaging
10.4 percent growth per year for the past four years, 2013. 2014, 2015, & 2016 –
with last year finishing at an impressive 15 percent! There’s every reason for that
growth to continue, IF we all do our part to bring the aforementioned New Era
paradigm shift to a happy conclusion before the end of this decade…2020!”*1

That is, unless our industry’s two Washington-based national advocacy bodies fail to unseat and replace the present overreaching administrator of HUD’s manufactured housing program, a carryover from the Obama administration.

Bottom line reality? No replacement = Far fewer new HUD-Code housing orders, shipments, and placements, as land lease community owners shy away from paying $5,000+ per rental homesite, to replace perfectly performing .manufactured housing foundations!

So, there you have it MHARR & MHI (Are you listening?). our manufactured housing industry is recovering from it’s nadir year 2009 (only 48,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped), and continuing, until MAGAnomic years 2013 thru 2016, and beyond! Will you allow the overreaching HUD administrator to “…claim authority to override state-law (and local) installation standards” and, “add new standards (establishing) requirement for carbon monoxide detection, stairways, fire safety considerations for attached garages, and draftstops….”, relative to increasing the cost of manufactured housing to would be homebuyer/site lessees? *2

If unsuccessful in efforts to preserve and encourage further recovery of the manufactured housing industry (Remember, we shipped 372,943+ new HUD-Code homes in 1998, and have only come back as far as 81,136 during year 2016!*3), then, in this veteran industry observer’s opinion, it’ll be high time to ‘ rethink, reorganize & renew’ manufactured housing lobbying and regulatory reform efforts in our nation’s capitol!

OK, there I’ve said it and written it! The public challenge to perform has been made. Now, what will YOU two do together or separately? We’re watching and listening!

End Notes.

1. ‘Production value’ is a measure defined, researched, and funded by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), so they should be comfortable using it as a tactical tool to ‘make the case’ for effecting immediate regulatory reform!

2. Quoted from MHARR email announcements dated 28 & 30 August 2017.

3. Quoted from the official ‘Mobile & Manufactured Housing Shipments Statistics,
from 1955 to present day, SWAN SONG, COBA7, Indianapolis, 2017, pp. 6&7

II.

To Date, only 6 1/2 Percent of RV/MH Hall of Fame Inductees Have been Land Lease Community Owners/operators

This year’s recent RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on 7 August, might be looked back upon as being historic in at least two ways:

• To date, only 6 1/2 percent of the nearly 400 Hall of Fame inductees have hailed from the land lease community segment of the manufactured housing industry. This year, accounting for the fact that half the inductees were from the RV ‘side of the house’ and half from MH, no less than 60 percent of the MH Class of 2017, were land lease community owners/operators! You remember; Spencer Roane, MHM, of GA; Mike Sullivan, CPM, of CA; and, Christine Lindsey, MHM, from TN. Let’s see if increased recognition of this segment of our industry continues during years to come.

• Then there’s the distinctive green blazer with gold RV/MH crest, worn by many Hall of Fame inductees. This year, more green blazers were seen than at any previous annual banquet. That speaks loudly of the loyalty and ongoing support of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, by not only donors, but Hall of Fame inductees as well! And now the call has gone out nationwide, to national and state advocacy entities, beginning with this week’s 26th Networking Roundtable in Indianapolis, and its’ Thursday evening reception, green blazers should be worn by Hall of Fame members present at the event. This is not a self-aggrandizement exercise; rather, well deserved recognition of our industry and asset class’ pioneers and leaders! And word has it, green blazers will be welcome at MHI’s annual Awards Banquet on 18 September in Orlando, FL.

***

George Allen, CPM, MHM
COBA7, a division of GFA Management, dba PMN Publishing
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

The Most Important Blog Posting Ever, from George Allen, CPM & MHM

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Blog # 461; Copyright 27 August 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance, a.k.a. 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 MHBusiness performance!

_____________________________________________________________________

INTRODUCTION. Some will say I saved the Best for Last. You decide…

Part I should be important to YOU! Act NOW if you desire to continue receiving this weekly BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) & its’ imbedded website blog posting.

Part II announces distribution of the COBA7 letter & questionnaire used to research, compile and pen the annual (29th year!) ALLEN REPORT in early 2018.

Part III is a summary of progress re COBA7s’ Four Part Legacy during 2017!

Part IV, a Networking Roundtable update re Challenge Coins, SWAN SONG text, & most important, National MHIndustry Input Day – the third of four opportunities during 2017!

Part V. The ‘word is now out’! Two national manufactured housing advocacy entities face an ACID TEST of their respective effectiveness, representing & lobbying in behalf of the beleaguered manufactured housing industry & its’ land lease community realty asset class! What is this ACID TEST? Read, find out, & encourage them to perform now!

I.

Winnowing BEBA at Community-Investor.com

We’re scouring the ‘Blast Email Blog Alert’ list of 1,000+/-, removing casual & occasional readers, to better serve businessmen, women & association executives with ‘skin in the games’ of manufactured housing, land lease community ownership/operations, & state/national advocacy leadership!

Unlike another website blog, self-obsessed with boasts of unconfirmed mega-audience claims, community-investor.com is redoubling efforts to focus on high quality posted material & a serious readership – not salacious (‘impure’) news & exaggerated bragging of influence penned vaingloriously. So, how will this winnowing (‘weeding out’) of the BEBA list occur?

Present recipients of this BEBA (again, ‘Blast Email Blog Alert’) and its’ imbedded link to weekly blog postings at community-investor.com, must email their Request to Continue Receipt of same beyond 10 September 2017. Use gfa7156@aol.com Following the initial call for such confirmation, in blog posting # 460, dozens of manufactured housing, land lease community folk, and trade advocacy leaders have already requested to remain on the BEBA list! Are YOU interested likewise, and have you expressed your desire to stay informed? Don’t Delay; Do So Today!

II.

It’s That Time of Year Again!

Watch your USPS (United States Postal Service) mail during September! Why? Because the annual letter & questionnaire used to research, compile, pen, print & distribute – in this case – the 29th annual ALLEN REPORT, will soon be coming your way, if you’re one of 500+/- land lease community portfolio owners/operators domiciled throughout North America!

This is, by far, the most difficult (i.e. Chasing & documenting benchmark statistics), yet rewarding research project COBA7 engages in year after year after year. The often 12 page ALLEN REPORT is purchased (via Option II affiliation @ $544.95/year with COBA7), read, and publicly referenced by hundreds, if not thousands, of investors and property managers, in the U.S. & Canada, engaged in land lease community ownership and or operations. Key parts of the report include: COBA7 national advocacy update, Year to Date Retrospective, Statistical Primer, LLCommunity portfolio data (e.g. occupancy, OER%s, # rental & contract sale units, & national site rent survey), list of all participating property portfolios, REIT growth chart from 1994 to present day by site counts; # of LLCommunities per state); and major $ sponsors – with contact information – of most recent Networking Roundtable. Where else and from whom can you, if owning/operating one or more land lease communities, can you obtain such valuable information? Nowhere! To order your copy of the 29th ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators’, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

ANNOUNCEMENT. It’s already general, common knowledge I’m looking to at least semi-retire in the near future, to concentrate on authoring books long awaiting my attention (e.g. Letters Home from Vietnam, 1968 & 69; also, a new edition of Chapbook of Business & Management Wisdom – used copies are presently sold on Amazon.com for $85.00. We used to charge $24.95 postpaid.) Anyway, if you’re research & writer capable, industry & asset class experienced, and highly motivated to serve your peers in the manufactured housing industry and this unique income-producing property type; and would like to discuss partnering on this major annual project, reach me via gfa7156@aol.com or (317) 346-7156. Better yet, make your desire known to me, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis, IN., at the 26th annual International Networking Roundtable. Details in the BEBA introducing this blog posting.

III.

COBA7’s Four Part Legacy During Year 2017

Earlier in the year, this blog described COBA7’s Four Part Legacy, as being

• Design, minting, & distribution of the first ever COBA7 Challenge Coin! This has been accomplished, and COBA7 affiliates are encouraged to bring theirs to the Networking Roundtable for an opportunity to select free copies of George Allen’s books and other surprises. Like a secret handshake, the COBA7 Challenge Coin has become a tangible symbol of solidarity & motivation among land lease community owners/operators, small to large in size. Have yours? If not; affiliate!

• Design, print, and distribute the manufactured housing industry’s first ever Pocket Glossary & Lexicon of MHIndustry & LLCommunity trade terms! This too has been accomplished. Do you have a copy? If not; affiliate with COBA7 soon.

• Author, print and bind the land lease community property type’s first ever Official history (1970 to present day) of the realty asset class! That too will be accomplished when FREE copies of Swan Song are distributed to attendees at the aforementioned Networking Roundtable. No fewer than 112 past and present pioneers and leaders in manufactured housing and land lease community ownership and management are identified in this text – along with an Autograph page on which to collect same, from those present at the annual networking event.

• 29th ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. The ‘Who’s Who Among Land Lease Community Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’ will soon be in the research stage, compiled during November, and distributed during January 2018. Again; available to Option II & III affiliates of COBA7. Have you ever asked yourself? Where would we be today, as land lease community owners/operators, without this annual compendium of realty asset class valuable knowledge? And who will continue this important service into the future? No other national manufactured housing advocacy body has shown any interest in serving land lease community businessmen and women in this fashion. Think about it. Suggestions?

While that’s been a full plate for COBA7 during 2017, plans are already afoot for next year. No new Challenge Coin, no more Pocket Glossary & Lexicon; and no more new books, for the time being. However, there is one project, first debuted during the Spring of 2016, that will likely recur during the Spring of 2018, hopefully under the joint leadership and planning of IMHA/RVIC (Indiana) and COBA7. This is the popular ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales/Financing Seminars’, likely held again at the RV/MH Hall of Fame museum & library in Elkhart, IN. If you’d like to help with this project, or simply put your name on an ‘advance notice list’, contact Ron Breymier via (317) 247-6258.

IV.

Networking Roundtable Update

So much to tell you to get ready for, if attending, it’s impossible to describe it all here; so just a couple highlights to keep in mind:

• If a COBA7 affiliate, bring your COBA7 Challenge Coin! Doing so, will reward you with an opportunity to ‘pick a prize’, and there are many of them!

• Be prepared for in interesting, educational, albeit fun ‘read’ as you work your way through Swan Song. You’ll recognize much of what is described; but then again, there are tales shared that have become classics in the manufactured housing industry, and stories which have never before been published, e.g. Saddlebrook Farms, Florida Communities, and more! Also 112+ individuals named.

• 3rd national Manufactured Housing Input Day! This will be the third of four regional opportunities to make your views, on issues & matters, known! First it was in Chicago, then in Elkhart, now in Indianapolis, and finally, in mid-October, in Atlanta, GA. So, come prepared to vent, and know your input will go into a White Paper to be prepared later this year, for submission to all three national advocates for manufactured housing and land lease communities

• A new unique feature! The Networking Roundtable is long famous for 1) its’ 45 minute ‘stand & introduce yourself’ networking jump start at the beginning of every annual event; 2) everyone standing & pledging allegiance to the American flag; 3) an informal prayer meeting Friday morning ever since infamous 9/11 (2001); and, 4) ongoing, tangible support of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, and MHGives! – the manufactured housing industry’s official charity! Well, this year we’re adding this feature: RV/MH Hall of Fame inductees, present at the roundtable, are encouraged to wear their distinctive green blazer, &/or gold RV/MH ring, to the Thursday evening reception. to highlight that land lease communities have ‘come into their own’ as regular Hall of Fame inductees!

NO, it’s not too late to register for the Networking Roundtable! Simply review the attachment to the BEBA introducing this blog, then left click on the imbedded registration information contained within said BEBA. Or, phone us via (317) 346-7156. And remember, attendance is capped at 200, and we’re close to that number!

V.

Saving the Best – or Worst, for Last.

The ‘word is out’ all over the manufactured housing industry! The ACID TEST, of whether manufactured housing ‘survives & thrives’ OR ‘shrivels & dies’, lies with ‘Who’s administering HUD’s manufactured housing program’! There’s no other way to describe this timely matter clearly and succinctly.

&

There’s more, much more! A long standing, but only recently emerging public corollary (‘a proposition proved incidentally in proving another’), has to do with whether ‘big business’ (i.e. certain housing manufacturers & third party chattel capital finance firms) by dint of their dominance of national advocacy policy & efforts, precipitates the latter course (‘shrivels & dies’) OR former one (survives & thrives’) to occur, given their pervasive institutional and political clout; and how or whether, they deliver for the ‘prosperity of their few’ OR the ‘good of the many’ – meaning me & YOU!. One pundit (‘learned man’) suggests one national advocate is inclined to effect the former via regulatory reform; while another is inclined to the latter, to increase their national market shares.

Enough said for now. But ‘stay tuned’ here, to learn how Word & Action, pursuant to this ACID TEST, unfolds during the days, weeks, & months ahead. Another good reason YOU need to take steps NOW to continue receiving BEBAs like this in the future!

***

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

Manufactured Housing Conspiracy revisited; Networkng Roundtable; &, PROSPERITY NOW

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Blog # 460; Copyright 20 August 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

INTRODUCTION: Reader response to last week’s blog posting re ‘manufactured housing conspiracy’ has been nearly overwhelming and supportive. Enough so, we’ll dig a little deeper in paragraphs to follow. Are YOU registered to attend the 26th annual Networking Roundtable yet? (317) 346-7156 or via gfa7156@aol.com. And ‘Prosperity Now’, is the new name a misnomer or sending a subtle intentional message? You decide….

I.

Revisiting the ‘Manufactured Housing Conspiracy’

Have you thought any further on this heady, hapless (‘unfortunate’) matter? If not, you should. Why? Because, frankly, the immediate & distant future(s) of HUD-Code manufactured housing ‘hangs in the balance’, depending on the answer to this question:

‘WHO is going to pay for often unnecessary rental homesite foundation retrofits in land lease communities, by dint of HUD’s dictating new HUD-Code home installation standards, supposedly better than Installation Manual guidance prepared by manufacturers who engineer, fabricate and ship every new manufactured home?’

The choice among answers, as I see them, include:

1. Manufacturers of new HUD-Code homes?

2. Land lease community owners/operators?

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

Why is this a critical, and necessary exercise in judgment and decision making?

1. In the first instance, often unnecessary but ‘required by regulation’ foundation retrofits cost at least $5,000.00 per rental homesite, an anti-affordable housing expense likely to be added to the price of every new, otherwise ‘affordable’ HUD-Code manufactured home going into a land lease community!

2. And, in the second instance, as installation consultant George Porter, and the Frost Free Foundation (‘FFF’) engineers who researched and described, in already published, and initially approved by HUD, effective methodology, ‘below the frost line’ foundations are not necessary in instances of properly drained rental homesites under manufactured homes fully and properly skirted!

Back to the pivotal question. If HUD is not ‘stopped in its’ tracks’ SOON, WHO will be paying for foundation retrofits going forward? Here’re three sobering (conspirational?) thoughts to ponder:

1. We have two national advocacy entities (Read ‘lobbyists’) in Washington, DC., both of which are primarily, if not wholly, funded by HUD-Code housing manufacturers. Their primary interest and focus is obvious.

2. At the same time, there is no Washington, DC – based national advocacy (Again, read ‘lobbyist’) entity exclusively fighting legislative and regulatory battles in behalf of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) nationwide! So, no primary champion, in my opinion, in Washington, DC., despite protestations to the contrary, and the occasional initiative (Thinking here of MHI & MHARR letters to HUD this past week) in our behalf.

3. There isn’t even, among all three national advocacy entities (i.e. MHI, MHARR & COBA7) one who has an executive working fulltime (e.g. lobbying) in behalf of land lease communities nationwide! How can 50,000 land lease communities nationwide be anything but a fulltime job?

So, with those present day realities in mind; again, WHO will wind up paying for foundation retrofits? It’s high time for fulltime land lease community representation, relative to political and regulatory matters, in Washington, DC.! The likely alternatives?

1) MHI’s continued reliance on part time staffing of its’ National Communities Council division, i.e. No change to the status quo! In my opinion, this is marginal representation at best. And representation will continue unchanging and unchangeable until proxy voting is permitted during NCC (election) meetings!

2) MHARR’s suggestion a new national trade entity be founded, funded by and working exclusively for, post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry in general, land lease communities in particular. A controversial idea for sure, but maybe the only way to ratchet up all post-production representation.

3) COBA7 stepping up to this challenge via, a) in partnership with MHI & its’ NCC division = unlikely; b) as nucleus of new post-production representation in Washington; or c) continuing to grow in size and influence, primarily representing land lease communities in the Midwest and elsewhere. New leadership is already materializing in IN, IL, MI, GA, & CA….

The problem is, ‘time is of the essence’. We are fortunate to have a president who’s Making America Great Again, by reducing federal government intrusion in all walks of life and commerce, but continues to battle overt and covert resistance, even offensives, from the ‘deep state’, comprised of holdovers from the previous administration and career bureaucrats in fear of being drained from the swamp of Washington, DC. politics.

So, if we (You & Me) don’t speak up forcefully and now, we deserve what is foisted upon us ( a la MHConspiracy) in the form of new home installation regulation overreach at $5,000.00 per site, likely paid for by land lease community owners/operators like thee and me!

What to do? For starters, be present at the 26th International Networking Roundtable, for land lease community owners/operators, 6-8 September, in Indianapolis (MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. This is the third Official Input Opportunity to make your views known relative to industry/asset class matters and issues! See you there?

If not; don’t complain when the manufactured housing conspiracy turns against you!

Your fourth and final Official Input Opportunity this year, will occur the SECO Conference, in Atlanta, GA., 11 & 12 October. Visit secoconference.com

Now, here’s a telling question for you, for all of us. Will this loosely described ‘manufactured housing conspiracy’, be specifically described and discussed, relative to shortfall(s) in land lease community representation, at MHI’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL., 18 & 19 September? Call & ask: (703) 558-0400.

II.

Speaking of the 26th Networking Roundtable, an Update…

Registrations continue to arrive strongly. However, The Alexander Hotel block of rooms for this event expires tomorrow, on Monday 21 August. So, if coming to Indianapolis, phone (855) 200-3002 and make your reservation today! Identify yourself as ’26th Anniversary International Networking Roundtable’, to get our special rack rate.

Coming to the Networking Roundtable as a COBA7 affiliate? Bring your COBA7 Challenge Coin! Maybe a pleasant surprise or two in store for you…

MOBILE HOME PARK MANAGEMENT was the first book I authored, way back in 1988, for this industry and realty asset class. SWAN SONG will likely be my last. Accordingly, I have built some new and progressive features into this ‘history of the land lease community asset class; 1970 to present day; and, first Official History of MHShipments, from 1955 to present day. Such as? A metaphorical title, as you’ll see when you’re handed your FREE copy at the beginning of the event. Of course you already know this is the ‘first history ever’ of our unique, income-producing property type. More than 100 notables named in the text. I’m working on a ‘name & page # index to ease one’s names search, so you can collect autographs and bon mots while at the Roundtable! And those never-before-published stories, that grace each of the five chapters, will make for an interesting and engaging ‘read’.

III.

Prosperity Now

You’ve already read about this recent name change, from CFED*1 (‘Corporation for Enterprise Development’) to PROSPERITY NOW, in press releases, the Allen Letter professional journal and elsewhere.

Well, from the very beginning, something bothered me about the new moniker for this financial coaching national non-profit entity. Finally identified the irritant, and here it is….
In my opinion, PROSPERTIY NOW would have been better named PROSPERTIY EARNED. Think about it. In the former instance, the new name smacks of entitlement mentality and our increasingly welfare culture. It’s a demand on society for support, not a challenge to individuals to excel and earn one’s prosperity! Another way of saying it is, wealth equity is earned, not given, nor should it be taken away and or redistributed by fiat (‘decree’).

But the die is cast, and I don’t expect to see any further changes soon. But I do think there’s a quiet, albeit hidden social message, in PROSPERITY NOW. How ’bout you?

As is oft said, ‘Forewarned is forearmed!’ when Prosperity ‘Now’, not ‘earned’, comes a-calling.

End note *1. CFED cum PROSPERITY NOW based in Washington, DC., is “…dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for low-income families.

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

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

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Blog # 459; Copyright @ 13 August 2017; at community-investor.com/blog

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

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

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

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

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

I.

Is a Manufactured Housing Conspiracy Theory Afoot?

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

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

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

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

1. Manufacturers of HUD-Code homes

2. Land lease community owners/operators, or

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

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

II.

MHAlive! Think Tank, a Success!

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

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

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

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

III.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV.

There’s a New Autobiography in Town!

AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE?

‘Straight Talk From A Business Rebel’

by Sam Zell

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

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

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

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

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

***

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