Challenge Coins, Land-lease Communities, & Foundations in Freezing Climates

Blog # 418 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 23 October 2016; 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 advocacy voice; official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for 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 transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION: Don’t you think it’s high time for us, who’re in the manufactured housing industry & land-lease community realty asset class, to pull ourselves out of our doldrums, and take command of our individual and collective futures with enthusiasm and aplomb (‘self-confidence’)? If you agree, read Part I with close interest, and when done, ‘commit to do likewise’ in your sphere of influence! And Part II describes a minor trade terminology adjustment long overdue. It’s done now, so let’s never use the ‘mobile home park’ & manufactured home community monikers again, to describe our unique, income-producing property type! Long live land-lease communities! Part III belongs on every LLCommunity owner/operator’s desk – as a ready and comprehensive reference relative to MHInstallations. As you read through the 38 pages, be asking yourself: ‘Hmm. Is this guide, somehow, a precursor to HUD wanting to expand its’ authority, and oversee MHInstallations within LLCommunities in every state? Some already think so….

I.

COBA7® to Introduce Challenge Coins to Manufactured Housing Industry & Land-lease Communities Nationwide

Are you a home manufacturer, MHRetailer, land-lease community owner/operator, or lender, active in the manufactured housing industry? If so, you know what it’s been like these past 16 years, enduring the ‘loss of easy access to chattel capital’ to finance new HUD-Code homes on-site in communities, experiencing the worst new home shipment slide in the 75year history of the MHBusiness, and suffering oppressive financial regulation.

Well, it appears matters are ‘looking up’ for us of late! Manufacturers are selling an increasing volume of new Community Series Homes directly into land-lease communities (up from 12,000 in 2009 to 28,000 in 2015), property owners/operators have figured out how to seller-finance them (via ‘contract sale’, lease-option, even renting units), and we’re learning to live with provisions of the S.A.F.E. Act, Dodd-Frank legislation, & the CFPB. And there’s more a-coming…

New HUD-Code shipment volume is up for this year! Land-lease communities continue to enjoy a ‘sellers’ market’, as many site a continuing flow of new HUD-Code homes on vacant rental homesites; and since 2014, the two perennial national advocates for manufactured housing have been joined by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. This international provider of key products (statistical reports, directories & newsletters) and services (networking & deal-making opportunities, and professional property management training, i.e. MHM®), is announcing here, an historic innovation intended and designed to increase individual and corporate esprit de corps industry wide!

Esprit de Corps. It’s ‘a feeling of pride, fellowship and common loyalty shared by members of a particular group’, and there are several ways to encourage and build it among peers, especially those in the manufactured housing industry!

A way to begin is, as the title of this blog posting suggests, introduce and distribute Challenge Coins nationwide. What’s a Challenge Coin? Well, they’ve been around since soldiers started using them during WWI – as a personal recognition tool, to identify with the unit in which they served. There are even instances where lives were spared, when a soldier – when challenged, produced his unit’s Challenge Coin as proof of identity and affiliation.

Challenge Coins, vary in size, from a quarter to silver dollar, and are frequently carried, pridefully, by firefighters, law enforcement officers, athletes, members of social clubs and fraternal bodies. And of course all branches of the U.S. military are frequent carriers – and exchangers – of Challenge Coins, as they make for attractive conversation stimulators, and encourage esprit de corps among those carrying them.

Well, COBA7® is designing its’ unique Challenge Coin, with plans to distribute them to affiliates, as they annually renew their relationship with the alliance. They’ll also be distributed selectively to housing manufacturers, lenders, and others, active in the MHIndustry and among LLCommunities, beginning 17 January 2017. And frankly, they’ll also be available for purchase; as it’s hoped other segments of the industry and asset class will rise to the ‘challenge’ and produce their own unique Challenge Coin – for distribution to their MHInsiders, and for trading among colleagues in other sectors.

What will COBA7®’s Challenge Coin look like? Well, the final die has not yet been cast, but the basic obverse design is attached to this blog posting. And the reverse side of the coin will likely include the COBA7® motto: Where ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!, plus it’s Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

So, if already a COBA7® affiliate, expect to receive your Challenge Coin sometime after the first of the year when you renew, maybe even at the Louisville MHShow in mid-January. If not affiliated, use COBA7® brochure attached to this blog posting to do so. And, if a housing manufacturers, lender, or other corporate entity in the MHIndustry, start now to design your unique Challenge Coin, as your contribution to the fostering of esprit de corps far and wide! Need a Challenge Coin source? Suggest you reach out to Spotlight Strategies via (317) 738-3434 & spotlight-strategies.com.

While I doubt it’ll come to this, there is indeed a ‘challenge’ aspect relative to Challenge Coins, and it goes like this. Imagine a small group sitting around a table, and one individual turns to another and says, “Are you carrying your firm’s Challenge Coin?” If the answer is ‘no’, the ‘challenged’ individual buys the next round of drinks for everyone sitting around the table. However, if he/she produces their Challenge Coin, the ‘challenger’ buys the next round of drinks. Hmm. MHCongress here we come!”

For the time being; think about it! Every business entity is unique, and could produce a Challenge Coin worth carrying, sharing, and collecting. For example: HUD-Code home manufacturers might give their Challenge Coin to a LLCommunity customer when they bought their first home (to encourage product loyalty); same with a realty mortgage originator when an acquisition or refinance loan ‘closes’. And on and on. I know I’m looking forward to finally enjoying using a Challenge Coin to build esprit de corps among COBA7® affiliates, other business associates, even the national organizations to which my firm belongs. How ‘bout you?

II.

COBA7® Tweaks MHIndustry Trade Terminology

Debated whether to even mention this or not, since it’s such a small tweak. However, to avoid any chance for confusion, here goes:

Ever since it became apparent, soon after the turn of the century, that ‘mobile home parks’ of yore, and manufactured home communities of yesterday, no longer just sited ‘mobile homes’ in the first instance; and, manufactured housing & ‘mobile homes’ in the latter, it seemed appropriate to refer to our unique, income-producing property type as being a land-lease-lifestyle community, or LLLCommunity for short. Especially since no fewer than six types of shelter had become commonplace therein, i.e. ‘mobile homes’, manufactured housing, modular homes, ‘park model RVs’, RVs for a season, even stick-built homes constructed on-site to imitate manufactured housing (latter instance only in Florida after major hurricanes). Lifestyle had been inserted in the moniker, as a nod to the unique ‘lifestyle’ enjoyed by homebuyer/site lessees; no more, no less.

Well, the time has come to drop ‘lifestyle’ from the trade term, leaving it simply as land-lease community, or LLCommunity for short. Why? Because the ‘lifestyle’ insertion simply has not caught on among journalists, owners/operators, etc.. BUT, more and more, I read and hear of folk using the land-lease community label, and I like it! So, officially right here; as far as this veteran MHIndustry observer is concerned, the ‘mobile home park’ of yore, the manufactured home community of yesterday, and land-lease-lifestyle community since the turn of the century, is now – in November 2016 – officially and practically…

Land-lease community, or LLCommunity for short!

III.

‘Manufactured Home Foundations in Freezing Climates’

This is the title of the 38 page ‘Assessment of Design & Installation Practices for Manufactured Homes in Climates with Seasonally Frozen Ground’, prepared by SEBA Professional Services, LLC., for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, Office of Manufactured Housing Programs.

Want a copy? Go to www.manufacturedhousinginstallation.com

This document is so new we (COBA7®) haven’t even had an opportunity to read and study it thoroughly. But we encourage you to reach out and obtain a copy ASAP, as confusion seems to be rampant among states, land-lease community owners/operators, installers, and state MHAssociations as to what’s ‘right’ and what’s ‘wrong’ in this area of manufactured housing practice these days.

***

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

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