Own a LLLCommunity? Affiliate with COBA7

COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 312 @ 31 August 2014 Copyright 2014

Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting ‘is a national advocacy voice, ombudsman press*, statistical research reporter, & online communications resource for all LLLCommunities in North America!’

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

*ombudsman press. ‘Manufactured housing’s ronin, fielding inquiries, complaints, etc.’

Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com website:

I.

More Responses to ‘Consequences, Good & Bad, of LLLCommunity Consolidation’. Whew! Three weeks & running; and pithy commentary continues to arrive, for consideration and sharing with blog floggers at community-investor.com

II.

+$1,000 In New Home Price = Loss of 347,901 singlesection homebuyers, or 315,385 multisection homebuyers! Who’d a ‘thunk’ reduction in number of ‘new homes shipped’, as a consequence of increasing manufactured home, by $1,000.00., would be so severe?

III.

COBA7® = ‘the Right Stuff’! Of course you probably already know that, but it doesn’t hurt to look back over the past nine months and document how this exciting NEW ERA for LLLCommunity owners/operators is rapidly unfolding, and readying for year 2015!

I.

More Responses to ‘Consequences, Good & Bad,
of LLLCommunity Consolidation’

“I like the idea of redirecting (floor) dues from home manufacturers, to the (national) associations that perform – nice!” NB

May I say, “I continue to tell you so” regarding HUD (over) regulating our business. “Just stop it and go for local regulatory rules – much simpler since the introduction of nationwide (building) codes for housing. Housing price is a function of land cost, use of home and features anyway. We should do this and get out from under HUD’s thumb!” SS Whoa! STOP here & reread this paragraph, before proceeding to the next two paragraphs….Ready now? Then read…

Editorial Comment # 1. It’s been of more than passing personal interest, how an expose’ describing ‘Good & Bad Consequences of Land-lease-lifestyle Consolidation’, has drawn equal amounts of reader comment from the manufactured housing production/distribution ‘side of the house’ (excusing the pun), as from land-lease-lifestyle community quarters. Methinks all is not as ‘well as we’re led to believe’, by national advocacy entities representing the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry. Read on….

Editorial Comment # 2. The two paragraphs following, are quoted from the September 2014 edition of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter:

Referencing an earlier quote in last weeks blog posting (# 312), regarding HUD’s imposition of a “165% inspection fee increase”. I now admit, “…I’ve been played as a journalist patsy (‘unwilling victim of a scheme, plot or practical joke’) regarding this matter! All along, as I criticized the ‘extreme $ increase’, I’d been suspicious as to WHY there hadn’t been more of an uproar from HUD-Code home manufacturers over this unprecedented arbitrary addition to the price of their homes? Now I believe I know why. And the ‘behind the scenes reason is, while abhorrent, probably necessary’, in the minds of some if not all industry leaders! So, I’ll restrain myself now, to simply sharing the headline (and definition) I’d have given the story, if breaking it here. In my opinion, the

‘Manufactured Housing Industry Likely Suffers From Stockholm Syndrome’

or captive-bonding. According to Wikipedia, “…a psychological phenomenon in which hostages (manufactured housing) express empathy and sympathy, and have positive feeling toward their captor (regulator) to the point of defending and identifying with (or perpetuating) with them.”

Think about it. The logic is intact, and (hint) stretches back over six years of shipments.

And if the full and true story ever does come out, my question will be: ‘While I can see how the decision to acquiesce, benefits the manufacturing/distribution side of the house (once again excusing the pun), are land-lease-lifestyle communities – now routinely siting six different types of shelter, hence the generic moniker, better or worse off than had ‘the industry’ not been so supportive?’ Unfortunately, I doubt ‘that question’ will ever be fully addressed let alone answered, given the home manufacturer-heavy presence and influence, in and upon the two national advocacy bodies representing them (us?) in our nation’s capitol today. At least for the time being, it appears LLLCommunity owners/operators, including the property portfolio folk, are simply ‘along for the ride’.

A final word to those who ‘patsied’ me. You have stained your cred. Now I suspect…

II.

+$1,000.00 in New Home Price
Excludes 347,901 – 315,385 Homebuyers!

Specifically, NAHB* “…research shows the number of households that become unable to qualify for new home financing, for each $1,000.00 added to the retail price of a manufactured home’ are

347,901 singlesection home buyers, or
315,385 multisecton home buyers

This quoted from MHARR’s Press Release dated 21 August 2014.

And, * = National Association of Home Builders or NAHB

Keep these numbers of ‘lost customers’ in mind as you read the following.

In yet another communiqué from the national advocacy body, Mark Weiss argues recent DOE (Department of Energy) testimony regarding possible future ‘energy conservation standards’ decries movement dangerously close to impacting (read ‘raising’) “…the purchase price of manufactured housing, AND, the total life-cycle construction and operating costs.” of said homes. The commentary then argues; IF, due to the increased purchase price of a manufactured home (e.g. for every $1,000.00 increase = loss of 300,000+ buyers), there is NO ‘sale’; therefore, NO ‘life-cycle construction & operating cost’ factor either!

Later in the same report, mention is made, at least twice: of ‘affordability’, and how “…(home) manufacturers want to maintain the fundamental purchase price affordability of manufactured housing….” No argument there. However, in this industry observer’s opinion, when anyone – within & outside HUD-Code manufactured housing and LLLCommunity circles, makes ‘more than passing mention’ of affordability, affordable housing, or housing affordability, they should, in the interest of serving and educating their readership, include within the narrative, or via proper footnoting, a working definition of what ‘they mean’ by use of the term! Frankly, it took me a (too) long time to learn, and now practice this basic truth and consideration.

So, here’s the helpful and instructive description of ‘affordable housing’, used by many practitioners throughout the housing industry today:

Working definition of housing ‘affordability’: “Housing is affordable when individuals or households ‘…earning less than half the Area Median Income or AMI’ can afford to rent a conventional apartment (That is, without any $ subsidy) and or buy a home in their local housing market.” Yes, the definition can be as simple and understandable as that! This definition quoted from the COBA7 Official WHITE PAPER, page # 17; in turn cited from Bruce Savage’s popular book, The First 20 Years! a history of MHI’s NCC, 2013.

How to apply the AMI of any local housing market (‘LHM’) in the U.S., per postal zip code or county? Access zipskinny.com, or better yet, google Area Median Income and click onto Fannie Mae’s website for county AMIs. For example, the average national AMI in 2013 was $51,000+/-. Individuals and households (i.e. More than one wage earner contributing to the monthly housing cost or PITI…principal, interest, taxes, insurance) earning $25,100/year should be able to afford to rent a conventional apartment, or buy a house in the U.S. The hard truth, however, is many LHMs, across the U.S. have AMIs in the neighborhood of say $36,000; meaning the citizenry has only $18,000/year with which to rent a conventional apartment or buy a house – affordably! Also understand, AMI can be the same $ amount as an individual or households’ AGI or Annual Gross Income, when calculating PITI.

So, where do we go from here? Since

1) easily accessible chattel capital, via independent, third party lenders, has not returned to the HUD-Code manufactured housing scene

2) the ‘new breed of MHRetailer & lender’ trend, among LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators, continues to mature – but not among all Mom & Pop investors

3) we still have no secondary market for the marketing/sale of resale homes, to stimulate ‘new home sales’ (&)

4) we still have no secondary market for converting ‘contract sale paper’ into cash, to support more seller-financing of on-site sale of homes in LLLCommunities.

WE – as an industry and realty asset class – can NOT afford to allow, let alone encourage, via ‘research alliances’ and otherwise, encroachments on the competitive (Read ‘affordable’) pricing of HUD-Code manufactured homes by fiat or otherwise! So, whether a direct, dues-paying member of the Manufactured Housing Institute and/or Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, encourage your elected and salaried leaders to be ever vigilant for efforts, via HUD, DOE, and elsewhere, threatening your livelihood, even the very existence of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry, and its’ land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class.

Unless of course, the shedding of 40 year regulatory ties, and loss of key benefits like ‘federal preemption’, ultimately leads to more freedom in the factory production, national marketing, and increased sales volume of new affordable homes to this nation’s citizenry! Hmm, something to openly consider. Wonder if we’ll ever openly talk about it, let alone do anything about the status quo?

III.

COBA7® = ‘the Right Stuff!’

A COBA7® affiliate wrote to us recently, and had this to say:

“Hey George, really like the COBA7® motto:

‘U Support Us & We Serve U!

He went on to observe, “Says it all, doesn’t it? But know what? The Best Part is the alliance’s Right Mix of the following:

• ‘Easy daily access, by email, phone & fax, to get answers to manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community questions, even just someone to talk to about industry/asset class matters.’ Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

• ‘Weekly online communication, via blog posting at community-investor, about ‘What’s really happening’ within manufactured housing & LLLCommunity circles, & what’s ‘about to happen to us’.’ Via community-investor.com

• ‘Practical print resources and helpful directories, updated and distributed monthly, that are available nowhere else, at any price, throughout the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity asset class.’

Please don’t change this mix or leave us!” Know what? I couldn’t have described ‘much of COBA7® ‘ any better myself.

The affiliate, however, omitted mentioning COBA7®’s ongoing research regarding LLLCommunities (i.e. Annual ALLEN REPORT questionnaire goes into the mail this coming week! Watch for it & return it ASAP); our unique interpersonal networking and deal-making opportunities (e.g. 23rd International Networking Roundtable, 10-12 September, in Peachtree City, GA.) & elsewhere; professional property management training & certification via Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® program (e.g. next class = 30 September in Atlanta, GA.); assumption of Ombudsman (press) responsibilities for manufactured housing & LLLCommunities nationwide; and, most recently, the researching and preparation of an Official WHITE PAPER, to serve as basis of two National Public Forums on 9/11, where the Future of the Manufactured Housing Industry , & Future of LLLCommunities, will be discussed among 200 businessmen and women from throughout the U.S. & Canada. And don’t forget the two new Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, to be introduced at this venue: National Directories of RE Brokers Specializing in Marketing of ‘for sale’ LLLCommunities; and, for the first time since the demise of Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, a National Directory of all the HUD-Code Home Manufacturers!

Know what’s ‘most encouraging of all’, besides the 200+ who’ve already affiliated? How federal agencies now routinely contact COBA7® to acquire one or more of the SSRDs ‘they’ve long searched for’ (e.g. annual ALLEN REPORT), subscribe to the Allen Letter, and ask to learn more about the MHIndustry and LLLCommunity asset class to boot. It’s safe to say, by the end of 2014, COBA7® will have achieved a unique and valuable national identity for this realty segment of manufactured housing’s post-production business presence! Are you affiliated?

Has all this piqued your interest in COBA7® as a national alliance of businessmen and women, with an affinity for manufactured housing and LLLCommunities? If so, you’re encouraged to phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to request a COBA7® brochure describing the ‘seven parts’ or functions, that comprise all the alliance does for the industry and asset class nationwide.

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