Senator Todd Young to Address 28th Networking Roundtable on 9 September 2019

Blog # 530 @ 22 April 2019; www.educatemhc.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

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INTRODUCTION. HUD Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson, appearing at MHI’s annual MHCongress in New Orleans next week; and now, Senator Todd Young, keynoting the 28th annual Networking Roundtable in Indianapolis (8-10 September 2019), clearly demonstrate ‘manufactured housing & land lease communities’ increasingly important role in addressing this nation’s worsening ‘affordable housing crisis’. You owe it to yourself to attend one or both these major events!

And to this end, like it or not, the time has come to ‘describe & address’ the ‘freedom & bondage’ scenario now often playing out among institutional investment grade land lease communities being acquired – according to sources – by large private equity firms willing to overpay for the opportunity to invest in a markedly scarce commercial real estate investment type.

If a copy of SWAN SONG is not in your office, and handy as a reference regarding ‘all things land lease community’, it should be! Here are a dozen excellent reasons for you to order your copy!

I.

U.S. Senator to Keynote 28th Networking Roundtable

‘Affordable Housing Focus to Highlight Important Role of HUD-Code Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Community Lifestyle!’

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-IN) leads a nine senator ‘Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act’, and will be addressing this timely topic at the 28th annual national gathering of HUD-Code housing manufacturers and land lease community owners/operators. The event occurs at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN., 8 -10 September 2019.

In addition to Senator Young’s address, there will be seminars and panels teaching HOW TO 1)’buy, sell, & seller-finance new HUD-Code homes on-site in land lease communities’; 2) grow occupancy and promote the unique lifestyle via cultivating good resident relations; and3) – for the first time at any national manufactured housing venue – preview premier videos, filmed within communities across the U.S. by IMPACT MHC, and winning entries in the Noble Home Video contest sponsored by ROC USA!

If you own and operate one or more land lease communities in the U.S. and Canada, you owe it to yourself to be present at this stellar event in early September. For information and to register, visit www.educatemhc.com

II.

End of an Era

Means Freedom for Some, Bondage for Others….

When elderly developer patriarchs and matriarchs of large, stable institutional investment grade land lease communities (i.e. 100+ rental homesites in size @ 95 percent occupancy) relinquish control of these unique income-producing properties, usually upon their demise, several momentous events oft occur in consecutive, sometimes simultaneous, order.

First, their heirs – usually family members who’ve worked nowhere else, than at the subject property, their entire working lives, soon (often within a year) put the community (sometimes, communities) on the commercial real estate market at a premium price, reflecting the scarcity of the business model and significant potential for enhanced profitability.

When the land lease community sells, several dynamics begin. The heirs realize freedom to finally enjoy lives of their choosing, where and how they please, no longer indentured to the family business. And they have the financial wherewithal to do so, in usually grand style.

However, the homeowners/site lessees left behind, risk seeing rental homesite rates escalate as never before, since the new property owners too often require far more income to cover operating expenses and exorbitant debt, having overpaid for the land lease community.

And as this ‘freedom & bondage’ scenario plays out across the country – from the Pacific Northwest thru the Midwest to New York state – usually at the behest of large private equity firms acquiring said land lease communities, there’s increasing clamor for new landlord-tenant legislation, in the form of local and statewide rent control.

Hence, ‘the end of an era’, where characteristically benevolent land lease community owners/operators provided rental homesites at rates almost always in sync with other forms of multifamily rental housing in the same local housing market.*1 Where prospective homebuyers could count on paying for a new manufactured home (via monthly PITI…principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and site rent together, within the 30 percent Housing Expense Factor (‘HEF’) touted by ‘housers’ (‘housing policy wonks’) as being ‘affordable housing’. But now, substantial increases in site rent reduce the amount of residual dollars available to pay a housing mortgage, limiting ones’ options in the housing purchase.

End Note:

1. Where land lease communities are concerned, this traditionally meant keeping rental homesite rates at approximately one third the rent for a 3BR2B apartment or townhouse in the same local housing market. Today however, there’s an aggressive trend towards pegging rental homesite rates at one half the rent charged for a 3BR2B apartment in the same local housing market. Two examples: 3BR2B apartment = $1200/month; land lease community @ 3:1 ratio = $400/month site rent; but @ 2:1 ratio = $600/month. In this latter example, the $200/month increase in site rent reduces dollars available for PITI by a like amount! And then there’s the controversial matter of whether to include annual household utility payments within the 30 percent HEF – or not, affecting the question of ‘affordability’ or ‘riskiness’ of the housing transaction. But we won’t explore that thorny question here, at this time.

III.

Everyone Should Read SWAN SONG

Here’s Why! Did You Know?

SWAN SONG is the first and only history of land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities, and before that, ‘mobile home parks’) going back 50 years to 1970.

SWAN SONG is the manufactured housing industry’s Official Record of Manufactured Housing Shipments, from 1955 to the present day. Heretofore the ‘numbers’ were all askew, but not now!

During the long history of manufactured housing and land lease communities, only ten pioneers and entrepreneurs preserved their business legacies by penning autobiographies? All are named in SWAN SONG.

A mass murderer owned four (then) manufactured home communities before committing suicide? Read ‘An Error to Die For…’ to learn just how important due diligence can be!

There were only 25 portfolio owners/operators of ‘mobile home parks’ back in 1987; today there’re 500+/-. Read about them, 100 by name, in SWAN SONG. & the ALLEN REPORT therein.

19 land lease community owners/operators, in 1993, brought national advocacy and representation to the realty asset class! All are named and lauded in SWAN SONG.

The Official Industry Standard Chart of (operating) Accounts & accompanying Operating Expense Ratios (‘OERs’) were first codified in 1992 in the jungles of Honduras.

And lest we forget, the manufactured housing industry’s abuse of easy access to chattel capital for new home loans, circa year 2000, is documented in the classic: ‘Upside Down in a Mobilehome Park’

The strangely but aptly named ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Formulae’ worksheet for estimating maximum ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new and resale homes within & outside land lease communities is included as a tool in SWAN SONG.

Everyone’s heard of or visited Saddlebrook Farms in Grayslake, IL. but few know the inspiring story behind Charles Fanaro’s vision and tenacity to develop and fill this land lease community with new upscale HUD-Code manufactured homes fabricated in his own factory! A must read!

There’s even a chapter in SWAN SONG (2d edition) describing the whole ROC (‘resident-owned community’) phenomenon thru the eyes of ROC USA.

And bet you didn’t know there’s an official Toast to the Community Owner! Inspired by the late Bud Zeman, of Chicagoland land lease community fame, the last stanza reads: “May hitches hold, site rent flow, & all our homes be sold!”

If you don’t yet own a copy of SWAN SONG, but would like to, simply visit www.educatemhc.com

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