JUST LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL

Blog Posting # 644 @ 25 June 2021: EducateMHC

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

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INTRODUCTION: OK, ‘hang onto your hats’, so to speak. We lead off with a continuation of last week’s semi-expose’ of predatory property management practices; this week we take it a step further. And parts II & III contain timely and important networking opportunities for all! GFA

I.

JUST LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL

The Sorry State of Landlord -Tenant Relations in Some Land Lease Communities Today

A 2021 update to the year 2000 expose’, ‘UPSIDE DOWN IN A MOBILE HOME PARK!’

You last read of the ‘young couple George & Carolyn, buying their first home’ in year 2000 – that’s 21 years ago! Remember? They were “…both employed, no children or pets, and (owned) two older cars. And there was H. ‘Itch’ Balle, the retail sales center salesman/manager.” What caught this young couple’s attention was the L(.)(.)K-headlined advertising for new manufactured homes ‘for sale’, featuring a $4,000 move-in incentive offer!”

To make this long story shorter here, George & Carolyn wound up buying an $80,000 multisection HUD-Code home, already sited but not landscaped. And the $4,000 incentive covered all but $500 of their deposit, with the balance used to landscape their rental homesite. Financing was a steal! Mr. Balle got them ‘10% over 30 years’ terms, with a variable rate of 9% over 30 years, reducing their monthly loan payment from $733.13 to $672.12/month. Oh, and $285/month site rent was waived for first year – a welcome windfall of $3,420 in that 12 month period.

Yes, that’s how things were back in year 2000. And all was OK until the variable rate mortgage jumped payment to $800/month, plus $300/month site rent (at end of grace period and including a rent increase). Bottom line? George & Carolyn were now in a ‘family way’, with a new car loan payments, and clearly ‘upside down in their mobile home park’ (i.e. old outgo of $672.23/month vs. new out go of $1,100/month).

Somehow George & Carolyn survived – barely. And today, 21 years later, the kids gone, and recently retired, they still live in their not-yet-paid-off $80,000 manufactured home.

Now comes the ‘just like shooting fish in a barrel’ metaphor! But first; to set the scene.

Up until six months ago, George & Carolyn’s monthly site rent had been $400/month (i.e. up from $300/month in year 2000, or an average increase of $9.00 per year). However, a new land lease community portfolio firm acquired the property six months ago and immediately raised the monthly rental homesite rate from $300 to $365/month. Not only that, previously master-metered water was now individually metered, introducing a new monthly expense of between $20 & $40. And a couple months later, an $18/month trash fee was added, besides an $8.00/month admin fee/school tax. So, all told, George & Carolyn’s monthly payment to the property owner, in six or so short months, jumped from $300/month to at least $411/month, or an annual increase of $1,332 for rent, water, trash and admin/school tax charges.*1

Next; what it’s like to be a captive audience, the proverbial fish swimming around in a barrel.

George & Carolyn are within nine years of paying off their 2000 model multisection manufactured home, sited in a land lease community they’ve called ‘home’ these past 11 or so years. And now that they’re retired, their set income, from social security and maybe a small pension or two, only stretches so far. How can they make up this $1,332 annual increase in their housing expense (not including PITI for the home proper)? They can’t unless they ‘unretired’ to get a job! And moving their home elsewhere is little more than wishful thinking. Why? To move a multisection (which one should never dissemble even under good conditions…as the two sides rarely remate as weatherproof as the initial installation) manufactured home, just across town, costs $5,000 – 10,000 to ready the home for transport, transport it, and reassemble it at the new location – If a new location (i.e. land lease community) can be found that will accept a 21 year old home.

Consequence? Deal with the consequences the best way one can do so.

How to maybe ameliorate these serious personal financial challenges in the future? That’s hard to say. But if, way back when, the new manufactured home is purchased and land lease community selected, one used the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet to ‘estimate maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type…on leased land’, one would buy what one can truly afford, based on a 30 percent Housing Expense Factor and other factors. For a FREE copy of this very handy formula worksheet (i.e. based on Area Median Income or Annual Gross Incomes of $36,000 and $51,229), email your request to gfa7156@aol.com Be sure to include a postal mailing address.

Have no doubt about this. We are living and working, during year 2021, in the hottest land lease community sales market ever; and at the same time, seeing homeowners/site lessees, in some – if not increasing, instances, suffering from one or another type and degree of predatory property management. So, take this message to heart, and ask yourself: ‘Am I guilty of any or all these practices?’ If not – Great! If so, however, correct course now before it’s too late to save our real estate asset class from unwanted landlord-tenant legislation at state and or national levels.

End Note.

1. The dollar figures cited here are based on information published in MHAction’s DISPLACEMENT, INC. report.

George Allen, CPM, MHM
EducateMHC

II.

INDIANA GOVERNOR TO KEYNOTE RV/MH HALL OF FAME BANQUET

Just learned today, 22 June, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb will be a special speaker at this year’s induction ceremony, 16 August 2021, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Sure hope I get to see you there! 20 of our manufactured housing & land lease community colleagues will be inducted into the Hall of Fame that evening. For more information and to purchase tickets, phone (574)293-3455. This is a remarkable opportunity to showcase our industry to the highest public officer in the state of Indiana, and honor friends in the business!

III.

FINAL NETWORKING ROUNDTABLE & RETIREMENT CELEBRATION

Now is time to register for this unique ‘once in a lifetime’ event! Once in a lifetime? Have you ever been invited to a national interpersonal networking opportunity including retirees you’ll not likely get to see again in this lifetime? Visit www.educatemhc.com See you in Nashville, TN., on 20 August 2021!

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