George Allen / EducateMHC Blog Mobile Home & Land Lease Community Advocate & Expert

June 17, 2024

Unexpected pleasure of retirement? 

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:29 am

Blog Posting # 798, Copyright 21 June 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models, and to some extent, the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) industry as well. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, and SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. My autobiography, From SmittyAlphaSix to MHMaven, describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and international freelance consultant.

George Allen is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (“MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, MHInsider’sAllen Legacycolumnist and editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran and retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, as well as author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management and prayer.

This week as Carolyn & I are traveling to and from Georgia. There we’ll see our great grandson Hunter graduate from the U.S. Amy’s Advanced Infantry Training program, then drive north to Atlanta to spend a couple days with Spencer Roane and Lynn, as well as a few ‘friends in the MH business’.

I’m thoroughly enjoying retirement with Carolyn. We care for our youngest great granddaughter Emmie (Hunter’s youngest sister, who’s three years of age) a couple days each week. Due to my being in Vietnam when daughter Susan was a toddler I missed those cute years where she was concerned, and work kept me away from home when Carolyn was caring for son Adam and then two of our grandchildren – from infancy till starting school. So I’m experiencing all this 60 years late!

Unexpected pleasure of retirement?  Continual contact with friends and acquaintances in manufactured housing and land lease community ownership. Nary a week goes by that I don’t learn what’s ‘really going on’ within and outside our industry and realty asset class. And most of this information winds up either in our weekly blog posting, or the Allen Legacy column in MHInsider magazine. And I’ve been encouraged with the ongoing sales of our books at www.educatemhc.com, especially Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (Only property management text, for land lease communities, available today!), and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven!

When and where will I see you again? For sure at the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet on 19 August 2024 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. For info, visit their website (RVMHHallofFame.org) or phone (574) 293-2344. And the following two days will see IMHA/RVIC (Indiana association) host their annual ‘two days of plant tours and home sales seminars’ at the same location. Spencer Roane and I started this program in 2016 to teach community owners/operators how to buy new HUD-Code homes directly from the factory, market & sell them on-site, even finance them if need be. For info, phone (317) 247-6258. Then there’s the annual SECO event this fall, 16-19 September, in Atlanta, GA. Visit SECO’s website – to also learn about the MH2X project’s first day long training session in July to teach community owners how to buy, sell, and finance manufactured homes in their properties. This grassroots program is growing!

Believe it or not, during the next two weeks we’ll surpass the 800 mark, where total number of blog postings is concerned! This means I’ve been blogging to you for more than 15 years, since at least year 2009! Since the 800th blog posting will occur near the Fourth of July holiday, I’ll likely retell the patriotic story featured in my autobiography: ‘Star Spangled Fourths of July, 50 & 200 Years Ago!’ It’s one of my favorites. Why? Because I experienced it in person on the Fourth of July, 1968, at Landing Zone Stud, ten miles east of the infamous Khe Sanh forward combat base in Leatherneck Square, S. Vietnam.

George Allen

June 13, 2024

Housing Insight from The New York Times

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:25 am

Blog Posting # 797, Copyright 14 June 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction)! And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRS’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models, and to some extent, for the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) industry as well. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com & via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, and SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven, describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH and community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and popular freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrine, MHInsider magazine columnist and editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran and retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

Housing Insight from The New York Times

The Real Estate section of last Sunday’s New York Times featured a lengthy article titled: ‘Little Boxes Could Hold a Housing Solution’ by Francesca Mari. The gist of the piece had to do with ‘modular home construction seen as a potential cure for U.S. shortage 50 years ago’. What caught my attention were historical recollections and practical observations, relative to Operation Breakthrough in 1969, that affect the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry we know today. Here goes…

Operation Breakthrough “led to a national code that regulated the previously lawless trailer-home sector. (Trailer homes are categorized as personal property, not real estate, and they move across state lines, making them subject to interstate trade laws and thus federal regulation.) This made mobile homes safer and expanded their production, bolstering a form of affordable housing that now accounts for 10 percent of single-family homes.” Point? When a uniform national building code was established, industry responded. The barriers to building housing fast, in other words, weren’t technological, but institutional. And that institutional speed bump continues into the present day, with local regulatory barriers (Think NIMBY) to all forms of affordable housing, not must HUD-Code manufactured housing.

And the article goes on to say: “What’s most likely to force the adoption of industrialized housing (a.k.a. new contemporary trade term: offsite construction) in the U.S., however, isn’t excitement about modular houses, but labor shortages. In fact, a skilled labor shortage has already affected one area of homebuilding: roof trusses, the structural timber frameworks that support a roof. Trusses require precisely cutting angles, a skill few workers possess, and so the structures (oft referred to as components) are now mostly made in factories.” (Parenthetical remarks added for clarity)

Furthermore, “Worker shortages are bound to get worse. The median age of a construction worker is 42, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Traditional construction means working unpredictable hours in unpredictable elements and requires physical strength to climb and hoist materials on a job site. In a factory, those constraints don’t necessarily apply.

In conclusion, and recalling a key point made earlier, “Speed is how industrialization achieves affordability. Even when the labor and material cost savings are modest, the introduction of many more units in a relatively short period of time has the effect of lowering the market price of all units.”

And You Think We Have it Tough These Days….

When 111 firms were surveyed by Affordable Housing Finance magazine, regarding their development and operating costs during year 2023, here’s what they learned:

Survey covered 364 developments with 41,535 affordable housing units (i.e. apartments)

$402,115 = average development cost per unit for new construction projects, up 21.5 percent from the previous year.

$7,232 = average operating costs per unit per year during 2023; or $603/unit/month.

Industry Pioneer Retires – kind of…

Quoting from a Press Release published in the June 2024 issue of the WMA Reporter magazine, “Dick Bessire recently announced he was stepping down as President & Director of the property management company he co-founded in 1979 – Bessire & Casenhiser, Inc.” The firm, one of only a handful of professional land lease community fee-management firms in the U.S. today, will now be led by Dick’s longtime business partner, Keith Casenhiser – RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, and his son, Chad Casenhiser.

How do I remember Dick? Originally, and ‘way back’ in time, he, Keith and I were Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) members of the Institute for Real Estate Management. And for 30 years, every annual update of the ALLEN REPORT found Bessire & Casenhiser listed among the largest dozen community portfolio owners/operators in the U.S. and Canada. While a longtime member and supporter of WMA, CMHI, and MHET (Having been honored by first two organizations with their highest, most prestigious awards in 1990 & 2016), he will be most remembered for his spectacular rebirthing of the Lido Peninsula MH Community in Newport Beach, CA.

Lido was built in 1949 and featured 26 units per acre – which is still the case today. Well, Dick led the effort to convert many if not most of the pre-HUD ‘trailers’ into new – sometimes two story – HUD-Code manufactured homes. Those innovative homes now sell for between $500,000 and $1,000,000 apiece. And rental homesite rates vary from roughly $2,500 to more than $5,000 per month.*1

How will I miss Dick Bessire? For decades, he and a few colleagues in California have been my ‘go to guys – and gals’ relative to understanding how the left coast state does business. For that matter, I have ‘go to resources’ in most states and in a few provinces. Without exaggeration I can say that virtually every weekly blog bears the influence of one or more of these individuals. GFA

End Note.

  1. Though retired, I keep a very thick file handy which contains what I consider to be key documents describing various landmark matters and instances in our industry’s history. This taken from an email message from Dick that I saved for just this sort of occasion. The George Allen library was donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame library, in Elkhart, IN., a year or two ago.

George Allen

June 6, 2024

Stats from ‘Whole US Housing Story’ for April 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:12 am

Blog Posting # 796, Copyright 7 June 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models, and to some extent, for the recreational vehicle (‘RV’) industry as well. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, and SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlphaSix to MHMaven, describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and popular freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fam enshrinee, MHInsider magazine columnist and editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran and retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

Stats from ‘Whole US Housing Story’ for April 2024

Here’re key statistics from the second-ever ‘Whole US Housing Story’, for April 2024, researched by EducateMHC.  

8971 new HUD-Code manufactured housing units were produced during April 2024

+1718 modular & panelized (i.e. ‘prefab’) housing units estimated during April 2024

+453 Park Model recreational vehicles (‘RVs’) were produced during April 2024

= 11,142 composite subtotal of the three previous offsite housing production totals

+ 97,058 estimated number of single-family site-built housing units started during April 2024

= 108,200 grand total of US housing starts during April 2024

Bottom line? Above composite total (lines # 1, 2, &3) = estimated volume of offsite construction units produced/shipped/sited in US during April 2024; or 11.5 percent of all new housing starts.

Visit www.educatemhc.com and/or respond to this unique research via gfa7156@aol.com

Tidbits @ ‘MHSHipment Volume & Stock Market Report

HUD-Code manufactured housing shipments, year to date – April 2024, are at 33,248 units, compared to 27,850 units during the same period year 2023. Mathematical extrapolation suggests 27,850 units YTD 2023 = 89,169 total new HUD-Code homes that year; so 33,248 units YTD 2024 might predict more than 106,000 new HUD-Code homes produced during year 2024.

What’s the overall economic impact of new HUD-Code homes produced during the month of April 2024? Wish we knew! All we can calculate is the ‘production value’ of the 8971 new homes produced, to be maybe $387 million – and this based on MHI-sponsored research more than a decade ago, i.e. $43,126 = production value of one new HUD-Code home. Production value YTD is at $1.433 billion. Yes, this factor needs updating & we need total economic impact!

Only comment on the stock market portion of this monthly report, tracking stock prices of all ten public companies (i.e. five @ MH firms & 5 @ public land lease community portfolio firms), is that the Composite Stock Index (‘CSI’) @ 4 June 2024 = $778; down from $829 in May, but well above base of $790.07 established during January 2022.

MH = Answer to U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis in Three Key Steps!

Recent email correspondence circulated among MHARR, MHPro News, MH2X Project organizers, and owners/operators of land lease communities got me to thinking:

Just What Would It Take for Manufactured Housing to Become Recognized as The Answer to the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis?

First off, in my opinion, we need – as an industry and realty asset class, to research, document, and blatantly advertise our collective economic impact! In other words, ‘prove our worth’, once and for all, as a major housing producer and lifestyle provider. Who will lead that timely effort? MHARR, MHI, or someone else?

Next, finally craft and launch a top-down coordinated national promotion and advertising effort in behalf of HUD-Code manufactured housing! And this time around, enlist the express – not tacit, support of our industry’s major manufacturers. No more of this, ‘We won’t donate and participate in a program that might (will) benefit our smaller competitors around the country.’

And finally, but just as important as the first two steps, use the emerging MH2X Project to encourage the face-lifting of land lease communities nationwide, and fill vacant rental homesites with new HUD-Code homes financed with ‘home only’ loans and or the lease option alternative.

Does all this read too simplistic to you? Perhaps it is, but until we – and legislative/regulatory decision-makers, clearly know the significant economic impact of our new homes, and leasehold communities into which 50 percent of them go, we’re ‘dead in the water’ – like we’ve been since 1998 (i.e. when we produced 372,943 new HUD-Code homes)! And there’s no need to even talk about a coordinated national promotion and advertising effort until the Big 3-C HUD-Code housing manufacturers are truly on board and willing to finance and lead said effort, without worrying about the little guy! Oh, and the land lease community folk. We already know, that with the exception of most ‘over 55’ communities, we’re pretty much at the low end of the housing provider line. But that does not excuse any of us from applying peer pressure – on ourselves and others, to clean up, fix up, and fill up our income-producing properties nationwide!

So, there you have it ‘The Answer to the U.S. Affordable Housing Crisis in Three Key Steps!’

Are you on board? I sure hope so. And if you are, nothing is stopping you from expressing your thoughts on this tripartite matter to our elected and salaried leaders at MHARR & MHI – including the National Communities Council division. If you do so, send me a copy (via gfa7156@aol.com) so I can write of your support in a future blog or communique. In the meantime, watch for further word from the MH2X Project folk as to their upcoming training programs, etc., at the fall SECO conference in Atlanta, and elsewhere.

George Allen

May 31, 2024

Offsite Construction – or Not?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:27 am

Blog Posting # 795, Copyright 1 June 2014. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models, and to some extent, the recreational vehicle industry! Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, and SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and popular freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, MHInsider magazine columnist and editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

Offsite Construction – or Not?

Have you noticed? During the past few months a new trade term has been inserting itself into the casual parlance (‘way of speaking, language’) of housing at large. One offsite construction viewpoint I ascribe to embraces modular and manufactured housing, as well as Park Model RVs, various types of ADUs (‘accessory dwelling units’, e.g. Tiny Houses) and pre-fab housing units under the umbrella of this apt trade term – as they are all fabricated offsite.

But then I’ve noticed, of late, that the relatively new trade publication ‘Offsite Construction’ routinely narrows the definition of offsite housing to focus solely on modular housing. A recent column (‘The Final Word’ by Ken Semler), however walks both sides of this offsite construction terminology conundrum. Here, writer Semler describes “Vertical integration essentially means that you won or control the five key aspects of (modular) construction: Design, Manufacture, Delivery, Installation and On-site Finish.” (Emphasis on ‘modular’ added. GFA).

Point being: All forms of offsite construction – again, modular & manufactured housing, Park Model RVs, types of ADUs, and pre-fab housing units, ALL typify the five key aspects of construction just cited. So, why shouldn’t they be included in the collective term ‘offsite construction’? An alternative, I suppose, would be for the magazine to change its’ name to something restrictive, like ‘Modular Construction’ – or resurrect and use the short-lived trade term ‘HUDULAR’ (i.e. HUD manufactured & modular housing combined) from year 2002.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how this pencils out during the months ahead. For me, however – and in the meantime, I plan to continue to talk and write about offsite construction as being inclusive of modular & manufactured housing, Park Model RVs, types of ADUs, and pre-fab housing units. What say you? Let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

Attend RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet!

The evening of 19 August 2024 will be very special in the lives of five of our peers in the manufactured housing industry! Sam Landy, Kamal Shouhayib, Nathan Smith, Todd Su, and Charlie Hemphill will be inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame, located in Elkhart, IN. Are you planning to attend? I sure hope so. This is the sole annual gathering in our industry, where pioneers, leaders, and significant ‘players’ are formally recognized with this singular honor. For more information, visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame website or phone (574) 293-2344.

Now, for a word about being selected for induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. The process begins with a close friend or associate in the industry or realty asset class, willing to complete the application process in your behalf – if you have at least 25 years direct experience in either the RV or MH industry, and recruit three individuals to pen letters of recommendation to accompany the application. And yes, you can begin this process yourself. Again, visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame website for more information.

Also, understand this is not usually a ‘slam dunk’ process. Only occasionally are individuals selected for induction the same year their application is submitted. For many, it takes ‘years’ to experience the honor. And applications are kept on hand for active consideration for five years, and then must be updated/refreshed. IMHO, induction should not be viewed or bestowed as an ‘end of tour/career’ award; rather, earned recognition for significant contributions of personal service, notable improvements, and or achievement within one’s industry or realty asset class.   

Here’re a couple unsolicited and unofficial, but personally-experienced tips for those considering positioning oneself for induction. Attend at least one RV/MH Hall of Fame banquet before beginning the process! Why? To ‘get the lay of the land’, as to what happens during the afternoon and evening of the annual induction banquet. And while at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, make it a point to visit RV & MH exhibit halls, to truly appreciate the legacies of both industries preserved therein. While you’re on site, make a monetary contribution to support the continued work of the RV/MH Hall of Fame federation. Finally, when recruiting individuals to pen letters of reference in your behalf, consider having one of them being a present enshrinee of the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

George Allen

May 24, 2024

A Memorial Day Story & Tribute

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:20 am

Blog Posting # 794, Copyright 24 May 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH”) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, 7 via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, and SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven! Describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and popular freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, MHInsider magazine columnist & editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

The Housing Meetings Trifecta-like Conflict

National trade associations often plan their membership gatherings, annual and otherwise, during spring and fall meeting shoulder seasons, to benefit from generally lower hotel room rates. What is shoulder season? It’s occurs between peak and off-peak tourist seasons when there’s less overall business to be captured by hotels with meeting facilities.

With that said, know there’s a ‘MH meetings trifecta conflict’ on the horizon. First off, what’s a ‘trifecta’? Well it’s ‘a horseracing term requiring choices of first, second and third place, in exact order to win’. So, the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), the ‘I’m HOME Network at the Land Institute’, and annual ‘Shed Exposition’ (the latest housing fringe) have already scheduled overlapping national meetings on the 25th of September at different locations – hence the trifecta-like metaphor. Here’s how they pencil out – following the ever-popular SECO gathering in Atlanta GA., on16-19 September 2024. OK, here goes:

MHI’s annual meeting will be held in Phoenix, AZ. From 23-25 September

‘I’m Home Network’/ the Land Institute, will also be held in Phoenix, AZ., on 24 & 25 September

The annual SHED EXPO will occur in Grand Rapids, MI., on 25 & 26 September

So, where will you be on 25 September 2024 of the trifecta race to meet? I’ll likely be at the SHED EXPO. Why? Can’t really afford the trip to Phoenix, and frankly, I’m intrigued by the increasingly sophisticated design and utility of the contemporary shed product. Here’s more…

The ‘I’m Home Network’, recently partnered with the Land Institute, is focused on manufactured housing issues. The SHED EXPO is a relatively unknown entity to MH folk. However, I’ve noticed, at a previous national gathering, and in recent editions of their trade publication,  ‘sheds’ are looking like various designs of ADUs (‘accessory dwelling units’) such as Tiny Houses, Park Model RVs, steel shipping container conversions, and more. These variants can also be characterized as being offsite construction (factory-built housing). By the way be watching for a national gathering of ADU-interested folk in CA., in the foreseeable future

Public Listening Session on Equitable Housing Finance Plans…

June 5th is coming up quickly! If you want to participate in an FHFA hosted “public listening session to hear interim feedback on Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac’s (the Enterprises) implementation of their current Equitable Housing Finance Plans (‘EHFP’)”, and preparation of their 2025-2027 plans, contact the Federal Housing Finance Agency to register for this timely event. I plan to participate.

RVs Continue to Set Data Pace for MH Industry

You know how I’ve been sharing RV-related statistical data these past few weeks, suggesting MH would do well to emulate our sister industry where Economic Impact data, etc., is concerned? Well, here’re recent ‘data finds’ that we, in the MH and land lease community business, would do well to know about ourselves:

Wholesale RV shipments finished at 313,174 units for the year 2023, with a retail value of $20.27 billion. Well, MH shipments finished at 89,169 units for the year 2023. So, what’s the retail value (a.k.a. Economic Impact) of these new HUD-Code manufactured homes? Don’t you think it high time that MHARR &/or MHI figures that out and let us all know? Answer: YES!

Texas remains the top destination for RV shipments, receiving 9.13% of total RV wholesale shipments, followed by California at 7.42%, Florida 1t 7.3%, Ohio at 3.96 percent ,and Michigan at 3.68%. Now, in this instance we can actually compute these percentages for MH, thanks to monthly data published by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), HUD’s scorekeeper for our industry.

And, Indiana overwhelmingly continues to lead the country in RV production, manufacturing nearly 84% of all RVs in the U.S. and Canada.

You know, it’s embarrassing the RV industry has a much better handle on their Economic Impact – and more, than we do over in manufactured housing. Why is that? Not the embarrassment part, but the woeful lack of data that characterizes our business models. I can’t ‘say’ for the manufacturing and retail sales segments of the industry, though I do look to the two national trade groups who claim affinity to MH.

But I do know this: For 40 years I researched and published identity, occupancy, OER information, REIT growth – and more, for land lease community owners/operators. But now that I’m retired (since 2021), no one (that I’m aware of) has stepped forward to continue identifying property portfolio folk (i.e. 500+/- entities) and the above-referenced data that helps them manage their land lease communities.  

MH2X! Project

As you already know, the goal of the MH2X Project is to encourage, even enable the manufactured housing industry to double its’ production of new HUD-Code homes during years 2024 & 2025 – by initiating home sales workshops thru the rest of 2024 and into 2025, hosting the ever-popular SECO Conference in September (16-19 in Atlanta, GA.). Also by encouraging land lease community owners/operators to upgrade their properties and fill vacant rental homesites with new MHs sold and seller-financed on-site.

To this end, I came across a random comment recently, penned by an MH2X Project aficionado, and edited for this edition of our weekly blog posting:

“One of the main reasons community owners don’t buy and sell more new homes, is the difficulty would be homebuyers have obtaining conventional (home only) financing. As you may know, we bypass that obstacle by selling new homes on-site via lease-option contracts.” If you’d like to learn more about how to effect the lease-option, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com

Memorial Day

Memorial Day reminds me how, at one time in my life and for a considerable period of time (13 months), I walked near death’s door with other young men who’d volunteered to serve our nation on foreign soil. Fortunately, I made it home alive to live out my life with Carolyn and our children. So many of my friends, however, did not make the trip home, having died on one or another battlefield. That’s why, every Memorial Day, I make it a point to pause and remember them, along with the firefights and other engagements we experienced together. Not an easy task – in either perspective.

Here’s one example. During February 1969, U.S. Marines assaulted enemy (NVA & Red Chinese) positions in the infamous Ashau Valley (i.e. NW corner of Vietnam bordering Laos, called Leatherneck Square). During one battle we captured two Russian field guns (artillery), along with ammunition and supplies. One of the NCOs (non-commissioned officers) that led one of the charges was Sergeant Don Myers. In his autobiography, Your War My War, he describes some of the action that day…

“When the air strike lifted, 1st platoon started up the small mountain. A tremendous firefight erupted, and I could hardly believe the tremendous volume of weapon fire coming off that slope, considering the pounding our flyboys had just tossed in there.”

“I grabbed the radio handset from PFC Fish and monitored the net, hoping to find out what was going on. 2nd Lt. Archie Biggers, platoon commander of the 1st platoon was shouting frantically over the radio to Capt. Kelly, C Company CO, ’There’re big guns up ahead and a big truck is burning. We’re gonna need help up here fast!’ “

“I yelled at my people to drop their packs and go forward on the run. Our rear element pushed the front of the platoon, and they too got caught up in our charge, dropping their packs as they joined the rush up the large hill. The mid-afternoon sun was blistering, and bullets were whizzing and zinging through the underbrush and beating into trees. The noise of gunfire and small explosions was all but deafening, as I looked up the slope of the mountain-like hill. Not 40 meters away stood the largest enemy artillery piece I’d ever seen! The long barrel of that cannon looked like it was pointing straight down the trail at not only me, but the rest of the men that were scrambling up the slope with me as well. I yelled aloud, ‘Sweet Jesus, don’ shoot that mother f_______!’  In seconds, I moved past the unmanned gun, and noticed several bodies of dead NVA lying near the weapon. I was glad someone had gotten them before they had unlimbered that gun for firing. The barrel extended out 30 feet and the tires came up to my waist. A caisson affair was in back of the artillery piece with an open, ready box of big brass shells sitting upright in slots.”

“Lt Biggers was being treated by a corpsman for back and arm wounds. My platoon commander, 2nd Lt. Bob Palisay was also being treated by a corpsman for hand grenade wounds. Lt. Palisay ordered me to continue the assault. I got the 3rd platoon moving again and moved uphill less than 300 feet, when stopped by a renewed volume of small arms fire. I plopped to the ground next to a burning hulk of a tracked artillery prime mover. Napalm had cooked the driver behind the wheel (and was still) engulfed in flames. Another ‘crispy critter’ lay burning a few feet from me. Squad leader of the first squad, Cpl. Jack Reynolds, crawled over to me wanting to know what we should do next. I don’t know what came over me just then. Maybe I was mad or just didn’t care anymore. It was like a bloodlust, wanting to get to the top of this hill. I said a foul word or two, and then stood up and yelled, ‘Let’s go!’ Jack didn’t say a word, but stood up next to me. Both of us advanced with our weapons leveled at the hip, firing away.”

“The entire platoon was on its’ feet, surging forward, screaming at the top of their lungs. A cluster of five enemy soldiers came running downhill toward Jack and me. We cut them down without a pause in our stride.”

“Obscenities rang through the virgin jungle as the enemy tried to make a stand. The entire platoon was maneuvering by fire, shooting their rifles on automatic select, as we hosed the enemy.”

“We passed another artillery piece, a twin to the one below us. Enemy dead were lying all around it.”

“I have no idea what eerie thoughts the enemy must have had as this rebel-rousing, reeling, curing, insane group of marines came at them in John Wayne style charge. I have a feeling, if I saw this berserk group trotting towards me, waving and shooting rifles, many with bayonets affixed, screaming bloody murder and loudly singing the Marine Corps hymn, I may have been inclined to break and run. And that’s just what the enemy did. I glimpsed shadowy figures bobbing and weaving at a distance, moving away from our advancing force.”

This is how the late Sgt. Myers described the battle we shared 55 years ago. Don served several tours in Vietnam, and for many years was recognized as the most decorated Marine in the state of Indiana. While we were in this same battle we did not meet until years later, at a Marine Corps function in Indianapolis, IN. Don died a few years ago.

So, this is how Memorial Day goes for me. Not particularly emotional, just respectfully honoring the memories of these warriors I once knew.

At least two other books, besides Don’s, describe aspects of the battle just described. Karl Marlantes’ historical novel Matterhorn makes passing mention of Operation Dewey Canyon (Karl was a Marine lieutenant there at the time). And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven contains short stories from that time frame (e.g. ‘PUC Beer’). The ‘Smitty Alpha 6’ reference is to my radio call sign then, when I was a company commander with 3rd Shore Party Battalion. My role then? As battalion rigging officer, prepare both Russian artillery pieces for helicopter retrograde back to the Dong Ha forward combat base, before shipment to the U.S. for testing and display. One gun is on permanent display at the USMC Museum in Quantico, VA. Imagine my emotions when I visit the museum and, once again, stand close to it and remember….

George Allen

May 16, 2024

First, a Review of 67,695+/- New Homes in US @ March 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 3:59 pm

Blog Posting # 793, Copyright 17 May 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (“MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable factory-built housing (A.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trade term & trend tracker, as well as information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & via www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, And SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven! describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as prolific non-fiction author and popular freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee,  MHInsider magazine columnist & editor at large. He’s a Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines. and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

First, a Review of

67,695+/- New Homes in US @ March 2024

Here’re key stats from the first-ever ‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’ (March 2024), researched by EducateMHC. Did you read it in last week’s blog posting # 792? If not, but interested, request the blog via gfa7156@aol.com. In the meantime, here’re the U.S. new housing statistics:

8447 new HUD-Code manufactured housing units were produced during March 2024.

+1155 Modular & Panelized (i.e. ‘prefab’) housing units estimated produced during March 2024

+343 Park Model recreational vehicle (‘RVs’) were produced during March 2024

=9,945 composite subtotal of the three previous offsite housing production totals listed above.

+57,750 estimated number of single-family site-built housing units started during March 2024

=67,695 estimated total number of new housing starts throughout the U.S. during March 2024

Reminder. This ‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’ is a work in progress. If you have critiques or suggestions, especially relative to data sourcing, let me know via gfa7156@aol.com  And understand this; all the above-referenced estimates & sources are footnoted in original blog.

And Then There Was This…

The RV industry’s ‘Move America Economic Impact Study’ provides political savvy $ information that is totally missing from the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class scene! Here’s how the RV industry’s pithy Press Release reads:

“The RV Industry Association’s latest Economic Impact Study in 2022 measured the impact the RV economy had on jobs, wages, taxes and spending. The study revealed the RV industry had an overall economic impact to on the U.S. economy of $140 billion, supporting nearly 680,000 jobs, contributing more than $48 billion in wages and paying over $13.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.” Whew! What an impact that industry has on national decision making! And there’s more:

The study goes on to show what comprises the $140 billion economic impact figures:

$73.7 billion generated by RV manufacturers and suppliers

$35.7 billion generated by RV campgrounds and related travel

$30.5 billion generated from RV sales and service facilities

Now, here’s the ‘future’ Press Release paragraph every MH aficionado should want to read – with the blanks filled in, no longer ‘unknown’ Economic Impact statistics:

“The MH industry associations’ latest Economic Impact Study, in 2023, measured the impact the MH economy had on jobs, wages, taxes and spending. The study revealed the MH industry has an overall economic impact on the US Economy of $_______________billion, supporting nearly _______________jobs, contributing more than $_____________billion in federal, state, and local taxes!”

Will we ever see this happen, after 70+ years of waiting? That’s up to you! If you’re a dues-paying member of either national MH trade advocacy entity, that’s where to begin – with your suggestion for them to get busy and give us tools with which to influence legislators and more.

GOAL. A manufactured housing Economic Impact study for the year 2024!

An MH & RV Industries Conundrum Stated &…

While researching the history of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN., I had this epiphany*:

‘Why, in the MH & RV industries, do realty-based business models, like land lease communities, RV parks, and campgrounds, demonstrate markedly less influence, to the point of being rarely mentioned in trade publications, than their product manufacturing counterparts, e.g. HUD-Code manufactured housing and various types of recreational vehicles?’

Think about it. The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), by charter, is 100 percent housing manufacturer focused. The Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) though boasting representation of all segments of the manufactured housing industry, is dominated by housing manufacturer members, when it comes to statistical performance reporting, federal legislation and regulatory matters. And now that I’m learning more about the RV industry I’m seeing the same emphasis there: manufacturers front and center, realty-based businesses nary a mention.

Why is this? To begin with, ‘follow the money’. All MHARR’s income comes from their regional manufacturer membership, and the majority of MHI’s income is contributed by the Big 3-C HUD-Code firms, lesser from real estate-based businesses. And then there’s the nature of the business models. ‘Something’ is always happening where housing (& RV) products are concerned, from design changes to marketing challenges to regulatory matters. Whereas, among land lease communities and RV/campground businesses, rental income and operating expenses are relatively stable, but for seasonality and effects of transiency and other factors.

All this likely ‘splains’ why we see lesser presence of, and publicity about, the realty-based businesses that make up the manufactured housing and recreational vehicle industries – at the national press level, RV/MH Hall of Fame, and elsewhere. The MHARR folk see it this way: “…national post-production representation has failed to hold government agencies – FHFA & HUD accountable….” Why? Because their presence and influence is marginal to non-existent on the national advocacy level. And I don’t see this changing anytime soon. For a brief period of time, roughly from 1993 till the turn of the century, land lease community property portfolio owners/operators, via their newly formed National Communities Council (today a division within MHI) made their presence known, and as long as strong leadership was in place, well-represented. That, in my opinion, is no longer the case; the NCC is a shadow of its’ past.

Conclusion. Realty-based (i.e. commercial real estate) MH & RV-related businesses will always be secondary influencers within national trade entities. The sole exception to this has been how  conventional apartment owners formed and grew the National Apartment Association to (‘NAA”) its’ present size and influence in realty matters of national importance.

End Note.   1 Epiphany: ‘a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into reality or the essential meaning of something, often influenced by some simple, commonplace occurrence.’ From Random House Webster’s College Dictionary.

MHARR Quotes HUD,

 Then Tromps ‘attainable’ & ‘off-site’ Lingo

I have long been critical of trade publication articles that lightly use the term ‘affordable housing’ without defining just what they mean by it. Here’s a rare exception, found in a recent communique from MHARR quoting HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (‘PD&R’), in an August 2017 article titled ’Defining Housing Affordability’, to wit:

“Housing programs in the United States have long measured housing affordability in terms of percentage of income. Over time, (a) 30 percent threshold…became the standard for owner-occupied housing, and it remains the indicator of affordability for housing in the United States.” Furthermore, “…household (that) spend more than 30 percent of income on housing costs (are) housing cost burdened.”

What this definition does not do, is specify whether the ’30 percent of income’ includes housing costs like PITI and utilities – or not.* This is so important! Including PITI+ quickly and noticeably increases the ’30 percent’ factor, reducing the amount of housing  prospective homebuyers can afford; whereas, not including PITI+ means the party can buy far more house – but increases lender risk. By the way, this is the same 30% factor is cited in the widely-circulated ‘Ah Ha & Uh Oh Worksheet’ for estimating how much MH & conventional housing folk can buy and site in land lease and fee-simple ownership environments. For a free sample copy of this versatile form, email gfa7156@aol.com and request it – be sure to include your USPS address.

MHARR, in this same communique, went on to point out “…the average sales price of all new manufactured homes was $127,300. This compares to a $430,808 ‘average’ for a site-built home, excluding the cost of land in both instances. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data, “real median household income in the US was $74,580.”

MHARR, furthermore, does not like new trade terms appearing on the homebuilding scene; describing ‘attainable’, in housing matters, as “meaningless linguistic blather” – and extends that criticism to the recently-invented term of ‘off-site’ housing (a.k.a. offsite construction), a synonym for factory-built housing.

Notwithstanding the profound respect I have for the manufactured housing industry’s ‘Washington Watchdog’ (‘MHARR’), the association should not dismissively ignore new ways to address industry matters of interest. Attainable might prove to be a means of putting a sharper edge to the question of Affordability. And offsite construction, at this point, does not seem to include manufactured housing, but it likely will – as manufactured housing, modular & panelized products, components, even Park Model RVs, are all fabricated in factories (i.e. factory-built housing) off and away from building sites. Give both terms a try. They’ll either blossom or die on the proverbial vine of disuse.

What do you think of these new trade terms? I’d like to know, via gfa7156@aol.com

End Note.

  1. PITI = principal, interest, taxes & insurance (+) utility expenses….

George Allen

May 8, 2024

Signed-on in Support of MH2X Project?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:50 am

Blog Posting @ 792, Copyright 10 May 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH”) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable, factory-built housing! (A.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trend tracker, and information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. And SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955. And my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven! describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as non-fiction author and freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (“MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fam enshrinee, MHInsider magazine editor at large, & Allen Legacy columnist. Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

Signed-on in Support of MH2X Project?

Last week we introduced you to the MH2X project, that grassroots movement whose goal is to motivate and assist the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry in ‘Doubling the Annual Production of Manufactured Homes During Year 2025’! How? By filling vacant rental homesites and upgrading land lease communities with new manufactured homes.

But for this to happen, the project needs nationwide tangible and moral support from businessmen and women in all sectors of the manufactured housing industry. Have YOU signed-on yet? If not, go to www.SECOConference.com. There, click on the MH2X prompt and enter your contact information and indicate what part you would like to play in this project.

So far, industry response has been more than encouraging! Plans are already in the works for training sessions as to how to buy, sell, and seller-finance new homes on-site in land lease communities and elsewhere. And there’s more, much more. But you likely won’t learn of the alternatives if you don’t express interest and participate soon. Visit the website!

‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’ for March 2024

Well, did you see it? The ‘first ever’ Whole U.S. Housing Story, as of March 2024. It was distributed nationwide earlier this week to hundreds of GFA ‘insiders’ and industry leaders.

What is the ‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’? Let me ‘splain’ it this way. Have you ever, while looking at MHI’s or MHARR’s monthly Manufactured Housing Shipment Report, found yourself wondering: “Hmm. Wonder what the rest of the housing industry is doing, relative to modular and panelize homes being built, as well as single-family site-built homes started, even maybe Park Models going into land lease communities this month?”

Well (again), this is why I’ve started cobbling together the ‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’. Here’re the very basic, first time ever, numbers I’ve come up with for the month of March 2024.

8447 HUD-Code manufactured housing units produced during the month of March.

1155 Modular & panelized (‘prefab’) housing units estimated for the month of March

343 Park Model recreational vehicles (‘RVs’) during the month of March

9,945 composite subtotal of the three previous housing totals; to be added to this:

57,750 Estimated number of single-family site-built housing starts during March, for a total of

67,695 new housing starts in the U.S. during March 2024

Now understand, this is a ‘work in progress’. I plan to work each month towards refining this data, proofing the sources, and presenting as accurate and timely information as possible. Keep in mind, I footnote my resources and formulae in the actual ‘Whole U.S. Housing Story’ Report. Criticism and suggestions welcome via gfa7156@aol.com

What Should Be But Isn’t!

Another manufactured housing-related conundrum (‘ a hard question, riddle’), goes like this: “Why do we know so little about the economic impact of HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities on local, state, regional, and national scenes? Answer (in my opinion) has to do with the fact that ‘some folk’ simply don’t want that information to get outside our industry and realty asset class. Why? You’ll have to ask them (i.e. leaders of the industry). But here’s an example of a sister industry that does ‘keep score’ and happily lets the public know.

RVs Move America Economic Impact Study (a press release): “the RV Industry Association’s latest economic impact study in 2022 measured the impact the RV economy has on jobs, wages, taxes and spending. The study revealed that the RV industry had an overall economic impact to the US economy of $140 billion, supporting nearly 680,000 jobs, contributing more than $48 billion in wages and paying over 13.6 billion in federal, state, and local taxes.”

The study goes on to show what comprises the $140 billion economic impact figures:

$73.7 billion generated by RV manufacturers and suppliers

$35.7 billion by RV campgrounds and related travel

$30-.5 billion in RV sales and service facilities.

How ‘bout that? Tell me, wouldn’t you, like me, be anxious to read a paragraph as follows, with the blanks filled in, relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities economic impact?

‘The MH industry association’s latest economic impact study in 2023 measured the impact the MH economy has on jobs, wages, taxes and spending. The study revealed the MH industry has an overall economic impact to the US economy of $__________billion, supporting nearly __________jobs, contributing more than $______billion in federal, state, and local taxes.’

Well, it’s not happening – and won’t happen anytime soon; at least not until enough businessmen and women demand to have this sort of information available to them as they influence local and state legislators relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities. All we get now is the estimated production value of new HUD-Code homes produced each month, and that data is based on a formula more than a decade old! Surely, HUD-Code manufactured homes are worth more than just $43,126 per unit produced. But that’s what we’re expected to work with at this time.

So, just what is the economic impact the MH economy has on jobs, wages, taxes and spending here in the U.S.? When will we finally learn that critical information? The challenge is up to you!

Just Another Bugaboo!

Bet you didn’t know this! “The Department of Housing and Urban Development (‘HUD’) is seeking a Deputy Assistant Secretary to lead the Office of Manufactured Housing Programs, which regulates design and construction of manufactured home built in the United States.”

Open & closing dates: 4/22/2024 – 05/13/2024 (Just a few days from now)

Salary: $147,649 – $221,900

Location: Washington, DC

Appointment Type: Permanent, Full-time, Senior Executive

And there’s a whole lot more to the job opening.

Why a bugaboo (‘a fancied object of terror’)? Because this sort of job opening, in my opinion, should be given the widest possible distribution throughout the manufactured housing industry – by both our national trade advocacy bodies. Does it happen? Not in my 45 years of MH experience! No, jobs like this are made known – so I’m told – to selected, favored individuals. Yes, it is a ‘fancied object of terror’ knowing such a high profile job simply goes a-begging & maybe awry when it’s kept secret like this. We deserve to know what’s happening like this!

If this job had been available a decade or more ago, and I’d been told about it, you can be sure I’d have applied. I know of few other individuals active within, even recently retired from, the MH industry who know more about the ins and outs of manufacturing and land lease community segments of our business models. But I’m not a political insider, now or ever.

So, for the time being, expect to be kept ‘in the dark’ about such opportunities, unless you’re well-connected on the national level. Sorry ‘bout that.

George Allen

May 3, 2024

AN ‘MH MOVEMENT’ IS A-BREWING!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:29 am

Blog Posting # 791, Copyright 3 May 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable, factory-built housing! (A.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trend tracker, and information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.eucatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. And SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955 and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as non-fictio0n author and freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, MHInsider magazine editor at large, & Allen Legacy columnist, Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

AN ‘MH MOVEMENT’ IS A-BREWING!

Not since August 31st, 1993 (31 years ago!) have I sensed this high level of frustration on the part of land lease community owners/operators desiring to fill more vacant rental homesites within their properties, with new HUD-Code manufactured homes!*1 What seems to be the problem? First, a brief historical perspective spanning the first two decades of this century.

As you likely know, thanks to chattel capital (a.k.a. ‘home only loans’) shenanigans at the turn of the century, the MH industry lost easy access to personal property lending – to this day! Consequences? Annual new HUD-Code housing production plummeted from 372,943+/- units in 1998, down to a nadir 48,789+/- by year 2009. Only then, with the advent of Community Series Homes (specially-designed HUD-Code homes for in-community siting), and community owners/operators learning to ‘spec’, install, sell, and seller finance new homes onsite, did we see annual MH production climb to 105,772 units in year 2021.*2 Now we might be on our way back down – or so it appears early in 2024. Why?

Pandemic-related issues like labor shortfalls, raw material and OEM shortages, and now, high interest rates, have combined to lengthen manufacturing lead times, increase wholesale price, and more. Here’s where ‘An MH Movement is a-brewing!’ comes into play.

Community owners/operators have spawned a timely grassroots movement titled MH2X

And here’s what they have to say about it….

INTRODUCING MH2X

Doubling MH production in 2025

            Our industry has languished, with annual production at about 100,000 new manufactured homes (‘MHs’) for years. ‘Best Guess’ is there’re 40,000 – 50,000 communities*3 in the U.S., that about 10 percent of the three million related rental homesites are vacant, and  upwards of half the remaining homes onsite are old, unattractive, dysfunctional, barely habitable eyesores. MH2X is a SECO-sponsored grassroots initiative to ‘Double annual production of manufactured homes in 2025’, by filling vacant sites and upgrading communities with new manufactured homes!

What will it take to ‘double MH production during 2025’? Many more small and mid-sized community owners buying and selling new MHs to upgrade their communities and fill vacant rental homesites.

What will it take to make this happen?

  • Community by community, owners must improve the industry by siting at least one new manufactured home, at a time, within their community.
  • Educating community owners on the home buying process: by becoming a retailer, specifying options, features, and pricing ensuring quick sales of MHs to satisfied buyers.
  • MH manufacturers going the extra mile to accommodate smaller community operators.
  • Secure financing to acquire and mortgage the new manufactured homes
  • Promotion and cost-effective conventional and social media marketing
  • Sales training
  • ‘Financing’ savvy to facilitate sale of new MHs, e.g. conventional ‘home alone’ financing, lease-option, short-term rentals with goal of conversion to conventional financing.

How shall we, as an industry, accomplish all this?

  • SECO, a non-profit 501(c)(3) entity, whose annual conferences attract upwards of 600 small and mid-size community owners and other industry personnel, will sponsor 4-6 hour workshops through the end of this year (2024) and into next.
  • Speakers at the workshops will be fellow community owners and managers who have ordered, setup, promoted, financed, and sold dozens, if not hundreds, of new MHs to upgrade their communities by filing vacant sites. Many have switched from buying used (resale) MHs to new ones.
  • Additional speakers will be from other segments of the industry, including manufacturers, licensed setup firms, financing experts, insurance resources, and promotion/marketing/sales specialists.
  • Attendance cost will be minimal, with proceeds used for out-of-pocket meeting costs and speakers’ travel expenses.
  • Our objective will be for community owners to leave the workshops with all pieces of the MH buying and selling puzzle in hand, motivated and ready to order new MHs for their properties.

How can you get involved?

  • Go to the SECO website: www.SECOConference.com, click on MH2X, enter your contact information and indicate what part you would like to play (e.g. community owners ordering new homes, supplier/vendor of products/services, speaker at one or more workshops, etc.).
  • Upload your company’s logo. They will all be promoted by SECO supporting MH2X events
  • Await more information from SECO about an initial workshop in Atlanta, GA., probably in about two months. More workshops will be scheduled, based on demand.
  • Help spread the word by passing this information onto other community owners, and encourage them to become involved as well.
  • Assist organizing other workshops in more locations around the U.S.
  • Plan to attend SECO24 in September (See information on SECO website).

Well, this is your industry’s clarion call – to you, to participate in a program aimed to ‘double annual production of manufactured homes during year 2025’! Will you get on board today? If so, visit www.SECOConference.com now, and await further word as to workshops and more!

End Notes.

  1. Significance of 31 August 1993? Manufactured home community (trade term at the time, replaced ‘mobile home park’) portfolio owners/operators had identifies one another less than a decade earlier. Now some wanted to take their properties public as real estate investment trusts (‘REITs’), but the real estate asset class lacked national credibility and profitability awareness by Wall Street Analysts. So, at a meeting of 19 owners/operators on 8/31/1993, steps were taken to launch a new national advocacy group representing the unique income-producing property type. Three years later, on 1/1/1996, the Manufactured Housing Institute launched the National Communities Council (later a division of MHI) to those ends.
  • A little known story about manufactured housing production interacting with in-community placement of new HUD-Code homes goes like this: In 1998 when 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes were produced, only 15 percent (or 57,441 units) went directly into (then) manufactured home communities. 25 years later, given steep decline in the number of independent (street) MHRetailers, and community owners/operators taking  initiative to sell and finance homes onsite, 51 percent (or 57,571 units) of the 112,886 new homes produced in 2023 went directly into communities nationwide. This has been a major paradigm shift, since year 2000+/-, for the manufactured housing industry. GFA
  • Communities. Were ‘mobile home parks’ in the 1979s & 80s, ‘manufactured home communities’ during 1990 – 20000. And since the turn of the century, a trade term change to ‘land lease communities’. Read SWAN SONG for more information, as well as the industry’s official annual MH production levels since 1955. Available via www.educatemhc.com   

April 29, 2024

Just How Bad Are Rental Housing Costs Today?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:52 am

Blog Posting # 790, Copyright 26 April 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH’) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable, factory-built housing! (A.k.a. offsite construction). And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trend tracker, and information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatemhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. And SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as non-fiction author and freelance consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH hall of Fame enshrine, MHInsider magazine editor at large, & Allen Legacy columnist, Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 30 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

Just How Bad Are Rental Housing Costs Today?

In the March/April 2024 edition of ‘Affordable Housing Finance’ there is this troubling collection of dismal housing statistics quoted from a national housing report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (‘JCHS’). Here goes:

22.4 million renters are cost burdened. Consequences? Evictions & homelessness on the rise.

These 22.4 million renter households spend more than 30% of their income on rent & utilities.

12.1 million of these 22.4 million renter households are spending more than 50% on these costs

JCHS’ managing director Chris Herbert: “…issue of housing affordability is no longer a problem of just the poor.” P.8.

“Since 2001, median rents have risen nearly continuously in inflation-adjusted terms and are 21% higher as of 2022. Yet incomes have risen only 2% in the same period.” P.8.

FHFA’s Housing Mission Report for Year 2023

Released 4/17/2024, this report describes “…activities taken by Fannie Mae  & Freddie Mac (‘the Enterprises’), and Federal Home Loan Banks in 2023 to promote access to financing for affordable, sustainable, and equitable housing and targeted economic development.” OK, so

 what did they do during year 2023?

“…the Enterprises purchased over 136,000 single-family mortgages for low and moderate income borrowers….” How many of these were HUD-Code manufactured homes? None I saw.

“…Enterprises collectively purchased approximately 15,000 Special Purpose Credit Program loans through lender-sponsored initiatives and their proprietary SPCPs….” HUD-Code homes?

“…Enterprises partnered with vendors responsible for collecting rent payment data from participating multifamily housing property owners and formatting it for dissemination to credit bureaus.” And HUD-Code manufactured housing figures into this activity how?

“The Enterprises invested over $1.7 billion last year in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (‘LIHTC’) equity, including transactions that support housing in Duty to Serve designated rural areas…”

This followed by two activities pursued by FHL Banks. Unclear if MH was involved in any way.

But Wait! In a separate, subsequent (4/24/2024) Press Release from the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), readers are told how ‘HUD & FHFA Bring Manufactured Housing into Affordable Housing Conversation at Senate Hearing’. Read what follows here carefully, bearing in mind what you just learned from the FHFA Housing Mission Report for Year 2023.

“Manufactured housing also plays an important role in building the supply of single-family affordable housing – not only in rural areas on privately held land and in manufactured housing communities (‘MHCs’) but also in fee-simple subdivisions and infill housing in urban areas. (&) FHFA supports the responsible growth of the manufactured housing market, as this represents an opportunity to help address the nation’s affordable housing supply challenge.” Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) Sandra Thompson

So, where does reality (i.e. ‘the Mission Report’) end and 2024 ‘gas lighting’ begin? Just what does the FHFA and GSEs really do in behalf and support of the manufactured housing industry?

Communities: Ugly Stepchild of Manufactured Housing

Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (‘JCHS’) strikes again -but ‘strikes out!’

In a recent report dated 4/23/2024, titled ‘Harnessing the Potential of Manufactured Housing to Expand Entry-Level Homeownership’, writer Chadwick Reed redirects the focus of readers to yet another study: ‘Overcoming Barriers to manufactured Housing; Promising Approaches from Five Case Studies’. Here’s where it gets interesting. Read carefully.

“While all of the cases featured in the new report focus on applications of manufactured housing in fee-simple, real-property development – where a new manufactured home is permanently affixed to its foundation, titled as real estate, and sold to a homebuyer – they vary widely in most other respects.”

So, where’s the ‘ugly stepchild’ in any of these esoteric studies? The land lease community – into which 51 percent of new HUD-Code housing production is shipped and installed for on-site marketing, sale, and financing? Communities (i.e. those featuring rental homesites) are not even mentioned. So here, ‘half a loaf’ is ‘no loaf at all’ – or so it seems. Wakeup JCHS and be more inclusive in your coverage of HUD-Code manufactured housing and its’ sister component, land lease communities – or perhaps you’re still thinking in terms of ‘mobile home park’ lingo.

Back to the ‘Overcoming Barriers…’ report. Here’re the key insights and strategic approaches the authors cite:

Education and advocacy are critical. Education of local officials and communities; advocacy by the industry itself.

Zoning restrictions require flexibility. And I would add ‘endurance’. Changing zoning codes is not a one shot affair – ever.

CrossMod homes have particular appeal.  Unlike “traditional manufactured homes often built for niche applications like manufactured home parks or farm housing.” – CrossMod homes “…designed to provide an alternative to conventional site-built single-family housing.” IMHO, it appears the writers here have sipped the Kool Aid. I’m still waiting for trade publications to honestly and accurately ballyhoo the annual unit sales gains of CrossMod homes.

Development processes are unique. While the CrossMod design accomplishes what was intended, developing said homes into a typical single-family neighborhood will be new to most manufactured housing developers – who’re neither licensed contractors or savvy with the manufactured housing product. (Remember the ‘land-home’ debacle at the turn of the century?)There are far fewer independent (street) MHRetailers today than 20 years ago. But, putting this type factory-built housing (a.k.a. offsite construction) onto rental homesites within land lease communities is a simple matter.

Time savings may come in time. This is the learning curve usually characteristic of HUD-Code manufactured homes.

So there you have it, matters to consider if putting manufactured homes into subdivisions and on scattered sites conveyed fee simple; just doesn’t do much for infill where land lease communities are concerned.

OK, Here’s Saving the Very Best for Last!

Given the volume of emails and phone calls I’ve been receiving from MH and land lease community associates across the U.S., an increasing number of you are well aware a movement is a-brewing. A grassroots movement to double the annual production of HUD-Code manufactured homes by filling vacant rental homesites and upgrading land lease communities with new homes.

In the words of RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee Dan Rolfes, of Ohio, I’ve been encouraged to ‘keep my powder dry’ for another week or two, until key details can be ironed-out in the planning/working document. So, keep your eyes peeled here for another week or so…if you’re interested in seeing our industry double new home production this year and next.

To the best of my recollection, this is the first time since mid-year 1963, that a significant number of entrepreneur businessmen and women from the industry at large, plan to come together for a worthy business model purpose. If you’re already ‘on board’, you know it; if not, then watch here for more information and how to become involved!  GFA

George Allen

April 19, 2024

Past, Present & Future Statistics & Trends

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:22 pm

Blog Posting # 789, Copyright 19 April 2024. EducateMHC

Know this! HUD-Code manufactured housing (‘MH”) is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable-attainable, factory-built housing! (A.k.a. offsite construction_. And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the commercial real estate (‘CRE’) component of MH! EducateMHC is the online advocate, official historian, trend tracker, and information resource for both business models. Access EducateMHC via (317) 881-3815; email: gfa7156@aol.com, & visit www.educatmhc.com to purchase Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. And SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam as a USMC lieutenant, a 45 year entrepreneur business career in MH & community ownership, as well as non-fiction author and freelance management consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is the only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (“MI’), a founding board member of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, an RV/MH Hall of Fam enshrinee, MHInsider magazine editor at large, & Allen Legacy columnist, Vietnam combat veteran & retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, and author/editor of 20 books & chapbooks on MH, communities, business management & prayer.

What follows here is the never-before-published narrative of my farewell presentation at the Final Networking Roundtable, in Nashville, TN., during August 2021. When I came across it recently, it occurred to me no one is compiling and sharing, in print and otherwise, this type State of the Industry information. And since some of the cited statistics have changed during the past 2 ½ years, I decided to edit and incorporate the narrative into this week’s blog posting for your reference and retention. I hope you print off this 789th blog posting and use it during the weeks, months, even years ahead. George Allen

Past, Present & Future Statistics & Trends

Among Land Lease Communities in the U.S.

Consolidation within manufactured housing & among land lease communities. This is the biggest perennial phenomenon to occur in these two segments during the past 50 years – ‘the large absorbing the small’! For example, there were 26 factory-built housing firms in 1977; today, mainly the Big Three C firms: Clayton Homes, Inc., Skyline Champion Corporation, & Cavco Industries, Inc. control 80+/- percent national market share of HUD-Code homes production.*1 And, in 1987 there were 25 (then) manufactured home community portfolios; and the 500+/- today have acquired 95+ percent of all institutional, investment grade land lease communities in the U.S. And, there’s also been ‘consolidation by attrition’, among independent (street) MHRetailers, since year 2000.

20 Year paradigm shift during years 2000 – 2020 continues. When the manufactured housing industry lost ‘easy access to chattel capital’ or ‘home-only loans’, at the turn of the century, manufactured housing sales moved from independent (street) MHRetailers to on-site, in-community home sales and financing.*2 Today? Between 2008 and 2023, in-community new home deliveries increased from 15 to 51 percent of annual production during those 15 years. Frustrations? Increasing frustration among community owners over radically increasing product pricing, lengthy waits for deliveries of homes (Due in large part to the pandemic), and slow warranty work. Future? Continued in-community marketing and sale of new homes or resurgence of ‘company stores’, etc.?

Evolving trade terminology. We’ve progressed from ‘mobile homes’ of the 1970s, to manufactured housing and communities of the 1980s & 90s, to land lease communities. Why? Seven types of shelter are now commonplace on rental homesites within many communities, e.g. ‘mobile homes’ (pre-1976), manufactured homes (post-1976), modular homes, park model RVs, RVs for a season, stick-built homes fabricated on site (only in Florida after hurricanes), and now ADUs or ‘accessory dwelling units’ such as Tiny Houses. Future terminology? Anyone’s guess, but maybe simply housing and housing communities, perhaps with signs out front announcing: ‘A wonderful housing discovery!’ Oh, and be alert to increasing presence of ‘offsite housing’ (a.k.a. all forms of factory-built housing) lingo.

National advocacy. Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) has represented all segments of the manufactured housing industry for decades; and, land lease communities, via its’ National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division since 1996.*3 Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) has been doing similarly for independent, regional HUD-Code housing manufacturers since 1985. And the National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (‘NAMHCO’) arrived on the scene in 2018-19, and Women Advancing Manufactured Housing (‘WAMH’) shortly thereafter. Going forward. Consolidation means fewer independent HUD-Code housing manufacturers and fewer sole proprietor owners of communities supporting state and national trade associations – though all firms  continue to need representation and lobbying expertise as regulatory concerns persist, even increase in some instances. The associations that deal best with these challenges will prevail and grow in size and influence.

Operating performance standards. Circa 1990 there were no published  performance standards describing (then) manufactured home community operations – only Income/Expense Analysis Reports data for conventional, garden style apartment communities, published by the Institute of Real Estate Management’s (‘IREM’) annual Income/Expense Analysis reports. The first Industry Standard Chart of Operating Accounts (‘ISCOA’), and characteristic Operating Expense Ratios (‘OERs’) were published in 1992, and have been updated annually since then, via the ALLEN REPORT.*4 In 1994, these OERs, along with occupancy and turnover percentages, and ‘two faces of ROI (‘return on & of investment) were used by would be community REITs (‘real estate investment trusts’) to entice Wall Street analysts to recommend buying stock in the real estate asset class.*5 Future standards? For starters, the increasingly popular practice of citing combined monthly site rent & PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) payments when comparing to conventional home loan mortgage payments. Over time, expect to see most land lease community statistics, and trend identification, come from DATACOMP.

Improved & improving site rent collection. In 1970s, monthly site rent due date was the anniversary of one’s move into the ‘mobile home’ or manufactured home community, and rent was often collected in cash! No more. Today, every homeowner/site lessee (a.k.a. tenant, resident) has the same anniversary date and rent is paid via check, credit card, debit card, or other electronic transfer means. No more money laundering as in the day of Chicago mobsters, or with gun in hand as one of my maintenance men did until I caught him doing so.*6

Resident-owned communities or ROCs. Today, number more than 275 in 18 states in the ROC USA Network. And of course there are a large number of non-network affiliated ROCs in Florida and California. This is essentially a realty  ownership transfer from for-profit to non-profit status, when homeowners/site lessees organize a homeowners association (‘HOA’) and, when their community is offered ‘for sale’, use the expertise and experience of a third party (e.g. ROC USA) to form a cooperative and secure real estate-secured financing to acquire the land lease community. The future? Bright for ROC USA, as the firm has raised capital to finance transactions, now providing their services in all states. Overall success of the ROC concept depends on continued, increased acceptance by sole proprietor property owners and homeowners/site lessees.

Raw land development into land lease (& RV) communities. In my opinion, this is a reemerging trend characteristic of land lease communities during decades past. For example; in early 1970s, when 575,940 new ‘mobile homes’ were built and shipped annually, thousands of new ‘mobile home parks’ were developed nationwide – but were stifled by legislation and implementation of the HUD-Code, and other negative influences shortly thereafter. During the 1990s, the industry and asset class experienced a renascence of sorts when housing production surged to 372,943+/- new HUD-Code homes in 1998.*7 Shortly thereafter, thanks to predatory lending practices and other missteps, the industry lost its’ theretofore ‘easy access to chattel capital’, bringing that short period of prosperity to an end.*8 And now, another 20 years later, we see the ‘land development trend’ reemerging in parts of the U.S., beginning with Sunbelt regions. The usual partnership in the past, between developers and housing manufacturers might be different this time. How so? Well, this time around, owners/operators of land lease communities have learned to buy new homes directly from factories, then market, sell, and often seller-finance them on-site. So, it will be interesting to see how this trend takes shape during months to come.

What hasn’t been accomplished to date? Without going into detail, these industry and realty asset class’ shortcomings are well known, and sad to say, not really ‘going anywhere’ these days.

  • Responsibility for proper, safe & secure installation of HUD-Code homes
  • ‘Affordable housing’; ill-defined & ballyhooed, but MH is ignored by HUD
  • Little to no effort at MH image improvement & public acceptance
  • Lack of even reasonable access to chattel capital home-only loans
  • Valuation of manufactured homes is neither an art or a science
  • Lack of two secondary markets re home sales & selling seasoned loans
  • Continuation of NIMBY barriers in local housing markets re zoning, etc.
  • Unknown national Economic Impact & Analysis (‘’EIA’) of MHIndustry!

Summary. There is much more that could – should be said, about past, present and future statistics and trends among land lease communities.*9 Suffice it to say however, ‘these are the stepping stones that bought us to where we are today’- and what still needs to be done! Now we have to decide who will lead and inform us going into the future.

End Notes.

  1. Likely to increase with Cavco’s acquisition of Commodore Industries, the ‘largest independent producer of manufactured homes’ in the U.S.
  • According to MHI, 10,000+/- independent (street) MHRetailers went out of business at that time. By 2009, community owners realized they had to be masters of their own destiny relative to new home sales. That year they requested the Community Series Home design (WOW factors and enhance durability features). In 2016, the IMHA/RVIC (in IN) started the Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, teaching community owners how to effectively sell new homes on-site; continues to this day.
  • Of the 19 land lease community owners who met on 31 August 1993 to form the Industry Steering Committee predecessor to the NCC, only five remain active in the realty asset class today: Randy Rowe, Eugene Landy, Brian Fannon, CPM, Kamal Shouhayib and Ed Zeman; plus two – Eugene Landy & Brian Fannon, CPM, are RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinees. For full story, read late Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years, available for purchase via www.educatemhc.com
  • Read Development, Marketing & Operation of Manufactured Home Communities, published by J. Wiley & Sons, New York, 1992. ISCOA & OERs were formulated while the author was on USMC active duty in Honduras during Desert Storm.  Land lease community operating expense OER is 40 percent. And annual ALLEN REPORT is no longer available.
  • This is important, because as long as ‘apartment operating performance data’ was used to value manufactured home communities, their higher OERs  (55% due to high turnover, more ‘make ready’ expenses, & 24/7 marketing vs. 40% turnover among MHCommunities!) undervalued the latter property type.
  • Read Double Deal, ‘The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the cop who was a mobster’, by Michael Corbitt with Sam Giancana.,Harper Collins, 2003. This book is in the stacks of the RV/MH Hall of Fame library in Elkhart, IN., as part of the George Allen Community Collection.
  • This was also the brief time of land & home package popularity, a.k.a. ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ era, when manufactured housing industry attempted to compete head to head with builders of traditional site-built homes. This didn’t work for several reasons, but mainly because independent (street) MHRetailers, while competent selling new manufactured homes, were not the contractors they needed to be to prepare homesites conveyed fee simple – in subdivisions and on scattered building sites.
  • Read the short story, ‘Upside Down in a Mobile Home Park’, in SWAN SONG, PMN Publishing, 2017, page # 30, Figure G.
  • Some of the old and new rules of thumb, formulae, and forms created and used along the way:
  • 3:1 Rule for setting site rent; apartment rent is 3X that of site rent in the same local housing market. Today however, large portfolio rent increases are easing this rule to being 2:1
  • New Rule of 72 for calculating capitalized income value of an average community; e.g. 200 sites X $200/month rent X 72 = $2,880,000. Key here is to calculate twice: once @ 100% occupancy, & once @ present occupancy.
  • ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh!’ Worksheet for ‘estimating maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home, or on leased land’. Available only from www.educatemhc.com
  • Professional property management via Certified Property Manager (‘CPM’) program at IREM; MHM via EducateMHC, & ACM via MHEI.
  • Four Steps to selling/Financing New Homes On-site: Getting Ready, Buying Homes, Selling Homes, Financing Homes. Wallet card @ EducateMHC
  • 6 Right Ps of Marketing (homes): Right Product, Right Place, Right Price, Right Promotion, Right People, Right Process. Wallet Card @ EducateMHC
  • ABClassification Quality Grading System for land lease communities. Available only from EducateMHC (Replaces defunct Woodall System)

Only one textbook covers all the preceding material – and more. It’s Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry, described in the opening paragraph of this blog. GFA

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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