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

August 29, 2015

Manufactured Housing to be reborn 9/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:17 am

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

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’



Manufactured Housing to be Reborn on 9/11

West Coast Visionary Cum Land-lease-lifestyle Community Redeveloper to
Demonstrate, before 200+ Networking Roundtable Attendees & the Local
San Diego Press, How HUD-Code/Modular Housing Now Leads the Way to
Net Zero Energy Usage Today-Not-Tomorrow, Citing a Present Day Case
Study sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, using Manufactured
Homes in Income-Producing Properties Anywhere!

Whoa! Let’s take this one careful step at a time.

The West coast visionary? Modular Lifestyles, Inc., a division of the Newport Pacific
Family Company.

Redeveloping what? ‘Mobile home parks’, by routinely replacing pre-HUD Code homes
with new manufactured homes featuring near zero energy usage, that translates into low
operating costs for homeowner/site lessees. Just like the Modular Lifestyles home
featured in San Diego at the 21st annual International Networking Roundtable in 2012.
Speaking of which, this same home will soon to be featured in the TV series, ‘Tiny
House Hunters’, to demonstrate how today’s contemporary factory-built homes are
a natural fit for stringent energy conservation measures increasingly commonplace, and
in some local housing markets required of new construction.

Immediate results? Typical 50-100 amp community electric service on-site, effectively
Turning electrical power master metering – and billing, on its’ ear – as energy use
plummets with each housing replacement! And where do these new homes get their
replacement power? In large part, from solar energy sources like the Dow Chemical
Company’s POWERHOUSE ™ Solar System 2.0., an innovative BIPV Solar System for
new and redeveloped land-lease-Lifestyle communities (a.ka. manufactured home
communities, even ‘mobile home parks’). Samples of this new solar power roof shingle
system will be on hand at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11
September in San Diego, for attendees to examine.

In any event, this is the gist of the Very Special Presentation that’ll be made in front of
200 LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the U.S. and Canada, a dozen or
so HUD-Code home manufacturers, along with senior executives from Fannie Mae,
Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Authority, the Manufactured Housing
Institute, and possibly, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory
Reform. Anyone who’s anybody in the manufactured housing industry will be present!

How can YOU afford not to be on hand for this historic rebirth of HUD-Code
manufactured housing as this nation’s premier and lone manifestation of affordable-not-
subsidized, highly energy efficient housing?!

Not too late for you to register. Simply telephone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE:
(877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, or visit the website:


‘Political Correctness’,

as defined by President Harry Truman to General D. A. MacArthur on 1 September 1945,

the day before the actual signing of the WWII Surrender Agreement, in four telegrams:

(Editor’s Note: Parenthetical remarks within the telegrams are my additions to aid understanding)

1. “Tokyo, Japan 0800-September 1, 1945 To: President Harry S. Truman. From: General D A MacArthur. Tomorrow we meet with those ________ (Japanese)
and sign the Surrender Documents, any last minute instructions?

2. Washington, DC 1300-September 1, 1945 To: D A MacArthur From H S Truman Congratulations, job well done, but you must tone down your obvious dislike of the Japanese when discussing the terms of the surrender with the press, because some of your remarks are fundamentally not politically correct!

3. Tokyo, Japan 1630 – September 1, 1945 TO: H S Truman From: D A MacArthur and C H Nimitz. Wilco (‘Will comply’) Sir, but both Chester and I are somewhat confused, exactly what does the term politically correct mean?

4. Washington, DC 2120-September 1, 1945 TO: D A MacArthur/C H Nimitz. From: H S Truman. Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of turd by the clean end!”

Now, with special Thanks to the Truman Museum, you and I have a full and better understanding of what ‘political correctness’ really means!


One Last Time

Here’s what YOU will experience if you register and participate in the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, in San Diego.

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best possible interpersonal networking available anywhere, anytime!

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best hands on educational selections available anywhere anytime!

• Among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators, the best opportunities at property deal making available anywhere anytime!

• Celebration of National Land-lease-lifestyle Community Week!

• Celebration of 2nd Year of the NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing!
• Celebration of Land-lease-lifestyle Communities as the ‘New Breed of MHRetailer & Lender’

• Identification of the ‘DECADE (2015-2025) of _______ ________ ________ Housing & Community __________!’ at the Roundtable…

No doubt about it, 9-11 September, in San Diego, is ‘Where the Action Will Be!’, for all of manufactured housing (with nearly a dozen HUD-Code home manufacturers present) and land-lease-lifestyle communities, as well as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Manufactured Housing Institute (You’ve simply gotta hear Rick Robinson’s legislative briefing!), and possibly the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (Our industry’s ‘Watchdog’ in Washington, DC) – if retired exec will let loose of the reins enough to allow Marc Weiss to attend!

And finally; unless you know about ‘net zero energy use’ in future HUD-Code manufactured homes sited in California, and eventually nationwide, you need to be present to learn basics and details firsthand. For starters, re-read Part I of this blog posting!

See you in San Diego!


August 22, 2015

Latchkey to MHSales? Exciting Treatise & more…

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:30 am

COBA7® presents Blog # 362 via Copyright 23 August 2015

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

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform &Y opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’


INTRODUCTION. This week = three questions. Latchkey to Increased MHSales? Gauge this book by its’ cover? (&) Wanna Get Pissed a Little? Learn, Anticipate, & Vent.


$ = Lynchpin or Linchpin? Spelled Either Way, it’s Latchkey to Increased Manufactured Housing Sales!

Ken Rishel, of Rishel Consulting, in the August issue of his online newsletter MANUFACTURED HOUSING CHATTEL FINANCE, did a yeoman’s job (‘attendant’ to the MHIndustry) making the case for ‘Customer Finance (being) the Key to Recovery’ for the manufactured housing industry! What follows here, is a paraphrase of one small part of what Ken had to say to all of us. The question is: ‘Who will listen intently, then be proactive expanding present sources of home financing and cultivate new ones?’

Which ‘of many’ sources of home financing we use for prospective homebuyer/site lessees, does not matter! The source can be an independent third party lender like 21st Mortgage, Triad, or CU Factorybuilt; even emerging regional lenders like PEP, Alliance, or Park Lane Finance; as well as local lenders getting back into the business model – or starting anew. The source might also be ‘captive finance’ firms owned by land-lease-lifestyle community owners or independent (street) MHRetailers; private investors providing lease-option funding, even joint ventures between HUD-Code home manufacturers and community customers and depository institutions, not to forget working relationships between ’Lonnie dealers’ and (oft) smaller owners/operators. The latchkey is, there must be sufficient and robust accessible home financing available to qualified customers who want to buy manufactured homes to be sited within LLLCommunities, or we simply do not have a functional business model!

Well put. Can’t make that critical matter any clearer. And your source(s) of home finance?


Can You Tell a Book by its’ Cover?

This time Yes!

Here’s What this year’s

‘Directory of Attendees’, soon to be distributed at the
24th Networking Roundtable (9-11 September) tells us about that event:

Celebrating ‘National LLLCommunity Week’,

during 2nd year of ‘NEW ERA of Manufactured Housing’,

featuring the ‘New Breed of MHRetailers & Lenders’,

all at the beginning of this new ‘DECADE (2015-2025) of __________________’(to be announced at the Roundtable)

Wow! And that only scratches the surface of this historic convergence of disparate events, individuals, and firms:

• 200+/- land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators (a.k.a. manufactured home community), of all sizes, from throughout the U.S. & Canada! And yes, Canadians are already registered to participate.

• Executives from more than a half dozen of the largest manufacturers of HUD-Code Community Series Homes in the U.S., actively selling homes into LLLCommunities! Anyone who’s anybody in manufactured housing is coming.

• Executives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Manufactured Housing Institute, & possibly MHARR. Also National Buyers Group, ROC USA, & more.

• At least a dozen lenders originating commercial (real estate-secured) and retail (chattel capital) $ mortgages for LLLCommunities & manufactured homes respectively! Roundtable $ sponsors will man the popular Lenders Panel Friday morning.

• Two dozen freelance consultants and experts with specialty knowledge, all willing to share the inner workings of their respective fields, to the betterment of everyone present! Learn about FFF, housing economics, CSH Models, MHGives, and much more.

• All the national real estate brokers specializing in marketing LLLCommunities! Dozens of LLLCommunities listed ‘for sale’, a real smorgasbord of investment properties.

• And everyone present will receive a copy of the commissioned treatise titled: Manufactured (Affordable) Housing: ‘From Factory to Family; a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This alone is worth the price of admission to this stellar educational, networking, and deal-making event!

This is the last week, during which, it makes sense to register – to be sure of being included in the aforementioned Directory of Attendees. Why is that important? This is the widely touted ‘Best Directory of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Business Contacts Available Anywhere Anytime’! You wouldn’t believe how many copies we sell after the event…

So, to register, visit, use brochure attached to this BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert), or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. You’ll be glad you did!


Wanna Get Pissed a Little?

In a recent issue of TreeHugger (online pub), answering the question, ‘So, Whatever happened to Katrina Cottages?’, two insightful, though discouraging, observations were made. In the first instance,:

‘To the question of why didn’t the Katrina Cottage (‘KC’) idea sweep the nation: Heck, the idea didn’t even sweep Coastal Mississippi. The Tolar-Cloyd-Dial neighborhoods took seven years to (reach) critical mass, while proposals to do something similar in other locations were blocked by local planning boards, elected officials and neighbors, even when units could be had for free or for greatly reduced costs over building on site.

People wanted things they way they were.

Car-dependent, suburban-style neighborhoods with homes three or four times the size of KC designs were the normal most folks were anxious to return to. To many, ‘smaller’ implied settling for less; and manufactured housing, no matter how sophisticated the design or the quality of materials, translated to ‘trailer park.’

In the end, tiny houses work best as part of a (land-lease-lifestyle) community.”

And how ‘bout this as a not-so-glittering generality, describing where we’ve been, as factory-built housing providers, during the past 100 years:

“It’s been the better part of a century since well-crafted bungalow, cottages, and other small-scale dwellings defined ‘home’ to most ‘Americans – and since designers and builders produced them on a large scale. The metrics of housing value tend to be about size and price per square foot, with big being better and small being for losers. ‘Affordable’ translates to either ‘subsidized’, which in turn translates to ‘projects’ or to ‘mobile homes’, which implies ‘trailer trash.’ Either way, anything small and affordable threatens to lower market values. While this cannot persist as a permanent mindset, it’s nevertheless a perspective that continues to corrupt conversations about community planning and development.”

To the latter point, I ask: ‘Why can’t the ‘Big Box = Big Bucks’ mindset persist?’ While backburnered somewhat, for the time being, where HUD-Code manufactured housing is concerned – due to lack of easy access to chattel capital for new homes sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities; one just knows it’s going to come roaring back as the national economy improves. Why? Because we’re constantly reminded how homes, besides being an income tax break (i.e. mortgage interest deduction), are how most Americans ‘build wealth’, enabling them to move-on-up among their peers, and or increase the $ nest egg that’ll sustain them during retirement. And new tiny homes simply won’t cut it.

Again, as stated earlier, ‘In the end, tiny houses work best only as part of a land-lease-lifestyle community.’

To that end, we’ll always have land-lease-lifestyle communities! Yes, we’ve already turned one corner, now siting up to six different types of housing, rather than just the traditional two, being pre & post HUD-Code manufactured homes. Next step in the evolution? I know what I think it should be: siting and use of ‘park model RVs’ as housing. But also know there’s opposition to this application at the highest level (i.e. HUD’s Department of Manufactured Housing), within our sister industry, the recreational vehicle folk (Afraid of being pulled into HUD oversight), and of course, the relatively high (per square foot) price tag of the units themselves. So, where does that leave us for the time being? In housing occupancy limbo; with ‘housing’ we can’t utilize (yet), and occupancy that continues to suffer as an estimated 250,000 rental homesites nationwide, remain vacant.

There’s an irony hidden in the previous paragraph. Think of the HUD-coined term for ‘tiny house’. It’s long been, Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU in short. And in everyday parlance, ‘tiny houses’, besides being supposed darlings of Millennials (Which I’m not at all sure I believe is anything but a passing fantasy, a fad), are just as often, if not more so, referred to as ‘Granny flats’ – indicative of their utility as shelter for the single person. So, let’s stop fighting about ‘Why park model RVs’ don’t work in the community environment’, and find common cause making this nonsubsidized form of ‘affordable housing’ an everyday staple in LLLCommunities from coast to coast. Anyone listening?

More important. Anyone doing something about this matter? Further ask yourself,

‘Where does my national advocacy body of choice stand on this timely, vacancy-filling subject? There lies ‘the rub’….

Hint. COBA7® is all for ‘park model RVs’ being approved for routine siting within land-lease-lifestyle communities, large and small, nationwide, especially filling long vacant functionally obsolete rental homesites!.


August 11, 2015

NEW ERA & Dual Paradigm Shift Center State @ Roundtable!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:46 am

COBA7® presents Blog # 361 via Copyright 16 August 2015

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

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’

INTRODUCTION. Only two parts to this week’s blog posting, but they’re important enough to warrant this two part introduction.

Part I, and with no exaggeration, contains the most important business writing I’ve prepared for you in 35 years! I believe the manufactured housing industry, along with its’ sister segment, the land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, is on the very cusp (‘point’) of turnaround to increased new home shipments and prosperity – IF all HUD-Code home manufacturers realize these unique, income-producing properties need an estimated 250,000 new homes ‘designed & featured’ for this specialty application nationwide – and court them with the respect, product, service, & pricing they deserve!

Part II. Now here’s a foursome you’ll likely not see again anytime soon in the future:

• ‘DECADE (2015-20125) of ____________________’ to be annouonced soon!

• Treatise: ‘Affordable (Manufactured) Housing – From Factory to Family, a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This is a MUST READ for all!

• RV/MH Hall of Fame! Not yet a $ $upporter? You really should be, because…

• Prayer. Read how the ‘911’ tragedy influences every Networking Roundtable….


The NEW ERA & ‘Dual Paradigm Shift’ will be in Full Bloom at 24th annual International Networking Roundtable


Five HUD-Code Home Manufacturers Setting Agenda for Selling and Shipping New HUD-Code ‘Community Series Homes’ into Land-lease-lifestyle Communities Nationwide

• Keith Anderson, Champion Home Builders

• Joe Stegmayer, Bill Danforth, Cavco Industries

• Bob Bender, Commodore Homes

• Terry Decio, Skyline Corporation

• Walter Comer, Adventure Homes

REMINDER: The NEW ERA (for LLLCommunity owners/operators, began January 2014), and the ‘Dual Paradigm Shift’ (for HUD-Code home manufacturers), has been unfolding since year 2000), both summarized in last week’s blog posting using these carefully selected words:

“Dual paradigm shift AWAY FROM independent (street) MHRetailers TOWARDS in-LLLCommunity home sales; & AWAY FROM too easy access to chattel capital via independent third party lenders, TOWARDS reliance on cash transactions, seller-finance, ‘captive finance’, lease-options, & rental units, within LLLCommunities nationwide!” (Read again, for full impact of dual changes)

So, how will this play out at the Networking Roundtable in San Diego, CA., next month, 9-11 September 2015? Simple.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Selling More Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ And as soon as all 200-250 attendees are introduced to one another Thursday morning, 10 September, the above-named executives will address these pithy topics:

• WHY audience should consider buying their firm’s Community Series Home models, displaying one or more WOW! factors and a plethora of durability-enhancing features – to control maintenance expenses and speed make-ready between contract sale homebuyers and or renters?

• WHAT customized marketing and sales training materials and assistance is available to sell more new homes on-site to prospective homebuyers/site lessees?

• WHETHER the Frost Free Foundation® is an acceptable installation alternative with their firm’s new HUD-Code homes going into LLLCommunities.

Then, during the second hour, the floor will be opened to questions from the audience and free-wheeling discussion about information presented during the first hour.

Why is ‘What’s about to happen at the Networking Roundtable in San Diego, so very important and timely!’ to and for the manufactured housing industry?

BECAUSE such dialogue and interaction have NOT been done on a national level before! Since the initial partnership, between HUD-Code home manufacturers and (then) MHCommunity owners/operators, was forged on 28 February 2009, in Elkhart, IN – leading to the debut of Community Series Homes later that year., this is the first national venue where ‘both sides’ are coming together, to ensure the percentage of new homes shippped into LLLCommunities continues to increase (e.g. 2009 = 25%; 2013 = 30%).

BECAUSE national advocacy bodies, to date, have NOT taken the initiative to unite, rather than divide, the industry in general, HUD-Code home manufacturers in particular! We, as an industry, have long needed this sort of practical, forward-looking dialogue; and it appears, we’re finally going to get it! Just how pervasive is this effort? Besides the expected 200-250 attendees, these five home manufacturers (still others may still register to attend), and executives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHFA, MHI, and hopefully, the MHARR, will all be represented, as well as MHI’s elected chairman!

No question about it. If YOU are active in the manufactured housing industry and its’ land-lease-lifestyle community realty asset class, the 24th International Networking Roundtable is ‘the only place to be’, 9-11 September 2015. Businessmen and women from Canada (Who own/operate LLLCommunities throughout the U.S.) will also be participating in this year’s stellar event. To register, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or go to

Bottom line? Be part of ‘Making Manufactured Housing Industry History!’


This Time Last Month = Three Stories+

1. Help name the new DECADE (2015-2025). YOU did so, and it appears we have an apt moniker to soon put into play. ‘DECADE of ______________________’ will be announced during the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable!

2. Treatise titled: ‘Affordable (Manufactured) Housing – From Factory to Family, a Bold Look into the Future of Housing & Community!’ This instructive document is successor to the popular WHITE PAPER distributed ‘before, during & after’ last year’s Networking Roundtable. The treatise is presently being printed, bound, and readied for distribution, reading, and discussion at the upcoming venue, 9-11 September in San Diego, CA. Trust me, you’ll want to read it about the anticipated Bold New World of Manufactured Housing!

3. RV/MH Hall of Fame Day (8/3/2015) was all it promised to be; from the golf tournament to the Writers Conference, to meetings, to receptions, to the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that evening! Now, consider joining Carolyn and me as perennial financial supporters of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. After all, this is the sole repository of your MH heritage/legacy and mine! To donate, and or secure a lifetime membership, as we have, simply phone (800) 378-8694.

4. Here’s a tale you’ve likely not heard or read before. In 1999, the Networking Roundtable was extended by two days when we were snowed-in, in Colorado Springs, CO., due to ‘heaviest pre-season snowstorm on record’, dropping five feet of snow in 12 hours! In 2000, the Networking Roundtable was held in Delray Beach, FL., ‘during’ Hurricane Georges (Yep, you read that right). And as Carolyn and I prepared to drive to Chicago for the 2001 Networking Roundtable, airplanes flew into the twin towers in New York city and the Pentagon in Washington, DC., those tragedies delaying the event until November. Well, during the Networking Roundtable 2002, we introduced an early Friday morning ‘Prayer for Our Nation & Its’ Leaders’ event into the agenda, and have included it ever since. A dozen or more individuals gather at 7AM, for a devotional led by one or another attendee, followed by sharing personal prayer requests, then a time of intercessory prayer – for our nation and its’ leaders, and more. And most years a special book is distributed to those present. This year? Something special is planned for our time together….


August 8, 2015

Manufactured Housing’s Soon to be # 1 Customer!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:05 am

COBA7® presents Blog # 360 via Copyright, 9 August 2015

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

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press, research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

To input this blog & or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHindustry HOTLINE: (878)MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

cOBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’


Manufactured Housing Industry’s New, Direct Home Sales Customer, the

Land-lease-lifestyle Community

& Here’s Why!

Your choice. Learn ‘What happened!’ in five paragraphs, labeled years 1998, 2000, 2009, 2013 & 2015…


Summarize in 40 words, the 15 year dual paradigm shift AWAY FROM independent (street) MHRetailers TOWARDS in-LLLCommunity home sales; & AWAY FROM too easy access to chattel capital via independent third party lenders, TOWARDS reliance on cash transactions, seller-finance, ‘captive finance’, lease-options, even rental units, on-site within LLLCommunities nationwide!

Does that summary do it for you? Or do you need to be reminded how LLLCommunity owners/operators, selling new HUD-Code homes on-site, ‘at whatever product cost/sales price margin works for them’ – to get rental homesites occupied and the rent meter running, is a Major Major Marketing Advantage over what the relatively few remaining independent (street) MHRetailers and ‘company stores’ can offer! Here’s a passage, underscoring this fresh truth, from a letter penned by a small property portfolio owner/operator:

“This seems to be ‘the year’ (2015) of transition from ‘repos’ to new manufactured homes for many of our smaller operators. Hardly a week goes by I don’t hear from one or more of these LLLCommunity folk, saying they’re ready to buy one or more new homes for the first time in ages, to fill vacant sites, upgrade their communities, improve cash flow and increase community value. This past week, one owner wrote about his eight year plan to fill 40 vacant sites with new homes. Another wrote about a three year plan to fill a 51 site conventional home development, that was foreclosed upon and is now empty, and how he plans to fill it with multisection homes. Few of these are going to place orders for 25-50 homes at a time, but thousands of us across the country represent 10-20% growth in new home sales for our industry”

Ah, but there’re two major potential stumbling blocks afoot that threaten this new reality!

• First is product design! Though Community Series Homes, a.k.a. CSH Models, have been ‘in play’ since the Elkhart, Indiana, NSAC Caucus* in 2009 – most HUD-Code home manufacturers, ‘who know about them’, only marginally market and fabricate the singelesection and modest-sized multisection homes with WOW! factors and durability-enhancing features, easing ‘make ready’ between homeowners and or renters! Proof? Count the few CSH Model homes exhibited at any regional manufactured housing show! They simply aren’t there – yet, as HUD-Code home manufacturers ballyhoo their ‘Big Box = Big Bucks! homes.

• Second is product pricing! No matter how you cut it, the wholesale cost of many, if not most, new CSH Models – and otherwise, is prohibitively high – high enough to stymie (‘a minor but insurmountable obstacle’) new home sales within and outside LLLCommunities in most local housing markets! Only a relatively few HUD-Code home manufacturers, who’ve pricewise pursued this ‘new, direct home sales customer’ have wound up with 40-50 percent of their production going directly into LLLCommunities, and find their orders ‘seven weeks out’. To them, LLLCommunities have become their ‘$ecret $auce’ for $uccess!

This my friends, all 1,000 of you receiving this weekly blog posting, is a major reason YOU should participate in the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable, 9-11 September, in San Diego, CA.. For the first time since that 2009 caucus, we’re poised, as an industry and realty asset class working together, to take the next major step to rejuvenate manufactured housing, even without easy access to chattel capital, which is to say:

Confirm and respect the LLLCommunity realty asset class as the ‘new, direct home sales customer’ for HUD-Code home manufacturers nationwide! To that end, this year’s theme is: ‘Selling More Community Series Homes into LLLCommunities Nationwide!’ Hence, senior executives from a half dozen prominent home manufacturing firms will be present to 1) Explain WHY you should buy their CSH Models (‘NO, not their Big Box = Big Bucks! developer models’); 2) WHAT LLLCommunity-customized marketing and sales training and aids, even housing finance programs, are available to facilitate ‘annuity type home transactions’ on-site; and 3) WHETHER the Frost Free Foundation® is an approved installation method for their CSH Model homes.

How can you afford not to be present, and part of the dual paradigm shift to rejuvenate the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry? There’s every good reason why LLLCommunity owners/operators coast-to-coast are widely and frequently referred to as the NEW BREED of MHRetailer! So, be present and be counted upon to ‘make positive history’ for the MHIndustry and the LLLCommunity real estate asset class! Come and buy some new HUD-Code homes!

Use attached brochure to register this week, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


End Note. (*) National State of the Asset Class caucuses, 2/27/2008 & 2/27/2009, effectively made HUD-Code home manufacturers and LLLCommunity owners/operators ‘partners’, bypassing the independent (street) MHRetailers, relative to the marketing and sales of new HUD-Code homes on-site within this unique, income-producing property type. Since then, the NSAC caucus was first supplanted by the MHInitiative® between years 2010 & 2013. Then, effective January 2014, the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, has taken the lead in promoting Community Series Homes as being ‘the answer’ to filling an estimated 250,000 vacant rental homesites throughout the U.S., and a practical means of increasing monthly and annual new home shipments. And frankly, recognition of the aforementioned dual paradigm shift, has led to the implementation of this year’s theme at the 24th annual International Networking Roundtable.



Of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Not-So-Trivial Trivia from RV/MH Hall of Fame Day, 3 August in Elkhart, IN.

• Writers Conference. Where official RV historian met possible MH counterpart, and shared resources. Want a copy of the syllabus for the session? Ask for it.

• Spring 2016 ‘Plant Tours & Sales Seminars’ tweaked to include six factories, and several HOW TO seminars on every step to buying new homes for sale on-site. Want name on advance ‘invite list’? Phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE #.

• Already alerted you to one imminent IPO (Initial Public Offering – of stock) precursor to a LLLCommunity portfolio becoming our asset class’ fourth real estate investment trust or REIT. Now we learn there’s yet another on the horizon! Who? Ah, you’ll have to be present at the 24th Networking Roundtable to hear.

• Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa Hotel cutoff date for special room rate for 24th Networking Roundtable occurs this week, so phone (877) 313-6645 for group rate per: GFA Management, 24th Networking Roundtable. Please do so right away!

• Roundtable. Steve Lefler will address: ‘Future of LLLCommunities’ in light of ‘All new homes in California must be Net Zero Energy Use by year 2020!’ And how that’s already being done in LLLCommunities throughout that state!

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Manufactured Housing Institute, but didn’t know who to ask!’ Rick Robinson, esquire, with help from Nathan Smith, PHC®. No better resource to brief you about pending legislation.

• New book. WOW! After last week’s blog on this subject, and the near overwhelming response received – with suggestions as to additional categories and names of LLLCommunity owners to include, sounds like I might have a ‘best seller’ on my hands. Keep those ideas and names a-coming! (317) 346-7156.

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform but didn’t know who to ask! Marc Weiss, esq., with assistance from recently retired Danny Ghorbani. Meet our industry’s ‘Washington Watchdog’ in person.

• Speaking of MHARR. If you didn’t read their REPORT & ANALYSIS, dated 28 July 2015, re: HUD Funding & state SAAs; high-cost energy regulation, ‘disparate impact’, and other MH-related matters, phone (202) 783-4087 and request an electronic version. You’ll be glad you did.

• Roundtable: ‘All you wanted to know about the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but didn’t know who to ask. Now you can ask Michael Price directly. And as you know, representative from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are to be on hand as well!


5th annual SECO Summit in the South!

‘Where You’ll Want to be 14 & 15 October 2015, in Atlanta, GA.

Lots of reasons to attend this year, e.g. MHM class on the 13th; Community Series Homes on display – to tour and buy; one of Best lineups of HOW TO seminars for all of 2015, and this…

LLLCommunity owners/operators often ask ‘How to get local banks to underwrite chattel capital mortgages on manufactured homes sited in land-lease-lifestyle communities?’ Well, used to point them towards Tom Horner, Jr., CPA® in Kansas, and a few other ‘friends in the MHBusiness’.

But at this year’s SECO Summit in the South, attendees will meet Larry Mathews, president of the American Commerce Bank. They partner with LLLCommunity owners in Georgia, offering an in-community home acquisition finance program that’s filling vacant rental homesites, increasing investment cash flow and property value – all at low interest rates, high LTV*, minimal closing costs, and 10-15 year terms, with no pre-payment penalty – all in a close working relationship with some of the MHIndustry’s leading home manufacturers! Can’t ask for more than that can you? So, be there and learn how to do something similar in your local housing markets! For more information about SECO Summit in the South, contact Kristina Unger via (404) 408-8020.

End Note. (*) LTV = loan to value


August 1, 2015

‘Smiling All the Way to the Bank!’ & more…

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:16 am

COBA7® presents Blog # 359 via Copyright, 2 August 2015

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

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’, & Goal of its’ print & online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve our MHBusiness model!’

INTRODUCTION to blog posting # 359. ‘What a Foursome! Just how really bad the MHRetailer massacre has been! Anyone who’s anybody in the MHBusiness will be in San Diego, 9-11 September, for sure! Announcing plans for the most interesting book in LLLCommunity history! And, keep those Decade ‘names’ a – coming!’ George Allen


75% Reduction in # of MHRetailers Since 1998!

We all knew it was bad, but my guess is few thought it could be this severe. In a recent IBTS census report of independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’ in the U.S., we learned by year end 1998, when new HUD-Code home shipments peaked at 372,843 units, there were more than 13,000 MHRetailers in business. However, by year end 2014, a scant 16 years later, when only 64,331 new HUD-Code homes were shipped, fewer than 4,000 MHRetailers remained ‘in the MHBusiness’!

Additional MHRetailer census details were featured in the August issue of the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter; and there will likely be a story on this heady – but sobering subject, in the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. To receive either or both seminal publications, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

As you likely know, COBA7® has long been the statistical resource among land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators nationwide. Just read the 26th ALLEN REPORT. (By the way, questionnaires pursuant to preparation of the 27th annual ALLEN REPORT are ‘in the mail’. However, if YOU own and or fee manage five or more LLLCommunities and/or 500 rental homesites, and don’t receive one of the 500+/- questionnaires being distributed, phone us at the aforementioned Official MHIndustry HOTLINE, and we’ll send you one right away.

FYI. Every ALLEN REPORT, in support of the ‘mixed use trend’ among LLLCommunities nationwide, includes RV rental sites within rental homesite count totals used to rank the 500+/- property portfolios, from largest to smallest, throughout North America! Be aware, there is an imitation out there that does not include RV rental sites, unnecessarily confusing the audience it seeks to document and inform.

Speaking further of statistics. We’re still awaiting definitive word from our source, regarding the percentage of new HUD-Code home shipments being delivered directly into LLLCommunities, by year end 2014. This information was delayed from June/July to September. You’ll be the first to know when we receive the important trend data.

All this is part and parcel to the COBA7® goal of being the manufactured hosing industry’s primary statistical resource – where possible, seeking unity in reporting among all national advocacy bodies representing the industry and LLLCommunity asset class!
Recalling the COBA7® motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’


24th Networking Roundtable Only a Month Away!

This is shaping up to be a very special event for many reasons. You already know of the superb networking opportunities during the two day period, and the nearly two dozen educational sessions. But this year’s emphasis on ‘Selling more HUD-Code homes into LLLCommunities’ has attracted unparalleled attention – as registrants sign-up to learn what Community Series Homes to buy, what marketing and sales support is available to them, and status of the Frost Free Foundation as an installation alternative. And there’s even more! Meet top execs from four of the largest home manufacturing firms.

For example. Did you know the Official Directory of Registrants, for this and every Roundtable to date, is the most highly sought after, and frequently referenced contact document in the manufactured housing industry? Well, it is, and for good reason; Not only do attendees receive said list when they arrive – to check off networking targets during the popular ‘Everyone Introduced’ hour, when the event begins, they’re emailed a corrected and even more comprehensive directory after the event ends! Who else does that for you, anywhere, anytime in the MHIndustry? No one!

Bottom line? Within a week or two after every annual Networking Roundtable you attend, YOU have a fresh list of more than 200 of the top ‘players’ in this industry and realty asset class. NO wonder they’re still in regular use more than a year later!

To register for this year’s 24th Networking Roundtable, use brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) announcing this week’s blog posting, or phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


One Heckuva MHIndustry Book Idea!

Can’t even tell you who came up with the idea, but it’s been floating around in conversation and thought for awhile now. Half the fun has been toying with titles and subtitles. Let’s see if you can guess the overall topic:

Smiling All the Way to the Bank!

Subtitle: ‘Not Your Glamour Investment, but Cash Cows Nonetheless!

Yep; our peers want me to start penning vignette-like tales about ‘mobile home park cum land-lease-lifestyle community owners’ we’ve known, endured and honored during the past three and a half decades. Then collect and publish said memoirs into a history tome focused on our unique realty asset class. Who to include?

Everyone. From the couple billionaire LLLCommunity owners – one of whom is a living legend and known as the Grave Dancer, is still around; the other ‘sold out’ years ago. And then there’re the perennial ‘flashes in the pan’ guys who hustle grandiose ideas and aggressive plans, only to ‘blow & go’ almost overnight.

What might be other categories of owners to research and describe in colorful detail?

Young wealth builders. These are the antithesis of the ‘flash in the pan’ guys; they’re young men and women who make wise and informed investment decisions along the way, like Ryan Hotchkiss in MD, Ben Braband in CO, and Jefferson Lilly in CA. Now there’s a national spread in names.

Pioneers. They’re mostly gone now, but certainly not forgotten – by many of us, e.g. LLLCommunity owners Myles Sampson (PA), Warren Huddleston (IL), Jim Overstreet (PA), Paul Stiner (IN), and Bud Zeman (IL) – this last guy has a LLLCommunity poem composed in his memory.

Visionaries. You know, those special individuals who dream the ‘best manufactured home & finest community’! Their ‘proof is in their pudding’, i.e. converting said dreams into practical reality! For starters, thinking here of land developer/home manufacturer Chuck Fanaro of SaddleBrook Farms in IL., the Tunnell family in DE, and Gary McDaniel of REIT Chateau Communities, and YES! Communities of CO.

Eccentrics. Boy, we’ve suffered more than a few of these! Almost always entrepreneur owners, as they usually ‘didn’t play well with others’, oft foisting their rants and peccadilloes on friends, acquaintances, and employees alike. Guess who?

Good leaders. While some micro-managed, and others were maybe too laissez-faire, we’ve benefitted, as a realty asset class, from their presence, actions, and often largesse. Hmm. Here I’m thinking owners Randy Rowe (IL), Spencer Roane, MHM® (GA), Tom Horner, Jr. (KS), Michael Sullivan, CPM® (CA) – and frankly, quite a few more I’ll identify and describe later.

.Quiet leaders. By their nature, not out in the forefront, but always encouraging and helping leaders lead, every step of the way: Jamie Dougherty, CPA® (MI), David Hess, MHM® (FL), Dennis Ohnstad, MHM® (IL), Rick Roethke (IN & CA), Kevin Shauaghnessy (IL), Matt Follett (CA), Spencer & Ross Partrich (MI), Nelson Steiner, MHM® & Bob Young (FL), Win Moses (IN), David Leichtman in OH – and more here too.

Bad leaders. Easy and kinda fun to identify. You now, those who’ve foisted (i.e. palmed off as genuine) their ‘leadership’ on us by dint of association political maneuvering or corporate employment circumstance. Can think of at least a half dozen right off the bat. But know what? Not one of them is an ‘owner’! So, will have to give this category more thought, or drop it….

Power couples. While I could ID many praise-worthy on-site property manager couples, there have been some notable ‘property owner power couples’ as well. Think Troy & Cheryl Brost, MHM® in OR; Ken & Katie Hauck, MHM®, as well as Ed Zeman & Dee Pizer, MHM® in IL, plus Mike & Luann Carrillo in CA. And there’re more that will come to mind.

Women owners. Really not that many women who’re sole proprietor owners of LLLCommunities, but the ones we know are special: Joanne Stevens, CCIM® & Barbara Hames in IA; Sharon Niccum & Adriane DeRose, MHM® in IN. And that list too ‘goes on’…We’ll find more names in the Manufactured Housing Executive Women (‘MHEW’) directory. Bet you didn’t even know there is one.

Survivors. Some have survived serious health scares, others the near failure of business interests, even hostile takeover attempts by rivals. David Nap (AZ) will always be one of my heroes in this category. Look at him now!.

Certified Property Managers®. In addition to a few mentioned elsewhere in this blog posting, there’re Curtis Harshaw, CPM® of TX.; Allen Alt, CPM® & WMA’s chairman in CA; Brian Fannon, CPM® in MI, developing a new LLLCommunity; Russ Petralia, CPM®, in NY; and Jon Zorn in CA. These owners gleaned from the list of 151 CPM®s identified by the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) as having an affinity for LLLCommunities. There’re likely other ‘owners’ on the list, but they’re unknown to me.

Resident-focused. Now retired Martin Newby (NC) brought resident relations to the (then) manufactured home community asset class more than a quarter century ago! And that torch is carried still, by the firm he founded, Newby Management, Inc., in FL.

Recluses. Believe it or not, when push comes to shove, there’re probably more LLLCommunity owners in this category than any other. Seriously. The dozens of them I know, rarely appear in public at MHIndustry or LLLCommunity events. They reach out for assistance only when absolutely necessary, and seek no recognition of any sort at all. Though several probably deserve to be in the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame, it’s doubtful they’ll be nominated for that singular honor – because so very few people even know who they are, yet they ‘smile all the way to the bank’, as this blog’s subtitle suggests.

Murderers. Yes, there’ve been a few! I worked for one of them years ago, and talked to another on the phone about his proposed business deal. The first is deceased, the other in prison. Oh yes, and then there was…Read the short story, ‘An Error to Die For’, page #5 in ‘Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home parks’

Criminals – from tax cheats (in & out of prison), to a bagman for the Chicago mob – money laundering thru ‘mobile home parks’, until he was killed. Read about it in Double Deal.

Chieftains. Yes, as in gypsy tribes owning LLLCommunities on the East coast and out West. And maybe, ‘how to tell’, when you actually meet one. Hint. A particular piece of distinctive jewelry.

Doctors, veterinarians, dentists. There’s been lots and lots of them over the years. Think Larry, Matthew, et. al.

Twins. Property portfolio owners Darrell and the late Harrell Cohron in IN. Read their amusing autobiography, The Trailer Twins.

Authors. There’ve been a few. Jim Clayton, with a co-author, penned First a Dream after he sold his business interests to Berkshire Hathaway. And many years ago, the original Kris Jensen, of CT, wrote A Danish American, describing his fulfillment of ‘the American Dream’. Mike Conlon, in NC., tells his success story in Unconventional Wealth. And some of us anxiously await Al Schrader’s (MN) autobiography. (I’ve read an early draft copy and it’s quite a tale!)

Multigenerational. Many many second and third generation family businesses rooted in the LLLCommunity asset class. The Holefelder family in eastern PA is well into its’ fifth generation. How ‘bout yours?

Pro football players. There have been a few of them. Two have already been identified in previous paragraphs.

Academics? Dr. David Funk, head of the graduate real estate department at Cornell University, is the first one that comes to mind.

Well, all that gives you more than a taste of what to expect when I finally sit down and start crafting short stories about these, and other friends, in the LLLCommunity asset class. We are a very special group of people, and these stories deserve to be told.

I welcome your suggestions and input.


Next ‘Decade of Manufactured Housing’?

Yes, creative ideas and suggestions continue to arrive at COBA7®. Here’re the recommendations received this past week:

• Manufactured Housing Phoenix Arises! Spencer Roane, MHM® of Pentagon Properties; presenter at 24th Networking Roundtable

• Manufactured Housing Destined to Thrive! James Reitzner, MHM® of Asset Development.

• Decade of Manufactured Housing Partnering with Homebuyers! Ned Beach

And, as a reminder, here’re the recommendations from last week:

• Dawn of Factory-built Housing Efficiency! Steve Lefler of Modular Lifestyles, presenter at 24th Networking Roundtable

• Decade of Resident Service! Michael Power of MHCommunity Investors

• Decade of Affordable HUD-Code Housing & LLLCommunities!

And the list goes on. Your ideas? Let us know via the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE.

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