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

June 24, 2016

COBA7 Hits Stride Big Time!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:17 am

Blog # 402 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 26 June 2016; website

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian,
research reporter & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities!

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 =
‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

COBA7® Hits Stride Big Time!

While all ‘seven parts’ of the alliance’s core mission remain intact and active, refinements thereof, and a ‘new presence’, enhance COBA7®’s increasingly vital and involved role on the national manufactured housing and land-lease-lifestyle community business scene….

Yes, COBA7® continues to do and provide the following important products and services to LLLCommunity owners/operators throughout the U.S. and Canada:

• Ongoing statistical research, beginning with the seminal ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!). And frankly, since one national MHIndustry advocate persists in misreporting monthly shipments of new HUD-Code homes (i.e. different from the total published by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety), more national agencies are coming to COBA7® foraccurate data pertaining to manufactured housing and the realty asset class.

• Updating & distribution of ‘more than a dozen’ Signature Series Resource Documents, or SSRDs, usually as lagniappes in the Allen Letter professional journal. Yet another example of where federal regulators, GSEs, and agencies, now ask COBA7® to list them in one or more of the alliance’s popular directories, as they’re updated monthly.

• COBA7®’s weekly blog posting (‘What you’re reading here’) and two monthly print business newsletters are increasingly in demand as the alliance’s affiliate base grows in number. And given the dearth of advertiser-supported trade publications serving the manufactured housing industry these days, watch for an increasing number of paid display ads within the Allen Letter professional journal during the coming months. And the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! Newsletter? More senior executives and large portfolio owners/operators now rely on its’ confidential ‘advance’ news than ever before!

• Superb interpersonal networking opportunities are still a hallmark of COBA7®. The upcoming 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland resort hotel in Nashville, TN., promises to be the ‘biggest & best ever’, given the special lineup of presenters and timely, controversial, contemporary MHIndustry topics! Once again, the GSEs & FHFA will be present on a public discussion panel.

• Deal-making, of course, is part and parcel to the annual Networking Roundtable, as virtually every national real estate broker, specializing in LLLCommunities, is present for the Investors Symposium, Wednesday afternoon (7 September), thru to the end of the event.

• Professional property management certification via the popular Manufactured Housing Manager®, or MHM® program, is another of the ‘seven parts’ on the rise. Here, two MHM®s have been added to the instructor staff, as the one day class is scheduled around the U.S. No wonder there’s now 1,000+ MHM®s owning/managing LLLCommunities in the U.S. & Canada. Are you & your PMs MHM® certified yet?

• National advocacy. when need be’, includes official MH ombudsman and historian responsibilities. This is where COBA7® has seen the most growth since its’ founding, January 2014. To date, the alliance has published two history texts: Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years! – a history of MHI’s National Communities Council division’s first two decades. And just recently, Alvin Schrader’s autobiography: ‘No Respect At All’…A PATH TO MILLION$. This latter title has been so popular, the initial print run is more than half gone! To order either or both books, along with affiliation with COBA7®, simply phone the official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.

Finally, there’s this ‘new presence’, where COBA7®, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing, is repeatedly invited to attend agency and department meetings in Washington, DC., to represent LLLCommunity owners/operators interests nationwide. Meeting hosts’ attitude is almost always one of ‘We’ve waited a long time for you guys to be represented!’

Here’s an example of how these new working relationships have been coming together to shed new light on past and contemporary issues dealt with by the MHIndustry. By now, you’ve likely heard of the Department of Energy’s recently released rulemaking proposal. And how said mandated energy efficiencies will likely increase the price of new HUD-Code manufactured homes. Well, here’re the estimated ‘number consequences’ of the proposed DOE energy regulations for manufactured housing, courtesy of Washington-based entities now working with COBA7®

Year 2015 avg. price singlesection MH = $45,600. To this, add $2,226 estimated upcharge per DOE proposal – or $4,000 via ‘others’ estimate = $47,826 & $49,600 respectively.

Year 2015 avg. price multisection MH = $86,700. To this, add $3,109 estimated upcharge per DOE proposal – or $6,000 via ‘others’ estimate = $89,809 &$92,700 respectively.

Compare this with the Year 2015 avg. price for a stick-built home @ $360,000.

The Department of Energy will be holding a public meeting on 13 July in Washington, DC., to review said proposal. There will likely be a number of questions at that time: Why add this energy efficiency burden when HUD-Code homes are already viewed as being more energy efficient than site-built homes. And, the ‘added cost’ estimates just cited, don’t appear to include a variety of enforcement mechanisms that’ll be required to monitor implementation, e.g. testing and other regulation compliance costs.

As you can see, COBA7®, more and more, is relied upon for accurate MHIndustry statistics, informative SSRDs, reliable& newsworthy online & print news, superb networking & deal-making opportunities, professional property management training & certification, as well as a variety of national advocacy – related ombudsman & historian services, plus active participation in national matters and meetings.

Finally, if you own one or more LLLCommunities, like me, you owe it to yourself to affiliate with the only national entity (COBA7®), formed to serve the information, statistical data, networking, and communication needs of LLLCommunity ownership nationwide! No one else comes even close to supplying the array of products and services described in the previous paragraphs.

George Allen, CPM®, MHM®
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156


June 17, 2016

‘MHAlive!’ & ‘DTS @ FHFA + GSEs = MH$?’

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

Blog # 401 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 19 June 2016; website

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research, reporter & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities!

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.

COBA6® Motto = ‘U* Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION. Part I. Sets the stage for ‘Where Will You Be On 1 August 2016?’ Part II is the most detailed treatment to date, of ongoing machinations at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) pertaining to Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking relative to manufactured housing finance. And Part III codifies future reporting of differing HUD-Code home shipment totals, monthly & YTD, by IBTS, HUD, MHARR, COBA7®, also MHI.



Birth of a New Annual Manufactured Housing Event

The first workday of every August hundreds of MH & RV businessmen and women travel to Elkhart, IN., to honor industry pioneers and leaders from throughout the U.S., for their corporate contributions and personal legacies. This pilgrimage culminates that evening at the annual RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, when ten men and women are feted in a glorious manner! Have you attended a Hall of Fame Induction Banquet? You really should!

Over the past few years, during the daytime before the Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, small groups of businessmen and women have convened in the Elkhart facility’s library or board room, to participate in mini-writers’ conferences. Two years ago, the focus was on ‘writing one’s legacy for family & friends’; this past year, focus shifted to ‘writing in general – for publication & profit’. 2016 will be different, as there’s an industry wide need to be addressed; specifically, how to replace the unfortunate slack suffered upon demise of the Think Tank being nurtured via the Urban Land Institute’s (‘ULI’) Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’), a few years ago?

To date, no national manufactured housing or land-lease-lifestyle community advocacy-focused body, not MHI, MHARR, or COBA7®, has called for any form of national, public, all inclusive convening of businessmen and women concerned about the past, present, and future of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry & land-lease-lifestyle community asset class, to gather for a Think Tank like parsing of industry and realty asset class issues! This did happen once, in a minor-but-landmark way, at the 23rd annual Networking Roundtable in Peachtree City, GA., in 2014, when Ken Rishel of Rishel Consulting & Michael Sullivan, CPM® of Newport Pacific presented opposing perspectives and rousing challenges to the audience: to ‘maintain the MH business model unchanged’ vs. ‘make radical changes, if need be, to appeal to changing market demand’; and, the next day, both GSEs, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, opened wide the doors of communication between LLLCommunities and their offices! So, see what can happen?

Here’s what’s been proposed to date for 1 August 2016. The first half the morning of ‘MHAlive!, to focus on the ‘Status of the Search for Chattel Capital &/or a Hybrid Form Thereof!’ (Read Part II following!) Last half the morning to focus on ‘Move Over Traditional Chattel Capital Financing; Enter Lease-Option!’. This to be followed by a group luncheon off-site. And the first half the afternoon = FREE TIME to enjoy the RV/MH Museum, or participate in a two hour mini-writers conference focused on ‘How to Organize & Pen Your Personal & Corporate Legacy for Family & Friends’. When that session concludes, it’ll be time to return to hotel rooms to freshen up and change for evening festivities at the annual Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.

At this point in time, the two events, on the first workday of the month of August; 1 August, are separate in registration and facilitation. No fee planned for participation in ‘MHAlive!’ Think Tank and mini-writers conference in the afternoon. Pre-registration required though, so phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to register for MHAlive!

And, to make reservations to attend the evening RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, phone (574) 293-2344. There will be between 400 and 700 RV & MH industry leaders and pioneers present that evening! It is really quite an elaborate affair.; something everyone should experience at least once during their career. I go every year….


MH Seeks DTS Solutions at FHFA with GSEs!

(In layman’s language, that’s ‘Manufactured Housing (i.e. national advocacy groups) seeks Duty to Serve solutions at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), relative to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac!’)

To date, the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), and the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, have weighted-in on the timely and strategic topic, Duty to Serve, with written comments pertaining to proposed rulemaking by the FHFA, relative to both GSEs. There’s even an informal national task force of volunteer businessmen and women, not exclusively aligned with any one of the aforementioned groups, taking an independent, third party ‘look’ at the matter, also in search of a practical DTS solution.

Well, a recent feature article in MULTIHOUSING PROFESSIONAL magazine (May/June 2016), pp. 38-40, focused on ‘Fannie & Freddie’s multifamily programs’, indirectly sheds helpful light on the aforementioned MH (chattel capital) effort; specifically, how ‘Each GSE utilizes its own risk-sharing models (to) protect it from losses’ – models that worked effectively throughout the recent national economic downturn, a.k.a. the Great Recession. Quoting in large part….

“There’s broad consensus the next iteration of the housing finance system must protect taxpayers, emphasize the private markets, support a broad variety of housing options, and remain liquid throughout ebbs and flows of an economic cycle.” It’s generally agreed, Fannie & Freddie’s multifamily programs, as opposed to single-family portfolios, already meets those four objectives! How effectively? “…GSE’s combined multifamily comprehensive income reached $30 billion from 2008 through the second quarter of 2015, per Division of Housing Mission and Goals 2015.” P.38

How have the two GSEs managed to accomplish this impressive feat? “…because of the GSE mu8ltifamily programs’ adherence to 1) prudent underwriting standards, 2) sound credit policy, 3) effective third-party assessment procedures, 5) conservative loan portfolio management, and most importantly, 5) risk-sharing and retention strategies that place private capital ahead of taxpayers.” Here’s how that works for each of the GSEs:

• ‘Fannie Mae employs a delegated originator and service model (the Delegated Underwriting & Servicing program, or DUS), where risk is shared between Fannie Mae and the DUS lender. Each loan purchased is securitized, and resulting mortgage-backed security sold to investors carries a full guarantee of Fannie Mae in the event of default. Their two risk-sharing models? PARI-PASSU = Fannie Mae 7 the lender share losses on a pro rata basis, with one-third borne by the lender and two-thirds borne by Fannie Mae. And STANDARD = Lender bears a share of losses, calculated using a tiered loss-sharing formula (generally involving a first-loss position and a cap at 20% of original loan amount( based on established risk factors, such as loan-to-value and debt-service coverage ratios.”

• ‘Freddie Mac employs PROGRAM PLUS, a prior approval business model wherein it underwrites each loan purchased from its’ network of sellers, creates a multi loan, multiclass security, and sells that security to investors. The repayment of the senior-most security is guaranteed by Freddie Mac, while the bottom 10% to 15% of first-loss securities are sold to qualified investors.”

Now, pickup on this salient point: “GSEs’ multifamily programs address a market failure in the housing finance system that results in an abundance of capital for high-end properties in top-tier markets but largely ignores middle market and affordable housing needs in urban cores and leaves secondary and tertiary markets underserved.” While this point was penned with conventional apartment lending in mind, it sets two stages where 1) land-lease-lifestyle community acquisition and refinance, and 2) new HUD-Code home mortgages, are concerned. In the first instance, there’s nary a problem for 100+ rental homesite properties to qualify for Fannie Mae-guaranteed mortgages, HOWEVER, there’s a major issue (i.e. lack of access to chattel capital) relative to new HUD-Code manufactured homes – whether installed on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple, or within LLLCommunities on rental homesites. It’s right here, at this second stage, that Duty to Serve comes into play!

So, how are manufactured housing (single-family finance) proposed DTS programs to be articulated, even emulate existent GSE programs that work well, in the near future, ensuring solutions that produce results? In my opinion, and in the most simplistic fashion, ‘copy and apply what presently works in conventional multifamily programs – to the manufactured housing single-family finance scene’!

To that end, read and study seven principles identified by the article’s authors, Doug Bibby of NMHC & Robert DeWitt of GID, used to help shape multifamily finance reform efforts at the GSEs. Then ask yourself, ‘What might apply to manufactured housing’s dire need for access to chattel capital?’ Here, only the descriptive headings are listed. If you’d like the complete treatment, respond directly to this blog posting, or phone the official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and ask for the additional details.

1. Provide access to an explicit government-guaranteed backstop
2. Provide broad liquidity support, not just ‘stop-gap’ or emergency financing
3. Protect taxpayers
4. Restrict federal credit support to the security level
5. Support private capital participation and protect taxpayers through effective guarantee structure and pricing
6. Empower strong regulators
7. Retain limited portfolio lending without a federal guarantee

Again, the obvious question is, how many of these seven principles are applicable to manufactured housing single-family finance market reforms relative to proposed DTS rulemaking? This MHIndusty observer does not know, but this might well be a likely start in the right direction.

Or is it?

During a preliminary review of this blog (Part II), by one of several MHIndustry leaders, it was suggested that attempting to apply ‘what works’ in GSA multifamily finance arenas, to the manufactured housing need for chattel capital, might be akin to fitting a square peg into a round hole. That reviewer’s counter suggestion is similar to what is generally referred to as ‘zero-based budgeting’, where one starts with few to no preconceived notions or ‘rules of thumb’, and creates a new and comprehensive budget, or in this case – a proposal, ‘out of whole cloth’, so to speak. Whew! That reads tough-to-do to me. But, it certainly might have merit. What do you think?

If, as you’re read this posting, you have practical ideas you’d like to share with our peers, simply contact me – and send an electronic file to or hard copy to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247.


Here We go Again, Only It Gets Worse…

‘COBA7® Marks One Year Anniversary, Documenting & Outing Monthly New HUD-Code Home Shipment Reporting Flaws!’

As manufactured housing historian, it pains me to highlight, month after month, how one of our industry’s national advocates fails to report the same number of new HUD-Code home shipments tallied, for a fee, by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’). Now the matter worsens…

How so?

As one might suspect, when giving thought to the matter, Year To Date (‘YTD’) totals will also differ! For example, IBTS shipment total for April 2016 is 6689, & 2016 YTD total = 25,790 – likewise reported by HUD, MHARR & COBA7®! For the same time frame however, MHI reports 6,697 new HUD-Code homes shipped in April, with a 2016 YTD total of 25,673. Sure, that’s only a 24 home difference YTD, but a $1,492,800 gap (i.e. 24 homes X $62,200 @ 2013 average value = $1,492,800.) so far – when there’s really no excuse (at least none being offered) for any divergence at all!

Tell you what.

Henceforth, in this blog, the Allen Letter professional journal, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, we’ll report monthly shipments of new HUD-Code homes in the following fashion – until all the manufactured housing industry’s national advocates report the same month end & YTD shipment totals…


New HUD-Code Manufactured Homes Shipped During the month of APRIL 2016.
Institute of Building Technology & Safety reports 6,689 homes shipped, & 25,790 YTD

HUD, MHARR & COBA7® also report 6,689 new homes shipped, & 25,790 YTD

MHI reports 6,697 new homes shipped, & by extension, 25,673 YTD

For accurate manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle community data & statistics, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


George Allen, CPM®, MHM®
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

June 11, 2016

7 1/2 Years of Blog Posts & Continuing….

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:21 am

Blog # 400 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 12 June 2016; website

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 sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research reporter & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities!

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 = ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance.!’


7 ½ Years of Blog Posts & Continuing!

Has it really been 7 ½ years since Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine ceased publication in 2009? How many of you remember the late Herb Tieder? Or his 1990s publishing partner, the late James Mack? This blog debuted in the Merchandiser during that final year of publication.

Today, this weekly blog is distributed via the internet, to 1,000 readers, as one of ‘seven parts’ comprising the Community Owners Business Alliance®, or COBA7®, a division of GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing – the sole international consultancy & advocate, ombudsman & historian, for manufactured housing & land-lease-lifestyle communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities) throughout the U.S. & Canada!

Year 2009 was also the year HUD-Code manufactured housing suffered it’s new home shipment nadir (‘lowest point’), going nearly 70 years to 1947, when 60,000 new ‘mobile homes’ were shipped. Just how bad is that? Here’s a telling footnote to an historic MH Shipment Chart: “Before 1947, production varied from 1,300 in 1930 upward to 60,000 in 1947. Source: Manufactured Housing Institute, Merrill Lynch” Page # 5..That, apparently, is the ‘end of the story’, since there are no further statistics to cite. And FYI, the manufactured housing industry did finally eclipse that 1947 era 60,000 figure during 2013, with 60,228 new HUD-Code homes shipped!

Back to the blog! What’s kept me writing over the years, now decades? Besides sharing MHIndustry & LLLCommunity NEWS ‘as it happens’, or as soon as I can get it into print, there’re perennial Opportunities, Frustrations, & Threats – relative to these two business models, I get to explore (research), ponder (organize), express (write), and distribute (publish) here, and in one or both print newsletters, the Allen Letter professional journal, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!

For that matter, the ‘working title’ of this 400th blog posting was originally cast as ‘Opportunities & Irksome Matters’. Here’s a Summary of some of them…


• To promote professional property management throughout the land-lease-lifestyle community real estate asset class, via IREM’s Certified Property Manager® & AMO® programs; PMN Publishing’s Manufactured Housing Manager® one day class; and MHEI’s Accredited Community Manager®. To be candid, professional property management has yet to be widely embraced by LLLCommunities.

• To promote affordable housing. It seems everyone knows – and writes, of today’s ‘affordable housing crisis’ in the U.S., but few take time to 1) define affordable housing when they talk and write about it (i.e. There are six means of measuring affordable housing. Do you know what they are? Didn’t think so!); and or, 2) articulate one or more ways to specifically address the affordable housing crisis! (I do so, later in this blog, under one of the four Threat categories)

• To improve the less than flattering image of manufactured housing, a.k.a. ‘mobile home living’, by replacing archaic trade terminology with image-enhancing descriptions (e.g. housing vs. ‘mobile home’; LLLCommunity vs. ‘mobile home park’, etc.); 2) encouraging peers to ‘take the high road’, ‘rather than a low road’ when engaged in manufactured housing and or ‘community’ business endeavors; even, 3) move away from long obsolete concepts such as the 1970s era Woodall Star rating system for ‘mobile home parks’.

• To unite LLLCommunity owners/operators throughout the U.S. & Canada, into state, province, and national political advocacy trade groups, some featuring education, interpersonal networking, deal-making, and lobbying activities as mini-independent post-production associations..


• With national trade politics, where self-proclaimed national advocacy and regulatory ‘watchdog’ organizations are concerned. They’ve rarely worked well together; and as a result, legislators and regulators use their rivalry to compromise political and anti-regulatory efforts.

• With the near constant power plays and maneuverings, between and among large business entities, as well as between large and smaller firms. This matter is aggravated when large firms send salaried employees to fill leadership roles, oft positioning them at odds with entrepreneur businessmen and women shepherding small to mid-sized firms with differing needs in their respective marketplace.

• With misleading claims of manufacturers, ballyhooing their production of quality, low cost manufactured housing; when in reality, unit prices continue to rise while quality remains constant, or slips when controls lapse.

• With lack of public, regional and national industry & realty asset class forums and caucuses, where issues and significant matters can be addressed, and dealt with openly, among business and trade organization stakeholders. When was the last time you were asked to participate in an industry Think Tank, of sorts? Recall the caucuses of 2/27/2008 (FL) & 2/27/2009 (IN), as well as some meetings of the now defunct Manufactured Housing Communities Council (‘MHCC’) of the Urban Land Institute (‘ULI’). Nothing since then! Hmm. Maybe we need the morning and afternoon Think Tank on 1 August, after all….


• Is it competition from ‘other type builders’ outside the factory-built housing industry we should fear, politically and otherwise; or simply, our own lack of vision and ability to perform ‘together’, at fault where MHIndustry malaise is concerned?

• Perennial mishandling of chattel capital, during at least two historic time frames, since the mid-1970s, has resulted in the present prolonged absence of easy access to it! Might simple commitment to two significant changes ‘to the way we do things’ restore access? 1) 100% commitment to strict pre-qualification of prospective homebuyers, by those marketing and selling new HUD-Code homes; and; 2) Henceforward, use 30% Housing Expense Factor as affordability guide, requiring mortgagees to insist said 30% includes not only principal, interest, taxes & insurance (‘PITI’) – as it stands today, but include anticipated housing utility costs as well (e.g. electric, gas, water, sewer) – no longer requiring homeowner to pay such expenses ‘outside’, or in addition to, the 30% Housing Expense Factor! Note. When 30% HEF = PITI alone; utilities = at an additional 10+% on top of the 30% HEF, making it 40%. And then, when homeowner’s additional financial commitments (e.g. vehicles, alimony, etc.) are established, the back end debt percentage will grow, from 40% to 50, even 60%! No wonder homeowners oft ‘walk away’ from such overwhelming financial commitment.

• Overregulation of chattel lending, and uneven enforcement of the installation of manufactured homes, state by state, is arbitrary and unfair to everyone involved. Also, when certain LLLCommunity portfolio firms ‘thumb their noses’ at traditional methods of comparing site rents with other forms of multifamily rental housing in the same local housing market, skewing homeowner/site lessee’s housing propositions (i.e. fair and balanced relationships between home & site rent payments), one learns to expect dire consequences over time.

• Loss of a primary forum and audience, for manufactured housing, via the Urban Land Institute (‘ULI’), and related land planning bodies, has in part, stymied land development of new land-lease-lifestyle communities! Today there is no formal, or informal, Think Tank presence anywhere in the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class. We are ‘dead in the water’ until there’s easier access to chattel capital, and we – once again, routinely dialogue with land planners and local zoning boards. There hasn’t been a LLLCommunity land development text published since 1994, that’s how out of touch we are with this aspect of real estate development and investment.

Of course there’s more, much more, that deserves to be researched and publicized here.

For example; have long believed, if one is going to put forth statistical data to the trade public, one has responsibility to explain said statistics and facts, ensuring from the beginning, the numbers are indeed accurate. So why isn’t this happening across the board? More about this in a later blog posting.

In the meantime, if not affiliated with COBA7®, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, and ask for brochures describing:

• COBA7® affiliation at one of three Option levels
• 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable (7-9 September in Nashville, TN.)
• Al Schrader’s just released autobiography (a ‘should read’ by every LLLCommunity owner/operators in North America!)
• The popular Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management training & certification program.

In the meantime, let us know what you think regarding Opportunities, Frustrations, & Threats described and parsed in this week’s blog posting via

George Allen, CPM® & MHM®
Box # 47024
Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156

June 4, 2016

To GO or NOT to GO?’, Guidebook + Rumor has it…

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:19 am

Blog # 399 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 5 June 2016; website

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 sold national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research report & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities!

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

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

INTRODUCTION. ‘On a Personal Note’ is sincere, timely, and pertinent!

‘To Go or Not to Go?’ also sincere, timely, and personally pertinent – describing my frustrations about paying dues to, and being unduly imitated by the national advocacy body (division) I helped found between years 1993 & 1996. For details of that beginning, read Bruce Savage’s The First 20 Years!, PMN Publishing, Indianapolis, IN., 2013.

‘Guidebook for Selling & Seller-Financing New HUD-Code Homes in Land-lease-lifestyle Communities’ is the likely product of the recent Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, in Elkhart, IN. Attempts at such a guidebook have failed in the past. Hopefully there’ll be a positive result this time around, as ‘home sales & seller-financing’ Lessons Learned, and penned by Adriane DeRose, MHM®, Pamela Ziemer, MHM®, Jamie Dougherty, MHM®, Kenneth Lipschutz & Danya Mallad, and Spencer Roane, MHM® are collected and published in an easy-to-use HOW TO guide for LLLCommunity owners/operators. To be distributed at 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September 2016, at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN.

And finally, ‘Rumor Has It’. Given the veracity of this recent rumor, will exorbitant price increases for new HUD-Code manufactured homes, be a Wake-up Call (to action), OR, Death Knell for the MHIndustry – where its’ affordable housing heritage and reputation are concerned? Think about it….Better yet, be Ready to React if/when it’s official!


On a Personal Note…

MANY THANKS to the 75+ of you who, via Facebook, sent Birthday Greetings on 1 June, as Carolyn & I celebrated my 71st birthday. We spent the day sightseeing & lunching at an old stagecoach station turned B&B, in the remote rural quaint town of Story, IN – a place that describes itself as ‘an inconvenient location since 1851.’ Then shopped in Nashville, IN, before heading home for wine and cheese on the back porch.

For those intrigued by my reference to Operation Dewey Canyon, when commemorating Memorial Day. If you took my advice and googled ‘Dewey Canyon 1969’, you likely found a four minute film clip titled: ‘1969 Marine Corps Operation Dewey (Canyon)’. Know that, as you watch it, Marines shown using hand and arm signals to guide CH46 helicopters into landing zones, are HSTs (Helicopter Support Teams) from the Shore Party Company I commanded as a 24 year old first lieutenant. And several of the action sequences (e.g. firing of 155mm howitzers & Marines in the assault) continue to stimulate memories from 47 years past…


To Go or Not to Go?

Sometimes Disappointed When I DO (go), & Expect to be Imitated When I DON’T (go), to NCC Division Meetings…

Next meeting of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division is from 11AM to 12:15PM on Monday, 27 June, in Indianapolis, IN.

I’m sometimes disappointed when I DO (go), because…

• Rarely is input solicited beforehand, as it was in the past by Michael O’Brien, for topics members desired to be listed on the NCC meeting agenda

• And then, a set agenda, decided by someone, is distributed upon arrival at the meeting, rarely before.

• Nor is enough time allotted (e.g. only 1 ¼ hr. this time around), or proceedings controlled well enough, to cover the entire agenda, let alone added topics

• Hardly ever more than a dozen LLLCommunity owners are present at meeting; and those in leadership positions are almost always from the largest of the property portfolio firms. Consequence? Little sensitivity to the needs of small to mid-sized owners/operators.

• And worst of all, from time to time, one can expect to be publicly and verbally ambushed within an NCC meeting – recalling the 8 October 2012 NCC meeting incident, in San Antonio, TX.

And I’m oft undercut and or imitated, as a community owner, freelance consultant, and direct dues-paying NCC board member, when I DON’T (go), e.g.

• The MHM® certification program predates ACM® by three years, has trained and designated far more professional property managers, but continues to be ignored by the NCC & MHEI, as an education vehicle for LLLCommunity folk!

• The annual international networking roundtable has been so successful during its’ 24 year run, it just had to be imitated by the NCC, with a downtown Chicago event for major LLLCommunity portfolio owners/operators.

• And the 27 year ALLEN REPORT, also predating the NCC, is now imitated by that division’s ‘Largest 50 Owners & Operators’ list. Is nothing respected in the manufactured housing business & LLLCommunity real estate asset class?

What would I like to see on the 27 June NCC division meeting agenda, for discussion?

• Chattel capital. Discuss restoration of easy access – if possible; other potential sources; even hybrid forms of financing on-site new home sales transactions, e.g. lease-option, post titling, etc…

• Small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators. How to attract them to join NCC and voice their needs, as more and more of them know they must now buy new HUD-Code homes, sell & oft seller-finance them on-site, if they’re to remain profitable in this difficult business climate – given the disappearance of 10,000 independent (street) MHRetailers during the past 15 years!

• Discontinue ‘Largest 50 Community Owners & Operators’ list. Why? Errors and oversights, in latest edition, discouraged potential new members from joining.

• Propose bylaws change – or, if need be, create NCC division bylaws; among other things, permitting proxy voting by direct, dues-paying MHI members.

• Announce and encourage purchase of LLLCommunity portfolio owner/operator Al Schrader’s autobiography, ‘No Respect At All’…A PATH TO MILLION$, as it’s a ‘good read’ and he’s donating all $ proceeds to the RV/MH Hall of Fame!

So, with all that ‘said & done’, would you spend $429.00 to attend the MHI meeting, including NCC division meeting, in Indianapolis, IN., on 26-28 June?

Well, I’ve decided to do so! Why?

FIRST; the meetings are in my backyard. SECOND, there’s a guest speaker scheduled, whose research is, in the words of MHI, to help lay “…a foundation of professional and authoritative industry data.” – ”As MHI seeks to improve industry data and statistics….” In my opinion, MHI can start that quest (‘pursuit’) NOW, before the June meeting, by simply reporting monthly shipment volume of new HUD-Code homes in the same manner as the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) – the MHIndustry’s official scorekeeper. HUD, MHARR & COBA7® already do so! And THIRD? Well, I just don’t need any more surprise usurping of products and services long supplied to land-lease-lifestyle community owners/operators by the Community Owners (7 part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7®. Call it ‘protecting one’s turf’, if you will. And FOURTH; if I don’t go, as a single LLLCommunity owner, there’ll likely be no one else speaking up in behalf of the ‘85% of 50,000+/- LLLCommunity owners/operators’ whose properties number fewer than 100 rental homesites apiece!

See you in Indianapolis later this month! MHI and I, Welcome your Support! GFA


Guidebook for Selling & Seller-financing New HUD-Code
Homes On-site in Land-lease-lifestyle Communities!

Guidebook, if it materializes as planned, will be the legacy of the first Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars, held last in late May at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. The six presenters have already been asked to submit outlines and or narratives of their respective seminars:





Some of the unique features also being planned for inclusion in this ‘first ever’ new home HOW TO sales guide, for use in LLLCommunities, are as follows:

• Excerpts from Al Schrader’s autobiography, ‘No Respect At All’…A PATH TO MILLION$. He comments expertly on the ‘state of the MHIndustry’ and describes his firm’s evolution from ‘contract sales’ thru to ‘captive finance’ and beyond. If you haven’t read it yet, you really should. Only $25.00 postpaid. Just phone (317) 346-7156. All $ proceeds go to the RV/MH Hall of Fame!

• The ‘Six Ps of Planning’ & the ‘Six Right Ps for Marketing New Homes in LLLCommunities’

• Characteristics of Community Series Homes and where to order them…

• National Registry of All Lenders; chattel capital & real estate-secured

• Directory of Major Factory-built Housing Manufacturers

• Official MHIndustry Lexicon, Glossary.

The goal is to have the guidebook printed and bound in time for distribution at the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable, 7-9 September, at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN. If you’d like to ensure an ‘invite’ to this highly popular 2 ½ day event, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and ask to have your name placed on the reservation list.


Rumor Has it…

The new Department of Energy (‘DOE’) rule relative to energy use will, reportedly, jack the price of a new singlesection manufactured home by at least $2,226 maybe $4,000.And jack the price of a new multisection manufactured home by at least $3,109 maybe $6,000. Whew! And know what? These estimates, last I checked, do NOT include or reflect testing, enforcement, and regulatory compliance costs! True or False? Methinks we’ll soon learn more as said rule is released. It will be interesting, even ‘telling’, to observe just how our two Washington, DC., trade advocacy groups address, and SELL or OPPOSE, these anticipated exorbitant price increases to HUD-Code manufactured homes


George Allen, CPM®, MHM®
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156.

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