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

October 28, 2022

What You Missed on 24 October 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:12 am

Blog Posting # 712. Copyright 28 October. EducateMHC

Perspective. Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit

What You Missed on 24 October 2022

An eclectic mix of manufactured housing and land lease community history, contemporary business musings, useful resources, and more. Following the SECO Conference of a few weeks ago, the ‘MHP Tribe Team’ (specifically, Katerina, Mario & Pablo) asked me to be guest presenter in a Zoom call this past Monday evening. This was a first for me. Since retiring mid-2021 I’ve been very selective as to where and when I participate in industry and realty asset class events. But this opportunity played to my interests: MH & community history, current state of business affairs, and sharing of key resources.

What follows here is a summary of what was covered during the ‘more than hour long’ Zoom call. I hope you find it interesting and helpful. Have questions? Reach me via

HISTORY. The early history of manufactured housing is well-covered in Allan Wallis’ classic, ‘Wheel Estates’ – The Rise & Fall of Mobile Homes (1997). The history of land lease communities is documented in George Allen’s ‘Swan Song’ – 1970s to present day (2017).

Terminology changes over decades: mobile homes to manufactured homes; mobile home park to land lease community; singlewide & doublewide to single section & multisection. And site rent. Once collected in cash – now rarely the case. Rents due on 1st of month, no longer move-in date. And yes, tenant, over time became resident and or homeowner/site lessee.

But, how many know tales of the ‘bad boys of manufactured housing’? Here’s a succinct review:

• Joseph (‘Joey’) Testa, according to UPI, was ‘a millionaire mobile home (park) and restaurant owner, and alleged associate of Chicago crime figures’ – possibly using Sterling Estates, one of his properties, to launder mob money. Read ‘Double Deal’ – The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster’, 2003

• Gian Ferre came to Indianapolis, IN., in 1979, buying four ‘mobile home parks’. Things soon went awry, due to far less cash flow than his due diligence team projected. He sold out, and a decade later murdered several attorneys and their clients in a downtown San Francisco high rise office building. Google: ‘101 California Street Shootings’.

• John Robinson, for a short time in the mid-1980s, published ‘Manufactured Modular Living’ newsletter in IL. Used his wife’s job as a transient community manager to cover his nefarious preying on single women, to get their money, and then murder them. His story is in ‘Anyone You Want Me to Be’ – A True Story of Sex & Death on the Internet.

CONTEMPORARY. At present, the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) is working hard to reconcile the controversial DOE energy standards for manufactured homes, with the HUD-Code. They’re doing this via the Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (‘MHCC’) and legislation (HR-7651). The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), a.k.a. ‘Washington Watchdog for Manufactured Housing’ is an additional force to be reckoned with in this battle. If we lose? New home prices jump by around $6,000 per unit.

MHI’s s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division is the land lease community real estate asset class’ sole national advocate. And while the NCC was launched with great enthusiasm in 1996; in the eyes of some, it has not lived up to early expectations. Some examples: lack of asset class statistics (i.e. with discontinuation of the 30 year ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who of Land Lease Community Owners/operators Nationwide, no NCC effort to replace it); lack of communication (i.e. no land lease community-focused print or online newsletters from the NCC, or from anywhere else now); and, lack of emphasis on professional property management (i.e. few to no in-person ACM courses and MHM is dormant), with only 125 Certified Property Managers expressing affinity to our unique income-producing property type. This is really an embarrassing state of affairs among commercial real estate property types!

SECO Conference. Land lease community owner/operator focused, now in its’ 12th year, and hosted in Atlanta, GA. Rapidly becoming ‘the place to go’ for community training and interpersonal networking. A dozen new homes on display last month, with dozens of exhibitors.

RESOURCES. In my opinion, the following texts, then trade publications, belong on every land lease community owner/operator’s desk:

• SWAN SONG. Mentioned earlier in this blog as historical profile of land lease communities, it is also the only Official Record of Manufactured Housing Production, year by year, since 1955.

• Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. This is 8th edition of Mobile Home Park Management, first published during 1988. Chock full of helpful property management information for land lease community owners/operators.

• From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven. My autobiography, describing 30 years career as a USMC officer, and 40 year overlapping career as a land lease community owner/operator, and author/consultant to the manufactured housing industry.

All three texts are available for purchase from
And here’s what you should be receiving and reading relative to the MH trade press:

• MHIndustry magazine. Published quarterly and available via Be sure to read my Allen Legacy column at the very end of every issue – a mix of industry/asset class history and lessons we learn that can be applied to today’s business decisions.

• MHInsider BUYER’S GUIDE. A new resource, but an important one. Also available via MHVillage .com

• Manufactured Housing Review, a periodic online communique for everyone in manufactured housing and owning/operating land lease communities. Contact

MY CURRENT PROJECTS. There are two; and for good measure…

Louisville MHSHow Interlude will occur during the timeframe of 18-20 January 2023. Specific date and location TBA. This will be a half day opportunity to convene, discuss and parse industry and realty asset class issues and more. Ask yourself, ‘What other venue offers me the opportunity to talk openly about matters that affect my MH-related business interests?’ Answer? None! So, if seriously interested, let me know via

‘RVs as Affordable Housing’. I’ve begun research on this timely topic; my manuscript will be due to the publishers of VISIONS, an academic magazine, during fall 2023. If you have thoughts and or experience to this end, please let me know, again, via or phone me via (317) 881-3815.

RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame, Museum & Library. Most readers of this blog already know this legacy organization is celebrating its’ 50th anniversary during year 2022. But, how many know that a new, huge ‘manufactured housing museum’ or exhibit hall, was opened to the public during August? Add a visit to this facility in Elkhart, IN. (right adjacent to I-80) to your bucket list! And while there, after touring the RV and MH museums, take time to visit the extensive library – where you’ll also see the showcased George Allen collection (recently donated to the RV/MH Hall of Fame) of all land lease community books published since the 1970s. Also while there, inquire as to how to nominate someone, even yourself – if qualified, to be considered for election into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Member, RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame
Emeritus Member, Manufactured Housing Institute.
Contact via

October 20, 2022

Louisville Interlude, Mystery Writers, & More

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:49 am

Blog Posting # 711. Copyright 21 October. EducateMHC

Perspective. Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit

Louisville Interlude, Mystery Writers, & More

You are invited to plan and attend a Louisville (KY) Interlude! What’s an interlude? ‘A short time or performance between acts’, as in a play or other production. In the cases of manufactured housing in general, land lease communities in particular, it’ll be a scheduled opportunity, between consequences of the pandemic and fresh start to the year 2023, to identify, discuss, and plan how to deal with energy, land planning/zoning, and related issues ahead of all of us.

The Interlude will occur during the upcoming Louisville MHShow in KY, between 18 & 20 January 2023. The specific date, time and location will be announced in a near future blog posting.

In the meantime, here’s what you should do if interested in the present State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, and where we’ll be headed during the balance of year 2023. Sit down now and ponder (‘consider deeply’) the business, social, regulatory, and legislative matters that affect you most as a corporate executive or entrepreneur businessperson. While tempted to list a few of them here, I won’t – as I do not want to unduly influence your thinking and input to this end.

Once you’ve articulated said matters, issues, and concerns, send me an email message via; or better yet, prepare a file and attach it to aforementioned email. Also OK to mail a hard copy via USPS to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN., 46247.To best plan this Interlude, I’ll need your initial input on or before 1 November 2022; but if need be, it’s OK to send this or additional information during the months of November and December.

What has precipitated this manufactured housing interlude? If you read last week’s blog posting (#710), you know the recent 11th annual SECO conference identified and parsed some of the timely issues facing our industry and realty asset class.  The Interlude is a voluntary and public sequel to the yeoman service that occurred in Stone Mountain, GA.

Mystery Writers

A futuristic political thriller novel, authored by former community owner/operator Charles G. Irion, of AZ, will soon be released as an Amazon paperback, ebook & audiobook. Titled FOUR, this novel is the latest in Irion’s Summit Murder Mystery series & Murdered by Gods series, it describes the ‘next world war and what lies in its wake’.

I’ve read all Chuck’s books, even his tongue in cheek, ‘Roadkill Cooking for Campers’, as well as other titles. Where his mystery novels are concerned, they get better with each new release. While waiting for this new one, order a copy of ‘Murdered by Gods – Timbuktu’, from Amazon.

Another mystery writer – identified? I think so. Are you one of the unnamed recipients of a periodic online newsletter titled ‘The MHC Weekend’, penned by an unnamed writer? Research suggests the interesting, albeit opinionated compilation of trade press releases, is produced by Chris Ebert, CEO of Charlotte, NC – based, Six Rock Properties.


‘RVs as Affordable Housing’. That’s the working title of a yearlong project I’ve been invited to pursue by VISIONS academic magazine. The focus of the issue I’m writing for is ‘New Era for RV Consumers’.

So, what’s this project involve? Though still working on my writing outline, I know now I’ll be defining ‘affordable housing’, then identifying many ways RVs are now being used, legally and otherwise, as semi-permanent and permanent housing (e.g. Think entire RV rental communities in central Florida, as one example; and, in California, ADUs sited on privately-owned parcels of land already containing a house*1).

I’ve only just begun my research; so, if you have worthy input on this emerging trend, please send it my way via or if you have hard copy resources, mail to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247. Thank You!

The subject magazine will not be published until this time in year 2023.

End Note.

  1.  ADU = accessory dwelling unit, granny flat, tiny house, and more.

George Allen, CPM, MHM


October 12, 2022

SECO Take-Aways, & Are You a Go-Giver?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 8:59 am

Blog Posting # 710. Copyright 14 October 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit

SECO Take-Aways, & Are You a Go-Giver?

Ever been to Stone Mountain, GA? Well, this is where the 11th annual SECO conference was held last week. Once again, Spencer Roane, MHM, and his team planned and hosted what has become the premier educational and networking opportunity for land lease community owners/operators and their supporting service and product vendors.

Due to scheduling issues I was only able to attend for 1 ½ days of the four day program; but in that short period of time I picked-up on a plethora of new and helpful information to share with you. Here goes:

No formal theme to the event that I saw, but it certainly could have been – given the ‘play’ it received from keynote presenters: Change from NIMBY to YIMBY! That is to say, work to mitigate ‘Not in my back yard!’ land use prejudices and encourage, at every level, ‘Yes in my back yard!’ zoning and rezoning for all forms of affordable housing! Once and for all, neutralize proponents of LULU (‘Locally Unwanted Land Use’) and BANANA (‘Build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone!’). How to do this? Support initiatives by the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and get personally involved in local politics! The latter is not an easy task; however, as land use is local housing market sensitive, local influence and pressure must be applied!

Manufactured housing design in 2023? One economist suggested, given pandemic-influence and emerging work trends, include a home office in every manufactured home and improve homeowner’s access to the internet.

‘Bring Capitalism back to the U.S.!’ was another underlying theme at this year’s SECO event.

‘No more trailer talk!’ Hard for me to believe we still have to repeatedly and publicly take stands against this regressive terminology bugaboo. No one who wants to see the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities improve market share, and embracing of the lifestyle, MUST take a stand against using ‘trailer terminology’ at all levels and at all times!

And there are some novel business economic resources available to manufactured housing entrepreneurs and performance analysts:

• ‘Flexible CPI, St. Louis Fed’. What you’ll find is an alternative means of tracking and evaluating the Consumer Price Index as a key economic indicator. Try it, you’ll like it.

• ‘ESG or Environmental Social & Governance’. In my opinion this concept is a ‘woke red herring’ where businesses are concerned. Nothing about profitability here, but still worth considering.

• a commercial real estate tool that helps analysts to evaluate ‘sites to do business’. Might be just what you need before opening a new plant or developing raw land into a new land lease community.

Make plans now to attend the SECO conference during year 2023. More than likely it’ll be sometime during the fall, maybe October again. This was my first business trip out of retirement, since August 2021, and though the trip was difficult for me (long walks in airports); I hope to see you there next time around. GFA

Are You a Go-Giver?
Just finished reading THE GO—GIVER, ‘A little story about a powerful business idea’, authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann way back in 2007. And yes, it’s available, at a very low price, on

What started out here as a book review, broadens into a specific character study of a well-known manufactured housing businessman.

The book claims there’re five keys to personal success in business, keys often overlooked in business schools and sometimes by mentors. My intent is not to quote these keys word for word, but tell you enough for you to ‘get the idea’, and maybe read the book yourself.

Key # 1. Purports one’s true worth has to do with how much you give, rather than ‘take’ during the course of events. In other words, are you a routinely ‘giving’ person?

Key # 2. One’s income has a lot to do with how many, and how well, you serve business associates. You know, ‘what goes around comes around’.

Key # 3. Your influence has a lot to do with how much you look out for the other guy, a.k.a. ‘enlightened self-interest’. Easy to do once one makes this a habit.

Key # 4. Not meaning to repeat, but the most valuable gift you have to offer your colleagues is yourself. Bet this type person is your best friend in business circles. It certainly is for me.
Key # 5. And when previous keys are in place, be open to receiving what comes your way!

Now, here’s where I experienced an epiphany (‘insight’) reading this book. I, all of a sudden, realized the very person who gave me this ‘read’ epitomizes the key points put forth therein.

He’s forever, in my case, giving of himself, in terms of advice, camaraderie, even this book.

He’s reaped the financial rewards that arise by well-serving his business associates nationwide.

He’s famous for advancing the realty education interests of college and grad students.

He’s just about ‘everybody’s friend’ when it comes to networking and mentoring among peers.

He’s, while probably reticent to admit it, willing to receive from others as well.

So, who, in my opinion, embodies of the core message of THE GO-GIVER? Rick Roethke, founder and president of Barrington Investments (Indiana and southern California). I’ve known Rick most of my 40+ year business career. And as recently as early October (2022), we sat and lunched outdoors at Tom Todd’s General Supply ‘Open House’ in Indianapolis. Time and again, and again, individuals walked over to talk to us; more often than not, to ask Rick for his opinion or advice about one or another matter. And that’s how go-giver rolls: give of oneself, serve others, put them first, offer oneself, and be open to receiving!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

Know the two best-selling books at EducateMHC these days? First and foremost is COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT IN THE MANUFACTURED HOUSING INDUSTRY. This is the 8th edition of ‘Mobile Home Park Management’, penned way back in 1988. It’s chock full of everything one needs to know and do when professionally managing a land lease community.

And SWAN SONG. As the subtitles proclaim: ‘History of the land lease community from 1970 to present day’, and ‘Official list of new manufactured homes produced annually, from 1955 to present day’. No other text has this veritable one-two punch!

In my opinion, both these books belong in every land lease community office across the U.S. To purchase your copies, visit

And while you’re there, consider ordering my autobiography: FROM SMITTYALPHA6 to MHMAVEN. The Smitty Alpha 6 reference is to my radio call sign when a USMC company commander in Vietnam, and MHMaven is an Allenism abbreviation for ‘manufactured housing maven’. Try it, you’ll like it! Lots of photographs, including two showing the ¼ mile diameters of atomic demolitions munitions blasts out in the desert. ADMs = our secret ace in the hole in Vietnam.

October 7, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:58 am

Blog Posting # 709. Copyright 7 October 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815 and or visit


First the Good News. Institute of Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’), a.k.a. HUD’s official scorekeeper of manufactured housing production performance, reports Shipment Volume for August 2022 was 10,722 new HUD-Code homes! That’s UP from 8,050 homes in July 2022, and up from 9,087 homes produced during August 2021. And in toto, 16,392 ‘floors’ were shipped.

How’s Year to Date shipments compare? Well, as of August 2022, we’re at 80,431 new units for the year, compared to August 2021 when we produced 70,410 new homes. Now that’s Progress!

Production value of these homes (based on an aging formula) pencils out to $462 million for the month of August, and $3.469 billion YTD. Why isn’t this sort of information ballyhooed more within and outside our industry? Perhaps if we had more up to date formulaic methodology to use. Anyone at MHI listening? You’ve promised time and again to update Dr. Stephen C. Cooke’s ‘per home $ factor’.

Now for the Bad News. There are ten public manufactured housing-related companies, five each from the manufacturing sector and five from the land lease community portfolio sector.

Here’s a list of said firms and their slip in stock prices (except for Skyline Champion and Legacy Housing) since last month (September 2022):

Berkshire-A Hathaway @ $412,000
Skyline Champion Corporation @ $55.80
Cavco Industries, Inc. @ $214.56
Legacy Housing Corporation @ $17.76
Nobility Homes @ $24.30

Equity Lifestyle, Inc. @ $63.85
Sun Communities, Inc. @ $137.81
UMH Properties, Inc. @ $16.20
Flagship Communities @ $14.77
Manufactured Housing Properties, Inc. @ $1.70

So, how does all this appear to be trending? Well, the Manufactured housing/land lease community Composite Stock Index or CSI (formulaic total of all stock prices except for Berkshire Hathaway, plus a base number) has been in decline since August 2022, e.g.

October = $636.74
September = $677.46
August = $713.06

And this CSI decline since a year high of $790 during January 2022.

What’s going on? Regularly increasing production of new HUD-Code homes, month by month, contradicts nearly month by month declines in corporate stock prices.


As some/many of you know, I was hacked this past week while attending a ‘first & only’ reunion among USMC officers I served with in 1967 – before heading off to Vietnam.

I’m sincerely sorry about the nature of the false email message you received. All is well with the Allens. I am not in dire need of help of any kind – that I’m aware of at this time.

The reunion? Boy have we (about 50 male officers) changed much during the past 55 years! Many of our number were KIA (killed in action) in Vietnam, and now old age is taking its’ toll.

Now here’s a poignant happenstance from that occasion. At one point we, along with our wives, were transported to TBS (The Basic School) in Quantico, VA., where young 2d lieutenants (a.k.a. ‘butter bars’) are trained as platoon commanders. Well, while in a huge auditorium, with 200 young officers (i.e. 20 years or so of age) on one side, and 50+ grizzled old veterans on the other side. As I looked around, the thought occurred to me: ‘Hmm. How would I have felt if 50+ WWI vets had walked into our classroom in 1967 as we trained for Vietnam?’ The age gaps are identical. That really made me ‘feel my age’.

Later in the day we toured the helicopter hanger where the president’s very special chopper is stored and maintained when not transporting him. Got to climb around inside. Same with the Osprey parked nearby (flies either vertical or horizontal vectors).

Yes, it was ‘special’, returning to where Carolyn – along with daughter Susan, spent much of the second year of our life together. Some officers reminisced bouncing (then) baby Susan (one year old) on their knee at weekend parties off base. One of them is now an astronaut in the Astronaut Hall of Fame. And remember General Peter Pace, from President Bush days? He was the first USMC officer to serve as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and he was a member of our TBS 2-68 class.

George Allen, CPM, MHM

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