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

March 10, 2023


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:42 am

Blog Posting # 731, Copyright 10 March 2023. EducateMHC

Parallel Perspectives. HUD-Code manufactured housing is federally-regulated, performance-based, factory-built housing! And land lease communities (a.k.a. manufactured home communities & ‘mobile home parks’) comprise the investment real estate component of manufactured housing! EducateMHC alone is the online advocate, historian, trend tracker, and text resource for these two business models! To input this blog or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317)881-3815, email, or visit to order Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry (Sole professional property management text in print today!); SWAN SONG, a history of land lease communities and official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and, my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven – my combat adventures in Vietnam & business career in MH & communities.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, Emeritus member of MHI, RV/MH Hall of Fame inductee, and retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines.


“Would you sell properties in your land lease community portfolio? Working with a private equity group aggressively acquiring communities in your market. They want to know if you’d be interested in selling individual properties, or entertain an offer on the entire portfolio for around $35,000,000 to $40,000,000.?” Yes, that’s the way the real estate broker inquiry read.

In this case, if the entire property portfolio sold for the amount cited – and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t, the resulting ‘sale price per rental homesite’ would be between $70,000 and $80,000. So, how’d you respond?

To paraphrase this owner/operator’s response: “Not interested. Anyone paying that much for these properties would have to dramatically increase site rent for all homeowners/site lessees, and terminate existing staff they could no longer afford – the very people responsible for making these properties worth the purchase price.”

This sort of inquiry, when falling on receptive ears, is the root of a serious issue facing land lease community owners/operators nationwide! How so? For the first time in years, we’re fighting regional landlord-tenant legislation because of exorbitant rental homesite rates.

And not only that, tone deaf ‘new owners’ of said portfolios seem to believe offering scholarships to a few land lease community residents, or children thereof, effectively offsets opposition to rent increases. Not!

Solution? Not everyone will agree, but if new legislation springs from the effects of this latter day business model, perhaps the Traditional 3:1 Ratio Rule of Thumb will prevail in  practice; i.e. average conventional (3BR2B) apartment rent in a given local housing market, divided by three, suggests an equitable rental homesite rent in the same local housing market.

A Sneak Peek at My Life 55 Years Ago

Some of you know I spent most of year 2022, and now into 2023, working on my third writing project since retirement.*1 Since last April, I’ve been transcribing 400+ letters I mailed home to Carolyn from Vietnam in 1968 & 69. I’m 12 chapters and seven of 13 months into it to date.

Chapter 12 is different from preceding ones, as it chronicles what happened to me during February 1969. At that time I was a lieutenant of Marines and executive officer of a line company in the 3rd Shore Party Battalion; and the battalion’s most experienced ‘rigging officer’*2 February turned out to be the most precarious and dangerous month during my 13 months in Vietnam – but not without some comic relief.

This first ‘peek into my life 55 years ago’ describes a serious, albeit humorous, concern; I was having about returning to civilian life in two or three months’ time. Writing to Carolyn…

“Any family dinners of late? I’m increasingly concerned about my table manners when I return home. Yup, you’re probably going to have to teach me all over again, as I eat combat rations using my fingers and a penknife. While I don’t recall making any noticeable faux pas’ while on R&R in Hawaii with you and Susie, I was as nervous as all get out at the time.

“Boy, I can just imagine my first family dinner back at your mother’s or grandmother’s house. All eyes will be upon me! Mouths will be a-gape as I pull out my trusty rusty penknife and commence to saw through the mint jelly-covered leg of lamb. Breaths will be checked as I gingerly finger the meat, pushing a little gravy around with it; and then, dripping gravy and jelly, slurp it into my mouth.

“Of course I haven’t seen real butter in over a year, so I will unceremoniously scrape the contents of the butter dish onto my plate, and commence to have ‘a little bread with my butter.’ I’ll be careful of course, not to squash the freshly-cooked peas as I pluck them from my plate, using my thumb and index finger as pincers.

“I’m afraid your mother will have to put milk into a canteen before I drink it, as I’m not sure I recall what a glass is, let alone how to use one. And of course, at about this point in the meal, the womenfolk will have collectively passed-out from shock and chagrin; and I’ll be just whetting my appetite.

“Are you sure your folks will want me over for dinner when I get home? You’d better warn and ask them.”

Now things did not turn out that way when I got home, but I sure did think through meal protocols before I dined anywhere for a while.

Next ‘sneak peek’ in this blog? Well, late in February I found myself in the Ashau Valley adjacent to the RVN & Laotian borders, tasked with rigging two huge 122mm Russian artillery pieces just captured, for helo-lifting back to Dong Ha forward combat base.*3 That night the NVA launched ground attacks in futile efforts to recapture these trophies. Firefights I certainly will never forget. Today, one of these canons is on public display at the USMC Museum in Quantico, VA. The other one? A fascinating but classified tale for another time, maybe.

End Notes.

  1. First project was my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven. Second, encouraged by our adult children Susan and Adam, was a year-long StoryWorth writing project (Google it), resulting in a 400 pages case bound tome titled Carolyn & George, featuring a couple hundred short stories we penned describing our childhoods, courtship, and life together over 60 years.
  • First half my 13 month tour in RVN I was a combat engineer platoon commander with the 11th Engineer Battalion, building bunkers, clearing road mines, and more. Last half the tour I was executive officer, then commanding officer, of a shore party company. My specialty? Rigging 105 & 155mm howitzers, bulldozers, generators, and other exterior loads, via cargo nets and nylon straps, for helicopter-lifting to and from fire support bases throughout Leatherneck Square in northwest region of South Vietnam.
  • These were two of the 12 such artillery pieces captured during Operation Dewey Canyon (Google Operation Dewey Canyon for online videos of this battle). While 10 of the cannons were spiked (destroyed by the enemy by rupturing their barrels) before capture, the two I rigged and flew intact back to Dong Ha were the two largest enemy weapons captured during the entire Vietnam conflict.


A friend recently sent me a list of 20 significant statements made by well-known individuals. I plan to include just one of them at the end of the next several weekly blog postings….

“We just have to pass Obama’s Healthcare bill to see what’s in it.” Nancy Pelosi. To which one doctor is said to have replied, “That is also the perfect definition of a stool sample.”

SECO 2023

10 – 13 September 2023 in Atlanta, GA. More information to follow! See you there? Hope so!

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress