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

December 21, 2023

What to Expect During Year 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 10:28 am

Blog Posting # 772, Copyright 22 December 2023. EducateMHC

Parallel Perspectives. HUD-Code manufactured housing is federally-regulated, performance-based, affordable & attainable 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 is the online advocate, historian, trend tracker, and text resource for these two related business models! Reach EducateMHC by phoning (317) 881-3815; email:, or visit, to order Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry. This is the sole professional property management text in print today! SWAN SONG is a history of land lease communities & official record of annual MH production totals since 1955; and my autobiography, From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven – describes personal combat adventures in Vietnam, a 45 year business career in MH and community ownership/management, and as author/consultant.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, is only emeritus member of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), an RV/MH Hall of Fame enshrinee, retired lieutenant colonel of U.S. Marines, & author/editor of 20 books re MH, communities, business management & prayer.

What to Expect During Year 2024

A different perspective this time around. The December 2023 issue of ‘Real Estate Forum’ magazine featured an article titled ‘2024 VISIONS’. What attracted my attention was how closely the writer’s (Erik Sherman) prescient views of commercial real estate (‘CRE’) apply to the land lease community component of HUD-Code manufactured housing. See if you agree.

Here’re comments, taken out of context, from said article (pp.9-12), to underscore what many of us already realize is happening where our unique income-producing property type is concerned. For some, if not many, this will be a ‘wake up’ call.

“CRE pros are being much more careful and circumspect now.” The only certainty being uncertainty. Yet,

“…the private market is still overpriced.” A seller’s market continues. I know owners/operators who are not selling, simply to protect their homeowners/site lessees from predatory buyers and their high-priced salaried executives or ‘hired guns’. That’s putting resident relations before profiteering!

“…the 30-year bull run is over” where loan originator interest rates are concerned. Furthermore,

“..We’ve enjoyed cheap money for a very long time, but it’s led us to a lot of pricing perhaps that was reliant on that cheap financing.”  I wouldn’t even say ‘perhaps’; it’s a fact.

“…most banks are pretty much out of the lending business.” And we’ve certainly seen this before, e.g. circa 2007-2009.

Uh Oh! “…CRE loan values could drop in the face of falling property valuations, cutting asset values and making it harder to cover further worried (bank) withdrawals.” Another great shakeup on the way?

As “…defaults, workouts, and special servicing are all on the rise….” These are not fun experiences!

“There are more distressed situations and transactions happening because of the way projects were structured because of floating rate debt or even pressure from equity partners to get a faster exit.” And then there’s this…

“…signs of a secret distress market – increased bank CRE charge-offs and higher levels of distressed CRE loans – largely being handled privately and that has not broken out into a fully obvious run on distressed properties.” Yet

“…wake up to higher interest rates and to much higher costs of operating your property, and values are getting impacted. It’s a difficult time to navigate.”

Furthermore, “Credit card debt is at an all-time high and credit card and auto loan delinquencies are on the rise.” Not a CRE observation, but another leading indicator of trouble ahead.

In conclusion, “Consumers had built-up liquidity from Covid, but estimates, including from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, suggest that is likely gone. Not what you want to see when you’re hoping to avoid a recession, but consumer spending is 68 percent of GDP (gross domestic product).”


“A man’s reputation is not in his own keeping. It lies at the mercy of the profligacy of others.” William Hazlitt. Profligacy here, meaning ‘reckless extravagance’ of reputation distribution.

If you recognize that quote it’s because you read it at the beginning of a personal memoir of mine titled ‘Got Rep?’ In it I describe my first civilian job as a lumber yard supervisor in Pennsylvania. During an informal going-away party with my work crew, before I relocated to Indiana, I learned of my reputation as a stone cold killer in Vietnam, wielding a Kbar fighting knife. Not true, but that was my ‘rep’, thanks to a Vietnam veteran on that crew.

Point? Protect your reputation, be very careful with it. Why? Because it could emerge publicly, deserved or not, at the most inconvenient of times, for good or bad. Frankly, I’ve see it happen time and again in this industry. And I have reason to believe more missteps may be on the horizon….


There have been individuals, over the years, who cultivated (unknowingly or purposely?) a rep for offering whatever price a community seller wanted; then, just before ‘closing’ demanding to renegotiate, even threatening to walk away from the deal. These individuals earned reps as pariahs (‘outcasts’) in our real estate asset class.

Then there are the contemporary real estate investors who overvalue and overpay for land lease communities; then, soon after ‘closing’ jack rents and add ancillary fees paid by homeowners/site lessees. The only ‘winners’ being the sellers and maybe the acquisition firm(s). Time will tell, but that ‘rep’ is already out there, demoralizing folk, and giving rise to landlord/tenant legislation.

Poor operators. At times they seem to be everywhere, and manifest their bad reps in various ways. One New England operator, when asked about the abundance of potholes in his streets, crowed: “Well, at least they slow down traffic!” Another operator waives rental payments and late fees in return for sensual favors. And there’re operators who blatantly discriminate in accords with personal prejudices, in violation of Federal Fair Housing law. Don’t forget the ‘slumlords’ who allow their properties to become eyesores, prejudicing local housing market ‘city fathers’ against new raw land development as land lease communities. And the list goes on…

Yes, there’re more. Like would be trade publishers who drive away writers – and readers. Lenders who burden borrowers and community operators with questionable contract terms. Trade advocacy entities with tunnel vision where across-component issues are concerned, even differing in the reporting of key statistics (i.e. ‘Who to believe?’).

Again, you only have your personal, and at times corporate, reputation to accompany you through your business career. You really don’t want to have peers blackball you, local chambers of commerce shun you, and or state and federal legislators and regulators cast you in a negative light in public and the press. A final example. Recently, on LinkedIn, a land lease community portfolio owner/operator being honored by a trade publication for the firm’s positive work in a particular function area (i.e. Good Rep!), turned-off the Comments feature on that site. (i.e. Fearing a Bad Rep?). So, be careful to cultivate a Good Rep whenever and wherever possible!


I bought five copies of the novel ‘FOUR’ as Christmas presents for family members and business friends. With each copy I enclosed this explanation: ‘Why am I gifting you FOUR?’ Here’re some of the reasons cited:

The author, Charles (‘Chuck’) Irion is a longtime business acquaintance and friend in the manufactured housing business out in Arizona. He’s also an artist, world traveler, philanthropist, and adventurer. He’s authored 12 novels in two series: Murdered by Gods, and Summit Murder Mysteries. His five non-fiction books cover remodeling, autograph collecting, used car sales, and divorce, plus a humorous cookbook titled, ‘Roadkill Cooking for Campers’.

FOUR is a standalone ‘men’s mystery & adventure’ novel, and in my opinion, is his very best work to date. (I’ve read them all.) Here quoting from the Amazon book order website:

“FOUR means death for us all. In many Asian cultures, the number four (‘4’) is considered unlucky because the ‘word’ for the number four, and ‘word’ for death, are the same!”

In FOUR, “Forces are in motion around the world. FOUR people have FOUR days to prevent World War FOUR and save the world from destruction.”

Introducing one of those four primary characters: “There was nothing but blue sky above and blue sea below, and from where Colonel George Allen was sitting, it was a little hard to tell the difference. He let his gaze roam the expanse, not really looking at anything in particular, but savoring the experience and the memories it brought. Twenty-odd years ago, this would have been the view from the cockpit window of his F/A-18C Super Hornet, and not merely a high-def projection transmitted back to the Virtual Combat Center – VCC – aboard the USS Enterprise CVN-80-a Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier where Allen Lived the experience vicariously.” Pp. 31 & 32. Chuck wrote me into his latest novel, in recognition of the editing and writing advice we’ve shared these past several decades.

Finally; for clarification, the time frame of FOUR is year 2045, some 22 years into the future, and after World War III, 20 years ago.

The only things I’ll add here, encouraging you to order this 362 page book, are notes I penned to Chuck, as one writer to another: Like the short chapters, the believable albeit futuristic ‘tech talk’ throughout, and your good feel for military hardware and its specialized use. Good character development, right-on descriptions of life aboard ship and ‘on the run’, and exciting active plot development.

Hope you enjoy the ‘read’!                                                                George Allen, CPM, MHM

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