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

August 13, 2018


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 12:12 pm

Blog # 498; Copyright @ 17 August;

Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, &
‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocate, voice, official ombudsman, historian, research report & online communication media for all North American LLCommunities

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 it’s’ print & online media =
to not only inform & opine, but to transform & improve MHBusiness performance!

INTRODUCTION: As best I could tell, there were 500 place settings for this year’s RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet. And what a gala affair it was! But much of the ‘real action’ occurred earlier in the day when small groups of businessmen and women met in the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s board room for an MHAlive! ‘think tank’ session, and later, a writers’ workshop. Here following are some of those proceedings. However, to make this ‘word picture’ (Part III) complete, you’ll need to read the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Why? Read on…

And Part IV. The 27th Networking Roundtable is only three weeks away. Are YOU registered yet? Sure hope so, as we’re nearing our max registration limit. However, if you read the exciting event plan here, know you can register this week, and maybe even next week, and still be able to attend. See YOU there!



MHAlive! ‘think tank’ proceedings….

Everyone present received a copy of the recently updated mini-White Paper titled: ‘Solving Our Nation’s (Lack of) Affordable Housing Crisis, with Factory-built Housing & Land Lease Communities!’. Want a FREE copy? Just request it via email: Be sure to provide your postal mailing address when you do.

And the new edition of the very popular Community Series Homes information summary. This includes the features of CSH model homes, along with HUD-Code housing manufacturers’ representatives specializing in this specially-designed home, helping to resurrect the manufactured housing industry since year 2009. Also FREE for the asking.

MHAlive! participants identified factors that might be slowing 2018 shipment volume. At end of June 2018 YTD we were 4,295 new HUD-Code homes ahead of where we were during the same period 2017. That’s Great! However, for the month of June 2018 alone, we were only 106 homes ahead of the number shipped during June 2017 . That’s not so great! We might be starting to lag….

The factors? Maybe…

• Unsettled nature and enforcement of new HUD-Code housing installations in land lease communities. Some owners are refusing to buy new homes and having to spend upwards of $5,000/rental homesite in retrofit costs; others are (allegedly) buying and siting homes, ignoring potentially costly consequences

• Reported ‘return to prosperity’ for independent (street) MHRetailers in some local housing markets – mainly in Southern locales, but continued dearth of such sales centers in other regions, e.g. Indianapolis enjoyed 18 in 1998; now the market barely supports two.

• Very few new land lease communities being developed, just about anywhere in the U.S. The two in MI, Oaks at Rockford & Bluffs on Manistee Lake, are doing fine, but both are picking up where past developers failed. And yes, there’re others, but more ‘expansions’ than raw land development, certainly from scratch.

• While many property portfolio owners/operators are routinely engaged in buying, selling, & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site; the vast majority of single property owners continue to struggle to ‘learn that drill’. There’s help on the horizon though, as Four Leaf Properties now teaches their business model.

• With employment rates, throughout the U.S., at near record lows, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep HUD-Code housing factory production lines up and going. While probably a good challenge to resolve, it is – and will continue to affect new home production and shipments, just as we’re recovering our mojo.

• Continued lack of effective national brand advertising by HUD-Code housing manufacturers still afraid their advertising financial largesse will, in some way, benefit their smaller, regional housing manufacturer competitors. That, unfortunately, has been a perennial ‘non starter’ problem for the past two decades.

Now is as good a time as any to introduce a new and appropriate business term to the manufactured housing industry & land lease community real estate asset class.

EVERGREEN matters, issues, topics themes & factors….

Casual definition? Anything that remains perennially fresh, interesting, enduring.

So there you have it. Six of the evergreen factors holding back the recovery of our industry, in terms of new home shipments, and filing of vacant rental homesites!



Will Your Personal & Corporate Legacies Continue Beyond Your Demise, or Be Lost Forever?

As I pen in, the beginning of the ‘Who Will Preserve Your Legacy?’ booklet, “Stories will live forever only if you write them.” So, why not make a personal commitment NOW, to begin recollecting and writing one memoir (‘short story’) per month for the next 12 months? Then decide if it’s worth it to you to, in the words of author William Zinsser, “…to leave a record of what we (you!) did & thought & felt (during) your journey.”

This kinda happened during the writers’ workshop at the RV/MH Hall of Fame on 6 August, in Elkhart, IN. There, two individuals met for the first time, one a writer, and one the son of our industry’s last remaining pioneer community developers of the early 1960s. Watch for a ‘story or two, for the ages’ to materialize from this chance encounter.

Know what’s sad though? During 40 years in this business, I’ve met many an individual with worthwhile if not exciting personal and corporate tales to tell and preserve. But very few of them did so! Look at the In Memoriam list featured in every issue of the Allen Letter. Who wouldn’t have wanted to read more about the business adventures of Ron Richardson (e.g. Origin of ‘ballerina’ names for his properties?), Myles Sampson (a family ‘in the RE business since the Revolutionary War), Bud Zeman, Grayson Schwepfinger, Craig Fulmer (The former banker who ‘wrote the book’ re contract sale financing of MHs), Judy Carr, Maurice Wilder, Tom Horner, Jr.(Former pro football player turned land lease community developer/owner), and most recently, Howard Walker – cited in Sam Zell’s autobiography, Am I Being Too Subtle? See what I mean? Those stories are likely lost to posterity. And I sure don’t have the time to research and pull all that material together.

So, where does this leave us? In a recent blog posting I mentioned my interest in planning and hosting a day long writers’ workshop, again, on this very subject: ‘Preserving Your Personal & or Corporate Legacy via Memoirs & Autobiography.’ Invited response, and so far have received several encouragements to do so. How ’bout you? Is this a project that interests you – as the story teller, maybe even a family member or employee with an interest in preserving someone’s personal or corporate legacy? If so, please let me know. Not asking you to commit at this point; just express a desire to learn more, and possibly attend a one day writers’ workshop, possibly just before or during the Louisville MHShow later this year and early into 2019.

Phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; or simply email:

Something you may not realize, I’ve been down this ‘book writing path’ more than a dozen times now since 1988 – one of those times authoring a semi-autobiographical text.. And have assisted in the editing and pre-press preparation of another’s autobiography. So, what are you waiting for?

Finally. If you’d like a copy of the aforementioned booklet, it’s now FREE. Someone has stepped forward and covered our printing and binding expenses. All we ask of you, is to pay ‘shipping & handling’ for $5.00 when you request it. Just send a personal note & check to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247. Make sure you include your postal mailing address as well.



One of Best Tributes Ever & ‘MH Trumps RV’

There’re two parts to this Part III of blog posting # 498. First; the RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet acceptance address, shared in the delivery by two grandsons of Darrel Cohron, and his identical twin, the late Harrel Cohron, were downright justifiably poignant (‘painfully acute & affecting’) for everyone there who knew – and didn’t know ‘the brothers’. The full text of this fitting tribute will be featured in the September issue of the Allen Letter professional journal.

Now this part takes many of us back two decades, to when the manufactured housing industry fabricated and shipped 372,943 new HUD-Code homes nationwide!

At that time, and as I recall; when in or around the original site of the (now) RV/MH Hall of Fame, in downtown Elkhart, the foundation’s moniker was oft cited as being the MH/RV Hall of Fame. Some would halfway jokingly tell MH neophytes (‘novices’), the letters MH precede RV because manufactured housing is ‘today’ more prosperous than RVs. Well, today, the RV industry is more prosperous than MH; so, RV/MH Hall of Fame!

So, what happened during this year’s (2018) RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet reminiscent of this informal innocuous (‘harmless’) competition for top billing between RV & MH? Well, for the first time in years, the huge projection screen hanging in back of the evening speakers and Hall of Fame inductees featured, at the very top and in large letters: COHRON’S MANUFACTURED HOMES. This accompanied by the firm’s iconic white & black cow logo! Then, below that Diamond sponsorship headline, were several RV firms, always faithful in their ongoing financial support of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation. But for some, if not many of us MH folk, this was the first time in a long time, MH ‘trumped’ RV at the Hall of Fame!

Now, do you suppose this tale is patently (‘obviously’) true, or simply an urban legend?

What You Don’t Want to Miss, Part IV.

27th Networking Roundtable Set to Rock!

If you’re a faithful reader of this ‘almost always’ weekly blog, you read the detailed schedule of events – and who the presenters are this year, in last week’s posting. If you missed it, just scroll back into your PC’s archived messages (blog postings) to pull it up. Then register by visiting

For some reason, this year’s Networking Roundtable is garnering more national interest than usual! Best I can tell, the curiosity and inquiries are coming from ‘housers’ engaged in solving our nation’s affordable housing crisis. If so, that’s GREAT. Why? Because manufactured housing & land lease communities have long been, and now seem to have been recently discovered as being, if not The Answer, certainly an important and ongoing major part of the needed Solution! So, wouldn’t you want to be present to maybe make manufactured housing industry history?

The FHFA, both GSEs, most HUD-Code manufacturers, MHI, NAMHCO, COBA7, representatives from academia, major lenders, trade publications, and nearly three dozen presenters will be on hand to educate, network, even engage in deal-making as need be.

How can you not want to be present for this superb start to the Fall meeting season?


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

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