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

May 29, 2011

New Book, More Conspiracy, youtube, MHArt & FEMA

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:19 am

New Landlease Community (History) Book to Debut August 2011;

More Conspiracy Talk; youtube; MHArt & FEMA Housing Input!

(More than 350 MHIndustry & LLCommunity Executives Read This Blog Each Week!)


We’re far enough along to announce publication of my fifth book about manufactured housing & landlease (nee manufactured home) communities. This one has the longest, but entirely apt, title for any such non – fiction business book text to date:

‘Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts & Camps, and Affordable Housing.’

The book will debut at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame Induction Banquet, in Elkhart, IN., the evening of 1 August 2011. Invitations to this annual event are almost ‘in the mail’, but if you don’t receive one by mid – June, and desire to join 400 of your manufactured housing and recreational vehicle peers at the industry’s Social Event of the Year, phone (800) 378-8694 or (574) 293-2344 for tickets.
Frankly, ‘anyone who’s anyone’ in these sister industries and asset class, will be present that evening, to tour the museum and library, hobnob with business leaders and industry pioneers from throughout the U.S., and honor the Class of 2011 as they’re inducted into the prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame.

If you thought the 22nd ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’) was a ‘good read’, earlier this year, you haven’t seen anything yet! How so? Here’re chapter titles of the new book, as they pre – press appear today:

• How I Got My Start in the Landlease Community Business

• ‘Retrospective to 1988’, first published in 2008, updated in 2011.

• Overview of the Landlease Community Realty Asset Class

• Signature Series Resource Documents

• The Affordable Housing Component

• Summary

Any surprises? Suppose that depends on your business perspective and related matters.

For example, this sentence from the Preface will likely get some folk’s blood – a – flowing, either in hopeful anticipation, or by dint of abject frustration: “To a growing number of manufactured housing purists and aficionados, the industry’s return to affordable housing is likely its’ only possible salvation….”

And this triple mystery in the Dedication: “This book is dedicated, in sincere personal appreciation, to three men who’ve never met.” Here’re three hints: One got me started in this business. One Ensured Landlease Community Owners/operators Nationwide Advanced to Where We Are Today – Without Them Even Realizing It. And One is a Manufactured Housing Manager® known to ‘Manage his landlease community like he owns it!’

That’s all I want to pen about the new book at this time. But trust me when I say, You’ll want to be among the first to obtain a copy, as it’s chock full of information about our unique income – producing property type – unavailable anywhere else! We haven’t set a price on it yet, and will likely limit the print run to 500 copies; which if anything like the 22nd ALLEN REPORT, it too will nearly sell out within a few months of its’ release. Speaking of the ALLEN REPORT, if you’re reading these lines, and have yet to acquire and read/use ‘your copy’, this Special Offer is still in effect: For $250.00, receive a copy of the 22nd ALLEN REPORT, and one year subscription to the Allen Letter professional journal! Simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or (317) 346-7156 and order it using a credit card. We have a few dozen still in inventory.

We’ll announce pricing and ordering instructions for

‘Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts & Camps, and Affordable Housing’

later, in future blog postings at this website, and via press releases in our newsletters.


Remember the blog posting in early April, titled: CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, GATHER YE AROUND! – ? We sure do. Not a week goes by that blog floggers (readers) don’t contact me by email and phone, to share personal and unique spins on ‘The Great, and Greater Conspiracies’ described back then. But there hasn’t been much ‘new news’, along these lines, until recently….

What’s emerging today is the growing consensus, We’re an industry likened to a ship without a rudder, drifting aimlessly on the still – troubled waters of our national economy, languishing (new) housing market, and no new sources of third party chattel capital. These inquirers routinely ask, ‘When will manufactured housing leaders caucus nationally, agree on a workable plan, and give our industry practical focus toward the future?’ (Excuse me when I point out how that very question reads akin to sentiment expressed by landlease community owners/operators prior to the first of two National State of the Asset Class (‘NSAC’) caucuses; first held 2/27/2009 in Tampa, FL, second on 2/27/2010 in Elkhart, IN. Hmm.) Might there be a timely and pointed message or suggestion here; like, ‘What was good for the goose, might well be good for the gander as well?’ Sure don’t want to wait till 2/27/2012 for next NSAC caucus, but ‘What the hey.’

Frankly, I don’t see the matter really that dire – yet. I believe we have capable, experienced, motivated elected and salaried manufactured housing leaders in place! Hopefully they’re already looking to the future in our behalf, articulating a recovery plan of sorts – though I haven’t heard any requests for ‘input from (us) grassroots folk’ yet. But know what’s sorely missing from the recovery equation, though rarely discussed – if and when the time arrives to ‘go public’ with ‘a plan’? The method(s) by which such a plan is effectively published or broadcast, is severely limited at this time. How so? Neither MHARR or MHI have general trade broadcast ability to non – members; the Merchandiser, Modern Home, and Automated Builder magazines are gone; the Allen Letter professional journal & the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! are limited circulation, subscriber – supported newsletters; and, The Journal, in this industry observer’s opinion, rarely seeks out and publishes trade NEWS beyond two, sometimes sparring, columns penned by MHI & MHARR executives. Those avenues simply won’t get the job done! Only means left, are online ezines which, as good as they’ve become this past year, have yet to realize the stature afforded major journalistic media publishing hard news. So, all those communication constraints combine as ‘one more severe hindrance to our industry’s recovery’.

But that’s not the only ‘conspiracy news’ (i.e. Conspiracy being, “Why isn’t this plan happening? Someone waiting to build market share on the back of their peers”, etc..) that we’re hearing these days. No, we’re also being asked weekly, “Who will be researching the ALLEN REPORT this Fall; Who will compile the landlease community portfolio data; and, Who will publish the new 23rd edition in January 2012?” And that’s not all, lenders and other landlease community owners/operators regularly inquire about continuation of the annual (realty) lenders’ registry they’ve happily referenced, for free, these past 13 years; and ask, “Who will publish the Allen Letter professional journal?” The conspiracy theorists pose this question? “Why isn’t this happening? Someone waiting to cannibalize our resources, and silence the open communication we’ve enjoyed for 20 years?” It doesn’t help when I decry knowledge of any conspiracies; these folk have their own ideas. What ‘good news’ I can offer, however, is there won’t be any significant change in authorship, between now and the end of the year – except for the possible addition of a partner intent on improving the ALLEN REPORT package of information and statistics. But it’s a little early yet, to tell you more details than that.


Miss the MHCongress in Las Vegas? Get a taste of it by going to Here, Suzanne Felber, Lifestylist® has put together a collage of interviews with various MHIndustry leaders. Well worth watching! Suzanne will be at the Triple Anniversary, Networking Roundtable in San Antonio, TX., @ 14 – 16 September, teaching LLCommunity folk how to effectively furnish, accessorize, and ‘show’ new Community Series Homes on – site in our communities. For information on the Roundtable, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE listed in para. I.

Did you catch Marisa Murrow’s manufactured housing and landlease community – themed artwork (i.e. paintings & miniature ‘mobile homes’) at the MHCongress? Whether you did or not, it’s worth a visit to her website:


Looking for something not terribly exciting but maybe necessary to do, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, from 8AM to 5:30PM? Well, if you’re a HUD Code home manufacturer, and want a piece of future disaster housing production action, you’ll be at the U.S. Access Board, located at 1331 F. Street, NW., Washington, DC. 20004. Registration is required by Friday, June 3, and only one person per firm. To register, email, and on SUBJECT line, put: ‘Small Footprint THU Industry Day Registration’, and include company name, address, attendee name, phone number, and email address. Have questions? Phone (202) 646-1895 between 8AM & 4PM EDT, workdays. I’m even considering attending. If we don’t take this opportunity to input FEMA’s design for future housing product, who’ve we got to blame if we don’t like what they decide? This is a good example of the old bromide: ‘If you’re not part of the solution, you’re likely part of the problem!’ Think about it, and ‘if the house fits’, attend the ‘Small Footprint THU Industry Day’ in Washington, DC., all day Tuesday, June 7, 2011. For more information, phone Lois Stuckey @ MHI: (703) 558-0600.


ANNOUNCEMENT. As most veteran manufactured housing and landlease community businessmen and women know, the annual International Networking Roundtable is a ‘by invitation only’ event planned primarily for LLCommunity owners/operators and realty and chattel loan originators. We only exercise the Allen Letter professional journal subscriber list, and our exclusive, confidential data base of 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators, when sending out invitations each year. SO, if you want to attend this year’s Triple Anniversary, 20th annual Networking Roundtable, but haven’t been selected as one of the two dozen presenters, inquire as to sponsorship opportunities, and or an invitation to attend as a LLCommunity owner/operator. Phone (317) 346-7156 to do so.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master; Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry & The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class. (317) 346-7156

May 22, 2011

Of What are WE Afraid & Unafraid?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:39 am

‘Of What Are WE Afraid & Unafraid?’

Mystery Shopping, Dodd – Frank Fallout, Future of HUD Code Housing, & More


Mystery Shopping. Landlease (nee manufactured home) community owners/operators, portfolio ‘players’ and sole proprietors alike, rarely have their valuable income – producing properties professionally ‘shopped’. Why?

It’s been said of Mickey Mantle, and now a world famous golfer, known for their perennial leg injuries, ‘They’re billion dollar talent on dime store legs.’ Same metaphor appears to apply to most properties in the LLCommunity realty asset class! We routinely put multimillion dollar investments into the hands of oft untrained; rarely certified; frequently underpaid; and loosely – if – that, job performance evaluated (By independent, third party Mystery Shoppers with no personal or job security axe to grind) on – site management and sales staff! Think I exaggerate? Ask yourself, if a community owner: ‘When did we last train and certify (e.g. ACM or MHM designations) our managers, as well as home sales staff (e.g. PHC designation), and have the property and or sales centers professionally ‘mystery shopped’? Your answer disturb you enough to right those wrongs?

What’s it cost to do so? Between $500 and $1,000 per property for a comprehensive evaluation and written report, effected by a capable, experienced, motivated Mystery Shopper (or firm) who ‘visits’ the subject property(ies) by telephone; via the internet – if there’s a dedicated website; and, in person, to conduct anonymous, unscheduled ‘interviews’ with appropriate staffers, after touring the property documenting (photographing) marketing, resident relations, curb appeal, and rules/regulation shortfalls.

Why isn’t Mystery Shopping the job performance evaluation as routine for the LLCommunity asset class as it is for the conventional apartment property type, and builders/developers of site – built housing? In a word, ‘professionalism’, or lack thereof. Within the apartment management, and housing sales disciplines, it’s commonplace to regularly measure, and accordingly adjust, off and on – site marketing measure effectiveness (e.g. Does your staff keep a record of incoming telephone inquiries & visits to the property? More important, are these tallies studied weekly and used?) , as well as OJT performance of leasing and sales teams. In my opinion, there’re additional nefarious, not – so – obvious reasons to ‘not shop’. In the first instance, regional and executive property managers frequently ‘fear’ having their assigned properties ‘shopped’, because results, first time around, are rarely ‘pretty’. In fact, they’re downright awful. All sorts of ‘problems’ with marketing – or, as it turns out, lack thereof; obvious symptoms of sour resident relations, lousy curb appeal (unforgivable), even selective enforcement of rules/regulations becomes glaringly evident. And guess whose fault that is? So, we’re talking job security here, and not just for the on – site sales and leasing staff. Another reason? Frankly, it’s downright difficult to find Mystery Shoppers who know and understand the basics, let alone nuances, of LLCommunity property management and new/resale home sales, even finance. And guess what? That’s not going to change anytime soon, if the major property portfolio folk don’t ‘get on the stick’ and have every one of their income – producing properties professionally ‘shopped’ at least annually – preferably, several months before their local housing market’s leasing and sales season begins.

What to do? Hire a professional Mystery Shopper to visit and evaluate your properties! Contact MHI/NCC and request they address this performance evaluation void at a future meeting. See if the National Apartment Association has a list of Mystery Shoppers who might be comfortable learning the LLCommunity business. Maybe even hire and train your own in – house ‘shopper’. Better yet, talk to Michael or Tim in Florida, Candy in California, Curtis in Texas, Greg in Oregon, John in Chicago, ‘Mac’ or me in Indiana. Need contact information? Let me know via (317) 346-7156.


Dodd – Frank Fallout. Geesh! This bill isn’t even law yet, and finance – related businesses are closing, simply to avoid having to put up with the more onerous of its’ proposed/planned regulations. Already, ‘former employees’, perhaps even potential borrowers, are paying the price for what, to many of us, appears to be excessive regulatory reach into the financial sector. Here’s the plaint of one blog flogger (i.e. reader) writing to us this past week…

‘Dodd – Frank forced us to close our mortgage company in ___________ , and lay off several employees. Reason? Our capitalization with _______________(a major bank) as our JV partner, was slightly in excess of $1,000,000. We were not a broker, but a direct lender, using the bank’s money. Under Dodd – Frank, unless you have a ten million dollar capitalization, you get classified as a broker. And as a broker, you have additional disclosures, the required language of which pretty much scares your customers away to a direct lender. So, we are out of business. Multiply that many times, in every community in America. An apt example of ‘the law of unintended consequences’, as well as job and prosperity killing legislation!’ (lightly edited. GFA)

Remember last week’s blog expose’, describing how the Dodd – Frank bill is maybe the ‘final nail in the coffin of chattel finance’, where manufactured housing is concerned? Whereas the necessity of added fees, will necessitate a minimum manufactured housing loan of $78,000.00., to simply ensure the return of basic and added fees to a chattel lender. And outside certain high – priced local housing markets, how many times do we see manufactured home loans, especially on resale homes, in excess of $78,000.00?


Speaking of the future of HUD Code manufactured housing. During discussions this past week, attempting to match FEMA’s recurring need for emergency shelter for disaster and storm victims, with manufactured housing in general and Community Series Homes (‘CSH’) in particular; with, tens of thousands of vacant rental homesites in landlease (nee manufactured home) communities, across the U.S., the following paragraph popped up, summarizing one of the unfortunate stalemates that continues to stymie our industry/asset class in Washington, DC.

‘As long as HUD continues to consider the MHIndustry as being in the ‘trailer business’, by dint of their relating to us in terms of the 37 year old HUD Code, we ARE temporary housing – as defined and required by FEMA, towed to installation sites on a steel chasis! However, when HUD finally and fully implements provisions of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 – now in bureaucratic limbo for 11 years, but designed to position ‘manufactured housing’ on par with site – built housing, we’ll likely loose the negative stereotype associated with temporary housing!’ GFA

There you have it in the proverbial nutshell. Guess the obvious question that begs answering is this: ‘What are our two national manufactured housing advocacy bodies, in Washington, DC., doing to see that MHIA@2000 is finally and fully implemented during 2011?’ What’s the above – referenced ‘FEMA, CSH, LLCommunity discussion’ all about? Again, look back at the Open Letter to the MHIndustry, in last week’s blog posting at this site. To participate, contact Spencer Roane via


Triple Anniversary, International Networking Roundtable. Last week’s blog posting titillated you with a smorgasbord of timely, cutting edge topics scheduled for this year’s annual Roundtable event, 14 – 16 September at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa on the western outskirts of San Antonio, TX. This time around? Let me ask you: ‘Where else, during 2011, even 2012, will MHIndustry aficionados and LLCommunity owners/operators, hear the likes of Joe Stegmayer (Cavco Industries & MHI chairman), David Lentz (American Land Lease), Joe Adams (Housing Marketplace), Lisa Brechtel (MHI’s NCC exec.), Spencer Roane (Pentagon Properties), Don Westphal (LLCommunity rehab specialist), David Gorin (RV guru), Earl King (underground leak detector), Suzanne Felber, Lifestylist®, Ed Hicks, Donna Rishel, Greg Harmon, Stephen Wheeler, Pat Ford, Jack Johnson, Mike Bowen, Dr. David Funk, Jeff Mishkin, Susan McCarty, and your truly? Answer: Nowhere else! And don’t forget, we’re celebrating three anniversaries this year: MHI’s 75th, Roundtable’s 20th, & NCC’s 15th! Be there! After last week’s blog posting, we received a dozen requests to receive invitations to the Roundtable. How ‘bout you? Are you on the short list? Be sure; call the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 or (317) 346-7156.


Manufactured Housing Manager professional property management training and certification class scheduled! At the request of many of you reading this weekly blog posting, we’ve scheduled the popular one day MHM class, to be hosted by the New York Housing Association, on 20 July 2011. Interested? Contact Nancy Geer via (800) 721-HOME or (518) 867-3242 to register and obtain local hotel information. Retirement Estates of Big Flats, in Horseheads, New York, is the host LLCommunity where this superb educational event will be held, from 8AM thru 4PM. Cost? Only $250.00 per MHM candidate. For this, you receive a copy of the asset class classic, Landlease Community Management, a monograph of contemporary MHIndustry ‘readings’, gold MHM pin and MHM Certificate! To date, nearly 1,000 MHMs own/operate LLCommunities throughout North America. And this is the only professional property management certification class taught in the U.S. by a LLCommunity owner, & Certified Property Manager®Emeritus, of the prestigious Institute of Real Estate Management®.

Ask your state MHAssociation exec or governing board, to schedule the one day MHM professional property management training and certification class in your state! When a class contains more than ten MHM candidates, the association is rebated $50.00 per student; so, with a class of 25 (max size), that’s a potential of $1,250.00 income for the association. And if the class is held on – site, like the one in New York, other than promotional mailings, there’s little cost to the state MHAssociation. Phone (317) 346-7156 for details.


Still looking! At one time or another, we’ve all heard about, seen, bought, even used weather radios, smoke alarms, burglar alarms, radon detectors, and on and on. Well, several years ago, when weather radios were all the rage at MHI meetings, I opined the perfect, needed device, for voluntary installation and use inside HUD Code manufactured and modular homes, as well as in site – built homes, is a hardwired – with battery backup, electronic device that ‘triples’ as a weather (tornado alert) radio, smoke alarm, and intrusion device! Well, guess what? Still waiting for such a multipurpose device to appear on the national housing market. Anyone out there, reading this blog, have a line on such equipment? If so, please let me know. Why? A national market awaits! Call MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


Gossip? Received this terse email message from ‘a friend in the MHBusiness’ earlier this week: ‘With the proposed $35.00 charge (subscription) for The Journal, starting August 2011, is it too early to plan a wake? Sad.’

Turns out it’s true. “You will continue to receive your copy of THE JOURNAL free until August 1, 2011. Thank you all for over 30 years in business. We look forward to serving you in the future.” Jim Visser, Publisher.

Why is this news? Because, if there’s no alteration to this announcement, the last of the ‘free’, advertiser – supported trade publications passes from the MHIndustry scene! As you’ll likely recall, Community Management was the first to disappear, then a couple years ago, Modern Home and Systems Building magazines; and during Fall of 2009, the venerable Manufactured Home Merchandiser ceased publication, followed shortly thereafter by Don Carlson’s Automated Builder magazine.

If you’re an Allen Letter professional journal subscriber (as most readers of this weekly blog posting are); you know, from the ‘2nd annual Official Manufactured Housing Resource for Print & On – line Media, plus Social Networking Web Sites’ directory, enclosed with May’s issue, that The Journal, the Allen Letter professional journal, and the Allen CONFIDENTIAL!, after 1 August will be the three remaining, subscriber – supported, national print trade publications, supplemented by five online newsletters and ezines, including this weekly blog posting. For a free copy of the above – referenced directory, call (317) 346-7156; and while you’re at it, if not already a subscriber to the Allen Letter professional journal, do so @ $134.95/year. The ‘Do – it yourself Guide to Social Media’, featured in the directory is incomparable, and was prepared by Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber or The Home Idea Factory.


George Allen, CPM®Emeritus & MHM®Founder
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156.

May 15, 2011

Beware 1 August 2011; See Open Ltr; & Triple Anniversary Celebration

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 4:43 am

August 1st Might End MHBusiness Chattel Finance as We Known It & September 14-16 to Celebrate 3 MHBusiness Anniversaries!


Dodd – Frank Act, as it stands ‘today’, will likely break our MH $ Business!! Huh? That’s right. Letters are already going out to MHRetailers and LLCommunity folk (I’ve seen them), warning of the likely end, on 1 August 2011, of all chattel finance for manufactured homes selling for less than $78,000.00! Tragically, most MHIndustry & LLCommunity businessmen and women aren’t even aware of this end game scenario – our industry’s veritable Armageddon, despite best efforts by MHI and others to stop it!

Rationale for above headline & statement? MHI’s Dodd-Frank Task Force uncovered provisions in the Act that force lenders (‘Including LLCommunity self – finance programs!’), into increased fixed transitional costs amounting to about $4,000.00 per loan, above existing costs. Furthermore, since the great majority of chattel loans fall into ‘high risk’ and or ‘high interest’ categories, ‘closing costs’ are limited to 6% of the amount being financed. To recover those additional costs, plus existing costs, a chattel loan will have to be for more than $78,000.00! And with the exception of California, and some East coast states, the majority of chattel loans made today, are well under that dollar amount, unless made elsewhere, for example, in ‘A’ grade luxury LLCommunities.

Need more information on this downright scary subject? Phone Thayer Long @ MHI: (703) 558-0678. And perhaps YOU have a solution none of us have considered to date!


Triple Anniversary, 20th annual Networking Roundtable to occur 14 – 16 September at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa on the western outskirts of San Antonio, TX. Probably the nicest venue we’ve enjoyed to date for the annual International Networking Roundtable! This is a ‘by invitation only’ event, intended for owners/operators of landlease communities, but all major realty lenders will be present, along with a few HUD Code CSH home manufacturers, nearly two dozen specially – selected presenters, and event sponsors. For a registration brochure, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633 – 4764. Don’t wait to be solicited. Only contact lists we exercise for this seminal event are Allen Letter professional journal subscribers and the exclusive 500+/- name data base of LLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America. Don’t delay. Attendance is limited to first 200 registrants and sponsors!

How’s this a triple anniversary celebration? Simple. Year 2011 commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’), our industry and asset class national advocacy body, headquartered in Arlington, VA. Year 2011 commemorates the 20th annual International Networking Roundtable. How many recall our first Roundtable event in Clearwater, Florida in 1991? And, year 2011 commemorates the 15th anniversary of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division! And how many recall the first meeting of NCC’s predecessor, the Industry Steering Committee, when 18 LLCommunity owners/operators convened in Indianapolis, IN., on 31 August 1993? Yes, this is a very special opportunity to celebrate three key anniversaries in MH & LLCommunity history. Plan today to participate!

What’s on the program? Nearly two dozen presenters, including two panels, variously holding forth on the Rebranding of LLCommunities; ‘lease option’ alternative to captive finance, ‘buy here – pay here’ & rentals; Siting ‘park models’ on functionally obsolete rental homesites; Lifestyling ‘Community Series Homes’ to Sell; ever popular realty lenders’ panel; a panel comparing ‘book value’ & ‘market value’ methodologies for home appraisals; and, a host of other informative topics. Also an Investors’ Forum, featuring dozens of LLCommunities ‘for sale’! Be sure to read June’s Allen Letter professional journal for program details, plus a Roundtable registration form will be enclosed! To subscribe, phone (317) 346-7156 or via website: Another topic: ‘Past, Present & Future of LLCommunity Research, Communication, Education, Networking & Resources’. This particular session will likely, and markedly, influence the very nature of your LLCommunity(ies) going forward!


An Open Letter to National & State Representatives, Counties & Municipalities Impacted by Recent Storms, as well as FEMA, Manufactured Home Builders, and Landlease Community Owners/operators Nationwide!

During the last two weeks, as storm waters ravaged south central U.S., two Georgia LLCommunity owners/operators, David Roden and Spencer Roane, conceived and articulated a practical plan and means to provide quick, cost – effective, attractive housing for flood water – displaced citizens; a plan free of most shortcomings and problems associated with efforts post – Katrina housing.

Enter the Community Series Home or CSH. Designed and built during the past two years, for in – landlease (nee manufactured home) community placement, these smaller but functional, attractive – inside and out, sturdily built, affordable HUD Code homes, are ideal for quickly housing storm victims and other displaced individuals and families! Add to that, the plethora of vacant rental homesites within 50,000+/- LLCommunities across the U.S., and there’s a WIN WIN proposition in the making, for everyone involved! And just think; no more ‘overnight trailer cities’ in the secular press! In addition, since LLCommunity owners/operators already market, sell and often self – finance CSH homes on – site, reselling them once FEMA needs are past, will be a whole lot easier than getting rid of unsightly Katrina homes, featuring oversized hallways and bathrooms, and undersized bedrooms.

Are you enthused about this practical plan for providing quick, cost – effective, attractive housing, and LLCommunity access, for flood water – displaced citizens? If so, encourage you to soon contact one or more of the following key ‘players’ in this timely scenario, and offer your support and assistance:

• David Roden @ (423) 760-4818 &

• Spencer Roane @ (678) 428-0212 &

• Don Westphal @ (248) 651-5518 & (Keeper of CSH info!)

• Lois Starkey @ (703) 558-0654 & (MHI’s MHSpecialist)

• Lisa Brechtel @ (703) 558-0666 & (LLCom. Specialist)

• George Allen @ (317) 346-7156 & (Source of BDM List: HUD Code home manufacturers’ Business Development Managers marketing Community Series Homes)

Know what? This is the first, potentially large scale, eminently society – serving, manufactured housing – focused concept and plan, I’ve seen in a very long time! This is a viable opportunity for several segments of the HUD Code manufactured housing industry and landlease community asset class, to ‘work well together’ for the greater cause of helping folk experiencing hard times and tragedy; at the same time, putting our ability to quickly provide truly affordable housing, and an attractive community lifestyle, ‘center stage’, for all to see, experience, and appreciate! Let’s go for it! GFA


‘Yours truly’ debuted on youtube this past week, interviewed by Suzanne Felber of at the Manufactured Housing Congress in Las Vegas, NV. Interested in seeing it? Go to By the way, if you presently stock and sell Community Series Homes on – site in your LLCommunity(ies), don’t miss Suzanne’s feature article in June’s Allen Letter professional journal, titled: ‘Lifestyling Community Series Homes to Sell!’ She’ll also be a presenter, on that hot topic, at the Triple Anniversary, 20th annual Networking Roundtable in San Antonio!


Mark your calendar! Next one day Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management training and certification class will occur 20 July 2011, from 7:30AM to 4PM, at the Retirement Estates of Big Flats Community Center in Horseheads, New York. Only $250.00 per MHM candidate. MHMs receive a copy of Landlease Community Management text, monograph of contemporary MHIndustry ‘readings’, gold MHM pin and calligraphy – printed MHM certificate! To register, phone (800) 721 – HOME or (518) 867-3242. Hosted by NYHA. I’ll be instructing. Ask your state MHAssociation to sponsor an MHM class during 2011! For info: (317) 346-7156.

1 August 2011. This is the date the 2011 Class will be inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart, IN. There’ll be about 400 RV/MH aficionados present for the banquet that evening. If you’ve never visited ‘our museum & library’, plan to do so now. For information: (574) 293-2344.


George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®Emeritus, MHM
Consultant to the Factory- built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indpls, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

May 8, 2011

Blog Flogger Comments; 3:1 Ratio & Triple Anniversary Roundtable!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 1:31 pm

Blog Flogger (reader) Comments: MHIndustry, Home Valuation & finance!


Proofing – Spoofing the 3:1 Ratio for Pegging Rental Homesite Rent Rates


The Triple Anniversary Networking Roundtable, 14 – 16 September in TX.


“There is no question, we in the MH World have lost the political, economic and social high ground relative to what authentic ‘affordable housing’ is and ought to be. (And) it’s no longer enough for us to say, ‘We lack clout’ in DC or statehouses. We need to creatively, individually, and collectively engage the media, public and government, demonstrating true affordability relative to our quality, eco – minded ‘green’ homes!” TK

“Between HUD, our national and state organizations, and (corporate) ivory towers, we departed the (affordable housing) market that fed us, and now wonder where we are. Appears foreign competition could easily take over this industry, like so many others, that ‘forgot their customer base’.” NB

Appears landlease communities have a viable ongoing ‘business model’ ensuring their survival. They’ll still need a few (home) manufacturers, but likely can succeed nicely. Those remaining manufacturers will have to relearn ‘success’, by building economically – sized, well – designed and built homes! In the meantime, the remainder will fade and die that ‘death of a thousand cuts’, as you aptly put it. George.”

Some pretty heady words there, from our peers throughout the MHIndustry and LLCommunity asset class, responding to blog posts of the past few weeks. Are any of our elected and salaried executives ‘out there’ listening? How ‘bout that still quiet charismatic, visionary – but – effective leader, who’s yet to step forward to bring us together to plan and effect the rejuvenation of the industry and property type? Hmm? Know what’s interesting about the previous sentence? At the MHCongress in Las Vegas last week, a half dozen attendees talked to me individually about this very matter. Each had his/her idea as to whom I’ve been referring to as ‘our reluctant leader’ – and guess what? All but one of them was ‘right on the money’, so my commentary to date has been Right on Target! But we continue to wait….


Remember the heady, if not heated discussion, of the past few weeks on LinkedIn, that spilled over into this weekly blog posting, on the subject of ‘book value’ versus ‘market comparables’ approaches to valuing HUD code manufactured homes sited within and outside landlease communities? Well, the conversation continues online at that social media site, but here’re a couple commentaries, again from blog floggers, to this blogger:

“I agree 100% with your point on NADA book value. There is indeed, a sad irony behind the question: ‘Do manufactured homes depreciate?’ Of course they do, if loan amounts are based on a depreciation schedule! And, if older homes can’t be financed, then of course there’s no lasting value outside of pennies on the original (purchase) dollar. It’s ridiculous.
And yes, I have a position on the matter. I think the ‘depreciation factor’ is so deeply ingrained in the consumer’s mindset, it’s going to be touch to shake. But it needs to be changed. In my view, the principle is: ‘Do what’s in the best interest of the customer, and long – term, you’ll make out just fine. Abuse them at every turn, and you’re a short – timer, with them and your business interests. And whether my associates in ‘MH land’ agree with me or not, that’s how it works!” PB

And from yet another source: “Real estate appraisers DO know how to appraise manufactured homes ‘on land’ as realty. The problem is, we routinely site these homes in awful locations, ‘miles from civilization’ and the values do come in low. Any time a value comes in low, our industry screams, “They don’t understand manufactured housing”, when, in fact, they don’t understand you can’t place a good home in a horrible location and expect to get top dollar.
Furthermore, it’s true, few real estate appraisers outside FL, AZ & CA are interested, willing, or qualified to do chattel (in LLCommunity) valuations. But the job can indeed be done, when you hire manufactured housing valuation specialists to seek out market ‘comps’ in local housing markets where subject homes are located. DR

Note. How ‘bout the expectation Dodd – Frank regs will make for expensive housing appraisals? Quite likely, for ‘real housing’! Now, this question begs answering: Which camp will we be in, going forward, real housing or manufactured housing – continuing with our very own set(s) of rules, like book valuation, and no secondary housing market? We can no longer afford to have it both ways! What do YOU think?


Here’s an interesting commentary received from a LLCommunity owner/operator who attended the MHShow in Tunica this year. Seems he/she picked up a loan rate sheet from one of the third party chattel lender exhibitors, and figured out the following….

Note that a $35,000 singlesection home transaction, with 10% down payment, and customer with a 650 – 700 credit score (i.e. a premium buyer), would pay 11.99%+0.5% (for an under’ $50,000 loan), or 12.5% plus 2% origination fee. Based on a 15 year loan, that works out to an effective interest rate of 12.88%

Buyer’s monthly payment would then be $388.00. Assuming site rent of $250.00/month, his/her total payment would be $639.00. That same buyer would probably be approved for a 5% site – built loan. His $/her $638/month payment (15 year term) would qualify for a $80,000 loan. What percentage of the eligible home buying prospects do you think would sign up with this lender for a $35,000 singlesection manufactured home in a LLCommunity versus $85,000 site – built home?

The numbers are similar, when manufactured home is put on private property (chattel only). That buyer’s interest rate would be 10.25% + 0.5% = 10.75%, plus 2% origination (effective rate on 15 year loan would be 11.1%). Door # 1 leads to a $35,000 singlesection manufactured home. Door # 2 leads to a $48,000 site – built home.

Bottom line? “Those (typical) terms from that lender suggest their experience financing chattel – only manufactured homes is pretty poor. Probably just the nature of the beast. The spread between manufactured housing and site – built rates is simply too great to ever make the former very attractive to prospective homebuyers.


Are landlease communities pricing themselves, homesite rent rate – wise, out of their local housing markets? Anecdotally, the answer appears to be ‘Yes’, as urban and semi – urban LLCommunities, across the U.S., experience significant declines in physical and economic occupancy rates (i.e. Or, as some say, higher vacancy rates). While this topic deserves more research than I can give it here, an article in the March/April 2011 issue of Multihousing Professional (p.28) titled, ‘Where rents are rising the most, and least’, relative to conventional apartment communities across the U.S. was illustrative. Here’re a half dozen SMSAs (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area), for which we were able to compare monthly apartment rent rates in the subject article, with adjusted site rent averages in ‘family’ & ‘all adult’ LLCommunities surveyed and published in a recent JLT & Associates report. In the following examples, I used the divisor of 2.5 instead of 3, per the 3:1 Rent Ratio Rule (for comparing LLCommunity & apartment rent rates), since 2.5 is oft recommended for SMSA markets vs. decidedly suburban and rural markets.

SMSA Apt. Rent LLCom. JLT & Associates adjusted rates

Seattle $1094 / 2.5 = $438 model vs. $477 @ family & 526 @ adult

Portland, OR. $877 / 2.5 = $351 model vs. $442 @ family

Tucson, AZ. $683 / 2.5 = $273 model vs. $323 @ family & $379 @ adult

Las Vegas $811 / 2.5 = $324 model vs. $488 @ family & $532 @ adult

Phoenix, AZ. $763 / 2.5 = $305 model vs. $384 @ family & $435 @ adult

A practice that tends to skew published average LLCommunity site rent rates upward in urban markets, relates to the property composition of SMSA survey samples Generally speaking, only larger institutional investment grade LLCommunities are researched and tallied; while the smaller, far more numerous properties, e.g. under 100 sites in size, are oft not included in SMSA survey samples. Result? In a sense, rendering a ‘false positive’ result, i.e. SMSA area average rent is ‘higher’ than would be the case, if all LLCommunities in the SMSA were included in the survey sample. But then, this 85%+/- of the nation’s LLCommunity stock, ‘under 100 sites in size’, are also difficult to track, due to lack of on – site staff to respond to rent surveys. These smaller properties too, frequently have lower site rent rates than larger institutional investment grade ones found in LLCommunity portfolios. Why? Often older with more functionally obsolete rental homesites; owned by Mom & Pop investors who’re frequently emotionally attached to their residents – along with a fear of not being able to replace ‘older, smaller homes’ if they depart.

Point? In the face of declining physical occupancy, a LLCommunity owner/operator must look at every aspect of his/her operation to remedy that situation. Are marketing measures generating sufficient volume of incoming telephone and online inquiries, and on – site visits, to drive conversion percentages needed to more than offset move – outs? How do you know? Is a daily record being made of such inquiries (Including the key question: ‘How did you first learn/hear of this LLCommunity?’), and is this record of inquiries being evaluated at least weekly, by the property owner or a regional or executive property manager? If not, start NOW! And just how sure are YOU, on – site staff is performing the way they were trained (‘They were trained weren’t they?’) to handle telephone and online inquiries, as well as on – site, in person interviews? Only one effective way to know: Have your property (ies) Mystery Shopped regularly and anonymously by professional ‘shoppers’, especially by individuals who clearly understand the MHIndustry & LLCommunity business, to the extent of being sensitive to basics and nuances of our housing product and unique lifestyle, whether ‘family’ or ‘all adult’. When was the last time you had your LLCommunities shopped? Perhaps therein lies the answer to your declining physical occupancy rate. And economic occupancy? Well, that’s another story altogether.


Don’t miss reading next week’s blog posting on this website! We’ll be announcing details of this year’s TRIPLE ANNIVERSARY ROUNDTABLE, scheduled for 14 – 16 September, somewhere in Texas! Triple anniversary? Yep. We’ll be celebrating manufactured housing’s 75th anniversary; International Networking Roundtable’s 20th anniversary; and National Communities Council division of MHI’s 15th anniversary! How can YOU not want to be present for such an historic and gala celebration?

And this year’s two dozen presenters? Wait till you see the list! Can already tell you there’ll be folk there ‘Everyone knows, but rarely see!’ One in particular (might) be the Allen Letter’s ghost columnist MH Ronin (It’s not me!). Others? Well, you’ll just have to wait for the blog posting, then the registration brochure which’ll be enclosed with the June issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. That alone, is a good reason to ensure your subscription is current. Know why? We use only four data bases for this ‘by invitation only event’: Allen Letter subscribers, the exclusive 500+/- name contact list of LLCommunity portfolio owners/operators in North America, 13th National Registry of Realty Mortgage Lenders & Brokers, and last year’s Roundtable registration list. If you’re not on one of those four lists, and desire to attend this year’s TRIPLE ANNIVERSAY ROUNDTABLE, I strongly recommend you subscribe to the Allen Letter professional journal today! (317) 346-7156 or the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. As in years past our maximum capacity is 200 attendees.


George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®Emeritus, MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

May 1, 2011

“Where’s Lou Vela?”, More MH questions, & GSE REform

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:36 am

“Where’s Lou Vela?”, More ‘MH’ Questions, & GSE Reform!

‘Do YOU advocate CSH, attend the NCC Forum, MHCongress, & INR?’


Community Series Homes or CSH. It’s been two years and two months since a hundred HUD Code housing manufacturers and landlease (nee manufactured home) community owners/operators caucused, for first time in MHIndustry history, at the new RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame facility (museum & library) in Elkhart, IN.

Why? To agree how to better market and site new manufactured homes on vacant rental homesites! How to do so? Via exciting new exterior designs (e.g. smaller ‘footprints’, front load porches and more), interior floor plans, appropriate specifications, even WOW features enticing to LLCommunity buyers. And, to market these exciting new homes, via three dozen newly appointed Business Development Managers or BDMs, employed by the HUD Code home manufacturers. It’s been almost as long a time, since the Community Series Home (differentiated from heretofore Developer Series Homes of the late 1990s), was identified and labeled as such, at the 18th annual Networking Roundtable in Chicago. Since then, CSHs have become the LLCommunity owner/operator’s ‘home of choice’, to fill vacant, and frequently functionally obsolete (i.e. ‘too small for today’s behemoth – sized manufactured homes’) rental homesites in properties throughout the U.S. and Canada.

But, ‘Guess what?’ While there’s been some significant progress, among a few enlightened HUD Code home manufacturers – now shipping increasing numbers of CSH models into LLCommunities, they’re still rarely identified as such, in corporate literature. And at regional MHShows, HUD code home manufacturers continue to exhibit the ‘bigger box = bigger bucks’ behemoths (e.g. 16X80 & large multisection units) that helped get us into our present sour business pickle! Adding ‘insult to injury’ was the absence of an awards category, at the recently completed Manufactured Housing Congress in Las Vegas, singling out these industry – saving CSH models, as being worthy of national recognition! Hopefully that‘ll be addressed at the 2012 MHCongress.

In the meantime, it’s increasingly difficult not to surmise HUD Code home manufacturers have resigned themselves to ‘die the death of a thousand cuts’. How so? Four indicators and counting: 1) at the mercy of federal regulators intent on increasing floor fees; 2) benign neglect of loan origination and secondary market financial institutions, where third party chattel capital is concerned; 3) abject reluctance to return to their ‘affordable housing’ roots, the very today market that brought them shipment volume success in the mid – 1970s; and, 4) aforementioned ‘foot dragging’ where forging active CSH partnerships with LLCommunities nationwide, is concerned. And this list doesn’t even include lack of viable warranty, responsibility for home installation, and customer service symptoms….

For the seriously interested MHIndustry aficionado, here’re the Top Ten Features that characterize contemporary Community Series Homes today:

• 3BR (bedroom), 2B (bath) design, either singlesection or small multisection homes, oft times with a front load porch, sometimes with recessed steps.

• Open floor plan with WOW factor interior treatment

• Shutters on all windows

• Vaulted ceilings

• Asphalt shingles on roof

• Linoleum in kitchen, utility & front door areas

• 40 gallon water heater

• 200 amp service panel

• Wood cabinetry throughout

• Non – plastic sinks and tubs

And, if you’d like a FREE copy of the aforementioned list of nearly three dozen official BDMs, phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 and request it. For detailed information about CSH product design; and, ‘Why it’s important, even critical, to upgrade older LLCommunities before buying and siting new CSH homes!’, contact Don Westphal @ (248) 651-5518. You’ll be glad you did.


5th National Communities Council Forum Attendance up by about 50 from last year’s 200 registrants! Most frequently asked question this year? ‘Where’s Lou Vela?’ Answer: He’s pretty much semi – retired these days, but maybe expect to see him at the International Networking Roundtable (INR’) later this year, when two dozen specialty realty – secured lenders and loan brokers with affinity for the LLCommunity asset class, gather for their annual Lenders’ Panel! To ensure you’re on the invitation list for the 20th annual INR, 14 – 16 September, phone (317) 346-7156 or email via By the way, the 13th annual National Registry of Landlease Community Lenders & Loan Brokers was released as a lagniappe in the April issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. Receive a FREE copy of that seminal report and directory of 18 ‘players’ when you subscribe to the newsletter! Simply phone the number cited in this paragraph.

Home finance, home finance, home finance, and ‘rentals’ were foci of this year’s NCC Forum. Bottom line? LLCommunity owners/operators should probably not go the self – finance route, either via ‘buy here – pay here’ & or ‘captive finance’ methodologies, alone! Who to contact for information and advice? The NCC Forum was the first venue where all present loan servicers and chattel finance consultancies were identified, and are listed here in alphabetical order:

• 21st Mortgage Corporation per Matt Kerlin (800) 955-0021

• CU Factory – built Housing per Dick Ernst ((972) 503-3201

• Kenneth Rishel Consulting (217) 971-3968

• Triad Financial Services per Don Glisson (904) 223-1111

• PMH Financial per John Briggs (303) 467-8009

Did I miss anyone? If so, let me know by phone or email, and once verified, I’ll add them to the directory being prepared for the 2nd edition of the Manufactured Housing $$$ Primer.

Rentals advice? If you’d like a FREE copy of the seminal article on that subject, titled: ‘To Rent or Not to Rent!’, phone the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE and request it. Tells you just about all you need to know to make an informed HOW TO decision. A Word of Caution. While ‘renting manufactured homes in LLCommunities’ was ballyhooed at the NCC Forum, be careful! A 100% ‘rental unit’ community ‘works’ in a supportive local housing market; however, mixing bona fide homeowners/site lessees with a like number of ‘apartment renters’ creates two classes of citizenry in one’s property. Not always, if ever, a happy mix. And there’s much more to this decision. That’s why you need to read ‘To Rent or Not to Rent!’ before taking the plunge.

Property classification or gradation. Now this was a surprise for the NCC Forum audience; to learn U.S. Bank – Manufactured Housing Finance, has – as it turns out – an internal ABC method of determining the quality of landlease communities in which they’re considering underwriting manufactured home loans. At present, the methodology is not available for general distribution. But all is not lost. There’re two long – established programs to access to a similar end. First, the Community Attributes Systems or CAS, formalized ‘years ago’ by an MHI task force comprised of third party chattel finance firms and LLCommunity owners/operators. Simply go to to see how your LLCommunity is described thereon. Yes; know it or not, your LLCommunity is likely listed and described. Disagree with what you see/read? Identify yourself as the property owner and effect desired changes. You owe it to yourself to do so! And then there’s the widely – used manual ‘grading system’ form, the ABClassification System, designed in 1998 by Susan McCarty and yours truly, revised in 2001 by a NCC Task Force. Also available FREE to you, by phoning the aforementioned MHIndustry HOTLINE and requesting PM form # 126. Anyone in the MHIndustry & LLCommunity business ‘still talking stars’ is woefully out of date, as the Woodall System of classifying ‘mobile home parks’ has not been updated since 1976, 35 long years ago!

‘Let’s start our own bank to finance new & resale manufactured homes!’ Once again, that now – not – so – novel thought and aspiration was voiced by more than one NCC Forum attendee. But will it go anywhere this time around? I doubt it. Why? Just look at the unfolding finance regulatory environment most of us are dealing with these days? Hopefully the time will indeed come, and leaders emerge (Heck, we can’t even get a charismatic, capable, experienced leader to step forward to lead our industry out of its’ doldrums! Huh? That’s right. Just read back through this web site’s blog archives, for a few weeks, for more on that timely and disturbing subject), that’ll make this decades – old ‘dream’ a practical reality. I doubt the time is now…. Anyone disagree? Tell me!

An interesting sidebar at this year’s NCC Forum was the distribution of an article describing the Lease Option approach to filling vacant rental homesites in landlease communities. Titled, ‘Lease Option Sales Transactions Gaining in Popularity!’ by Spencer Roane, portfolio LLCommunity owner/operator headquartered in Atlanta, GA. For a copy of this seminal article, phone (678) 428-0212 or email If YOU have successful personal experience with lease option methodology, let me know!


20th annual INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING ROUNDTABLE or INR Considering renaming this year’s event as the Triple Anniversary Networking Roundtable! Why? Read on… Dates still 14 – 16 September 2011; location hopefully finalized with next week’s blog posting! In the meantime, know this: The 20th INR will be awash in celebration! How so? Besides unparalleled networking (This ‘by invitation only’ event, ensures majority of registrants are bona fide LLCommunity owners/operators & realty lenders), superb educational seminars (Nearly two dozen specially – selected presenters!), and unprecedented deal – making opportunities (‘It’s said, 50% of the next year’s LLCommunity transactions get their impetus at the annual INR!’), the INR will be celebrating its’ 20th anniversary, as well as the 70th anniversary of manufactured housing, and 15th anniversary of MHI’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division! How can you not want to be present for such an unparalleled networking, educational, deal making, celebratory event? Again, phone (317) 346-7156 or via to add your name and address to the official ‘invite’ list.


GSE Reform. ‘With the February 11 release of the Obama Administration’s white paper, ‘Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market’, it’s official – the two giant government – sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will no longer exist in their present form.’ This from the March/April 2011 issue of Multihousing Professional magazine, pp. 43 – 47.

The magazine feature goes on to briefly describe three plans for phasing out Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, with each plan restricting federal credit to varying degrees:

• ‘One option restricts it entirely and limits government’s guarantee to the FHA, USDA – Rural Development, and VA.’

• ‘Another offers a government guarantee only in case of emergencies.’

• ‘Option Three still restricts federal credit – they didn’t define it specifically – but there very clear clues that if they were to extend federal credit to the market…it would be on defined terms.

With that said, the National Multi Housing Council (‘NMHC’) points out, “We have two incredibly successful business models out there for the multifamily books of business that Fannie and Freddie do. Fannie Mae has the delegated underwriting (‘DUS’), where their lenders are in the first loss position. They have skin in the game and it really colors the kind of underwriting they do….” And for that matter, “If you look at the multifamily books of the GSEs, they performed well, even through the crisis.” (Secretary Donovan)

Furthermore, because of demographic characteristics on the horizon (e.g. 78 million cohort of echo boomers entering the housing market), “half of all new homes built between 2005 and 2030 will have to be rental units.” Manufactured housing and landlease communities anywhere in that mix? Let’s hope and plan for it to happen!

Relative to whether Fannie and Freddie have met three affordable housing goals set for them in 1992, by the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety & Soundness Act, a recent Policy Analysis published by the CATO Institute (titled: ‘Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, & the Future of Federal Housing Finance Policy’ by David Reiss), pointed out: “Fannie & Freddie typically meet these goals, although they sometimes may use financing shenanigans (such as buying a portfolio of loans solely to meet affordable housing goals) to do so.” (And) ‘A number of studies have indicated Fannie and Freddie actually cannibalize the FHA loan market by lending to borrowers who would have otherwise received FHA mortgages.” (Finally) “the U.S. General Accounting Office has also questioned whether Fannie and Freddie, notwithstanding their affordable housing mandate, do any more than any other lenders to promote affordable housing.” Hmm. Where have we, in the manufactured housing business, encountered that latter matter before? Anyone recall our ‘duty to serve’ contretemps? (p.9)

So, how will Fannie and Freddie end up, down the line? The above referenced Policy Analysis had this to say on the matter: “Because Fannie and Freddie are poor agents of public policy and political powerhouses with unmatched influence, the two companies should be fully privatized.” – by extension, no longer Government Sponsored Enterprises or GSEs. (p.14). In any event, whatever plan for housing finance and GSE reform is agreed upon, it’ll take five to 10 years to fully implement.


Grand Opening! Shiloh Estates in Indianapolis, IN. This is an early example of the turning around of a LLCommunity acquired via the foreclosure process. If interested in attending this 14 May event (10AM – 6PM), phone (317) 356-1666. Address? 7441 Chinook Circle (Washington & Shortridge Roads), Indianapolis, IN. 46219. I certainly plan to attend! GFA


George Allen, Realtor®, CPM®Emeritus, MHM
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry &
The Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247
(317) 346-7156 &

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