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

April 30, 2016

What No One Else Will Tell You!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:08 am

Blog # 394 Copyright 2016 COBA7® @ 1 May 2016; web site

Perspective: ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman & historian, research reporter & online communication media, for North American LLLCommunities!

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 633-47654

COBA7® Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal of its’ print/online media = ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION. I suppose if you were to talk to everyone at the recent FHFA Manufactured Housing Roundtable, you’d get a different tale and perspective. Well, what follows in Part I, is that of the only LLLCommunity owner/operator present at the meeting. Part II corrects a telephone number error in last week’s blog posting. And Part III? Well frankly; anyone contemplating selling new – even resale, manufactured homes on-site, should be present 5/25 & 26, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., to participate in ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ – the latter taught by LLLCommunity owners already successfully selling and seller-financing homes in their own properties! No state or national MHAdvocacy body is offering this sort of heady Tour/Seminar combination during the balance of 2016. So, don’t miss this opportunity!


What No One Else Will Tell You!

Manufactured Housing Roundtable & ‘Duty to Serve’ Proposed Rule(s)

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’) meeting, regarding Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) rulemaking, has come & gone. What was discussed? What was accomplished?

This blog posting lists meeting agenda items articulated by FHFA staff. When their summary is posted online, we’ll share it here with you. It won’t be soon though, as FHFA staff has no fewer than 1,561 comment letters on Duty to Serve, to read and absorb.

There were at least 20 manufactured housing, land-lease-lifestyle community, and finance-related businessmen & women, national & state trade advocates, and freelance consultants in the 26 April 2016 meeting. A list of their names has been circulated to COBA7® affiliates. This was the first national roundtable, organized and hosted by a federal agency, that requested Community Owners Business Alliance® involvement setting the agenda, as well as having a ‘seat at the table’ with two national advocacy entities representing HUD-Code manufactured housing.

Following Michael Price’s Welcome, & Introduction of all attendees, we discussed:

1. ‘Manufactured Housing Units Titled as Real Estate’. Surprisingly, to this observer, little was said in support of this still-emerging, albeit controversial concept, beyond identifying supposed challenges where housing valuation (i.e. appraisal) is concerned, and disposition of abandoned homes. Furthermore, the case was made for renting (housing and underlying improved realty) being more affordable than a change to ‘real estate-like’ ownership (e.g. Where likely transfer of payment of ad valorem taxes from ‘community’ to ‘homeowner’ is concerned). FHFA should research how well or poorly this type shift has fared among manufactured homes and communities in New Hampshire. Following here, is ‘how’ the actual agenda item was described: ‘Participants’ views on whether Enterprise support for manufactured housing units titled as real estate could be modified to expand support for very low, low, and moderate-income families, consistent with Enterprise safety and soundness.’

2. ‘Manufactured Housing Community Tenant Protections’. This time we begin with the actual agenda item description: ‘Participants’ views on the feasibility and impact of the proposed pad lease protections for tenants in manufactured housing communities, how the protections might be overseen, and whether any additional pad lease protections should be required for the Enterprises to receive Duty to Serve credit.’ As a longtime LLLCommunity owner, this was the only time I felt outgunned on principle and practicality (i.e. I’m against most forms of landlord-tenant legislation); however, later acquiesced to: ‘If this (i.e. tenant protections) is what it takes to get chattel capital flowing again, let’s do it!’ So, what happened? FMHA & MHC of AZ executive directors made respective cases for Chapter 723 in Florida (“This is rent regulation, not rent control” JA) and similar codifications in Arizona. For me, it was ‘telling’ how the agenda item was framed using archaic (‘pad lease’ vs. rental homesite lease), even inaccurate trade lingo (‘manufactured ‘housing’ communities vs. manufactured ‘home’ communities, or land-lease-lifestyle communities), thus demonstrating lack of familiarity with the intimate intricacies of LLLCommunity investment and operations. But be all that as it was, if ‘tenant protections’, as already evident in a few (Sunbelt) states, is what it’s going to take to restore overall manufactured housing shipments and sales to prosperity, we should at least take a long, hard look at this aspect of rulemaking.

3. Chattel Loans. ‘Participants’ views on 1) the performance of recent-vintage chattel loans and their acceptability for purchase by the Enterprises; 2) investor demand for chattel loans; and, 3) mitigates for risks in chattel lending identified in the proposed rule.’ And yes, this agenda item took the lion’s share of time during this two hour meeting. The good and the bad, re part # 1: At least FHFA is willing to look at ‘recent-vintage chattel loans’, especially those performing in stellar fashion; however, such data tied to mortgagors (by name) does not exist! And, more bad news, in this observer’s opinion, is the complete lack of knowledge of what is presently happening among 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators throughout the U.S. These businesses widely and routinely buy and seller-finance new HUD-Code homes on-site! Part # 2? Alleged ‘high demand for seasoned chattel mortgages’, under certain conditions. And part # 3. A list of mitigating measures was presented and discussed at some length. Bottom line? Well, that’s one reason we await FHFA’s summary of this meeting….

4. Underserved Markets Plans and Evaluations. To be honest with you, other than acknowledging the agenda item, I really don’t recall any substantive discussion near the end of the meeting.

Well, there you have it; what one LLLCommunity owner/operator got out of this historic meeting, where a federal agency has reached out to the very folk involved, and requested and respected their input. Now we have to wait to see what might happen out of this situation.

One of the handouts distributed during the FHFA meeting contained salient passages quoted from Al Schrader’s recently-published autobiography, ‘No Respect At All…’ A PATH TO MILLION$. Why? Because this veteran owner of multiple communities and independent (street) MHRetail salescenters, has much to offer relative to the present day state of the MHIndustry, especially where chattel capital is concerned. And he describes in detail, his firm’s evolution from seller-financing ‘contract sales’, to a look at ‘captive finance’, to reliance now, on a national independent source of chattel finance for mortgaging new homes sold on-site. If you’d like a copy of this 260 page case bound text, simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Only $25.00 postpaid – and $20.00 of that, Al donates to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. It is an engaging ‘read’!



Recall your introduction to REvive! ($) last week? Cavco Industries’ Community Rental Program? Well we inadvertently published the wrong phone number. Here’s the correct one: (800) 228-1828. So, if interested in this bold new $ program, give CountryPlace a call – and ask for REvive Specialist, Thomas Servage. Tell him ‘George sent me!’ Seriously.


Don’t Let This Unique Tour/Seminar Opportunity Pass By

Wasn’t expecting property portfolio folk to sign-up, figuring they already know how to effectively buy, sell & seller-finance new HUD-Code homes; but they’re registering!

Really wasn’t expecting anyone outside the Midwest to trek to this venue in Elkhart, IN, but so far they’re coming from Colorado, California, and several East coast states.

Most difficult marketing target, so far, has been ‘as expected’, the small to mid-sized single or two property owners/operators who, for decades, relied on independent (street) MHRetailers, to fill vacant rental home sites – and who aren’t around much anymore. So far, more than 1,000 pieces of direct mail, resulting in a few dozen sign-ups.

Bottom line? Good progress so far; but if you’re considering participating in the ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’, don’t wait any longer to register. Why? Because on 18 May, the purposely low registration of only $195.00 goes up to $295.00!

If you need a brochure, for information and or to register, simply phone (317) 346-7156 and request it.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the only time this year, where five different HUD-Code home manufacturers (Clayton, Cavco, Champion, Commodore, & Adventure) are offering FREE plant tours in conjunction with four 1 ½ hour seminars, teaching how to:

How can you not want to avail yourself of this unique, first time ever offered, opportunity?


April 23, 2016

Breaking MHNews; Making History Thrice – all here!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:50 am

Blog # 393 Copyright 2016 COBA7® 24 April 2016; web site

Perspective: ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the sole national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for North American LLLCommunities!

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 its’ print/online media = ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION. I can’t think of a more action-filled (i.e. ‘Breaking MHnews!’), and truly historic blog posting than this one! Cavco Industries, on Friday 22 April, introduced REvive; on 4/26, we get our ‘best shot ever’ at restoring reasonable access to chattel capital to the MHIndustry; and, on 5/25 & 26, ‘for the first time ever’, LLLCommunity owners/operators are invited to Elkhart, IN., to learn how to effectively sell new HUD-Code homes on-site & seller-finance them as well! And then, there’s that coincidence….


Breaking MHIndustry News

Cavco Industries’ Introduces REvive!

New Rental Finance Program for putting New Homes into LLLCommunities

REvive is Cavco Industries’ means of helping land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators upgrade vacant, even occupied rental homesites with new Cavco, Fleetwood, Palm Harbor, Fairmont, or Chariot Eagle homes, AND facilitate community’ participation in renewed interest in rental housing within local housing markets throughout the U.S.!

The REvive three steps Business Model is simple, direct, and effective:

1. Remove ‘mobile homes’ from rental homesites, and ‘ready’ existing vacant homesites for placement of new HUD-Code manufactured homes.

2. Implement REvive, and buy new, appropriately-featured Community Series Homes (‘CSH models’) from Cavco, Fleetwood, Palm Harbor, Fairmont, or Chariot Eagle, to install on those rental homesites

3. Carefully select new ‘home renter/site renter’ tenants, keeping 100% of site rent, while using home rental income to repay Cavco for the new home!

Terms and conditions relative to REvive? Contact CountryPlace Mortgage, Inc., via (800) 288-1828 & ask for REvive Specialist, or inquire via

Also, for new HUD-Code manufactured housing availability, contact Steve Quick, BDM, of Fleetwood Homes via (615) 202-0245 &


Three Years in the Making…

How Quiet Interpersonal Diplomacy has brought MHIndustry Aficionados, LLLCommunity Owners/operators, the Federal Housing Finance Agency & GSEs Together, in a Present Day Serious Attempt to Solve the Former’s Ongoing, since circa year 2000, Home-only Chattel Mortgage Finance Supply Hiatus. *1

The GSEs & LLLCommunities relationship began at the 23rd International Networking Roundtable in Peachtree, GA., during early Fall 2014. Representatives from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac met with 200 LLLCommunity owners/operators from throughout the U.S., to share their programs and better understand the workings and needs of this unique, income-producing property type.

A link was forged between the two groups, GSEs & LLLCommunity folk, during a stunning panel discussion the last morning of the roundtable event. Then and there, the GSEs made it clear to these property owners, there is no set limit on the number of park-owned homes allowed in any one LLLCommunity, or even property portfolio, when considered by Fannie Mae. But rather, and here’s the ‘stunner’, each real estate – secured finance and refinance package is now evaluated, in terms of park-owned homes, ‘on its’ own merits’!

The next year, during ‘GSE Hour’ at the 24th International Networking Roundtable in San Diego, representatives from the two GSEs, along with Michael Price from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (‘FHFA’), again stunned the 200 LLLCommunity owners/operators audience. This time around, the stunning revelation had to do with the GSEs willingness to consider real estate-secured finance and refinance mortgages on ‘any size’ LLLCommunity – especially smaller ones, i.e. fewer than 100 rental homesites in size! Turns out, this has been their policy all along. It simply has not been communicated to property owners ‘in search of financing’, by their loan brokers and lenders, because mortgage processing and servicing costs associated with small LLLCommunity commercial mortgages are akin to those experienced with larger properties, even entire portfolios; hence, the former are not as cost efficient as the latter – but they’re still attractive to Fannie Mae.

Well, the budding working relationship among MHIndustry aficionados, LLLCommunity owners/operators, FHFA, and two GSEs continues to bring the parties together in attempts to solve manufactured housing’s ongoing home-only chattel mortgage finance supply and access hiatus.

During the past few months, hundreds of individuals took time to pen and send comment letters to the FHFA, regarding the agency’s Duty to Serve rulemaking proposal(s). Specifically, ‘What DTS credit-worthy measures should FHFA and the GSEs consider and implement, during the months and year ahead, in behalf of manufactured housing, affordable housing preservation, and rural markets – via increased liquidity of mortgage investments and improved distribution of investment capital?’ And drilling deeper, focus on chattel lending, manufactured home community regulatory activities, and DTS Underserved Markets Plans & Evaluations.

Where are matters today? During the week ahead, on 26 April, nearly two dozen trade association executives, HUD-Code home manufacturing executives, financial consultants, bankers, and credit union representatives will caucus in Washington, DC., in search of answers and practical ways to address aforesaid matters. Why is this so important? Because this heterogeneous gathering of private enterprise, trade association and government agency folk is a ‘first time ever event’ – especially for the manufactured housing industry and land-lease-lifestyle community asset class. And it likely would not have happened but for nearly three years of patient conversation, education, and networking.

Results? You’re read about them soon. Just stay blog-focused here, as well as in the pages of The Journal, and COBA7®s Allen Letter professional journal.

End Notes:

1. LLLCommunity = land-lease-lifestyle community: GSEs = Government Sponsored Enterprises = Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, for the purposes of this blog posting.


Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars

‘Who’s Being Visited & Who’s Presenting?’

This exciting inaugural event is only a month away! Are you registered yet? If not, don’t wait any longer. The RV/MH Hall of Fame cannot handle more than 200 participants in the amphitheater we’ve reserved for this unique educational and plant tour event. Registrations received on or after 18 May will be charged $295/person, up from the $195/person listed on the event brochure.

So, what plants are being visited during the two days? Adventure Homes in Garrett, IN.; Cavco Industries, Inc.= Fairmont & Harmony Homes in Nappanee; Champion Homes in Topeka, IN; Clayton Homes factories in Middlebury & Wakarusa, IN; and, The Commodore Corporation in Goshen, IN. And get this! Most, if not all of these firms, will be offering new HUD-Code homes at deep discount prices, if a ‘commitment to buy’ is made during one’s tour of their factory!

Meanwhile, what’s going on ‘back at the ranch (i.e. RV/MH Hall of Fame)’? As you know from the special tripartite brochure used to facilitate registration, there’re four major simultaneous seminar presentations – each session given twice, once on the 25th and once on the 26th. And here, for the first time, we’re identifying the LLLCommunity owners/operators leading each educational session:

GETTING READY! (property, sales center, staff, homebuyer profiles) Adriane DeRose, MHM® & Pamela Ziemer, MHM® from Carefree Homes, Inc. in Indianapolis, IN.

BUYING HOMES! (from the factory) James (‘Jamie’) Dougherty, MHM®, of Community Management Group in Farmington Hills, MI.

SELLING HOMES! (on-site) Kenneth Lipschutz & Danya Mallada of HomeFirst Certified Communities in Birmingham, MI.

FINANCING HOMES! (seller-financing options) Spencer Roane, MHM®, owner of Pentagon Properties in Atlanta, GA.

Can you imagine a more capable, experienced, motivated team of instructors? I can’t.

Oh, and there is one additional 45 minute session that leads off each morning and afternoon session: Welcome & Introductions! Besides being an icebreaker opportunity, we plan to ‘set the stage’ for what follows by sharing an abbreviated ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ overview. That way, each of the four specialty session instructors can ‘get right into’ their subject material for an hour, ending with discussion, questions & answers. Also expect special handouts: ‘The Six Right Ps of (New Home) Marketing’, & the popular ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ for calculating new and resale housing price points using the Annual Median Income (‘AMI’) of a local housing market(s) and/or Annual Gross Income (‘AGI’) – an individual or household’s gross annual income

This exciting two day program is for novice and experienced home sales operations alike. Already selling but struggling? Attend all sessions to learn where you might have to make changes to improve performance! Not yet selling? Attend all sessions to learn HOW TO set up an on-site home sales operation.

There’s also a gala networking reception being planned the evening of 5/25 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, from 6 – 8 PM.

To register, use the attachments to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting, email me via, or simply phone (317) 346-7156.

An IMPORTANT REMINDER. When you register, don’t just send in the names, address, and payment information, but also the ‘schedule’ on the other side of the brochure. We need to know what plants you plan to visit and when you plan to sit for various classes – to let the factories and instructors know ‘how many’ to plan for each day. Also plan to visit the RV/MH Hall of Fame and museum while in Elkhart, IN.



26 April 2016 = Open House exhibit of six new HUD-Code Community Series Homes ‘for sale & financing’ at Evergreen Village LLLCommunity in Emerson, GA (724 GA-293). RSVP Public Welcome!


26 April 2016 = FHFA’s Duty to Serve rulemaking meeting in Washington, DC.

The first instance is evidence of the ongoing ‘15 year paradigm shift’ throughout the manufactured housing industry, i.e. marketing and sale of new HUD-Code homes, not by independent (street) MHRetailers, but by on-site owners/operators of LLLCommunities.

In the second instance, the first national public discussion of measures sorely needed to routinely replenish the MHIndustry’s supply of chattel capital for home-only mortgages on new and resale homes sited in LLLCommunities.


April 16, 2016

Pioneer Dies; New Autobiography; Five Meetings; Correct Shipment #s!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:38 am

Blog # 392 Copyright 2016 COBA7® 17 April 2016; web site

Perspective: ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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® is the sole national trade entity focused exclusively on land-lease-lifestyle communities! Motto = ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal for its’ print/online media = ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

INTRODUCTION. Two weeks of MHIndustry NEWS in this week’s blog posting!


Manufactured Housing Industry Loses a Pioneer!

Judith (‘Judy’) McIntosh Carr, was founder of Judy Carr & Associates, in 1980; and until her untimely recent death, was active with her husband Bill, and son Chad, in day to day operations at Rainmaker Software – serving the manufactured housing & RV industries.

Memorial Services, a reception, and open house were held for friends and relatives, on 15 & 16 April in Davenport, Iowa. Send cards and remembrances to Bill Carr, 1803 Westminster Cr., Davenport, Iowa 52807.

Judy taught me an early and invaluable lesson about business evaluation during the late 1970s and early 1080s. When I asked her, ‘Why were you too busy to help me with advice, when I was first starting out – but warmed to my queries a few years later?’ Her reply? By then, I’d proven I was in the MHBusiness for the long haul, and not another of the numerous ‘flash in the pan’ folk we see pass into and out of the MHIndustry. And Judy was right, as it’s now been nigh unto 38 years Carolyn and I’ve fee-managed and owned LLLCommunities, a.k.a. MHCommunities, and before that, ‘mobile home parks’. .


‘No Respect At All…’ A PATH TO MILLION$
Did you know? Throughout the 70 year long history of manufactured housing, there have been only four autobiographies authored and self-published by notable industry pioneers?

A Danish American, by the late Kris Jensen, Sr, an early Connecticut LLLCommunity developer/owner; father of the late Kris Jensen, Jr., and great grandfather of Kris Jensen, III. I keep hoping the family will update and republish this inspirational paperback book.

The Wheel & I is a case bound, boxed book by the late John Crean, founder of Fleetwood Homes. One candid ‘read’ for sure, where he writes in language as foul as it gets; talks of nondenominational whorehouses (whatever they are); describes a ‘mobile home’ as ‘a 65’ maggot’; and, explains how “We always used tiny women to model, to make the homes look bigger.” Bet you didn’t know all that.

First a Dream, in two editions, by Jim Clayton. Probably the most compelling of all four books to date. Jim included my book review, published in The Journal, in the appendix of his second edition; however, without the paragraph in which I criticized him for publicly venting, toward former employees who’d ‘done him wrong’.

The Trailer Twins, by Darrell, and the late Harrell Cohron, of Indianapolis, IN. Two very private guys who developed thousands of rental homesites, but are unknown outside of Indiana. And that might be a good thing, given at least one of the ‘business secrets’ revealed in the pages of this easy read.

Now, there might well be others, but most of the semi-autobiographical books I have in mind are more HOW TO tomes, regarding various subjects germane to LLLCommunity development, investment, and management; as well as manufactured housing sales tips.

Now, along comes Alvan L. Schrader’s ‘No Respect At All…’, A PATH TO MILLION$ – a straight-forward autobiography, chock full of amusing and engaging personal tales, plus Lessons Learned in business and otherwise. Some topics have been covered in another review I penned, describing this 261 page book. Here following are additional poignant, sometimes humorous anecdotes.

Did you know ‘selling is like shaving’? “You must do it every day or else, in time, you turn into a bum!” p.135

“…my 5/250 rule of thumb being, any business we operate has to be close enough to drive to in five hours, and no further than 250 miles! Anything beyond that distance cannot support our vertical integration concept of six opportunities for profit from each customer.” P.165 I found this rule to be confirming, as our LLLCommunity is 240 miles and four hours drive from home in Indianapolis.

Ever have someone say to you, “Let’s have lunch; I have a great deal for you.” Well, when someone tells Al that, he avoids having lunch with them, “…because it costs me money or time or both, and includes doing a few favors for them.” Though there was at least one occasion where the ‘deal’ “…turned out to be a very interesting opportunity to buy his business, and take over a going concern that fit in nicely with our other businesses.” – all on page # 177

“A friend of mine made a good comparison a long time ago when he said, ‘Running a family business is like flying a 747; 90% boring and 10% sheer fright.’.” p.180

And then there’s Al’s lifetime investment real estate motto, with which we also ended the other book review: “I want to wake up on the first of every month with a whole lot of people owing me money.” P.253.

To order a copy of Al’s book, at a reduced cost – only $25.00 postpaid, simply phone (317) 346-7156. And know this, Al’s donating $20.00 of the price to the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN.


Spring MH Meeting Season Heats Up!

Where Will YOU Be @ 4, 17, 25 & 26 May; 1 August; & 7-9 September 2016?

4 May = ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ re: ‘Sale of MH on-site in LLLCommunities’ Special handouts promised! This 1 ½ hour class occurs @ 3-4:15PM (That’s a change from earlier announcements) as part of the MHCongress (3-5 May) in Las Vegas. If you don’t already know what the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ are, you need to be in this session! Phone (703) 558-0400 for information and registration details.

17 May = Manufactured Housing Manager® professional property management certification class occurs at The Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, IL. Only $250.00/MHM candidate. Phone (217) 528-3423 to register. MHM® class size limited to 25, so don’t be left out of this dynamic class taught by owners/operators of land-lease-lifestyle communities! 1,000 MHM®s nationwide! This MHM® class is a prelude to the IMHA’s annual meeting, to be held during the next two days.

25 & 26 May = ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ hosted by the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN & presented by the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance® or COBA7®!. Agenda features as many as four plant tours (six factories altogether: 2 @ Clayton, Cavco, Champion, Commodore, & Adventure Homes), plus four sequential home sales seminars! Registration? $195/person & $500/vendor. Phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 for information and to register. Participation limited to 200. ALSO OPEN TRIPARTE ATTACHMENT to this BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this blog posting!

1 August = ‘MHAlive!’ The first brainstorming, Think Tank type experience to occur since the National State of the Asset Class caucuses of 2/27/2008 & 2009, and final meetings of the now defunct Manufactured Housing Communities Council of the ULI. Host facility = RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN. Schedule? 10-Noon = MHIndustry issues; a no host luncheon; 1-3PM = LLLCommunity issues; 6PM RV/MH Hall of Fame annual Induction Banquet – a separate event, but at same location. To sign-up, phone (317) 346-7156 (no or minimal registration fee at this time). Anyone businessman or woman active in the manufactured housing industry and or LLLCommunity realty asset class is Welcome to participate!

7-9 September = 25th anniversary International Networking Roundtable, at the Gaylord Resort Hotel (a.k.a. Grand ol Opry!) in Nashville, TN. Superb program this year, from three keynote presenters, to a guest appearance by Al Schrader (author), and three august panels on Friday: annual RE $ Lenders Panel; the ‘GSE Hour’ – featuring FHFA, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac; and likely, a Special Panel discussing the future of MH $, chattel and otherwise….For a brochure, email and request it.


You’re Invited to OPEN HOUSE hosted by Pentagon Properties in Georgia!

Join dozens of MHIndustry & LLLCommunity aficionados at Noon (lunch provided)
on 26 April for an OPEN HOUSE celebration at Pentagon Properties’ Evergreen Village LLLCommunity in Emerson, GA. There’ll be six new HUD-Code (Community Series Homes) on display:

14X74 Riverbirch
16X80 Fleetwood
16X80 Riverbirch
16X80 Schult/Clayton,
Two 16X82 Fleetwoods
All homes are 3BR2B models. And every attendee will be given a handout document comparing manufacturer’s invoice, total cost (home, freight, setup, & utility connections, skirting, decks, A/C & landscaping), sale price, and lease-option terms!

Address of Evergreen Village is 724 GA-293, Emerson, GA. 30137. Only request of guests, is to RSVP the on-site manager via


And, in case YOU haven’t yet heard…

Manufactured Housing Shipments Were ‘UP’ in February – over the previous month and year to date!

Well, here’s the official HUD-Code housing shipment numbers for February, straight from the source, the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’):

6,129 new HUD-Code homes shipped during February, up 267 homes from January; NOT the 6,161 reported elsewhere. Proof? Contact IBTS

11,991 new HUD-Code homes shipped year to date (January + February), up from 9,772 this time last year; NOT the 9,722 reported elsewhere. Proof? Contact IBTS.

And the above shipment totals are the same as those reported by HUD, MHARR, & COBA7®. So, no need to look or read any further. Any other numbers purporting to be ‘manufactured housing shipments’ would be aberrations!


April 2, 2016

An Industry in Search of an Answer to Its’ $ Problem

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:19 am

Blog # 391 Copyright 2016 COBA7® 3 April 2016; web site

Perspective: ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’

This blog posting is the national advocacy voice, official ombudsman (press), research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!

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 for its’ print/online media = to ‘Not only inform & opine, but transform & improve MHBusiness Model Performance!’

An Industry in Search of an Answer to Its’ $ Problem

No, you’re not going to read ‘the answer – or answers’ in the paragraphs to follow.

But we do hope, observations, remarks, & questions penned here, stimulate discussion.

Let’s begin by briefly describing ‘what went wrong’ post 1998, when ‘land & home packages’ were all the rage throughout the manufactured housing industry.*1

Remember; we shipped 372,843 new HUD-Code homes that year to more than 13,000 independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’, but with only 25+/-% of new home shipments going into (then) manufactured home communities. Business was so good, that when local housing markets became saturated with our housing product, we started ‘playing games’, so to speak, with the chattel capital that kept our production engine a-running.*2 Result? By year 2000, as an industry and realty asset class, we turned our homebuyers/site lessees, financially, ‘UPSIDE DOWN in a Mobilehome Park’! *3 Consequence? An estimated 250,000 repossessed manufactured homes – to now directly compete with new homes coming off the production line! So, by year 2009, our annual shipment rate – given the difficulty in securing chattel capital for new ‘home only’ sales transactions on-site, and heady competition from the quarter million ‘repos’ on the market, plummeted to just 49,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped! And we’ve remained today, at a seven year annual average nadir of only 57,202 new homes.

By the end of years 2014 & 2015, there were less than 4,000 MHRetailers left, of any sort, to be found nationwide. However, an estimated 40+ percent of all new manufactured housing shipments were shipping directly into mostly larger land-lease-lifestyle communities, especially those consolidated into 500+/- property portfolios! And during year 2016, for the first time in MHIndustry history, an effort is afoot in the Midwest, to encourage small to mid-sized LLLCommunity owners/operators to begin – if they haven’t already – buying new homes directly from HUD-Code home factories, then selling them – and when need be, seller-financing them, to homebuyer/site lessees on-site!

NOTE to blog reader! To learn more about, even register for, the 5/25 & 26 ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’, at the RV//MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., print off all three attachments listed on the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) email message introducing this week’s blog posting!

But all that does not solve what’s become the perennial (i.e. year 2000 thru 2015, a.k.a. MHIndustry’s ‘still shifting paradigm’) new ‘home only’ finance ‘problem’, for sales transactions occurring within 50,000+/- LLLCommunities nationwide.

The alternatives? Well, here’re the ways some, if not many, of us view the matter today:

• Independent third party chattel capital lenders. For the only complete list of firms, serving the manufactured housing market, refer to the ‘18th National Registry of ALL Lenders’. It contains names and contact information of four national, four super regional, and eight regional lenders and servicers. Available by phoning (317) 346-7156. Usually retailed as Option II affiliation with the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, or COBA7® for $544.95, but FREE to anyone reading this particular blog posting. Mention blog # 391 when you call. And yes, they have chattel capital to lend, but tend to ‘cherry pick’ the home loans they underwrite, i.e. making loan funds available, just not easily so….Does anyone see this lending climate improving in the near future?

• From time to time, during the past three decades, there’s been talk throughout the manufactured housing industry and LLLCommunity asset class, about ‘coming together & pooling funds’ to create our own chattel capital lending source. To date that has not happened. Is it a viable opportunity today, in the current heavily regulated lending climate?

• Floorplan Plus, a.k.a. (in some circles) as equity partnerships. Financing for LLLCommunity owners/operators, to acquire new homes to seller-finance or rent on-site, has been available for decades. These funds come from private investor relationships, even local lending institutions, all carefully cultivated over time. A third party variant of this occurs when independent third party lenders (e.g. 21st Mortgage & its’ C.A.S.H. Program, Triad, etc.), and now some larger home manufacturers (Cavco, Legacy, & Champion – latter via a national lender) craft and offer chattel capital programs secured by one form or another of guarantee by the community owner selling new homes on-site. Clayton Homes uses its’ in-house lender Vanderbilt Mortgage, in addition to 21st Mortgage.

• Lease-Option. While not easily pigeon-holed as a lending source of chattel capital – because it’s not; the methodology is far more prevalent across the U.S., than many realize. The ‘key to success’ is getting the definition, transaction structure, and process right! To that end, know today there’s an informal task force comprised of attorneys and land-lease-lifestyle community owners, working to codify and popularize L-O in most, if not all states. Should you be using lease-option in your rental homesite filling program? For more information, visit

• ‘Captive finance’ occurs when large and mid-size LLLCommunity owners/operators of property portfolios and not, create arms length home finance companies. The startup and ongoing cost, complexity, and requisite overhead, generally put this otherwise attractive alternative out of reach of small (single property) owners/operators. Is there a ‘captive finance’ in your firm’s future?

• Renting of new and resale manufactured homes on-site in LLLCommunities. This alternative has been around since the mid-1970s. The ‘drill’ then was to lease the home, as apartment, until it could be sold on contract to the tenant, or the property was put up ‘for sale’ – then’sold’ for sure! Today the drill isn’t as stringent, since some lenders, and some would be investors, are OK with rental units and contract sales (a.k.a. ‘park-owned homes’) on-site. Is this an option for you?

• Freddie Mac’s secured lender agreement and long term lease program, fizzled in 2005 & 2006, as the national economy faltered. All the background work, policies even forms remain intact. Perhaps it’s time for a resurrection? Wonder if anyone will recommend this avenue to FHFA, during the present rulemaking period, as a credit worthy pilot relative to chattel capital and financing of manufactured housing?

• Titling Reform. Sensing an opportunity, via Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) mandate, encouraging FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Authority) and GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, to invest in manufactured home financing, has led to a renewed call for adoption of the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Manufactured Housing Act (‘UMHA’). This is indeed a controversial topic that begs public discourse, but has received none! So, said shortfall might lead to a panel discussion, on this topic, at the 25th anniversary Networking Roundtable later this year. Interested in titling reform, pro & con?
For an ‘invite ‘ to said event, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-1464. (7-9 September at Grand Ol Opry in Nashville, TN.)

• Federal programs. FHA Title I & FHA221(d)4. Former program is burdened with stipulations and requirements; the latter supports the purchase of new HUD-Code homes to be used as apartments. For more information, consult the appropriate federal agency. Also read chapter # 5 in the Manufactured Housing $ Primer, PMN Publishing, 2010.

Bottom line? Manufactured housing and LLLCommunities continue to function, marginally at best, using the hodge podge plethora of ‘home only ‘ chattel capital resources just described – or hinted at. With that said, what does the $ future of the industry/asset class hold? Probably one or more or combination of present day and indeterminate approaches, e.g.

• Return of reasonably accessible, plentiful, chattel capital from several sources

• Sea change to manufactured housing business and finance models, i.e. titling and realty-related matters, attracting conventional mortgage monies to the industry and asset class.*4

• Debut of a nybrid ‘home only’, practical lending model yet to be articulated by industry stakeholders and interested parties..

All this simply scratches the surface of what makes manufactured housing finance such a complicated, and at times, difficult subject to fully embrace, understand, and apply to one’s business interests, especially when selling new and resale manufactured homes on-site within land-lease-lifestyle communities.

See YOU at the ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ on 5/25 & 26, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN!

End Notes

1. During decades prior to the short-lived ‘L&H package’ popularity, fully half or more of new HUD-Code home shipments, by dint of sales thru independent (street) MHRetailers, went into (then) manufactured home communities – where MHRetailers oft pre-leased vacant rental homesites, to ensure placement opportunities.

2. Housing finance abuses were addressed by the S.A.F.E. Act in 2008, and Dodd-Frank legislation (creating the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) two years later. The unfortunate downside of state and federal finance regulation, has been ‘severe limiting of seller-financing on-site within LLLCommunities’ – heretofore, one of the last, perennial forms of ‘affordable housing finance’ functioning in the U.S.

3. Apt title of a muckraking article featured in the now defunct Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, Chicago, circa 2000.

4. Some would say, “Improve on the New Hampshire $ model, resolving issues of ‘title’ (?) transfer upon abandonment; reduction of ‘repo’ costs (e.g. court time & related legal expenses), and more, before proceeding.’


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