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

July 30, 2020

National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing, Part II

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:57 am

Blog Posting # 596 @ 31 July 2020; Copyright 2020.

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:, & visit www.

Motto: ‘U support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!



National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing,
Part II.

Last week, via blog posting # 595, we identified four past and present documentations of economic impact of manufactured housing and land lease communities on national and state levels. Remember? They were:

• RV/MH $ Economic Impact in Indiana during 1997, courtesy of the IMHA/RVIC
• MHI’s debut of Dr. Stephen Cooke’s ‘production value’ of a new 2013 HUD-Code home
• Annual ALLEN REPORT, as it pertains to land lease community portfolio performance
• Foremost Insurance’ now defunct manufactured homeowner market demographics

Well, guess what? There’s a fifth economic impact study to add to this list and it comes from the state of Wisconsin – and the stats are less than one year old! Another template to use.

This Economic Impact study was prepared by the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Fiscal & Economic Research Center. It covered three sectors of the manufactured and modular housing industry: manufacturing, retail and services and park residents. Bottom line? Taken together, these sectors “… generate more than $2.65 billion and 26,063 jobs in Wisconsin annually.”
Furthermore, “…manufactured home manufacturing has a $185.9 million economic impact, and creates 1,115 jobs in Wisconsin each year. Manufactured home manufacturing also accounts for $48.76 million in total wages and $4.2 million in state and local taxes.”

“Manufactured home retail and services are responsible for $456.4 million in annual economic impact, with 2,884 total jobs, $85.7 million in total wages, and $31.5 million in state and local taxes.”

“The economic impact of manufactured home park residents is even more staggering, contributing $2.15 billion to Wisconsin’s economy annually. Manufactured home park residents account for 22,064 total jobs, $881 million in total wages and $157 million in state and local taxes.”

And there’s more! But I think you get the idea: ‘How helpful it’d be to be reading similar economic impact information for states in which you engage in manufactured housing and ownership/operation of land lease communities. But this is not going to occur unless you take steps, via your state manufactured housing association, to initiate and fund such a study in your local housing market (state) area. For advice on identifying and selecting a research firm to serve your association, contact Amy Bliss, CAE, Wisconsin Housing Alliance: (608) 255-3131.

Also remember. EducateMHC plans to enclose the aforementioned RV/MH $ Economic Impact study (circa 1997) as part of the August issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter. This could serve as the research and reporting template you need to replicate Economic Impact findings in your state. To subscribe, visit


One More Reason…

‘ How we tend to be isolated as a niche industry!’

I first encountered this reality early in my career as a land lease community owner cum freelance consultant. Back in the late 1970s, and throughout the 1980s, ‘everyone’ – it seemed, had a Rule of Thumb for valuing (then) ‘mobile home parks’, eventually manufactured home communities. But none of these ‘formulae’ were based on facts or research, just whimsy. That is, until the early 1990s, when Larry Allen, MAI and I conducted national studies, via Manufactured Home Merchandiser magazine, to quantify operating expense ratios (‘OER’), patterned after Experience Exchange format and data from the Institute of Real Estate Management (‘IREM’) resources for conventional apartment communities nationwide.

I parlayed the knowledge we gained, into a useful valuation tool, as a review appraiser. And for some time, made good money, demonstrating how virtually every ‘mobile home park appraisal’ was wrong! Why? Because, to that point in time, everyone kinda assumed the OERs were the same as those for conventional garden style apartments. NOT. For example: because homeowner/site lessees were/are responsible for their homes inside and out, the maintenance expenses characteristic of apartment living were far less in a land lease community. And, due to very low turnover (5% for homes & 10% for homeowners) at the time, marketing expenses for land lease communities were much lower as well. How much so? Overall, at least 10-15%, i.e. garden style apartments = 55% OER; land lease communities = 40%. This difference alone resulted in most land lease communities being undervalued.

That lasted until J. Wiley & Sons published my book, How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community, in 1996&8. My lock on ‘review appraiser’ work continued for a while – until MAI appraisers realized the Industry Standard Chart of (Operating) Accounts and OERs contained therein (e.g. page # 13) was the hands-on tool they needed to effect more accurate valuations of this unique type income-producing property type.

See what I mean? And this sort of scenario continues today, 25 years later. How so? As recently as this past week I was invited to listen-in on a webinar purported to be the ‘last word’ relative to Incorporating Manufactured Housing – as affordable housing – in the Builder Model. First off, I don’t think any of the four or five panelists actually ‘works’ in manufactured housing, let alone land lease communities. And while ‘affordable housing’ was given a lot of lip service during the webinar, not once did anyone actually define or quantify the concept. Furthermore, everyone seemed enamored with CrossMod™ homes and Fannie Mae’s MHAdvantage $ program. But nary one of them knew that only six such homes were placed under the MHAdvantage program during all of 2019. And, as I pointed out in post-webinar correspondence, NO mention whatsoever of land lease communities in this presentation, even though as much a 40 percent of today’s new HUD-Code housing shipments are going directly into this type investment property type! Once again, as an industry and realty asset class, we are little understood.

YES, we tend to be an isolated niche ‘real estate asset class’ within the ‘manufactured housing industry’, and because of that, folk simply don’t study us as one might think. The upside of this conundrum occurs when one (i.e. you & me) takes time to study and understand these sectors. We can, in our own way and timing, parlay what we know into self-serving and self-rewarding opportunities!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

July 24, 2020

National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 12:58 pm

Blog Posting # 595 @ 24 July 2020; Copyright 2020.

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:, & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Welcome to the world of Economic Impact Analysis, a.k.a. EIA, relative to manufactured housing and land lease communities. Plan now to read more about this timely project, for our industry and asset class, when featured in the August or September issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter. Also know, that issue will contain an updated edition of ‘EVERGREEN (‘always relevant’) Issues Pertaining to Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities – as EducateMHC’s Resource Document.


National Economic Impact of Manufactured Housing?

No one really knows! Oh, we talk and write about the matter from time to time, sometimes making half-hearted attempts to pull salient numbers together. Bottom line?

First, there’s the 23 year old, comprehensive state-level study of economic impact, relative to RV & MH manufacturing, employment, related industry and tax revenues in the state of Indiana, debuted during 1997. Then, ‘silence’, until 2013, when the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) hired Dr. Stephen C. Cooke to peg the ‘production value’ (only) of a new HUD-Code home coming off the assembly line. And today, beyond the annual ALLEN REPORT, there’s even less published $ data, relative to 50,000+/- land lease communities nationwide, e.g. total rent $ collected and related benchmark statistics. Even Foremost Insurance no longer publishes its’ popular description of manufactured housing homeowner demographics. That’s the whole sorry picture!

To this day, that’s all we have to work with, when lobbying state and federal legislators in behalf of the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class! In my opinion: ‘No wonder, as an industry and income-producing property type, we’re so generally ineffective in Washington, DC.!’

So, what’s the answer to this manufactured housing Economic Impact desert? One or another of our industry/asset class three ‘national advocates’ should buy into the timely and strategic need to research and publish $ data supporting the manufacturing and marketing of HUD-Code manufactured homes; and yes, recreational vehicles (since so many HUD-Code housing manufacturers now produce RVs and ADUs…or accessory dwelling units, these days) as well. There are already published studies afoot, featuring RVs, that MH would do well to emulate. And the ALLEN REPORT gives us a well-grounded head start where land lease communities are concerned.

So, where to begin? Two places, for sure:

• A template. An $8 Billion Building Block for Indiana’s Economic Success, ‘A Study of Economic Impact’. This slick 8 ½ X 11 print report was commissioned by the Indiana Manufactured Housing Association/Recreational Vehicle Indiana Association (‘IMHA/RVIC’) in 1997, and continues to influence, in political and trade association circles, more than two decades later. A copy of said report is scheduled to be part of the August or September issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – as a prod to MH national advocates, to consider commissioning a standalone, or joint economic impact study, during year 2021.

• Refreshment. This industry observer has been told, on more than one occasion, MHI plans to renew Dr. Stephen Cooke’s economic impact research beyond just the production value of new HUD-Code manufactured homes. And the enlarged project might possibly include independent (street) MHRetailers & ‘company stores’ sales and service; as well – maybe – as new and resale home sales within land lease communities; plus, the value of rental homesite fees collection over time. So much fertile ground to till.

Know what? This proposed research and reference track reminds one of the ‘gift horse’ metaphor – where ‘equine substance’ and ‘teeth inspection’ are concerned. Huh? First the horse. Today’s circumstances are similar to what I encountered during late 1980s, when challenged by peers to identify and describe ‘consolidators’ (i.e. property portfolio firms specializing in – then, manufactured home communities) in what became known as the ALLEN REPORT. Today, 31 years later, it’s not only the oldest statistical compendium, in MH & LLCommunity matters, but is highly respected and frequently referenced within and outside the industry/asset class. The ‘teeth inspection’ allusion? In this instance, I learned early to ignore what had been said and published before 1989, as no one had good or accurate data to contribute.

Point? It’d be GREAT if MHI, MHARR, and or NAMHCO would take this project on, as a valuable service to the industry and realty asset class! However. If they don’t, then no one should be surprised if EducateMHC, or one or another freelance MH consultancy, picks up the baton and runs with it. Sure, the ‘first time out’ is always difficult – if done right and comprehensively. But once the reliable template is in place and known, then one’s present ‘professional cred’ and future industry reputation are all but assured! Someone out there seriously listening? If so, and you ‘can’t’ wait’ to get started, and would like a copy of aforementioned Economic Impact template document, let me know via and I’ll mail it to you.

And know this. Anyone who picks up this EIA challenge, and produces a credible working document, will find a national publishing platform at EducateMHC. Simply let us know of your intent, time frame, and scope of work, so we can reserve some ‘white space’ for you.



EVERGREEN (‘always relevant’) Issues for Manufactured Housing & Land Lease Communities

Well, here it comes, the annually-updated Resource Document that identifies and prioritizes more than a dozen EVERGREEN Issues we deal with, day in – day out, as manufactured housing professionals and land lease community owners/operators. A good reason to keep this list handy for reference throughout the year ahead! Where to find it?

Watch for it as the Resource Document attached to the August issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter – PRIME edition. To subscribe, visit

George Allen, CPM, MHM

July 17, 2020

Present & Future 0f Manufactured Housing & Community Operations

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 6:23 am

Blog Posting # 594 @ 17 July 2020; Copyright 2020.

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 33-4764. Also email:, & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: to promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Today (July 15th) is our – Carolyn and my, 128th day of self-quarantine. All is well. We miss our friends in manufactured housing and among communities. Plan now to join us at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, IN., the evening of 3 December 2020, for the induction of the Class of 2020. For dinner tickets, phone (574) 293-2344.


Present & Future 0f Manufactured Housing & Community Operations

The ‘In Memoriam’ column, in every issue of The Allen Confidential! business newsletter, lists dozens of colleagues who’ve died during the past few years. Five were members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame – one (Burt Dickman), will be inducted 3 December 2020; four were freelance consultants to the industry and realty asset class (George Goldman, Grayson Schwepfinger, Judy Carr, and ‘Mac’ McClanahan); and, 20 who’d been land lease community owners/operators during their lifetime. Seems HUD-Code housing manufacturers don’t die, they remodel and continue on, like Joe Stegmayer, maybe even starting a new career.

Point? I continue to accept one or two consulting assignments each month; and during one conversation this week, was told and asked: “Seems most long term manufacturing and community consultants (Bill Carr, Dave Alley, Ed Hicks, Don Westphal, David Gorin, me, are retiring these days, or have done so already. Who’s coming along to fill their shoes? Know what? That’s an apt and timely question. And when I first started thinking about it, I was depressed, as I could not think of much ‘young blood’ coming into the MHBusiness. But guess what? Upon closer examination, I see more hope than nope! (Sorry, but had to have that bit of alliteration!)

In no particular order, here’s how I see the present and future of manufactured housing and community consulting ‘penciling out’ during the year, even decades ahead.

Relatively young execs are now in place at MHI (Dr. Leslie Gooch & Mark Bowersox), MHARR (Mark Weiss), and NAMHCO (Susan Brenton). That’s encouraging. And NAMHCO’s lobbyist is a ‘young turk’ among Washington, DC. players.

Specific to freelance consultants, ‘think’ Rick Robinson, esquire; Ken Corbin, Paul Baretto , John ‘Ace’ Underwood, and George Porter – though semi-retired, he’ll be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame on 3 December, to name a few that come to mind.

Interestingly, during the past decade, several of the founders (and sons of founders) – the old guard of HUD-Code manufacturing, have retired or expired. Today, most execs are approaching – or are, middle age plus. And that’s good for the industry. One industry icon who’s still around (though largely inactive) – and in my opinion, remains the most visionary individual to grace manufactured housing, is Chuck Fanaro – developer of beautiful Saddlebrook Farms in Grayslake, IL., and owner of Hi-Tech Housing in Elkhart, IN.*1

Nothing pleases me more than to see second and third generation family members follow in their parents’ steps, taking over and owning/managing land lease communities. This continues to occur, with the Landy father and son at UMH Properties; Rob Shouhayib leading his father’s management team at Choice Properties; partners’ progeny at Bessire and Casenhiser in CA; Barbara and Troy Hames following in their parents’ footsteps in Iowa; David Voss and sons in MO; Bob & Brad Cohron, sons of RV/MH Hall of Fame twins, Darrell & Harrell Cohron; Jared Surnamer, MHM, of Valley Community Management; the Newby clan of Newby Management, in Ellenton, FL; Tunnell family (three generations) in DE. (Recall Pots-n-Nets, and Baywood Communities in Lewes, DE.); and, Ed Zeman, successor to the late Bud Zeman.*2

Unfortunately, ‘consolidation’ continues to exact a toll among lifelong community owners/operators. The recent Jensen family (In CT.) sell-out to REIT Sun Communities, Inc., and Stephenson family (Anderson, IN.) sell-out to REIT UMH Properties.

Probably the youngest and tightest group of young executives can be found at DATACOMP, a.k.a. MHVillage, and MHInsider magazine. Founder and patriarch, Ted Boers, has been succeeded by his son – co president with Darren Krolewski, and Patrick Revere, all officed in Grand Rapids, MI.

Some, but not all inclusive, signs of young blood coming into real estate and personal property finance as well. Remember how much we missed Creighton Weber and Cary Monroe when they retired, and Bruce Tolchin when he passed? And Lew Vela – who knows when he’ll finally ‘hang it up’? Today there’s a plethora of young guys and gals filling those loan originator vacancies. Think Nick Bertino at Wells Fargo, son Chad working with Charlie Williams at Berkadia Commercial, MJ Vukovich at Bellwether Enterprises, Chris San Jose at Yale Capital Advisors, Matt Gentile at Monroe & Giordano, and Eric Oaks at Oxford Bank & Trust (chattel capital).

Know what? It’s much harder to find young execs among the nearly 50 state manufactured housing associations across the U.S. Most are led by industry veterans. Though there is physical fitness enthusiast Jen Allen in DE., Melissa Caron in Massachusetts, and Amy Bliss, who succeeded Ross Kinzler when he retired a few years ago.

Finally. As you likely expect, I’m pleased with how COBA7, a.k.a. GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing succession is progressing. Spotlight-Strategies, headed by Susan McCarty, MHM, and Erin Smith, MHM, continues my legacy of Mystery Shopping land lease communities – as well as other consulting assignments, training & certifying Manufactured Housing Managers (‘MHM’), publishing a monthly newsletter this weekly blog posting, and more than a dozen books about manufactured housing and communities.

So, obviously, business life continues for HUD-Code manufactured housing and the land lease community real estate asset class. Two continuing questions however, which beg answering – relating to the futures of these business models, are these:

• What is it going to take to increase and sustain HUD-Code housing shipments at a level above 100,000 units per year? Made some suggestions to this end in last week’s blog posting (#594) and continue to await your response….

• What must we – anyone do, to ameliorate, better yet lessen, ‘local regulatory barriers to all forms of affordable housing’, facilitating development of new land lease communities throughout the U.S.?

Answers anyone?

End Notes.

1. The Saddlebrook Farms story, from concept thru infill, is told in ‘One Man’s Vision Realized!’, by Mary Anderson, in the book, SWAN SONG, history of land lease communities and official record of HUD-Code housing shipments, 1955 to present day, PMN Publishing, 2017. Available from

2. ‘A Toast to the Community Owner!’ was penned, August 2010, to honor the memory of Bud Zeman, Chicago area owner of land lease communities.

Until every homesite is filled and every bill paid
With mortgage refinancing approved and dollars on the way
We’ll ply this trailer trade, selling & financing affordable homes, factory made
Knowing lesser men truly fear, this business we embrace with our peers
‘So, to community owners everywhere, I offer this toast to our worthy trade;
“May hitches hold, site rent flow, and all our homes be sold!” GFA

July 8, 2020

Let’s Not Waste This Latest MHShipment Crisis!

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 11:26 am

Blog Posting # 593 @ 10 July 2020; Copyright 2020.

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, & communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764, Also email:, & visit www.

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE serve U! Goal: To promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S> # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM Class!

INTRODUCTION: Let’s stop sitting around doing nothing about our industry’s present new home shipment malaise-cum-crisis! No one else is sounding any sort of alarm, so I’ll do it here in Part I of this blog posting. Part II? A very important announcement relative to the RV/MH Hall of Fame!


Let’s Not Waste This Latest MHShipment Crisis!

2009 = 48,789 new HUD-Code homes shipped (lowest # since 1940s), & 2019 = 94,615. Yes, up from 2009, but 1,940 fewer than year before (2018); with 2020 looking even more dismal!

So, how did we address the first manufactured housing shipment crisis, circa 2009? Simple. More than 100 HUD-Code housing manufacturers and land lease community owners/operators met for a day (2/28/2009) at the then new RV/MH Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. Their express purpose that day? To jointly address the shipment shortfall crisis from two perspectives:

• Decide what manufacturers must do to entice community folk to buy more homes!

• Decide what features community owners wanted in new housing product to buy & sell!

Result? Manufacturers agreed to begin producing “…single section and modest-sized multi-section HUD-Code homes with updated, attractive, functional, and durability-enhancing features…” Quoting from sales literature at the time. The features? Shutters on exteriors of windows, vaulted ceilings, asphalt shingles and roof overhangs, linoleum in kitchen, utility room and front door areas, 40 gallon hot water tank, 200 amp service, wood cabinetry, non-plastic sinks, tubs and shower stalls. NOTE the numerous durability-enhancing features; to keep turnover maintenance expenses low, and speed ‘make ready’ between tenants and or homeowners/site lessees.

This ‘new line of manufactured homes’ did not receive a working name until seven months later, when landscape architect consultant Don Westphal proposed, at the Networking Roundtable, we call them Community Series Homes. This, in recognition of the demise of Developer Series Homes, manufactured during the 1990s, as ‘big box = big bucks’ land-and-home packages, in failed competition with traditional site builders.

Consequence of this action? During 2009, only 24% of all new HUD-Code homes were sold directly into land lease communities (i.e. bypassing independent-street-MHRetailers and ‘company stores’). By year 2015, more than 40% of all new HUD-Code homes were being sold directly into land lease communities. In other words/numbers: 2009 = 12,000 homes; 2015 = more than 28,000 homes. Some say 16,000 more Community Series Homes, upping the 2015 total to 70,544!

There’s one more piece to this ‘solving the shipment volume crisis’ puzzle to be acknowledged, though it’s seldom described or discussed. And that’s how land lease community owners/operators, many for the first time in their careers, learned how to effectively market and sell new HUD-Code homes on-site within their communities, not relying on aforementioned MHRetailers. How’d this happen? IMHA/RVIC (Indiana) state association led the way, with a novel ‘Two Days of Plant Tours & Home Sales Seminars’ program, again – hosted by the RV/MH Hall of Fame, in Elkhart. Here, community owners/operators learn:

• How to get their properties (and staff) ready to sell new HUD-Code homes

• How to spec and buy new homes directly from factories, in accords with their local housing market’s Area Median Income (‘AMI’), and not solely on the advice of corporate sales representatives.

• How to actually market and sell new homes, using product and property USPs (Unique Selling Propositions) and the Six Right Ps of Marketing.*1

• How to seller-finance new home-only sales transactions via cash, lease-option, and conventional sources of chattel or personal property financing.

Well, there you have the ‘answer to the first MHShipment crisis’; pretty much where we are today – as we face yet another similar crisis.

Again; HUD-Code housing shipment volume during year 2019 was 94,615; no one expects this year (2020) to eclipse that number. Guestimates? Some say 90,000; others suggest 92,902 = which is the number shipped during year 2017.

So, where do we go from here? Well that is not an easy question to ask and even more difficult to answer, for these reasons:

• ‘Let Kevin, Bill & Mark do it!’ One would expect the Big 3-C manufacturers (Clayton, Cavco, & Skyline-Champion) to be publicly (to avoid accusations of collusion) working this out among themselves, but are they? Not that I know of. So, likely a non-starter.

• Second. Who am I, to be addressing this crisis issue? As a 40+ years freelance, factory-built housing consultant and land lease community owner, I planned and hosted the 2/28/2009 meeting in Elkhart, and believe I could, with assistance from one or both national advocates for manufactured housing, do so again! Will that happen?

• Third. Some say this crisis is within the purview of two national advocates for manufactured housing – and they’d be right, except for one controversial reason:

The most recent design innovation, championed by one advocate, intended to address said crisis, has not been successful to date! Specifically, the CrossMod™ product line, according to 2019 DTS reports by Fannie & Freddie, saw only six MH Advantage loans (Think CrossMod™ homes) bought that year, of which only two were DTS eligible. So, there’s territorial jockeying, maybe even hard feelings in play at this point.

What do YOU think we should do going forward? If you offer no suggestions, and don’t encourage me to continue down this crisis-resolution road; well, guess ‘you’re part of the problem’ and there’ll be no short term crisis solution… Do I have a definitive answer in mind at present? No I don’t. But I’m a strong believer in ‘group think’ and brainstorming, where business matters are concerned. And as far as I’m concerned, We haven’t even started on this!

And there’s this bugaboo; a.k.a. ‘The cow is already out of the barn!’ When land lease community owners/operators routinely market and sell new HUD-Code homes on-site, as they do now, local housing market MHRetailers are understandably reluctant to send qualified, motivated would-be home buyers into communities to select a rental homesite, fearing they might be poached there. How to resolve this sensitive matter? Do we even want to do so?

In closing, I’ll say this. Just like it wasn’t until the strangely-named ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’*2 came along, in 2009, weaning land lease community owners/operators away from 100% reliance on manufacturer’s rep advice as to new home specs and pricing, we now – in my opinion – must go the next step. How so? We know the AMIs of local housing markets – usually defined by postal zip codes, and how AGI (annual gross income) of would be homebuyers, ‘should’ determine how much new home is to be transacted. A dynamic combination of this core information should be researched, prepared, and widely distributed, in print and or online, throughout the U.S. In other words, provide a ‘next generation tool’ by which community owners/operators can determine 1) what their local housing market will bear and 2) what specific customers can truly afford!

POSTSCRIPT. Just how serious is the (home sales resources) disconnect, raised in the previous paragraph? Well, How to Successfully Sell New & Resale Manufactured Homes was authored by Gary Pomeroy, of Golden West Homes, way back in year 1977 – that’s 43 years ago! Sure, there’s been a plethora of HOW TO advice over the decades (e.g. the late Grayson Schwepfinger, Joe Morris,’ Lonnie deals’, et. al.), but Gary’s tome remains the ONLY text to specifically deal with this important subject! What I’m proposing here, is ‘someone’, who’s qualified, experienced and motivated in MH marketing and sales – within and outside land lease community environments (i.e. They’re two really different sales perspectives), to use this shipment crisis education opportunity, to help (save?) the manufactured housing industry, and frankly, ensure their personal professional legacy! Are YOU the person for whom this paragraph is penned? If so, and you’d like advice and or assistance going forward, email me at This is not a project for me, but we have resources available to this end.

End Notes

1. Six Right Ps of Marketing: product, Place, Price, Promotion, People, Process. For a FREE copy of a 3X5 plastic wallet card containing details of these six ‘Ps’, phone # @ end of End Note # 2.

2. “…estimates maximum recommended ‘affordable’ & ‘risky’ purchase prices for new & resale, privately-owned homes of any type, sited on realty owned fee simple with home or ‘home-only’ on leased land.” For a FREE copy of the ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’, phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.


RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction Banquet Postponed until 3 December 2020!
For additional information, phone (574) 293-2344. Event details to follow during months ahead. I’ve already changed my hotel reservations to ensure being present for this gala annual event!

George Allen, CPM, MHM

July 2, 2020

Does Evidence Matter?

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 10:03 am

Blog Posting # 592 @ 3 July 2020; Copyright 2020.

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

EducateMHC is the online national advocate, asset class historian, data researcher, education resource, and communication media, for all land lease communities throughout North America!

To input this blog&/or affiliate with EducateMHC, telephone Official MHIndustry HOTLIUNE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. Also email:, & visit

Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U!’ Goal: To promote HUD-Cade manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. # 1 source of affordable attainable housing! Attend MHM class!

INTRODUCTION: Everyone associated with national manufactured housing advocacy (i.e. MHI & MHARR for starters), has already weighed-in with their respective responses to HUD’s PD&R Winter/Spring 2020 edition of Evidence Matters. MHI, as usual, was supportive and complimentary. MHARR, not so; rather describing the subject matter as ‘An Unequaled Opportunity about to Go to Waste’, considering HUD writers’ light treatment of regulatory barriers to all forms of factory-built housing, especially HUD-Code manufactured housing; and, home-only financing (a.k.a. personal property or chattel capital). With that said, what follows here, are a few of my observations, pro & con, relative to industry statistics, trade terminology, ADUs, ROCs, and CrossMod™, all covered therein.

Feature article begins (pp.4&5) with a well-penned, but still shaky, summary of HUD-Code manufactured housing statistics:

• In 2018, 37 percent of all new HUD-Code homes “…were placed in manufactured home communities (parks, courts, or subdivisions).” I was OK with this until reading the word ‘subdivision’ in a sentence/stat that historically relates to land lease communities. More on the terminology issue shortly.

• Most new homes (65%) were placed on piers (also known as blocks). Really?

• ‘Most new homes were placed outside manufactured home communities.”

• ‘The average sale price of a new manufactured home in 2018 was $78,500 ($52,400 for a single-piece home and $99,500 for a two-piece home.” OUCH! We stopped making ‘singlewide & doublewide’ differentiations decades ago; today preferring ‘single section & multi section’ manufactured homes. But ‘single-piece & two-piece’ homes? NOT. This obviously penned by a novice to manufactured housing.

Trade Terminology. Here we go again; referring to past editions of Evidence Matters, where/when manufactured housing trade terminology was ‘all over the place’. It still is! As you already read in the first bullet point, no fewer than four terms are used to describe this unique, income-producing property type! Which raises the question, ‘Why include subdivision in this list?’ It’s a different application of property rights – those conveyed fee simple, not leaseholds.

So what are other terminology shortfalls? Manufactured housing communities (p.10), manufactured communities, p.10, park (owners) p.10), manufactured home community (pp.5, 9, 11), and – what should have been used all along, land lease communities (p.10). Perhaps the next manufactured housing-focused edition of Evidence Matters will get this matter right!

Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs. Yes, like Tiny Houses (though not mentioned in this piece), a mini-housing fad of the decade (2010-2020). Don’t misunderstand, I’m a fan – just would not, could not, ‘live’ in one of them (e.g. ‘How does one ‘make up one’s bed’ when two corners are pushed against two walls?’). But they’re a good ‘bait & switch’ housing sales ploy – as ‘many land lease community owners, selling new HUD-Code homes on-site, have learned’! My beef? No definition as to what constitutes an ADU! Presumably, and ADU has to be livable, but what size? Methinks, less than 400 square feet in size to exempt it from the HUD-Code. Would have been helpful to learn those details here.

Emphasis on ROCs or resident-owned communities. According to this article, only 2.4 percent of all land lease communities in the U.S. today are ROCs. And for them, that’s Great Progress! However, only critical mention of the other 97.6 percent of land lease communities. Why the extreme imbalance? Is there a political or societal axe to grind here? Plus, the ROC info was supplemented with no fewer than three attractive color photographs of said properties. And then there’s this intriguing sentence:

“Residents of these communities are able to keep their site fees below market rates, make health and safety improvements, engage with other community members, and enjoy other economic benefits such as being able to sell their homes more quickly and for higher prices.” P.11

When I checked the origin of the footnote documenting these glowing advantages, I learned it was simply an email message, not a formal study of any kind. HUD should do better than that.

CrossMod™. Don’t think the writer really knows what’s going on here with this new design of HUD-Code manufactured home. It is NOT a ‘financing vehicle’, but a housing product with features designed to appeal to manufactured housing’s underserved markets: millennials, retirees. Furthermore, it is a HUD-Code home designed for placement on scattered building sites conveyed fee simple. And both GSEs (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac) have customized ‘financing vehicles’ to support the CrossMod™ concept.

Here’s a puzzle for you. Two stats were prominent in this article. 37 percent of all new homes in 2018 went into land lease communities; and, “…as many as 53 percent of new manufactured homeowners owned the land and might have been eligible for a mortgage but instead financed their home with a personal property loan.” Frankly, I don’t believe the latter figure is accurate and here’s why:

2008 = 96,555 new HUD-Code homes shipped X .37% = 35,725 new MHs into LLCommunities

2008 = 96,555 new HUD-Code home shipped X .53% = 51,174 new homes maybe mis-financed

Now, subtracting 35,725 from 96,555 (2018 shipment volume total) leaves 60,830 new MHs going elsewhere (outside LLCommunities), in turn leaving but 9,656 new MHs ‘properly financed’ onto private building sites in and out of subdivisions. These figures don’t feel right to me. In manufactured housing we do a better job with home financing than those numbers suggest. Think the providers of the 53% stat need to dig deeper….

My ‘rub’ with the staff of Evidence Matters, and by extension, some staff at HUD, is this: When researching and preparing an article like this, that’s going to explore HUD-Code manufactured housing and land lease communities, make it a point – in the near and interim future – to reach out and actually converse with capable, experienced industry and realty asset class professionals, who actually ‘make their living’ in these two closely-related fields of housing endeavor! Think how much more accurate, interesting, and useful the end product will be!

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