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

November 17, 2022

‘Go Along to Get along’ OR ‘Aggressive Opposition’

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 2:31 pm

Blog Posting # 715. Copyright 18 November 2022. EducateMHC

Perspective. Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing!
EductaeMHC is the online national advocate, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email or visit

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, RV/MH Hall of Fame, & MHI emeritus ember

‘Go Along to Get along’ OR ‘Aggressive Opposition’

When I began my manufactured housing career in 1978 I expected to learn a raft of new trade terminology, rules of thumb, helpful formulae, ‘tricks of the trade’, acronyms and abbreviations. And that’s precisely what happened – then and during the nearly five decades that followed. Still learning! In the paragraphs to follow I’ll share just some of those Lessons Learned along the way. Ready? Here goes:

Have you wondered why, in a relatively small segment of the U.S. housing industry (i.e. factory-built homes), it appears necessary to have not one but two national trade or advocacy organizations? Well, we do: Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’). MHI has been around for more than 60 years; MHARR was formed during 1985 by former members of MHI. But why? Because the largest producers of ‘mobile homes’, then in 1976 ‘manufactured homes’, MHI lobbied in ‘Go Along to Get along’ fashion with legislators and regulators. Smaller producers of the same product, however, unable to absorb increased product costs oft associated with increased regulation, formed MHARR engage in ‘aggressive opposition’ to what they viewed as unfavorable legislation and onerous regulation. So the die was cast, and the rest is history, e.g. today’s differing opposition to incorporation of Department of Energy Standards into the HUD Code for manufactured housing, by MHI & MHARR. Read their respective newsletters for details.

Have you ever wondered why HUD-Code manufactured housing, in general, lacks the ‘bells & whistles’ one encounters in traditional site-built (stick) housing? Now, opinions vary about this, but the general rule is NOT to add anything to the basic home that will increase its’ cost to the home buying consumer! It’s why ‘smart (manufactured) homes’ are not commonplace yet – if ever. And in years past, attempts to build single unit smoke alarms, weather radios, gas detectors and intrusion detection devices have just about always failed. And frankly, that’s a major reason why both national trade entities are fighting the product cost control battle alluded to in the previous paragraph, albeit from different perspectives.

For many years I heard the phrase ‘D&R Deliveries’ voiced in regards to manufactured housing delivery. Took me a while to learn this meant the manufactured housing industry had a wide reputation for delivering housing product, then leaving right away! This was early in the day, when independent (street) MHRetailers took delivery of homes into their retail homes sales center, onto privately-owned, scattered building sites, and into ‘mobile home parks’. D&R was a symptom of a much larger, more serious problem: lack of responsibility, on the part of anyone, for the safe and secure installation of new HUD-Code homes! Some have posited that D&R deliveries are the Achilles Heel of this industry. How so? Manufacturers routinely pushed this responsibility off onto the MHRetailer and community owners/operators; who, in turn, passed the responsibility onto homebuyers. And know what? The matter has improved today only because there are fewer MHRetailers in business, and the trend that 40+ percent of new homes are going directly into land lease communities where property owners/operators know the consequences of ‘drop and run deliveries and installations’. Safe and secure home installation remains an unresolved matter across much of the country, e.g. even in the face of empirical evidence the Frost Free Foundation system created and espoused by George Porter, continues to languish when it should, in this industry observer’s opinion, be HUD-approved methodology.

Did you know? In many parts of the U.S. it is commonplace, within land lease communities, to find water and sewer lines laid in the same utility trench? This is one reason infiltration of sewer lines, by ground and potable water, remains one of the most difficult challenges to address in this unique property type. How ‘bout another trade secret?

New Rule of 72. Until recently, when community valuations became unjustifiably high, this was a handy means of estimating the potential and real capitalized income values of average land lease communities. In the first instance, multiply the number of rentable homesites, occupied and vacant, by the prevailing rental homesite rate and then multiply by the whole number 72. For example: 200 sites X $300/month rent X 72 = $4,320,000. For the actual present estimated capitalized income value (not including the presence of rental units, if any), multiply the number of occupied and paying rent sites (e.g. 180) X $300/month X 72 = $3,888,000.

How ‘bout the traditional 3:1 Rule for estimating land lease community rental homsite rates in a given local housing market? Simply perform a Market Survey of 3BR2B conventional apartments in the local market. Once ascertained, e.g. $1,500/month. Divide this figure by ‘3’ for a result of $500/month estimated rental homesite rate. Now, of late, some portfolio owners/operators of large properties are dividing by ‘2’. Do it both ways to decide which is the reasonable approach.

And the beat goes on. There’re more such ‘tools’ to share with you in future blog postings. Are there such rules of thumb you’d like to share? Send them to me via


November 11, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:59 am

Blog Posting # 714. Copyright 11 November 2022. EducateMHC
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, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email or visit

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, RV/MH Hall of Fame, & MHI Emeritus member


But first, a Disclaimer Statement. I am not an expert on all things related to the content of this blog; rather, these are my viewpoints and opinions. Also not responsible for any loss or damage caused by information provided here. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of information contained herein. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. GFA

An introduction to the BIG NEWS – THAT’S NOT BIG NEWS. As many, if not most, of you who read my weekly blog postings know, I’ve been reporting Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) unadulterated monthly ‘Shipments and Production Summary Reports’ for several years.*1 And during the last two years or so, I’ve added a Stock Market Report that follows the performance of five HUD-Code housing manufacturers and five land lease community portfolio owners/operators – at least three of whom are Real Estate Investment Trusts (‘REITs’). Part of the latter reporting includes a Composite Stock Index (‘CSI’) that excludes but one publicly-owned firm, and includes an unchanging ad hoc factor.

It’s the most recent ‘MHShipment Volume @ September 2022, and Stock Market Report of 3 November 2022’ that sets the stage, so to speak, for the BIG NEWS – THAT’S NOT BIG NEWS.

Quoting from the subject Report: “Manufactured housing/land lease community Composite Stock Index (‘CSI’) on 3 November 2022 is $612.02, down $178 from this year’s starting point of $790.07 during early January 2022.” This is a nearly 20 percent decline in the CSI during the past 11 months! This is the BIG NEWS – THAT’S NOT BIG NEWS, at least where our national advocacy entities and trade press coverage appears to be concerned, or not concerned.

Why the overall decline in stock prices? Our monthly production and shipment totals are, at 89,222 units YTD, on track to eclipse 2021’s 105,772 new manufactured homes – maybe by another 10,000 units (Think 115,000+). There’s an unsolved mystery regarding what is going on in the manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class these days.

And I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. Send them to me via Confidence assured. GFA

End Note. Unadulterated? Reference to the unfortunate fact that IBTS data, contracted for by HUD, is not accepted as carte blanche by at least one national manufactured housing trade advocacy group. Furthermore; for a copy of the only comprehensive record of annual MH production/shipment totals (from 1955 till 2021), order a copy of SWAN SONG via


Manufactured housing history is rich with exciting tales of entrepreneurial enterprise, business acumen (‘keenness of perception’) and product innovation. Just as land lease communities are diverse in size, location and ownership, with unique stories of personal and corporate success and failure. So, where can we find these ‘tales of yore and nowadays’?

Best place to start is the library at the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, IN. Though not as well-archived, in my opinion, befitting the legacy guardian of our industry and realty asset class’ historical records, one can find dozens of corporate biographies and personal autobiographies within its stacks.

For example, here’re the authors and titles of 11 such works; all well worth reading and studying for the practical lessons they teach even today:

Kristian Jensen, Sr., ‘A Danish American’. Dutch immigrant and 1972 Hall of Fame inductee. Here we have a long deceased entrepreneur whose portfolio passed to the third generation before being sold off to another firm. Fascinating tale.

John Crean, ‘The Wheel & I’. Late founder of Fleetwood Enterprises. Probably one of the earthiest of MH moguls, in his writing style. His book is leather bound with gold-edged pages.

James Clayton, ‘First A Dream’. Still shows up at MH industry events. Son Kevin today runs the firm his father founded decades ago – but for Berkshire-Hathaway.

Borislav (‘Boro’) Vukovich. ‘The Life & Times of B.M. Vukovich’.His family, after his death, produced a photo-autobiography of his life before and after immigration to the U.S.

Harrell & Darrell Cohron, identical twins, now deceased. ‘The Trailer Twins’. Friends of mine who developed and grew the largest portfolio of land lease communities in Indiana. Now in the hands of their third generation of family members.

Mike Conlon’s ‘Unconventional Wealth’ reads like Part I of his life story – sharing his secrets to financial success, e.g. ‘go ugly early’. Watch for Part II sometime in the future.

George N. Goldman, ‘The Road Less Traveled’. An old, but now deceased, ‘friend in the MH business’. Besides communities, George owned the Woodall Publishing Company for a while (Think ‘MH & RV directories)

Alvan L. Schrader’s ‘No Respect At All…A PATH TO MILLIONS’. This should be required reading for every MH industry professional! 100 memoirs and a timely commentary on our industry.

Samuel Zell. ‘Am I Being Too Subtle?’ Only autobiography published by a traditional publisher. It’s subtitle says it all: ‘Straight Talk from a Business Rebel’. One of my favorite ‘reads’.

Jim, Ralph & Jeff Scoular’s ‘Leap of Faith’. Newest of the 11 autobiographies, a collective effort by three generations of the Scoular family. Ralph is deceased but Jim and Jeff continue active.

George Allen’s ‘SWAN SONG’. A history of land lease communities from 1970s to now, & Official Record of MH Production Since 1955. ‘From SmittyAlpha6 to MHMaven’ is my autobiography, chronicling overlapping 40+ years careers as a Marine officer and community owner/operator

All but three of these books are available for purchase from the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Conlon, Goldman, and Zell books are available via

Now for those titles – not yet penned or published, that I’d like very much to read and study:

Eugene Landy of UMH Properties. ‘Name Your Passions: Sulky Racing & mid-1980s REIT’

Rob tunnel, III of Pots-Nets. ‘Three Generations of Land Reclamation & Development in Delaware’

Spencer Roane, MHM of Pentagon Properties. ‘Birth, Growth & Today’s Role of SECO’

Chuck Fanaro of Saddlebrook Farms. ‘Visionary Community Developer & High End Housing Manufacturer’

David Nap & Colleen Edwards. ‘Reinventing Oneself Over and Over and Over Again!’

Randy Rowe. ‘My Road from ELS to Hometown America to Green Courte Partners’

Sharon Niccum of ACT III. ‘Succeeding in a Man’s World & Inspiring Young Women Entrepreneurs’

Donald Westphal. ‘My Legacy? Landscaping This Nation’s Best Communities’

Paul Bradley, MHM. ‘ROC USA; from Concept to a Popular New Path to Community Ownership’

Martin, Tim & Todd Newby of Newby Management. ‘Christian Approach to Professional Fee Management’

Danny Ghorbani of MHARR. ‘Washington Watchdog’ for the Manufactured Housing Industry’

Dave Hegemann of Rent Manager. ‘Flying Under the Radar Growing Property Management Software for You’

Walter Comer of Adventure Homes. ‘Growing the Employee-Owned Manufacturing Firm’

Ross Partrich of RHP Properties. ‘Following in Dad’s Footsteps & Passing Him Along the Way’

John Rogosich, CPM. ‘Executive Property Managers Have Thick Skin to Survive & Thrive!’

And yes, there are more titles I’d like to see materialize during the next few years. But that is not going to happen unless those with ‘stories to tell’, begin to take time now to organize their thoughts and memoirs, for eventual compilation into their life story.

Need help to this end? Reach out and let me know.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Author/consultant for EducateMHC
Member, RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame
Emeritus member, Manufactured Housing Institute
(317) 881-3815

November 4, 2022

What Are SFRs, & WWII Vets Quickly Dying Off

Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 5:47 am

Blog Posting # 713. Copyright 4 November 2022. EducateMHC

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, realty asset class historian, trend spotter, education resource, and textbook supplier for land lease communities throughout North America! To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email or visit

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master, RV/MH Hall of Fame & MHI Emeritus member

What Are SFRs, & WWII Vets Quickly Dying Off

We’ve noticed it in our neighborhood; have you noticed it in yours? A greatly increased number of SFRs! Huh? That’s the abbreviation for ‘single family rentals’; you know, those homes traditionally bought and sold as conventional suburban housing, now being rented out. Well, thanks to the pandemic, and now the national economy, large investment firms are buying-up single family houses at a record rate, in some local housing markets, comprising as much as 40 percent of the volume listed and sold.

Quoting from a recent (October 2022, pp. 17-19) issue of GLOBEST. REAL ESTATE FORUM magazine, “…the US has failed to match population growth with housing expansion for years. On the single-family home side, according to a study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors, ‘While the total stock of U.S. housing grew at an average annual rate of 1.7% from 1968 through 2000, the U.S. housing stock grew by an annual average rate of 1% (during) the last two decades, and only 0.7% in the last decade’.”

Today, thanks to a variety of factors (e.g. working from home and remote learning require more space, millennials now forming new households, and increasing home prices and rising interest rates make it difficult if not impossible to ‘buy’), the single-family rental (‘SFR’) market has exploded during the past few years.

Another interesting observation has to do with why the SFR market was not an institutional market a decade or two ago. Why? “…the complexities of managing it institutionally (involved) the ‘three Ts: tenants, trash and toilets.” But now, aggregation and consolidation have eased the property management challenge somewhat. And rental agents, thanks to technology (e.g. ‘showing’ via You Tube videos, online instructions re maintenance, and cel phone aps) typically work out of call centers – never having to leave to drive around to demonstrate units.

But, in my opinion, there’s another side of this story; and it’s somewhat akin to the challenge we face when renting homes within land lease communities. If management does not keep close watch on how their tenants (residents) live, curb appeal and home interior cleaning and maintenance can get out of hand. I see this in the SFR across the street from my home: grass is cut as a last resort, several trees are now dangerously overgrown, and ‘last year’s leaves’ are still piled around the base of one tree. Oh, and we just learned a not for profit organization has converted two large homes (i.e. four bedrooms) into SFR group living units for recovering addicts. Nothing in the subdivision covenants and restrictions prevents this risky change in use.

It will be interesting to observe how the investment future of SFRs evolved during the months and years ahead.

16 Million + U.S. Service Members Fought in WW II

In a recent issue (5 November) issue of WORLD news magazine, researchers shared some salient, startling statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the National WWII museum. The date goes like this:

• WWII veterans are dying at the rate of 180 per day!

• 70% of WWII veterans served in the Army, 26% in the Navy,& 4% in the Marines

• 291,557 died in battle

• 113,842 died in non-theater service

• 670,846 suffered non-mortal wounds

• 167,278 were still living as of 30 September 2022

77 years following the end of WWII, the actions and sacrifices of WWII veterans remain with us. My maternal uncle was wounded and awarded the bronze star for heroism during the Battle of the Bulge; and, Carolyn’s lifelong girlfriend Billie Ann was orphaned when her father was killed in action during that same conflict, and her mother died soon thereafter. Want to read a book that well-describes the battles fought, as the war drew to a close? I recommend Alex Kershaw’s ‘The Longest Winter’ – The Battle of the Bulge & the Epic Story of WW IIs most decorate platoon.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Author/consultant EducateMHC
Member, RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame
Emeritus member, Manufactured Housing Institute

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