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

May 13, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 7:03 am

Blog Posting # 689. Copyright @ 13 May 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 & textbook supplier for land lese communities throughout North America!

To input this blog and or connect with EducateMHC, telephone (317) 881-3815, email and or visit Previous phone #s no longer connected.

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

INTRODUCTION: This is one of the most heterogeneous blogs I’ve penned to date. Part I = What every land lease community owner/operator should know about setting competitive rental homesite rates. Part II = Return of an event in Washington, D.C. you should consider attending! Part III = Clear contrast of views espoused by MHI & MHARR re: FHFA & two GSEs’ DTS plans.
Part IV = Tiptoeing along the precipice of partisan politics and legacy or ‘fake’ news coverage.



Once and for all, here’s how ‘it’ works! What’s ‘it’? The traditional Rule of Thumb*1 for estimating rental homesite rates in land lease communities in any local housing market.

Goes like this. Ascertain the average monthly rental rate of three bedroom, two bath conventional apartments in a given local housing market; then divide that $ amount by three. For example, in the April 2022 issue of MULTIFAMILY EXECUTIVE magazine, Yardi Matrix is cites the ‘average U.S. (conventional apartment) asking rent’ in February 2022 as $1628.00/month. Dividing that $ figure by three, suggests average national land lease community monthly rental homesite rate is around $540.00. However, that estimate will be much higher in some local housing markets, much lower in others; but that’s how to start the process.

And a recent Rule of Thumb faux adjustment, foisted on our unique, income-producing property type (i.e. land lease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities; and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’) by – in my opinion – predatory investors, would have the divisor, in the previous paragraph, changed from three to two, raising the rental homesite rate estimate from $540 to $814/month. Now that’s a heady topic for another blog posting.

Other Rules of Thumb germane (‘relative’) to the unique realty asset class?

Average national operating expense ratio (‘OER’) is widely accepted as being 40 percent. And, as a general rule; the greater the number of occupied and paying rental homesites in a land lease community, the lower the OER; and the lower the number of rental homesites, the higher the OER. 40 percent includes all property operating expenses, not including debt service.

The New Rule of 72. Give an ‘average’ land lease community (‘whatever that is’*2), perform two similar calculations: # rentable homesites X average monthly site rent rate X 72 = estimated income value of the property if/when all rental homesites are occupied and paying rent. For example: 200 sites X $500/month X 72 = $7,200,000. Again, an ‘average’ community with no management-owned homes, and what it could well be worth when full. The second calculation involves the actual number of rental homesites occupied and paid current; e.g. 180 sites X $500/month X 72 = $6,480,000., or $720,000. less than potential income value of the property. The replacement or income value of ‘park-owned homes’ is calculated separately and added in, with explanation.

End Notes.

1. This was one of several property management Rules of Thumb I was taught when entering this business in the late 1970s. Some disagree, but in the end it prevails.

2. Land lease community quality assessment continues to be a perennial bugaboo of manufactured housing. Today (2022), there is NO approved or accepted grading system for land lease communities! The Woodall Star System has been defunct since the late 1970s. And the ABClassification System, proposed to, but rejected by the National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division during the late 1990s, while existent and used by some, is no longer readily available to owners/operators of this property type.



Hosted by HUD & NAHB, ‘Homes on the Hill’ returns to Washington, D.C. from June 7 – 12, 2022. Manufactured Housing Institute will be staging three HUD-Code homes on the National Mall, and will host a reception with policymakers on June 8th. For details, email:

I attended the first such event (before the pandemic) and found it to be a very worthwhile experience – and may attend this time around. It was educational to see the variety of innovative housing designs and structures on display during this six day event, and to talk firsthand with legislators and housing professional from throughout the U.S. Attend and be part of MH industry history!



The Federal Housing Finance Agency ‘FHFA’) has approved 2022-2024 Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) Plans for GSEs Fannie Mae & Freddie Mack, for three underserved markets – including manufactured housing.

Here is where this matter becomes INTERESTING. Specifically, in comparing how the Manufactured Housing Institute (‘MHI’) and Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’) industry advocates view what many of us consider to be GSEs’ ongoing ‘benign neglect’ of financing and other needs of HUD-Code manufactured housing, particularly relative to land lease communities.*1

This is MHI’s ‘take’ on this matter.*2 “The revised Plans incorporate recommendations from MHI including increasing the volume of land-home financing targets. Further, Freddie Mac’s DTS Plan calls for creation of a personal property (chattel) loan financing product by 2024. (Fannie Mae’s Plan is silent on chattel). While MHI is pleased with these changes, given that approximately 845 of all new single family homes under $200,000 are manufactured homes, more action by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is still needed.”

This is MHARR’s ‘take’ on this matter.*3 “…the Fannie Mae plan contains no provision whatsoever for securitization or secondary market support for the personal property (chattel) loans that comprise nearly 80% of the mainstream, affordable manufactured housing consumer financing market.” And “The Freddie Mac plan…offers the possibility of a meager 1500 to 2500 chattel loan purchases for ‘study’ purposes in the plan’s final year – some 16 years following Congress’ enactment of DTS.”*4 MHARR goes on to observe that this exclusion of chattel loans from DTS by the GSEs confirms: 1) neither Enterprise has any interest in serving…the vast majority of affordable, mainstream manufactured housing; & 3) representation of industry’s post-production sector has been ineffective…in pressing for full and robust compliance” (in this matter).*5

So, do you pick up on the undercurrent of ‘reluctant participation’ on the part of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac in matters ‘manufactured housing’? Once again, as an industry, we are dead in the water, until we identify a charismatic leader capable of leading, empower the post-production sector of manufactured housing, and make our financial needs and affordable housing message heard!

End Note.

1. ‘Benign neglect’? Simply, an attitude or policy intended to benefit someone or something less than continual attention would!

2. Quoted from MHI’s News & Updates dated April 27, 2022.

3. Quoted from MHARR’s Press Release dated 28 April 2022.

4. “As consumers and industry members know all too well…there is absolutely no guarantee that even this minimal level of purchase activity will actually occur, as similar ‘pilot’ type proposals contained in the Enterprises’ FHFA-approved 2017-2021 DTS plans were promptly jettisoned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in subsequent amendments.” Suggest you read that expose’ statement again!

5. This may be direct reference to blog postings in recent weeks (i.e. ‘Put Up or Shut Up!’), calling for renewed attention by MHI to the post-production sector of the industry, OR, a widespread call to form a new national trade advocacy entity to better represent the legislative and regulatory needs of the post-production sector in Washington, D.C.



Every once in a (long) while, something pops up (is published) that goes beyond the norm of day to day news reporting, reading and watching. This happened, for me, in an Editor’s Picks press release, on 28 April, from the Columbia Journalism Review (‘CJR’), announcing the change in executive editors at the New York Times. Here’s what CJR’s editor had to say about the newspaper:

“The residue of the Trump years, and fears that the former president will return for another campaign, have put the Times in the bull’s-eye of the journalistic debates over objectivity and both-sides coverage, which have led many legacy news operations to wonder whether traditional approaches to journalism apply at a time of high concern for the fate of American democracy.”

Whoa! Wouldn’t it be helpful to state the nature of alleged threat(s) to American democracy? Or is this a default position simply related to Trump returning for another term? And since when – in my opinion – has The New York Times and other legacy news operations aligned with traditional approaches to journalism?

The press release goes on to describe the Times’ posture towards independence (‘whatever that is?)’: “I (Joe Kahn, new Times’ editor) honestly think if we become a partisan organization exclusively focused on threats to democracy, and we give up our coverage of the issues, the social, political, and cultural divides that are animating participation in politics in America, we will lose the battle to be independent.”

Whoa again! I think many U.S. citizens already view the Times’ as a partisan news organization, NOT covering issues, the social, political, and cultural divides in place today, having already lost the battle to be truly independent (of political partisanship). But hey, that’s simply my opinion based on what I read and don’t read about in that newspaper; e.g. illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border, true cause of rampant inflation, content of Hunter Biden’s laptop computer and his family’s Chinese business dealings, and on and on.

George Allen

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