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

March 2, 2022


Filed under: Uncategorized — George Allen @ 9:06 am

Blog Posting # 679. Copyright @ 25 February 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 lease 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: Part I contains late and important industry/asset class news. Part II gives us all something to think about. And Part III shows you ‘what might have been’ OR ‘what will indeed be’. Have you read From SmittyAlpha6 to MH Maven (my autobiography) yet? Several readers have expressed surprise at learning I was trained, while a Marine lieutenant in Vietnam, in 1969 & 69, to be a ‘suicide bomber’ (i.e. Atomic Demolitions Munitions or ADM technician). And there are other surprises as well. Get your copy via GFA



Quoting directly from ELS’ Fourth Quarter Report: “In December 2021, we completed the acquisition of MHVillage/Datacomp for a purchase price of $43 million. MHVillage is the premier online marketplace dedicated to manufactured home buying and selling. Datacomp provides independent, market-based valuations for manufactured homes in land lease communities.”

A few sidebar observations relative to this surprising, major business transaction:

• My understanding is this deal includes acquisition of MHInsider magazine, the sole remaining print trade publication serving manufactured housing and land lease communities. No change in staff, so hopefully, little to no change in editorial stance.

• Speaking of ‘land lease communities’; it’s encouraging to see the largest portfolio owner/operator of land lease communities in the world, transition away from ‘manufactured home community’ and ‘mobile home park’ trade terminology.

• This transaction unintentionally highlights, in my opinion, a perennial legacy recognition shortfall per the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame recognition of industry and realty asset class pioneers and notable personalities. More on this in Part II following….



Assuming here you’re familiar with the RV/MH Heritage Foundation and its’ prestigious Hall of Fame, library& museum in Elkhart, IN. If not, encourage you to visit

I was honored to be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame as one of the Class of 2011, and attend the annual induction banquet every August. Carolyn and I donate $ annually to support the foundation, and recently gifted our extensive collection of MH and land lease community books (Most comprehensive in the U.S. & CN.) to the library, where they are now on special display. And we host MH trade events whenever possible, at the facility in Elkhart.

There are 427 members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame. And on August 15th, ten more will be added. The five MH inductees will be David Carter, Raylen Gritton, Harry Karsten, Eugene Landy, and Tim Williams. To purchase banquet tickets, phone (574) 293-2344. Join me there!

However; and again in my opinion, all is not as well as it could be relative to the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame. There are deserving individuals who’re yet to be honored, the occasional marginal candidate, and more than a few who’re ‘deserving’ but likely never to be inducted. Some examples…

The founder of DATACOMP and MHVillage (circa 1986), Theo (‘Ted’) A. Boers – also one of the few published authors in the manufactured housing industry, has yet to be inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation’s prestigious Hall of Fame. *1 Few would argue the observation that Ted and his firms have improved the face of manufactured housing and land lease communities, by dint of their valuation of manufactured homes, and marketing of same within and outside our unique income-producing properties. And don’t forget MHInsider magazine!

And there are additional deserving-but-unrecognized pioneers and notable personalities throughout the manufactured housing industry and land lease communities.

Another example of someone who’s ‘changed the face of manufactured housing and land lease communities’ is the founder, president and CEO of London Computer Systems – better known throughout our industry and realty asset class as Rent Manager (circa 1987). Most mid-sized to larger land lease communities utilize this firm’s accounting and property management software on a daily basis, year in year out. But, once again, the pioneering notable personality behind this well-known and respected firm continues to await induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

Herein, I’m making the assumption the individuals have not declined induction.

And Yes, there’re more pioneers and notable folk not honored; unfortunately, some have died.

The late Tom Raper. You’ve likely never heard of him – unless you’re heavily into RVs and live or work in the Midwest. There was a time, several decades, when Tom was owner/operator of the largest RV dealership in the U.S.! He was flamboyant. For many years, more than a dozen full-sized highway billboards, advertising his dealership, could be seen along Interstate I-70 where it went through Richmond, IN. He was a generous philanthropist, even honored with a street named after him in his hometown. But recognition? Still in the wind. Maybe someday.

And there’s former professional football player and CPA, big Tom Horner, Jr., who acquired a sizeable portfolio of land lease communities during his lifetime. But that’s not why he deserves induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. Tom was a perennial board member in two states, and created the ‘21st Century National Manufactured Home Community Rating system’ introduced in the text, ‘How to Find, Buy, Manage & Sell a Manufactured Home Community’. He was one of the 19 community owners who met in Indianapolis in 1993 to improve asset class advocacy.

The list continues, but not here. There are longtime retirees who come to mind. One of them introduced ‘resident relations’ to our realty asset class 25 years ago; the other one, during his prime, was one of the top independent (street) MHRetailers (& multi-communities owner) in the U.S. And how’ bout U.S. ex-pat, known throughout Canada as ‘Mr. Manufactured Home’?

At this time I won’t comment much on ‘the other side of the coin’, i.e. individuals selected for induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame who’re salaried executives or successful businessmen and women, but who do not stand out, in my opinion, given their lack of notable influence outside their state or company of employ, nor tangible contributions to the advancement of the MH industry at large.

Hope to see you at the RV/MH Hall of Fame induction banquet on 15 August in Elkhart, IN.!

End Notes.

1. Ted Boers’ books include Three Simple Rules – Guaranteed to Improve Your Finances! and Demons of Poverty – how to improve the wellbeing of people in Haiti. Latter book is available from



When? 11-13 April. Where? Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, FL. What? Three high-end manufactured homes on display, 100+ exhibitors and sponsors, one keynote industry outlook session, 12 breakout educational workshops (more on this in next paragraph), two networking receptions, two optional forums re Developer Seminar & NCC Spring forum, and two optional fundraisers. For more information, email:

OK, so what will you likely NOT experience at this year’s Congress & Expo event?

Either or both these educational workshops I proposed to the Manufactured Housing Institute:

• Professional property management training for land lease community owners and managers! Having created and taught the popular Manufactured Housing Manger™ certification program since year 2001, today there are 1,000 MHMs ™ owning and managing communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. The course textbook, ‘Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry’ will be available for purchase after the seminar. Or visit to purchase the text online. This is the book that should be in every land lease community information office!

• Retail Marketing & Sales within the Land Lease Community. In year 2016 I pioneered the first national class offered re ‘Four Steps to Selling & Financing New Homes On-site Within Land Lease Communities’. Besides the seminar synopsis, every participant will receive a 3”X 5” plastic wallet card containing said ‘four steps’, as well as the ‘Six Right Ps of Marketing’ new homes within communities. Also the much-used ‘Ah Ha! & Uh Oh! Worksheet’ for estimating sale and purchase prices of new manufactured homes in any local housing market in the U.S. In my opinion, this topic continues to be the most needed in our industry/asset class today, after professional property management.

Anyway, I suggested these two topics to MHI for consideration. At this writing I’ve not heard back as to which one, or either or neither, will be included in the Congress & Expo. But wanted you to see/read what it is you’ll likely be missing at this year’s event – unless they decide otherwise.


LATE BREAKING NEWS! Women Advancing Manufactured Housing (‘WAMH’) will meet virtually at 7PM on 15 March 2022. Paula Reeves, president of CIS Financial will be the special guest. For more information, contact Maria Horton via


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