Good Enough for IHS, but NOT Good Enough for BSHS
2019; Copyright 2019; www.educatemhc.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, and earlier, ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’
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Motto: ‘U Support US & WE Serve U! Goal: promote HUD-Code manufactured housing & land lease communities as U.S. source of affordable attainable housing! Next MHM class @ 9/11/19
INTRODUCTION: Over the decades, many have likened manufactured housing to be the Rodney Dangerfield of factory-built housing. Part I is a clear example of that metaphor. Part II? A timely but sad example of what greed can do to otherwise ‘affordable housing’ and its lifestyle. And Part III? Simply a WARNING! Does ‘the shoe fit’ your present day on-site new home sales and seller-financing experience? If so, then ‘being forewarned is being forearmed!’
Good Enough For IHS, but NOT Good Enough For BSHS
‘HUD-Code manufactured housing was good enough, as centerpiece, of the HUD & NAHB-hosted Innovative Housing Showcase, on the National Mall during June of this year, but is NOT good enough to be featured, or invited to appear, at NAHB’s Building Systems Housing Summit, 6-8 October, in Pittsburgh, PA.!’
In the August issue of BUILDER magazine, NAHB chairman Greg Ugalde, in ‘Spotlight on Affordable Housing’, identified “…lack of skilled labor, excessive regulatory costs, and an increase in materials prices…” as being main factors that drive up the cost of building a home. He then writes glowingly of the aforementioned Innovative Housing Showcase, “…which included full-sized homes and new building techniques….” Page # 57. Note the lack of mention, that all three full-sized homes, from steel undercarriages to roof peaks, were HUD-Code manufactured homes! So, HUD-Code manufactured housing was good enough for the HIS.
In the August issue of BUILDER magazine, on page # 18, there’s a full page ad inviting readers to attend the Building Systems Housing Summit, 6-8 October, in Pittsburgh, PA. The event is described as being “…the industry’s premier conference dedicated to off-site construction.” – a euphemism, in site-built builder circles, for ‘factory-built housing’. The ad goes on to say “…builders, manufacturers and suppliers of modular, panelized, concrete, log and timber frame homes…” will discover emerging systems-built housing trends and more. Do you see HUD-Code manufactured housing – again, the star of the Innovative Housing Showcase, mentioned anywhere in that verbiage ballyhooing the Building Systems Housing Summit? Me neither. So, HUD-Code manufactured housing is evidently NOT good enough for the BSHS.
Point to all this? Should be patently obvious. It’s OK to showcase manufactured housing to a public who doesn’t know any better (Anecdotally; a builder of site-built homes toured one of the three MHs on display at the National Mall, thinking it was a site-built home, until he was informed otherwise.); but do NOT welcome them (except for Clayton Homes, as that firm was featured in an earlier BUILDER issue) into the inner (political) workings of the NAHB, lest more builders climb aboard the HUD-Code housing train. Somehow, that simply does not make any sense, but that’s certainly the way it is.
Know what? I’d attend the Building Systems Housing Summit in Pittsburgh in October, except I’m committed to speak at the 10th anniversary SECO Conference in Atlanta that week. And know what my topic will be? ‘State of the Manufactured Housing Industry & Land Lease Community Real Estate Asset Class!’ Hmm. Perhaps NAHB folk traveling to Pittsburgh would learn more about factory-built housing reality by patronizing the SECO Conference instead. For more info, visit www.seco.com
Sidebar bottom line? One more example of internecine squabbling and lack of political and advocacy cooperation, i.e. site-builders versus manufactured housing; MHI versus MHARR
Don’t Be ‘Woke’, Then Broke, in 2020!
So, as a land lease community owner/operator, did you heed the advice in blog # 549 bearing this same title: ‘Don’t Be ‘Woke’, Then Broke, in 2020!’? If so, you’ve now read, or are about to read, the September issue of the Allen Letter, learning the full story behind the pernicious (‘highly destructive, ruinous’) threat of national rent control – that could sweep up land lease communities in its’ wake! If you haven’t taken steps to get on board with the Allen Letter, visit www.educatemhc.com
What’s the latest? Well, we’ll know more next week when the 28th annual Networking Roundtable convenes. So far, only NAMHCO, as national advocate for manufactured housing and land lease communities will be represented. That’s short for National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (national lobbyist for the realty asset class). We know already there’ll be owners/operators of some of the largest and most influential land lease community portfolios in North America.
Maybe at the last minute, an executive from MHI will register to attend, but I’m not counting on it. No matter really, as I’ll be traveling to Savannah, GA., on 23 September, to attend MHI’s annual meeting in general, the National Communities Council division session in particular. Will be interesting to see if this timely, nefarious topic (i.e. national rent control) is even on the agenda; brought up during said meeting; or as is most oft the case, left for me to introduce.
MHARR input? Ask them why they promote a new national advocacy entity for post-production segments of the manufactured housing industry, but never patronize the only annual national event focused solely on land lease community owners/operators – the supposed core cohort for any such new group. It’s a mystery.
Finally. ‘Don’t wait for the other shoe (legislation) to drop!’ Exercise care in adjusting your rental homesite rates; encourage your peers – even competitors, to be mindful of applying the traditional 3:1 Rule of Thumb when estimating appropriate rental homesite rates for every market in which land lease communities are owned/operated.*1
1. 3:1 Rule of Thumb. Conventional apartment unit (3BR2B) rent rates are oft three times the amount charged for land lease community rental homesites in the same local housing market, e.g. $900/month = apartment; $300+/-/month = LLCommunity.
If you’re a land lease community owner guaranteeing home loans underwritten and serviced by an independent third party lender, have you taken contractual steps to ensure complete and accurate disclosure, to you as guarantor, and in writing, of the unpaid balance, including default-related charges added to mortgagor’s account, if and when a homeowner/site lessee defaults on his/her home loan?
If not, do so ASAP! Stories are circulating around the manufactured housing industry, of lenders stating unpaid balances sans documentati