New Book for YOU, State of MHIndustry, & # HUD homes in 2012

Blog # 202 Copyright 2012 8 July 2012

Perspective. ‘Landlease communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities, & before that, ‘mobile home parks’, are the real estate component of manufactured housing.’ GFA

Help Me Write a New Book For You!


YOUR Mini ‘State of MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’


How Many New HUD Code Homes to be Shipped During 2012???



Help Me Write a New Book For You!

Tentatively titled, a Book of Formulae, Rules of Thumb, & Helpful Measures, it’s truly been ‘decades in the making’. How so? Written into most of the ten books I’ve authored, co – authored, and edited during the past 33 years, have been a bevy of mathematical formulae, some rules of thumb, and a few helpful measures sprinkled in along the way. The thought recently occurred to me, ‘Why not pull all these together, along with some unpublished gems, and put them between two covers of a new resource for my friends in the manufactured housing business?’

Well, that’s gist of the first half of today’s blog posting. Asking YOU, during this coming week, to articulate and send me your favorite and favored formulae, rules of thumb, even proprietary measures, useful to landlease community ownership and operation, as well as HUD Code manufactured housing fabrication and retailing, commercial real estate investment and valuation, housing affordability, realty – secured mortgage origination, even chattel (personal property) lending. And every contribution you suggest or make, that isn’t already described and explained in the galley DRAFT of this manuscript, will be attributed to you by name, unless you indicate otherwise.

Here’s the preliminary Table of Contents, as it exists today:

• Landlease community statistics, property valuation, operations & property management

• HUD Code manufactured housing statistics & new/resale housing price point calculation methodology

• Commercial real estate investment & valuation

• Housing affordability

• Realty mortgage origination

• (Chattel or personal property lending) Nothing on this subject yet.

• Appendix: Official Glossary of Manufactured Housing & Landlease Community Terminology (3rd edition)

OK, with all that said, what formulae, rules of thumb, and or measures, might YOU contribute to this ‘first time ever collection of formulae, rules of thumb, and helpful measures’ relative to our industry and asset class? Let me know via email: or MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764; or best of all, forward your printed or typed thoughts to GFA c/o Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 or fax via (317) 346-7158. And it’s important you get this information to me this week, 3 – 9 July 2012, as the final editing process begins in a couple weeks.

Planned debut of this new ‘book of numbers’? Our goal is to have it ready for FREE distribution to everyone attending the 21st annual International Networking Roundtable, in San Diego, CA., on 12 – 14 September 2012. As networking roundtable alumni know, there’s always at least one gift, usually of a pretty unique nature, for everyone who shows up at this 2 ½ day gala educational, networking, and deal – making event. Well, this year it appears there’ll be at least two gifts! If you recall, well known author and humorist, Richard Lederer, will be luncheon speaker and entertainer on Thursday. He’s bringing along copies of his book, Presidential Trivia, for distribution to all Roundtable attendees! And if you want to get a foretaste of Richard’s humor, pick up a copy of The Gift of Age.

So, think about it. Are there formulae, rules of thumb, even proprietary measures, you’d like to see included in this new ‘book of numbers’, designed for use by landlease community owners/operators, manufactured housing aficionados, commercial realty investors, affordable housing enthusiasts, and lenders? If so, describe same, along with an example of application(s), and get it into the mail, email, or faxed to me this week!


YOUR Mini ‘State of MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’

Part 2 of 2 Parts

Last week’s blog posting (#201) covered the first half the ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’ presentation I regularly share, almost monthly, with various business, trade advocacy, and Realtor® groups across the U.S., and sometimes Canada. If you missed it, go to the web site,, then left click on the Blog icon, and scroll back just a little ways into the archives till you find it, headed: ‘State of the MHIndustry, & Affordable Housing Interest?’.

This week’s blog posting (#202) covers the second half this ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’ business model(s) overview.

Here we pick up on the landlease (f.k.a. manufactured home) community half this ‘double dual industry’ intra – relationship. *1 First the basic statistics. It’s estimate there’re 50,000+/- landlease communities throughout the U.S., and about 1,300 more in Canada. Of that amount, an estimated 85 percent are properties containing 100 and fewer rental homesites, or sites, apiece; 78 percent in Sunbelt regions like CA & FL. According to the 23rd annual ALLEN REPORT (a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among Landlease Community Portfolio Owners/operators in North America!’*2), there’re 500+/- property portfolio owners/operators active today in this realty asset class. And the average portfolio contains 27 landlease communities (including an increasing number of mixed use, i.e. MH & RV sites, properties), and average property contains 219 rental home and or RV sites.

What’s a landlease community portfolio owner/operator? Anyone, whether a sole proprietor, partnership, private or public corporation, or real estate investment trust (‘REIT’) who owns and or fee manages a minimum property portfolio comprised of five or more landlease communities, or simply, more than 500 rental homesites in one or more such properties.*2

So, why are we referring to this unique type income – producing property as a landlease community today, rather than manufactured home community, or ‘mobile home park’? Simple. Today, it’s become almost routine to identify as many as six different forms of housing sited in this type ‘improved’ leased land multifamily property; being:

• Continued presence of pre – 1975 ‘mobile homes’

• New and resale post – 1976 ‘manufactured homes’

• One and two story modular homes in high density and high land value locations

• ‘Park model RVs’, or homes less than 400 sq. ft. in size. Also known, in HUD circles, as Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs; and, ‘granny flats’ in trade lingo. Think of them as ‘1BR1B efficiency apartments on wheels’. They’re near ideal for siting on functionally – obsolete rental homesites, often characteristic of older landlease communities; and, where there’s a strong demand for Seniors housing.

• ‘RVs for a season’, where allowed, e.g. Rio Grande Valley in Texas and elsewhere

• Stick – built homes constructed to look exactly like HUD Code homes (Florida)

But understand; we’re dealing here, with a multifamily rental housing property type that, for as long its’ 50,000+/- properties exist, will always be variously known and referred to, given the characteristics of the host local housing market, as landlease communities, manufactured home communities, mobile home parks, even trailer parks & camps.*3

So, what contemporary landlease community trends are afoot today? They’re many. So let’s begin with how national ‘Advocacy, Research, & Resources’, for this property type, are presently handled. For starters, national political and regulatory agency ‘advocacy’ is, and has been handled for the past 16 years, by the Manufactured Housing Institute’s National Communities Council (‘NCC’) division, headquartered in Arlington, VA. If you’re reading this, and own/operate one or more landlease communities, you owe it to yourself and your peers, to join and participate as a direct member of MHI’s NCC. To do so, phone Bruce Savage via (703) 558-0666 & 0678.

Earlier this year, the Center for Manufactured Housing Studies or CMHS, was formed as a new, national not for profit entity, to shoulder the ‘research’ needs of landlease communities (Think aforementioned ALLEN REPORT, etc..), HUD Code manufactured housing, and affordable housing. And in time, it’s envisioned CMHS will become the long – awaited and much – needed Think Tank of our ‘double dual industry’. Want to become involved on the ground floor of this exciting initiative? At present, we’re simply collecting names and contact information from seriously interested business owners and corporate executives who understand how much an independent, third party ‘research’ entity can do for our industry and asset class. Contact me via the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. No commitments solicited at this time.

And as you likely know, comprehensive ‘resource’ servicing, for the entire asset class, has long been handled by GFA Management, Inc., dba PMN Publishing. Virtually all How To information, portfolio news, and property type – related communication; as well as professional property management training and certification (e.g. Manufactured Housing Manager® or MHM® designation), along with national education, interpersonal networking, & realty deal – making, have been handled in this fashion for three decades. But also know, ‘change is in the wind’, and maybe by this time next year….

The biggest trend evolution during the past 30 years, besides property ownership consolidation (e.g. from 25 known portfolio owners/operators in 1989, to 500+/- in 2012), has been the willingness – by necessity, to preserve physical and economic occupancy – of property owners to 1) BUY NEW manufactured homes direct from factories*4, 2) SELL THEM, as well as resale homes, on – site; and 3) when necessary, engage in on form or another of SELF – FINANCE of said on – site transactions*5, whether via contract sale’, ‘captive finance’, lease – option; or lately, with the intrusive presence of the S.A.F.E. Act and provisions of the Dodd – Frank Law, simply as rental units.

Professional property management, as much as we’d like to see it ‘really take root’ throughout the landlease community real estate asset class, simply hasn’t! Sure there’re 225+/- Certified Property Manager® members of the prestigious Institute of Real Estate Management who claim affinity, on IREM’s website, with the property type – but few CPM®s are day to day practitioners. And yes, there’re nearly 1,000 MHM®s that have been trained and designated during the past decade, but only 200+/- Accredited Community Managers® (or ACM®s), the latter via auspices of MHI’s Manufactured Housing Educational Institute. Want to prove this paucity in PM credentials to yourself? Review any list of public and private portfolio firms active in this unique, income – producing property type, and observe which executives have been trained and certified as CPM®s, MHM®s, ACM®s, even CCIM®s. Why is this an important shortfall to identify and, in time, correct? Because such specialized training and formal certification, followed by on – the – job application of professional property management principles and practices, is the first major step in addressing the perennial, negative, public image issues presently plaguing HUD Code manufactured housing and landlease communities from coast to coast! So, are you trained and certified as a professional property manager of landlease communities? Do YOU understand and apply professional property management principles and practices in the daily ownership or supervision of your landlease community and or portfolio thereof? *6

Past, minor, and maybe long term miscellaneous trends? Little to no new raw land development – into – landlease communities is occurring today, other than in oil shale ‘fracking’ regions. ‘Park closures’ are pretty much a thing of the past, at least until commercial real estate values ‘reset’, and ‘highest & best use’ of functionally obsolete landlease communities is once again viewed as being big box retail store parking lots. While long term leases were, and in some places continue to be, ‘all the rage’ among some very large property portfolio owners/operators and tenant activist groups, in some local housing markets across the U.S., the verbal, 30 day lease continues to be preferred by many landlease community homeowner/lessees. And almost everyone knows today’s meaning of the acronym ROC; specifically, ‘Resident – owned community’! In ‘years past’ however, the acronym was the name of a popular property portfolio firm. Remember ROC Communities? Recall what the letters ROC stood for? *7

Where do we go from here? That’s pretty much up to you. As you might suspect, there’s quite a bit more information that could be conveyed, than what’s contained in this two part ‘State of the MHIndustry & LLCommunity Asset Class’!’ But for blog space purposes, I’ve had to scale it back quite a bit. Want to learn more? Read on….

The point is this. If you’ve not heard some, even much of this information before, contact your state’s MHAssociation executive AND chairman of your association’s board of directors or governors, to suggest this sort of comprehensive presentation would be ‘good and needed fodder’ for your group’s next annual meeting, or even before then. Frankly, I work inexpensively, requesting my travel and hotel expenses be covered, along with a voluntary honorarium. Interested? I hope you are. Phone (317) 346-7156.


How Many New HUD Code Homes to be Shipped During 2012???

We’ve just learned of key data suggesting 64,500 new HUD Code homes might be shipped during all of year 2012. If that happens, it’ll be a 25 percent increase above the 51,618 new HUD Code homes shipped during year 2011. AND, if that 25 percent increase holds true, the ‘next pithy question’, in this industry observer’s mind, will be: ‘What percentage of that increase in shipment volume can be attributed directly to ‘fracking’ projects in various regions of the U.S.? AND, will said production stimulus continue for ‘how many years?’ OR, will it be short lived, and in time, be synonymous with the (hurricane) Katrina factor of nearly ten years ago (i.e. 2005 & 2005)?

Next week we’ll share the key data and calculation methodology used to craft the previous paragraph.

End Notes.

1. Double dual industry. Which is to say/write: HUD Code home manufacturing & distribution (i.e. inclusive of independent ‘street’ & company store MHRetailers) AND landlease community development & investment (i.e. though, of late, ‘investment & operations’ is a more accurate description of the latter half the ‘double dual industry’ relationship. GFA

2. ALLEN REPORT is published as a free lagniappe in the January issue of the Allen Letter professional journal. If you’d like a copy of the 23rd edition, simply phone the MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 & subscribe to the Allen Letter. If you or your firm, owns/operates five or more landlease communities and or more than 500 rental homesites, and are not included in this year’s list of 127 ‘major players’, phone the same number and ask to be included in the 2013 report, to be researched during September & October of 2012.

3. If you’d like to order a copy of a book, for $10.00, that covers this subject in more detail, call the above – reference MHIndustry HOTLINE, and ask for Landlease Communities, Manufactured Home Communities, Mobile Home Parks, Trailer Courts & Camps, and Affordable Housing, PMN Publishing

4. Often ordering Community Series Homes designed and built with features that increase the durability of these homes. For a list of CSH features, and the Business Development Managers & HUD Code manufacturers who specialize in CSH models, phone the above – referenced MHIndustry HOTLINE.

5. Mortgage $ now carried by landlease community owners/operators, on homes they own and finance, on – site, has skyrocketed from an unknown few million dollars at the turn of the century to $ 3 ½ billion in year 2009, and up to $5.2 billion by end of year 2010. No upward or downward movement of $ in 2011.

6. For CPM® training & certification, phone (312) 329-6000. For MHM® training & certification program alternatives (i.e. classroom & correspondence course), phone (317) 346-7156. For ACM® training & certification training, phone (703) 558-0666 or 0678.

7. ROC: River Oaks Communities, a.k.a. ROC Communities; eventually merged with Chateau Properties, to become the REIT, Chateau Communities, Inc.

George Allen, CPM®Emeritus, MHM®Master
Consultant to the Factory – built Housing Industry, the Landlease Community Real Estate Asset Class, &
Affordable Housing Purists & Enthusiasts Nationwide

Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156

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