Newsy Notes from arouond the MHIndustry!
Blog # 434 Copyright @ 19 February 2017; community-investor.com
Perspective. ‘Land lease communities, previously manufactured home communities, & ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’
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Newsy Notes from around the MHIndustry!
• MHI’s Winter meeting in San Antonio attracted more than 100 participants! 24 of whom were owners/operators of land lease communities; 18 HUD-Code home manufacturing firm representatives, 18 state MHAssociation executives, 14 lenders from ‘both sides of the aisle’, seven suppliers, six MHRetailers, and a smattering of attorneys, insurance agents, and several new friends from FHFA and both GSEs. Central message? ‘New administration in Washington, DC., likely business-friendly; and hopefully, a relaxed regulatory climate for all!’ But guess which HUD staffer no one would talk about, despite prodding from Mr. Kovach. Makes one stop and wonder, ‘Just who is it that makes policy decisions at MHI?’ And on a sad note: Helen, wife of Don Westphal, fell and broke her hip the last evening; so, reach out and send them your Get Well Wishes!
• Kurt Kelley, esquire, has launched Manufactured Housing Review, touted as online successor to Jim Visser’s print publication, The Journal. I’ve read the inaugural issue: good commentary by LLCommunity owner David Roden; and more. Let’s hope Kurt can avoid being the bully pulpit for irresponsible remarks, e.g. encouraging LLCommunity owners/operators to double their site rent rates during the year ahead.
• One HUD-Code home manufacturer is drawing ire of some land lease community customers, for what they describe as ‘major construction defects in single and multi section homes’, as well as less than marginal customer service and slow-to-no repayment for repairs after delivery. COBA7 is being pressed to provide a public forum where business customers can air these complaints, as apparently no national advocate for the manufactured housing industry will do so at this time. Geesh! And just when we’re, as an industry, starting to recover!
• Beg, borrow, or steal a copy of the March issue of the Allen Letter professional journal! Why? Lead article is a lightly edited reprint of the Santefort Real Estate Group ‘paper’ submitted to the Federal Housing Finance Agency at their Listening Session in Chicago a few weeks ago. The FHFA, I’m told, found it to be one of the most accurate and compelling descriptions of selling & seller-financing new HUD-Code homes on-site in land lease communities! AND, the 19th annual National Registry of ALL Lenders Serving the MHIndustry & LLCommunities, one of a dozen signature series resource documents (‘SSRDs’) updated month by month by COBA7, will be enclosed as a lagniappe for Option II & I II alliance affiliates. Trust me, you don’t want to miss either of these seminal documents! To affiliate with COBA7, simply phone (317) 346-7156.
• COBA7, as manufactured housing’s official historian, has been asked by several industry leaders to recalculate, as necessary, then republish annual new HUD-Code home shipment totals, going back at least a decade – maybe two, using unadulterated monthly figures supplied by the Institute for Building Technology & Safety (‘IBTS’) – HUD’s contractor for ‘keeping these records’. You see, IBTS does NOT publish annual shipment totals! Why? Because there’re always a few DESTINATION PENDING houses left each year (despite the fact one national advocate ‘assumes’ all are shipped to specific state destinations and reports accordingly). SO, this is a ‘proof exercise’ to ensure our ‘annual shipment history’, going forward, is based ONLY on IBTS monthly records, and not someone’s guesstimate relative to DESTINATION PENDING units. A copy of the finished ‘work product’ will be supplied to the RV/MH Hall of Fame library for reference purposes.
• I experienced a epiphany, of sorts, while participating in MHI’s Winter Meeting in San Antonio, TX. An answer, if you will, to what has ailed our industry ‘for decades’. What follows here is the Executive Summary from correspondence being submitted this week to the FHFA and both GSEs: “Many, if not most, manufactured housing mortgages, of the chattel capital or personal property type, on new homes destined for, if not already installed within, land lease communities, are configured as ‘risky’ investments (for the homeowner/site lessee & lender), rather than as ‘affordable’ arrangements! The root cause of this perennial, self-defeating lending practice has to do with ‘homebuyers/site lessees buying more home than they can truly afford’ – or being encouraged to do so, by those selling, and or originating mortgages on these homes.” The paper goes on to explain just how to make the change from ‘risky’ to ‘affordable’….And, copies of this document will be circulated, as an enclosure, to the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, appearing March 1, 2017.