Potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views
COBA7® via community-investor.com Blog # 334 Copyright @ 1 February 2015
Perspective. ‘Land-lease-lifestyle Communities, a.k.a. manufactured home communities and ‘mobile home parks’, comprise the real estate component of manufactured housing.’
This blog posting is the primary national advocacy voice, official ombudsman, research reporter, & online communication media for all LLLCommunities in North America!
To input this blog &/or affiliate with Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, a.k.a. COBA7®, use Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764.
Introduction to this week’s COBA7® blog posting at community-investor.com website:
13 must be this week’s ‘lucky number’ for blog floggers (readers), since that’s the number of News & Views described in the following paragraphs. And hey, when you see, read or hear of MH-related matters to likely interest our peers, let me know ASAP!
The Occasional Potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views!
Collection of News & Op/ed Bites, Interesting to Read & Ponder
COURTESY. There’s at least one, and maybe the only one, HUD-Code home manufacturer executive, who answers the telephone, accepting calls from businessmen and women in the MHIndustry. Recently, a young home designer in southern California heeded my advice and phoned this particular CEO. He not only took her call, but assisted with factory connections she needed to expedite the fabrication of a prototype two story HUD-Code home with a small footprint. Guess who’ll likely get her business in the future, as she markets this forward-looking home design? A unique home design, by the way, featuring ‘green materials’, modern interior & exterior finishes, energy efficiency & photovoltaic-ready options. ‘You GO, Sabrina!’
FROST FREE FOUNDATIONS®. Speaking of HUD-Code home manufacturers. COBA7® recently polled HUD-Code home manufacturers, requesting sample Installation Manuals featuring factory-approved Frost Free Foundation® protocols. Once research is complete, we’ll inform land-lease-lifestyle community (a.k.a. manufactured home community) owners/operators, from coast-to-coast, which HUD-Code home manufacturers, by including HUD-approved FFF® protocols in their Installation Manuals, are helping them avoid expensive retrofitting (i.e. estimated minimum of $5,000 per site) of performing foundations on rental homesites! Bottom line? Guess where informed LLLCommunity owners/operators will likely purchase their new homes in the future?
DOE STANDARDS. One LLLCommunity owner/operator, who sells and self-finances new HUD-Code homes on-site says, “I see a possible silver lining relative to DOE standards. If they come with a reasonable payback period, financially-challenged home buyers might well be able to afford our homes! And maybe we should be sending the ‘energy tax credit’ directly to homebuyers, to be used as part of their down payment. If legally doable, such a move would add many potential homebuyers to the prospect pool, rather than keeping them from it. GREEN and AFFORDABLE; now we’d have something to SELL!”
RENT vs. BUY HOMES. Another LLLCommunity owners/operator opines: “A reemerging business model appears to emphasize ‘rental homes’ as opposed to ‘buying homes’ in LLLCommunities. While I’m a strong proponent of filling vacant rental homesites via lease-option, to families with a ‘buyer’ mentality, many of today’s prospects don’t want home payments and maintenance responsibilities, preferring to rent their homes. From my perspective, ‘rentals’ are more management & maintenance intense, and experience higher turnover & more rehab costs, making frequent inspection of home interiors a necessity.” Five Tips for Successful MHRental operation, assuming tacit support of one’s local housing market: provide truly habitable shelter, establish & enforce screening standards, collect rent weekly not monthly, enforce posted rules & regulations, and inspect interiors regularly while changing air filters and engaging in pest control.
COBA7®. Did you read the Chapter # 1 of ‘COBA7® History’ in the 26th annual ALLEN REPORT, a.k.a. ‘Who’s Who Among LLLCommunity Portfolio Owners/operators Throughout North America!’? If not, the ALLEN REPORT is still available for purchase @ $544.95 (postpaid), or via Option II affiliation (same $ amount) with COBA7®. Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to order or affiliate. Year 2015 is one of likely transition for the Community Owners (7 Part) Business Alliance®, as affiliates grow in number from more than 200 now, to 400 by year end 2015. For more information and to affiliate, use the COBA7® brochure attached to the BEBA (Blast Email Blog Alert) introducing this week’s blog posting at community-investor.com
HUD & UL. A manufactured housing industry pioneer opines: “Whoa ________! I guess you’re not a fan of big government. Well, neither am I, but guess we’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future. I see NO charm in seeking government aid in any fashion, but it’s my opinion the HUD-Code is a done deal. One option would be to negotiate with UL, or some other credible independent party, to replace HUD, and pay what it costs – probably no more than we already pay at present. That worked well in Canada, the last I knew. But even that would require a degree of leadership and industry cooperation that’s nowhere in sight. I suspect we’re stuck.”
NO to AD CAMPAIGN. From yet another MHIndustry pioneer opines: “Never mind a national ad campaign! We have no significant single market to address. Our industry has become a game of niches, just as it used to be. So the best course is to utilize our one great strength: low construction cost, to provide the nation with good low coast housing everywhere we can, however we can. Build no trash! Clean up our soggy image – the most important thing we can do. For that, we’ve clearly demonstrated we need someone hovering over all our shoulders, lest we cheat. Our industry is as honest as any other, but we’ve earned ourselves a terrible image and we can’t afford backsliders.”
YES to AD CAMPAIGN. “Speaking of selling, someone mentioned selling GREEN as part of a national campaign. I for one, have had enough of the stonewalling on the national campaign issue. It is painfully obvious the controlling interests in manufacturing are not interested in pursing this strategy. We may have to work through state associations to raise money for a campaign. Car dealer networks pay to have commercials made that can be bought into by individual dealers, and then at end of the commercial, they insert a ‘tag’ with the dealer’s info and short message. That way the heavy cost of production is spread amongst users. I see this as having to be regional. If I am selling houses in Indiana, I don’t want palm trees or desertscapes in my commercial, and I’m sure desert dealers don’t want oak trees and streams.”
CHRIS STINEBERT. If you were listening to NPR radio on 28 January, you likely heard MHI’s former president & CEO, Chris Stinebert, now with the American Financial Services Association (‘ASFA’), in discussion with other auto finance execs, discussing used car loans and subprime financing of same, with all its’ challenges. Chris handled himself well in the face of sometimes stiff questioning by other radio program guests. Just goes to show you, there’s life after manufactured housing….
AFFORDABILITY of HOUSING. “Housing expenditures are conventionally considered affordable if they do not exceed 30 percent of family or household income. Since 1975, housing has become increasingly unaffordable for poor and minority families, and households with children that are burdened by housing costs has more than doubled. Sixty-five percent of children in low-income families now live in households that are ‘housing cost burdened’, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing-related expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance.” This quoted from ‘Housings’s & Neighborhood’s Role in Shaping Children’s Future’, a feature article in the Fall 2014 issue of HUD’s EVIDENCE MATTERS publication, page #7.
SUPERBOWL 2015. According to media reports, its estimate that at least 46 percent of those viewing tonight’s Superbowl Game will be women. As a result, watch to see how much of the program material, throughout the day, is geared towards the woman viewer.
ALLEN LETTER professional journal for February 2015. Besides carrying Part II of the series parsing the past, present, and future of HUD-Code manufactured housing & the LLLCommunity real estate asset class, there’ll be at least three lagniappes: the Signature Series Resource Document: ‘Official State of the MHIndustry & LLLCommunity Asset Class!’ outline to use when you brief employees, stakeholders, etc.. And there’s a really handy month-by-month Maintenance Checklist for Manufactured Homes, prepared by the Factory-built Owners of America! You’ll want to copy and distribute this seminal HOW TO document to all your residents. And Robert Coldren, esquire, has prepared an interesting piece describing his newest project: El Dorado! The Allen Letter professional journal is available only to COBA7® affiliates. So, if YOU own/operate one or more LLLCommunities, you owe it to yourself to be reading this timely, helpful monthly material. Affiliate with COBA7® today! Simply phone the Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764. This sort of information is available from no other source in the U.S. and Canada today!
COST EFFECTIVE MEANS of FILLING VACANT RENTAL HOMESITES. I’m cautiously optimistic about the viability of this ‘whole new method’ of filling vacant rental homesites with new HUD-Code homes, especially in the smaller, one-off LLLCommunities NOT in anyone’s property portfolio. Seriously. Just learned of the unique opportunity, so will be researching and ‘proofing’ the methodology during the next week or two, before ‘going public’ with a step-by-step description in the Allen CONFIDENTIAL! business newsletter, then the Allen Letter professional journal. So, as they say, ‘stay tuned’ and be prepared (hopefully) to help set our industry on its’ ear, as we sell and ship more new HUD-Code homes during year 2015, than any previous year since 97,000 in 2007!
Well, that about does it for this week’s potpourri of MHIndustry News & Views! Hope you enjoyed it…