‘This is a very Critical Issue!’
November 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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INTRODUCTION: Wow! FHFA & GSE Listening Sessions are off to a ‘flying start’ – with much good and timely input from the manufactured housing market! And, in this blog posting, we introduce a NEW FOCUS for the weekly communique! Hope you take good advantage of what’s being offered to you. Finally; if we don’t talk again beforehand, here’s wishing YOU a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. GFA
“This is a very critical issue!”
Clinton Jones, FHFA
(During beginning of St. Louis, MO. Listening Session)
40 men and women sitting in the amphitheater of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, at first 2019 Listening Session hosted by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Me & Freddie Mac (Enterprises). Audience was divided among the hosting organizations, and representatives from the Affordable Housing Preservation, Manufactured Housing, & Rural Housing Markets.
Once Jim Gray, from FHFA, explained Guidelines for this Listening Session, and how questions would be processed – from GSEs to scheduled presenters, the listening sessions got underway.
For the purposes of this blog posting, I’m limiting my observations to those pertaining to the manufactured housing market.
The national manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class were represented by four individuals, in the following order:
George Allen, CPM, MHM of EducateMHC. This presentation, titled: ‘Two+ Decades of Manufactured Housing Shipment & Finance Turmoil (1998 – 2020) Can End with Help from FHFA & GSEs!’ debuted nationwide, last week, as blog posting # 560. So, when done reading this blog posting (#561), scroll back into the blog archives to reread # 560. This presentation will also be featured in the December issue of the Allen Letter, via www.educatemhc.com.
Edward Hussey, Jr., VP of Liberty Homes, Inc., and chairman of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (‘MHARR’), did an excellent job describing regulatory-related matters, progress and failures, where Duty to Serve (‘DTS’) programs have been concerned at Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac of late. While Mr. Hussey’s remarks are available directly from the MHARR, it’s anticipated they’ll also be featured in an upcoming issue of the Allen Letter.
Spencer Roane, MHM, president of Pentagon Properties, Inc., a portfolio land lease community owner/operator, delivered an impassioned presentation from his unique community ownership perspective, honed over 30+ years. Mr. Roane is one of many community owners/operators who’ve turned the ‘lemon into lemonade’, two decades long paradigm shift – from distribution of new HUD-Code homes via independent (street) MHRetailers, to new home sales & seller-financing on-site, from a forced burden into a near art form of profitability. Mr. Roane’s presentation too will likely appear as a feature article in the Allen Letter.
Kara Beigay, of the Manufactured Housing Institute did a superb job representing MHI, articulating concerns about GSE’s checkered progress, relative to existing DTS programs and plans for the next several years. She also used her talk to introduce the audience to CROSS-MOD, the name MHI has finally given their ‘new type’ manufactured home designed to qualify for Fannie Mae’s CHOICEhomes & Freddie Mac’s MHAdvantage programs. What was unique here, but not surprising, was how examples, shortfalls, etc., cited by all three presenters paralleled one another. For a copy of Ms. Beigay’s presentation, contact MHI directly.
Here’re several out of context remarks made during Tuesday, 19 November Listening Session:
FHFA would like to see ‘a new research center’ birthed by MHI – or, barring that, any other entity closely aligned with the HUD-Code manufactured housing industry and land lease community real estate asset class. Anyone ‘out there’ listening and inspired? Hmm. Am thinking
FHFA and the GSEs challenged Listening Session participants to suggest ways to make the CHOICEhomes & MHAdvantage programs more marketable in general, more attractive to prospective homebuyers in particular. Consider identical ‘specs’ for both programs!
A surprising sidebar realization occurred when it became apparent land lease communities might well be eligible for GSE consideration under Affordable Housing Market parameters – somewhere we haven’t been before. I’ll be looking into this in our behalf.
Finally. The GSEs were warned to ensure mortgages they’re writing on land lease communities are not being ‘set up for failure’, due to extravagant rental homesite rate increases. How to tell? Research HUD’s new Fair Market Rent (‘FMR’) stats per specific geographic region, and compare with said site rents (e.g. Divide FMR$ by ‘3’ for estimated and historic equivalent)
ANSWERS! A New Emphasis for This Blog
Every land lease community owner/operator faces unique and changing challenges within a particular property or throughout one’s portfolio of communities. The goal is to identify these internal challenges and solve them in the most efficient manner possible.
In this instance, let’s begin with the safety and security of one’s on-site staff when ‘showing product’, whether selecting a vacant rental homsite for one’s new or resale home; or, walking through one or more model or ‘spec’ homes available for purchase. Have you considered or taught measures to reduce personal risk during these routine leasing and sales tasks?
Well, a few years ago, during a Manufactured Housing Manager (‘MHM’) professional property management certification class, this question was raised by a veteran on-site manager. We discussed the matter as a class, and came up with a few practical measures. I recorded them, and during several more MHM classes, elicited response on this subject, from candidates.
Today, and for some time now, a list of ’10 Helpful Steps to Manager & Leasing Consultant Safety’ has been part of the MHM curriculum. Now it’s Appendix # 45 in the 8th edition of the Community Management in the Manufactured Housing Industry textbook!
Sample ‘helpful steps’? “Never walk into a house or room first; be the one to follow!” & “Carry a small but very loud whistle with which to summon help!” And there’re eight more great tips!
To order a copy of this valuable property management text, simply visit www.educatemhc.com
And since a copy of this 250 pages property management text is given to every MHM candidate during all Manufactured Housing Manager classes, consider attending one! Next MHM class is scheduled for 14 January 2020 in Louisville, KY – the day before the Louisville MHShow begins. Visit website or phone Official MHIndustry HOTLINE: (877) MFD-HSNG or 633-4764 to register.
George Allen, CPM, MHM
Box # 47024, Indianapolis, IN. 46247 (317) 346-7156