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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Harold Hunt’

TMHA’s Pendleton on Amarillo, Manufactured Home Placements in Urban and Suburban Areas

July 28th, 2017 Comments off

UrbanSuburbanPlacementManufacturedHomesAmarilloTxDJPendletonTMHAZillowDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsThe City of Amarillo, Texas, has approved permits for the construction or renovation of 104 manufactured homes – which is more than double the number of last year.  It is also the highest total number of permits yet, per the Amarillo Globe News.

In our industry, the biggest problem we have is that when people think of a mobile home, they think of their great-grandma’s trailer,” Texas Manufactured Home Association Executive Director DJ Pendleton told the local newspaper. “People hear ‘mobile home’ and automatically go to the worst image in their brain. Really, it’s an incredibly regulated product that has to go through federal building codes as well as state and local regulations.”

You can get a lot more house for the same amount of money,” said Texas A&M University Real Estate Center research economist, Harold Hunt.

Hunt has previously shared articles with MHLivingNews.com.  He knows and sees the value – and need for – the use of more manufactured homes, today.

Hunt said, “And with a lot of them today, it’s hard to distinguish the inside from any other house. We’re talking about a lot more affordable housing, which is a big issue in the state right now.”

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Dr. Harold Hunt has studied manufactured homes in his state, and is clearly supportive of their value, and need. To see one of his reports, click the image collage above, which were provided by Hunt and the Real Estate Center.

Amarillo Compared to Other Cities

Potter-Randall Appraisal District encompasses 4,499 manufactured homes, well above similar districts surrounding Columbus, Ga. (1,424), Rochester, Minn. (1,777), Greeley, Colo. (2,238) and Lubbock (3,151),” per the Globe News.

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DJ Pendleton. Credit: MHProNews.

Sure, we need to continue efforts to grow our presence in the more densely populated urban centers where population growth and housing demand drive large market potential,” Pendleton told MHProNews, “But bread and butter rural modest and lower income small Texas cities and towns must stay open for business when it comes to manufactured housing.”

The Globe News explained how manufactured home owner, Tammy Deterts’ property, about an acre of land north of the Amarillo city limits, has served her, her son, daughter-in-law and grandson.

Deterts picked out nearly everything on the interior of her 16-by-80-foot home, including the flooring, drapes and carpet — all of which would have been unaffordable in a built-to-suit stationary house,” the Globe News reported

When we want to crank up our music, we can,” Deterts’ said. “(If) we want to have a big get-together with family, we’ve got the space to do that. In apartments, you don’t get that.”

Pendleton told MHProNews that overall, the Globe News report was fair and balanced, though it had a few imprecise points in terminology.

More open-minded cities, like Amarillo, prove the point that when given even a relatively fair playing field to compete, manufactured housing can thrive,” said the TMHA’s executive director.  “The issue is keeping and fighting to keep or even regain those level playing fields in similar cities, because it is hard to get out there and show really what all you can do and offer if you aren’t allowed off the bench.”

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Harper’s Op-Ed on a related issue can be found at this link here, or by clicking the image above.

In an Op-Ed on a related issue, neighboring Arkansas Executive Director JD Harper  thanked Rev. Donald Tye Jr. and MHProNews for underscoring the need to push enhanced preemption with HUD.

Doing so, as Pendleton, Harper and other industry professionals know, would grow sales and ease the housing crunch in numerous markets.

This Globe News story,

are all among the examples that demonstrate why the misconceptions are just that – a lack of understanding of the facts about HUD Code manufactured homes today.

Will more cities take Amarillo’s lead and increase the availability of manufactured housing to solve the housing crisis? # # (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

JuliaGranowiczManufacturedHomeLivingNewsMHProNews-comSubmitted by Julia Granowicz to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

 

 

 

Closer Look, VERMOD’s ZEM= Zero Energy Modular – ‘Manufactured Home Replacement’

June 27th, 2017 Comments off
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Photo credits are as shown above, collage and text credits, MHProNews.com. All third party content is shown under fair use guidelines.

Being “green” is all the rage for millions of Americans.  Indeed, sustainability is good – and all forms of modern factory building are demonstrably more sustainable than their on-site built counterparts tend to be.  Just the reduction in wasted materials, which sources say runs about 30 percent, is significant for the environment and for holding down the costs of construction.

In some states, such as California, being green is a looming mandate. For example, GreenTechMedia reports that in CA,  “By 2020, the hope is that the state’s Codes and Standards board will regulate ZNE homes [Zero Net Energy]. As with any ambitious project, the devil is in the details.”

 

In Vermont, VERMOD is making news with their ZEM.

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ZEM is short for Zero Energy Modular.  It’s designed to do as claimed, saving their home owners significant dollars on the energy usage side (see chart further below).

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To get some clarity on the facts not covered by mainstream media reports, MHProNews contacted the builders of the ZEM, and did some follow up questions in the wake of a story that is found at this link. Phoebe Howe replied for their company.

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Interior ZEM photo provided at the request of MHProNews by Phoebe Howe.

Q1) What building code is the ZEM made to, please?

PhoebeHoweZEMprogramCoordnatorEfficiencyVermontVERMODManufacturedModularHousingIndustryResearchReportsDataDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsZEM is a modular home, meets the latest IBC requirements, is set directly on a frost protected foundation and is built to meet the Efficiency Vermont Certified: High Performance standard,” Howe said, providing a link to additional information (see download above for more details).

Q2) Was the energy use data broken out by pre-HUD Code homes – true mobile homes – and post 1976 Code Manufactured Housing?

The comparison looks at a new HUD manufactured home delivered today in the same climate, Vermont, with the same program elements (square footage, beds, bath and geometry) as compared to a ZEM,” Howe said, again, see the link above for more details.

Q3) What size is the ZEM, total cost at retail, cost per square foot?

The ZEM homes are custom designed and come in many different configurations but are primarily designed to replace single wide and double wide manufactured homes in parks and on private land.  Most homes are a 14x70ft single box or 26x42ft two box home. The completed homes run approximately $120/sf FOB, which includes a full ENERGY STAR appliance package including dishwasher, clothes washer and ventless heat pump dryer in addition to a ductless cold climate heat pump for heating and cooling, heat pump water heater and fresh air ventilation system. 

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Photo provided at the request of MHProNews by Phoebe Howe.

With crawlspace foundation, delivery, set, utility hookup, and solar, the homes run approximately $160/sf.,” once more added information was provided by Howe, which is shown in the graphic below.

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Credits are as shown above.

Apples to Apples?

It isn’t easy to determine from the information VERMOD provided if this is a standard manufactured home insulation package they’re comparing to their ZEM or not.  The implication is that it is the same size, but the HUD Code home could be a standard model, as opposed to an upgraded insulation or Energy Star ™ rated home.

As Dr. Harold Hunt pointed out in the snippet quoted below, those involved in ordering manufactured homes know that virtually all builders offer upgraded insulation packages.  There are not many HUD Code builders at this time that offer a net zero production model, but several companies are doing testing and sales of such designs, as the Daily Business News and MHLivingNews have reported.

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To learn more about Dr. Hunt’s research on manufactured homes and energy usage, click here or the link above. https://www.manufacturedhomelivingnews.com/not-your-grandfathers-trailer-house/

Howe would find wide agreement among retailers and communities who say that many customers care more about the down payment and monthly payment than total costs (see payment chart above).

What is certain is that while the monthly payment shown in the VERMOD example is lower, it is also lower because of incentives offered, plus a 50 percent longer loan term.  Apples to apples on the loan term, the ZEM would clearly be higher.

It’s also worth noting that with a shift in U.S. energy policy being signaled in the Trump Administration, energy costs may not be rising at the same rates as we’ve seen in the past 8 years.  See our linked report above on that topic.

The builder of the ZEM states that they are scheduled out for several months.  So their project seems to be stable and doing well, based upon the current dynamics of energy rebates and other incentives that are artificially lowering those costs to the buyers of a ZEM.

MHProNews and our sister site, MHLivingNews, will continue to track such developments, to keep professionals, investors, and the public informed.

We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis.)

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.

NRDC, ACEEE on DOE Energy Rule Proposals – Analysis – Helpful or Harmful for Consumers, Manufactured Housing Industry?

September 2nd, 2016 Comments off
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Logo collage, each logo is the property of their respective organization, and is used here under fair use guidelines. Photo, Dennis Raper, chain saw artist and supervisor at Sunshine Homes, with Energy Star home under construction in the background (credit, still from video on MHLivingNews.com).

Lauren Urbanek, writing for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), is among the recent writers and policy advocates expressing their support for the Department of Energy (DOE) proposed revised standards for manufactured housing (MH).

Building on a report on the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) done by Senior Policy Advisor Lowell Ungar, Ph.D., Urbanek mimics Ungar’s findings in touting projected benefits for manufactured housing and its potential home owners.

LauraUrbanek-credit-NRDC-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-But who is the NRDC?  How accurate is the information (ACEEE) that they’re basing their claims on about manufactured homes?  Are there facts that have been glossed over, ignored or overlooked by NRDC, ACEEE, the DOE and others?

And will this specific type of media attention harm or help manufactured housing and its recovery from the bottom hit in 2009?

NRDC’s Self-Description

From the NRDC’s website, “We combine the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.”

Headquartered in New York City, NY, they have other offices in:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago, IL
  • Bozeman, MT
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Beijing, China

Clearly, this is a significant organization shining its light on the manufactured housing industry, and the energy efficiency of our HUD Code MH producers’ homes.

But the sheer scope of this organization doesn’t mean that clean air, less-waste and thus greener and energy-saving manufactured home professionals should be intimidated by their influence.

Rather, their scope ought to be a call to action to by professionals to engage this group, and encourage them and others to take a closer look.  Only by truly understanding the realities of what today’s HUD Code manufactured homes already are, can move advocacy groups from being skeptics or critics and advance to becoming natural allies (pun intended) for the MH Industry, and millions of potential homeowners.

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Collage from ACEEE article by Lowell Unger, Ph.D. Text graphic by MHProNews.

Non-Profits, Media and Manufactured Housing

MH Industry professionals have seen this kind of non-profit pushed, media-geared promotional efforts before.  One vivid example is the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA 2008), which gave the nation and manufactured housing the SAFE Act as well as “Duty to Serve.”  How did that work out for the MH Industry and its professionals?

The Washington, D.C. based Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has repeatedly raised the warning flags against this DOE proposal.

Initially embraced by members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), more recently that Arlington, VA based group have said in their soon-to-be-retired communications email, the Week in Review, that they too are now urging restraint on the Department of Energy (DOE – see their letter, linked here).

The NRDC’s headline is the first clue that advocacy is at play, “Standards for Manufactured Housing Will Mean Higher Quality and Better Comfort.” But that misses a key fact. Manufactured housing has had performance-based federal standards for over 40 years.

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Collage from NRDC, text graphic, by MHProNews.

LowellUngerSeniorPolicyAdvisor-credit-ACEEE-postedDailyBusinessNews-MHProNews-Ungar’s ACEEE pro-DOE proposal post fails to cite sources or to use proper terminology.  When someone who has had the rigorous academic training needed to obtain a doctorate fails to get the basics correct, what is to be expected of the rest of Unger’s work?

Dr Harold Hunt, Ph.D, in an article found on MHLivingNews, has cast a favorable light on modern manufactured housing, its green features, including energy savings. See Hunt’s report, linked here.

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Collage above is from the article posted on MHLivingNews, by Dr. Harold Hunt. To see the article, click here or the image above.

A review by MHProNews’ Daily Business News of what is going understated by these advocacy-driven media reports is this; that the estimated costs for implementing these rules are higher than is expected to be recouped in a typical 7- to 10-year ownership period common for most homebuyers.

To rephrase, the cost-benefit numbers are upside-down for potential buyers. The ROI may be there after 12 to 20 years of ownership, but they are often lacking for 10 years or less. During that long window of time, what advances might occur that makes the current proposal or needs obsolete?

Also underplayed or ignored are those MH Industry voices that say that this proposed regulation, as is true of any other, will fall disproportionately harder on smaller, independent builders.

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Formaldehyde-free insulation is being used in the Energy Star rated home shown, still from video below. This producer is now building only to Energy Star standards.

The Daily Business News recently reported on the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) in-depth study on the impact of regulations on their builders, see that link here, which includes a link to the NAHB’s so-called Priced-Out Report.

The NAHB Priced Out report demonstrates that hundreds of thousands of prospective home buyers would be knocked out of the opportunity to buy, in this case, all in the name of an energy plan that does not pay for itself in a timely fashion.

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Jerry and his wife Karen McKibben are featured in the video shown below. Jerry is an engineer by trade, and both praised the construction, quality, appeal and the energy savings in their manufactured home. They previously owned an conventional house, as well as a pre-HUD Code mobile home.

What Do Manufactured Home Owners say?

Perhaps no one in manufactured housing today has done more third-party video interviews with manufactured home owners than is found in the Inside MH Road Show series, found on MHLivingNews.com.  One of the common questions interviewed homeowners are asked about is regarding their utility bills.  How does the manufactured home they now own compare to their prior housing in energy costs?

MH homeowners routinely report that they are paying less for their utility bills then when they owned conventional, site-built housing.

 

 

Such points ought to lead objective researchers to what appears to be a critical oversights by each of these well-meaning advocates who are pushing the DOE proposed rule on manufactured housing.

Perhaps the biggest fallacy of this entire DOE proposal is that it doesn’t respect the consumers right to choose.  Energy Star rated manufactured homes are already available. Some manufacturers specialize in energy saving, and some even offer “net zero” factory-built homes. Upgraded insulation can already be ordered from almost any producer by any consumer who wants it.

Why not let the consumer choose for himself? Isn’t that the American Way?

Going into this Labor Day weekend, manufactured housing ought to tout itself for what it already is – greener than conventional, on-site housing construction, and often half the cost of conventional building, backed by warranties and federal performance and state/federal installation standards.

When even frugal millionaires are buying manufactured homes, doesn’t that speak volumes?

The NRDC, ACEEE and others ought to revisit their report in the light of a better, more global understanding of what manufactured housing has already accomplished for some 20 (+/-) million Americans. The DOE in turn should heed the concerns of manufactured housing industry professionals. The proposed cure could cost the industry and potentially tens of thousands of renters and housing shoppers every month a golden opportunity at becoming homeowners.  ##

(Image credits as shown above).

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: As the insightful report yesterday by Joe Dyton reflects, MHProNews is welcoming periodic guest writers. ICYMI, Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim).

Article submitted by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach to the Daily Business News, MHProNews.com.