Posts Tagged ‘Houston’

“I need to report a stolen house!” Couple Wants PreFab Home Returned

February 6th, 2018 Comments off


It’s a problem pretty unique to factory-built housing.


It’s happened occasionally in the U.S. before, as the link below reflects.

Stop, Manufactured Home “Thief”

A Houston couple wants their 20x 30 prefab vacation home returned to them, says KTRK.


Jo and Lonnie Harrison told Eyewitness News said they bought the 10-acre property with a prefab home already on site last year. The property where the home was in Madisonville, Texas.

If you spotted a one-bedroom, one-bathroom home with a green roof and wood siding being moved down the road recently near that area, law enforcement would love to hear from you.

Note, the two videos are somewhat different depictions of the same apparent criminal incident.

They visit the area to escape the problems found in a busy city. They last drove up to their property in early November.

The report doesn’t mention if the home was insured.  ## (News, analysis, fact-checks, and commentary.)

Thousands Get It. Sign Up Today! Click here to sign up in 5 seconds for the manufactured home industry’s leading – and still growing – emailed headline news updates. You’ll see in the first issue or two why big, medium and ‘mom-and-pop’ professionals are reading them by the thousands. These are typically delivered twice weekly to your in box.

Follow us on Twitter:

(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

Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

Housing “Overvalued,” Is a New Bubble Ahead?

August 2nd, 2017 Comments off

Frank Martell, President, CEO of CoreLogic. Images provided under fair use guidelines.

With no end to the escalation in sight, affordability is rapidly deteriorating nationally,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “While low mortgage rates are keeping the market affordable from a monthly payment perspective, affordability will likely become a much bigger challenge in the years ahead until the industry resolves the housing supply challenge.”

According to CBNC, the housing market in four of the major U.S. cities has now reached a point where pricing is unsustainable.

The housing market in the cities of Denver, Houston, Miami, and Washington D.C. have reached a point where they are no longer just expensive, they are overvalued.

How is Overvalued Defined?

An overvalued market, per CoreLogic, is determined by comparing current home prices to long-term sustainable prices. When the present price is 10 percent higher than the long-running sustainable ones, the market is considered to be overvalued.

Part of the reason for overvalued homes is due to a lack of available, affordable homes. As Daily Business News readers know from a recent article on supply and demand, when the demand is high and the supply is low, the price is driven up.


Grapic credit, LinkedIn. To see a video and basic supply and demand overview, click the image above.

The solution, presented in another recent Daily Business News article, is to build more homes. However, with the price of building materials and labor increasing, this is unlikely to bring down the market price of a new site-built home by much.


Frank Nothaft. chief economist at CoreLogic, credit, CoreLogic.

As of Q2 2017, the unsold inventory as a share of all households is 1.9 percent, which is the lowest Q2 reading in over 30 years,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.

What most of the nation overlooks, is what savvy manufactured home professionals know.  The answer to the affordable housing crisis is hiding in plain sight.

So why don’t more manufactured homes sell? Why aren’t people utilizing this solution to the affordable housing crisis?

In our industry, the biggest problem we have is that when people think of a


D.J. Pendleton. Credit, MHProNews.

mobile home, they think of their great-grandma’s trailer,” said DJ Pendleton, Executive Director of the Texas Manufactured Home Association.

Pendleton recently engaged the mainstream media regarding the placement of manufactured homes in a municipal area.  Demand has grown.


JD Harper has also sounded off on related issues that are keeping more manufactured homes from being sold in urban and suburban areas.

Thank you for your direct question to HUD’s Pam Danner about the City of Kilgore’s plans to further limit the placement of manufactured homes in that city,” Harper told MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach,  “I’ve repeatedly questioned why HUD and the administrator’s Office of Manufactured Housing Programs hasn’t acknowledged that preemption was significantly enhanced by the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000 (MHIA of 2000).”

Harper also addressed a topic raised by an Illinois legislator, who spoke of “economic racism.”


MarkWeissMHARRPresidentManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsFor reasons including those Harper cited, Mark Weiss, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has been pushing for the prompt change of leadership at HUD’s manufactured housing program.

Meanwhile, as a recent Masthead column noted, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) has entirely avoided the issue of Danner, HUD and a number of issues that are slowing the industry’s progress.

What ROC USA’s Paul Bradley has called the industry’s “lack of cohesion” is preventing more rapid growth.


Unfortunately, through years of misrepresentation, poorly interpreted data, and an all-too-common flow of negativity from the mainstream media – see this recent example – or a corresponding level of positive promotion has resulted in the current public image of manufactured housing.

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, Ph.D. 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.

From the Consumers Union, in a report from 2003, said, “Regarding differences in home price appreciation, manufactured homes sited on owned lots exhibit appreciation rates that are comparable to those of site-built homes.” 

HUDPD7RReportGraphicManufacturedHomeLivingNewsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsIn a HUD PD&R report, “Furthermore, several studies find no evidence of any impact of manufactured homes on the sale prices of adjacent properties (Apgar et al. 2002; Warner and Scheuer 1993; Stephenson and Shen 1997; Hegji and Mitchell 2000). Despite this evidence, community residents continue to harbor stereotypes against manufactured housing and will likely continue to appeal to local government officials to impose regulatory restrictions on such housing.”

To read the rest of that report and related, click here.

What those various industry professionals and reports reflect is this. What CoreLogic has identified, manufactured homes – along side other types of factory building – could be an important part of the solution.

As MHProNews recently reported, Amarillo has moved in the direction of manufactured housing to solve their housing crisis.  Will cities like Denver, Houston, Miami and Washington D.C. where the market prices are the highest, follow their lead? # # (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 Daily Business News on MHProNews.






County Zoning Administrator Aaron Lacher Opting Out “Granny Pod” Law

September 30th, 2016 Comments off

Aaron Lacher is the Planning and Zoning administrator in Houston County, MN. Photo credits: Daniel McGonigle/The Caledonia Argus.

Houston County, MN commissioners chose to opt out of a recently enacted state law at their meeting on September 20th.

Minnesota statute 394.307 (signed into law on May 12) “defines and regulates temporary family health care dwellings on residential property,” Houston County zoning administrator Aaron Lacher told the commissioners.

According to the Spring Grove Herald, many area communities have been opting out of this law.

Throughout the state, these portable, prefabricated housing units are typically a cross between a tiny home and a park model or RV.  They are commonly referred to as “Granny Pods.” They provide small but functional living space that can be navigated by someone using a wheelchair or walker.


Nextdoor Home. Credit: Kimm Anderson, St Cloud Times

There’s no public hearing required for these, and this [measure] became effective on Sept. 1. However, the law does permit counties and cities to opt out, which is what I recommend,” Lacher said.

According to what Mark Brunner, Executive Director of the Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association (MMHA) told MHProNews, while the bill passed the Legislature in record time, and was signed by the governor; the “opt out” ordinance language in the bill was a “must have” provision for the League of Minnesota Cities to not more aggressively oppose an otherwise popular bill.

As I understand it, based on some research that the Minnesota Association of Planning and Zoning Administrators did, is that there is a company based in the Metro [Minneapolis/St. Paul] area that lobbied strongly to get this law into the books,” Lacher told the Herald. “The law essentially describes the product that they manufacture, and allows it to be placed without the normal zoning checks that cities and counties have.”

In presenting his resolution to the commissioners, Lacher stated that the new law “erodes local control of the permitting process, limits a county’s ability to foster and guide development, and places undue burden on county staff to forgo standard permitting practices.”

His resolution also cites an existing zoning ordinance, which provides for the temporary installation of factory-built homes for family members based on medical hardship. 

We need to opt out,” commissioner Teresa Walter said.

The commissioners voted unanimously to do so.


Inside of a Nextdoor home. Credit: Kimm Anderson, St. Cloud Times

According to The St. Could Times, St. Cloud, Sherburne, Stearns and Benton counties have also opted out.

According to the counties, the challenge with the new law is around already existing county zoning rules and restrictions in the new law that may not be practical.

We think ours [laws] make more sense for our purposes,” said Chelle Benson, Stearns County Environmental Services Director.

Restrictions in the new law include:

  • Units cannot be larger than 300 square feet
  • Units cannot be attached to a permanent foundation and must connect to the main house’s electric and water utilities.
  • Units must have siding similar to a standard house and meet building codes.
  • Only one person can live in the unit, and the caregiver must show proof that the person requires assistance with daily living.

That’s not very realistic, especially if you’re doing health care, said Benson. Some of these people need longer times.


Mark Brunner, MMHA.

Several municipalities rushed to pass the “opt out” ordinance prior to September 1, especially in the suburbs of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The Legislature adopted a MMHA amendment to the bill, specifically including IBC labeled modular units within the new statutory definition of a Temporary Healthcare Dwelling, or Granny Pod,” said Brunner.

Prior to the MMHA amendment being adopted, IBC labeled modular units had been excluded for use as a temporary healthcare dwelling, something previously permitted under the MN State Building Code and Zoning Statutes,” Brunner stated. The bill amended MN Zoning Statutes making Granny Pods a permitted use, versus including them within the MN State Building Code.“##

(Editor’s Note: MHProNews writer Matthew Silver covered “Granny Pods” as a solution to what the St. Could Times is calling the “Silver Tsunami” of aging baby boomers.)

(Image Credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.





Manufactured Home Community Reduced for WalMart

October 5th, 2015 Comments off

timbercrest_village_houston_metro_texas_mhvillage_c_reditAs houstonchronicle tells MHProNews, roughly 85 manufactured home communities (MHCs) have closed in the greater Houston, Texas metropolitan area in the last ten years as property values in the large urban area have risen. Timbercrest Village, a 390 home site MHC set on 150 acres, all but hidden from view from the more affluent The Woodlands neighborhood, will soon have a shopping center anchored by a WalMart and 246 luxury apartments as its neighbor, providing owner MC Equities has its way.

Ninety of the homes have been moved to other parts of the community—which had a vacancy rate of 40 percent– or to other MHCs owned by MC. University of Colorado Denver sociologist Esther Sullivan says Harris County has almost 50,000 manufactured homes, and while records are not kept of MHCs that closed, her study suggests more closed during the housing boom than after the housing collapse.

Mark Coleman, chief executive of MC Equities, which is the managing member of Timbercrest Partners, said, “We felt that we could consolidate those homes within the existing framework of the mobile home park and not displace residents, while still being able to accommodate increased demand for multi-family rental units as well as future retail.” He added there are no plans for added development at Timbercrest, noting their primary business is the ownership of residential properties.

Most complaints are not coming from within the MHC but from neighbors who do not want the traffic and congestion of a WalMart next to their homes and across the street from an elementary school. ##

(Photo credit: MHVillage-Timbercrest Village)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Home Wire Supplier Presenting at Investor Conference

August 21st, 2014 Comments off

encore_wire_corporationThe IDEAS Investor Conference to be held Tue., Aug. 26 in Chicago will feature Encore Wire Corporation’s (NASDAQ:WIRE) Chief Financial Officer Frank J. Bilban presenting his company’s investment merits to an  audience of investment professionals who combined have over $200 billion of assets under management. IDEAS Conferences, which are also held annually in Boston and Houston, are sponsored by money management firms to learn how quality public companies perform, according to The presentation will also be available via webcast. Encore is a major supplier of interior wire products for the manufactured home industry. MHProNews has learned independently Encore’s sales in 2013 topped $1.15 billion; assets as of 12-31-2013 were over $525 million. ##

(Image credit: Encore Wire Corp.)

NAHB: Housing Numbers Showing Modest Rise

April 8th, 2014 Comments off

Statistics from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicate modest improvement this month over March, and anticipates a traditional, solid, spring home-buying season. Based on employment, permits and price data, the NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) reports 28 percent of metro areas experienced a rise in their score this month, and 83 percent saw a rise within the last year. Baton Rouge, LA tops the list of large metro LMI areas, has learned, followed by Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, San Jose, CA. and Harrisburg, PA. Smaller metro areas with strong LMIs are centered around energy exploration sites such as Odessa and Midland, Texas, and western North Dakota. ##

(Image credit:

Housing Market Gradually Picks up Steam

January 8th, 2014 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), which recently replace NAHB’s improving market index (IMI), indicates markets in 56 of the 350 major metro markets returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic activity, indicating a net gain of two over the previous month. Based on current permits, prices and employment data, LMI data for December indicates the nationwide market is operating at 86 percent of normal economic and housing activity. Says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe, “Forty-five percent of metro areas are recovering at a faster pace than the nation as a whole, with smaller markets leading the way. Of the 56 markets that are at or above normal levels, 48 of them have populations that are less than 500,000, and many of these local metros are fueled by a strong energy sector, which is producing solid job and economic growth.”

MHProNews has learned Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the top large metro area with an LMI of 1.42—42 percent above its last normal market level, followed by Honolulu, Oklahoma City, Austin and Houston, Texas, and Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report, adds, “More than 35 percent of all the markets on this month’s LMI are operating at a capacity of 90 percent or better of previous norms, which is a good sign that the housing recovery will continue to pick up steam in 2014.”

(Photo credit: Ryan Garza/

Foreclosures no Longer the Hot Ticket to Income

January 2nd, 2014 Comments off

Would-be investors buying foreclosed homes at auction and renting them are finding the trough is drying up, as auction prices have risen faster than rents, according to Core Logic, resulting in returns on investment (ROI) dropping. “It’s gotten so competitive that discounts at foreclosure are not where they were,” said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac. “It’s harder for third party purchasers at auction to make a profit.” ROI fell in eight of the top ten best buy-and-rent cities, including Tampa, which was the top city in 2012, and the same for Chicago in 2013. According to, of the top ten only Houston and Charlotte, NC gained in average returns. Nationally, MHProNews has learned, homes sold in foreclosure auctions now only cost four percent less than average sales, compared to the 16 percent differential in 2012. Additionally, while home prices increased almost 14 percent through October, 2013, rents for the first nine months rose only 2.2 percent, compared to the same period of 2012.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Housing Market Recovery Spreads

December 31st, 2013 Comments off

As informs MHProNews, 84 of the largest 300 housing markets have regained 100 percent of home values since the housing bubble, accounting for nearly 30 percent of tracked markets. Only nineteen markets had a decline in home values, while the remaining markets showed a rise of 50 basis points. 158 of the markets have recovered 50 percent of their original value pre-recession. Of the top ten markets with the largest percentage of recovery, the top four are in Texas—San Antonio, Houston, Austin and Dallas.

(Photo credit: Matt Heafey)

Index Notes Uptick in Housing Market

October 8th, 2013 Comments off

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI) reports 52 out of 350 housing markets have returned to pre-recessionary levels of activity. Based on current housing permits, prices and employment data, the nationwide housing market is running at 85 percent of normal activity. MHProNews has learned Baton Rouge, LA, Honolulu, Austin and Houston, Texas, Oklahoma City and Harrisburg, PA top the list in exceeding previous norms. “The housing markets of 118 metros scored by the LMI this month show activity levels of at least 90 percent of their previous norms – a very encouraging sign of things to come,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Co., which co-sponsors the LMI report.

(Photo credit: Fotosearch)