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Posts Tagged ‘Manufactured Home Communities’

Sun Communities (SUI) As Viewed by Hedge Funds Data, Per Media Reports

June 25th, 2019 Comments off

 

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Nina Todic, writing for investor-focused Insider Monkey and Yahoo Finance news, reported as follows about manufactured home commercial real estate giant, Sun Communities (SUI).

 

 

Sun is one of the publicly traded firms tracked in our evening manufactured housing connected stock report.  Last night’s closing ticker and related numbers are available at this link here.

We’ll note that this isn’t a fact-check. Nor is this an endorsement of Insider Monkey, rather, this is a report on June 18, 2019 that summarizes their findings on Sun Communities as it relates to hedge fund interest.

Let’s further note as a disclosure the mantra of Sam Zell, of Sun’s rival Equity LifeStyle Communities, famously quipped that “When others are going left, look right.” Zell told MHProNews that they have never lost confidence in the manufactured home community sector.

Those notes made, let’s dive into their data and views.

 

InsiderMonkeyTopHedgeFundsInvestorGraphicDollarAmountsCorporateNamesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews 

Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Sun Communities Inc (SUI)

Hedge fund managers like David Einhorn, Bill Ackman, or Carl Icahn became billionaires through reaping large profits for their investors, which is why piggybacking their stock picks may provide us with significant returns as well. Many hedge funds, like Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, are pretty secretive, but we can still get some insights by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings. One of the most fertile grounds for large abnormal returns is hedge funds’ most popular small-cap picks, which are not so widely followed and often trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. In this article we will check out hedge fund activity in another small-cap stock: Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI).

Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) was in 18 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of March. SUI has seen a decrease in support from the world’s most elite money managers of late. There were 22 hedge funds in our database with SUI holdings at the end of the previous quarter. Our calculations also showed that sui isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds.

Hedge funds’ reputation as shrewd investors has been tarnished in the last decade as their hedged returns couldn’t keep up with the unhedged returns of the market indices. Our research has shown that hedge funds’ small-cap stock picks managed to beat the market by double digits annually between 1999 and 2016, but the margin of outperformance has been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, we were still able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that outperformed the market by 40 percentage points since May 2014 through May 30, 2019 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that underperformed the market by 10 percentage points annually between 2006 and 2017. Interestingly the margin of underperformance of these stocks has been increasing in recent years. Investors who are long the market and short these stocks would have returned more than 27% annually between 2015 and 2017. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 in our quarterly newsletter.

We’re going to review the new hedge fund action surrounding Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI).

What have hedge funds been doing with Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI)?

At Q1’s end, a total of 18 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of -18% from the previous quarter. The graph below displays the number of hedge funds with bullish position in SUI over the last 15 quarters. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists an “upper tier” of noteworthy hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably (or already accumulated large positions).

 

SUNCommunities-SUI-TopHedgeFundPositionsTrackInsiderMonkeyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

More specifically, Renaissance Technologies was the largest shareholder of Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI), with a stake worth $152.7 million reported as of the end of March. Trailing Renaissance Technologies was Citadel Investment Group, which amassed a stake valued at $79.6 million. Waratah Capital Advisors, Millennium Management, and Echo Street Capital Management were also very fond of the stock, giving the stock large weights in their portfolios.

Seeing as Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) has experienced falling interest from the entirety of the hedge funds we track, it’s easy to see that there exists a select few funds that slashed their full holdings heading into Q3. Intriguingly, Stuart J. Zimmer’s Zimmer Partners said goodbye to the largest stake of all the hedgies tracked by Insider Monkey, comprising an estimated $54.1 million in stock. Richard Driehaus’s fund, Driehaus Capital, also dumped its stock, about $2.3 million worth. These transactions are intriguing to say the least, as total hedge fund interest was cut by 4 funds heading into Q3.

Let’s now review hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) but similarly valued. We will take a look at Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM), National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE:NOV), Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL), and Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB). This group of stocks’ market caps are closest to SUI’s market cap.

 

InsiderMonkeyTopHedgeFundsPositionsRelativetoSUIsunCommunitiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

As you can see these stocks had an average of 22.5 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $751 million. That figure was $413 million in SUI’s case. Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand Trimble Inc. (NASDAQ:TRMB) is the least popular one with only 14 bullish hedge fund positions. Sun Communities Inc (NYSE:SUI) is not the least popular stock in this group but hedge fund interest is still below average. Our calculations showed that top 20 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 1.9% in Q2 through May 30th and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by more than 3 percentage points. A small number of hedge funds were also right about betting on SUI as the stock returned 4.2% during the same time frame and outperformed the market by an even larger margin.

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published on Insider Monkey at this link here.

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SunCommunitiesIncSUIRentalofManufacturedHomeVsOtherRentalComparisionsFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

For balance, and to exemplify why Zell and other savvy investors have not lost confidence in manufactured housing (MH) and MH Communities, consider the graphics above and below from Sun Communities. 

SunCommunitiesIncSUIManufacturedHomeSalesPriceComparisionConventionalHousingCostFeb2019IRDec312018DataManufacturedHomeCommunityDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Our more robust MHProNews April 2019 data-and graphically rich dive into Sun is found at this linked text-image box below, which is the source for the sample Sun Community graphics on this page.

 

Sun Communities Under the Hood – Data Reveals – Manufactured Homes, Communities, Comparisons with Conventional, Multifamily Housing

 

During an affordable housing crisis, there are reasons to pay attention to the most proven of all kinds of affordable homes. 

 

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That most proven permeant affordable housing resource would be HUD Code manufactured homes.

 

InfographicMobileManufacturedHomeManufacturedHousingIndustryFactsDataResearchMobileManufacturedHomeLivingNews

Manufactured housing is the most proven form of affordable housing. It offers consumer safeguards that far more expensive conventional housing does not offer.

 

That’s this morning’s second installment of manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” ©. ## (News, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary.)

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Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

 

Nicole Friedman, Ben Eisen, Wall Street Journal – Fannie, Freddie, Manufactured Homes, and MH Financing – Part 1

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https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/time-to-investigate-fannie-and-freddies-mishandling-of-dts/

HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Affordable Housing, Obscuring the Truth, Innovations in Housing, and Manufactured Homes

 

 

 

 

 

Views From Trenches of Manufactured Housing – Factories, Retailers, MHCs, Others Sound Off

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

 

ViewsFromTrenchesManufacturedHousingFactoriesRetailersMHCsOthersSoundOffDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

National and state level data are obviously relevant. But so too are impressions and facts that arise from street retailers, manufactured home communities, and HUD Code producers.

 

 

One multiple location retailer told the Daily Business News on MHProNews that they are having a good year.  They report that most, but not all, of their locations are up over last year. That’s not Clayton, which will be the focus of a separate upcoming report. 

Other sources besides ‘Big Blue’ – code for some that means Clayton Homes – have told us that they are up, flat, or down compared to last year. One producer is reportedly ‘to the saws,’ per a well-connected independent retailer, while others are 30 to 45 days out.

Factory lead-times are generally down from a year ago.  Depending on the part of the country and the plant, they are from about 2 weeks to 10 weeks out.  A year ago, 16 weeks was far more commonly heard from numbers of HUD Code factory-builders. 

While a buyers group says that they are up year-over-year last year, that must be taken with a grain of salt, as the industry is down about 10 percent nationally vs the same time next year. 

A source with Legacy Housing (LEGH) said, “Tony, production here is 3-5 weeks out.” As a publicly traded company, that data will eventually turn up in their SEC filings.

Here is a snapshot from a well-placed source with another non-‘big blue’ vertical operation.  As a reminder, MHProNews turns some quotes bold and brown to make them pop, but the punctuation, spelling, etc. are all in the original:

Orders are soft at mfg. but applications up at Retail

It is coming

My monitoring graphs tell me over last 20 years there is a pick  of 8 to12% at mfg. that starts in mid  July…. It has always been thereripple or tsunami it happens many speculate why it happenssometimes it falls in Sept and sometimes it goes through winter.

Also, business has never been down in an election yearcoming..

June Vacation month over 

Got get ready for school this fall

Time to turn and act on plans

No doubt the excessive rains have slowed deliveriesthat is going to pass

Sales centers got jammed with inventory during winter and those are beginning to come downwhich will create some scattered opportunities for mfg. replacements. 

New Vision Homes in Madill, OK may be a stressful situation to make itI didn’t say it.

This should not have happenedbut a blip in the market shows how vulnerable some are

Presido, TX. mfg. dodge a bullet on 5% tariffSolitaire

Built in Mexico, transported over the bridge and tested and appliances installed and labeled in Presidio… (built in Americaso they skate the built-in-Mexico to exploit labor.. could have killed the singles with a 5% hit….

Biggest issue with GSE is not getting us chattel in HUD homes and

Treating us like chopped liver on the upper end HUD product…  missed the marktrying to make a new class

Went to Tunica and there were plenty of Freddie/Fannie proposed product….

And the new market …. The site builder who is squeezed on the cost of stick built

…. Did not do anything for main stream for  us…  if so we may not be in a down turn… if the economy is roaring …. Where is our ray of sunshine… ???

Best kept secret…”

That source has previously blasted the so-called new class of homes, see that and more in the report linked below.

 

“What Are We, Chopped Liver?” MHI Member December 2018 Reactions

 

As a follow up, that manager was asked if zoning placement barriers hindered the industry?  The response:

You are probably correct

It is the look, not the code. 

…. But you disqualify many with the price to get the look…

Strange that a 3.5:12 pitched roof will keep out weather, but if [the] power [that be, the GSEs] does not like the look… it will not get accepted… and some customers are denied housing… why?

(not talking about subdivisions; they have to be similar to promo community at the address)

Strange, if not 100% drywall it will not qualify for the [GSEs] program why.. who says. Why are you getting into that specwhy not let the customer chooseyou cannot see it from the street but you knocked out customers and some mfg. facilities

Okay, we have a two year window of trial….

We will see…”

Rephrased, angst over a misdirection of the Duty to Serve financing to the new class of homes, and away from all other manufactured homes, plus and a lack of parity in placement that ought to be permitted by the enhanced preemption provision of the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act (MHIA) of 2000 are on that professionals mind.  That manager is far from alone.

 

Manufactured Housing Professionals, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Must Promote These Two Words

 

Land-Lease Community Frustration, Anger

Independently owned manufactured home communities have expressed anger and frustration over the types of headlines and concerns raised by videos like the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” sparked.

Several have thanked us for the reports like the one linked below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

A notable recent public comment from a higher profile MHI member is the one below.

 

 

Concerns Over Vertical Integration and Consolidation

One can learn a lot from inbound callers, as well as from messages.  The following Q & A helps reflect the view of a previously growing retailer.

Q: Member of your state association? 

A. No.

 

Q. Do you go to factory-sponsored events?

A. YES…All events

 

Q. What is the approx. radius of your prospect client base? 

A.    80% of sales are within a 25 mile radius.

 

Q. How many homes in inventory?

A. Carry about 30+ homes in one location, and about 20 in another

 

Q. How many MH communities do you know [well]?

A.    6.

 

How many retailers?  

A.    5.

 

Q. This isn’t a term paper, but any relevant thoughts to the above and our phone conversation are welcome.

A.    Challenges:

1. Ability to grow, be profitable and have long term staying power as a business.

2. Develop a competitive advantage to most effectively serve retail customers, park owners, and different customer segments we wish to serve,

3. Rationalize our product offering to reduce inventory level by 50% by year end. We are paying about $23,000 in floor plan each month,

4. Ability to compete when competitive dealers resort to lower prices ranging about 10% less since they belong to dealer buyer groups and we do not,

5. Continue developing simple processes to follow and delegate more responsibilities with accountability,

6. Develop a more effective social media platform,

7. Train our sales team to improve how we serve customers, follow up and more self-sales staff sufficiency,

 

Q. Are you on our email list? (Notice: brackets are edited what follows below for clarity, otherwise the text is turned bold and brown to make it pop, but the balance is as submitted).

A.    I am the only one [at his store] on your mailing list. [Note, several owners and managers forward articles to their team members].

In response to a hypothetical question, what does the realtor expect if Democrats take control of all three branches of the federal government in 2020, this source said the following. It should be noted that this retailer works in markets that has significant numbers of Hispanics, has a bi-lingual staff, and note that many of their customers are undocumented.

 

1. Impact to individuals – There is a high probability to increase demand for affordable housing. Legacy [Housing] financing could be a great avenue to accommodate non-citizen retail financing…more so than Vanderbilt and 21st for customers with ITIN and non-citizens. There will be more regulations similar to Dodd Frank which will favor the corporate stores vs independent retailers. The scales of business survival tip in favor or corporate stores…with more regulation

2. Impact to U.S.-retailers will be taxed more and take incentive to grow. There will be regulation and cost to do business which will impact home affordability

3. Future Impact to independents and business professionals – I see a market where Clayton [Homes], Palm Harbor, Titan [originally part of Champion], and in 2020 Legacy through corporate stores will generate the majority of the business over time. [Independent] Retailers will be mostly found in rural or smaller areas. I see more dealers focus on specialty markets such as: Tiny Homes and used homes

 

 

Takeaways for Industry, Politicos, and Partisans

The Daily Business News on MHProNews are using those responses cited above not because there aren’t other perspectives, of course there are. There are industry firms led by pro-Democratic, pro-GOP, independents and those that could care less about politics. But quoted above are commonly held perspectives. It comes from a part of the country that could be viewed as more open to and accepting of undocumented immigrants than others.

Democrats elected dozens of Congressional representatives in 2018 based upon the notion that they were going to behave as more pro-business political moderates.  The quoted source above isn’t buying it based upon the verbal and written feedback. 

A non-association attorney who has numerous media and political ties told MHProNews that they expect a historic electoral college win in 2020. He said it he thought it would be similar to the Nixon vs. McGovern blowout, or Reagan vs. Mondale.  When asked if he trusted the polls, the short answer was no, especially this far out (about 500 days to the election).

That same attorney said his reasoning was historically low unemployment, wages up, taxes down and other positive economic news.  When asked about antitrust, housing access, or other issues that several 2020 Democrats are raising, he said he thought that was necessary for them politically, as they can’t take President Trump on without shifting the subject away from economic successes.  He did acknowledge that several things could occur between now and the election that might shift the momentum.

The industry’s independents often see trust-busting of monopolistic operations as an important topic. 

The trust in the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is low among many independents, even among some in management whose companies are MHI members.

This snapshot is far from scientific in the way that Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, or media polling operations are done. But it does reflect slices of insights that both professionals and politicos should be mindful of as they plan ahead.

These are the reports found nowhere else, except here at the manufactured home industry’s largest and most-read trade media – MHProNews – your source for “News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, commentary, and analysis.) ##

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Real World Economics’ Professor Ed Lotterman says “Playing Monopoly is More Than Just Rolling the Dice”

 

Manufactured Home Communities’ Dodd-Frank Moment Looms, Senator Elizabeth Warren Takes Aim at Several Manufactured Housing Institute Community Members

Dueling Statements, NAMHCO, MHI, MHARR, Weigh In On Controversial MH Bill, “George Allen Pawn Gambit”

 

Senate Democrats – Including 2020 Presidential Contenders – Ask CFPB Protect Consumers Against Predatory Lenders — Point Finger at Clayton Homes, Berkshire Hathaway Lending

Washington Leak – Justice Department Prepares Major Antitrust Investigation

 

“Have…Giants…Stifled Competition,” Antitrust Battle Lines in D.C., plus Manufactured Home Market Updates

Shocking, True State of the Manufactured Housing Industry, plus Solutions for Profitable, Sustainable Growth – May 2019

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Photo of Commodore Homes model, MHARR logo, are provided under fair use guidelines. See article and letter to Secretary Carson, linked here. https://manufacturedhousingassociationregulatoryreform.org/mharr-calls-on-hud-secretary-to-end-discriminatory-and-exclusionary-zoning-of-hud-regulated-manufactured-homes/

 

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Stephanie Reid Raises Undocumented Immigrants Getting Ripped Off by Manufactured Home Communities Issue

May 22nd, 2019 Comments off

 

GSMOEFStephanieReidRaisesUndocumentedImmigrantsGettingRippedOffManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGSMOEFGSMOLMHProNews

In a release to the Daily Business News on MHProNews today was a Q&A by Stephanie Reid.  Reid was “formerly on staff with the Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes,” said the GSMOEF – the GSMOEF, or the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners Education Fund, which is affiliated with the Golden State Manufactured Home Owners League (GSMOL).

 

It will be recalled that GSMOL provided the initial tip to Manufactured Home Living News (MHLivingNews) that Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction) was being funded by the Tides nonprofit. Not only did their report prove to be accurate, it led to the discovery that Warren Buffett – via so-called ‘dark money’ funding of NoVo Foundation – which in turn was the top donor to the Tides.

Translated, Warren Buffett money arguably benefited opposition to manufactured housing image and political efforts.  See the broader list of organizations Buffett’s bucks have been tied to, linked here, or the hot-linked text-image box below.

 

Prosperity Now, Nonprofits Sustain John Oliver’s “Mobile Homes” Video in Their Reports

 

Against that backdrop, is this Q&A submitted by Reid.  Note the allegation about immigrants, noted in the headline, above.  We’ve highlighted that portion by making it bold, but otherwise, the text is as sent by GSMOL’s affiliated GSMOEF.

 

GoldenStateManufacturedHomeOwnersEducationFundYourRightsHeaderMay222019MHProNews

 

Question:  I own a mobilehome park where there are many abandoned homes.  Can I sell them without registering as a real estate agent?

 

Background:

Although I heard from only a few park managers and realtors about this issue, it was a volatile-enough problem that it needed to be included in this series.

The majority of calls on this subject were from residents who reported many observations of illegal acquisitions.  The most egregious example – of, well, theft – were of a few MHP owners and managers who routinely “sold” abandoned homes to persons who were living in this country without proof of citizenship.

The “undocumented” resident would pay for their MH in cash installmentsThen, when the resident paid the last installment on their home, the park owner or manager would order the undocumented resident and their family to leave the park immediately under threat of being reported to immigration authorities.

The family would flee the park and the home was then sold to the next undocumented family with the same outcome.

A penalty of $2,000 would hardly dissuade a theft of a home that would yield thousands more, if the theft was prosecuted at all.

Answer:  Generally, the answer is “no”.  First, in order to act as an agent between a seller or buyer of a used mobilehome or manufactured home, you either must be registered with HCD as a “manufactured home dealer” or with the Bureau of Real Estate as a licensed real estate agent.  Acting as an unlicensed dealer or agent can result in criminal penalties, civil penalties, and citations of up to $2,000 for each illegal sales activity.

The only exception to this is if the prior residents/homeowners have “walked away” from the homes, a park owner may sell them if he/she first obtains the right to ownership through a court action for the judgment of abandonment (Civil Code Section 798.61) or after a warehouse lien sale (Civil Code Section 798.56a).

After that, if the park owner intends to rent, sell or salvage the units, the park owner must go to HCD and transfer title to his or her name, which includes paying all property taxes or HCD fees that are owed.  HCD also has special procedures for when the prior registered owner cannot be found or when there are unpaid or unsatisfied loans on the home.

Only after registering as the new owner may the Park owner (who is now the homeowner) rent, sell, or salvage the abandoned homes.

##

By Stephanie Reid.  Reid was formerly on staff with the
Senate Select Committee for Manufactured Homes Communities. 

 

Manufactured home community and other industry professionals will span the gamut of reactions to the above. The same can be said about an industry trade publication quoting from a resident group.

The industry’s professionals may slowly be waking to the following vexing reality.  Big companies are often fueling the problems that create problems for smaller firms, as well as woes for numbers of manufactured home residents.  See the related report, further below the byline and notices.

 

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As a final thought, it was the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) exiting prior present who said that manufactured home professionals had to be in alignment with the interests of their consumers in order to be successful.  Chris Stinebert’s interesting point is found in the link below.

 

That’s this afternoon episode of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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Declining Manufactured Home Shipments More Serious Than Retailers, Communities Being Told

“Monopoly” in Manufactured Housing Alleged by George Allen, MHI Defender’s Turn by former Community-Investor, Self-Claimed EducateMHC Blogger

What the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Said About March 2019 Shipment and Production Data

Nathan Smith, SSK Communities, Manufactured Housing Institute Leader, Profitably Correcting the Record

Andy Gedo, Partner at ManageAmerica, Raises Clayton Homes Monopolistic Practices Debate; Manufactured Housing Institute Related Issues

Antitrust Heats Up With Supreme Court Ruling, Monopolization Legal Experts Weigh In, Clayton-Related Comment Connection

Clayton Homes, 21st Mortgage Corp, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance – Investor Lessons Learned

Inside Scoop on the Manufactured Housing Industry in Memes

 

“Toxic Trailers” – Clayton Homes, Warren Buffett, Kevin Clayton, Clintons – Exposé Videos

MHARR Launches “Fighting Discriminatory Zoning Mandates” Manufactured Housing Project

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

 

 

 

Bill Advances New Rules Regulating Manufactured Home Communities, Esther Sullivan Strikes Again

April 24th, 2019 Comments off

 

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The specific piece of legislation that will be the focus of this report is just part of a pattern that is arguably spreading from the coasts into the heartland states.

 

In the wake of the hue and cry from the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver viral “Mobile Homes” video, there is renewed zeal to reign in concerns over problematic business practices in the manufactured home land-lease community sector.

The Colorado Springs Gazette, which bills itself as ‘Pulitzer Prize winning journalism’ established in 1872 spotlighted the facts that will be referenced.

A bill designed to better protect residents of mobile home parks won state House approval Monday on a 41-23 vote. House Bill 1309 next heads to the state Senate,” per the Gazette’s writer Marianne Goodland.  She pointed out that Senate Republicans have previously killed such measures as too burdensome for smaller businesses, but now Democrats are in charge of the Colorado Senate.  The implication is that it will all change this time around.

The mobile home has offered a path to the American dream on a budget,” per Esther Sullivan, a sociology professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, a quoted by Goodland in Curbed magazine in 2017.  That quote was offered to buttress the comments of state Rep. Edie Hooton, D-Boulder, who is the author of HB 1309. The narrative provided no distinctions made in terminology between a pre-HUD Code mobile home or a post-HUD Code manufactured home.

 

DefinitionsTerminologyFactoryBuiltHomesMobileHomesModularHomesManufacturedHomesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Pointing to a dispute resolution program in Washington state, the bullets below are pull-quotes from Goodland’s Gazette report. The first bullet is deliberately taken out of sequence, to get to part of what the bill aims to do.

  • So Hooton and co-sponsor Rep. Julie McCluskie, D-Dillon, turned to the dispute-resolution model established a couple of years ago in Washington state, which set up a mediation process to resolve complaints by mobile-home owners. About 400 complaints were filed the first year, but the numbers steadily have dropped as “bad actors” have learned the consequences, Hooton said.
  • But mobile home parks have operated under a loose regulatory structure for decades, Hooton said. The only recourse for a mobile home owner with a complaint often is to take the park owner to court, and that’s out of reach financially for most, she said.
  • The state’s Mobile Home Parks Act was adopted in 1985 but lacks teeth, critics say.
  • Last year, after the failure of yet another bill to rein in park owners who violate the law, the Department of Regulatory Agencies took a look at whether park owners understood the 1985 act and whether licensing would force better compliance. DORA determined that owners understand the law but licensing was not the right step.
  • Under HB 1309, the Department of Local Affairs’ Division of Housing could accept complaints from mobile home owners and mediate between them and the park owner. A $24 fee per lot, split between park and mobile home owners, would pay for the process.
  • If the mediation fails, either side could take the issue to an administrative law judge, avoiding the greater cost of going to court.

Another part of the bill deals with the eviction process, which is part of the issue that has drawn Sullivan and her followers a measure of notoriety.

Under current Colorado law, a land-lease community can evict with 48 hours-notice.  That is obviously nearly impossible, given the costs and common lack of options for moving a mobile or manufactured home from one community to another.  If passed, HB 1309 would add 30 days to that eviction period, and with the payment of another month’s site fees, extend it yet another 30 days to a total of 60.

Per the Gazette:

  • The bill was supported before the House by mobile home owners; 9 to 5 Colorado, an advocacy group for working women; and the Colorado Senior Lobby.

Predatory Community Owners? Bill Goes too Far?

The Gazette cited written testimony in support of the legislation by Debra Beasley of Colorado Springs.  In her written testimony dated April 10, said she and her spouse have seen site fees at their community increase from $475 in 2016 to more than $750 last year.

That approaches the heart of a concern that Oliver’s video raised, made by Manufactured Housing Action (MHAction), which co-authored the white paper Oliver’s satirical report took aim at.

Norm Sorenson of Kingsley Management Corp. objects to the bill, in part due to the understandable concern of community owners trying to evict – in his example – a drug dealer from a community. That noted, the bill purportedly allows for expedited evictions in cases of imminent danger.

Colorado’s DORA review showed that “harm is occurring in manufactured housing communities … which largely stems from lack of enforcement of existing laws, bad actors exploiting a relatively loose regulatory structure and the inevitable tension that arises when the house belongs to one person and the land belongs to someone else,” Representative McCluskie said. “It’s impacting our rural, urban and mountain economies. Mobile homes are an essential solution to our housing crisis; sometimes the mobile home parks are the largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing in rural communities.”

By contrast, Rep. Terri Carver, R-Colorado Springs, said the bill will burden community owners who are acting in good faith. “I still don’t think it is helpful to create an oversight agency … that adds a lot of bureaucracy and delay in resolving disputes and investigating complaints, rather than keeping it local,” Carver said.

Under the Hood of the Battle Over Community, Resident Rights

Manufactured home independently owned community owners, along with those portfolio operators who aren’t participants in the types of ‘bad actor’ concerns this bill aims to cure are wise to step back and see the pattern that is emerging.

As MHLivingNews documented, MHAction has been funded in part by Warren Buffett, through so-called dark money routes. That tip came from a competing resident group, the Golden States Manufactured-Homeowners League (GSMOL). ICYMI, or need a refresher, the documentation for that can be accessed the linked text-image box below.

 

 

Since that report above, as MHProNews noted, the white paper co-authored by MHAction sparked a report in the Washington Post, among others in mainstream media. Each of these raise concerns about a few – but larger – players in the industry, and these are routinely members of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).

 

“Billion Dollar Empire Made From Mobile Homes,” What Washington Post’s Peter Whoriskey Didn’t Report

Then, there was the viral hit video by John Oliver that connects the dots between:

  • Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway brands in manufactured housing,
  • Nonprofits Buffett and/or Berkshire brands have funded, included MHAction, Center for Public Integrity (CPI), and
  • MHI, to name only those most clearly tied to this recent trend.

Recast, Buffett and his allies in MHVille have set the stage for creating problems that MHI not only fails to address, but whose ‘big boy’ members are part of the purported problems.

It remains to be seen if independent community owners will obtain the level of serious defense from the newly formed National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO). But NAMHCO is on record as rejecting MHI as failing community owners in their interests. Time will tell.

The Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) has said they will be examining ways that they can support the post-production side of the industry in a targeted fashion, possibly by using legal action. More on that in a new column by MHARR’s Mark Weiss, JD, in the article linked below.

“Lead, Follow … Or Get Out of The Way”

 

That said, MHARR is frankly stretching beyond their core mandate, to represent the interests of independent producers of HUD Code manufactured homes. It should not be thought that they are going to be able to single-handedly deal with every case of these vexing issues, as Weiss himself suggested in the above.

MHI and several allied state associations are largely mute in public about the John Oliver/MHAction fueled issues, tied to their ‘big boy’ members.

SoTheAssociationMHIIsNotThereFortheIndustryUnlesstheinterestsoftheBigBoysJointheIndustry'sMartyLavinMHIAwardWinnerQuoteMHProNews

MHProNews looks at the facts, considers the sources, and follows the evidence. MHI earlier last year, and for years before, MHI routinely replied promptly to all inquiries. But since we’ve spotlighted the problems and concerns, they’ve gone silent. Why? If the facts are on their side, why not make offer a cogent explanation?

 

An upcoming report will examine how a self-proclaimed voice for manufactured home community owners is making noise and chest thumping but has no track record to point to for successfully addressing these sorts of concerns. Talk, action, and results are entirely different things.

 

FollowThe MoneyPayMoreAttentionToWhatPeopleDothanwhatTheySaySpySea72MartyLavinYachtManufacturedHousingINdustryProMHProNews

Ask yourself. Do these Marty Lavin dictums apply in this case?

 

That leaves independents pondering what practical ways they can fight back against problems caused within the industry, apparently being fueled by forces tied to the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis.

 

Consumer and Small Business Protections

MHI’s former president, Chris Stinebert made it clear in his exit letter published here that the interests of consumers must be protected. Manufactured homeowners and community resident interests are a brick in the foundation for the industry’s future. That’s Business 101.

But apparently, the ‘new age’ at MHI HQ no longer is focused on that, rather, they seem to be focused on consolidation of the industry into the hands of fewer and fewer businesses, regardless of how many consumers or independent businesses are harmed in that process.

 

Bridging Gap$, Affordable Housing Solution Yields Higher Pay, More Wealth, But Corrupt, Rigged Billionaire’s Moat is Barrier

 

Know some MHI lovers? Ask them to ponder to juxtaposition of MHI’s prior president’s exit message and MHI’s current president, Richard ‘Dick’ Jennison tenure.

As anger simmers in Colorado, California, Iowa and other states over industry practices – that evidence reflects routinely traces back to MHI members – at what point will the ‘white hats’ at MHI get tired of being associated with the black hats?

In the face of this, the Omaha-Knoxville-Arlington axis remains silent, allows surrogates to attack those that dare question the axis, and tries a series of head fakes that arguably fail to address the core issues. That’s the latest chapter in the history of the industry’s underperformance in recent years. More on this in the days ahead. 

That’s this afternoon’s episode of “News through the lens of factory-built homes, and manufactured housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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HUD Study, Analysis of Zoning Discrimination Against Manufactured Housing Sought

HUD Code Manufactured Home Production Decline Continues

“The Illusion of Motion Versus Real-World Challenges”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canadian Firm Gobbling Up Dozens of Manufactured Home Communities

April 4th, 2019 Comments off

CanadianCAPREITlogoMarkKennyCEOTrusteePhotoManufacturedHomeCommunitiesIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

New Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust CEO Mark Kenney isn’t wasting any time putting his stamp on the trust, announcing its second major purchase of manufactured homes communities (MHCs) in the past three weeks. The latest acquisition of 23 Canadian communities, comprising 3,469 pads, means the trust will have grown its MHC portfolio by 45 per cent in that short span,” said Real Estate News Exchange (RENX).

 

NBC News 29 said, “Mark Kenney has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of CAPREIT and as a member of CAPREIT’s board of trustees, effective March 27, 2019.”

MarketWatch reported on November 14, 2018 that “Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAR.UN) (“CAPREIT”) today announced that Mark Kenney has been appointed President of CAPREIT, in addition to his current role of Chief Operating Officer, effective today.”

The video posted below is a testimonial/plug for a service provider, but gives the reader a chance to see Kenny, here his voice, etc.

 

 

Bloomberg’s ticker reflects the following trends since November 14, 2018, when the executive change noted was announced.

 

CapREITBloombergMHCDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

We look to continue expanding this highly accretive aspect of our business going forward,” Kenney told RENX in an interview, speaking about manufactured home communities.

in March, CAPRIET announced a deal for 11 communities in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta. The trust’s portfolio will grow to some 11,166 sites in 68 communities when both transactions have closed.

Kenney said CAPREIT likes the manufactured home communities market for its steady cash flow and minimal capital costs.  That sums up the view of several who have done both multifamily apartments and manufactured home communities.

 

CAPReitWikiDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Funding the Deal

CAPREIT said they will be doing a $300-million share offering, issuing 6,125,000 shares at $49 per unit to a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets. That offering is expected to close by April 23, said RENX.

  • $116 million of those proceeds will fund the equity portion of the most recent purchase. CAPREIT stated it expects its debt ratio to remain unchanged, roughly 38 percent.
  • The most recent acquisitions of MHCs by the Canadian REIT are located in five provinces, but are concentrated in three regions: 47 per cent in Atlantic Canada, 23 per cent in Ontario and 30 per cent in Alberta. Occupancy stands at 95.4 per cent.
  • Beyond the equity funding, CAPREIT assumes $66 million in existing mortgages with a weighted average interest rate of 3.4 per cent and a weighted average term of 2-1/2 years. Closing is expected in May 2019, subject to approvals.

While the two nations have their clear differences, some of the dynamics in Canada for their manufactured homes and communities have some similarities to their southern neighbors in the United States.

The Daily Business News on MHProNews will be adding CAPREIT to its evening market report watchlist/closing ticker.

 

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Spreading City Ban on Individual Lot Placements Threatens Independently Owned Manufactured Home Communities, Retailers, Residents, and HUD Code Producers

March 26th, 2019 Comments off

SpreadingCitiesBanOnIndividualLotPlacementsThreatensIndependentlyOwnedManufacturedHomeCommunititesRetailersResidentsHUDCodeProducersMHProNews 

Former volume retailer, community owner and Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) award winner Marty Lavin has referred to the HUD Code has a discrimination code.

 

State association executive J.D. Harper has called the bias against manufactured housing and their residents an example of “economic racism.”

 

It will be recalled that Harper’s association launched a nascent video campaign to boost manufactured housing acceptance. To the Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association’s (AMHA) credit, that campaign is outperforming in YouTube views that MHI ‘story telling campaign’ has on achieved on that same online video platform.

Yet Arkansas is one of those states that is struggling against a growing trend to restrict or ban manufactured homes. The new HUD Code manufactured home shipment trend lines in that state have been problematic, as has Michigan, which has done varied promotional efforts of their own.  Despite MHI, or some state’s efforts to ‘promote’ manufactured housing, that’s arguably being drowned out by a longer and stronger drumbeat of often negative news.

Mainstream news stories like this next one –  going largely unanswered by MHI or the Berkshire Hathaway owned brands that reportedly dominate the Arlington, VA based trade group – add to a volume of anti-manufactured home background noise. 

LaPorteCountyMHParkBadNewsViolationsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

There are proven ways to deal with such ‘bad news’ for the industry stories, be they local or national. But MHI and several state associations routinely won’t do so. This video had no embed code, so you can see the report at the link that follows. https://www.abc57.com/news/abc57-investigates-la-porte-county-mobile-home-park-hit-with-multiple-violations-residents-complain-of-awful-conditions Doing nothing only keeps the drum beat of bad news coming, while new HUD Code manufactured home shipments flounder during an affordable housing crisis.

 

 

 

The New Durham Estates, Tom Fath Experience 

In contrast to that phenomenon, is Tom Fath and his family’s business. The Fath’s New Durham Estates Community is undergoing a transformation. Once treading water at best, or losing occupancy, they are now reportedly attracting more new residents who are buying new, newer, nicer and more expensive HUD Code homes. They are selling more, in a move away from the refurbished and/or rental housing trends found in so many other land-lease communities.

Yet Fath sounded a warning to the industry when he said the following.  When there business is dramatically improving, why is he sounding an alarm?

TomFathCreatedAnIndustryUnderAssaultQuoteWeSucceedWhenCustomersAreHappyDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

 

That was said by Fath in response to the MHI’s arguably problematic advertorial campaign. MHProNews led the charge in calling that faux news effort out as ineffective at best, or a risk at worst.

But back to Fath’s comments. They’re impressive improvements at New Durham Estates are driving their occupancy, income, and values higher. Furthermore it’s obvious that their residents love the Fath family, some of whom live on property along side their MH owning residents.

Want proof? 

Beyond video interviews with actual residents – some of which like the one linked here and here are posted on MHLivingNews, there’s the fact that Tom Fath was voted onto his town’s council. Unhappy residents obviously don’t vote for their owners!  As one of those links reveals, a retired police chief and his wife settled at New Durham Estates, and she too was voted onto the town council.  That’s a stark contrast to what’s happening in Bryan TX or other places where manufactured home bans are being discussed.  How does Fath describe their experiences in turning around their property and making it into a desirable destination? 

 

>

 

The troubling trend to attack manufactured homes – or ‘mobile homes’ and ‘trailer houses’ as the cities and residents often wrongly describe our housing products – can be countered.  Fath and his family, just miles from that other community prove it.  Proper engagement with the media, with residents, with public officials are all part of the solutions mix.

 

 

Crawl, Walk, Run

Dennis Hill, who was previously quoted as saying to MHProNews that the once cancelled Louisville Show needed to take a crawl, walk, run approach to rebuilding. Once up-trending while the Louisville Show was being promoted by MHProNews, and educational efforts were run by L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, now that Show has shrunk in exhibitions and display size again. Instead of acknowledging a warning signal, the new promoters – staunch pro-MHI member MHVillage and their so-called MHInsider magazine is spinning, wrongly – or lying? – about the downward trend at that event, as the report below reveals.  ICYMI, or want a refresher, you can click the linked text-image box below later for more depth on a related topic.

 

Fact Check, Darren Krolewski, MHInsider Claim on 2019 Louisville Show Attendance

 

These disparate threads are surprisingly interconnected. Because they all come together to threaten the HUD Code industry’s independent producers, retailers, communities, residents and their related interests

It’s arguably a different manifestation of Warren Buffett’s, Kevin Clayton’s and Tim Williams’ strategic and economic moat,” says Tony Kovach. ICYMI, see the related reports, further below the byline and notices.

 

Warren Buffett’s Moat, Understanding Manufactured Housing Requires Grasping Strategic Economic Moats

 

The Solution?

Tony Kovach says that the Ziglar and other success guru principles that advocate understanding a problem before proposing solutions is a key. 

ProblemSolvingZigZiglarFirstStepRecognizetheProblemExistsNextIsProblemOurResponsiblityProblemSolvingVeryImportantDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Crawl, walk, run is an apt principle to keep in mind here too,” says Kovach. “These seemingly disconnected trends intersect. It might seem to help in the short term some aggregators of manufactured home communities, who buy up distressed or under-performing properties from mom-and-pop ownership and turn them into a corporate ownership that is then targeted by MHAction. Is it surprising to learn that resident group GSMOL tipped us and helped identify the ‘follow the money’ ties between the radical anti-MHC corporate ownership MHAction group, and the Tides Foundation, which demonstrably got funding from Berkshire chair Warren Buffett?

 

It is not quite a stage-managed affair.  But if you set people into motion doing what they do anyway, then what occurs is a seemingly choreographed resistance to manufactured homes. That does impact lending.  It does impact – artificially so – the natural appreciation that the National Association of Realtors and the Federal Housing and Finance Administration (FHFA) has each identified exists in manufactured homes. 

We respect the rights of individuals and companies to support with their money whomever they please,” says Tony Kovach. “But out of concern for those who support MHI, we and a few other voices have for some time raised the alarm about the troubling trends that MHI and their puppet masters have allowed the industry to be faced with. If I thought MHI was trying to solve problems, we’d more likely still be a MHI member. But as members of NAMHCO, MHARR long before them, and others have come to realize, paying MHI money is like feeding the hand that is biting yours.”

 

 

Fake News, False or Misleading Narratives  

It may seem entirely unrelated, but it’s nevertheless an apt example. For years, large swaths of the mainstream media has been parroting “Trump Russia Collusion.”  Now, after nearly 2 years of examinations by over a dozen Democratic-supporting attorneys working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, after 25 million dollars spent, thousands of subpoenas, piles of documents, and over 500 witness interviews, they found no shred of evidence against the president or his campaign. Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a Democrat himself, objectively denounced the probe repeatedly as illicit.  MHProNews reported those points by Dershowitz and others across the left-right divide.  Now Dershowitz is blasting Mueller for how he framed his statement of findings, but the famous Harvard law attorney is unsurprised by the result. He is sorry for the harm Mueller and the probe has had on numerous levels our largely polarized nation.

The fact trail now know reveals that the Mueller probe was fake news sparked by a disgruntled fired former FBI director Jim Comey, that was based upon a fake dossier. Our publisher placed this satirical cartoon on the home page years ago. Much of it has since come to pass.

PresidentObamaFBIComeyAGLynchBookingDealsDCSwampDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPolticalCartoon

Once the rules of engagement and methods used are better understood, then one can often predict what will follow. This satirical cartoon was done years ago by MHProNews, and much of it has since come to pass.

 

 

President Obama was supported by Warren Buffett. Buffett’s grandson served in the Obama White House. 

 

WarrenBuffettBillClintonHillaryClintonBarackObamaKevinClaytonNathanSmithPhotosDailyBusinessNewsMHproNews600

 

It’s not a conspiracy theory when there are facts, clear evidence, and a pattern of behavior that is largely predictable.  Buffett’s ties to manufactured housing are unmistakable. His ties to other high-level Democrats are too. The same is true for Nathan Smith, of SSK Communities, and Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes.  All are MHI members.  Again, that doesn’t taint all MHI members, or all of those working for MHI member firms.  But a few key ones are clearly benefiting from actions and inactions that harm the majority to benefit a minority. 

But how does this Mueller analogy tie into the burgeoning movement to ban manufactured homes in cities and towns across America?

They are both examples of how fake news can be believed by millions of Americans.  Millions think of our industry in dark terms.  That’s why a study by an independent real estate firm revealed that only about 4 percent of housing buyers seriously consider manufactured homes.  That’s an alarm bell.  Couple that with MHVillage’s own poor conversion data – which shows that less than a fraction of a single percent that shops for a manufactured home actually buys one – and you have a full blown crisis that helps explains that shipment challenges reflected below.  It can be viewed as coincidence or not that Buffett, along with other mega-billionaires, are tied into the machinations that have sparked, allowed or even fueled both of the disinformation trends. It is whatever it is.


ManufacturedHousingIndustryShipmentsCavcoIndustriesCVCOMHIDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

An Industry Under Assault? 

Is manufactured housing an industry under assault as Fath said? How can one say differently, in the light of the evidence? Yet Fath himself reveals that the pattern isn’t a forgone conclusion. Rather, Fath himself says that something can and should be done to resist and profit during this troubling trend.

Protect, Educate, Promote. P.E.P. That’s the simple formula for fighting the combination of seemingly natural but also artificially stoked and relatively unimpeded headwinds that are Buffett’s proverbial sharks in the waters of his Moat. 

Part of the arguably evil genius here is that to a causal observer, it looks harmless enough.  When industry professionals don’t recognize what’s happening, how are regulators supposed to see it clearly without expert help?  The headwinds that lead to business closures and consolidations may appear to be natural market forces.  But even in nature if a fire is fueled and is allowed to spread, there is avoidable destruction just the same.  

MarkWeissJDPresidentCEOManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsPosturing activity, what Mark Weiss, JD, President and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) called “the Illusion of Motion” is an apt description for what MHI does. For example, MHI make videos that too few watch, but it looks like an effort to promote. The Arlington based MHI place advertorials in newspapers and then claim that millions see them. Even if MHI’s claim were so, then millions remain unconvinced by MHI’s ads, social media, and videos. The proof is in the vexingly low new home production numbers.  That’s not conspiracy 101, that’s reality 101.

Meanwhile, MHI has attempted to weaponized much of the industry’s trade media and bloggers. The resistance is on MHARR and MHProNews. It remains to be seen what NAMHCO will or won’t do.

But a pair of reports from sources tied to NAMHCO suggest to MHProNews that they believe they are already making progress on Duty to Serve (DTS) when MHI could not? If so, that’s a stunning indicator of just how poorly MHI performs in practice. If NAMHCO sources are correct, it will be the next exhibit in the collective case against MHI.

 

Manufactured housing should be soaring, not snoring,” says Tony Kovach. “The majority of manufactured home residents should be working with the independents of the manufactured home industry. Together they could break the chains that artificially bind the industry to low levels of performance. It’s actually easy, in the sense that the laws already exist to make the needed changes. Thank the members of MHARR for two of those laws — the Duty to Serve, and “enhanced preemption,” both of which MHARR leadership worked to enact. They are examples of what even a small association with focus can accomplish.  Now imagine if MHARR had the kind of funding that MHI does?”

 

The pattern of ineffective action or ill acts by MHI or the Berkshire brands being allowed to fester are part of a series of fake or misleading ‘information’ sources that’s been purportedly weaponized to harm the interests of independents and individuals alike. 

That pattern hurts most everyone, save a few consolidators. It is an open question if or how those consolidators who are consciously supporting – or are standing mute and watching – will respond when those same forces that have been unleashed has turned on them. 

There were protests in the streets against Donald J. Trump, our nation’s 45th president. The organizers said he collided with Russia.  Its likely that most of those protesters believed it. But over a dozen “angry Democrat” attorneys with $25 million spent in the effort couldn’t find any evidence of collusion by anyone in America with Russia.  None.  That includes the president and his campaign. 

There are protests against manufactured housing too.  Citizens are led to believe that manufactured homes harm their property values. It’s demonstrably not true, save perhaps in a narrow sense of how fake news influences some individuals home shopping behavior. Scaled, that does cause ripples.  Lower demand, and values are impacted.

 

YouGetMoreOfWhatYouEncourageLessofWhatYouDiscourageMartyLavin

The logic of this statement can be applied to a variety of cases.

 

Kevin Clayton is arguably right when he said on camera that Warren Buffett and his anti-competition strategic Moat can use nonprofits to their benefit. The BH Media Group, part of Buffett’s Berkshire Empire could single handedly start the debunking process. They don’t. Why? 

Isn’t it obvious that Buffett, his lieutenants, their minions, and lemmings are getting what they want?  He could be promoting the truth of manufactured housing better than anyone.  Yet Berkshire’s efforts are clearly metaphorical fig leaves compared to what is the naked truth of ineffective postured leadership.  

Meanwhile, the industry’s independents suffer. So too do millions who could benefit from manufactured home living.

But it’s not over. 

There is still time.

POTUS Trump proved by patient endurance and fighting back his innocence against a barrage of claims that he colluded with Russia.  His approval with mostly negative media hovers at around the same levels as then POTUS Barack Obama enjoyed with a mostly fawning media.  Fake news and misleading reports can be beaten.  Tom Fath and others prove it.  There are other examples that illustrate how a committed cadre of manufactured housing professionals and residents can begin the process of reclaiming the HUD Code industry. 

MHARR and MHProNews, and an array of sources and supporters who make the resistance possible have been laying the foundation independently, yet collaborating where possible, for years now. The next step is to begin to organize a post-production trade group that will do what MHI claims to do, but in fact fails to do.

That next step will be Thursday afternoon, at noontime. The location will be announced, but it is in the Tunica area,  not too far from the trade show that opens there today.

It will be a modest first step. MHARR, NAMHCO, or even the now purportedly weaponized NCC, all began with a modest meeting of the minds.  

The often debatably fake or ineffective education by MHI and their surrogates can be replaced by real education that is part of PEP. Protect. Educate. Promote.

 

WhatTheHellAudacityOfHopePOTUSObamaTrumpPromisesKeptManufacturedHousing525

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Protect. Educate. Promote. P.E.P.

 

Those three letters of P.E.P. sum up what must be consistently and honestly done. It doesn’t matter how hard the wind may seem to blow. POTUS Trump reveals that victory is possible. It starts – crawl, walk, run at Tunica with a small group of leaders who can make the changes to a brighter future a reality.  With about 100,000,000 in rental housing, there are few businesses with more upside potential than modern manufactured homes.  But the industry must fight forces within and without.  Think about Frank Rolfe’s statement.

SuzanneFelberFrankRolfeRichardADickJennisonAmericanHousingAdvocatesManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews600

UnzipLookingForUsUnlockedMindHowCanWeHelpThemSeeManufacturedHOusingINdustryDailyBsuinessNewsMHproHNEws

When customers come to your website, are they finding what they are looking for, because they have a beautiful dream they want to fulfill. But they also have questions. Are they ‘bouncing’ at a high rate? If so, that is a red flag for a possible design issue. Other red flags include low conversion rates.

The alternative? Is to continue to allow those who spin or allow fake news to drive independent businesses out of business.  

P.E.P.ProtectEducatePromoteMHProNews

This is what a good post-production association does. P.E.P. There are billions of dollars in opportunities. But it requires visionaries to get involved.

 

 

Fear of loss. Desire for gain. Take your pick – or both – for motivations.

The industry will arguably not achieve its tremendous potential until a pro-growth national association option exists to MHI. Learn more at the links, above and below. Make or modify your plans to attend the historic meetings Thursday afternoon, in Tunica MS near the main trade show location, which will start after their events are concluded.

  • NAMHCO,
  • MHARR,
  • Independent Producers and Retailers that are currently members of a variety of associations, or no association,
  • are all among those who plant to come to the kick off event to discuss that causes and cures for our industry’s low results.  A new association doesn’t require hundreds of members, but it may end up with hundreds of members once it begins. A new association needs only a few committed members, that is how each of the above as noted began.

That’s what’s new from manufactured housing most read and most trusted “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers do.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

 

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“If Everyone is Going Left, Look Right” – ELS Chairman Sam Zell’s Mantra, Manufactured Homes, and Contemporary Controversies

February 17th, 2019 Comments off

 

IfEveryoneIsGoingLeftLookRightELSChairmanSamZellMantraManufacturedHomesContemporaryControversiesDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

Billionaire Warren Buffett speaks about “value investing,” plus only investing in concepts that can be easily understood, and make sense.  Buffett believes in well managed firms.  Those concepts from the 3rd richest man on earth are proven to work just fine.  Others methods he deploys are arguably less savory.

 

Billionaire Sam Zell and Buffett differ on numerous items in their public political stances. But Zell and Buffett both agree that manufactured homes make good sense.  As Zell has said about investing, “If everyone is going left, look right.”

Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) continues to do deals in manufactured homes and communities. Ditto Buffett, Sun Communities, Legacy Housing, and numerous others. Their reasons are similar to this extent.  Each firm believes in the long-term opportunities in affordable housing.  Nothing is more proven in that sector than manufactured homes.

That said, much of the public and investment world just doesn’t realize that, not yet anyway.  Thus the ongoing value of Zell’s mantra.

 

Suits and Opportunities

It is commonplace for sizable operations to have one or more attorneys – ‘suits’ – on staff or on retainer.  With affordable housing in high demand, why haven’t more industry pros recognized Zell’s lesson of being contrarian and “looking right” – doing something different than others are doing – as an obvious part of the solution for accelerating sustainable growth for MHVille?

There are independent operations in manufactured housing that tell MHProNews that most of the business that they do is with 21st Mortgage Corp. That’s not a surprise, given the fact that Berkshire Hathaway owned 21st and Vanderbilt Mortgage are the top two lenders in the industry.  But what that factoid suggests ought to be a wakeup call to the industry’s other lenders and all of the industry’s musing professionals.  It’s this. Conventional housing routinely gets better credit score buyers than manufactured housing attracts.  Why is that?  Perhaps more to the point, why is it that some manufactured home pros can attract better quality credit or cash buyers, while others don’t?

Every week, on MHProNews there are any number of reports that shine a light on the opportunities and obstacles that face the HUD Code segment of the factory-built home industry. But perhaps the greatest obstacles are arguably from within, and it was MHI member Frank Rolfe of RV Horizons who said that on more than one on-the-record statement.

 

Investors Asking the Right Questions

We get periodic contacts from a range of investors who often ask the right questions.  Some, after seeing the modern HUD Code manufactured home product first-hand are blown away by the value proposition. Which again begs the question, why isn’t our industry doing far better than it is?  That’s a question that outsiders looking in – pondering investing – are asking us on a regular basis.

It is also a question that every operation already in manufactured housing should look in the mirror and ask itself.

Certainly, there are those who’ve flocked after smaller to mid-sized manufactured home communities (MHCs), with the ‘big boys’ often going after larger communities or portfolios whenever possible. That’s fine, it works. But that’s a fairly limited box, especially when compared to the growing multifamily housing sector.

A community executive, seeing our recent report on Michigan – linked further below – speculated that some of the slowdown there was due to the higher cost of installations kicking in there.  Our publisher and industry consultant L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach replied, but isn’t the spread between conventional housing and manufactured homes – even with a costlier installation – still huge?  The community executive replied in the affirmative, and acknowledged the point Tony made.

So the question stands, given the affordable housing crisis, what gives? Why are total sales nationally or in the various states so relatively modest?

Ask the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) that question.  Why isn’t the industry doing better than it is, given the quality and value of today’s HUD Code homes?  MHARR – the Washington, D.C. based trade group – has answered that quite specifically.  They point to the obvious failures of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) in their post-production advocacy.  They also note the game by MHI that MHARR has colorfully dubbed the “Illusion of Motion.

Ask independents privately if they trust Clayton Homes (e.g.: CMH) or 21st Mortgage, and they may point you to Heath Jenkin’s experience, what happened to hundreds of retailers, or other experiences like those in recent reports, further below.

The fact that MHProNews has routinely asked Arlington, VA based MHI or their Omaha-Knoxville masters to explain or clarify those cases, and they have not yet done so is puzzling isn’t it?  Or that not even an attorney working for them has opted to explain such real-world examples – doesn’t that silence speak volumes?

But these vexing internal industry issues are potentially opportunities in disguise too. Every crisis is also an opportunity, once properly understood – but only if someone is committed to doing all that is necessary to navigate the challenges and thus get to the promised land.

Zell could have thrown his arms up over frustrations experienced in MHVille long ago.  He hasn’t, he keeps investing.  Why?  Because, he said in a statement, that Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) has long-term confidence in the industry.

Which brings us back to Zell’s mantra. Thanks again to to all who’ve made this the runaway most-read trade media in all of manufactured housing.  Yes, we do things differently. But is that part of the reason that has made and kept us #1?  

With no further adieu, let’s dive into the real-world scenarios – in the positive as well as the problematic reports – from the week that was: 2-10-2019 to 2-17-2019.  Because each report, properly understood, is part of the puzzling promise of manufactured homes as the solution for the affordable housing crisis that is hiding in plain sight.

 

New Featured Articles and Reports for February on MHProNews

February 2019

 

What’s New on MHLivingNews

 

Democrats, Republicans Agree – “Manufactured Homes Can Play a Vital Role in Easing” the Affordable Housing Shortage

 

What’s New from MHARR

ManufacturedHousingAssocRegulatoryReformLogoMHARRlogo

 

MHARR-ani

 

What’s New on the Masthead

TheMastheadCommentaryLATonyKovachMHProNews

Grasping True Value of the Green New Deal for America, Affordable Housing Professionals and Advocates

 

What’s New on the Daily Business News on MHProNews

1DailyBusinessNewsLogoMHProNewsLogo-1

 

Saturday 2.16.2019

  “Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

“Appalled” said David McCarthy – HUD Cites “Substandard Conditions,” But How Many Multi-Million Opportunities for Investors and Manufactured Housing Pro?

 

Friday 2.15.2019

  Manufactured Home Marketing Resource, Richest and Poorest Counties in each of the 50 United States of America

Manufactured Home Marketing Resource, Richest and Poorest Counties in each of the 50 United States of America

  America’s $22 Trillion Debt, Markets Soar, Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

America’s $22 Trillion Debt, Markets Soar, Plus Manufactured Housing Stock Updates

 

  Legacy Housing Announces New Bulk Leasing Program for Manufactured Home Communities and Mobile Home Parks

Legacy Housing Announces New Bulk Leasing Program for Manufactured Home Communities and Mobile Home Parks

 

  Warren Buffett “Oracle of Omaha” HBO Documentary Berkshire Hathaway #Advexon Video

Warren Buffett “Oracle of Omaha” HBO Documentary Berkshire Hathaway #Advexon Video

 

Thursday 2.14.2019

 

  Managing Mueller Russia Probe Outcome? NBC, Other Mainstream Media Reports Soften, Investor Impacts? Plus, MH Market Updates

  21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

21st Mortgage Suit’s CFPB Denial, Exclusive Document on Berkshire Hathaway Manufactured Housing Brands Investigation

  Cavco Industries Woes Mount, Official, Unofficial Insights, Broader Manufactured Home Industry Impacts?

Cavco Industries Woes Mount, Official, Unofficial Insights, Broader Manufactured Home Industry Impacts?

  Economics 101 – Supply, Demand, and Record Number of Job Openings in U.S. and Affordable Factory-Built Housing

Economics 101 – Supply, Demand, and Record Number of Job Openings in U.S. and Affordable Factory-Built Housing

 

Wednesday 2.13.2019

 

  U.S. Department of Energy Proposed Rulemaking Could Impact Manufactured Housing

U.S. Department of Energy Proposed Rulemaking Could Impact Manufactured Housing

  MHVille Exclusive – Democrats Senators Sign Anti-Competitive Practices Letter to DoJ, Plus MH Market Updates

MHVille Exclusive – Democrats Senators Sign Anti-Competitive Practices Letter to DoJ, Plus MH Market Updates

  Trust in News, Washington Post vs Investors Business Daily Poll Results, MHVille Impacts

Trust in News, Washington Post vs Investors Business Daily Poll Results, MHVille Impacts

  Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

Thorns and Roses In Manufactured Home Community Controversy

 

Tuesday 2.12.2019

 

  New Law Benefits Manufactured Home Community Owners, Residents

New Law Benefits Manufactured Home Community Owners, Residents

  Legacy Housing Announces Corporate Role Changes, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

Legacy Housing Announces Corporate Role Changes, Plus Manufactured Housing Market Updates

  State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018

State-Level Data Provided for Total Manufactured Home Shipments in 5 Key States for 2018

  Aging in Place Harms Millennial Home Buyers, Says New Video and Report – MHVille Opportunity or Obstacle?

Aging in Place Harms Millennial Home Buyers, Says New Video and Report – MHVille Opportunity or Obstacle?

 

Monday 2.11.2019

  News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

News Tip, Document – Is Clayton Homes Engaged in False Down Payments? Deceptive Trade Practices?

  Sun Communities Insider Trading, Ratings Updates, Plus Manufactured Home Industry Stock, REITs, Closing Results

Sun Communities Insider Trading, Ratings Updates, Plus Manufactured Home Industry Stock, REITs, Closing Results

  Boom! Varied Reports Best Economic Optimism in 16 Years, Millions ‘Better Off’ Under President Trump’s Administration

Boom! Varied Reports Best Economic Optimism in 16 Years, Millions ‘Better Off’ Under President Trump’s Administration

 

  HUD’s $2+ Billion Grants, Manufactured Housing Institute, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, & MH Opportunities Galore

HUD’s $2+ Billion Grants, Manufactured Housing Institute, Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform, & MH Opportunities Galore

 

Sunday 2.10.2019

 

  MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

MH Black Eye, or Opportunity in Disguise? Vexing Saga of Millie Francis’ Faith Based Art, Bradenton Tropical Palms ROC, Vanguard Management, Knox and Levine

 

That’s this Sunday morning recap of “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing” © where We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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Legacy Housing Announces New Bulk Leasing Program for Manufactured Home Communities and Mobile Home Parks

February 15th, 2019 Comments off

LegacyHousingAnnouncesNewBulkLeasingProgramManufacturedHomeCommuniteisMobileHomeParksDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Legacy Housing Corporation (NASDAQ: LEGH) has announced a new program for manufactured home park and community owners across America. 

 

The new Legacy bulk leasing program allows for parks and community owners to lease brand new singlewide and doublewide homes from our Eatonton, Georgia factory at an 8-year lease term.  With no payments for the first 60 days and a 4-home minimum purchase, this program is the perfect way for parks to fill spaces at affordable amounts and to get brand new 2019 models for their lots and communities.

Legacy’s bulk leasing program offers free shipping for the first 200 miles of transport and has a $1,000 refundable deposit per home, returnable upon the installation and skirting of home or the denial of credit/leasing qualification.  With the right to terminate a lease with proper notice with a minimum penalty, and the right to move homes within a park if appropriate notice is provided to Legacy, this program is currently helping to make new product accessible to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the park home market.

This upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, February 20 and 21, Legacy will be having our Semi-Annual Sale at our factory in Eatonton, Georgia.  Featuring over 140 brand new homes, including 100+ park-ready singlewides ranging from 12×34 to 16×64 and over 2 dozen Tiny Houses, this sale has something for every park owner.  With a mix of 1,2, and 3 bedroom units, wind zone 1 and wind zone 2 compliant houses, these homes are pre-built and ready to roll.

Legacy Home Sale Feb 20-21

With monthly bulk leasing prices starting at $243 / month for a 12-wide, this is a can’t miss opportunity to get the most bang-for-your-buck.  For more info on Legacy’s bulk leasing program or to join us at our upcoming Georgia Home Sale, email caseymack@legacyhousingcorp.com or call our Georgia sales team direct at (770) 502-6228.

That’s part of this Friday’s manufactured home “Industry News, Tips, and Views Pros Can Use,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

 

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

NOTICE 2: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two.

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

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Forbes Focus on Manufactured Home Communities, Spotlights Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), MHC Investing

December 31st, 2018 Comments off

 

ForbesBradJohnsonEvergreenManufacturedHomeCommunitiesSamZellEquityLifestyleELSMHCInvestingFMHAMHProNews600

The writer of the Forbes column cited and linked below is a manufactured home community owner named Brad Johnson.  Johnson, not unlike RV Horizon’s Frank Rolfe, misuses the terminology, perhaps for SEO or other reasons.

 

Johnson in Forbes cites Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle Properties or ELS.  It’s Zell who made it a repeated public point to poo-pooh the ‘t-word.’

 

PencilHeadItsNotATrailerParkSamZellPhotoEquityLifstylePropertiesLogoELSLogoMHProNews

Collage by MHProNews. ELS photo and community photos are provided under fair use guidelines. Photo of Sam Zell, by MHProNews.

 

By contrast, former modest community owner and blogger George F. Allen, in his trade-mark inconsistencies, wags a finger at those who don’t say “land lease communities,” yet recently added the term “mobile home” to his blog’s header. Don’t try to figure retired Marine G.F. Allen (GFA) out. He’s arguably only consistent when it comes to what he thinks are his own interests, say former clients of his. The rest, per sources and experience with GFA, are details and commentary.

 

2018-12-30_1317GeorgeAllenBlogHeaderManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

But the point is that there’s plenty of variables in the manufactured home community world on the use of correct or incorrect terminology. Some insist on it, others could care less, and some are blatant hypocrites.

Before pressing ahead, the reason we at MHProNews and MHLivingNews believe proper terminology matters is ironically alluded to indirectly by the Forbes writer, Johnson.

Mobile home parks’ are arguably better appreciated today than in some years gone by, for reasons cited in Johnson’s generally useful column.  But despite consistent returns, and their ability to weather recessions, etc. what’s more properly known as a manufactured home community (MHC) are nevertheless not seen as ‘sexy’ investments.

‘Trailer parks’ are understandably even less appealing to the general public.

The answer isn’t to go with the flow on terminology or industry challenges. Dead fish go with the flow.  But to effect lasting image change belongs to those who make it happen in their own local market(s). Anecdotal evidence suggests that residents’ value – and that of the industry – is being denigrated by the ‘t’ word, and is diluted by saying “mobile home,” if in fact someone is describing a HUD Code manufactured home.

 

TrailerHouseMobileHomeManufacturedHomeFactoryBuiltHousingEvolution101MHProNews-MHLivingNews

You must meet people where they are. Terminology must be taught and caught. Make a habit of using the correct terminology.

Unless the units were built before June 15, 1976 – then ‘mobile home’ is simply not the correct terminology, period.  Steve Duke, JD, in his pithy quote for MHLivingNews below underscored that point.

 

TerminologyMattersBecausetheTerminologyDescribestheConstructionStandardsHomeBuiltToSteveDukeLMHAaMHLivingNewsMHProNewsBiggerPocketsSunshineHomesRedBayAL

The terminology matters because
the terminology determines the
construction standards a home was
built to,” Steve Duke, LMHA.

 

That said, one of the fascinating points obliquely made by Johnson is an oblique slam at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) and their National Communities Council (NCC) for a ‘lack of sound data.’

ELS is used by Johnson as a publicly available standard for good metrics. Quoting:

“…Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle (ELS), the largest company in the mobile home park space (and our best proxy for industry data, which is nonexistent).”

MHProNews has for years similarly cited Sun, ELS, and/or UMH Properties for their published data.

Why?

Because accurate information is otherwise largely lacking. Shame on the industry’s post-production association – MHI – for not curing those data deficits. Instead, MHI has arguably have made it worse to the degree that they weaponize favored firms claims vs less favored ones, even if the favored firms information is incorrect. Case in point.  Each of the three current/former MHI/NCC member firms noted in the related report found in the linked-textbox below have different data points on manufactured home communities. MHI took the lowest total, from MHVillage – though sources at MHVillage have privately admitted that their MH Community count is too low.

 

Frank Rolfe, Dave Reynolds, George Allen, Manufactured Home Community Controversy Continues

 

One of several problems not mentioned by Johnson in the Forbes column further below is that the MH Communities sector is actually shrinking.

That may drive up demand short-to-mid term, as Johnson notes. Contrary to what Johnson suggested, there are some new communities being added, as the graphic below indicates.  Some manufactured home communities are also expanding the number of existing sites, on adjacent previously-vacant land.

DataCompMHVillageNewManufacturedHomeCommunityOpeningsNotMobileHomeParksManufacturedHomeIndustryResearchDataReportsMHProNews

But despite a modest number of new opening MHCs, the overall trend for the number of communities in manufactured housing is down, due to community closures.

An analyst or investor can slide-rule that vexing trend in various ways.

But who do you know in the Investment World that argues that multifamily housing apartments are struggling because so many are being built every year? Think about that.

Manufactured housing in general – or even the demonstrably more stable manufactured home communities – are arguably underperforming. That means that a savvy investor enjoys good potential upside. Among the headwinds? Regulatory and stigma. The later is again why proper terminology should be consistently used.  Capital has returned to the U.S. and to this sector of the industry, as MHProNews has reported, and both of those are a plus.

Let’s see how the Florida Manufactured Housing Association (FMHA) framed their battle against stigma for the public in a video supplied by their “Hand Built Homes” campaign, as shared 11 months ago to MHLivingNews.

 

 

With that introduction and analysis, let’s look at what Johnson wrote in Forbes, found at this link here, or from the in depth quotes below his headline and featured image.

 

2018-12-30_1335ForbesShouldYouInvestInMobileHomeParksOnlyifYouWantConsistentReturnsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews600

Mobile home park investing is not an exciting cryptocurrency, a high-flying tech startup or a trophy office tower you brag about owning. A mobile home park is just a parking lot filled with single- or double-wides that kicks off a lot of cash flow.

I co-own a portfolio of 23 mobile home parks and help real estate investors grow their portfolios with mobile home park investments. There are a lot of unique aspects to the industry that make mobile home parks compelling investments. But, for some strange reason people do not gather around me at parties to learn about the intricacies of them. So, to keep your attention, let’s focus on just one strength most parks share: consistency.

A portfolio of mobile home parks purchased at the right price is a remarkably bankable investment. Mobile home parks deliver profits year in and year out, whereas their cousins (apartment buildings) are often far more erratic. Why?

Compared to apartment buildings, mobile home parks tend to:

  • Have dramatically lower turnover: Only about 2% of the homes leave our parks per year, versus the average apartment tenant yearly turnover, which was 53% in 2015.
  • Have lower operating and capital expenses due to fewer maintenance costs and amenities: We rent land, which is pretty cheap to maintain.
  • Have less volatile rents due to reduced competition. There is essentially no new supplyof mobile home parks. Strict zoning laws make them nearly impossible to build. Compare that to apartments buildings, of which more than 350,000 new unitswere built last year. That’s a never-ending supply of new competition for existing apartments. That sounds horrible. Who wants to go out in the cold and slay a new dragon every year? I’d rather be back at the castle by the fireplace counting land rent.

All these differences translate to consistent profits. Consider the profit track record of Sam Zell’s Equity LifeStyle (ELS), the largest company in the mobile home park space (and our best proxy for industry data, which is nonexistent). ELS has achieved positive profit growth in every quarter since 1998. That’s impressive: America suffered a huge housing crisis in 2007, but ELS grew profits anyway. This isn’t a fluke or something unique to ELS. This consistency is structural to the industry.

Comparison To Other Commercial Property Types

To fully understand the lower capital advantage mobile home parks have over other non-multifamily real estate assets, here are the remaining major commercial asset types and their roadblocks to consistent cash flow performance.

  • Office properties:Occupancy is highly susceptible to recessions and requires huge ongoing capital expenditures relating to building systems and staffing. Office landlords must spend hundreds of thousands and often millions on new tenant improvements and broker leasing commissions. These costs are paid upfront. If the tenant goes bankrupt on day one of the lease, the landlord cries.
  • Retail properties:These are highly susceptible to recessions, and many are currently being methodically crushed by online retailers.
  • Hotel properties:These come with high fixed expenses — and you can’t fire the staff if occupancy is low one night.
  • Industrial properties:Though industrial properties tend to have the lowest ongoing capital needs next to mobile home parks, tenant concentration can be an issue. If your largest tenant defaults, you’re in trouble.

In contrast, mobile home parks are virtually recession-resistant, with low fixed costs and minimal capital needs. They have lower turnover rates, don’t require much staffing and have highly diversified tenant bases. In other words, they are consistent.

How To Make Your First Mobile Home Park Investment

If you’re a passive investor interested in co-owning parks, there are quality sponsors out there that you can invest with. If you would rather roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself, here are a few suggestions:

  • Don’t start small:Counterintuitively, you don’t want to crawl before you walk in mobile home park investing. Buy a park large enough (~50 spaces) to provide tenant diversity and support an on-site (or nearby) property manager. If you go small, you’ll become the de facto property manager and will need to personally collect rents and enforce the rules.
  • Narrow your search:You’re going to have a hard time competing against larger, more established players on brokered deals. Don’t plan on finding a great deal online. It took me years and a lot of cold calling to develop consistent deal flow. If it’s your first deal, your best strategy is to focus on a couple of markets and deal directly with the owners.
  • Stay away from private utilities: If at all possible, stay far, far away from private utilities. The costs to replace private electrical, gas, water or sewer systems are often six figures and sometimes seven figures depending on the size and type of system. Do you want 100 families calling you in the middle of the night to report a gas leak? Unless you’re very lonely or very bored, probably not.
  • Secure long-term debt:When mobile home parks fail, it’s often because a short-term loan came due and the owner couldn’t refinance.
  • Make sure you have time to oversee the asset: Mobile home parks do not run themselves. You need the right team, software and systems to manage them for you. Or you need to do it all yourself. If you’re looking for mailbox money, look elsewhere.

Conclusion

Consistency can be boring, but it’s critical for long-term investment success. You can’t increase cash flow if you have to keep reinvesting in the property just to keep things afloat. If you can’t grow profits, you’ll be far too dependent on market timing and interest rates to achieve compelling returns.

The mobile home park industry has been reliably profitable due to its structural advantages that keeps mobile home park supply, tenant turnover, ongoing capital and recurring expenses low. This enables investors to compound capital as revenue growth flows to the bottom line and is not diluted by surprise capital expenses. ##

2018Top50ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesListNotMObileHomeParksNCCNationalCommunitiesCouncilManufacturedHousingInsttitueDailyBusinessNewsMHProNEws

The above was not part of Johnson’s column.  In fairness to the NCC, they have produced this listing of the top 50 MHC operations, which has some value. But more detailed data on communities is inconsistent and contradictory, as Johnson writing in Forbes, and the graphics below from MHI members, all reflect.  MHI’s data is arguably an embarrassment to the industry, Johnson is not alone in slamming it,  and it clearly needs to be corrected. We alone in MH trade publishing have called MHI to account for this #nettlesome problem. 

TopManufacturedHomeCommunitiesSkylineChampionIRDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

This graphic from Sun Communities (SUI) uses what appears to be MHVillage/DataComp figures. Insiders there have told MHProNews that they know their count is off (under) by thousands, yet this is the count that MHI has used more recently. One of several problems with a false community count is this –> if the total number of guesstimated sites are anywhere near accurate, then more communities means fewer average sites per community. See the below, all from MHI or MHI members, and the numbers are all over on the community count.

ManufacturedHousingIndustry50000CommunitiesCavcoManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIDailyBusinessNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryFactCheckMHProNews

This claim by CAVCO is arguably dated and in error. Frank Rolfe with RV Horizons argues for 44,000, based upon what he said was a ‘hand count’ done over a two year period of time. Rolfe admits that it may be as high as 45,000, but those would be tiny communities of say 2 or 3 spaces, he said to MHProNews.

ManufacturedHomesMadeInAmericaDataInfographicManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoMHILogoMHProNewsFactCheck

ManufacturedHomeCommunitiesGraphicManufacturedHousingInstituteNationalCommunityCouncilDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-768x388

For our original report, using MHI’s graphic, and citing Rolfe’s, Allen’s and MHI’s data in the text by the arrow. http://www.MHProNews.com/blogs/daily-business-news/manufactured-housing-institute-outgoing-chair-tim-williams-remarks-vs-mhi-ceo-richard-dick-jennison-comments-fact-checks/

 

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All image credits are as shown, and images or third party documents that may be attached are provided under fair use guidelines. 

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Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

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Graphic, data, per Sun Communities (SUI).

 

Grab your coffee or energy drink. This is your latest wake up call.

Opportunities knock, but they come dressed in overalls.

Johnson made several valid points in Forbes, but some needed adjusting or were exaggerated, etc. as noted above.  Johnson who is clearly pro-industry, nevertheless had issues in his report.  This article in Forbes is but one of many possible examples of why a report in the mainstream should not be merely forwarded, without a sound commentary and analysis. Otherwise, misinformation mixed with accurate information only spreads.

 

PublishingHandPickedInformationCanBeWorsefortheImpressionItMakesOnManufacturedHomesandOurIndustryThanStatingEntirelyFalseInfo-BradLovinNCMHA

There are internal industry challenges that must be overcome. To better understand the issues, see the related report, below the notices and byline that follow, for more insights and details. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

 

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NOTICE: You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here. You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. Connect on LinkedIn here.

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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

You can click on the image/text boxes to learn more about that topic.

Eye Opening – Manufactured Homes in National, Global Context

Earning More Honest, Honorable Manufactured Home Industry Profits in 2019

 

MHARR Exclusive Report & Analysis, June 25, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Association Steps Up, Promoting Manufactured Home Communities Investing

December 20th, 2018 Comments off

 

StateAssocManufacturedHousingInstitutesouthCarolinaManufacturedHomeCommunitiesPromotionsDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

The holiday season hasn’t caused the Manufactured Housing Institute of South Carolina still-new communications person to slow down.  Janae Frazier has stepped up to the plate with two new pro-industry videos produced on the MHISC’s YouTube channel in December, 2018.

 

The two videos are entirely different styles, as a look at each under-a-minute videos will reveal.

 

 

Based upon the views on this video, it appears that the Daily Business News on MHProNews is the first one to view each, as both showed zero views at the time we first looked. A state-association specific article will not normally attract the same number of readers as one about one of the industry’s nation associations, or some other hot topic, so this article won’t likely make a big impact on the views, but time will tell.

 

 

Any promotion of the manufactured housing industry is better than no promotion, so the videos are arguably an effort with a good intention.

 

ManufacturedHousingInstituteLogoSouthCarolinaLogoMHISCLogoYouTubeChannel1Video1219.2018DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

Janae Frazier’s efforts dwarf that of their larger and better funded Arlington, VA based counterparts.

JanaeFrazierMHISCManufacturedHousingInstituteSouthCarolinaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Still from an MHISC video on this page.

 

Frazier deserves credit for that effort.

But the industry realistically must look beyond efforts and posturing from Arlington, VA toward actual measurable results.  It isn’t even so much about how many views, as how many actual buyers.

When several states are still slipping in new HUD Code manufactured home shipments, during an affordable housing crisis, these are warning signals that can’t be ignored.

 

 

2018-12-19_1707NewEnglandRVDAHowManyVideosOnYouTubeChannelDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

 

MHI and its members ought to answer this simple 3 part proposition. Logic says that:

  • MHI either know what to do to get more manufactured home sales, but thus far, have not done it.
  • MHI doesn’t know what to do to get more new HUD Code manufactured home sales, and doesn’t want to admit it.
  • Some combination of the two bullets above, such as MHI knows that it should debunk every piece of misinformation that arises, via an educational effort, but for whatever reason, isn’t doing it.

 

2018-12-10_0949SkyChampionManufacturedHousingShipmentHistoryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsNov2018

There is ample evidence to support the concerns that they are doing what Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, such as Clayton Homes and 21st Mortgage want. Certainly MHI videos routinely feature Clayton Homes.  When Kevin Clayton said 7 years ago that the industry was ready to start promoting the industry, what has happened since then, and why?

This is the time of year that people are planning for the next year.  What do you want to see occur that will make 2019 significantly better than 2018?

ICYMI, or need a refresher on the latest national data, click the image/text box below to see that report.

 

“Pants on Fire” – Latest New Manufactured Housing Shipment Report

 

For more relevant insights, see the related reports, linked below the by line, news tips icon, emailed newsletter sign up, and other notices. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)

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To report a news tip, click the image above or send an email to iReportMHNewsTips@mhmsm.com – To help us spot your message in our volume of email, please put the words NEWS TIP in the subject line.

NOTICE: You can join the scores who follow us on Twitter at this link. You can get our ‘read-hot’ industry-leading emailed headline news updates, at this link here.

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3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com. Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.

 

Related Reports:

“Lots of Sizzle,” Clayton Sales Performance, Other MHI & Clayton Homes News Tips

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“It’s a Terrible Idea,” Comments from Manufactured Home Community Owners, Senior Management, and Investors

 

Housing Choice, Where Modular, Manufactured, Tiny, Conventional Housing Crisis, MHI and MHARR Intersect