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Posts Tagged ‘manufactured home community investors’

Anti Community MHAction Targets Frank Rolfe, RV Horizons and ELS

January 5th, 2017 Comments off
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I’ve watched such groups attack a manufactured home community – by misusing the media – with such gusto, that they harmed the value of every resident owned home at that property,” said consultant and publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach. Image credit, MHAction, and collage/text credit by MHProNews under fair use guidelines.

Small-to-large manufactured home community (MHC) operations are no strangers to the ire of anti-investor activists.

MHAction is one such group.  They’re seeking to grow their influence with MHC residents, media, policy advocates, regulatory and legislative bodies.

Part of their strategy is to use the news media to attack higher-profile MH business operations.

Manufactured homeowners and residents across the country are outraged by the business practices of RV Horizons,” said MHAction in a public post by the group.

RV Horizons Inc. owner Frank Rolfe thinks owning a manufactured home community is like, “a Waffle House where everyone is chained to the booths,” proclaims the group’s recent Facebook post, aimed at increasing the number who sign a petition for investigations of Rolfe and his partner’s business.

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Whatever their motivations, attacking private capital doesn’t attract more investors.  That de facto harms those who would upgrade existing or build new quality manufactured home communities.  MHProNews does not represent either of these two operations at any level, but editorially recognizes that groups such as MHAction attacking industry firms often harms others in the business too.  An industry response can be useful to set-the-record straight.

If you live in a community owned by RV Horizons, and are concerned by their business practices, click to sign a petition asking state Attorney Generals to investigate,” MHAction says.

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A new Masthead blog post outlines the facts that manufactured housing industry pros must grapple with in dealing with this new breed of media-savvy activists.

MHAction Disrupting Manufactured Housing Industry Business as Usual

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Dave Reynolds (l), Frank Rolfe (r), of Mobile Home University, Mobile Home Park Store and RV Horizons. Provided under fair use guidelines.

MHProNews has previously interviewed Frank Rolfe about adverse press coverage he and his firm have received, one of those interviews with Rolfe is found at the link here.

A detailed, fact-based reaction to MHAction’s media-based attack on ELS is linked here.

For balance, MHProNews contacted MHAction, asking for details and specific questions about their operation – including the sources for their funding.  As of this post’s publication time, with over a week since our inquiries, MHAction has not responded.

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Tom Fath, a manufactured home owner who lives on the property he helps manage, told MHProNews that in the NPR story, there was no excuse for the property owner, but noted that: “Where is the tenant accountability? Homes are personal property (Unless units are rentals) and there is trash and debris everywhere.” Negative media coverage paints an inaccurate picture of manufactured home owners as being victims or unhappy with their lifestyle, when surveys and studies by third parties reveal that MH owners are happy with their homes and lifestyle. Image from the MHAction Facebook page.

The Daily Business News will continue to monitor this and other such groups.  ##

(Image Credits are as shown above.)

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Alaska’s Hidden Billionaire

March 6th, 2015 Comments off

four-seasons-mobile-home-park-anchorage-alaskaJust south of the Elmendorf-Richardson military base in Anchorage, Alaska, there’s a seven-block manufactured home community named Four Seasons, where rentals start at $1,300 a month. Its one of at least 40 multifamily properties in the area, or about 12 percent of the city’s entire rental market, owned by Weidner Investment Services.

The Four Seasons manufactured home community in Anchorage, Alaska, listed on Weidner Apartment Homes’ website.

“They’re the 800-pound gorilla in town,” Kim Johnson, a real estate agent with Paragon Properties Inc., said in a phone interview.

Bloomberg News tells MHProNews that the 4,000 apartments are a fraction of the more than 38,000 units the company owns in Seattle, Phoenix, Colorado, Texas, Canada’s Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces, and other markets. Together, the properties have a net asset value of $2.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, making the company’s 72-year-old founder W. Dean Weidner a billionaire.

Dan Benton, an Anchorage real estate agent, said in a phone interview, “They suck up all the big stuff that my other clients would like to buy, usually in a private sale before it hits the market.” In addition to the properties Weidner owns in Alaska, his Kirkland, Washington-based company now owns at least 40 buildings with more than 6,100 units in Seattle and surrounding towns such as Bellevue, Kirkland, Renton and Everett, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Rents in Seattle are up 6.4 percent over last year as of January, data compiled by real estate website Trulia Inc. shows.

“They recognize the opportunity in small markets,” said Gary Klockenteger, senior vice-president of valuation advisory at Kidder Mathews in Seattle.

The company invests $400 million annually, adding 4,000 units a year, and Weidner reviews 20 to 30 purchase opportunities with his acquisitions team a week, according to an official university write-up of a conversation at Wisconsin-Stout. Weidner Investment Services is the 30th-largest owner of rental properties in the U.S, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Weidner owns more than 30 properties in Arizona, with at least 9,900 units, valued at about $1 billion before accounting for debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Half are in Phoenix, where rents are up 10 percent year-over-year, according to Trulia. Others are located in Tucson, Anthem, Mesa, Chandler and Peoria, according to the website. Most of the Arizona properties were purchased in 2010 or later.

The company owns at least 18 properties with more than 2,900 units in Midland and Odessa, Texas, towns west of Dallas in the oil-rich Permian Basin region, where the number of operating drilling rigs has dropped with oil prices, according to Bloomberg Intelligence reports.

“In Midland, Texas, Weidner is a big player,” said Scott L. Williams, whose Scott Williams Team Realtors owns about 350 apartment units in the area.

In Colorado Springs, where the company owns at least 18 buildings with about 2,600 units, oil also has played a role: the city’s 93 percent occupancy rate is weaker than other markets Weidner operates in.

Weidner has also purchased properties in Minnesota, Utah and in cities surrounding Los Angeles.

“They look for opportunity that most people would pass right by,” Klockenteger said.

Weidner’s mother began teaching him how to maintain and manage his family’s duplex and fourplex apartments in Colorado Springs when he was 14 years old, according to a 2002 profile in Alaska Business Monthly. He continued to manage them through college, according to the article.

He bought his first property in Seattle in 1977, Weidner said in an October 2013 talk at University of Wisconsin-Stout, where he donated $1 million to the business school. ##

(Photo Credit: Bloomberg News)

sandra-lane-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-75x75-Article submitted by Sandra Lane to – Daily Business News – MHProNews.