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Posts Tagged ‘manufactured home sales’

Spencer Roane w/Southeast Community Owners (SECO), Praises Tom Lackey, Accused of Rent-to-Own Manufactured Home Sales Improprieties

May 15th, 2018 Comments off

StoneyPointeMobileHomeParkManufacturedHousingCommunityDailyBuisnessNewsMHProNews

 We bought a trailer [1] that wasn’t really ours. I mean, it really hurt me.
My nerves have been tore up. I’ve been crying
.”

Tonya Evans, a customer of Tom Lackey’s Stoney Pointe MH Community business.

  

Spencer Roane is an RV MH Hall of Fame Inductee, and is one of a group of manufactured home land-lease community owners who has organized the Southeast Community Owners (SECO) symposium. 

Among the features of the annual SECO gathering? 

Talks by Roane on a controversial use of a lease-to-own (rent-to-own) program that he has previously said can be used to “finance” the sale of manufactured homes.

Roane was asked by the Daily Business News about Tom Lackey, who stands accused of ‘selling’ pre-owned manufactured homes rent-to-own. More on Roane’s reaction and comments to the troubling accusations, later below.

But first, what exactly is creating such a troubling mainstream media stir? 

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1) Terminology used is in the original, and isn’t the legally correct term. The homes in this sad story appear to be HUD Code manufactured homes, based upon photos, perhaps dating to the 1980s or 1990s.

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Charges of “Selling” Homes “Rent to Own,” Without Titles

According to accusations reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Lackey and his business did not own the homes that he “sold” rent-to-own.

18 residents learned their homes would be auctioned off for back taxes.

Tonya Evans and her family had a jolt when “…about five weeks ago, county workers showed up and taped a yellow seizure notice to their house. They did the same with 17 other mobiles homes [1]  at Stoney Pointe and Blue Ridge Estates, located around the block on Schmitt Road. Nobody had paid property taxes for years,” per Times Free Press staff writer Tyler Jett.

Lackey reportedly did not return calls and messages from the Times Free Press.

Nor did Tom Lackey reply to a number of direct and indirect queries from the Daily Business News, that invited him to share his version of the highly-emotionally – and legally charged – allegations.  But oblique comments about Lackey were offered by a colleague, Spencer Roane.

 

Spencer Roane’s Comments on Tom Lackey

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A SECO attendee who said they’re aware of the dynamics involved in this matter told MHProNews that ‘Spencer Roane has gone out of his way to protect Tom Lackey.’ 

Tom has been a member of our SECO planning group for several years. I couldn’t ask for a more professional, conscientious, or capable member of our team,” Roane said in a message to the Daily Business News.

Roane was asked about Lackey.  Roane was also asked about their often publicized to industry members ‘rent to own’ or ‘lease purchase option’ process.

I am somewhat familiar w/this situation [i.e; Lackey/Stoney Pointe] but am not comfortable commenting on it, except to say that lease-option contracts are [a] complicated, legally enforceable means of transferring ownership of MHs in some states,” Roane said.  

Roane added, “I’ve bcc’ed Tom on this msg. He will contact you if he wants to discuss it.” 

The SECO website shows Lackey on their planning team.

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Editorially, MHProNews believes that the majority of the industry’s professionals are honorable people. Every industry or profession has so-called ‘bad actors.’ Manufactured housing is no exception. But unlike many other industries, manufactured housing is routinely portrayed in a negative fashion in media reports. When allegations are false, they should be disputed. When allegations are true, ignoring them doesn’t help the industry, its home owners and leaves a problematic impression for potential buyers. An industry that policies itself may more often avoid such problems, and thus could avoid onerous legislation or regulations that can result from the ‘bad actions’ of a few. About the case of Tom Lackey and Stoney Pointe, all that is known at this time is as shown and linked. Lackey would not accept the Daily Business News’ offer to have him and/or his attorney explain their version of the events described in the Times Free Press.  To learn more about our view of the industry, its professional and overall happy home owners, click the related report below.” We Provide, You Decide.” ©

Happy MH Owners? Good Professional Actors? Overlooked, “Honorable People”

Apparently, Lackey did not want to explain his view on what took place with Tonya Evans, her family, and 17 other households that live in his community. Should he and/or his attorney offer a comment, we can update this report.

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George Allen, photo credit, MHProNews.com.

Blogger, COBA7 owner, and RV MH Hall of Famer retired Col. George Allen – who has been played a role in the SECO program – declined comment on the troubling story.   

I’m somewhat familiar with the matter. No comment from here,”  Allen said to the Daily Business News via email.  

As Allen’s COBA7 followers and others know, Allen has promoted Roane’s rent-to-own program and SECO for several years.  

 

What Local Authorities Said

Dealer rules and regulations are very clear,” said Danny Sane, the tax commissioner of Whitfield County. “You’re not supposed to be able to sell a car or a mobile home without the title in your name.”

Sane called the bill of sale ‘worthless,’ per the Times Free Press.

Walker County Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker said, Mr. Lackey must go through the proper proceedings before he can legally rent, or sell the mobile home [1],” Walker said in an email to the Times Free Press. Their report indicated that Lackey never obtained those titles to the manufactured homes they were ‘selling’ when he purchased the community in 2014.

 

Evans Paid Cash 

While most of Lackey’s customers were presumably ‘buying’ rent-to-own, Evans and her husband reportedly paid cash for their home.

Now, they’ve packed up and moved on, saying they had been defeated. 

What impact, if any, this has on Stoney Pointe, Lackey, SECO, COBA7 attendees and their followers is not easy to predict.  But some consequences wouldn’t be surprising.  And what will those various residents who thought they would become owners do?

The Times Free Press has signaled that this is going to be an ongoing investigation by their publication.

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Will the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) step in and comment on this troubling case? On rent-to-own a.k.a. ‘lease purchase option’ so-called ‘sales’?

FrankRolfeNegativeArticlesOnIndustryNoCommentbyManufacturedHousingInstituteMHIRVHorizonsMobleHomeUniversityPostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-575x132

A source familiar with the matter from Georgia had this off-the-record comment, “…this is common among Community Owner’s because states don’t have appropriate abandoned housing laws, these guys buy a community and can’t move a home because it has ten years back taxes to pay for because customer died 8 years ago and family want moved the home. Doesn’t mean it’s right though. Georgia has a new Abandoned housing law that goes in effect July 1st that will help avoid this in the future.”

In the era of Google and internet-driven news searches, this is likely to be an ongoing image issue for many other community operators, and arguably the industry at large.  

It is part of what MHI award-winner Marty Lavin, JD,  has called tongue-in-cheek the industry’s “other image campaign.”

Lavin was travelling, and was not able to comment on the specific concerns in this case.  But he has previously noted the principles that people should pay more attention to what people do than what they say, and to follow the money.

  • Will the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) weigh in on the troubling issue?
  • Will MHI defend the reputation of those who strive day-by-day to serve their customers properly? 
  • Will Lackey respond to our numerous attempts to get him to comment on his version of these incidents? 
  • The Chattanooga Times Free Press news report is linked here. ## (News, analysis, and commentary)

(Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.) 

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[1] The terminology shown is in the original, and isn’t the proper legal name for the kind of home being described. To learn more about terminology and general industry facts, click here. MHProNews encourages mainstream media, and all others too, to use the proper terminology for each type of home. 

Update, on the record comments from GMHA (5.15.2018 at 11:43 AM ET):

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Jay Hamilton, Executive Director, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA).

We [GMHA] recognized the state had an issue and so we utilized the legislative process to rectify the problem. We know this [new] law is sound. We used the Alabama law for precedence and invited the states magistrate judges, tax commissioners, and bankers to the table. We worked together for two years until we had 100% agreement,” said Jay Hamilton, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association (GMHA) to MHProNews.

The Daily Business News pressed the GMHA, in a follow up, about Tom Lackey, Stoney Pointe, and the details of this specific matter.  In their follow up reply, Hamilton said via a text message the following.

The GMHA can’t comment on the specifics of such matters,” the GMHA executive director said.

But in general, when a potentially problematic issue exists with a member, there is a code of conduct and process the GMHA follows.”

The association is always focused on resolving underlying issues, and doing so in a manner that respects consumers and members alike,” Hamilton said to MHProNews.

Related Reports:

Governor Signs new “Mobile Home” Act

NPR’s Syringa Mobile Home Park Story, Revisited by Community Owner

 

Community Co-Owner/Manager View On Richard Jennison and the Manufactured Housing Institute StatePoint Advertorial

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

 

Gary Shiffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sun Communities (SUI), Statement$, Video

April 25th, 2018 Comments off

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Sun Communities (SUI) First Quarter of 2018 performance results are out.

 

Sun’s Gary Shiffman is talking about it.

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We started 2018 on a positive pace posting $1.14 in core FFO per share which is at the top end of our guidance range. All cylinders are firing on our operations front and both, our manufactured housing and high RV components driven by outperformance in our rental program and home sales net profit, as well as lower than expected interest expenses,” said Gary Shiffman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sun Communities (SUI), per Seeking Alpha’s investor call transcript.

Same community revenue growth for the quarter was 5.7%. We did experience 6.6% same community expense growth in the quarter, the majority of which related to a one-time reserve increase for certain general liability claims and increased utility usage in the Midwest, Texas and Florida which we attribute to significantly lower temperatures for the period. Demand for the high quality lifestyles Sun delivers remains robust. For the quarter, Sun gained 616 revenue producing sites which included outperformance in RV conversions from transient to annual sites. Home sales volume rose 1.3% to 837 homes in the quarter, driven by an almost 40% increase in new home sales. The bulk of our over 100 new home sales in the quarter were in Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Texas highlighting the diversification and increased demand throughout the portfolio,” said Shiffman.

SunQ12018BalanceSheetsManufacturedHomeCommunitiesREIT-SUI-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsSun – along with other REITs and portfolio operators in the manufactured home community market – have often turned to rentals in recent years.  The return of higher home sales levels is thus a positive signal for detail-minded industry observers, professionals and investors.

In the quarter, we also completed the construction of 246 expansion sites and two manufactured housing communities that will contribute to revenue growth as these sites lease up over the coming quarters. The Company remains on pace to complete construction of approximately 1,350 expansion sites in 16 communities of which 1,000 are in 12 manufactured home communities and 350 are in 4 RV Resorts by the end of 2018. On a final growth front, our ground up developments continue to progress, the construction work at our 332 site Cava Robles RV Resort is nearly complete. The resort is now accepting reservations and is scheduled to open by the end of second quarter. Construction at Carolina Pines are 840 site development at South Carolina began in the first quarter and we expect to complete approximately 470 sites by the second quarter of 2019,” Shiffman said.

The SUI supplemental package is linked here as a download.

A recent look by MHProNews at Sun Communities IR snapshots, is linked below.

Sun Communities Annual Data and Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Presentation Highlights

Shiffman’s 20th Anniversary as Public Company Video

As background color, this video of Shiffman provides some interesting context.  Listen to his facts then, and compare it to the growth in roughly the last 5 years.

Sun is shown as #1 in the latest list of manufactured home communities, for that list, click here or below.

Sun (SUI) is one of the stocks tracked by the Daily Business News evening market recap and data summary.  For last nights numbers, click here.   ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

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

Investor$, Manufactured Housing, and Proof of Concept

March 30th, 2018 Comments off

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There are signals that the tech sector – notably giants such as Facebook and Amazon – could come under greater regulatory or even antitrust actions. The markets have already signaled that such action could take some of the bloom off that rose for investors.

 

Where will capital seeking opportunities flow?

 

For contrarians, one possibility is the affordable housing sector, notably manufactured housing.

 

Investor$, Manufactured Housing, and “Proof of Concept”

Investors often want data, or a demonstration project before diving in. “Proof of Concept” defines such a demo.

What makes manufactured housing (MH) unique is that in spite of the obvious headwinds, Proof of Concept examples abound.

For example, MH Communities are in high demand, and publicly traded companies provide significant and useful data.

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Sun Communities Annual Data and Manufactured Housing Industry Investor Presentation Highlights

Deals made and pending, such as the ECN Triad Deal last year, or the pending Skyline Champion marriage spotlight recent financial support for deals beyond communities.

ECN Triad Financial Services – Fascinating Facts, Manufactured Home Industry Professionals, Investors

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Skyline Corp, Champion Homebuilders Conference Call Presentation Facts, Figures, Forward-Looking Statements, Planned Merger Detail$

 

Sam Zell’s View of MHVille…

One of the billionaire investment mogul Sam Zell’s rules is, “When everyone is going right, look left.”   It’s worth noting Zell’s deeply involved in manufactured home communities, and has said he hasn’t lost interest in it.

 

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While one can debate Warren Buffett’s business practices, what’s not in dispute is his long term view of investments has paid handsome dividends in manufactured housing.  His annual report, is linked below.

Warren Buffett’s Annual Report to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders, Clayton Homes and Manufactured Housing

While it may seem negative, what is harmful to smaller investors could for a deep pocket investor’s perspective, the “war between the Warrens” points to an increased promise, for those who can read between the lines.

Warren Wages War

Two more outside experts looking in points will suffice to make the case for manufactured housing’s potential.

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Appealing Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) Marketing, Finance Booklet Reviewed

There are headwinds, and items to navigate. But in the light of statements like those found in the two short videos below, the potential of manufactured housing is a concept proven with some 22 million Americans, and the fact that billionaires, and billion dollar operations are betting on its future growth.

 

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

Impact of Fear – Manufactured Home Sales, Business, Investment, Zoning, Politics, Media, Manipulation, and You

January 12th, 2018 Comments off

Americans must recognize, says Harvard psychologist Susan David, that “A familiar story is not necessarily a truthful story.”

In “The Science of Fear-Mongering: How to Protect Your Mind from Demagogues,” Harvard psychologist Susan David explains “the dangers of fear-mongering, the questionable ethics of journalism in spreading hate politics, and the disturbing way that repetition wears down our brain’s resistance to fallacies and hate speech,” per Big Think’s YouTube post.

 

David notes that feelings of safety, right, comfort – their opposites – along with the role that repetition plays, are all part of the “the science of fear mongering.

What has arguably gone under-explored in the manufactured housing industry is the role that fear plays with:

  • Prospective buyers,
  • public officials (think, zoning – votes),
  • investors, business people (being in – or not in – ‘the group,’
  • media,
  • educators,
  • industry members themselves – what causes you or others to think and behave as you do,

plus all others.

Composite still from the video, posted below.

Susan David’s Video

David’s 8-minute video has a left-of-center slant that would be common among many in Harvard. With that caveat and bias in mind, she nevertheless makes important points for manufactured housing professionals to consider.

How is feared used to condition people, for-or-against something?

What role does propaganda play in fear?

Benson Demonstrates How “Propaganda Works” on “Most Americans”

Customers are often driven by a variety of fears.

For instance in sales, there’s the notion of the ‘fear of loss’ – rising interest rates, pricing, a closeout model, or that perfect vacant home-site are but some examples – that have often been used as a real or imagined pressure point to ‘close the deal.’

But among customers, there are other fears.

What about fear caused by the economy? Or how fear of “X” – fill in the blank for x – affect my job?  Will there be a war with North Korea, Red China, or Russia? Will terrorists strike?

Then there are also fears caused by social pressures, or safety concerns.

Those kinds of powerful emotional drivers are reasons why videos and articles can be useful in helping a customer overcome a false fear.  Facts – properly understood – can overcome fear. An example from MHLivingNews.com is posted below.  But there are hundreds of others that address specific issues, often from the vantage point of the home owner or an expert.

Hurricane Irma Florida Survivor Relates First-Hand Manufactured Home Safety, Durability Experience

David’s point is one that impacts investors, and all professionals.

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Fear can cause people to do – or not do – something that their normal value system would cause them to be inclined to do.  Pollsters, for example, recognized that a percentage of “the Trump voters would not always say what they believed. Isn’t that a social acceptance fear at work?

Is fear manifest in other ways within the manufactured housing industry?  Isn’t the only answer, yes?

David asks, “How do we thrive in a world where every which way we turn our fear is being activated by politicians, by the media and by the desperate events that are happening around us?”

Spotting fear, and recognizing techniques of manipulation are perhaps as or more important today than in years gone by.

Why?  Because when people are ‘busy,’ they often default into patterns – instead of questioning, based upon evidence, those patterns and beliefs.

What is really fascinating when we look at the brain research around fear is that our brains proxy anything that feels unfamiliar, incoherent or inaccessible as being unsafe,” says David.

There is fascinating research that shows that when people have lower levels of self-esteem and they are in a job in which they are recognized and promoted, that promotion can feel incoherent to the person with low self-esteem. They have low self-esteem and they might be used to and expecting to be treated badly. So what is fascinating is the results showing that when people are promoted when they have a lower levels of self-esteem they are more likely to leave their jobs,” the psychologist explains.

Fear is an incredibly, incredibly powerful force in our lives and our brains are fairly immature in assessing anything that feels slightly incoherent for unfamiliar as unsafe. What this might mean is that if you are used to hearing a story time and time again from a parent or from a partner about how you are not good enough, you are more likely to be drawn to that relationship because it feels familiar,” she says.

David adds that, “Fear has always had a hold on us, but never with such fervor.”

Media savvy professionals recognize that fear must be overcome.

But how often do professionals consider that habit combined with fear can be coercive?

What are the ways that fear and manipulation tactics may be used against you, your customers, or others that you know? We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

Note 1: Stay in the know! Thousands of MH Pros, Investors, Officials and Housing Experts do it. You, your team, and industry colleagues can sign up to the MH Industry leading headline news/updates – typically sent twice weekly – click here to sign up in just seconds.

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Florida Realtor expects Baby Boomers will Drive Manufactured Home Sales

August 3rd, 2015 Comments off

triangle_realty__bob__and_troy_marandino_diana_jarvis_news_dash_journal__bob_koslowPort Orange, Florida’s Triangle Realty has managed to survive nearly 30 years of the economy’s up and downs by diversification. Owner Bob Marandino deals in manufactured homes (MH), residential sales and condos and property management, according to news-journalonline.

When one area is down another is up. We’ve been successful and strong on those three legs,” Marandino said. I also have great people.” Office manager Diane Jarvis also serves as head of manufactured home sales.

Beginning in 1986, Marandino acquired Hudson Realty in 1997 which already had an MH division. “Manufactured home sales have been a significant part of our business at times, but never more than half. We have done 30, 40 sales (of manufactured homes) in some months, but right now it’s slow,” Marandino said. “There are a lot of manufactured home parks in the area and some very nice ones that are age restricted. I think our sales will pick up in the coming years as the baby boomers retire in greater number.

Before the housing bubble, Triangle had 65 agents working out of four offices, but now has 34 agents in two offices, six of whom are in the MH sector.

As a one-time contractor, his experience in the construction business assists helping his clientele evaluate the quality of the homes they are considering. His son, Troy, joined the firm ten years ago and, as MHProNews has learned, is being groomed to take over Triangle, although Bob, at 75, continues to work seven days a week. ##

(Photo credit: news-jounal/Bob Koslow–(l-r) Bob Marandino, Diana Jarvis, Troy Marandino.

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

UMH Opens Regional Manufactured Housing Sales Center

August 1st, 2014 Comments off

umh-sales-center-port-royal-belle-vernon-pa-manufactured-homes-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-UMH Properties, Inc. has announced the opening of a new Regional Manufactured Home Sales Center located in Belle Vernon, PA. The center is adjacent to Port Royal Village, one of the public traded company’s many communities. Bob VanSchuyver Jr., Assistant V.P. Sales for UMH Properties, Inc., said: “ The premier sales center features 6 fully decorated model homes featuring Champion (Redman), Skyline and Eagle River homes. The grand opening and ribbon cutting included members from the Rostraver township Chamber of Commerce and the Rostraver Township Board of Commissioners. Patrick Egros, board Chairman presented a letter welcoming the UMH Sales Center to Rostraver Township.” As MHProNews knows, UMH has been on a strong 5 year growth track, more than doubling the size of their portfolio during that time. UMH now has more than 15,000 home sites, after their most recent acquisitions closed. ##

(Photo credit: UMH Properties, Inc.)

Manufactured Home Sales Rise 24 Percent in California

May 21st, 2014 Comments off

The California Manufactured Housing Institute (CMHI) informs MHProNews.com 70 percent of manufactured home sales there are not starter homes but rather second homes or people downsizing to an aging in place residence. Increasingly, people are paying in cash, and, according to CMHI President Jess Maxcy, the trend towards the higher-end customer has pushed the price of homes sold up six percent, from $94,070 in March 2013 to $100,000 as of March 2014. Additionally, shipment of new homes rose 24 percent for Jan. and Feb. 2014 over the same time period of 2013, and the number of dealers is increasing, reports the newsletter from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). ##

(Photo credit: Riley Transport–new manufactured home being delivered)

Former Manufactured Home Sales Employee Arrested

April 18th, 2014 Comments off

The Lake Wales, Florida Police Department has taken Melissa Platt Ginther into custody for allegedly embezzling over $250,000 from Central Florida Manufactured Home Sales.

Business owner Pam Thompson contacted authorities who discovered during the course of an investigation that Ginther was said to have falsified documents from 2010 to 2013 in an attempt to hide money she took for her personal use, as dailyridge.com reports.

The manufactured home sales business specializes in selling used homes, MHProNews has learned. ##

(Photo credit: dailyridge.com–Melissa Ginther–alleged embezzler)

Iowa Climbing Back from Low Manufactured Home Sales

August 5th, 2013 Comments off

While the manufactured housing industry continues to recover, it still has a long way to go, according to Troy Hames of Hames Homes in Marion, Iowa. Noting the company has sold manufactured homes for 44 years in east central Iowa, Hames says new home sales in the state were 2,200 in 1996 but only 220 in 2012 and are expected to rise to 280 this year. The company also owns five manufactured home communities with a 90 percent occupancy rate, about 1,200 families, but 80 percent of sales are for previously-owned homes, thegazette informs MHProNews. Joe Kelly, executive vice president of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association (IMHA), states financing has always been tough for manufactured home buyers, but the economic downturn combined with consumers taking advantage of low mortgage rates to buy site-built homes has made matters worse. Kelly says while there is pending legislation in Congress to ease lending for manufactured homes, he does not expect matters to change anytime soon.

(Photo credit: Adam Wesley/thegazette–Troy Hames entering a manufactured home)

Manufactured Home Sales Double in Small Market

March 21st, 2013 Comments off

From the dead center of Washington state, wenatcheeworld informs MHProNews the sale of houses priced at $250,000 or below sparked a 40 percent increase of home sales over the first two months of 2012, typically one of the slower periods of the year. “Put an entry-level home on the market and — wham! — it’s gone in no time,” said Laurie Carlson, a broker for Coldwell Banker in Wenatchee, Wash. “They go almost as fast as we can list them.” The biggest jump in six years accounted for sales in the area to go from $15.8 million to $22 million in Jan. and Feb, 2013. Sales of manufactured homes doubled from seven to 15 year-over-year.

(Photo credit: MHVillage)