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Local Developer Says MH Community Hurts Property Value

January 26th, 2017 Comments off
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Credit: MHProNews.

North of the border, in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, Canada, in what appears to be another case of NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard), a housing developer is not pleased about a planned manufactured home community.

According to the Mayerthorpe Freelancer, local housing developer Tim Rosadiuk criticized Mayerthorpe’s new manufactured housing subdivision and said there is a lack of good places to build in town.

Rosadiuk, president of Cozifoam Roof Armour Systems, made a presentation to the town’s policies and priorities committee meeting on Jan. 16. In that presentation, he said the town was wrong to create a new manufactured housing subdivision on the former site of Ellis Granley Park.

The town needs to generate more tax revenue in order to improve services, be able to pave more roads, encourage population growth and density,” said Rosadiuk.

I would see that it offers up to a 30 to 50 per cent tax revenue possibility than manufactured homes for the same unit area of building space.

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Tim Rosadiuk. Credit: Mayerthorpe Freelancer.

Rosadiuk also said it was hard to find places in town to develop site-built homes that do not have surroundings that would diminish the value of the property.

I was discouraged to hear that this property is being developed as more manufactured housing,” said Rosadiuk.

If I choose to build a new house in town, I am hard pressed to find a place where the surroundings won’t diminish the resale value of my new property.

After the meeting, Mayerthorpe Mayor Kate Patrick defended the decision on the manufactured home community, sighting the location.

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Mayor Kate Patrick. Credit: Mayerthorpe Freelancer.

We like to keep the manufactured housing subdivisions in areas where they’re not spot zoning into regular housing areas,” said Patrick.

That area was conducive to the manufactured housings that surround it.

Patrick mentioned that development in the new subdivision is making progress with developers and they are expressing interest, although nothing has been confirmed yet.

She added that Mayerthorpe was going to look into the concerns from Rosadiuk.

We’re in the process of reviewing our land use bylaw and some of the concerns that he brought up will be addressed in the new land use bylaw,” said Patrick.

NIMBYnotInMyBackYard

Credit: OHRC.ON.CA, under fair use.

The Daily Business News covered the controversy in Mayerthorpe recently, and also here in the U.S., where in Aiken, South Carolina, Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance. ##

 

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

 

Carson Approved by Senate Committee, Provides View on MH

January 24th, 2017 Comments off
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Ben Carson taking the oath at his confirmation hearing. Credit: Newsmax.

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee has unanimously approved Dr. Ben Carson for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.) His nomination now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Manufactured housing also took center stage, as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) tells MHProNews that Senator Dean Heller (R-Nevada) asked Dr. Carson to describe in writing his view of the role of manufactured housing in the provision of affordable housing in rural areas.

 

I do see manufactured housing playing an important role in providing affordable housing in rural areas. I think it’s important to ensure HUD’s policies promote access to this valuable resource,” said Carson.

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Senator Dean Heller. Official photo.

After the vote by the senate, Carson will inherit an agency with 8,300 employees and a budget of about $47 billion.

According to WWLP, Committee Chairman Michael Crapo of Idaho praised Carson and his impressive career.

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Senator Michael Crapo. Credit: Wikipedia.

HUD will benefit from having a secretary with a different perspective and a diverse background,” said Crapo.

The committee advanced Carson’s nomination in a simple voice vote without major opposition from Senate Democrats, who are fighting other appointees of President Trump.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the leading Democrat on the panel, said he was supporting Carson because of his commitments to address lead hazards, uphold fair housing laws and advocate for rental assistance, despite his reservations.

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Senator Sherrod Brown. Official photo.

I would not have chosen him because of his lack of experience and his often troubling public statements over the last three years,” said Brown.

But despite my reservations and my disagreements with some of his positions, I’ll give Dr. Carson the benefit of the doubt.”

Prior to the vote, Brown proposed unsuccessfully that the committee begin requiring Cabinet-level nominees to submit three years of tax returns before confirmation hearings.

Republicans opposed the change.

Our extensive coverage on the nomination and confirmation of Dr. Ben Carson includes four former HUD Secretaries endorsing Carson and an open letter from MHProNews and MHLivingNews Publisher L.A. “Tony” Kovach.

The letter from Kovach is linked here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

Trump’s Regulation Cuts Could Have Major Impact on MH

January 23rd, 2017 Comments off
TrumpsRegulationCutsCouldHaveMajorImpactonMHcreditAmericaEnterpriseInstitute-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Credit: American Enterprise Institute.

Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump was very clear on one thing he wanted to change – regulations.

President Trump talked about the Obama-era financial regulations, including Dodd-Frank, as “bad for business” and responsible for the nation’s slow growing economy.

 

For many, the President’s anti-regulatory stance is a welcome breath of fresh air.

According to Business Insider, the financial services industry is particularly excited, seeing the Trump victory as an early Christmas present.

TrumpsRegulationCutsCouldHaveMajorImpactonMHOctavioMarenzicreditOptimas-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Octavio Marenzi. Credit: Optimas.

This isn’t going to necessarily translate into a golden age for banks, but it will be a normalization of the business environment. They’ve been battered by regulations and now we are finally going to see a more healthy environment,” said Octavio Marenzi, CEO of Opimas, a management consultancy firm focused on capital markets.

Our analysis shows that efforts to deregulate could redirect more than $25 billion in capital in the financial services industry over the course of the next 18-24 months,” said Opimas co-founder Medy Agami.

Areas in the analysis by Opimas that are of particular interest to the manufacture housing industry:

  • The roll back of Dodd-Frank and the elimination of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
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Credit: Plus 1 Properties, MHProNews.

The elimination of or serious reduction in CFPB regulations will mean a potential savings of nearly $1.4 billion for banks,” said Marenzi.

Additionally, Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin has said that the new administration plans to “strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending.

As Daily Business News readers are aware, Republican Senators Bob Sasse (NE) and Mike Lee (UT) have called for the removal of CFPB director Richard Cordray, and Democratic lawmakers have called on the Trump Administration to keep Cordray and the agency in tact as is.

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Credit: Wikipedia, CFPB, HubPages.

A D.C. circuit court ruled last year that the CFPB was unconstitutional.

  • Repeal of the “Volcker Rule”

Enacted in 2013, the rule was designed to prevent future financial crises. Agami and Marenzi believe that the rule is the easiest to roll back, because all the President would essentially need to do is tell regulators to stop enforcing it.

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Medy Agami. Credit: Optimas.

The implications will be significant for large investment banks since dropping the rule would generate additional revenue and profitability streams,” said Agami.

There is also significant evidence that repealing The Volcker Rule will increase liquidity in various asset classes—fixed income, equities, commodities, foreign government debt, etc.—by enabling dealers to hold inventory that has long-term demand from clients that would otherwise not be allowed,” said Marenzi.

  • Reductions in capital and liquidity requirements
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A Clayton home in Chino Valley. Credit: Clayton Homes.

Originally put in place to prevent risky lending by financial institutions, Marenzi and Agami see significant reductions in the requirements freeing up money hoarded by banks.

It will free up nearly $20 billion in unproductive capital over the next 18-24 months that banks are hoarding and could redirect to other areas,” they said.

These regulations will be the most difficult to scale back since they are globally implemented and compelled banks to build myriad models and retain armies of risk and compliance teams.

Movement in these areas, combined with incoming Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Dr. Ben Carson, could bode very well for the manufactured housing industry as regulations decrease and capital flows improve.

For more on Dodd-Frank, the CFPB and their impact on the manufactured housing industry, click here. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

rcwilliams-writer75x75manufacturedhousingindustrymhpronews

RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MH and Millennials: Finally Affordable

January 18th, 2017 Comments off
MHandMillennialsFinallyAffordablecreditFloridaToday-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

A home at Lamplighter Village. Credit: Florida Today.

In Melbourne, Florida, manufactured homes are getting a whole new level of respect.

From millennials.

The generation that is now attracted to manufactured homes wants all the extras and we’re giving it to them,” said Ryan Brower, general manager at Lamplighter Village.

Today’s buyers may be downsizing from a 4,000-square-foot home to a 2,000-square-foot home, but they don’t want to lose any of the amenities. They want more. They also want all the new trends.

Per Florida Today, while the baby boomers may be downsizing and interested in the possibilities of the new manufactured homes, they are not the only ones in the market for this affordable housing.

Millennials are making the move to their first house, and more of them are also choosing manufactured homes.

The data supports this.

MHI-ManufadturedHousingIndustryFastFacts20161-PostedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews

Credit: MHI.

Statistics from the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) show that the largest group of manufactured home owners is now between the ages of 18 and 29.

Pricing also makes manufactured housing extremely attractive to millennials, with “costs anywhere between 10 and 35 percent lower than site built homes,” read the odd phrasing of the apparent MHI advertorial, given that the Census Bureau reports manufactured homes are half the cost of new on-site construction.

Where most would agrees is that when combined with the quality and consistency of factory building, there are often no discernible differences between manufactured and site built homes.

As an example, Lamplighter Village offers three bedroom, two bath homes with 2,220 square feet for between $90,000 to $160,000.

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Richard Jennison. Credit: MHI.

The standards for manufactured housing are subject to robust compliance and quality assurance regulations, sometimes more stringent than those for traditional site-built homes,” said MHI president and CEO Richard Jennison.

The building materials used in today’s manufactured homes are the same as those used in site-built homes. 

Also attractive to millennials are sustainability, energy efficiency and technology, all of which manufactured housing delivers on in a big way.

Energy standards for manufactured homes continue to improve,” said Keith Holdbrooks, president of Clayton Home Building Group. “We’re constantly adding new options that can lower homeowner energy consumption for better, long-term savings.

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Sunshine Homes logo is their intellectual property, and is provided here under fair use guidelines. Collage credit, MHProNews.com.

The Daily Business News recently covered Red Bay, Alabama-based Sunshine Homes and their NextGen tech for retailers and manufactured home communities, including 3D virtual tours. That story is linked here.

For more on how manufactured housing continues to defy stereotypes, take a look at our recent MHLivingNews features “Oh Paradigm Shift” – Million Dollar Manufactured Homes for Rich and Frugal, and Nine Revolutionary PreCrafted Tips on Home Buying for 2017, and Beyond. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

City tells Community Owner, Stop Lying – called a “Slumlord”

October 24th, 2016 Comments off
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Cleanup at Oak Hollow. Credit: San Antonio Current.

On the northwest side of San Antonio, a literally smelly controversy has been brewing.

According to multiple news sources, including the San Antonio Current, the owner of Oak Hollow Mobile Home Park has been served a cease and desist by the city.

The order tells him to stop lying to his “tenants.”

The story begins with complaints to the city of San Antonio by residents of the community regarding a strong sewage smell.

I’ve lived there four years, and then my sisters lived there for at least 15 years before that. It’s always smelled like this, I just never knew where it came from,” said one of the residents, who asked the Current to keep his identity anonymous for fear of retribution. “I mostly keep [my daughters] indoors now.

Upon investigation, the city found raw sewage leaking from decrepit septic tanks and directly into the park’s soil, including one leak directly underneath a tenant’s home. The resident was forced to avoid one of the rooms due to the smell.

The city determined that 12 of the homes were in such bad shape that the health department was legally bound to alert those living in Oak Hollow that they would need to move out of their home and into hotel rooms, paid for by the city, until the landlord addressed the problem.

What happened next was unexpected by some.

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Oak Hollow Community. Credit: San Antonio Express.

Joe Mangione, the owner of Oak Hollow, sent out a letter to residents with the following message, “The City of San Antonio has condemned the Mobile Home Park and will be giving out notices to vacate.”

According to city officials, they have done no such thing.

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Ron Nirenberg. Credit: San Antonio Express.

We have families that feel as if they are being uprooted by the city,” said Councilman Ron Nirenberg, whose district includes the Oak Hollow property.

Really, this is about a mobile home [sic] millionaire that has let property go into decay to the point that government has to force compliance.

According to Nirenberg, he contacted Mangione after hearing about the sewage leaks over two weeks ago. When Nirenberg and city staff demanded an explanation for the situation, Mangione offered an unexpected response.

He agreed his property was contaminated and uninhabitable – and that he’d sell it.

The property owner is using this opportunity to further his ultimate goal to sell the property, said Maria Cesar, communications director for Nirenberg’s office.

(Editor’s Note: as Richard Nodel’s comments below suggest, 
most MH Community owners do not operate in this fashion.
For an example of a different experience, click here.)

The Daily Business News has attempted to reach Mangione for comment, and has not received a response.

The Current reports that after reaching the staff at Oak Hollow, they were told that Mangione would not return calls until he got a lawyer.

According to Victoria Mather, a professor at St. Mary’s School of Law with a background in landlord and tenant law, the use of city intervention as an “easy out” isn’t unusual.

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Victoria Mather. Credit: St. Mary’s School of Law.

When it becomes too expensive for a landlord to fix a problem like this, they sell,” said Mather.

This used to be really common in the 60’s, especially with apartment buildings. But it still happens all over the country. 

Mather also told the Current that the only way residents could legally fight back is if Mangione broke a rental contract that promised maintenance upkeep or specific eviction rules. “You can’t force a landlord to stay in business,” said Mather.

Rumors, and the nationality of the tenants, provide an additional twist to this story.

We are not taking your home away from you and we are not going to take our eyes off this situation,” Nirenberg told a meeting of the residents.

Rumors were circulating that the city was going to evict all of the tenants and that they were being punished for reporting the sewage leaks. Nirenberg had to speak slowly enough for a staff member to translate.

creditkabb-postedtothedailybusinessnewsmhpronewsmhlivingnews

Sewage Line at Oak Hollow. Credit: KABB.

Many of the park’s residents are Hispanics, and only understand Spanish. Several claimed that the threat of being reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was a common threat used by Mangione to keep them quiet.

MH Industry Voices Sound Off on the Issue

Karl Radde, General Manager of Southern Comfort Homes and a long-time board member of the Texas Manufactured Housing Association, said, “My very basic initial take at this point is that it seems to be a situation where a city is wanting an owner to repair infrastructure and for reasons unknown from this [local news] article, the owner isn’t or hasn’t,” said Radde.

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Karl Radde, Southern Comfort Homes, Chairman, National Retailers Council, MHI. Radde’s complete thoughts on this issue are linked here.

However, as what is many times missing from these kinds of [local news] articles is the degree of failure and what the remedy would be,” Radde stated.

Certainly, like the Austin gardening plots conundrum, some things at first glance reading seem to be very good and simple ideas or solutions,” Radde, who has worked with manufactured home communties, said.  “In this case however, IF, the city is saying the repair is to dig up the old system, have hazmat crews remove the contaminated soil within three feet around the distressed area, pay exorbitant fees to have it disposed of at a recognized contaminated soil disposal site, and then install On-Site Sewage Facilities (TCEQ’s hundred-dollar word for septic system) that may not physically be possible in the space allowed; then they may as well be condemning it, just not going through the condemnation process.

An MH Community Owner with Texas Properties Views

I doubt that my reaction is different from anybody else reading this,” said Richard Nodel. “It is just another classic example of a slum landlord taking advantage of people that because of their position are either afraid to speak up or can’t afford to move.

Nodel also spoke to the perceptions that hurt the manufactured housing industry.

People on the bottom rung of our economic ladder in effect become hostages to the place they live, no matter how miserable it might be,” said Nodel.

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All of Richard Nodel’s observations on this issue are at this link here.

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It’s very easy to take advantage of people like this. We have several properties that are blue collar, family parks. We believe that they are entitled to the same safe, healthy environment as those residents in our fancy resort properties.

The Daily Business News will continue to follow this story, and will provide an update if Mangione and/or his attorney provide comments. ##

(Editor’s Note: as stated on the complete commentary from Karl Radde, linked here, were provided prior to additional information and sources on this developing story came to light. His qualified comments above still apply to this or similar situations.)

(Image credits are as shown above.)

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RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

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

MHARR’S Mark Weiss says Happy Anniversary HUD Code??

June 16th, 2016 Comments off

m_mark_weiss_mharr_pesident__mhpronews__creditAlthough the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro called manufactured housing a “vital solution” to the nation’s “affordable housing crisis,” the federal manufactured housing program for forty years has been one set of wasted opportunities after another, according to M. Mark Weiss, president and CEO of the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR).

In an article originally printed in the Journal, Weiss points out HUD has basically ignored the so-called vital role allegedly played by manufactured housing as affordable housing on this, the 40th Anniversary of the HUD Code program.

Weiss notes that the HUD program should be an effective partnership between federal and state governments as well as private industry and consumers to provide low-cost housing to help people of moderate means achieve the American dream of home ownership.

In its testimony Oct. 26, 2015 to the House Financial Services Committee entitled “Innovative Approaches to Address Housing Affordability,” MHARR stated, “By providing inherently affordable home ownership for individuals and families, rather than a form of direct or indirect government ‘assistance,’ or residence in publicly-owned housing, manufactured homes … offer the ‘individuality, the human dignity, the respect for individual rights [and] devotion to individual responsibility’ that President [Lyndon] Johnson envisioned at the signing ceremony for the legislation that created HUD” fifty years ago.”

Census Bureau data show that home ownership is at historic lows, and HUD says in 2013 nearly eight million lower-income households paid more than 50 percent of their income for rent and/or lived in substandard housing. HUD is failing in its mission assigned to it by Congress in the Manufactured Housing Improvement Act of 2000.

Given the dire straits of many in our midst who could benefit from affordable housing, with complete authority over the HUD Code program, one might think HUD might carry out the congressional directive in the Act of 2000, with its broad focus on advancing manufactured housing.

Weiss says, “The entire focus of the HUD program — after four decades – remains on more and more needless regulation, with more and more competition and market-killing regulatory compliance costs (which disproportionately impact smaller industry businesses), even though by all available objective metrics, the consumer safety element of the program has already been fully achieved.”

He says HUD continues to advance more and more regulations that are supposed to make the industry more competitive with the site-built home industry, but in fact make the homes cost more, and make it more difficult for the smaller industry businesses to compete.

In HUD’s MH Reflections there is not a word about promoting MH as affordable housing. Over and over again Weiss cites examples of HUD either benefiting MH competitors (site-builders, realtors, rental properties), or harming the smaller players in the industry who cannot effectively spread out costs over a smaller production and still remain competitive with the larger producers.

Noting Census Bureau data showing manufactured homes as energy efficient as comparable site-built homes, Weiss says HUD does nothing to stop the Dept. of Energy from trying to impose excessive energy standards on MH, tougher than standards on a site-built million-dollar home. MHARR opposes the standards, MHI supports them, says Weiss.

The National Fire Protection Association says HUD Code homes are safer than, or comparable to, site-built homes in fire occurrence and injuries, yet HUD is trying to squeeze in a supposed “voluntary” sprinkler standard. MHARR is opposed, MHI favors, says Weiss. In the past, MHProNews recalls MHARR pointing out that “voluntary” inclusion of some requirement or other has under HUD’s rule subsequently resulted in a mandate.

HUD has done nothing to stop the exclusion of HUD Code homes from jurisdictions around the country, even though it has an express statutory mission to do so.

HUD rigorously oversees the production of manufactured homes and allegedly promotes MH as affordable housing, while other federal agencies that deal in the financing of homes for the public—Ginnie Mae, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), etc.–are not terribly assistive in creating a secondary market for MH or finding a way to arrange reasonable financing for affordable housing that another federal agency guides. Like the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

Noting these are just a few of the failures of the government regulators, Weiss says, “Congress has given HUD a mandate concerning manufactured housing – in an outstanding, well-thought-out law — that HUD (with the tacit or active support of part of the industry) ignores every day. Consumers and smaller industry businesses suffer the consequences. Larger businesses, shielded by billion-dollar corporate mega-empires, at best, don’t care.

He closes by saying HUD has wasted 40 years of opportunities in helping Americans achieve home ownership, and invites support for his agenda.

For the original, click here. ##

Photo credit: MHProNews–M.Mark Weiss)

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

Dodd-Frank Act Remains a Stumbling Block to Manufactured Home Lending

May 30th, 2016 Comments off

mhi photo credit mh under productionSteve Sinovic, writing in abqjournal, says sales of manufactured home sales are up, a popular and affordable housing choice for New Mexicans, some eighteen percent of whom live in manufactured housing. However, financing costs are being driven up by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implementation of the Dodd-Frank law. Additionally, the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are reluctant to deal in manufactured home personal property loans, thereby depriving MH sales of a secondary market. This means that lenders have to maintain the loans on their books and thus have a somewhat higher interest rate than conventional housing.  

Even with that rate difference, most save money on manufactured home payments, as MHLivingNews has often documented, as in the example linked below. 

Renters’ Nation: The Dark Side of Dodd-Frank and Its Impact on Affordable Housing

Paul Stull, president and CEO of the New Mexico Credit Union Association, is joining with other credit unions in lobbying to make more low interest loans available to families of more modest means who want to purchase a manufactured home (MH). He noted a provision in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that results in closing costs on a manufactured home similar to that of a large traditional-built home.

We are trying to get the CFPB to realize that one size does not fit all,” said Stull of what he considers regulatory overreach. “The same rules that apply to million-dollar homes” apply to a new MH selling for $40,000 in New Mexico.

Dave Woodruff, president and CEO of Los Alamos-based Zia Credit Union, said affordable housing in the northern New Mexico region he serves is challenging because of lower incomes and limited available land. He lost 15 to 20 loans in the last year because they were not secured by land. It ‘s not that the applicants were especially risky, but rather because of CFPB rules.

The absence of credit unions and community banks willing to make MH loans has concentrated 90 percent of MH lending in the hands of a few specialized MH lenders: Triad Financial, Cascade, Clayton Homes/Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, 21st Mortgage Corp. and San Antonio Credit Union’s CU Factory Built Lending and Mountainside Financial Service, as the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) tells the abqjournal.   

While the thrust of Sinovic’s report was insightful, it also cites outdated and inaccurate information that has since been contradicted by Richard Cordray, U.S. Senators, consumers and MH Lenders – which will be featured in a new video report on MHLivingNews.  MHPros and investors should aquaint themselves with a timely Op-Ed by Titus Dare, on why the GSEs are not all in on Duty to Serve being applied to chattel lending.

Duran lauds the finance companies willing to take the risk for the borrowers who have less than sterling credit, but realize the advantage of a manufactured homes over apartments. “They are building their credit. They are building equity,” said Duran of buyers. “A manufactured home is a great way to get in on the ground level.”

For an interview with Triad Financial’s Don Glisson, Jr. that has insights on why MH lending rates tend to be higher, please click here. ##

(Photo credit: Manufactured Housing Institute–manufactured homes under construction)

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

MH Industry Leaders Pursue New Marketing Strategies

May 25th, 2016 Comments off

manuf home   royal homes of raleigh  nc  creditAt the 2016 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing held in Las Vegas, 700 manufactured housing (MH) professionals heard a panel of industry leaders state that, with the onset of seniors downsizing, single-parent households and Millennials becoming the largest consumer group, the time is ripe for MH to move to the forefront of affordable housing.

According to sbwire, the discussion revealed the U. S. needs 1.3 to 1.4 million housing starts annually to keep up with demand, and that 55 percent of new mortgages are for first-time home buyers.

Noting the value of the entry-level market “that brought us to the dance,” CEO Kevin Clayton of Clayton Homes said MH producers are reaching out to a broader range of potential consumers who are just now discovering the MH lifestyle, with a focus on price, image, aesthetics and marketing strategies.

Energy savings and curb appeal have to be part of that draw, said Clayton, who said MH interiors are modern, and emphasized his company is drawing a bead on enhancing the exteriors away from the traditional skirting and low roof lines.

Now that the interior is nailed, we need to destroy that trailer image,” created by the outdated exteriors, said Don Westphal, who designs and develops manufactured home communities.

Champion Homes CEO Keith Anderson said his company is altering the outside to make MH look more like site-built homes but without major cost, and is tapping into the Millennials market via social media, new websites, MHVillage and its own employee base. He added Champion has seen a 500 percent increase in website hits and leads in the last six months.

Gary McDaniels, whose Yes! Communities zero in on creating family-focused developments, said the industry can meet every price point, but most consumers are looking for a clean, secure and affordable place to raise their families.

For more on what industry leaders had to say about the future of factory-built housing, see “Where do we go from here?” on MHProNews here.  ##

(Image credit: Royal Homes of Raleigh)

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

Ohio City Sets New Standards for Manufactured Homes Outside MH Communities

May 18th, 2016 Comments off

manufactured-home   archerland2005 back slash FlickrMHProNews has learned from thecourier that the city council of Fostoria, Ohio approved legislation establishing new standards for manufactured homes (MH) sited in residential neighborhoods, outside of manufactured home communities.

Under the new law, MH must resemble site-built homes, including being set on a foundation and with similar siding materials and pitched shingled roofs. ##

(Photo credit: archerland/flickr–manufactured home)

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

Clayton Weathers Storm, Turns $706M Profit in 2015, 2016 Looking Good

May 6th, 2016 Comments off

clayton_knoxnews_shelley_kimel_creditDespite all the criticism aimed at Berkshire Hathaway’s Clayton Homes over allegations of predatory and discriminatory lending through its two finance wings, marketing director Carl Hill said Clayton has had a very good spring and continued year-over-year growth, according to reuters. As MHProNews has reported monthly, manufactured home (MH) production has been on a rebound since Aug. 2011, and is currently up 25 percent over last year at this time.

Noting that nobody wins if an MH has to be repossessed, Hill said Clayton sold over 34,000 homes last year, resulting in revenue of $3.58 billion, producing a pre-tax profit of $706 million.

He also said one-third of Clayton’s borrowers are Millennials, mostly renters and those with lower credit scores. The next largest percentage are retirees looking to downsize. The prices for the MH start below $50,000, but Hill said the “vast majority sell for under $150,000.”

Speaking at the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder’s meeting, Berkshire Chairman Warren Buffett, who had praised CEO Kevin Clayton in Feb. during the firestorm of criticism, said only 2.64 percent of Clayton’s MH loans went into default last year, although the company did lose $157 million on 8,444 foreclosures. What percentage of these originated by other lenders was not disclosed.

As MHProNews reported April 29, 2016, Clayton expanded its reach into the site-built home building market by acquiring middle-Tennessee builder Goodall Homes, its second such acquisition following last year’s $50 million purchase of Chafin Communities of Georgia, as reported here Nov. 2, 2015. ##

(Editor’s Note: for a related story on Warren Buffett, click here.)

(Photo credit: knoxnews/Shelley Kimel)

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